This is a private RP, so please don't ask/beg/threaten to join. We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but we want to keep this between us. Someday, we may open this for other players. For now, we think it's better if we just open it for others to view. Please play nice and simply watch or comment, and stay civil. Your understanding is appreciated.
Index - Archives
so. . . sleepy. . .
Kitsuki's tail twitches as she contemplates the sign--a cheerfully grinning goldfish, with carved scales. "That ain't natural."
"None of these inns are ever named after anything natural," Alexandra says cheerfully as she pushes open the door. "Let's get ourselves some rooms now, shall we?"
"They better be for free," Kitsuki grumbled. "We're not 'xactly here of our own free will, if you'll get my drift."
"I'm sorry," Kaligo says, but it's hard to sound sincere, as he feels far too giddy. Winter always has that effect on him. "I didn't mean to. I won't do that again." Winter is light in his arms; he feels a sudden compulsion to kiss him.
Stanos loosens his grip on his sword. The demon doesn't look about to attack. He exhales slowly, taking three beats to do so, before wading through the crowd to join them. The demon is uncharacteristically. . . affectionate.
"The others are waiting for us," he says, anxious to get them back.
trudge trudge trudge trip fall ow
"Deja vu, huh? Not exactly comforting."
~But not like there's anything else to do, so might as well.~
Only when she sees the dangling sign does Gen stop, giving the place a once over.
"So, is this it?"
"I'll have you know," Asmindr quips, "that all dragons are brats. And half of them are royal pains in the ass. I'm sure Gen will tell you I'm no exception."
The small dragon flaps his wings, then gestures towards the direction he came from.
"Well let's not keep the sprite waiting. You know how he worries about yo--"
Winter, having followed Stanos' line of sight, was ablt to pick out Asmindr as well. It took him only a moment to see who's shoulder he was perched on, and that was enough.
Asmindr shoots up into the air, and not a second too soon. The next instant, a strong wind carries the sprite directly to Kaligo, and unceremoniously drops Winter right into the demon's arms.
//Winter miss Kaligo. was worried! where Kaligo go for so long?//
Not that it really matters. Kaligo could say he just went to the moon and back, it wasn't as important as having him close by again.
//no leave so long again, please?//
o/` la o/`
"Meh, not really." Kitsuki's tail twitches. "Just kinda like deja vu, yanno?"
This isn't really in character for me, Alexandra thinks. I'm not really one to leave groups just as everything's getting started. I don't like leaving people in need, not even as a dragon.
No. . . not even as a dragon.
But she doesn't want to see the Council. And she knows there'll be nothing but trouble if the Council sees her. She just wants to go home to her little cottage, to her garden and the town children. She knows that if she goes any farther, there won't be any chance of that for a long, long time. There's something about this "adventure" or whatever that runs deep, and she's going to cause nothing but complications.
Maybe she can leave, quietly, in the middle of the night.
If Kaligo feels the extra weight in his pocket, he makes no sign. In any case, he's started by a small, white dragon wheeling out of the sky and settling on his shoulder. It takes a while for Asmindr's words to process.
"You shouldn't say such rude things about him," Kaligo says, striving to keep his tone light. "That's not very nice. I'm sorry I took so long," he adds. "I--I tried to keep it short."
"I'm sure he will," Stanos said reassuringly, shouldering his way through the crowd as gently as he can. "There's little a dragon can't find from the air." He thinks he sees a glimmer of white through the crowd--is that Asmindr? Sitting on someone's shoulder?
mph mr ng fwble grah... ::groggy speak::
"I don't know, there's just something wrong with having 'flying' and 'fish' in the same title."
"For some reason, that reminds me of the time I took up crossdressing merely for boredom's sake."
"... No, I won't. It's just too easy."
"Like you've never tried it?"
"I refuse to answer on the grounds that it will incriminate me."
"Sounds like a confession to me."
"Except I burned all the proof."
"Idiots." Gen huffs, feeling a bit crabby just from the crowds. "So what's the deal, Kit? Do you remember this place or not?"
