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» Avatar: Heaven and Earth
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyWed Sep 09, 2020 11:08 pm by Adrian

» Soulblade [Applications Thread]
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyMon Aug 17, 2020 2:41 pm by Comrade Squid

» Soulblade [Roleplay Thread]
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyThu Aug 13, 2020 9:10 pm by Lady Senbonzakura

» Avatar: Heaven and Earth
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptySat Jun 20, 2020 9:06 pm by Kane

» Infinity's Row 2: The Puppetmaster ☾ [ROLEPLAY THREAD]
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyThu Jun 11, 2020 10:19 am by Michael DeathFlame

» Heir Eternal
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyWed Jun 10, 2020 11:18 pm by WritingBookworm

» The Witcher
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2020 1:54 pm by Sal

» Irongale ♕ [RP THREAD]
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyThu May 28, 2020 3:43 pm by WritingBookworm

» Evergreen: Academy for Spies: Incalescent [roleplay thread]
« Asphodel » - Page 62 EmptyMon Mar 30, 2020 2:18 am by boyhoy

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End of Year News (December 2017)

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:57 am by Adrian

(It's been one year since I made a news thread, oops)

Merry Christmas/Festivus/whatever holiday you do or do not celebrate!

2017 was a pretty busy year IRL for most of us - according to forum statistics, our busiest month was in June with 1671 total posts, meaning our post rate has been a little …

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Forum Bug

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:18 am by Adrian

Hi all,

We're aware of a peculiar forum glitch that's causing some subforums to be locked.

Due to the lateness at this time, it might be a while before the glitch can be remedied, because despite my best efforts and as far as I can tell, everything seems to be working fine admin-side. It may have …

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Comments: 1

Discord News/Update Test

Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:35 am by Adrian

Just a news, update test. Trying to get this thing to work.

Comments: 0


« Asphodel »

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« Asphodel » - Page 62 Empty Re: « Asphodel »

Post by Comrade Squid Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:32 pm

On the evening of November the 7th

Drusilla's gaze across at Ashura, momentarily, taking in the look of disappointment and hurt on his face. Though she knew it was his own fault, as his mother, her heart ached for him. Consoling him could come later, as the Dux was now talking sense.

"I would be happy to join forces with the Dux," Drusilla declared with authority. "Balum is a wise destination. Iskeria will not hesitate to join our alliance, and with the aid of our southern neighbors, the Homini will be well secured."

---

On the afternoon of November the 7th

"Other people are of greater importance than I."

Petra wanted to object to this. How could the other Elysians be of greater importance than Jehudiel? They were not at the helm of the holy armies of Elodi. They had not sheltered her and mentored her when she was lost with no place she felt was home. They had not clawed her from the belly of a beast and rescued her from the literal brink of death like an avenging angel from above, giving her a second chance at life and broadening the scope of her existence. None of them had done anything close to that- how could they be of greater importance than Jehudiel?

Nevertheless, Jehudiel had never given advice to lead her astray. She felt that his instructions were sound, but it did not cease the nagging feeling within her. "Of course, Master Jehudiel. Thank you." She meant it, but her face remained blank- she hoped that Jehudiel would still realize her sincerity. She felt reassured by his hand on her shoulder, and looking up at him, she noticed that there were tears in his eyes.

"...Master Jehudiel? Are you okay?"

---

On the afternoon of November the 8th

Silas shrugged and set the plate down, and returned to his seat at his desk. He eyed the Hollis boy, unsure what to make of him. A bright boy, certainly, a studious learner that could be molded into a devoted Bonded. But how would he get him there? What could he do to make the boy best serve his master?
"I hope Faidael has been in good health," he commented, hoping to get Matthew to open up. "You have been finding the life of a Bonded well, yes?"

