Little Silver Pies
The Lunars came upon the Aquamarine Crossing, a luxurious First Age Bridge whose goddess seems intent on extracting a heavy tithe from its travellers. What is quite a problem for them, having more than two dozen students under Seven Leaf Sorrows. So, while the companion Gin decides to go see this Goddess with a mischievous plan in mind, Wrynn Diermidis and Snowy Silver Night decide to walk about the budding hamlet around the crossing created by the waiting caravans... and Wrynn decides to jump to the other side in search of the holy grail of pie!
On each end of the bridge, there are two pillars. The arcs come from them, and atop the arcs, a small pillar raises. Atop each and every one are statues of women, covered in scarves of flowing water that cover all of her parts, held in her hands like they grip a snake, a whirlwind, something that coils around them. It is all made of aquamarines, but their eyes actually show the crystalline mien of blue jade.
And as Wrynn finishes his horizontal fall and lands on the other side... the one on the right edge, the closer edge to them on the other side... turns.
"You intend to break the tithe, Moon-Goddess? You intend to flaunt the Goddesses' rules?"
Her eyes shine in the most dangerous shade of lighting.
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn lands on the shore with a supernatural feline grace, then almost falls over as the statue talks at her. Recovering her balance smoothly into a pose of cute innocence the statue no doubt was incapable of appreciating, she stares at it, trying to figure out just what its problem was.
Oh, that's right. Gods. Always the most self-important types by definition.
"Rules?" Wrynn balks. "You overstep your grounds automaton, and the ground you stepped into is between me and PIE. Your god has as much dominion over me as a death god does over rocks. May as well ask the birds to come down and walk across your pretty liitle bridge and pay your fine. Yeah, I flaunt your rules. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with mystery meats and moist flaky crusts."
Snowy: Snowy had, in the time Wrynn was doing his crazy-hangtime jump, moved up to the other bank of the river, using her wonderful owl eyes to peer across and get a view of Wrynn (or what she assumed to be Wrynn) going on at some.. statue? This didn't bode well for being able to travel across by air, but she'd wait and watch from the other side before doing anything herself.
Narrator: The statue watched him... and then, its expressionless face received... expression.
A dumbfolded expression.
The sort that calls for a 'd'oh' narration.
And thus I narrate: d'oh!
"You are... right. I am sorry, kitten, your kind counfounds me. But you should be judged as a critter, not a human, indeed. I am sorry, it is just that another of your kind has been here, in times past, and she was more human than animal, and thus, paid the tithe. Please, continue your voyage, honorable Silver Child."
Narrator: Snowy Silver Night sees the statue make a small movement... and be still. Like it had never moved.
- Snowy just sort of shrugs, she really wasn't too concerned about the statue, more what Wrynn would do, so she continues to watch him, looking sort of worried now
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn nods, as if that was the only possible result. With the statue now seemingly lifeless, Wrynn hops up to place one foot feather-light on its shoulder, then continues on to the rooftops.
Streets were for people with maps.
- Snowy sighs a little, then looks up and down the bank on the other side, searching for a spot where she could emerge from the water and not be bloody obvious about the whole thing, even if it was then a bit of a walk back into the town. Likely the statues didn't care if you flaunted the rules 500 yards away, right?
Narrator: Likely.... not! And there is a spot with some rocks a far away on the far bank... mostly covered with shrubs, as well!
- Snowy just sort of shrugs and starts walking up the river, putting herself roughly opposite the rocks she was aiming for, no sense being obvious about the whole thing on this side either! So she jumps in, head first, shifting into fishform for the journey across the river. Damn thing's probably really cold too, rivers always were.
Narrator: Quite a bit, even during the spring!
But despite being deep and large, no river sharks or dragons harass Snowy on hr way to the far banks, and soon she gets there...
- Snowy turns herself into Emerald as she flops herself out of the water, then she make it look good. She wets her hair quite thuroughly, then fluffs it out to start it drying, combing it with her hands. She's still dressed in that dress she had for the party that started everything, so this was no doubt going to be quite the shock for the village, but that didn't matter, as long as it fooled the statues. To that end, she gives her new fancy tell-hiding charm its first workout, pumping six motes into it before taking the *long* route into town so her little glittering caste mark disappears.
