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Demented

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Everything posted by Demented

  1. This classic came back in my mind and I thought it fit here lol.
  2. If there is anything I've learned in my time researching writing techniques and how different authors tackled their writing styles, it's this very simple concept that seemed to always come back to the forefront. The idea that if you set something up, you need to have at least one payoff for it. This is broader than just if you have a beginning you need to have an ending, or if you show a gun in the first act you need to use it by the third act. Every element you introduce into your story should be put in there with a payoff in mind. I think using this kind of thinking has helped me get through more writers block than anything else over the years. A setup in the way I see things is any element you introduce into a story. Lets say we have a character. He's in his mid twenties, an alcoholic, working a dead end job, and is just having a rough time at life in general. There is a lot in what I just said that set up things that I can pay off later in the story. That pay off doesn't have to happen in the characters future either. That payoff can come in the form of backstory, characters from his past, how his apartment looks, whatever. Any element that is birthed from the details you initially provided with that description pays off your set ups. Maybe we learn why he's already an alcoholic, or how he feels about being one, maybe he really wants to change his life but he's been stuck in such a rut he doesn't see a way out of it. You can further pay off that idea by showing his apartment strewn with empty bottles that he hasn't bothered to throw out, late bills piling up on his table that he doesn't want to look at, maybe angry people banging on his door that he owes money too. Not only are those descriptive elements payoffs, they are potential plot threads you can expound upon in the story. Each payoff to the initial setups can cascade into being their own setups and organically grow into a plot. By asking what the character really wants to be if he wasn't in this situation, you can have a payoff of opportunity for him to start changing his living conditions. Maybe he has this guy he really wants to date, but he doesn't want to drag him into the slovenly depressed lifestyle he finds himself in. Maybe him wanting to actually make something of himself encourages him to reach out to people who can support him into a new life. You can build a whole lot of hi-jinks into this, making it as dramatic or even as comedic as possible. Maybe he's got this friend who he asked to help him stop drinking, and that friend has taken his new duty in life to a damn near comical degree, crusading against every bottle that should dare touch his hand or mouth. He pops out of nowhere like a ninja to deal devastating death to Budweiser cans everywhere. Or maybe it's family who is trying to give him a second chance and it gets really dramatic cause he starts slipping back into drinking after something stressful in the story happens. I find this way of thinking about things really helps to bust through writers block. When you're stuck just ask yourself 'what have I set up in the story so far? what kind of payoff can I employ from the elements I already have to push this story into a direction I want.' Once you start thinking about it and asking questions about the elements you've introduced into the story, ideas will start to popcorn up for you pretty quick, at least in my experience they do. It's all about asking questions of your story elements and using improvisation to find the answers to those questions that'll lead to the continuation and ultimate conclusion of your story. Do you use this kind of method in your writing? Would you use it if you haven't before? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
  3. Universe, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? I have to ask at this point, cause today’s turning out to be a lot more shitty than I even initially thought it’d be when I left Dale and the apartment this morning. So far I’ve fallen down some stairs, found out my universe is scheduled for an apocalypse demolition by low skilled labor demons, I now have a local magic item dealer threatening to sick covens in the area on me if I don’t find a denizen to date and fall in love with, I did a nice thing for a would be carjacker which ended up getting me a ticket for my piece of crap vehicle, and THEN my aunt blows up that same vehicle with a kick not even an hour later. To top all of this off the most infuriatingly hot man I’ve ever met has decided to start courting me to make me hopelessly fall in love with him, and he even wagered that if I managed to fall in love with someone other than him he’d hold off on the apocalypse for the next one hundred years. We are currently waiting to be seated at this barely Italian restaurant. They serve an approximation of Italian food here of course, but everyone in the transaction knows that this isn’t what such dishes are supposed to taste like. You’re not here because you want to have the best Italian food; you’re here because you either cannot afford proper Italian food, don’t know what proper Italian food tastes like in the first place, or you simply don’t want to make it yourself and are willing to pay their prices to avoid your own kitchen. Wow Hunter, you might be thinking, you sure sound like a pretentious food snob right now. Listen, if there is one thing I miss about my family’s resources out of everything, it was access to their chefs. Holy crap do they have some top of the line people on their payroll cranking out some fantastic food all the damn time. I didn’t even know how good I had it in the food department until I started making my way out in the normal world and tasted this processed crap people call food out here. Do you have any idea how much sugar is in everything on store shelves? I swear you people keep wondering where this diabetes epidemic is coming from while doing lines of sugar like cocaine. My Aunt has been around long enough to go through a few famines and junk, so she is actually not as picky with food as you might think judging from her Marry Poppins like attire. Of course neither of us are eating anything at the moment because the line to get into this damn place is excruciatingly long. Did everyone want to eat at this place today or something? We have an elderly couple, a haggard looking mom with five rugrats screeching and jumping all about her while she struggles to find her wallet and her will to live, and a smattering of middle aged people who look like they are there on a sad and depressing version of a ‘date.’ These types of restaurants know how to exploit the old sunk cost fallacy don’t they? We make the people wait in the lobby just long enough where they get frustrated, but not so long that they give up and leave. If they leave they’ve decided it’s not worth giving more time. However there is this sweet spot where, If you hold them there just long enough, you’ve made them sink enough time into waiting for this damn food then they’ll actually spend more to make that time waiting worthwhile. That’s not even counting the time you end up waiting for the actual food to be made. That’s a whole other affair entirely. See, you know I’ve been waiting a long ass time when I’ve started concocting conspiracy theories about why I’ve been waiting a long ass time. It was right around the time my eyes started glazing into my eyelids when one of the worst things happened. “Oh my god Hunter!” Suddenly my body was tackled and hugged before I even had a chance to open my eyes. “I haven’t seen you in ages!” My heart leaped into my throat and my face heated up the second I realized who this was. Son of a bitch Universe, what the fuck man!? When he pulled back from his hug it almost hurt to look at the guy. He was taller than me, though that’s not saying much. In truth he’s a pretty short guy himself, however next to me his five foot six ass looked like a Harlem Globetrotter. He’s a skinny bitch, but he’s got padding in all the right places, especially towards his waist where, no matter what fucking pants or skirts this man is wearing it always accentuates his perfect buns. Yes I said skirts. See for awhile I had this stint where I kinda got swept into this, well, how do I put this exactly? I kinda did drag for a while! There I said it. I was at this gay bar one night getting tempted by all these normal gay dudes who wouldn’t be able to do anything for me in the bedroom, and I ended up hitting it off with some guys who cross-dressed on the weekends. They were so alive and energetic and excited with how they acted with one another I admit I got sucked in bad with the crew. I will also say that I can fuckin pull off some goddamn looks let me tell you the fuck what. However I had to stop going. Not because they were bad or anything. No nothing like that. I was starting to fall for a normal person. The normal person who was currently our Waiter right now. Fuck me this just aint fair. Why did it have to be this guy?! “Hey Felix.” I said, hating how my voice cracked looking up at that stupidly bright smile on his face. Fuck me, do you have to be such a ray of sunshine you asshole!? It would never work! “I didn’t know you worked here?” “Oh I just started doing this as a side thing gurl. Gotta supplement this bitches income somehow am I right?” Felix said this with a dainty move of his hand, leaning down to me and saying this in a hushed tone like he was letting me in on a little secret. All that before he snapped up and looked at my aunt with such a sparkle in his eyes that he damn near blew out the lights with how much energy it had. “Gurl, I adore everything about your look!” His hand gestured to my seven foot tall Aunt’s wardrobe fearlessly, beaming such a smile at her. “Honey you are a trend setter for sure!” “Oh Hunter I like this boy!” My aunt said as Felix sashayed off and gestured for the two of us to follow. God dammit why did it have to be him! Fuck! Stop swinging your perfect ass about like that you tease! You have no business being as attractive as you are. Hunter you might be saying, What is wrong with Felix? What scary dark past do you have with him? What made you have to stop hanging out with him and the other drag queens on the weekend? To which I have to reiterate to you that he is a normal person. As in not a denizen. As in as much as I find him attractive we literally cannot have sex. I don’t even mean that metaphorically either. Any movement inside of me that would cause the slightest bit of damage would halt a normal cock in its tracks. I’m literally not penetrable by a normal person back there! There is only one way Felix and I would ever be able to have sex. Only one way, and I would never do it to him. Cause if I did that to him I’d be dragging him into a world he knows nothing about just to fulfill some selfish desire of mine. I’d be no better than the assholes who try to turn me into a vampire or a shifter. In order for Felix and I to really date, and have sex, I’d need to turn him into some type of Denizen with enough strength to get past my non magical defense. I would need to do the very shit I judge my asshole ex roommates for. The scary thing was, it was getting really tempting to do so. Like, you don’t understand how much I was growing to like Felix. It was bordering on schoolgirl crush territories of heart throbbing. He’s just so energetic and positive and everything I’m not! it’s just intoxicating, you know? Like I actually felt more awake and happier after spending a night with him, like he recharged my goddamn positivity battery. It felt so nice. YET HE’S NORMAL. No Shifting, No Blood Sucking, no magic, none of it! Not only could he do nothing back there, I could actually hurt him if I got too excited in bed! It’s fucking not fair man! “Now ladies,” Felix leaned over the table and brushed his dirty blond bangs out of his face to speak like he was conspiring with the two of us. “normally I’m supposed to sell the food here like it’s the hottest thing since myself,” He had this smirk on his face towards the end saying he was half playing around and half acknowledging that yes he was that fucking cute, “but since I actually know Hunter here, just avoid ALL the stuff with red sauce. Bitch tastes like canned water. Their chicken Alfredo on the other hand? Shit, that was part of why I threw an application in here honey!” My Aunt and Felix hit it off instantaneously. They are like two peas in a pod, bantering and complimenting each other, ramping the energy each of them has up to such a point where I practically need sunglasses to deal with their radiant positivity. You’d think my bickering ass would hate a person like this but I really truly don’t! Believe it or not I actually like to be around glass half full people! The problem is I just cannot sustain that positivity on my own. It’s not natural for me. I need to draw that energy off of some energizer bunny of a person like Felix to maintain that good mood myself. I don’t know what kind of perpetual positive energy machine he’s got inside of him, but fuck would I want it. I can appreciate dark and smokey guys for sure. I’m not confined to liking one type of guy. If Felix was already a denizen I’d have eagerly and without hesitation dated him. Yet when he asked me out that last night I was with the group, it scared me so much I ended up never going back. Now I’m just so embarrassed. What’s worse is Felix isn’t even acting like I ditched him and the crew, he’s pretending like it never even happened! He’s just happy to see me! Fuck me! “If you’ll excuse me, I need to use the restroom.” I needed to get breathing room between Felix and myself. I couldn’t leave the restaurant cause my Aunt’s the one driving and I don’t have a car anymore. It’s driving me crazy being around him without him even asking why I left in the first place. Like I don’t feel guilty enough without him pretending like I didn’t do anything wrong by leaving him in the cold like that. Fuck me. I rush into the bathroom and start to just run water on my face, trying to calm myself down from being so worked up from seeing Felix again. I nearly jump out of my skin when I see The Devil from this morning standing with his hands behind his back like a perfect gentlemen. “Hello again Mr.Borisov.” That frustratingly hot deep voice intoned as he smirked at me through the mirror with his glowing yellow eyes, “I trust your day has been going well so far?” I crack the porcelain of the sink with my grip before I turn on the guy. “You’re really zero for two on this flirting business Devil. I thought you said you were good at this?” “I’m not here to Flirt, Mr. Borisov,” he raised an eyebrow and smirked wider on one side of his face as he said this, “I’m here to clarify some things you seem to be confused about.” “What do you mean?” “Well, you seem to be under the impression that I specifically said that you had to fall in love with a Denizen. I said no such thing. I merely said you’d need to fall in love with someone in this realm.” See now why does him saying such a permissive win condition for me make my stomach lurch in panic? He must know about Felix. He can read my mind after all, and who knows how deep in my mind he could actually go. For all I know he could know almost everything about me. “In a manner of speaking Mr. Borisov.” Cooed the Devil with that train of thought. Fucking hell I already forgot how disconcerting it was that he could hear my internal monologue. My body tenses as the devil moves his tail upwards and wraps itself around my waist, pulling me into him as he took my chin in his gloved hand and tilted me up to look at him. I try to push away but I might as well not even have my passive non magical defense with how useless my strength is against this guy. He leaned down till his face was mere inches from mine, heating my face up so much with a flush with how frustratingly hot I found this situation. “You adore Felix, you yearn for him, yet you won’t let yourself love him.” He spoke this so soft and sultry into my face as he gazed into my eyes. “You won’t let yourself love him because in order to do so you’d have to make him just like you.” He drew out those last three words, punctuating and pronouncing them so deliberately that it made my whole body shudder. “Yet you find me attractive and you know that nothing you do will hurt me. You don’t have to change me to allow yourself to fall for me like you would with Felix.” Fuck you eyes, why are you watering right now! Stop giving him the satisfaction! Why can’t I push this bastard away from me. “What was my wager to you Mr. Borisov? What were the precise words that I used when I started this little game with you?” How could I forget, his words had been rattling around in my head the whole day. ‘ I plan on dedicating part of my vacation to make you hopelessly fall in love with me.’ Those were his exact words. Those words that have been playing on repeat periodically since I heard them. Every time I fucking close my eyes I see this asshole. I am not looking forward to going to sleep cause I have a feeling he’s going to be there as well. “Precisely Mr. Borisov, I said I’d make you hopelessly fall in love with me. I was very particular with my choice of words. You see, Mr. Borisov. What does hopeless mean to you exactly?” His grinned widened as he loomed over me, his glowing yellow eyes flashing even brighter. “I don’t know what you mean. Hopelessly falling in love is just an expression.” “Is it? Is it really?” He leaned closer so our lips were so close to touching. Fuck why did he smell so good. “Hopeless means having no hope Mr.Borisov. You’ll fall in love with me not because I have to try particularly hard to court you, because if I truly wished to I’d be able to do so quite easily.” The fact that my face was on fire being so close to him like this made it disastrously clear to me how right he was, and that killed me inside. Was I this easy? Am I really so shallow that I’d fall for a literal devil? That thought seemed to have pleased the Devil quite a lot. “To be hopeless is to be incapable or unwilling to find a solution Mr.Borisov. Yet I’ll extend an olive branch to you as a show of good faith.” He spun me around and pointed me to the mirror, where he conjured up a reflection of smoke inside of it and created an image of Felix and my Aunt talking. “All you need to do to prolong this universe, just a little longer before it’s inevitable end, is to simply change your Felix into a Denizen and fall in love with him. Of course, you can’t just ask him if he wants to be one since he’s shielded by the collective unconscious. No matter how you’d end up doing it, it would be non consensual.” He seemed highly amused about that as he stroked my cheek. Damn him. Why the fuck is he putting this in front of me like this. Why was he even saying this like this was an option I’d even consider. “Because you have considered it Mr. Borisov, and it eats you up inside even contemplating it. It gives you such a delightful palette of emotions inside of you.” The Devil cooed into my ear. “You don’t have to do that to Felix however. If you simply give into your hopelessness and fall for me instead. You’ll know that you didn’t force me to change into anything, and you’ll find me just as attractive no matter what I end up doing after you give into your hopeless feelings for me. You already know what I am, just like you already know what you are. Yet Felix doesn’t know what you are, and without breaking through the mental barrier blocking him from seeing you for what you are, he’s going to remain in the dark about you.” I close my eyes tight so I don’t see the fucking pitiful look on my face. Stupid traitorous eyes were shedding tears, which seemed to delight the Devil so much. “I’ll also need to point out that you can’t simply turn Felix into a denizen for, shall we say, altruistic reasons.” I could feel his smirk even with my eyes so tightly shut. “You’d need to pursue him and do so in a way that is inspired by your genuine love of him. I will know the difference between you doing that and simply trying to buy an extra century for this condemned universe. No, Mr.Borisov...” He sounded so goddamn pleased with himself ”...you have to be JUST like the denizens you loathe so much to make it count. Does that not sound entertaining?” He asked that last part with a chuckle that finally sent me over the edge. I opened my eyes and threw a punch at the devil, but he had already vanished. Instead my fist hits the stall door and utterly shatters it and the stall itself with the aftershocks of the fist colliding with it. I can barely see how much damage I did cause my stupid tears are running so much. Fuck me!
