Little Silver Return
It had been a little while...
The anathema had been beaten. Fangs-of-Winter and Gin had became famous and great as goddesses throughout all the nearby nobles with a single stunt. They would never forget their fear, Fangs' prowess, Gin's soothing beauty. The nobles had all been calmed, the wedding was being set... and the little township, now tripled in size with wagons and barracks all around, breathing a sigh of relief to know Burning Star of Demise would not come, enraptured by the poems and still getting over the 'Hallucination Day' from a week before... goes on with its life in frantic pace for the wedding!
And it is then that Snowy Silver Night and Wrynn Diermidis return....
Snowy: Snowy would land the cloud outside town, of course, leaving them a good ten minute walk in, not really about to make such an obvious display of power. She'd walk into town, Wrynn was.. somewhere! and she'd look around and wonder at all the additional attention, slowly shaking her head, wondering exactly what Fangs and Gin and Leaf had done now.
- Well, whatever they did... it broke some things reeaaalll good there.
They were fixing it at an amazing pace, but it seemed like there had been a war in some places there!
Wrynn Diermidis: It was a ten minute walk... for Snowy anyway. Despite the many and varried shapes he'd taken during their trip, the white kitten was what could be called his public face-- or maybe it was the other way around, that he tended to get caught up and carried away in the identity of anything else.
Besides, why walk when you can ride in cushy comfort like a southern prince? --and speaking of southern princes, there was one in particular he hoped was still around...
Fangs-of-Winter: The head of the Burning Star of Demise was mounted on a pole of dark oak. A hand of light stone held the pole, and a form both beautiful and terrible the hand belonged to. For Fangs had demanded a shrine be made unto her, and it was done. Incents and offers were placed, and the pact she had made with the Burning Star of Demise began. Those who prayed to the altar cast their frailty onto it, and found it stolen. Fear, regret, doubt... these things, these dark shadows of Valor, did the Raksha Prince's head devour to all who knelt to offer a silent prayer to the Goddess of Battle's likeness. Things of ice and steel she favored, and in the night daring love making upon her altar was highly favored, and rumored to be amoungst the most passionate a young couple could undertake.
Many young bravos now sported the marks of such love about them, and smiled with dazed pride at their bruises.
Fangs herself walked as Aldara, though with cloak pulled up and high to shield her visage from onlookers, observing the effect the Demise was having. She smiled faintly, and thought it a bargain well struck. She would have to unfold the second part of her plan soon. Why should the Hated be the only one to plot, after all?
- And as Snowy walks in... she finds Leaf, all well and good, writing something in a piece of paper before she shows up... "Oh, the great Owl finally returns! How was the time out with... um. Where the hell were you again?"
Snowy: Snowy regards Leaf with a 'what have you been fucking recently' look, "I have been getting answers. Are you responsible for all this mess or were you collaborating with Gin and the Wolf for this?"
Wrynn Diermidis: "I think perhaps, the Wolf must have been involved-- if not, I worry we might find something worse elsewhere" Wrynn smirks
Leaf: "Oh, Fangs did half of it!" He grins, coming closer and whispering to her ear...
"It was one heck of a fight. Should've been here to see. Blood and beauty, I heard that's what gets silver girls wet?"
Snowy: Snowy coughs a little "I don't think I want to know. I take it this was all part of your plan to.. well.. you know what your plan was for."
Leaf: "Yep. And it was extremely successful!" He makes a sweeping gesture... and an altar being sculpted to the great goddess of pleasure is seen not too far away, where he pointed. "It's hard to get them on images, though."
Snowy: Snowy simply sighs and then shrugs "I'm going to uhm... Honestly, I have no idea, food would be good, flying always makes me hungry. I'll be in the town, and I'm sure Wrynn can find me when we're finally ready to leave this town."
Leaf: "Well, come on, lemme take you to the girls, let's get together and eat." He smiles, "Come on, Snowy, stop being antisocial, ok? Live a little."
Snowy: "This is not being antisocial, I'm sure you don't understand why I object to what has been done here, but I do. But by all means lead the way to your house of sins."
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn takes a nip at one of Snowy's ears from his perch on her shoulder. "Oh, I wouldn't worry too much hon, these things have a tendency to be more work than they're worth. Oh, not now maybe, but eventually. Next time the people need something, Miss Gin and Fangs will either work for their place, or lose it I imagine"
Leaf: "Work for their place? Like there wasn't enough working here?" He asks, walking down the streets... and passing by Adara, whom he grabs the arm off, pushing her to him. "Well, here's one! Now let's just go meet Gin. No biting her head off, ok?"
Wrynn Diermidis: "Work, Master Leaf? You have some experience with it then? I had no idea!"
Snowy: "They have no idea what they're getting into. Part of me doubts they even intend on returning here. Keeping this up is quite a task and I likely should of returned to *my* people instead of going to seek assistance with the book, but that would of been self-serving and it would not of been productive like what I.. we.. have discovered."