---

On the morning of November the 8th

After what seemed like hours but was likely no more than seconds, Petra bumped into exactly the person she wanted to see- Jehudiel, who happened to be entering the tower's infirmary. Her mind raced too much to question why he was there, and she stopped in front of him, out of breath, pointing back down the hallway towards Sariel's room.
"It's Madame Sariel," she explained, "I think she's having her baby!"

---

On the wee hours of November the 8th

No sooner had Phoebes approached Oberiel than a cloaked, white-haired woman had followed her, the latter having apparently been watching Oberiel for quite sometime. She stealthily drew a dagger from her person, not pointing it at Phoebes but keeping it very apparent for her to see. "...and who might you be?" She inquired in a low voice.

Oberiel dismissed her with a weak hand gesture. "...At ease, Hespereth. I'll..." He paused for a moment, as if his mind were short-circuiting, until he took another swig of ale. His one eye lazily drifted towards Phoebes. "What's this about uhhhhhhhhhh... a 'ride'? Who sent you here?" He raised his mug for another swig, but found it was empty, further dampening his mood. "You're not... you're not my boss." He declared in something of a slur, slamming the mug down in anger.

---

On the night of November the 10th

Balthasar had been surprised by how quickly his supply of "experimental medicine" had diminished. A strain of very virulent flu had developed in one of the poorer parts of Spieti Hold during his long absence, and due to its lethality, had delivered a string of perfect test subjects practically onto his doorstep.

In fact, one such test subject was now displayed in front of him in an open casket- a haggard, 40-something man who had expired mere minutes after Balthasar had injected him with the viscous fluid. The good doctor was convinced that opening up a side business as "Mannsworth Funeral Home" was an excellent idea, netting him more money by capitalizing on the need for affordable burial services in an ever-crowded city. He only hoped the wormwood casket would hold together long enough for it to be tossed into a muddy hole in the ground.

His nurse, a particularly dim-witted woman that he had plucked off the street to increase his legitimacy, currently stood next to him holding a lantern to illuminate the poorly-lit room while he examined the body, an endeavor he was giving only the bare minimum of attention to. He turned away to retrieve the lid, and likely would have missed the ensuing spectacle were it not for the protests of his assistant.
"Doctor Mannsworth! Come quickly!"

Fully expecting to have been called for some idiotic nonsense, Balthasar returned to the casket to investigate her plea, and immediately noticed the disturbance that had prompted her. "He's alive," she declared, "it's a miracle!"

How his nurse had lived to meet him, the good doctor had little idea, for it was clear that she must have hid little in the way of survival instinct if she was not unnerved by the display in front of her. The man was clearly still dead, evident by the lifelessness in his eyes. However, he seemed to be possessed by a spirit that was not his own- something that was alive writhed underneath his skin, lines bulging in his clothes as the weight of his body shifted haphazardly, causing him to twitch and spasm as it afflicted his nervous system. The movements reminded Balthasar somewhat of a foetus squirming within the flesh of its mother's womb, but more severe. It was as if his very blood had come to life and struggled to burst from his veins. The sight of it caused the hairs on the back of Balthasar's neck to stand up. "...Yes, it's miraculous," the plague doctor spoke slowly and cautiously, "...fetch me my medicine bag. I must revive him."

The nurse left the room as instructed, leaving the lantern on a table, and as soon as she had shut the door behind her, Balthasar sprinted across the room and grabbed a shovel leaning against the wall. Flying on his feet back to the coffin, he struck the cursed cadaver with the broad side of the shovel with as much might as he could muster. After several meaty thwacks, the corpse had stopped moving and lied even more inert and dead than it had before. Satisfied with his work, the conman breathed a tenuous sigh of relief and returned the shovel to its place just as his nurse returned.

"A false alarm," he explained, "merely a spasm of the nerves." She didn't look like she had any idea what he had just said, but accepted his explanation nonetheless, and then picked up the lantern to look at the man. "Why is he now covered in dirt?" She asked quizzically.

Balthasar stuttered for a moment, silently cursing himself for using the shovel that had been used to dig a grave not thirty minutes prior. "Why, ummm, he... well, he's a peasant! They always look like that, don't you know? Stupid girl. Help me get this lid on."