Narrator: The 'town' - as seen by the kitten in the rooftops or 'Emerald' as she finally comes around, is not really - it is composed of two competing inns(you can smell the bad blood!), a blacksmith, a couple restaurants, a couple pubs, a couple 'everything else and the kitchen sink too!' stores, and a couple buildings that seem to be... outposts of some nearby kingdom or another. Oh, and a Guild outpost. One has to wonder if they even have to pay tithe. The place stands as if it own the 'town'. Oh, and some farms dotting the nearby mounts here and there because, hey, there is civilization there, at least! And close to civlization, people aglomerate, as it is only... safe. And not even that, those days.
From the pubs and inns come the scents...
And one of the inns, one of earth-red tiles, has the distinct scent of... pie!
- Snowy sighs as she looks around, oh well, she knows where she's headed, *pie ho!* She'd wander seemingly aimlessly through the village before finally decinding on the pie inn, hopefully finding Wrynn already inside. And probably inside a pie too, for that matter.
Narrator: Of course... every eye on the village is at her. Every girl stops to look. From the outposts of the kingdoms, few soldiers walk out to see what it is all about, and begin walking at a safe distance from her... and so does a merchant prince, stepping out of the guild outpost, all of it following her to the inn....
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn has quickly made it across the quaint little inntown, zeroing in on the smell of the meaty confections. Kittens aren't known for their tracking ability, but they know how to get what they want.
Blue kimono flapping in the wind, Wrynn drops off the red-tiled roof 'round the back of the building. A few light taps of her feet on the way down, and she slips into a second-story hall window above the kitchen.
Narrator: The kitchen moves at breakneck pace! Four women move to and fro, picking all they can, baking pies, preparing sweets, and all other sorts! Strangely, there is yet another woman there, one tall, silver-eyed woman - but all she does is shout commands to the others and look and act as if she had something shoved very deep in her backside. All she was missing is some steel to look like most female army captains Wrynn has seen... those saying things like crime doesn't pay and how they would catch him if it is the last thing they do, all those other silly things.
It has, however, bars on the windows. Bars!
- Snowy ducks into the pie-smelling inn. There was always that one downside to this form, but normally that can be dealt with, hopefully Wrynn was alread inside so she could act like she was already 'taken' and they'd all leave her alone, hopefully.
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn checks the hallway quickly to make sure all is silent, and dives back out the window. Her feet just barely clip the window sil and she swings downwards to hang her head directly at the window, where she peeks in again, long golden-red hair hanging below. A single flick of a finger at one of the bars cuts a thin crescent out of it and Wrynn's face lights up in a cute kitty smile.
Moments later, Wrynn swings back into the second floor window with an armful of steel and strolls down the hallway looking for a room to stash them in before slipping down into the common room, listening closely for sounds of alarm from the kitchen.
Narrator: The kitten easily slices out the bar, and moves through the inn like nothing could see him....
And in the common room he sees... the prettiest lady around. Emerald hair, beautiful... and the same shape Snowy had used at the party. She is nearly surrounded, however, all the room staring at her, a regiment of local soldiers and a merchant prince and his bodyguard around her like a clique around the most popular girl in the group....
Narrator: "... are you new here?" Asks one of the guards...
"No, seriously, we can show you a good time..." says another... in fact, some four or five say that.
"Marry me. Please. The goddess will marry her daughter soon, and we are made for each other!" Asks one, very exasperated one!
"Oh, what beauty we see..." Says a man in the inn.
"Please, my master.. would like a moment of your time." Says one of the Merchant Prince's slaves...
A merchant prince who's looking at Snowy with more... strangeness than desire.
Snowy: Snowy sighs a little, ignoring the merchant prince, mainly because he's not activly bothering her. She doesn't really respond directly to any of them, letting them think she's paying attention and all that, but she's really focused on finding Wrynn and blowing them all off. She had to do something to change this. Maybe she should of stayed with Leaf on the other side.