~Frankly, I've already got a bad feeling about it.~
Gliding over the crowd, Asmindr groans as he tries to pick Kaligo out among the sea of creatures crowding the walks. He darts back and forth, getting as close as he dares on a few occasions before taking off again.
"Maybe I should ask Gen to zap all their hair a bright, neon green. Then I could always find them--eh? Oh please be the one."
Asmindr swoops down towards Kaligo just as a passerby wearing a cloak and oversized hat bumps into said demon.
"Oops, sorry." The person walks off, hoping the gem was slipped easily into Kaligo's pocket.
Asm circles around before landing right on Kaligo's shoulder, butting his head against the other's cheek.
"HelLO! What took you so long! You know Win and Mr. Personality are looking for you?
Winter let's Stanos do the talking, though he looks more anxious with each negative response they get. When another person shakes their head, the sprite sighs.
//where is Kaligo? hope Asmindr can find.//
Nahr falls behind, causing Mo`re to stop and glance back at him.
"Gesundheit. You catching something?"
"Doubt it. Probably just some random chaos coming our way." Nahr waves it off as he follows the others, leaving Mo`re stunned for a moment.
"... They're not going to like that."
brought to you by lack of tai chi
"Flying Goldfish," Kitsuki mutters to herself as they tramp through the streets in a small, ragged group. "Flying Goldfish. Now why does that sound familiar?" Her tail twitches. "Flying Goldfish."
"Oh, you know these quaint, old-fashioned inns have to be named after some sort of animal, usually participating in an improbable act or otherwise fancifully colored," Alexandra said lightly. She was actually putting on a very good act, never mind that she desperately didn't want to be here.
"I'm fine," Stanos says, trying to keep his usual brusqueness out of his voice. "Let's go." He watches the tiny dragon take off and nods to himself, mentally approving of having an overhead scout. That will make their search easier. Council City is not large by Earthly standards, but it still contains thousands, edging into millions.
He begins to wade into the crowd, making sure that Winter is close to him. The City is a diverse place, but Winter does stand out, and he's drawing a few curious looks. He exercises his authority; his demeanor, if not his leather armor, indicates that he is not someone to be trifled with.
"Excuse me, but have you seen a demon, dark-haired, blue-eyed, about this tall?"
He should go. He remembers telling the others that he'd catch up, that he'd be right back. They'll be worried. Winter will be worried.
But Kaligo is completely disoriented. He's no longer sure what direction he came from. A little bit of panic begins to well up, and he swallows it down. Remain calm. Think. Unlike Kitsuki, he actually has a fairly good sense of direction. And what are demonic senses for? His eyes dart. Did he pass by that shop on that street on the way here? Yes, he thinks so. And did he pass by that stall selling fruit? Yes, yes. He breathes easier. He can find his way back.
Slowly, he begins to retrace his steps. Hopefully the others will still be there, waiting.
shorter and crappier...
Winter watches the other go off in search of this Flying Goldfish place. Only when Stanos asks does he focus once more on the task at hand.
//Winter see Kaligo go that way,// he points in the general direction they all saw Kaligo disappear to. //Winter think should look there first.
"I'll fly ahead to see if I can spot anything." Asmindr doesn't wait for a reply, already gliding overhead above the bustling crowd and leaving the dragon alone with the sprite.
Winter takes a step forward, only to stop and look back at Stanos, his expression troubled as he senses something odd with the old warrior.
//Stanos, is okay?//
short 'n crappy
"Wha--?! Ohhhh no. You're pulling my leg, aren't you." Kitsuki flattens her ears and glares at Mo`re, tail bristling. "Well, I'm not falling for that again, you--"
"We're gooiinnngg," Alexandra calls in a sing-song voice, taking Kitsuki by the arm. "You'll escort me, won't you? Why yes you will, of course you will, you're so courteous."
"I--wha? Hey, wait--"
Stanos is left blinking in their wake with a cold sprite standing by his elbow, supervised by a small white dragon. He does not like the lack of control in this situation. He's going to go look for a demon of all things, a demon that--
He jumps as Winter slips an arm around his. The touch is cold.