  4. this particular cover speaks to me
  5. Captain Planet 🏳️‍🌈 He's our hero 🏳️‍🌈 Gonna Power Bottom this big Cheeto🏳️‍🌈 Nacho cheese, just watch it fly 🏳️‍🌈 He's fucking on the planets side 🏳️‍🌈
  6. Demented

    Chapter 21

    Irritation etched on Queen Felsalvia’s face as she walked into the inner sanctum of the High King’s Lair. She hated even referring to that sloth as the High King, but there was nothing she could do about that. One did not simply oppose a Gigantes and expect to come out the victor, even with her being an Arch Druidess like she was. As much power as she had amassed in her lairs, she knew in her gut that she would not be able to bring down this infuriating lecherous hedonist, no matter how poor his drive and work ethic were. Still, she had to hand it to him that he knew how to make a Lair. Vines thicker than any natural tree weaved together in intricate patterns far in the distance in all directions as it made the interior of this expansive lair. Flower Petals larger than most houses drifted listlessly through the air from massive flowers that looked almost normal sized from where she was standing. However should she approach any one of those colorful flowers that grew out of the walls of this Vine Hall she knew it would dwarf her body many times over. Beneath the bridge she was walking was a flowing river of fragrant and luxurious wine that was constantly being circulated throughout the subterranean Lair. She could already see several of the wine waterfalls spilling from further down the hall, it’s purple liquid pouring out in massive quantities and roaring into the flowing river of wine below. It filled the hall with the sweet scent of it all. Felsalvia hated it here however. Just being in this place was liable to make her inebriated and prevent her from doing her job properly. Debauchery and Hedonism reeked from every pore of these vines. Debauchery that reminded her so much of that cursed Incubus human brat that corrupted her first born. That bluish white haired human brat who turned her firstborn away from the embrace of fair maidens and into the arms of a never ending parade of males she could not stifle no matter her efforts to stem the tide. She did not want her beloved first born to become like the High King, a lazy good for nothing layabout who spent his days in the company of his harem of men and boys of all ages and races while partaking in his never ending harvest that he could summon forth from his vines. She could see the deplorable high king lounging back in a hot tub filled with fragrant liquids and oils. From a distance he looked no older than a lad of Fifteen years of age in human years. However one would have to stand so far back that they’d be looking at him from the horizon in order to get that sense. Despite his lithe and youthful looking proportions, he was so enormous that he made the tallest of normal giants look like little halflings in comparison. His green hair was immensely long and well cared for, draping over the vine tub he was leaning against and cascading down to the heated concoction he was bathing in. Covering his body from head to toe was hundreds of his concubines hard at work scrubbing, rubbing and licking various parts of him. Queen Felsalvia had to look away in distaste from his lap, where an entire harem was taking care of his immense girth with their entire bodies, enjoying the precum that was dribbling out of his length like a mini waterfall for them to feast on. Some younger lads were even playing on his tip, taking turns dunking their head inside of his cock slit and laughing at how covered in seed their friend was when they pulled the person out of the entrance. Even as this happened the Gigantes High king lifted a Goblet made of Vines and a rose petal cup and daintily held it under a waterfall before bringing the delicious contents to his lips. Contents that he could change the flavor and age of however he saw fit. Holding back her disgust at his open debauchery, Queen Felsalvia knelt down on the elevated platform above his steaming tub of wine and vines. “ You requested my presence, High King Vinal?” She tried to keep her tone free of her internal judgment of the Gigantes, but every pour of her wished she was not subordinate under him. Her country was named after her. She had been in control of these lands for thousands of years. Everyone acknowledged her as the rightful ruler. Yet she knew deep down should this lout decide he wanted to, he could dethrone her immediately and assume control of the nation whenever he chose. She was only working as the queen because he was simply too lazy to be bothered with doing his duty as the high king. “I sure did darling!” The youthful Gigantes said as he adjusted himself in his waterfall fed tub of wine, raising up his smooth leg and draping it over the other as he did so. The very act of doing so made the water below writhe and crash with waves like he were sitting in the very ocean itself. His concubines took this all in stride, knowing how to maneuver about his body and maintain their balance regardless of what little move or twitch he might have. They were trained for this after all, and quite thoroughly. “You didn’t happen to feel that immense burst of magic recently have you?” He asked with a simpering grin, looking down at her through lidded eyes from high above her as he sipped on his flower goblet. “The one that came from over yonder in Silbel?” “Of course your highness. That happened a day ago.” She gritted her teeth, knowing now what this was about. “You see Darling, I have been curious as to why you did not come by and talk to me about such a thing transpiring. Especially when I made it quite clear that I wanted you to report to me immediately if such an emanation should occur.” He smirked behind his perfect red goblet while taking a sip before continuing, “Is there perhaps a reason why you did not want to report to me about this?” “I’ve just been very busy with handling matters of national concern, your highness.” “See now that’s disappointing to hear,” He said dryly as he swished his goblet and stared into its contents, “Because I delegated such matters to you because you said that you could handle them. If what you say is truthful and you truly have just been too busy, then perhaps I have entrusted too much authority to my little Queen and need to start considering getting you...help.” He let that last word float in the air, enjoying her steeled expression as she tried to maintain her composure. “I will not let my duties lax again Your highness.” She wanted to use every single attunement in all of her lairs to wipe this smug hedonist off of her country's map! Damn him threatening her sovereignty like this! “No matter Darling,” He said lazily, willing up some wine out of the pool and creating a reflective mirror in the air, before revealing the Kingdom of Silbel on it. “I ended up getting curious while I waited for you to do the job you’ve been graciously granted to do.” she gritted her teeth at that jab letting her know her place so casually. “I ended up taking care of the investigation on my own. It's actually rather fun! Haven’t had a reason to use the old Vicar authority I have in a long while.” He grinned down at the high elf queen as he adjusted himself and rested the side of his head on his fist. “Turns out I have something of a nephew! Isn’t that fun Felsalvia?” “Th-That magical emanation was from a Gigantes your highness?” She asked with a subtle gulp. The last thing this world needed was another one of him lazing around making things harder for her! “Not just a Gigantes darling, an especially young and adorable nephew of mine! Look at this little cutie!” He waved his hand, revealing the image of a Lynxian with staggeringly blue eyes, beautiful almond colored hair and an ornate collar on his neck fastened with a truly luxurious array of blue gemstones. One in the middle in particular had a crest that made her jaw clench and a vein pop out of her head. Of COURSE that accursed Dukedom had something to do with this! This disastrous magical emanation that set international politics ablaze in the past twenty four hours. “Turns out my Uncle Cernunnos was a naughty little deity thirteen years ago and had some fun with a Lynxian maiden. See this is why it is better to bed with the fellows instead of you ladies Darling. My relatives upstairs would get in much less trouble if they just found a nice lad to bed instead of risk seeding a maiden. Still, to each their own I suppose.” He said the last part with a shrug before letting out a grunt and climaxing. She had to turn her gaze in disgust as his cum rained down upon the harem working his shaft, drenching them in his seed. “Feeding time boys! Get on down there and help your fellow harem mates clean me up.” he called out to the other men and lads in the chamber, who all responded by sliding down his smooth body or diving into the steaming wine to swim over to his hips so they could taste his seed. “Where was I,” He continued, sipping on his goblet and enjoying the woman’s clear distaste of his antics, while also basking in the feeling of so many bodies hard at work to consume his seed. “Ah yes, I think I am going to pay my dearest nephew a visit!” She nearly fell out of her kneeling position at that proclamation. “Y-you are going to leave your Lair your highness?” “Now why would I do a thing like that Darling?” He asked curiously, resting his head even further into his fist. As he did so, he lazily willed one of the lads on his lap upwards by the ankle with a lasso-like tendril from the wine below before dunking him entirely within his cock, moving the youth around inside of him before pulling him out completely coated in his seed. Boys his age and a bit younger swarmed the lad and began cleaning him up with their mouths as they did so. “Y-you said you were going to visit your Nephew. Does that not mean you would leave your Lair?” “Do the gods visit in person when they go over and meet someone darling?” He asked her with a raised eyebrow while repeating his lewd act with another lad, this time a halfling who held his nose and breath before getting dunked inside the entrance of his shaft. He enjoyed the writhing sensation inside of him before he pulled the lad back out by the ankle and plopped him next to his similarly treated friend. “Th-they do not Your Highness, they use an Avatar.” He grinned down at her even as other lads and even some of the older males on his laps hopped up and down wanting to try the game he had done with the first two. “Precisely darling. Which is what I’ll be doing.” Rising out of the tub of wine rose a vine that kept spiralling up till it reached the platform she was kneeling on. The tight rosebud that rested on the very top of the vine opened up with a flourish and revealed something that made Queen Felsalvia’s eyes widen in barely repressed alarm. Standing before her was a perfect replica of the High King, but this time at the scale of a normal high elf lad about his apparent age instead of his enormous body that was behind him. “Hello Darling! Do you like my new body?” He twisted around and checked out his new form. She looked up to see that the Real Vinal was perfectly present and aware of his surroundings, in fact he didn’t seem different at all. Yet this small duplicate was unmistakably the same person. “This little fella has a duplicate of my mind and I can assure you he is not lacking an ounce of my power as a Gigantes. In fact, as long as I am in my lair, my avatar here has all the lovely little benefits of being in one as well.” Felsalvia blanched at the very idea. He had the power to make a copy of himself that he could walk outside of his lair while still maintaining all the benefits of being in one. She never felt her position as queen threatened more completely in her life. He could easily just use an Avatar to do his day to day tasks while his true self lounges about in his lair having his lecherous fun all day. “Darling” Both versions of the High King spoke at once, “would you mind setting up a visit between myself and the Bertolde estate. I know you have some inexplicable bad blood with the duke’s boy, but I am absolutely fascinated with meeting my little nephew! Oh...one last thing.” His face took on a dangerous look as his eyes began to glow bright white. “Warn the Silbel government there will be dire consequences should they attempt to harm My Nephew, and make it very clear I am speaking of that Lynxian when you do so. Tell them this is coming directly from the High King of Felsalvia, and I will be more than happy to follow through on such promises.” *** Berhanu shook in the presence of Marigold who had come in person to speak the matter of what they had witnessed days earlier. The air within the Golden Maiden’s temple seemed denser as the powerful being walked in regally. She had just arrived from overseas, leaving the Central temple almost immediately and traveling as quickly as possible to the Silbel Temple branch where the Werewolf Paladin now called home. There was not a single person within the golden Temple that did not drop to their knee in her presence. To an uninformed observer Marigold might seem like a Priestess who wore a gold and white habit that covered her body head to toe, and wore a strange white mask that held the smooth, glossy appearance of a nondescript but beautiful woman. However those of the faith of the Golden Maiden knew the truth of what Marigold truly was. It was a deeply held secret that few outside of the faith would ever even think to ask. Berhanu would have not believed the tale had he not seen her take her mask off to reveal nothing underneath it. Marigold was in truth, a magical item in the shape of a Pendant with the Golden Maidens insignia upon it. She had been crafted long ago by a Hero Cleric from the Days of old, and fought alongside her master in many battles during the dark age wars. Eventually, as the story goes, the Cleric used so much power through this magical item that it gained an identity and will all its own. Even long after her former master perished, Marigold has remained a faithful follower of The Golden Maiden religion, and has learned to even maneuver the entire wardrobe she is wearing all on her own. She is, by all reports, an entirely self taught magic item with a high degree of intelligence. She also houses within her far more attunement slots than the normal individual, as she was crafted before the Dark Age Wars when magic was stronger upon the world. It isn’t known how many spell slots Marigold has, but she is capable of performing some truly miraculous feats on behalf of her goddess the Golden Maiden. Some even consider her a Messenger from the Golden Maiden herself. She reached down and lifted the wolfen face of Berhanu to gaze upon him with her facsimile of a face. He shivered a bit as the mask smiled in a frightfully natural way and gazed into his eyes with her own, despite the fact that not a speck of her face was painted. Yet he could feel her gaze upon him all the same. “Hello Brave One. I do admire your strength to find a new path in life like you have. Know that the golden maiden does not judge you for