Fangs-of-Winter: Fangs, contemplating the goes on of the altar, is taken by surprised by Leaf as he suddenly graps her arm and forces her to him. She quirks a white eyebrow at him, and gave him a wolfish smile, twin streams of steam coming from her delicute nostrils, "Mmm, come for a rematch have you." In this form she was much slighter, and wedged herself neatly under Leaf's well muscled arm.
Leaf: "Nah, just for dinner." He grins, looking at the kitten... "Hey, punching people and teaching people is not work?"
Wrynn Diermidis: "Well, I suppose it depends on what you're teaching them." He says as Fangs slips under his arm. "--or they teaching you." he smiles innocently.
Fangs-of-Winter: She looked over her shoulder and arched an eyebrow at Snowy, "Oh? And you consider this a wasted effort not worthy of our time? Mm, insulting of you. Luckily I have had much bloodshed lately, and find myself too content to take proper objection to your words." She pressed her most comely form against Leaf and gave his ear a soft breath, before gently biting said earlobe.
Snowy: "I consider this a waste of time, not effort. These people may be awed now, but in a year you will be forgotten unless you return here. You lack the ability to travel quickly enough to persue this quest and cultivate what you have created. I worry about what is happening in my city, and I have been gone barely a month. It will take us a month to reach great forks and thus a month to return. You could of put that time into starting to travel and meet me when you arrive."
Leaf: "And who says they won't return?" He shrugs, "It is not like Fangs doesn't love kneeling at Aquamarine's bedside, anyway. Isn't it, good deity-pet?" He says with sarcasm and annoyance. Why was she so nice with the goddess and not with him, damnit! "And Snowy.... we just need to get a better way to move around! Isn't that what this was all about? Ditching my damned source of income?"
"... that reminds me, you destroy my work and then complain I don't work. I don't get you guys."
Snowy: "I do, because it is difficult for them to return. And I'm not becoming a ferry service, I have my own places to go as well. And it was about travelling light, we can't stop to set up camp like an army every night, then spend more time breaking camp in the morning. And you can stay with your students if your income is so important to you."
Leaf: "Now you wound me. And I could, but I am curious about that. And Gin's set on going."
"I could make her stay, of course, but it wouldn't be all that fair."
"And it is a good enough excuse to meet the ol' fox again."
Fangs-of-Winter: "And, it seems now we have a place to put them safely, does it not?" She purposefully ignored Leaf's comment, though it did spark an interesting question in her mind.
Why was she compelled to constantly test him? Try to find faults in him? She frowned softly at this thought, disliking where it took her.
Luckily, Leaf was the cure for introspection.
Snowy: "Well, my own views on you and Gin aside, I may, at some point, be able to learn magics that let us all travel faster, but such things come with a high price, one I am not sure I want to pay, not until I know what the price is."
Snowy shivers a little, remembering what she's seen, but she's not about to let them know that.
Leaf: And thus they come Leaf's ephemeral manse, now made of leaves and fox's smiles.
Right outside town, full of pleasure's supplicants outside. And a brothel not too far to the west of it.
"We tell them the mansion is her doing." He nods. "Gin! Owls and Cats are home!"
Gin: "Why, master kitten, mistress Snowy..." she appeared in the doorway dressed in white, wispy scenes of pink racing across her garments and her head crowned with a headdress of silver that dripped with bangles. She smiled, quite calmly, and as her cheeks bent to the light, the diamonds that now traced a down trail from the edge of her eyes glistened. Godhood suited her well. "I had begun to worry you'd abandoned us completely. Please, come. You must be tired. I will have my servants attend to dinner."
Snowy: "We've been gone for a week, while you've been putzing around setting yourselves up as.. " she sighs, unable to bring herself to say it. "But food is good, very good."
Gin: "Yes, I can tell that hungry is making you so uncharacteristically irate." Gin smiled as she stood aside to let the others passed.
Wrynn Diermidis: Wrynn preens and bows, "You just wait to hear what we found out Miss Gin, why I-- I-- I--" he pauses and thinks, then looks blankly to Snowy. "--what did we find out, again?"
Snowy: "When there aren't hordes of possible eavesdroppers Wrynn."
- Leaf walks in with Fangs in tow, "Hmmm, Gin's food. Which you will accept this time, right, Fangs?" He tightened his grip. No running away and eating whatever in the woods this time!
Fangs-of-Winter: She scowled a little at that. Ah yes, thats why she constantly desired to beat him up. Because he was a bastard!
She forced a smile, a rather unconvincing one. "Well, I would of course love to partake of a meal with the rest of you. With servents. Indoors. With utensils."
Utensils, she shivered inwardly.
Gin: "Mm, if mistress Fangs prefers, we could bring in something live for her to wrestle and kill." Sweeping after Leaf and Fangs, Gin took her 'less-preferred-but-acceptable' place behind Leaf. Her offer sounded genuine, though. "These floors don't stain, so I doubt the blood would be a problem."
Snowy: Snowy shakes her head a little "I'll explain what we discovered over dinner, who knows who could be listening outside."
Leaf: And a moment latr they walked into the ephemeral Manse, in a oriental dining room which was, thankfully, within the house, with no windows leading outside... but its shifting walls of essence were enough of a visual to make up for it.