"Yes, of course," he says, sounding as unruffled as ever, though his mind is uneasy. There are demons everywhere in the City as a matter of course--but this demon in particular sends sick memories through him. "Where do you think he went?"
::prods brain:: Work, please.
Mo`re turns to Kit and briefly considers explaining things and help her confusion.
"We're going to offer a sacrifice to the goddess Athtor and we need something of the fox family for the death alter."
"Very droll, Mo`re."
~What kind of a name is Flying Goldfish, and why do I hear someone laughing at me?~ Gen just shrugs it off, a talent she's perfected over the decades.
"Flying Goldfish. Right. All those coming, c'mon. Oh, and Stanos..." Gen turns, leveling a very cool gaze at the old warrior. "I don't think I need to tell you how important Win's safety is, do I?"
"I second that. But actually, I'll go along with Winter and Stanos, just in case." Asmindr flies up a bit, fluttering before he settles down on Winter's rigt shoulder. "Tally-ho."
"I guess the rest of us will come back here once we've gotten rooms.
"Then no point standing around doing our impression of statues, I say."
"But I thought I was doing a good job of it.
~How did I wind up here? Oh yes, cosmic bad luck.~
Winter ignores the general prattle as he slips his arms around one of Stanos, purely out of friendship and the openness of his kind.
//Stanos help Winter find Kaligo now?//
Not that the answered mattered. With or without Stanos, Winter already decided he was going to look for the demon. And no one was going to stop him.
He could be stubborn too, when the need arose for it.
**jumps up and down in glee**
"Wha?" Kitsuki looks up, realizing that the subject of the conversation has now turned to her. Never a good sign. Her fruit has been reduced to a very small core by now, which she tosses over her shoulder with nary a care, earning a dirty look from Stanos.
"I'd be glad to," Alexandra says, somewhat apologetically, "but this is my first time to the city as well."
"Wait, what're we talking about?"
"I'll go," Stanos says gruffly, although he looks discomfited, "as I know the City better than the rest of you. Although I hate to leave you on your own to find lodgings, I was planning to direct you to one of the finer inns--"
"You can tell us where it is," Alexandra points out. "Surely it can't be too complicated?"
Stanos looks slightly torn. "Well, er, that is true. . ."
"Then there is really no problem, is there?"
Stanos gives up. "In that case, I'll be happy to accompany, er, Winter," he says. "If you do not object to my choice of quarters, you will find The Flying Goldfish straight down this road and to the left, close to the center of the city."
"Wait, what're we talking about? What're we doing?"
For the first time in many, many years, Kaligo feels cold. He wraps his arms around himself, more unconsciously than anything else, and shivers.
The dragon (that he killed, that he remembers killing) is gone. And Kaligo is cold, and he is afraid, and he doesn't want to be here. He can feel years, decades of work--Alexandra's work, too--unraveling the longer he stays here. Yes, this is a new age, where demon and human and dragon can live side by side. He sees them in the streets, along with many of the "lesser" races as well, Bruman and dwarf and even the reclusive elves. But everyone that passes by him seems to know him and remember his crimes and what he used to be.
She was bleeding when she walked away.
There is blood on the ground, drip-drip-drip in a faint trail that is even now being buried in dust and dirt. But Kaligo can still smell it, heady and strong in his nostrils. Dragon's blood. He hasn't smelled it in ages, but it reawakens all the old instincts and urges. The beast he thought he killed raises its head and sniffs familiar scents, recognizing old territory.
He closes his eyes and breathes deeply, trying to clear his head. He was able to do this once, just believe in his humanity and put his past behind him. But suddenly it's back to haunt him and he doesn't know what to do, how to react, how to feel. It's been too long, and there's much more now at stake.
Not dead... really, I'm not. I'm free, finally. Now let's see if anyone's still interested.
//where Kaligo go?//
"No clue. And we can't go on or he'll lose us." Mo`re stretches, looking decidedly bored. "Which means someone is going to have to go after him. I opt-out."