your past, only the actions you take based on your oaths going forward. You will find comrades in our ranks back home, of that I am certain.” He felt guilty for finding her so scary and creepy after she had spoken those kind words to him in that smooth motherly voice of hers. The mouth on the mask didn’t move, her voice emanated from the pendant itself that resided inside of her outfit. However the mask she was wearing could assume any number of expressions to aid in her communication in how she was feeling. “Faithful Paladins and Clerics of The Golden Maiden.” Marigold said as she stood to her full height inside her puppet body. “Thank you for meeting with me on such short notice. My understanding is you have information regarding the awakening that took place within the borders of this nation of Silbel?” ” “Yes High Priestess Marigold.” Berhanu’s blond captain said with a deep bow of her head, not daring to look up from the floor at such a holy being. “Our company bore witness to the battle that would rival the Dark Age Wars of yore. We saw with our own eyes two young lads whom we now know to be Lord Baldric of the Bertolde Estate, as well as his slave and fledgling MageCrafter by the name of Kotik utterly decimate and slaughter the forces of Babica Preja and then Babica herself with feats of magic not seen in these modern times. Though the young lord Baldric was the one who wiped out Babica’s army, it was his slave who slayed her with such viciousness and brutality that I confess I needed to pray to the Maiden for strength to not flee where I stood. My Lieutenant Berhanu claims to have had an interaction with the young lord before.” Marigold turned her facsimile of a face to the large kneeling werewolf in paladin armor, and it took him all of his willpower not to shake even more visibly in her presence. “Before I was touched and changed by Babica, this Lord Baldric was invited into her home and had a conversation with her. At the time I had thought they were allies, but the sheer finality in which he ended her and all her creations tells me he was merely lulling her into a false sense of security. He did seem quite scarily intelligent when I met him that time. The dislike he felt towards me speaking ill of demi human races seemed quite genuine.” Marigold seemed to mull this information over, stroking the chin of her mask in thought. “This is good information. From the sounds of it his ideals may not be in line with the greater nation of Silbel, and that is something we can latch onto. Now what do we have on this slave, this Kotik?” The Captain nodded in her bowed position again. “Not much. We know he had been picked up from that very village they were fighting in not but a few days ago, however; The power he displayed. The Strength. High Priestess He didn’t just Kill Babica Preja in battle, that would be one thing. No High Priestess, he brutally and effortlessly beat the hag giant to death with his bare hands, and did so with such an animal-like savageness that it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. He strangled and suffocated a being many times bigger than him in the mud and blood of her creations. I know of nothing that could possibly have such power.” Marigold straightened up and nodded. “I however know exactly what could have done that. It appears a deity has broken Greater Pantheon Law and had a child in this realm. Though which one I know not as of yet. I hear all wood temporarily became dark and thorny for a few minutes after the awakening?” The captain nodded with a shudder. “The residence of Silbel already dubbed it, ‘The day of Black Thorn’ as it was such a pervasive thing and many people ended up getting injured by the eruption of thorns out of so many places. From what little we have gleaned we did learn he was a True Dominion MageCrafter of Wood.” “Vicar of the entire Wood Pantheon? Interesting.” Marigold said almost to herself as she started to ponder what this could mean. “My understanding is you have already arranged a meeting for me in this Bertolde estate, correct?” “That is correct High Priestess. We shall accompany you as well since one of our number has personal experiences with one of the people in question.” Berhanu gulped. He really did not want to visit the home of a person who had so effortlessly slaughtered so many creatures just like him with those unfathomable storm powers of his. He had bore witness to the strewn remains of werewolves that had been men just like him. He was certain some of his old comrades must have been on that battlefield, but there was not a single body that was intact enough to tell which part went where. The glacial shards seemed to have broken apart and sliced in such a way that it left no chance for Babica to rebuild them. Still, if he ever wanted to fully believe in his change for the better, facing the being that shocked him out of his life of ever spiraling evil might end up being good for him. He prayed to the Golden Maiden that this was the case, even as his tail tucked under his legs in barely repressed fright. *** Lord Tugast did not like the feeling of uneasiness within Silbel as his circus touched into Port. He had not intended on bringing his troop to the nation for some time yet, however he had received a request that he simply could not refuse. He smiled warmly as he watched his ships being unloaded and assembled on the docks and adjusted his hat as he thought about the lad his troop was going to go visit. He was the single greatest decision he had ever made in his life. As sceptical as he was with the rambunctious tyke back when he was so dreadfully young, he had been proven so very wrong not only by the boy's presentation but the dedication to the craft he put into those two years. If the boy had been orphaned, Lord Tugast would have gladly and without hesitation adopted the lad without a second thought. Even now he held a pride for that performer that far outstripped his own false bravado he wore on stage. Never before or since had he met someone who absorbed his lessons with such zeal and earnestness. Lord Tugast remembered with a growing grin under his mustache the absolute state that he had been in when he finally allowed the boy to run the show as the Ringleader and Arch Magician. Never before had he been more stressed about a show going well as he had been biting his nails for the lad to do well and not croak right on stage. Yet the lad not only killed it that night he did it in such a spectacular fashion that he became the talk of the city they had performed in afterwards. Crowds came in even bigger numbers the next night to witness the spectacle of a tiny boy wielding the pride and presence of a godlike man. They had not been able to arrive on the exact day Baldric had wanted, but the lad had said that it’d be fine if he showed up a few days later or even just as soon as they could. He knew the boy well and he had probably figured out a slew of contingency plans should they not arrive on time. The boy admired Tugast for his planning ability, but the elder Lord simply could not understand why. His Lord Baldric far outstripped his capabilities by many factors and he held no shame admitting that fact. If anything he took pride in being able to mentor such a driven boy into a profession he adored so much. Still, he was not liking the atmosphere that he was reading in the air in Silbel. Something had happened recently, and it had caused quite a stir among the inhabitants. With a snap of his white gloved fingers several of his acrobats in plain clothes appeared seemingly out of nowhere, and he gave them the slight hand gesture commands to scout the area and come back with news regarding current events. They nodded and did so soundlessly, melding into the crowd and disappearing from the docks like they had never been there. If there was one thing that Lord Tugast prided himself on, it was information gathering for a prospective audience. He would know why these citizens were so spooked before he even saw the Bertolde estate. *** The tension that was within Duke Bertolde’s office between father and son could be cut through with a knife. The older man tried to steady his breathing as he stared out of the window and clenched his drink in his hands. Lord Baldric stood in the room with his hands behind his back, holding his head up high and maintaining a calm and collected demeanor in front of his father. This only served to piss his father off more as he finally snapped and threw the glass he was holding hard against the wall, shattering it utterly as the shards rained on the floor. “Who are you?!” Yelled the Duke, pointing out his window towards the direction where a destroyed village and a blood-soaked battlefield. “Who are you and what did you do to my son?! Cause you cannot be the boy I know. The boy I know is a carfree noble boy who gives his father a hard time sleeping around with other noble boys his age. The boy I know caused me stress for sure, but it was nothing I shouldn’t expect out of a typical noble’s son. Why I was even proud of your accomplishment with your Lair, thinking it a hobby for that scarily intelligent mind of yours. But this!? This!?” He raised up a handful of letters with seals of various nations as well as a few from Silbel itself. “Do you have any fucking idea the kind of pot you’ve stirred boy?!” The Duke was spitting with how he was yelling so hard and frantically. “I thought you had crossed the line when you had killed that Warlock the way you did, and I was quite concerned about your choice for a Fledgling MageCrafter. Yet never in my wildest dreams did I think my own boy would wage all out war with Babica Preja herself! Wage all out war almost entirely on your own, slaughtering nearly her entire army, On Your Own, and finally sicking your slave on her who beat her to death with is FUCKING BARE HANDS.” Duke Bertolde paced like mad as he ran his hand down his face. “I knew your slave was trouble the second he awakened. I didn’t like the feel of it at all, it felt wrong. It felt so enraged. Yet you were finally excited to have a Fledgling MageCrafter so I reluctantly went along with it. Sargis and the maids gave promising reports at first, but then it started going downhill fast.” He raised a finger in the air as he kept pacing and running his hand over his face in agitation. “One is the fact that he dealt so casually with Darzi. I should have seen that as a warning sign, but everyone we tasked to investigate the matter thought he was giant-blooded. It was strange, it was unprecedented, but still not out of the realm of possibility. Your best friend Raudh is giant blooded after all so it’s not like this estate was entirely unfamiliar with them.” A second finger goes up as his pace gets even more forceful, his shoes slamming against the floor with each step. “Then your slave punches your MageCrafted stone wall so hard it shattered the MageCrafted window next to it. We asked your friend the Count casually by the way, and he said he would only be able to slightly crack one of our walls, and certainly not put enough force to shatter a window next to it. That raised even more concerns but still I let it slide cause we did know that lynxians are stronger than normal humans and we figured that translated to him being Giant-Blooded as well.” A third finger goes up as his face gets even angrier. “Then your slave attacks a member of nobility entirely unprovoked, Despite the count's best efforts to convince me otherwise. There is this growing pattern of rage and instability within your slave that I keep noticing, but like a fool I keep pushing it away cause you seem to be happy with your new slave and other that initial altercation he seems to have taken quite a liking to the Count. I try so very hard to ignore all these warning signs that make my hair get thinner by the day.” He turned on his son and threw up his fourth finger, “Then you go and pull this and justify every fear I ever had about this slave. Not only that, you show that I should have had more concern about what you’ve been getting up to. No normal person has the magical capabilities to utterly destroy Babica Preja and her army boy! Do you have any idea how dangerously close you are to Silbel collaring you?!” The man rushed his son and Hugged him tightly before proceeding to shake him in his grasp. “I love you boy! Yet you are terrifying the ever loving shit out of me with all this! You need to tell me what the hell is happening and who you really are, cause clearly you have been leaving a lot of who you really are out with me! I do not know how to handle the Silbel government right now, much less these other ones that are currently knocking on our door. ‘We already have no less than two Nations coming to talk with YOU and your slave, one of which represents the High King of Felsalvia who claims your slave is his nephew!” He looked deep in his son’s eyes and tried to read anything he knew out of him. “Son, I don’t know how much longer I can protect you from getting collared, and I will be Blisteringly frank with you,” His face hardened slightly, “I would be more than fine with having this slave off of my estate at this point. He’s been far more trouble than he’s been good for our estate’s standing with this country, and honestly I do not have a compelling reason to justify housing such a powerful being on our land when he could be in the capable hands of the Silbel capital.” “That is not your decision to make Father. He is my property.” Lord Baldric said simply, but there was a warning that lay beneath his tone that almost made the Duke back up. He instead stood his ground and got loud at his son. “He’s your property, but this is My estate. My estate that he has repeatedly damaged by the way. We were lucky we had the necessary Maids to fix what happened in the Garden, or else I’d still be looking out at rubble right now from where your slave had tried to fucking kill a noble like he did with Babica Preja.” “Would you rather she be alive?” “This isn’t about her! Of course I’m glad to finally be rid of her presence in Silbel! She was a menace to society! Yet you didn’t just kill the hag giant who has thwarted every military effort to capture her Bog over the centuries, no you completely obliterated her military force and crushed her utterly within a day! You just showed the Silbel government you have the capability of taking on an entire military single handed with just your powers! Add on top of that this claim from the Giant High King of Felsalvia that this slave of yours is his Nephew, and I’ll be lucky if either one of you will be on this estate before the week is out! Do you understand how hard I’ve been fighting to keep a collar off your neck just to have you go and prove that you are not only a threat to the nation un-collared, but that you can and have toppled an actual country nearly single handed! That’s what Babica’s Bog is Baldric! It was an entire country to itself, and you completely obliterated its population! How is Silbel supposed to respond to that?! I don’t even know how to respond to this and I’m your father!” Silence stretched on between the two for an agonizing moment as they stared each other down. Baldric