Narrator: The militia and the few inn patrons who approached the 'clique' maintain their closeness to her, and believe she is listening to every word, warching her and enraptured by her beauty... all but the merchant prince, who pats on his slave's back - that being a blonde woman of hazel eyes, dressed in eastern fineries and with the slave-mark branded on the center of her chest, from the hollow of her bosom to the start of her neck - and she comes closer to Snowy once again, her voice sterner, "My master demands your attention. He has valuable things to say to you, fair emerald hair. He says it is on your best interests to come to him."
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn scans the common room and sees what must be Snowy, since mortals-- well, anyone really-- didn't tend to survive the shape-taking process rather much by definition. She looked rather distressed. Wrynn could help with that, Wrynn always liked being helpfull-- at least, until matters in the kitchen came to a boil.
Another flick of a finger chops the nice sky-blue kimono in half at the hip.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on who you were... Well, no, pretty much unfortunately for everyone-- Wrynn wasn't too modest to begin with... UN-fortunately, no sooner does fully half of her kimono fall loosely to the floor than Wrynns body shrinks to fit the new height, replaced by a devilishly cute eight-year-old... of one gender or another, usually by that age you could tell, but cute-- cute is far more powerful than traditional gender identities.
Twisting his obi into a simpler belt, Wrynn climbs up the back of Snowy's chair and flops over onto her head, forgetting that he was one kind of kitten and not the other.
Snowy: Snowy hugs Wrynn, kissing.. her? on the cheek. She gives a great sigh of relief and looks Wrynn in the eyes "Wrynn! There you are! Don't go scaring me like that! Where did you run off to anyway?"
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn licks at the tip of Snowy's nose, "Seeeeeecret NINJA work." Wrynn says with a wink, and a glance over at the kitchen.
Narrator: The slave in front of her fidgets, her jeweled earrings - silver and torquoises - tingling as she looked back at her master, looking exasperated at the way that lady totally ignored her... biting her pierced lips, feeling the taste of metal and the sapphire over it... and she turns to a plea... "miss... please.. my master demands... he... he really does..."
- Snowy picks Wrynn up and looks at the slave "Very well, lead the way please." Then she looks at Wrynn "This shouldn't take long dear, we'll get you some pie soon."
Narrator: The slave breathes a sigh of relief.
Everyone around Snowy, however, is rather... disappointed?
- Snowy obviously figures that this is a good way to get out, and doesn't really that she's been found out. Not that it matters, really. She looks at all the disappointed people, then shrugs and waits to be led off to this.. master.
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn looks at Snowy, then at the servant, back and forth once, and no sooner do Snowy's eyes leave the child than the small frame in her hands simply gone as if it were never there.
Farouk: The merchant prince is like color in a black and white painting.
All around her, there is the drabness of the countryside.
Militiamen in dull leather armor, halfs of wood in their hands with crude blades at their ends, unwashed and barely shaven, most of them. Common innkeepers and maids, brown hair and eyes of the east, most of them. Even the Inn itself... it was mighty grand, mind... it used glass cups... and decent faux-silver silverware... and it was well-built, with good wood and a nice architecture. The person who made it knew what he was doing, and had a nice sense of aesthetics... but it is still wood, and it is still simple.
The merchant prince, on the other hand, was color. Each hand had a ring, and each ring had a gem. Every movement of his made them gleam in the air, all sorts of shining colors, sapphires and rubies and emeralds. His skin was tanned, and light colors fell over him.... but such astounding colors and designs like Snowy had never seen before. She had seen East and North, but this was exotic fineries of deep south, colorful, the turban on his head, shining with a yellow gem, crowning him. He scratched his chin as he approached, a thick black beard with a sharp end at his chin, over his tanned features... yet silky, unweathered by trips, even though the man had to have had many...
And raven-black eyes drank on the sight of her.
The hand left his chin and touched one of the many jeweled collars around his neck, the image of goddesses for blessings... "You are... quite a beauty. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Amahl Farouk. Whom do I have the honor of addressing?"
Snowy: Snowy is entirely unperturbed by the disappearance of Wrynn, she looks over the merchant prince, fixing her clothes a little now that she no longer has someone covering most of her. She looks him over, just nodding a touch. "I am known as Emerald Vines of Allure. And you seem quite out of place here, almost as much as I feel. What brings you here?"