"Your laziness is showing."
"Why thank you."
//Winter go look.//
"Except someone needs to go with you. Okay, someone goes with Win to find Kaligo, while the rest of us look for some place to crash, then we meet back here. Sound good?"
"You haven't said who should go with Win, though."
Gen shrugs and jerks a thumb over her shoulder, aiming in the general direction of Kit, Alexandra, and Stanos. "Probably one of them, as I get the feeling they know this place better..."
Been a long time, hasn't it?
After a few moments of chasing after that one fleeting glimpse of gold hair and silver eyes, Kaligo suddenly realizes that what he's doing is stupid. How does he know that that person is--oh, no, that's stupid too, he's never forgotten a face, and certainly not a face like that. And he remembers very distinctly the gasped words, choked out past bubbling blood and froth--
"Good work. First class."
He has faith in his memory, if nothing else. But furthermore, what is he going to say when he finally catches up? Which he does, of course, and feels distinctly like a fool. He's quite close, close enough to lay a hand on the stranger's shoulder. But he makes no move of the sort and says, instead, just loud enough to be heard over the hum and murmur of the crowd around him, "Do I know you?"
The stranger turns, and for a moment her grin of recognition seems harmless enough, carelessly cast over her shoulder. But her voice carries a note too bright for any in the middle of a marketplace on a sweltering day, let alone a dragon facing what is (or was, even) obviously a demon.
"I'd hope you do." She tosses the tail of blonde hair back over her shoulder conversationally, facing away again with a low laugh. "Then again, talents like you don't remember everyone they've . . . known, do they?" she finishes, with an emphasis on 'know' that quite plainly substitutes another verb.
For a moment, Kaligo misses his ears. They would be pinned back right now, but he had foregone them long ago (to look more human, though he obviously isn't, but he can try). He swallows with an audible click in his throat and asks with confidence that he doesn't feel, "What do you mean?"
"Well, you knew me. And I'm sure you've . . . known . . . an awful lot of people," San continues, guiding the conversation over to the nearest stall to admire the brightly-colored spun glass beads on display, strung upon necklaces and bracelts and all other manner of trifles. "And you'll probably know plenty more. Heck, you might know me again." She grins toothily, picking up a many-stranded collar to admire it with a shrug. "You never know."
"Known?" Kaligo repeats, puzzled. He spares a glance for the beads (pretty trinkets; if he had money he'd buy them--where are the others now, anyway? are they waiting for him? he should go back, he really should) as he continues to dog her footsteps, not quite knowing why he's so persistant but reluctant to turn back. "What do you mean, 'known?'" He is uneasy. There is quite clearly something he's missing; some element of subtlety that he's not picking up on. "I mean, I know you--don't I? At least, I remember you."
He's reminded too vividly of the nightmares, of those he killed coming back to haunt him. But she doesn't seem inclined to do him harm.
"Remember. Yeah, that's a better word." Hosana replaces the collar and takes up a necklace, holding it to the sunlight. With a pointed smirk, she brings her hand to Kaligo and rests it just below the throat, the crystalline beads shining in her fingers reflecting liquid-bright points of deep crimson onto their skin. "Red looks good on you, doesn't it?"
An almost inaudible, sibilant hiss, and Kaligo's pupils contract nearly to pinpoints. In a gesture that seems remarkably unlike himself--and indeed, seems to belong wholly to another person--he tears the beads out of Hosana's hand, scattering dozens of red spots on the ground.
"Stop toying with me," he snarls, teeth bared lupine fashion, twisting his face into something inhuman. Just as suddenly, his face twitches and relaxes, slitted pupils flaring out again, and something in him relaxes infinitesimally. "I--I mean, I--"
"Shhhhhh. Down, boy." If anything, Hosana seems remarkably unphased, only digging in the purse upon her belt and calmly paying for the broken necklace with an amused expression. It is not until the money leaves her hand that she notices its flesh raked through several times where Kaligo struck, cuts beginning to fill with blood and weep from the corners. It is the sort of injury that could have only been caused by claws, though before and after the serpent-quick strike he had clearly possessed only fingers, tipped with slightly ragged fingernails that could not have produced the scalpel cuts now running parallel down her hand. She studies Kaligo for a long moment, then looks aside to the squealing children scrabbling for the fallen beads in the dust and softly laughs, shaking her golden head ruefully. ". . . yep. That's all I wanted to know."