noticed his father had more wrinkles than he used and his father did indeed start to have something of a bald spot growing on the top of his head now, as much as he tried to fight it. The more logical and level headed side of Baldric understood where his father was coming from. He was largely in the dark to Baldric’s plans and to him his brief and decisive war with Babica Preja came entirely out of left field. The side that cared for Kotik however felt nothing but seething rage at his father for threatening to send Kotik away from him to the single place Kotik would hate the most in the world. Kotik wouldn’t take kindly to being sent to the Capital. In fact at this point he’d probably have the strength to just rip the palace down around their ears if his fight was any indication. It looked like he needed to trigger one of his contingency plans, which he knew Kotik was not going to like one bit. Duplicates of his were already setting up the necessary preparations. The contingency had been laid down months ago, but now the final touches were being placed down. He didn’t want to have to do that, but if it came down to choosing Kotik or the Bertolde estate, he’d pick Kotik every time. Just like how his physical body wasn’t actually in the room with his father right now. He had been experimenting with just the right ratios of snow, water, and pliable ice for awhile now along with his illusory powers. From the fact that his father had not reacted when he had hugged his body, the fully solid double of himself seemed to have been a success. The applications for fully solid duplicates of himself or other people he could impersonate were staggering, and would certainly prove useful in pulling off this contingency plan. “Let me think over what you said to me Father.” Baldric finally spoke to him, “You have given me a lot to think about and I want to make sure I address your concerns properly. For now we have guests that we need to greet and attend to. Thankfully the present I had planned on giving my sweet Kotik will end up paying quite the dividends for these unexpected guests. If there is anything that could welcome foreign diplomats, it is a private showing of the Bavaram Circus.” The Duke sighed wearily and sat down behind his desk, running his hand through his hair. “Fine, you’re right we need to handle one thing at a time. However once all these guests are gone you and I are going to have a seriously in depth conversation about everything you’ve been keeping from me, and there will be no more ‘thinking it over’ when that time comes. I expect and demand explanations when that time comes.” “I understand Father.” *** Meanwhile the real body of Lord Baldric and Count Raudh were working to lift the mood of the little Lynxian who had had such a rough birthday to put it quite lightly. Strangely enough, nothing quite lifted the Lynxian’s spirits and distracted him from his current thoughts like engaging in some debauchery. The three of them had been lounging on the bed, and Kotik had been watching with some fascination on his features as Lord Baldric utterly inhaled the girth of Count Raudh in one fail swoop and worked him in and out of his throat effortlessly. Kotik had been wallowing in depression before then, thinking about how he had strangled someone else, even if it was the hag giant, when Lord Baldric completely unprompted began to suck Count Raudh off. The Ruby haired tanned youth let out a noise of complaint at first, but it died almost as soon as it appeared as he settled back and let Lord Baldric work his magic. The Depressed Kotik tried to ignore what was happening to persist in his wallowing, but his curiosity and own libido which was getting more and more intense lately was getting the better of his dark train of thought. “Lord Baldric, how do you do that?” Kotik finally voiced in some awe, turning his head to the side as he watched the girth actively making itself visible in Lord Baldric’s neck whenever he bottomed out into Count Raudh’s ruby colored pubic hair and breathed in his scent. A smirk of satisfaction at pulling his lovely Kotik out of his funk played on Baldric’s occupied lips as he pulled off his girth with a pop. “Some of it is just practice my sweet Kotik, but I also have some enchantments in my throat and mouth that allow me to handle larger shafts than normal. Would you like for me to apply them on you so you could try?” Count Raudh got even harder at the prospect of being able to get the entirety of his length down the fair Kotik’s throat. While it was adorable to see him barely manage his tip in it’s own way, there was something amazing about having his entire cock treated that he could not pass up. His excitement only grew as Kotik nodded and smiled at the idea. Lord Baldric lifted Kotik and settled him in between his legs and conjured up some water. With some coaxing, Kotik opened up and let Baldric send the enchanted water inside of him, making him feel a tingling sensation from his lips down into his throat. “Now I’m going to hold you just like this so you can lean into me for comfort. Try to breathe through your nose.” As Count Raudh stood up on his knees and got into position, he could not help put feel how unbelievably lewd this was to be looking at two lovers like this, the larger one hugging the smaller one from the back, and they were going to share that love by letting him shove his cock right down the fair Kotik’s throat. He almost came at the very thought! Not only had he got to punch and elbow the great and feared Babica Preja in the face, multiple times, he was going to get to enjoy the throat of the most beautiful lad he had ever seen. One who had utterly destroyed Babica with his bare hands. Kotik let out a moan of surprise and light protest as his mouth was invaded. Suddenly, with some effort, Count Raudh could get his girth farther into kotik’s mouth than he could the last few times he had done so. Lord Baldric helped his little lynxian adjust the angle of his head and calmed him down from straining so much as more and more of that cock was squeezed down into his still quite tight throat. He whispered sweet nothings into Kotik’s ears, telling him how beautiful he was right then and how he so enjoyed seeing him do something so lewd. It made Kotik’s cheeks burn bright red and his heart thump wildly. Before he knew it, the moaning and thoroughly filled lynxian had his nose pressed right into the ruby colored pubic hair of Count Raudh, who was letting out wondrous noises of delight with how tight Kotik’s throat was. He adjusted his knees as he set himself up to do something he wouldn’t dare do with Lord Baldric or anyone else. “Oh fairest Kotik, please allow me to do the work this time. You are the only one I can trust to be able to handle this request for me.” Kotik’s eyes glistened with tears at the strain in his throat but he leaned his back and head into Lord Baldric and gave a hand gesture of assent, telling the Count to have at it. Lord Baldric gripped the lads hands and proceeded to bring them behind his back and shackle them with ice, making Kotik even more excited for what was going to happen even as Baldric went back to hugging him. As Kotik experienced his very first face fucking, a rapturous look of delight came across his features that the two noble lads quite enjoyed. Kotik enjoyed the feeling of surrender he had, and the fullness he had in his throat. Part of it was ruined by him drifting into thoughts of Babica beneath him all blue and suffocated, but he quickly quashed that out of his mind and let himself enjoy the moment. It was easier for him to do that since he had gained that new MageCrafter title. His emotional state was much more flexible and malleable than it had been. He hadn’t quite experimented on how to make magic items with this new power yet, but he thought he’d ask Count Raudh how that worked when he had a moment. For now he just wanted to enjoy this new experience, feeling his friend piston in and out of his mouth with abandon as he let out increasingly girly sounding noises that made Kotik giggle into his length. He liked the fact he was leaning against Baldric and being hugged by him while he experienced this. It really gave a new meaning to what an open relationship could be like. Maybe everything was going to be okay after all. That was the thought that crossed his mind even as Count Raudh gripped his head and fired off one of his most powerful loads he had ever felt down into Kotik’s welcoming stomach. *** A fearful family who recently bought a slave boy shook violently as they rode their cart towards the borders of the Dukedom of Bertolde. Several members of their family had already died without so much as a scratch before being unceremoniously tossed out of the cart into some bushes by the pink eared bunny boy among them. The grinning lad had given them all the same order to get him to the Dukedom of Bertolde, but each family member had been given a different time-frame to get him there. Some time frames were more unrealistic than others, and their family members flopping onto the ground and growing still and dead without a touch simply for disobeying his unreasonable order had made them all very compliant to his commands. Little did they know they were all going to be dead and soulless before they even reached the town, and the trail of bodies he left along the way in such a strange and mysterious way would only serve to help stoke up more fear among the Silbel inhabitants. The more fear they had, the more he could do with them. “I’ll be there soon my Silbel Strangler.” He said wistfully into the sky as he stroked the head of a trembling child who had watched so many of his family die in such a scary and sudden way by this Hareling's power. “I heard you calling out to me. I did. I did hear you call me! Such fear you had, but so controlled as well! My love, I am so happy you finally understand we are meant to be together! I’ll be with you shortly! I promise!”
  7. Some behind the scenes stuff about Babica Preja for those interested.
  8. I am something of a fan of folklore and mythology and I've done quite a few dives into such tales in the past. Babica Preja is something of an amalgamation of a few bits of Folklore with some Dungeons and Dragons underpinning mixed in. The first source of inspiration of her was, of course, the oh so famous Baba Yaga. If you have no knowledge of folklore at all you've still probably heard the name said somewhere before, perhaps in the movie John Wick as that is his nickname. In folklore, Baba Yaga resides deep within her forest where few return. She was the regional boogeyman used to get children to behave. However she was not just used as a threat. Baba Yaga was known to be nice to good children and act to them like a kindly grandmother, but to bad children she was a cannibalistic witch who use those brats bones as pickets for her fence outside. Baba Yaga is not "evil" in these folklore, but rather someone with an extreme and violent worldview where the "good" are treated nicely and the "bad" are worth nothing more than meat for her kitchen. It is that stark and extremist morality that molded how I had Babica Preja interact with people. The Warlocks are the "good" people that run into her, usually demi-humans who've been unjustly persecuted or wronged by humans, and she offers them power to fight on her behalf to extract revenge on those same people. The rest of her creations are what happened to the people she considers "bad." Once someone is considered "bad" by Babica they are nothing more than material for her to make more wolves and ogres and such. The second source of inspiration for her was some of the earliest versions of Werewolves in Ancient Folklore. You see, back in the day Werewolves were not seen as cursed people changed under a full moon. No that's a more modern interpretation of werewolves. The earliest known stories of werewolves is of a much different flavor, where the werewolf is actually something like a witch who actively changes themselves under the cover of darkness to cannibalize people. Accusations of being a werewolf were happening at the same time as accusations of being a witch were taking place. The idea of being a wolf charmer, someone who can control wolves and use them to attack people, was seen as a type of witchcraft back in the day, and suspected practitioners were even prosecuted as such. Those wolves didn't just attack that traveler, Old Man Jeb got them to do it with his magic. That kind of idea. Werewolves weren't just seen as a singular wolf back then because of this, but rather someone who turns into a wolf and leads wolves to attack people. This served to inspire how Babica Preja utilized her powers and lead her minions into combat. It's very similar to how the folklore described these accused werewolves to operate. Another aspect that comes from the earliest versions of werewolves was her Cloak. One of the versions on how people turned into werewolves is very similar to how I depict Babica changing. Instead of it being a metamorphosis, the witch like werewolf would have a wolfskin they would keep hidden from their neighbors and when they donned it they transformed into the werewolf. The wolfskin was actually seen as something like a Lich's phylactery, in the sense that if you destroyed the skin when the user wasn't wearing it you'd end up killing the person linked to it. This is only one of many depictions of how people saw werewolves back, then, but it was one I latched onto for Babica. I very much like the idea of her werewolf transformation being something more akin to an Eldritch Iron Man suit, where she uses it to protect herself as well as attack people in ways she normally can't. Third source of inspiration for her was limitations I put on this story. These are not all the limitations, but these are two that I'm willing to share now that the season 1 finale is done. Limitation 1: NO NECROMANCY. it's banned. No zombies, no liches, no ghosts, no spirits, no undead of any kind. Chop out the entire school of magic. Necromancy is a far too easy crutch to lean on for your bad guy in these kinds of stories, and by actively and purposefully cutting that type of magic out of the equation it forces me to think up ways the other schools of magic can be used by nefarious people. Limitation 2: DRAGONS TAKE A BACK SEAT. Dragons get all the fun in these fantasy stories! They always get the spotlight cause they're the quintessential giant scary monster. Well they are going to take a back seat in this story. They are there, but they are not the movers and shakers of the story. Giants play the role that Dragons normally play, but even they are not going to get to hog the spotlight all the time. So with that in mind, it crossed my mind of what would it be like if someone could use living people like a necromancer uses dead bodies? That is what inspired Babica's variety of MageCrafting, where she can only work with bodies while they are still alive. The second they are dead her MageCrafting doesn't work on them anymore. There are other inspirations melded into her, but that would get into spoiler territory for future stuff, so I'll leave it at this for now.