Farouk: Farouk has three slaves flanking him, one seems to be a scribe, holding all manners of parchments and scrolls... another holds a plate with food and drink for him, and another yet... just stands there. Farouk brought his hand from the charms to the paper he held with his other hand, and finished inscribing... something, rolling it and giving to the one that did nothing. Quickly, this one walked away, and before the scribe could give him another scroll, to read or sign, he made a motion to stop, and took a step closer to 'Emerald'. "Oh, I am indeed far too well in my trade to be on those parts usually... but as you see, this is a special matter. To know wether the lady goddess is doing trade a benefit with her blockade and the budding city around it, or a grievous wound, is something I am here to find out, arbitrate and capitalize upon." He smiles, walking, expecting her to follow. He seems to expect that out of people.
"But I must be boring you... come, come. Let us talk away from prying eyes. It is too distracting for the noble patrons for you to show yourself in your resplendence, and I must say that their droll is not something that I would be amused in watching all day. I have one of the private dining rooms rented for just such an occasion..." He says, walking into the inn, not out.
Snowy: Snowy listens to him, nodding where appropriate. This sort of thing always bored her, but she had learned to deal with it, she had to. "Ahh, I do agree that we shouldn't distract these people any more than necessary." And she'd follow him into the private dining room, at last she'd be out of the public eye.
Narrator: And as she follows him, she sees the maids run out of the kitchen... and call the militiamen, which thankfully(what miracle! what serependity!) happen to be just standing disgrunted on the lounge watching a piece of green-haired behind sway her hips away from them. Eager at the need to beat something up by now - particularly by closing their eyes and imagining it is that smarmy merchant prince - they run to the kitchen, upstairs, out of the window, looking for this thief who supposedly stole... something! Or entered! Or whatever. It is not like they bothered to listen to much the maids said aside from 'thief'
Farouk: He slides a wooden door, watching all the confusion... thankfully, being a merchant prince made him above such concerns, right?
Narrator: Actually, wrong, as one of the militiamen, a tall, rotund man who barely fits on his leather comes to them, exasperated, holding to Emerald's arm(and barely containing his grin at that as he puts his best impersonation of 'epic hero in a dangerous moment' to say...) "Fair lady, we got a thief ont he loose! I must take you to a safe place, come with me!"
Wrynn Diermidis: Paying attention to Snowy only vaguely, Wrynn slips behind the counter as his distraction finally pays off, taking a look at the kitchen, noting the servants, his window distraction, pie locations and alll other sorts of important stuff.
Farouk: "Excuse me, my rotund friend... but she happens to be under my protection." Farouk says, as he walks up to the man and slowly lands his hand on the man's leather-covered arm, gently telling him to unhand the green-haired beauty. "And I have my own bodyguards, which might I add, are actual professionals, not your band of ale-filled fools." At that, two shapes snowy had not seen before come from the shadows behind them... they had mantained a safe distance, his bodyguards. A lady in skintight white leather, short shorts, long legs, a top and fingerless gloves, tanned and of feline features, knives glinting on her hands... and a tall, strong man, not too strong, dressed in a shining suit of obsidian metal, covering his chest, his forearms and legs, painted with elaborate draconian designs, face hidden by an iron mask. He cracks his fingers, silently telling the militiaman to step aside.
He promptly does so.
- Snowy looks at the militiaman, then the rather impressive guards, then nods a little, moving closer to Farouk "I'll be fine, thank you, Militia."
Narrator: The pies are on the oven, which is close to the eastern wall. Other pies, those that are done, are on the northern side... and that is almost exactly below the window, but to the right. The oven is forgotten, but there is one man looking at the window, and then at the rest of the kitchen as another tries to crawl through the window to get out... and sees the size is not good for him, and they wonder who could have entered...
Farouk: Farouk finishes sliding the opening for their private room, ordering his guards to stay outside... and walking in, a little table in the middle, a little bit of sake, and he sits there, elbows on the shallow, eastern-style table, watching Emerald with such admiration.... and as soon as she is inside, and he slides the door shut, he smiles to her... wickedly. "I know what you are."