After affixing the casket's lid, he gestured for the nurse to follow him out of the room, and bolted and locked the door behind them. As they retreated down the passageway, Balthasar began to consider what had just happened. What had Oswald meant when she told him that it was "experimental medicine" she was giving him? What was it actually? What power did it possess. Clearly, he thought, his eye catching the red gleam of the final vial secured in his coat, ...I was right to keep one sample for safekeeping.
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« Asphodel » - Page 62 Empty Re: « Asphodel »

Post by The_Broker Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:18 pm

On the night of November 10th, 7221

~~~Dr. Oswald~~~

Dr. Oswald decided it was time to look into the reports given by the mine shaft doctors. For the doctors who worked down in the mine shaft, they concluded that the Hags’ sudden restlessness was just part of their ‘growth’. Dr. Oswald had information that they did not and was curious if her suspicions were correct. I do hope this is only the beginning. That con-man is finally paying me back. She exited her office and after making sure her door was locked (Dr. Oswald was the only doctor to bother with locks), set off for the wine cellar.

She didn’t pass many other doctors as she slowly walked towards her destination, but knew she would need a word with the Order’s anaesthesiologist, Dr. Smith. Luckily, he was at his station down in the wine cellar, which meant Dr. Oswald wouldn’t have to make an extra trip to his quarters. As he saw her approaching, Dr. Smith immediately put on his usual sycophantic smile and delivered his favorite greeting, “Ah, my dear Dr. Oswald! How might I assist you?” Dr. Smith had always been Dr. Oswald’s right-hand lackey. As far back as her earliest studies, he was the chief among many who she could easily talk into doing her more difficult assignments for her. In particular, his aptitude for the application of sleeping drugs (in animals and in his youth, the occasional community destined for the Core) allowed him to remain useful to Dr. Oswald over the years. “I require information regarding certain anesthetics, particularly ones that could render the Hags more docile,” she said Dr. Smith. “Oh? Does this concern the recent reports from the mine?” Dr. Smith said as he gathered up a few of his anesthetic forms. “Yes, yes, of course it does,” Dr. Oswald said impatiently and before he could say anything else, began making her way to the back part of the mansion’s long wine cellar.

Dr. Smith hurriedly grabbed his stack of forms and rushed to join Dr. Oswald’s side. “Well,” he said slightly out of breath, “there are a few different formulas that could do that I suppose. The consistency of the Hags’ bodies require the anesthetic to be in a vapor state, which would increase the risk of our doctors inhaling it, but we could easily clear them from the mine shaft for a few hours while the anesthetic takes a hold over the Hags.” He honestly didn’t care if any doctors besides Dr. Oswald, himself, or others of their close group fell under the effects of his anesthetics. It would give him a chance to see the stronger formulas effects on Homini. But, he couldn’t risk the Hags breaking loose while the doctors were under the influence. Dr. Oswald kept silent for a time as she and Dr. Smith had passed through the hole in the wine cellar's back wall that served as the entrance to the mine shaft and as the doctor guarding the mine shaft had waved the two through. It was while they were moving down the tunnels of the mine shaft that she made her reply. “You will arrange both of those, yes. And then the order will be issued that the Hags’ pens will be dismantled.” Dr. Smith stumbled and nearly tripped onto his face at these words. “Really, Dr. Oswald!” he said in a half jovial, half chiding tone, “I wouldn’t have expected that kind of humor from you! I mean, the other foolish doctors, yes, but you? No! If the Hags’ pens were dismantled, they could roam freely and then they might stroll up to my work station. And I know you wouldn’t...” But his rambling was interrupted by Dr. Oswald snapping her fingers for him to be silent.