  9. Berhanu never wanted to see Preja Bog again. It had felt like a lifetime since he had crawled out of that mire and escaped from her grasp. That horrible woman who’s very touch morphed and changed his flesh, causing him the most pain he could ever imagine. He did not even have a similar pain to compare it to. When Babica changed someone, she didn’t allow their brains to turn off during the procedure. She let them experience every agonizing second of it with absolutely perfect clarity to ensure they would become her frothing mad minions that she could control. The vast majority of the time, it broke her subjects' wills and minds and rendered them little more than frothing mad beasts ready to attack anyone she points to. For those she thinks will be able to handle it, she offers them the status of Warlock, granting them magic items within their bodies for them to use. Occasionally, someone like Berhanu slipped through the cracks. He stared into his paladin hammer, shimmering with holy light as he looked upon his reflection. He couldn’t remember what his old face looked like anymore. It had felt so long ago. All that looked back at him now was the face of a well groomed wolf with a custom fit helm with the insignia of his Goddess the Golden Maiden upon it. He stood tall at eight feet five inches with powerfully built muscles adorned with MageCrafted Gold Armor. Normally, gold was not a substance that lent itself to being armor, however in the hands of a MageCrafter it could be whatever they wished it to be. The MageCrafter that worked the forges of the Golden Maiden’s Paladin legions was such a being. Berhanu knew the lad quite well, and was part of the reason why he ended up pledging his oaths to his Goddess. He did not remember who he was in his past life much before Babica had changed him. He knew enough to know that he was a waste of a human before, a wretch of an adventurer that was no better than a Bandit. A scum of a human who only thought of himself. He followed one bad crowd to another until one fateful day he had taken a dark ad off of the Adventurers guild wall. He had thought nothing of killing goblins by that point in his life. He had thought nothing of it until that boy had confronted him on what he had been really doing. That boy that turned the air he was breathing into such a frigid cold that it threatened to seize his very lungs with the chill of it. He could still remember his dominating presence. A presence that should not be able to emit out of a lad like that, yet it did all the same. He had told the boy back then that he had taken an ad to deal with a Goblin Infestation. Never before had he been really made to think about what he was actually saying until that boy had nearly killed him for his words. “Care to repeat that last line one more time, Anti Demi Human Filth.” That boy had growled at him in such a frigid tone, almost colder than the air he made Berhanu breathe at the time. “and this time phrase it in a way that won't cause me to make what Babica will do to you look like a tender mercy.” Most of his old life was gone from his mind. His name was one that was given to him after he had taken his oaths, and one that he now wore with pride. Even if he could remember his old name, he wouldn’t want it anymore. That old person died the day Babica got a hold of him and turned him into one of her monstrosities. Somehow he had been able to recover some of his sanity back and crawl out of the borders of Preja Bog. Normally he would have been killed on the spot, but due to a series of strange circumstances and friends he ended up making along the way, He found himself reforged as Berhanu, The ‘Wolfkin’ Paladin. The cover story was that he was one of the Demi human races. One of the more animal-esque ones that didn’t even have a human face. A true wolfkin would be able to tell he was not one of them, but for the humans of Silbel such a distinction did not matter. The Golden Maiden Faith was an independent force within Silbel from the Gughian Empire. One of the stipulations of their churches being there was their practitioners were exempt from the collaring laws of magic users and MageCrafters. The tradeoff was those paladins and clerics and priests who joined the Golden Maidens forces gave up their citizenship to Silbel and became citizens of Gughia as soon as their oaths were successfully accepted and they gained their attunement slots. It was not a deal Silbel was particularly fond of, and they were in constant talks to try and overturn it, yet for now such was the state of things. At the moment they were scouting the outskirts of Preja Bog. The very act of being near the place made his fur stand on end. He whispered prayers to his goddess for strength, trying to put the traumatic memories of what the hag giant did to him out of his thoughts. If his Goddess needed his company here, he would serve her and do so. Something was in the air however. He could taste the sharp shift in ozone in the atmosphere even though the sky was still so clear. Focusing some natural magic into his helm, he enhanced his golden wolf eyes and zoomed his vision in to see what could be causing such a disturbance. His heart nearly jumped into his throat when he had spotted the Boy. The very boy who had confronted him those years ago. He was older now and far more nicely dressed but he was unmistakably the same person. “C-Captain! You should take a look at this.” Berhanu called out over his shoulder. It had taken him ages to learn how to speak with his new mouth, but he managed it now, though it still had the strange eccentricities of wolf whines and growls to it. A Blond woman with a stern face and impressively polished MageCrafted Gold armor strode up to Berhanu’s side and used her helm much like he did to observe the Mining village. “By the Maiden, what the hell is happening over there.” She breathed in alarm as she watched the figure transfigure into what looked like a hero of old as swirling blue magical circles appeared above and below him. Berhanu’s eyes widened in even more alarm as he spotted why the boy was casting his spell. “Holy Light! She left her bog! She’s bearing down a legion right on that village. By the Maiden I’ve never seen so many wyverns! We have to do something.” It was at that moment that the boy shot the orb into the sky, and suddenly the entire sky became black and started to pour down so much rain that it was deafening. The Paladins and clerics backed up in alarm and looked up at the sky that had once been so clear that was now draped in the worst storm they had ever seen. “What in the Pantheon’s name is that Wizard?! How many attunments does he have?!” Berhanu’s captain yelled out in disbelief. They had to shield their eyes as lightning bolts began to light up the sky in such awe inspiring numbers they could not keep a proper gaze on what was happening. What they could glean was horrifying to behold. “By the Pantheon. The boy is taking on Babica Preja and her legion all on his own. Look at the size of that Hail! Any one of those would down a ship at sea without effort! What is that boy?! Surely no mortal has such powers!” “Men!” Berhanu’s captain called out to the rest of their company. “I want all eyes observing this situation. I want anything of interest to be noted down. We are going to be sending this information directly back to the Central Church to see if we can divine what is happening in this place today.” “A-Are those Tornadoes!?” *** Babica had never felt such rage and hatred towards an adversary in her life. At least the Necromancers had the dignity to meet her forces with their own. This wretched brat hit behind his onslaught of magical attacks from a safe distance while he kept laying down this confounded Mase of Thick sheets of ice. Were she in her prime she’d just smash her way through those massive walls of ice instead of sending her wolves through that labyrinth, but she had to get them out of this Hail and lightning that kept shredding through her forces. The ground between preja bog and this infuriating mining village was painted red with the blood, gore, and charred remains of so many of her creations. So many hours of work strewn on this battlefield before she could even look at this coward in the eye! As her dwindling army funneled into this Labyrinth that still had walls falling out of the sky to add to it’s complexity, she crouched onto the ground and channeled her attunement slots into her suit. She was done waiting to meet this coward in person again. She was going to launch herself right over to the village to meet him in combat one on one like a proper combatant she knew from the Heroes of Old. She had respect for those vaunted adventurers from yesteryear, this upstart had earned none of hers this day! Her body sailed into the air through the never ending sheets of rain, leaping off several of the falling glacier sized hail as she moved her way through the air towards the village. She treated his massive hail like platforms to bound off of, hugging onto their surface and leaping off them with such force they shattered in midair. Her army could make it the rest of the way to the village, but for now she needed to deal with this Upstart at the source and give some relief to her forces. One falling glacier after another shattered in the air as she picked up speed, leaping with ever greater force and savageness as the village came into view. She saw the lad floating in the air draped in robes and wearing a wizard hat. She snapped her limbs against her body as she sailed downwards, cutting through the wind as she fell towards her adversary with the full intent on biting him out of the sky with her powerful werewolf jaws. “THREE FOLD ATTUNMENT, SPEED OF THE TIGER GOD!” A red flash of light sprang up from the ground towards her at speeds she had not seen since she had fought the Barbarians from so long ago. Before she knew what was happening the fist of a ruby haired boy crashed into her jaw at blinding speeds and rocked her brain in it’s casing as he utterly changed her momentum. What just happened?! The second the red haired and tanned boy touched the muddy ground below he shot forward in such speed that he caused waves of mud to erupt out on either side of him before he took back into the air and met Babica that was careening out of control, gripping the Hag Giant by her tail and forcefuly slamming the figure down on top of a residence, shattering the building utterly as her over sixty foot body shook the ground. Before she could even get her bearings the lad sped away from her, the red light quickly picking up momentum on the ground and disrupting the mud and rain as he passed before slamming his elbow right into her dazed face, punching her through several buildings and crashing her back into the mines, causing the entrance to cave in as she slumped to the ground. Babica roared in outrage and began to grow eyes all over her body, eyes of so many of her victims that comprised the suit she was wearing and began to scan the area in earnest for this new assailant. From the force of his blows he must be giant blooded, she thought with some frustration as she wiped blood off of her mouth. The second one of those eyes spot this ruby haired welp she was going to send disintegration rays his way. She was done playing around! She certainly tried, strangely brownish orange colored beams fired out of the eyes that grew from her body as they tried to get a lock on the speeding red haired lad, disintegrating one building after another into dust as she tried to corner him. She hated using this move because of how much of her attunement slots it required, and should any of those eyes get damaged while she was using this that would spell bad news for her. Almost as if in response to that very thought, Maids began to dart from around buildings she hadn’t hit yet and started firing a hail of silver bolts towards her. Between her trying to keep a bead on the obnoxiously fast Giantblooded boy and now fending off these silver bolts that sped towards her like the rain from above, she soon found her eyes getting skewered by their onslaught. The Curse of Exhaustion hit her, though not as bad as someone who only had three attunement slots. It was more than enough for her to pull her eyes back into her body and try a different tactic. This upstart! This coward refused to even meet her in battle head on! *** Babica was coming. She finally gave up on the idea of showing up with her legion in the village and decided it was time to face Baldric on her own. Good. He was wondering when she was finally going to get impatient with how many losses she was getting. No matter how many his lovely assistants ended up mowing down, facing Babica with any kind of backup is not a desirable situation. He needed her separated from her army, and he needed to keep that army busy while they handled her. He monitored her approach as he called down to the maids and Count Raudh. “Raudh, How long can you use Speed of the Tiger God?” He called down, augmenting his voice with his illusory powers. Count Raudh, who was only just now recovering from the display he had been seeing shouted back up at Baldric. “I’ve managed to get it up to about ten seconds but that’s about it. Why?” “Ten seconds is plenty. Babica is coming.” The Maids and Raudh looked apprehensive, but Lord Baldric steeled his voice and took on a commanding tone. “Count Raudh, Do your Country proud and get that Hag Bitch dazed and confused. If you can, knock her into the mines so we can maximize the cover we get from the village. After you do that I will use my illusions to make it seem like you’re still running around to draw her fire. I don’t think you can take her head on without the Tiger Godspeed, so don’t even bother. Maids!” He turned his attention to the maids present, “If she starts growing anything, and I do mean anything out of that wolf body of hers, I want you to crossbow the fuck out of them. Get your Rapid Fire Crossbows with silver ammunition from the carriage, she’ll be here any second.” “Yes master!” The altercation between Raudh and Babica went better than expected. She must have been getting really desperate because she was not monitoring her surroundings at all when the Count had punched into her jaw. He felt something of an inward groan at all the homes being destroyed as those brief ten seconds dragged on, but the Bertolde estate would easily be able to help with any rebuilding efforts after the fact. Empty buildings were the last priority right now. Even with those well coordinated strikes, Raudh had only roughed Babica up a little bit. Since she is so much older and more haggard now, she can’t take quite as much punishment as she could back in the day. Now that he was seeing her in action she didn’t seem to have as sharp a mind in combat either anymore. She must have gotten rusty and complacent in her old age. He maneuvered an illusory Count Raudh around at high speeds as he drew her disintegration rays. Her eyes were the most troublesome part of her. She had taken notes off of Beholders and learned how to weaponize eyes into ways of channeling and aiming magic. She technically is even worse since she has so many more eyes than one of those floating eyeball monstrosities. He had his maids move in to fire upon her as soon as she grew out those eyes of hers. While the maids were in actuality on their stomachs firing from that prostrate position on the rain drenched ground, he used his illusions to make it look like they were standing straight up and off center from where they actually were. Between the rain, lightning, darkness, and being rocked by Count Raudh’s attacks she would not be able to tell where those bolts were really coming from. By the time she’d see the maids moving away, she’d be following the fake ones with her eyes instead of the real ones. There was another reason why he had wanted her by the mines as well. High in the sky trained right at the entrance, one of his largest collections of Parallel Baldric and steam MageCrafting assistants were managing and crafting the single most difficult state of Water at their disposal. Super-heated steam. Unlike their visible counterpart, super-heated steam is completely and entirely transparent and is so hot and dry that it borders on the dominion of fire. It is just on the cusp of crossing over to an entirely different dominion while still being under his MageCrafting control. However it being so close to crossing over makes it excessively dangerous to manage in person. Which is why they were handling it so high in the sky. They were condensing and forcing this impossibly hot and clear pocket of dry super-heated steam so compactly that they were trembling with the exertion they had to put into maintaining its shape. Even MageCrafted Ice would melt under the heat of this small compact sphere. With the efforts of the crew working on this orb of dry super-heated steam and scrying assistants helping to line up the shot on the Giant, Lord Baldric down below moved into position. *** “There you are Dearie! I was wondering when you’d show your face!” Babica roared out as the cloaked and wizard hat wearing Lord Baldric floated imposingly into view. She could tell that he was killing even more of her army within his Labyrinth of thick ice walls right now, which infuriated her even more. What added to that was the fact that this Upstart didn’t even see fit to talk with her. “What’s wrong! No Snark, no bravado boy!?” She screeched in indignation as she grew out her chainsaw tongues from out of all parts of her body. She would rip this brat to shreds if it was the last thing she did! Lord baldric raised his hand and summoned forth several glowing blue glyphs in front of his hand, which spun and adjusted in strange ways before he used his other hand to make a sweeping gesture and roared out a single word in a voice that sounded like a chorus of voices. Her eyes widened in alarm as a sudden and violent rise in temperature slammed into her from above that was so intense that even her MageCrafted flame retardant fur burst into flame from the sheer temperatures of it. She had never been hit with an attack so hot before! A fireball was positively frigid in comparison to the pure heat that just slammed into her from above and utterly shriveled her chainsaw tongues before they even got to rev their teeth up. Babica shrieked in pain as she had to focus all of her efforts to maintain her Werewolf suit. She could feel some of them die within the creation, and she had to immediately jettison their corpses off of the superstructure while she MageCrafted her suit on the fly to handle these increased temperatures. She could feel Magic items inside of her dying, hitting her with new layers of Exhaustion cursing, making her more sluggish and slower to respond. The heat left after a moment, but the attack had been devastating. Even now she had to regrow charred flesh and fur on her Werewolf suit, and her real body only just managed to escape from such an attack unharmed. However her attunement slots had taken a huge pounding, and it translated to her speed, coordination, and thinking ability getting hampered by almost half on top of what the maids and Count Raudh had done to her earlier. She roared in indignation and mild panic as she leaped forward to try and eat this upstart, however he vanished into a puff of steam right as her teeth clamped down on his form, and her reaction time was so sluggish she couldn’t even stop herself from slamming into a building, caving it in as she slumped into it. All the while Rain continued to pour on this battlefield, and she could hear more and more of her minions in the distance getting slaughtered inside of that labyrinth she had sent them in. She slammed her fist in frustration into the ground over and over again. No! She will not lose to this upstart! She was Babica Preja! Suddenly her attention was drawn to a blackened building in the distance as an awakening like she had never felt before slammed into her field of perception. All the wood she was near turned black and she howled in pain as they suddenly grew spikes that pierced right through her werewolf suit into her body that she could no longer craft after the Dark age wars. She pulled off the spikes and staggered back, looking around to see that all the wooden structures and debris had taken on this dark spikey appearance. She noted with growing alarm that even trees far into the distance that she could see through flashes of lightning had those same spikes. What just happened?! What is inside that building? She got her answer as a door was kicked out of the way and a small lynxian boy with both his eyes and mouth glowing bright white sped out in a crouched position on all fours. The lads head almost immediately snapped in her direction, and he let out such an enraged howl at her that it made her blood run cold. Even as the roar continued the light in his eyes and mouth only grew brighter, making Babica have to shield her eyes and back up as she clung to her side where the blackened spike of wood had stabbed into her earlier. She didn’t even see him rush into her. She didn’t have a second to register it when he leaped off the ground with such force that it created an explosion that ripped the building he came out of to pieces as well as the ground beneath him. Air escaped her lungs as she was sent flying back into the labyrinth with the tiny enraged creature on her. She flew into the thick sheets of ice with such force that they shattered on impact, one after another, battering her body and rattling her bones inside of her werewolf suit. Before she knew it, her head was being dragged along the ground as a hail of tiny fists began to piston into her face, alternating from left to right at such blinding speeds she couldn’t even keep track of it all. Her werewolf teeth flew off in all directions and her werewolf face caved in completely as the glowing eyed and mouthed lynxian kept slamming his fists into her, his body a blur to any onlookers who could see him. His punching turned to ripping, grabbing hunks of her werewolf suit and tossing them away like he was opening up a macabre birthday present instead of ripping into one of the most feared creatures in Silbel. She tried to punch him, tried to fight back, but every time she raised her hands to grab him he shattered her fingers and even ripped some of them off with a vicious yank of his hands. She had never seen something so powerful and so enraged in her entire life. It terrified her. Soon her head and neck was fully exposed as she ground to a stop in the middle of the slaughtering grounds where so many of her creations had perished to ice shrapnel, tornadoes, and lightning bolts. Babica tried desperately to do anything at all to get this Lynxian off of her, but to her horror she was utterly helpless to something so much smaller than her. Babica felt her head be roughly and violently slammed back into the ground over and over by the lynxian, jack hammering the back of her head into the muddy ground and creating a bigger and bigger crater that pooled with muddy water and blood from her minions. Still he kept slamming her, now holding onto her neck and squeezing down with such force as he kept pounding her head into the ground below that it wasn’t long before her head was submerged in mud. Again she tried to punch him, to grow something out of her suit to fight him, all were ripped to pieces by his hands and teeth before he went back to focusing on throttling her neck into the flooding mud puddle she found herself suffocating in. She didn’t want to die like this. She was a warrior! She was supposed to die in the heat of battle. Right now she never felt more helpless in her life. She began to try and scream out for help under the flood of muddy water, which just resulted in her gurgling and gasping. It was that day that Babica Preja died, her face blue from suffocation from a lynxian she had tried to claim for her own. *** “Come on whipper snapper, we need to calm him down now.” “H-how?” Baldric had never seen anything like what Kotik had just done. He had never seen his little lynxian like that at all before. Between his second awakening and what he had just done to Babica, he had to admit he felt a pang of fear approaching his love. The Old Man would have none of it as he slammed his finger into Baldric’s chest while they walked to the crater where Babica and Kotik was. “Don’t you dare break my boy’s heart, you fucking hear me brat? He adores you and he’s going to need you more than ever now that he’s got all this new power. The surface world is going to start acting real stupid now they know someone like him is up for grabs, and if Kotik gets hurt by any of them I will consider it your fault. You get me?” “I-I understand. What do we do?” “Follow my lead brat.” The old man fearlessly slid down into the crater and walked across the corpse of Babica Preja towards the still terrifyingly angry lynxian who now didn’t know what to do with himself. Kotik tensed up and seemed like he was going to lash out, however he noticed with confusion that The old man was hugging him. It wasn’t much longer before Baldric was hugging him from the other side. They just held him there as he knelt on top of Babica, and slowly but surely his glowing eyes and mouth faded away and was replaced with a horrified and tearful expression as he stared at his hands. “N-nooo..I did it again. I did it again!” He was trembling after he realized he had choked someone to death again after not doing it after so long. After he met the old man he thought he wouldn’t need to do that anymore, but he went and did it again even with Baldric and The old man right here with him. He didn’t want to be the Silbel Strangler. He just wanted for people to not hurt him, that was all. Yet he kept doing it, he kept choking people to death, now he could do it to even giants. He sobbed himself to sleep while being hugged by the two people he cared about most in his life. He didn’t even notice as he drifted off that the Old Man faded away back to the realm he had came from, giving Baldric parting instructions as he did so. Lord Baldric truly felt the weight of responsibility on his shoulders as he lifted Kotiik up from that crater like a princess and walked him out of the gore strewn battlefield. They had won, but he knew things were not going to be the same after this point.