Fangs-of-Winter: She growled softly in her throat, quite an unnatural sound for Aldara to be making. She pressed closer to Leaf, and tried to think about his muscles instead of how much she wanted to slaughter him right now. Someday, she would get back at them all.
She resolved to start a List.
Snowy: Snowy takes a seat at the long side of the table, cross-legged, looking over the table, nodding a little to herself "Its been a while since I've sat at a table like this, but I do remember most of my etiquette lessons, I think."
Rin: Wrynn hops down off Snowy's shoulder onto the table and looks down at the chair set for him... up at the plate and down again, finally glancing over at Gin with a great round-eyed 'do I have to?' look.
Fangs-of-Winter: Though she had the idle fancy to just plop down in Leaf's lap to raise the foxbitches ire, she resolved to maintain some semblence of diplomacy and there to for sat in one of the chairs, folding her shapely, mocha colored legs. She folded her hands in her lap, and observed Wrynn for a moment. She knew his suffering.
Gin: Gin's servants emerged silently from a door to the mansions kitchen, between them carrying several large trays. One by one, they move around the table and set down broad shallow bowls of steaming noodles. Several move follow, placing bowls of meats, vegetables, and sauces onto the table between them all.
"I apologize on their behalf for the simplicity of the meal," Gin said, taking her seat close beside Leaf and loosening the ties that held her sais to her wrists, quietly and depositing both onto the ground beside her. "Lighter fare seemed in order."
Fangs-of-Winter: She idly considered taking Gin up on the earlier offer of bringing in a live animal to slaughter, but she kept such opinions to herself. Healthy, well prepared, artfully displayed... bah!
She she took up her utensil like it was a serpent, and took up some of the food wearily. She eyed for a few long moments, before closing her eyes and taking a bite.
Nearly moaned Gin's name in ecstacy.
Her eyes instantly popped open. She took another bite, and another after that. Soon, she was busily demolishing the 'light fare' set before her. Who knew weak, civilized people ate so well! No wonder people were always conquering them.
Snowy: Snowy looks over the food appreciativly, shrugging a touch, "The food is more than sufficient, but I suppose you'd all like to know what we were up to while you were exploting these people."
"Well, we travelled to the manse of my mentor, Anja Silverclaws, whom some of you may have heard of. She broke the Sapphire Circle spell warding the book which has allowed us to determine that it is a tome of great evil. It has, or had, a demon bound into it, something that invaded my dreams and seems to think it can affect other things than just dreams. It is named Aischrael and seems to have some additional connection to the book. It hasn't helped us determine who or what else is after this, but it stands to reason both the champions of the dead and the demons of Malfeas would want their hands on the contents of a tome of evil."
Leaf: "Demons and the Dead... oh, wonderful."
"You look fine for someone who fought a demon, though. Kicked him out of your dreams?"
Snowy: Snowy nods to Leaf and seems resolute. "A mother's love is more powerful than any demon."
Gin: "Demons, mmm..." Gin idly picked through the bowls for things to mix into her noodles, considering what Snowy had relayed with slightly narrowed eyes. She had some minor experience with demons. It was part of the Companion's training to identify them and know how to associate with them civilly. They were also taught to understand how to best employ demons for... entertainment purposes. It was far from unknown for some contract holders to attempt to summon one as a 'surprise' for the bedchamber.
"Is it still within the book? Or have you cast it back to where it belongs, when it attempted to manipulate your dreams?" Gin was rather hoping for the first. She'd have liked the chance to communicate with the creature herself.
Snowy: "I do not believe it is still in the book, but it has a connection to it, and whoever reads it."
Fangs-of-Winter: "So its a link or whatever to this world? More reason to just burn the thing and have done."
Gin: "Perhaps that might make it more dangerous than it is worth, then." Gin finished piling food into her bowl and dousing it with a bright red sauce, stirring it through with a pair of chopsticks. "Between the dead and the damned both perusing it, it may be time we give serious consideration to simply destroying it."
Gin's eyes flickered up to Fangs, a bemused smile cast across the table at the wolf-lunar, then returned to contemplating her food.
Snowy: "Something tells me the creator of this book thought of someone attempting to destroy it and building in something to prevent it. Likely it will involve a quest to destroy it, possibly tossing it in to a lake of fire at the pole of fire."
Leaf: "And if we use the wrong way...?"
Snowy: "It sinks to the bottom of said fire lake and waits for some other sucker to find it? Something immune to fire and likely exactly the kind of person who shouldn't have the book."
Leaf: "Maybe we could find someone to try and rip it for us, and see what happens?"
Gin: "I think, instead of devising elaborate destruction scenarios of our own, we should wait until we have paid my father a visit."
Snowy: "I believe we have someone quite willing to do so here, or maybe more than one person. But Gin is correct, we need to know more before we destroy it. The book may be evil, but what it contains may not be, or the contents may be able to help the good."
Leaf: "So... back at the old fox. And whatever else we can find in the Forks."
Gin: "Much you will enjoy, of that I am certain, master Leaf."
Snowy: "Well, Our plan hasn't changed then. I do not feel comfortable reading the book, knowing its contents and what the demon can do, or at least claims to be able to do."