They had neared the entrance of one of several chambers dedicated to holding the Hags. Through gaps in the haphazard wooden planks that served as holding pens for the Hags, Dr. Oswald and Dr. Smith could see flashes of various Hags moving around within. Just flashes of the misshaped hybrid of cadavers and blob was enough to upset Dr. Smith’s delicate composition. He was very eager to turn around and continue their discussion elsewhere, preferably back above ground, but Dr. Oswald was staring thoughtfully at the wooden pens. “Dr. Oswald, please, I simply CANNOT go on another step! We should return to...” her fingers snapped again, and he once again ceased talking. After what seemed an eternity for Dr. Smith, she turned to face him. “Dr. Smith, you shall gather or craft the appropriate anesthetic and deliver my orders to the mine shaft doctors. The Hags are restless and I think allowing them to freely roam the mansion would help solve this. Don’t you agree?” She said all of this in a firm voice, which removed any doubt of it being a warped joke. He nodded miserably and began to trudge back to his station to make all of the necessary arrangements. “Oh, the pain. The pain,” he muttered sullenly to himself.

Dr. Oswald lingered for a time in the tunnel and was preparing to ascend back to the mansion as well when she heard what sounded like the echoing of a man’s voice singing. What on Asphodel? There was nothing in the report about the Hags vocalizing... She instead turned around and proceeded further down into the mine shaft. As she descended the tunnels, she recognized the voice as being that of Oldburn. He’s begun to sing to the Core’s Heartlimb? That’s new. Not surprising, but new. As she approached the chamber of the Core’s Heartlimb, she could clearly make out the words of the lullaby he was singing.

“Sleep, Princess, don't wake from your sleep;
Sleep, Princess, lie down your sweet head;
If Princess wakes from her dream;
Begin the long walk, and embrace your kin;
Let the doors be flung open and reunite with your long lost family.”

Dr. Oswald was amazed at Oldburn coming up with such an odd song… and one that fit with her orders as well. How did he know that the Hags would be let free to roam the mansion…? As she slowly entered the chamber, she could see Oldburn standing in front of the Core’s Heartlimb. At 15 feet, it towered above him and could very easily absorb him as the Hags tended to do if they weren’t pacified. But Oldburn did always have some sort of odd connection with them, especially the Core’s Heartlimb, or “Princess” as he always bizarrly referred to it as. It certainly didn’t look like any princess that Dr. Oswald had seen. It’s lower body was an almost dress-like structure of neurovore matter, melded flesh, and combined bone, its upper body was a strange recreation of a humanoid torso, complete with three arms, each with three hands and three clawed fingers. Its head, if one could call it that, was almost completely skeletal and most puzzling of all, rather bovine in appearance. These features couldn’t scream ‘Monster’ any more clearly, and somehow Dr. Gate misheard them as ‘Medicine’. How does the Head Doctor delude himself into thinking these creatures could help Homini? Indeed, the Core’s Heartlimb and the rest of the Hags would certainly carry out Dr. Oswald’s goals.

As Dr. Oswald stood in the entrance of the chamber, Oldburn suddenly ceased his recital and slowly turned to face Dr. Oswald. He waved his arms emphatically in a shushing motion and chastised her. “Quiet! Quiet!” he said in a stage whisper, “Princess needs her rest! She says the long walk begins soon!” Dr. Oswald stared in amusement at Oldburn. He made quite the transformation by going from a below average doctor to a raving madman. Still, he seemed to have some insight into what the Core and all of its extensions was thinking. “And what is the long walk, Oldburn?” she said back to him in a whisper. Oldburn froze while he was still in the process of waving at her. “I don’t… know. But it’s important that Princess gets her rest!” he said back in his loud whisper and nodded his head sagely at her. He then turned back to the enormous Hag and resumed singing his lullaby to it.

Dr. Oswald backed out of the chamber. She was confident that Oldburn or the Core somehow knew parts of her plan. The long walk could refer to the Hags and the Core’s Heartlimb being allowed to roam the mansion. Or maybe it could even know more of Dr. Oswald’s plan and the long walk referred to moving across Asphodel? But, how…? Dr. Oswald shock her head to clear it, she was feeling dizzy. Being down in the mansion’s mine shaft wasn’t good for one’s health. What’s more, Dr. Oswald didn’t recall walking farther down the tunnels to the central shaft. She was now starring right into the Core itself. It’s neurovore structure stretched from deep below the cavernous mine shaft below into the unseen ceiling above. It’s trunk-like body pulsated with hundreds of Homini, Elysian, and Sheolfolk remains. She shook her head again and forced herself to begin to ascend back up the tunnels to the mansion. Monsters… demons… the kin of the Core would spread out across Asphodel and Dr. Oswald wanted to capitalize on the chaos they would create.