  10. Fucking cops gave me a ticket! I bring in a guy who tried to rob a store and carjack someone but all of a sudden my tail light and turn signal is the real problem here! Fucking ungrateful assholes! Of course I was getting all this while the Old Gal wouldn’t fucking turn on in their parking lot. The way they kept hovering around the vehicle looking for more reasons to slap tickets on the damn thing eventually caused me to reach under my car, lift up the front end of the rust bucket by the undercarriage by one hand, and proceed to drag the piece of crap while yelling at them over my shoulder. “I’m going! I’m going! Fucking Christ!” So there I am, walking down the slushy snow covered road, dragging The Old Gal behind me like she’s a goddamn teddy bear and I’m fucking five or something. I make it down a few miles away from the police station when I spot her. I didn’t recognize her at first, I was too busy fuming and trudging along as I kept tugging the old gal along behind me grumpily. However I can recognize Aunt Agatha’s voice anywhere. “That was my spot! I saw it first, you untoward, petulant, sniveling little Cretin!” “Chill the fuck out lady! There’s a whole gas station out here!” I stop mid stride and look into a Gas Station lot and what do I see but Aunt Agatha in the flesh, ranting at some teenage couple who had supposedly taken her preferred spot to fill her tank up. Agatha T. Borisov, one of the more independent and semi retired members of my family. She dresses a bit like Marry Poppins, However her body type is something more akin to a male pro wrestler with boobs. She’s seven feet tall and sporting a chest size somewhere further down the alphabet than normal. She’s also just fat enough to not have defined cuts in her muscles, but not so fat as to hide the fact that she has them. Even through her frilly blouse and petticoat, Black overcoat, Scarf, flowery hat, stockings and high heels, it is plainly obvious that she’d be jacked to hell and back if she dropped a few pounds. I pinch the bridge of my nose and try to drag the old gal further down the road. I do not want to deal with the family right now. “Is that my Little Hunty Wunty over there!?” Came the suddenly gleeful sounding voice of my Aunt who completely forgets her argument and bounds over to me. Note I didn’t say ran over to me. She did not do that. She bounded over to me. As in jumped like one would do in the olympics to clear over one of those polls. The asphalt and ice actually cracks a bit as she lands on her heels and proceeds to scoop me up and spin me around, dragging the old gal along with her as the metal screeches about in my grasp. We make patterns in the sloshed up snow with the poor things tires as we go in circles like that a few times. “Hi Auntie Agatha.” I sigh and let the old gal go. Due to the momentum of being swung about in circles by Agatha, the Old Gal flops over onto her side and almost flips onto her back before deciding against it. Her windows audibly crack and I’m pretty sure I heard her side view mirror snap off somewhere in there. Being spun around by the undercarriage while I was holding onto it probably didn’t help matters any. “What is that hunk of scrap metal you are lugging about Hunty Wunty?” She looks at my pitiful FORD like she was smelling something terrible, “Surely that must have been a vehicle at some point, though I do not dare call it such now.” “It’s my Car Auntie, though I’m pretty sure it’s seen its last days.” “Oh this won’t do at all,” With her face scrunched up like she was looking at something nasty on the side of the road, she proceeds to daintily punt my vehicle away with her high heeled foot. I watch with a long drawn out sigh in her arms as it topples and tumbles away into a ditch somewhere in the distance. Well perhaps there’s something I could salvage in there... Oh. Nope. It blew up. Oh yeah, Old Gal’s super dead now. I just stare at the smoldering vehicle in the ditch and my only real thought is ‘Sure hope I didn’t have anything important in there. I have my wallet right? Aunty Agatha is one of the older and more eccentric members of the family. I’ve never actually worked up the nerve to ask how old she is, but I’m pretty sure she’s at least from the Victorian age. You wouldn’t know that by looking at her though. We Borisov have this strange type of longevity where it takes progressively longer to age one year. I think I only just managed to age a full year in the entirety of my twenties so far, and it only gets longer from there. The second a Borisov hits puberty, the slowdown begins. It’s very slight at first, but even now I'm feeling it. You know how much of a bitch it is to have a teenager body for longer than you are supposed to? It fuckin sucks man. “How is my adorable little Nephew this fine winter day!” She asks while pinching my cheek as bystanders and rubberneckers try to figure out what happened with the smoldering pile of upturned scrap metal and tires. The Old Gal has a secondary explosion that’s even worse than the last for good measure. Jesus, wonder what caused that? “Having a real bad day Auntie not going to lie.” I said, rubbing my hand over my face. You might be wondering why I’m not fighting Agatha holding me like I’m a toddler. Well I would like to direct your attention to the smoldering remains of my vehicle some distance away and ask yourself if you’d be up for protesting on what such a lady wants to do with you? Besides, out of the Borisovs she’s one I have less issues with than most. “Oooh poor thing!” She pinched my cheek again with her gloved hand, making me give her a deadpanned look. “You do know I’m twenty eight now right Auntie?” She lets out a scoffing laugh and waves me off with a gloved hand. “Oh Hunty Wunty, get to your centennial birthday and we’ll talk about calling you an adult!” she laughs wealthily at her own joke. Yes I said laughing wealthily. You know damn well what I mean by that too. That haughty laughing behind your hand kinda chortles. The laugh you do when you actually have money in several bank accounts. That mindset she has is actually why my family doesn’t consider me a ‘traitor.’ and instead sees me as a black sheep or some wayward little boy that needs to be brought back into the fold. Quite literally their perception on how aging even works is so skewed they don’t even see you as an adult borisov till you’re like a hundred years old. Twenty eight ain’t shit to my family. If they saw me as an actual traitor I’d probably be dead by now. “We should get something! Lunch maybe! Oh come on, let your Aunty treat you! If you want I can get you an actual car and not, well, whatever that was.” “Only if you promise not to tell the rest of the family I’m here. I’m getting real tired of moving every time they find me.” I grumbled at her. She lets out a sigh and puts a hand on her hip while holding me against her. I really do feel like some fucking kid right now Jesus Christ. “You know you don’t HAVE to move right? You could just stop with this whole rebellious phase you got going on and come back home any time you want. Nobody back there is mad at you or anything! Well maybe some of your brothers and sisters are, but they’re just little tykes like you are! Siblings are supposed to rough house a little bit.” My older brother shot my last car with a bazooka last time I saw him. I was inside of it, eating some fast food taco at the time I think. Didn’t even get to finish the damn taco cause like half the ingredients spilled out of the goddamn shell after like one fucking bite. I’m trying to salvage the guts of my goddamn taco when I looked up and saw him pointing the damn Bazooka at my windshield. I did manage to flip him off while sucking some sour cream off my other hand before he pulled the trigger though, so that was fun. We have something of an irreverence for non magical weapons in case you haven’t picked up on that yet. If they get serious about fighting a fellow Borisov, the ancient magical weapons get yanked out from the armory. Once that shit happens you know it’s gotten real. “Humor me Auntie, I’m really not in the mood to deal with the rest of the family right now.” “Didn’t you call in one of your uncles and his kids to help you fight some demon recently? I heard she shot lasers out of her eyes! I think I would have showed up to fight a scrap like that!” She says this even as she’s walking with me towards her very nice and quite heavily armored Suv. It had flowers on the windshield and the armored Suv itself was painted some Hallmark ass pink pastel color. Pretty sure you could take a machine gun to those tires and hurt yourself more than the car. “Yeah the poorly spray tanned blondie chick. That was a wild scrap let me tell you. Never seen so many borisov choppers in the air before.” I will not even describe to you what the gas ended up costing for this fucking tank, lets just say making something that could probably protect the President of the United States your normal travel vehicle is not recommended if you have a tight budget. “So what have you been up to lately Hunty? I do hope you’re not trying to date one of those denizens again right?” “Can we not Auntie?” I grumbled as we pulled out of the gas station and drove to wherever she wanted to eat. I sure as fuck ain’t paying so I’m not going to even attempt to steer her in a direction. I’m really not in the mood to talk about birds and the bees with my probably hundreds of years old aunt. “I’m just concerned about you Hunty! You have to be careful with those ruffians! You might catch one of their magical diseases and the next thing you know you’re sprouting fangs or goodness knows what else.” “I can’t exactly date normal guys Auntie, you know what trying to do that is like.” My aunt grimaced. “It’s really sad honestly. I don’t mean to break their poor little hips like that but they just aren’t thrusting nearly hard enough for me to feel anything.” “AUNTIE!” I said with a mixture of shock and a laugh at how morbid that confession was. “You haven’t done that recently right?” “Oh nonono, that was back in the day when I had been married off to this scamp of a duke. Poor thing couldn’t walk the rest of his life after our honeymoon.” She put a gloved hand to her cheek to reminisce about the time she shattered some poor guy’s hips in bed before casually adding, “ Oh and perhaps a time or two after that, but honestly I try not to make a habit out of it if I can avoid it. Are you up for some Italian?” “Sure why not! Way my day is going I’m almost curious to find out what could possibly happen over there.” “Surely it hasn’t been all that bad.” She says in a light admonishing tone with some mirth mixed in for good measure. I could tell her the tale, but doing so would reveal I have a werewolf roommate, may or may not have a crush on some devil that wants to end the universe, oh and a Witch who will sick every coven in the area after me should I test those waters. “Someone tried to carjack me earlier.” “Hunty, are you expecting me to believe someone actually wanted that pitiable thing?” She shot me a sidelong glance as she looked around for an italian restaurant. “That’s what I said actually. Turned out the dude got scammed hard by some loan shark grifters. He should be fine now though. Still not sure how to deal with my own shit however. I keep thinking about this one guy who I just know is bad for me and everyone else, but fuck me was he hot. It actually pisses me off how attractive he was, cause he’s smug about it too.” “Oh I know the type. Is he a denizen?” “No actually. Something else. I’d rather not get into it though.” She shrugged, “I’m just happy to spend some time with my favorite little nephew! It hasn’t been the same since you ran off all across the country. What prompted this little excursion anyway.” “I don’t want to talk about it Auntie.” I said, feeling my jaw tighten up having that brought up. They know what they fucking did. Playing dumb with me isn’t going to win me back that’s for fucking sure. “Ooh don’t get sulky on me, Lets have some fun! I hear they have unlimited bread-sticks in that place over there. Do you really think they’ll hold to that? I’m quite hungry myself.” “Pretty sure that’s just a marketing ploy Auntie, but I’m sure they’ll let you stress test them to see just how many they’ll be willing to pony up before they try and kick you out.” A mischievous smirk grows on her face as she pulls in, “oooh I like the sound of that. Lets see how many we can scarf down before they start sending the managers over. Oh all this is going to go straight to my hips but that does sound funny.” Yeah like I said have less problems with her than most. She’s not quite as obsessed with the whole hunting down the denizens of the night thing as the core family is. She’s graduated to more of, I guess, passive racism against denizens? If you want to call that a good thing? She’s prejudiced towards denizens but she’s not quite going out and hunting like she did back in the day anymore. She’s semi retired like I said, which means she’ll show up to big family missions but otherwise she’s just enjoying herself. I pity the waiter who ends up with our booth.
  11. Lord Baldric has in effect weaponized big time stage magic. The Magician's job is to draw attention away from the lovely assistants while they work behind the scene and convince the audience that the Magician is the one pulling all this stuff off. When you convince your opponent that the might of an army is coming from one person, they will focus all their efforts on getting that one person. The more convincing the performance, the more the overwhelmed and awestruck audience isn't going to question what is happening and just assume what they are seeing is the truth. As long as they believe it's coming from Baldric, the Stage Magician drawing their eyes to where he is at and not where the magic is actually happening, then they won't be able to figure out a way to dismantle his attack strategy. It is quite the devilish ploy, but it is still just that at the end of the day.