Snowy: Snowy sits down, *on* the table, crossing her legs and looking to him, leaning back a little, accentuating her cleavage "Oh yes? And what am I, oh wise seer of the south?"
Farouk: "That you are a beautiful, divine being of owl-eyes. Which only I noticed... I know this much. Which means you must be a trickster... some divine being in disguise. And the question is... what could a wonder such as you be hiding? And why choose such a... conspicuous way to hide?"
Snowy: Snowy laughs a little, nodding to him "I am indeed a trickster, and I am indeed hiding, for I do not want to risk the wrath of the bridge goddess before my friends have negotiated my passage. And you would choose a conspicuous way to hide if it was your only option. I do find it much harder to achieve meaningful interaction when I look like a small housecat, for instance."
Farouk: "Oh, of course. And believe me, your current shape is... very conductive of interaction." His fingers brush her face, feeling her skin... and letting her feel the weight of the rings, just pressed against her chin. How much they must cost, badges of wealth and power for him... "Now, now... I think you would hate if I spoke of your secret, would you not? And as a good gentleman, I would be happy to oblige... but one hand washes another, you see? If I am good for you..."
Snowy: She nods a touch, leaving her shoes on the floor as she strokes up his back with her feet, she looks him over again "Ahh, but I am already across the bridge, and I didn't cross the river using it, so I may have nothing to fear. Or I may not. And while your bargain is appealing, I am not sure you're good enough for me, for I am obviously more than a simple human, and you show no signs of anything else. What makes you think you are worthy of me?"
Farouk: "Because, I am a smart human. You remember the note I had finished writing when we met? My messenger has taken it to my office and copied, and sent to certain places... and, if I so wish, I can start a rumor on you. Rumors are delightful trade tools. I reckon that it is easier to see something like you when one knows what to look at, is it not? And I would hate if your guise became so compromised..."
Snowy: She nods again, using her feet to massage his back, omnidexterity was a wonderful thing. "Then may I ask what you desire of me, other than the obvious. Simply one attempt, or do you wish me for the night? And why would you not take me, then simply release the rumor anyway? And while you know one feature of me, it may not be constant, and your rumor may not even reach the right people. And i have no trade to ruin."
Farouk: Farouk enjoyed the massage. She was... nimble. No goddess, probably... not with a body so liquid, something able to change so, and mentions of other forms... probably a wyld goddess. He had to play his cards so carefully now... one hand caressed her face, then down, ligh touches down her neck, on the hollow of her bosom... as he picks one of her feet with the other hand, kissing it, licking along... massing it, the little one can, with one hand "Well, then... if you do not, you can just leave. There is nothing keeping you here, after all... if you do not fear my reprisal, there is nothing I can do. We will know that by wether or not you stay, hmmmm?"
Snowy: She giggles a little, pushing herself to his hand, shaking her hair out and checking behind her for a window while she does so. "Maybe I'd stay because I've never had a lover from the south. Maybe I'd stay because you're the one person here who seems capable of appreciating what they have, or maybe i'd stay because I do fear your reprisal, but I'd never tell you. Now tell me, what do you wish of me?"
Farouk: There are no windows, simply the glass on the ceiling... and the wooden openings to allow the air to come in. But nothing that actually constitutes a window in this private room. He leans foward, kissing her bosom, looking up... "Hmmm. What do you think I wish... tell me, alluring emerald, what do you think I would wish from you now?"
Snowy: She laughs a little "I think I know what you want, but if this is a negotiation, I want to know exactly what you want, from your lips. I'll not be tricked into becoming your loveslave until the end of time."
Farouk: His hands dance down, touching her sex, holding it like he held her in his hands... "Well, now. I wish for your body, of course. To hold your love, free as mine, for this night. The prize of your body... and a favor. A simple favor, which I am sure one of your kind will find most easily done..."
Snowy: Snowy purrs a little as he touches her, her feet once again massaging him "Ahh, and what sort of favour are you proposing I do for you?"