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« Asphodel » - Page 62 Empty Re: « Asphodel »

Post by Comrade Squid Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:34 am

November 10th, 7221 ~ The final dosage of the tenth vial was administered shortly before the passing of the fifth hour to Josiah Folworthy, forty and eight years of age, resident of the poor district of Spieti Hold believed to be suffering from acute congestion of the lungs. Patient expired after the passing of the ninth hour with seemingly no effects from the remedy. No irregularities to be reported.

This was, of course, a fabrication, as Balthasar was not thirty minutes removed from the shocking but thankfully temporary reanimation of Josiah Folworthy that he could only attribute to the serum. He had no intent of sharing this turn of events with Doctor Oswald or any of the Order- not when such a secret could potentially be of use to him. Could this liquid, perhaps, reanimate the dead? What other powers might it possess? Would the Dux rethink her agreement with him if she knew that he had a supply of such a material?

Carefully, the Doctor looked over the report, making sure that his grammar was correct and that his handwriting was sophisticated enough so as not to betray his status as a charlatan. Satisfied with his work, he returned his quill to its inkwell and drew the final vial of medicine, another secret he intended to keep from the Order, examining its contents in the candlelight with glee. He realized he may have made a mistake not saving more of it, but Oswald’s belief could only be stretched so far. Perhaps it could be duplicated? His mind raced as he thought of the acclaim he might receive. Balthasar Mannsworth… the man who cured death. He chuckled to himself, deciding that this moment called for celebration, and put away the vial containing his second-favorite red liquid so that he might consume some of his first.

---

Meanwhile, a vagabond skulked about the shadows of Spieti Hold. The removal of Lord Cato and subsequent political upheaval had lured all sorts of unscrupulous characters to Spieti, who were keenly aware of the riches to be offered by the turmoil. The Dux hadn’t secured her rule just yet, and many wealthy nobles had been coming to and from the hold- it was likely that some hadn’t secured their valuables. This particular thief was eyeing one dwelling among a row on a wealthy street, a dwelling that stood out from the others due to the state of disrepair and apparent abandonment it was in. Surely it couldn’t be inhabited. In fact, she was more concerned that other robbers had struck before her.

Cautiously, the thief drew her cloak tight over her face before drawing a crude lockpick from her pocket and began to undo the lock of the old house. She crept into the dusty foyer, examining her surroundings. Cobwebs decorated the corners and there was a fine layer of dust on the floor… marked with footprints. The thief began to have doubts about the house- perhaps it was not so uninhabited after all. She would have to be careful, she thought to herself, as she turned and came face to face with the empty eyes of a ghastly, bird-like leather mask that glowered down upon her. Startled, she stumbled backwards, unknowingly tumbling down an open door and then a short flight of stairs into the basement. She cursed herself for her foolishness- the mask was not being worn, but only hung on a hat rack by the door, next to a wide-brimmed black hat. She had never seen such a peculiar get-up.

She had hardly gotten back onto her feet before realizing she was not alone in the basement. Dim candlelight beamed from around the corner and she was quickly alerted to the sound of hurried footsteps- the thief could not collect her bearings before a man in dark robes had rounded the corner, obviously alerted by the commotion, carrying a long rod in one hand and a goblet of wine in the other. “Thief!” The man cawed, charging at her in a fury. The rogue hastily drew a knife from her robes, but was promptly stunned when the man thrust the contents of his goblet onto her face, dousing her in red wine. Momentarily blinded, she could not escape a blow to the head from his rod, disarming her and knocking her onto her back.