  12. The following are some of the characters I had a major crush on as a kid. There were characters I shipped together, and then there were these characters where I shipped em with myself. Scar: The character that I was obsessed with in Lion King as a wee little lad was not Simba or any of the good guys. No! This ambitious underdog of a villain who got in over his head was the character that I was truly enamored with. That voice alone is criminally sexy and I still Stan the fuck out of it. Dungeon Keeper's Narrator: We do not speak of the Mobile Game in this house! However if you want to talk about the first two I'm all ears, cause I adored that game growing up. I wasn't very good at it, but man did I have fun with it none the less. One thing I particularly enjoyed out of this game though was the voice of the Narrator who speaks to you, the Keeper. My current story Spare Me Your Alpha Nonsense has a character with a voice inspired by this fella Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel never did anything for me. However when Spike rolled onto the scene I suddenly became a whole lot more interested in that show. He was funny, he was sexy, and he stole every scene he was in. Balthier from Final Fantasy XII: There is a whole lot of sexy in this underrated Final Fantasy game, but few steal the show quite like our self proclaimed Leading Man Balthier. The sheer suave confidence that poured out of every scene he was in awakened the gay in me quite a bit let me tell you. This isn't a complete list, but these were the ones that immediately spring to my head when it comes to the topic of childhood Crushes. Lil Boy Demented certainly had a type now that I'm looking at this list lol.
  13. Modern day Kotik: Hey Baldric, I've been shaking this two liter bottle of soda over and over again for the past thirteen years. What do you thinks gonna happen when I twist this cap? Modern day Baldric: Oh shit! Hit the deck! The bottle after it is opened : I HAVE TRANSCENDED TIME AND SPACE, KNEEL BEFORE ME AND MY CONCENTRATED CARBONATION
  14. The Borders of Preja Bog have been the one consistent thing on the various maps on the country now known as Silbel. Regardless of what kingdoms have risen and fallen around it, Preja Bog has remained largely untouched and has even grown some over the centuries and millennia since the Dark Age Wars. Military incursions to capture the territory have been attempted in the past. All failed. While within the marshlands of Preja Bog, Babica the Hag Giant is practically a goddess. The entire territory which stretches such an expanse of land that it could be considered its own country is the largest known and one of the oldest Lairs existing on the surface world. It is also the only known Lair to have achieved its status while being open to the outside air, defying all understanding on how Lairs are supposed to be made. In every other successful creation of a Lair, it had required an enclosed space as a consistent variable to make it work. Hers is the only one that defies such a notion. That is not to say Babica being outside of her Bog Lair is any less formidable. The very few times she has done so in the past two millennia are still told by bards on the darkest nights. The hag giant is the one Silbel parents use as their local boogeyman to spook their children to behave. Hers is a nation of Warlocks and monstrosities and things that crawl within her wetlands. Few things enter her lair do so without her changing them in some way. From the looks of it, she has mobilized an alarming number of monstrosities that are now spilling like a wave toward a vary specific mining village. Wyverns spill into the sky so thick they look like locusts. Werewolves, trolls, chimera, and other beasts of her creation roll across the ground like water being spilt across the land. All the while her towering werewolf body, somehow even scarier looking now in its old and decrepit state, is bounding alongside her wave of minions to deal with a certain upstart who sought to betray a deal with her. They had had an agreement. She had even let him in her home and treated him nicely. Then he goes and spits in her face and kills one of her favorite warlocks to top it off! She needed to let this upstart and the rest of these pitiful humans know that Babica Preja will not be looked down upon! She was the last one standing in the Dark Age Wars. She is the name people whisper in fear. Hers is a name that demands respect! It earned it! Even as she thought this however, she could tell with her enhanced senses that some intense magic was brewing in the air. The upstart was making a storm again. Just like he did when he hid the fact he was stealing her rightful claim on that MageCrafter. This one seemed bigger than his last attempt however, by several factors. She grinned wildly as she picked up speed towards his location. She had to hand it to him, it took balls to not flee from her when she was bringing so many minions to bear against him. He would have made a fantastic Warlock if he had taken her offer back then. *** Lord Baldric had done a lot of planning for this day. The day when he truly had to fight Babica Preja. He had been gathering intel on her and running simulations on how she fielded military troops for ages. That wasn’t a metaphor either. There were Parallel minds of his that exclusively existed in an accelerated thought state. Those minds resided within his Lair, and were now so divergent and so much older than the central mind that they could not safely merge back with Lord Baldric without irreparable damage to his mind. They were so conditioned to their accelerated state of thinking that they could not slow down either without going stark raving mad. Years ago, they had been the Original Seven that the young Lord Baldric created when he played at being the vigilante known as The Faceless Wight. At the time, Shahnaz and himself had joked flippantly about how using his magical items were changing his mind and making him mentally older than he actually was. Lord Baldric had foolishly believed that he could handle such changes, because he was a child prodigy just like everyone kept telling him. He has corrected the mistakes he made with his Original Seven since then. The rest of the council of Baldrics are just like him mentally speaking, and he keeps them in contact with the central mind at least a few times a day to exchange experiences and make sure they do not deviate too far from their creator. He has a small army of parallel Baldrics both in and out of his lair, managing his information network and working behind the scenes to make sure the main body can pull off looking like an all powerful MageCrafter. Lord Baldric would never connect with the Original Seven however. He will speak with them, learn from them, seek their counsel, but he will never touch his mind directly with them. They are simply so far removed from human experience now that Lord Baldric would risk losing his grasp on reality and sanity entirely should he allow even one of those Seven to merge back into his mind. It is The Seven that found the connection to the gods through the realm of dreams and illusions. It is The Seven who bask within the incomprehensible din of symbolism and prophetic imagery. It is The Seven that taught Lord Baldric the dangers of his Thought Acceleration items, as The Seven no longer can exist in anything resembling the normal world. To The Seven, the world outside is still, barely moving, barely changing from moment to moment. They think and exist on such a different timescale that a real life moment drags on for a truly unfathomable length of time. The human mind was never quite equipped to handle the extended years of life that some of the demi human races have. It is safe to say that The Seven have become quite mad within the Lair. King Morcant of Trident actually shuddered when he had learned about The Seven. His exact words to Lord Baldric when he had introduced them to the King was the following: “By the Greater Pantheon! Foolish boy, What have you done?!” The closest thing that King Morcant could describe what his Original Seven now was artificial heralds of the realm of Illusion, though he hadn’t said this in anything resembling an approving tone. In fact he had scolded and ranted quite severely at Lord Baldric for foolishly creating such entities without knowing what he was doing. Lord Baldric had in effect, crafted his own heralds of the illusory gods, but he had done it so crudely and so poorly that The Seven were nothing short of horrifying and blasphemous to behold to anyone with knowledge of what the Heralds were truly like. Yet The Seven had a connection with the pantheon of Illusion and thus the greater Pantheon, and thus their insane vision walks and incomprehensible way of thinking were important for Lord Baldric’s plans. The visions they showed Lord Baldric were nothing short of baffling. If he had ever attempted to use illicit substances, he was certain they would pale in comparison to the strangeness and unrealness that The Seven called their realm of experience. Lord Baldric had attempted to touch directly with one of those vision walks The Seven called their daily life once. Only Once. The experience had been so nerve rattling he hadn’t been able to get off the floor of his lair afterwards for hours after the fact. Still, they were invaluable regardless of the downsides they revealed in items he had invented so long ago. Items he had probably already used too much on his own. He knew how to communicate with these accelerated Baldrics even when they operated in two different relative timescales, and his Noble ring and items like it helped him memorize whatever information they had for him at the time. They were barely even him anymore, but at the same time they still responded to him because he was the Central mind and he controlled their very existence. Still, there was another factor at play as well. Namely he was surrounded by people who did not know the secrets and foibles of his powers. To them he was some all powerful MageCrafter, and he intended on playing into that charade. *** Count Raudh and the maids backed up from Lord Baldric as an intense shift in temperature happened where he was standing. Wind began to pickup and the light grew so dim in the village as Lord Baldric’s clothing began to change. His trim and simple suit began to take on layers, growing out a billowing cape that flowed out before them on his shoulders, glowing with mysterious glyphs etched onto its surface. His top hat began to morph and change into the classical wide brimmed pointy hat of a wizard, one that shrouded his entire face in pure darkness as his clothes took on more and more layers. Between the immense collar that now covered his neck, that impossibly wide brimmed hat, and his completely blacked out face, he didn’t even look like Lord Baldric anymore. He was now just a floating mass of robes and a cape with that pointed hat, all of which were White and glowing with blue glyphs of ancient origin. The Maids and Raudh looked at the Young Lord in awe as he ascended slowly into the sky and dramatically throughout one of his hands to his side, summoning forth a truly ornate and complex staff that would be far too unyielding for everyday use. On the top of the staff was the various faces known to represent every single Deity in the Water Pantheon, and all had their eyes glowing with the purest white energy as the world grew ever darker around the floating white MageCrafter. Lord Baldric Began to Sing out an incantation . Except it didn’t quite sound like him. It sounded like an entire chorus of people singing the incantation all at once, flooding the surrounding air with such a powerful bombastic rumble of voices that all sang out the same words. The onlookers had to cover their ears and their eyes from the brightness and sound emanating from the young lord who had seemed to have transfigured into a deific wizard from the heroes of old right before their very eyes. Many of them felt such awe at what they were witnessing, never expecting such a display out of their young lord. As the words of the chorus spilled out, bluish white magical circles began to form in the sky above and below him in various lengths and sizes as water, ice, and fog seemed to be drawn into a glowing white sphere above his staff that he was holding aloft. So many different circles, some as large as the very town they were residing in, others barely bigger than himself, all majestically spaced above and below him and rotating in their own directions and speeds in incomprehensible ways. Count Raudh’s mouth was agape looking up at his friend, barely believing his own eyes at what the hell was even happening. Those Rings began to line themselves up beneath Lord Baldric, coming from above and below him to link together into one super structure of a magical circle. As soon as they had all linked together the magical sphere he had been feeding with the elements of water was fired out with a final note and word from Baldric’s spell into the clear blue sky. The effect was instantaneous. Such a violent eruption of storm clouds came forth from where that sphere exploded that it spread out and encompassed all of the perceivable sky within seconds in a thick blanket of darkness. Lord Balric did not stop there, making the glyphs around him spin and swirl wildly with dramatic hand gestures of his free hand as he began to control the storm itself. Everyone present watched in horror, awe, and fascination, as all hell broke loose on the horizon. *** Babica had to leap out of the way in some shock as the first Iceberg sized hunks of hail slammed into her charging forces, exploding into shards on impact and shredding through entire crowds of her werewolves in waves of gore. The sky was difficult to look at considering the sheer volume of lightning bolts that were ripping out of those densely black clouds above her. Babica roared in outrage as her legions of Wyverns in the sky were charred and blown to pieces by the barrage of lightning that seemed almost as dense as the rain itself. The air was filled with their thunderclaps so much that it made it difficult for her to even get information through her Werewolf suit. That wasn’t all either. She watched in horror and fascination as strange types of clouds that spun rapidly like cones touched down onto the ground and made their way through her forces, sucking up her werewolves into their vortexes before sending them flying off into the distance so many leagues away. Even as she advanced her forces forward she felt rage broil up inside of her. This upstart had been planning to betray her from the start! All those overtures of him being like her and admiring how she dealt with humans who preyed on demi humans had just been a ploy to get on her good side. She had never felt so used in her life! So deceived! Curse him! Through the barrage of lighting blasts, massive hunks of hail, and Tornadoes which had never touched down in Silbel before this very day, Babica's forces that charged towards the village were getting decimated. She didn’t let this stop her. She had always swarmed enemy strongholds and claimed them with her superior numbers in the past. The strongholds had all responded in kind by fielding their own legion of soldiers to fight her. This cowardly upstart did not play by these rules! He bombarded her legions from a distance with this infuriating storm, carving through her ground forces and turning them into hunks of useless flesh she couldn’t even MageCraft! He didn’t have attacks that wounded her creatures that allowed her to heal them or make them stronger with her magecrafting. No! He either burned them to a crisp, sent them so far away from her, or chopped them into such fine bits of meat with the glacial shrapnel that not a single one of her fallen forces could be recovered! The coward! The wretched coward! *** In truth, much of what the crowd and Babica was looking at what a complete farce. The Cloud cover was from a three hundred fold attunement item that resided within the lair which augmented the effectiveness and believability of Illusory projections to an absurd degree. It also dedicated some of that attunement pool to cover up the fact that Lord Baldric had indeed fielded something of an Army to meet Babica’s forces. More specifically, Lord Baldric has been sending a portion of his Lovely assistants to the Boarders of preja bog and kept them high in the sky among the clouds since he had been planning on fighting her. What he had amassed was two years worth of himself, his parallel minds, and MageCrafter assistants within his lair who mass produced more assistants and sent them to patrol the borders of Preja bog. These vapor assistants were managed by parallel minds who had seen fit that they were each outfitted with the vapor equivalent of Lightning Rods. However, most of the lightning bolts Babica saw tearing through the sky were completely illusory and harmless. Quite literally they were just illusory copies of real Lighting bolts the Lovely assistants fired at her wyverns. For every one real shot of lightning, there were a dozen fake ones. However the sheer chaos and din that the light and sound created more than made up for the fact they did no real damage. Plus there was more than enough lightning rod wielding assistants up in that cloud cover to actually deal devastating damage to the areal forces. The Shrapnel Grenade Glaciers were a team effort by squads of assistants who surrounded a central magic item much like a teleportation cart. They pooled their attunement slots together above the cloud cover and fired them below on the order of Skying assistants who could peer through the cloud cover with their own magic items and target the best places to hit her forces. Much like with the lightning, for every one real Shrapnel Grenade Glacier, dozens were simulated falling in the distance like the entire sky