Companionably she reaches over and pats his cheek with damp fingertips, giving a quiet, "see ya 'round, First Class," before melting back into the milling crowd.
Kaligo freezes, going pale. Did he see who he thinks he just saw? But it can't be--he killed her a long time ago--
--such a very long time ago--
--but then there had been that time, after he'd been playing the violin, and someone had stopped him outside of the cafe--
--and what dragon has eyes that color?
The rest of the group is trickling by. Kaligo is still standing stock still, looking over his shoulder with a slightly worried expression. It wouldn't be safe for him to separate from the others, a stranger in a strange place that's no friend to demons, but still--
He needs to know.
"I'll catch up with you guys!" he calls. And before anyone can voice a protest he's gone, melting into the crowd.
Sorry about the wait. ^^;
It's a pretty nice day, all told. The sun is shining warmly, buyers and sellers chattering in a (generally) good-natured manner, breeze light and temperate. San is wasting what looks to be some considerable time until the next set of orders come, and wanders through the market, looking every now and again to the little skins and bottles of assorted liquors a few vendors are offering. Several of the more local varieties look enticing, if unrecognizable, and seem in need of a good and thorough sampling later this evening. One would be hard-pressed to draw many parallels between the creature now standing on the cobbled thoroughfare and the disarrayed fellow who left Earth perhaps an hour ago.
For one thing, she is female, almost unmistakably so, though her bearing and body structure lend themselves more to the stiff lines of a light jerkin and trousers than they might to much other attire. And for another, there is the long tail snaking out behind her, shimmering pale gold in the sun, a shade lighter than long hair bound back and hanging between her shoulderblades. She carries a thick cloak slung over her shoulder casually, if only because wearing it would seem only more conspicuous on such a day. San (currently self-named Hosana) pauses before a stand of silver works, and in passing a mirror notes that her eyes have begun to turn already.
Hell. Swear, they must've just given up on these . . .
Then those eyes catch another reflection in the glass, behind her, at the moment that the signal this mind translates at an otherworldly screeching rends like a gale through her head.
"Dammit, alright! I get the idea!" she hisses, cringing, gaining an odd look from the merchant at the stand. The noise barely receding, she turns, sizing up the surrounding figures with a bare, casual glance. She doesn't really care about any of them, truth be told. She's already seen the one to be watched who she'd already known.
"Hey," San murmurs, pausing beside Kaligo where he stands at the fringe of the group. Her eyes glint unmistakable quicksilver in the bright midday sun, a look in them that matches a grin with a few too many teeth. "Long time no see, First Class."
"Crowds," Kitsuki moans faintly. "I hate crowds." She fidgets claustrophobically.
"Hey, I don't like this much myself." It's been a long time since Kaligo has been in the presence of so many strangers, and it's almost overwhelming. It doesn't help that Winter suddenly disappears, which sends him into a near-panic. With so many people around, who's to say what can happen? Furthermore, the roil of thoughts and emotions sends his already oversensitive senses into disarray. He's about to go and look for him despite Nahr's cautions when Winter reappears.
"Thanks," he says, with a smile as he accepts the fruit.
Kitsuki is already gnawing on her own share with a muttered thanks. She doesn't care much for fruit, but dammit, she's hungry. The taste is odd, but it has a mild mintiness to it that does cool her down considerably. She continues nibbling on it as they walk, laying her ears back and then swiveling them forward as she catches bit of conversation. Other than the usual irritation of someone who's a bit of a recluse who now finds herself in a large crowd, she doesn't seem unduly affected, unlike the jittery Kaligo.