“I shall report you to the city guards for this!” The man snarled in an unpleasant, nasally voice. The thief, after wiping the wine from her face, was able to get a better look at him- he was a thoroughly unscrupulous-looking man with a narrow face, a hooked beak-like nose, squinting beady eyes, thick stubble, and a mess of greasy, bright red hair not at all unlike her own. He very suddenly reached out and snatched a pouch that had fallen from her belt during the fall, opening it up and pouring its contents- a large number of gold coins- onto a side table. “I see you have already plundered my domicile!”

The criminal wiped the dripping wine from her face, her cloak fallen from her face, and looked at him with shifty eyes. “Oh no, that was from the last house I hit, I just got-” she immediately clasped a hand over her own mouth, regretting having spoken at all.

“A career criminal, eh? Clearly I’ll be doing a public service by turning you in…”

“Please sir,” she began to beg, “I’m just a street urchin! The daughter of a whore, forced by cruel circumstance to steal for my own survival!”

The man drew back slightly, a ponderous expression on his face. The thief’s hopes raised. Did he believe her story and take pity? Or had she struck a nerve? Finally, he began to speak again.
“…Fascinating. I used to know somebody like you. Anyhow, we’ll see if the city guard believes your well-rehearsed sob story-“

But now the criminal’s curiosity had been piqued. “They wouldn’t be related to Belinda of the town of Hagfin in the far north, would they?”

The man’s eyes widened in shock. “…what?!?!” he barked, his high voice cracking. Conversely, a gleam of excitement appeared in the woman’s eyes, as she realized the similarities between them that she hadn’t noticed before- their hair was the same shade of red, and they both bore shifty, untrustworthy eyes. She began to hoist herself up using the railing of the stairs. “…mother always told me about my brother- she called him an ungrateful whelp, said he ran away from home and-“

Before she could finish, she was struck again by the man’s tallying stick even harder than before, and then again, and again, knocking her back to the ground. “Ow! Ow! Stop hitting me with- give me that!” She grabbed at the rod as he continued his beating, missing once but snatching it from him on her second attempt and tossing it aside.

The man was now frothing with rage, gibbering inarticulately before finally settling on words. “I am The Right Honourable Lord Doctor Balthasar Mannsworth! A highly respected man of medicine! I am of legitimate birth, and I’ve never even heard of that desolate, fish-smelling hellhole that you call a town!”

“If you’ve never heard of it, how do you know it’s a fishing town?”

Balthasar scowled, breathing heavily with rage. He collapsed into a small chair next to the wall, running a hand through his greasy, matted hair. Feeling stressed, he closed his eyes and raised his goblet to his lips, though he quickly realized to his disappointment that he had already emptied its contents onto the intruder’s face. He breathed a deep, drawn out sigh. “What did you say your name was?”

“I didn’t. I’m Robin.” She got herself onto her feet for the second time, her legs much more wobbly than before. “And I know for a fact that my mom didn’t name you Balderich Mannworm or whatever.”

Balthasar Mannsworth!” He shrieked at her, scowling with utter disdain.

“Sorry, Balthy.” She started to look around the basement, particularly the shelves lining the walls. “And you said you’re a doc, right?” The shelves were lined with jars, each one filled with something different. Some had liquid, some had powder, some had crushed up leaves, but all of them had labels. “‘Essence of Cloud’? ‘Goat Feces’? This isn’t medicine. Who would believe it’s medicine?” She recoiled slightly at a jar that appeared to contain live several live leeches suckling a bloody piece of meat.

“And how would you know, street urchin?” Balthasar asked with venom, rising to his feet. “What is it you do anyway?”

Robin spun on her heel to face him, a foxy grin on her face. “I steal, Mister Mannsworth. In fact, while you’ve sucked up to our corrupt blue-blooded overlords with your ‘highly-respected’ nonsense, I’ve been levelling the playing field, stealing from the rich to give to- well, it doesn’t really matter who I give to.” Sensing that she was losing her brother’s patience, she decided to move on, a plan quickly having formed in her mind. “Why don’t we move upstairs?”