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn steps into the room on long satin legs with a sleek gait that speaks of primal power and high-cut hemlines. The shorn off kimono might have looked silly if the shock of her appearance hadn't robbed the lone attentive millitia man of whatever logical functions he was otherwise entitled to. She takes another step, high on her toes though she wears no heels-- or any footwear at all, actually. Though the man was unlikely to notice Wrynn's silken tail, snow-white as it sauntered back and forth, there was no escaping the way it subtly lifted what was left of her kimono-skirt, teasing the mind with images of the view that was to be had from behind.
She takes another step closer to the militia-man, closer than he'd realized she'd got, and a willowy arm reaches out, delicate hand lifting his chin up slowly. The obi would have been tied snug for a child, on this sonsy woman it was a bodice of deep blue silk, pushing her breasts up, straining the kimono into a cleavage-revealing 'v' of fair flesh framed by locks of firery red hair of a rich golden hue threaded with black ribbon. Nestled in that silken background a delicate neck leans forward, and atop that neck a face so soft and innocent with soulful emerald eyes and pouty ruby red lips which split to admit a tongue that--
--licks his nose.
"Mew", says Wrynn with a soul-crushinly cute smile.
Farouk: "You just said you are a being of power, or am I mistaken? A being of power with many shapes... there is a certain cargo from... some enemies of the Guild. Influential enemies in this region. I wish it would be... torched. At least part of it. I would, of course... actually buy anything you could make... disappear from it, and make it appear to me. You see, I could not do any of those things... but you would likely not get caught, would you? And would have a... how shall I say? Plausible deniability?" He shivers under her massage. Massaged by a goddess, about to bed her, and maybe a blow struck on his rivals. It was a good day to be alive, all in all.
Snowy: "Oh yes? Cargo? What sort of cargo, and where is it being stored?" She continues her massage, scooting closer to him, purring a little "And in exchange, I have all copies of your note. And, mm.. you're of course welcome to bring in any others, as I'm sure your used to."
Narrator: The guard... blanks, in front of Wrynn... shocked... his eyes... blanking. Completely.
Wrynn Diermidis: Then, the guard... falls over, a happy dream land of bouncing and twisting and bending and silk and hair and snuggerwaffle until his dream too blacks out into nothingness. Wrynn was good. Mere seconds pass and Wrynn has PIE. Sweet, beautiful delicious pie. Swooping up one meat and several of the more desertish varieties, berry pies, nut pies, one adventurous design with berries AND nuts. Arms full, she leaps for the wood wall and stikes with the palm of her hand, splashing through it with a sound not unlike thousands of bobbleheadded dolls crying out in terror, and being suddenly silenced. Wrynn runs down the road, and up the side of a building to make her escape, giving the millitia man still hanging in the window quite a view.
And what a view. After that thing with snowy and the bath, Wrynn had been going commando.
Farouk: "Yes, the cargo... see, they have a nice shipment of precious Chayan rugs, sheets and curtains. By themselves they are very... expensive, but there are traces of Bright Morning being smuggled with them, apparently. That, I would personally want a bit of..." His fingers touch and work her then, timing with her massage, as he kisses the legs close to him, down to her inner thighs... "So, precious decoration, and a bit of contraband... in a well-guarded warehouse and wagons, just by the river, waiting for its owners to pray enough to go past..."
Snowy: Snowy purrs more, finally sitting up and wrapping her arms around him too, using her whole body to massage his as he plays with her "Then lets hope your friends don't move their cargo before tomorrow, as we have a night of pleasures a head of us. And maybe we should have them in softer surroundings?"
Farouk: "Why... indeed." He takes his fingers off of her... licking them, savoring the taste of Emerald Vines of Allure, before he gently gets up, pushing her up with him... and a little arrangement later, she is in his arms. "Well, I said I was a gentleman before, did I not? Let me carry you, then, like a lady, to my house. The best place you will find in this god-forsaken middle of nowhere..." He says something for his servants to open the door, and walks out, holding her still... "And of course... to get them all to see even more power in me, when they see me holding you like this."
He wondered why they were all talking about a little thief of pies.
Who apparently had destroyed a man's sanity... or something.
Oh, to live in interesting times...