"Get ahold of yourself, kid," she mutters out of the corner of her mouth. "What's the matter?"
"Nothing," Kaligo mumbles as he bites into his feijoa. "There's just a lot of people--"
"Geez. You gotta learn to block these things out."
"I'm afraid it's something I was never really able to teach him," Alexandra says, coming up next to them, "seeing as how I don't really have empathic abilities." She chews reflectively at the feijoa, making a note to buy some to take home later. Whenever later is.
She's feeling increasingly uneasy now. She wasn't planning on ever visiting Council City, and not just because it's a crowded, busy place. Ruby dragons are solitary by nature (but she's not a dragon, she's not). But, well, she has a feeling the Council won't be very happy to see her.
Moreover, she's not going to be very happy to see the Council.
Maybe she can find an excuse to slip away. . . do a bit of sightseeing or something. . .
Stanos is watching Alexandra out of the corner of his eye. He's known her for a long time now, and he can tell that she's uncomfortable. He wonders why, and then remembers that she's a self-proclaimed nondragon. What made her make that decision, anyway? And what did she do that made her want to get as far away from other dragons as possible?
He catches the fruit out of reflex. He's familiar with them and mentally commends the odd white one for his choice, although he doesn't take a bite out of them just yet. Though he was raised in cold climes, he's gotten somewhat used to the heat of the plains by now. "The Council building lies at the center of the city, just up there." He points to the large, domed building ahead of them. "We are going there now--unless, of course, you wish to find lodgings first."
, and Stanos
Rollin' rollin' rollin'....
"Impressive. One wouldn't know the place had been flooded at all," Nahr says as he looks around.
"Yes, but how long ago was that flood?"
"Quiet. You'll give out my age."
"I have to, you're the only one here older than me, I believe."
~If I want to go to a bazaar, I'll go visit Sai. I wonder how he's doing, anyway...~ Gen walks on, easily ignoring all the jewelry, oils, makeup, and other things deemed 'feminine'. Only when they pass by what seems to be a stall selling magick wares does the mage pause to look.
"Shopping?" asks her subconscious-come-dragon.
"Maybe. Go with the others, so I'll be able to find you." The little dragon flies off as Gen looks over some of the various bottles. "Have any gorse oil?"
"Plenty!" the seller declares. "The more you buy, the better the value."
"Duly noted." She picks up a bottle of star anise before glancing at the seller. "I'm looking for an amulet. Ater Cor Regulus."
"And what would such a nice young lady as yourself need with something like tha--" The seller blinks when a rather loud growl works its way up from Gen's throat. "Actually, I don't have it. However, I could perhaps find one willing to sell it to you..."
"With you taking a small finder's fee."
"I must make a living."
"Don't we all. Just remember, emphasis on small. I'll come back later once I know where we'll be staying." With that, she leaves, quickly catching up to the group.
"Maybe, not sure yet." She waves any further questions off before turning to Stanos. "So where's this Council?"
Having suffered a bit from the walk in the sun himself, Winter quickly looks around for something to help cool him off, without resorting to his own powers. He spots a stall some ways off that has just the thing. The sprite reluctantly lets go of Kaligo's arm even as he roots around in one of Mo`re's cloak pockets.
//Winter see something. Winter be right back.// The sprite's gone before anyone can ask, disappearing into the crowd. Mo`re goes to say something, but Nahr stops him
"I understand your fears, but it's best not to over protect him. Besides, with his 'voice', he'll be able to call any one of us if he needs to."
"Doesn't stop us from worrying."
"No 'parent' ever stops." Nahr falls silent when Winter returns, holding a small bag full of elongated, slightly pear-shaped, bluish-green fruit.
//Feijoa! should help cool off. Winter get two for each.//
"Thanks, Win." Gen plucks out four, hiding a smile as he offers both Kaligo and Kit from his own hand while Nahr helps pass out the rest. Turning, she tosses Stanos his two before biting into one of her own.
"Now, the Council. Though let them know I'm not one for sitting around listening to a bunch of people overworking their jaws if I can help it."