Within minutes, they were in the barely-used living room. Robin fell onto one of Balthasar’s couches, causing a cloud of dust to puff up from its cushions. She threw her legs over one of the armrests and made herself very comfortable. “So, my demands are simple: I need to crash here for a few days, a new cloak, some new daggers, a steak dinner- prepared medium-well, of course- and maybe some-“

“And what makes you think you can come into my house, attempt to rob me, and then make demands?” Balthasar asked, still standing, barely veiling his fury.

Robin shrugged, feigning ignorance while wearing a smug smirk. “…because I’ll tell everyone the truth about your parentage and then you won’t be so ‘highly respected’ anymore? If you don’t do what I ask, that is. How’s that sound, doc?”

Balthasar took a long time to answer. He had an indiscernible look on his face- was he afraid? Was he angry? Maybe a bit of both? Finally, he cracked the slightest of smiles before speaking in a soft yet sinister voice. “The Dux has been anxious to win the public’s support. In order to convince them of her strength, she’s been very harsh on petty criminals… like thieves. For the first offense, they cut off your hand,” he held up his right one, flexing its fingers. “For the second offense, they cut off your head!” He slowly and emphatically drew a finger across his neck in a throat-slitting motion.

Robin, now looking quite worried, began to grab at her own throat in a nervous manner. “…w-w-what do they do on the third offense?”

“It matters not,” Balthasar said gravely. “I’m sure you’re well on your thirtieth offense, and you have just been caught robbing my estate.”

“Hey!” Robin retorted, now looking more offended than worried. “I’m way past thirty!”

“I’ll remember that when I turn you in. However, I might be willing to stay my hand… if you were to do something on my behalf.”

“Oh, now for your demands. Great.”

Balthasar reached into his coat pocket and retrieved a vial. It was the same vial he had held earlier, filled with the the thick, red substance- the substance that had brought Josiah Folworthy back to life. “I need more of this,” he explained, “but I don’t know how to make it, and I don’t want the people who do make it to know that I have extra. Have you ever heard of Fortunato?”

Robin shifted upright. “It’s a play, right?”

“No. It’s a town to the northeast of here. Or at least it used to be, because it’s decayed into rot now. Most maps don’t even mention it anymore, but it can still be found… if you know where to look.”

“And what’s so special about Fortunato?”

“At the edge of town, there is a manor- dilapidated and thoroughly rotten, barely livable even for plebeians. It is inhabited by an alchemical cult filled with delusional lunatics and worse. There is a vault in the office of one of the head doctors- open it, and you will find more vials of this substance. Bring all of them to me. If you are successful, I’ll get you what you want and drop you off somewhere where we never have to see each other again, and we can pretend this never happened.”

Robin raised an eyebrow. Absolutely nothing he said sounded truthful, and if it was, she certainly wasn’t going to get involved with it. “Forget it, doc. I’m not doing any of that.”

“The ‘master thief’ is afraid?” Balthasar pretended to glance out the window behind him. “Oh, how fortunate. There’s a guardsman going by on patrol.”

“No, wait!” Robin stood up, holding her hands up in surrender. “I’ll do it, okay? I’ll take the deal.”

“I knew you’d see it my way, sister.” It physically pained him to say that last word. He drew closer, extending his hand to shake hers, and she cautiously accepted. “One more term, though…”

He very suddenly and harshly pulled her closer and hissed in her ear: “Don’t ever call me ‘doc’ again!”
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Post by WritingBookworm Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:57 pm

@Captain Whitehawk wrote:Phaedra, afternoon, 11th

Not enough honor.  Delilah is pretty.  In another life maybe Phaedra would've taken a bite out of her herself.  But the way she holds herself, the way she arrived, Delilah's just a piece of trash floating in the wind.  

Nereida could've taken to anyone, Phaedra reminds herself, but it doesn't help.  "Your relation to the Dux?"  Phaedra asks.  

- Delilah - 

For one, I screwed her. Faster than you ever did. “I’ve only known her a few days. I wouldn’t say there’s much of a relation.”

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Post by Captain Whitehawk Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:21 am

Phaedra

Her teeth grind as she looks away. "Naw, but relations, yeah?" Her dagger's hilt slips into her hand like water, and she pops it beneath Delilah's chin, just the tip, just a warning. "You been sneaking on the Dux like some sorta rat, huh? D'ya think you're honest? Because I know a liar when I see one."
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Post by WritingBookworm Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:30 am

- Delilah - 

The accusation causes a spike of fear, shooting up sharply from the stomach. But it’s only momentary. Phaedra’s only saying these things out of jealousy. If she actually suspected me of being Lucifer’s bonded, if she actually thought I was scheming and putting Nereida in danger, then I should hope she would be smarter than to accuse me so brazenly. Or perhaps I’m giving her too much credit.

I consider acting afraid, but I’ve never acted afraid, even when playing my part. So I speak slowly, calmly. “That’s a baseless accusation and you know it. I came here seeking refuge and that’s it.”

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"I'll tell you where the real road lies: between your ears, behind your eyes. That is the path to paradise, and likewise the road to ruin."

Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]

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Post by Captain Whitehawk Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:39 am

Phaedra

Truth be told, she's not sure what this bitch is. But it doesn't matter. Phaedra's got rank. What's she got? Spread thighs? "Too calm. You oughtta be chickenshit, if you knew what was good for ya." She swaps from tip to edge, drawing it back further against Delilah's neck. "There's a lotta fuckups that come to us. Most mind their business, keep their own. You fuck a Dux soon as you show up. Weird, innit?"

Her head cocks to the side, she closes in, pressing Delilah up against the railing, tasting her air. "Where'd you say you were from again? Some Sheolfolk shithole?"
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Post by WritingBookworm Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:55 am

- Delilah -

I’d thought Phaedra could be bluffing, but . . . no. No, she wants to hurt me. Now the fear comes back. I can’t let the Wrathmongers lose their second in command just because some woman decided to let the psycho out. 

Behind me, I grab onto the railing, just to keep my balance. I look askance, but there’s no one seeing any of this. Even the kids have ran back inside. I’m on my own. 

Fine. I hate that I’m on my own, but fine. It won’t be the end of everything if I reveal my Wrath abilities. I told Nereida last night that I was bonded to a Wrath follower; I just didn’t say who, and I implied it was unwilling. “A Sheolfolk shithole is an apt way to describe the Wrathmonger camp, yes.”

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« Asphodel » - Page 62 Tumblr_psuz0sQPWk1t2vv2no5_500

"I'll tell you where the real road lies: between your ears, behind your eyes. That is the path to paradise, and likewise the road to ruin."

Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]

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Post by Captain Whitehawk Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:49 pm

Phaedra

Her smile smears to sneer. "Yeah, thought so. Don't need your type here. Fuck off."

The knife slips cozy into Delilah's ribs. She's done it a hundred times.
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Post by WritingBookworm Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:25 pm

- Delilah -

I gasp, too in shock to feel the pain.

Then, on instinct, I activate my abilities. The pain fills, and it with alarming speed that I thrust my hand toward Phaedra’s throat, with the intent to grab.

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« Asphodel » - Page 62 Tumblr_psuz0sQPWk1t2vv2no5_500

"I'll tell you where the real road lies: between your ears, behind your eyes. That is the path to paradise, and likewise the road to ruin."

Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]

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