was raining down these expensive magical attacks instead of just a few dozen well coordinated teams. The tornadoes were completely and utterly fake. He had witnessed them on other continents in his travels with the Bavaram Circus and was able to simulate their appearance. Though he could probably make real Tornadoes if he truly wanted to sink the unfathomable cost into them. However, since they were not in his dominion to make as such weather phenomena was purview of the gods of Wind and air, he instead opted on making illusory projections of them. Within those illusory projections however was something akin to a swirling mass of clear, near reflection-less ice whips that trebuchet her werewolves into the distance in a convincing simulacrum of a tornado. At least to someone like Babica who has never bore witness to a tornado. Babica could quite easily shatter those ice whips with a simple tackle of hers, but The tornado illusion looked so huge and roared so loudly while flinging her forces about that she didn’t even think to try. No her mind and energy was focused on sending her steadily dwindling legion towards where she believed all these attacks were coming from. She thought that these attacks were all coming from one solitary person, one single caster who was like the Arch wizards and such she knew back thousands of years ago. She didn’t even question that there could be deception around this display of magic, cause she had seen the real deal back in the day and this felt just like that. The light show he had given his companions was just that. Not a single spec of what he had done in the village had anything to do with what was happening with the enemy forces. It was just a dramatic and over the top performance to sell the idea that Lord Baldric was in complete control of this godly looking storm and that he was controlling it all on his own. It was all a farce to hide the fact he was using his lovely assistants to perform all these feats. Much like with Darzi, he hadn’t even used one of his own attunement slots, as all that he did was just a simple illusory projection that he did all the time. Solid glacier walls fell from the sky and slammed into the woods in front of the mining village, shaking the ground as they did so. They fell in such a way that they worked with the trees to create something of a maze that Babica would have to work her way through with her forces once they reached that part of the charge. While Babica herself will probably be able to vault over such creations with her superior strength and speed, her forces will have to funnel themselves into his confusing glacial and wooded labyrinth that had within it illusory dead ends and ways to beguile the senses. Even if they chose to go around, that was still time for his lovely assistants to carve into them with lightning bolts and shrapnel grenade glaciers. Though they could not keep firing indefinitely, his scrying assistants were coordinating their shots to make sure every single attack dealt damage to her forces, even as the illusory copies of the attacks masked just how many real attacks were coming at her forces. From the reports he had been getting from his parallel minds through their own versions of noble rings, they had already decimated about forty percent of her fielded legion with their opening volleys so far. It was actually better than the projections had indicated. *** As all out war waged outside, one birthday boy sat in a blacked out tavern with thirteen half burned out candles. He was meditating so deeply he didn’t even notice that not everyone had exited the Tavern. One person had stayed behind. One person who did not have much longer to be in this realm of existence. The old Man. The old Man had to hand it to the Whipper Snapper, his wispy friends were doing a number on that old bitches forces. She had long been overdue for an eternity in hell so he was more than happy to see that hag get what was coming to her after so long. She had turned so many of his Vicars into her minions, just like she had done with so many others. However because the god she worked under liked her and the reputation she had, she had protection enough that the other deities couldn’t extract revenge on her after the Dark Age Wars. They did at least get a concession out of the God that she couldn’t use her powers on herself anymore, which allowed her to age into the decrepit hag she was today. Right now though his mind was focused on his boy who was currently allowing himself to feel all the emotions he had bottled up for so long. Thanks to the gifting on his lynxian ears, he actually already had a degree of control over his emotions that even he hadn’t realized. In effect, he had been concentrating and condensing his emotions within himself through that gifting his entire life. So much so that if he were to get an actual Esoteric Vicar Title the boy might end up with more power than he knew what to do with. It was why he was able to remain so happy and polite despite how much burgeoning rage and sorrow was inside of him. Quite literally his ears were the only thing keeping the tidal wave of emotions back, and by doing so he was condensing those emotions into a highly concentrated state. Kotik had been instantly overwhelmed when he had finally let himself fully bask in what he had been holding back all this time. Almost immediately he had begun to sob in that meditative state. Sob and rage and scream even as the Tavern itself began to freak out. If The old man hadn’t been there to help control the wood around him, he would have accidentally killed himself thousands of times over with those rapidly growing and shrinking spikes of wood. He didn’t want to stop his son though. He wanted the gods of emotion to see what his boy had really been dealing with all this time. What he had been holding back with the Gifting they had all granted on those lynxian bloodlines. The Pantheon of Emotion did feel that outburst of condensed emotion. Their attention was drawn almost instantaneously to the outpouring of focused rage, fear, despair, loss, loneliness, and so many other emotions that the lynxian had been bottling up for almost thirteen years. The inside of the Tavern grew even more chaotic, so much so that Kotik’s power leaked to the outside of the tavern and turned that black as well, though The old man prevented spikes from springing out of there lest he hit a bystander. Never before had Kotik allowed himself to wail and rage so hard. He was screaming himself hoarse through his sobs and writhes, so overwhelmed with everything he was finally letting loose after all this time. Then it happened. Kotik’s eyes snapped open as such a blinding light shot not only out of his eyes, but his mouth as well as he screamed at the top of his lungs. Suddenly, every single tree within the borders of Silbel was dyed black as spikes erupted from them. There was not a single MageCrafter or magic user in the world that did not turn in the direction of Silbel that day as something incomprehensible happened in their perception. The entirety of the pantheon of emotion immediately and forcefully granted Kotik with their Vicar title, giving him dominion over his internal emotional spectrum. Thus he had gained Two Total Dominion MageCrafting titles, something never before heard of either in Silbel and the greater world at large. Kotik had become a prize that no nation on the surface worth its salt would be able to ignore anymore.
  15. Demented

    Shire's Grove

    Inspired to be a blend of Monster Collecting Anime and the Omegaverse's strange and eclectic rules and social structures, This is the world of Shire's Grove. To be gay in this world places you into one of two magical subspecies of human: Conductors and Orchestrals. Conductors are the head of their Pride of Orchestrals and have command over their magical singing voices, and the two types of gay people live in a symbiotic relationship with one another. Normally, these men are born among their own kind. However, for those like Kyle and Anselm, there are instances where they are born among the hetero world. They are in for some culture shock.
  16. Demented

    Chapter 1

    Anselm didn’t want to leave his bed this morning. Summer vacation had just begun, yet his body was feeling absolutely miserable. It was getting harder to breathe and he had to resort to using his mouth to get additional air into his lungs. His small body was quaking with aches and pain. His mother couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her fourteen year old son. He knew what was wrong however, and part of him was terrified of even asking for the cure. “Come on Ans, you gotta be a Choir boy.” A friend of his had joked with him a week back. “I mean look at you, you haven’t hit puberty at all man. You’re the shortest kid in class.” They had been on the bus back home from school at the time. Anselm’s curly strawberry blond head slumped downward at that. His mass of unruly curly locks concealed a lot of his facial features as he stared at the Bus’s floor beneath him. He had been getting teased more and more lately at the prospect of him not being a normal human. Of him potentially being a ‘Choir Boy’, the derogatory term for the subspecies of human called Orchestrals. “I’d rather be dead.” Anselm had responded sullenly. “It wouldn’t be so bad if I would be a Conductor or something, but that ships sailed. There’s no dignity in being an Orchestral Kyle, you just don’t get it.” “What’s so bad about being an Orchestral? Have you seen what they can do in the Games? Their magic powers are amazing! Plus their voices when they use those powers are amazing as well! Hell I have an Orchestral playlist I listen to all the time.” Kyle shoved his smaller friend at the time a bit more forcefully to get him out of his funk. The taller tanned boy was one of the few who even talked to Anselm kindly anymore in school, and it had damaged his reputation as a popular kid. He was quite tall and good looking, and he was almost always being hounded to join various sports clubs for his physique. Yet he kept hanging around Anselm, which started raising questions about their relationship. Kyle didn’t care though. He was trying to get his friend to see things in a different light. “You need to go out more man. You can’t just sit around to find out if you are an Orchestral or not. You know what happens if you aren’t awakened right? It was even covered in health class dude.” “I don’t care anymore. I just… Why can’t I just be normal and like women? Why do I have to be like this? Not even a Conductor, but some bottom of the totem pole Choir Boy.” Right now he was experiencing all the symptoms he had learned in health class. The symptoms of what happened to an Orchestral that wasn’t awakened in time. He knew from reading those sections in his class textbook over and over next to his laptop that he didn’t have a lot of time left. Within a day or so he’d probably just fade off and never wake up again. He drearily thought with a pang of fear that he didn’t want that to happen, but the stigma associated with being an Orchestral by the Hetero world was just too strong for him to reach out for help. Downstairs, the doorbell began to ring wildly. Anselm’s mother who had been oblivious to this, merely thinking her son was sick with some flu, wondered what could possibly be ringing her doorbell so earnestly this morning while she had been making breakfast. “Oh hi Kyle!” His mother had said opening the door, “I’m sorry but Anselm isn’t feeling to we-HEY where do you think you are going.” “No time to really talk ma’am, but your son is an Orchestral and I can’t put off awakening him any longer. Whether he wants to awaken or not I can’t let him die like this!” “Wh-what hold on, repeat that!? My son is a what?!” “Talk later ma’am! Right now I got to get to his room. Please don’t interrupt if at all possible!” “Ho-hold on just a minute!” Kyle moved with long strides and a determined look on his face as he headed up the stairs directly towards his friend’s room. He had waited too long. He knew his friend was hurting at the prospect of being an Orchestral. He didn’t want to give up his independence like that. However Kyle simply couldn’t sit back and let his friend die if he knew he could do something to save him. His mother had put some of those poisonous thoughts into his head about how bad Choir boys were, but that wasn’t going to matter. Once he was awakened he’d be under the care of his conductor, not his parents. It was tradition and law and had been that way since history had been recorded. They always had different names over the centuries, but regardless of the traditions and lore around it the concept was always the same. There were hetero humans, the ones who comprised the vast majority of society and intermingled with the opposite sex. They did not have magic and usually ran the day to day goings on in the world. Then there were the Conductors and Orchestrals, sometimes referred to as Wizards and Familiars, Alpha’s and Omegas, and other similar delineations. These were a subspecies of human which normally were birthed among their own kind and lived in their own pocket societies among the greater hetero world. However it was not unheard of for a conductor or Orchestral to still be born in the hetero world. Though the men and women of that world generally loved the spectacle of an Orchestral performance and appreciated the firepower Conductors and Orchestrals could provide to national defense, they had very skewed perceptions on the relationships between this subspecies of human. Perceptions that unfortunately wormed their way into the mind of Anselm and was convincing him to make a very terrible mistake. Kyle could feel Anselm’s presence more and more forcefully as he got closer to the door. He must be stewing in so much untapped magical power right then. He tried to open the door but it was locked. He didn’t have time to get Anselm’s mother to open it up. As far as he knew he didn’t need to actually see his strawberry blond haired friend yet, just get his attention. “Anselm! This is your conductor! Start humming to get this door open!” “K-kyle?” Anselm rose his head up groggily, he had heard the order coming from kyle. It had taken a moment for it to set in, but when it did he felt an involuntary noise vibrating his throat that made his head flop back into his pillow and his back arch slightly. A strange mixture of relief and ever growing anxiety gripped him as some of his fever seemed to lessen with the strangely echoing note emanating from his throat. Kyle heard the door unlock with a click and open itself of its own accord as he stepped inside and shut it tight. Now that he could see Anselm he knew he had come just in the nick of time. He looked so haggard, so feverish, his eyes filled with fear for so many different reasons right then. Kyle raised his hand and instinctively began to gesture with it. He had been training in secret on the various conductor gestures since he had figured out he was one. He would have moved into the gated community down the road right away if he hadn’t also figured out that his friend was an Orchestral. He had hung back, biding his time and waiting for his friend to actually say he wanted to be awakened before he made his move. Yet he never did. Now that he was here in the room though, he could tell Anselm truly did not want to die, he was just very scared. The door closed and magically locked itself quite tightly, sealing off both sound and kinetic force from bothering them from that place. Anselm's mother might try to bang on the door and stop him from awakening her son, but with those wards she wasn’t going to be able to do anything but bang on a force field. He knew that was Anselm's specialty. He had been monitoring his much shorter friends magical aura and talking about it in forums online trying to glean what it could be. They all seemed to think Anselm was an Abjurationist Orchestral, the type of Orchestral that laid down defenses and were the tanks in combat situations. While not the best at combat, they could provide much needed support and draw firepower away from their more nimble but less sturdy Orchestral mates. “Sing for me Ans, you can do it.” Kyle said in earnest as he continued to make his sweeping gestures. The feverish boy in bed turned his hum into long and mournful notes as he began to sing out words he did not understand. His fingers gripped into his bedsheets and his legs bent beneath his comforter as more of the haunting melody was drawn out of him. Anselm squeezed his eyes shut and tears spilled from his eyes as smaller objects around his room began to rise in the air slowly. Pencils, paper, comic books, socks and shoes, anything under a certain weight limit began to drift listlessly from the ground and slowly swirl around the bed of the mournfully singing boy. Kyle couldn’t help but admire the beautiful, soulful notes he could draw out of his friend as he coaxed him to warble and sing out his awakening song. It was such a painful yet beautiful song, one filled with fear and longing all at the same time. He had been dreaming of being awakened for some time, but he had been too scared to let it happen in his waking life. His song spoke this and more to Kyle even as heavier objects in the room began to join in the ever rising dance around his bed. His closet began to rumble with all the clutter inside of it that was banging at it for release. Anselm’s prized laptop had lifted off the table and unplugged itself to join in on the dance rotating in intricate patterns around the lad’s bed. Even his blankets and comforters began to rip themselves from being tucked inside of his bed and drifted up into the slow vortex above the strawberry blond boy as his song grew in greater and greater intensity. Pain shot through Anselm’s face through a particularly long and powerful word, one that he hung in the air in an almost belting scream as something in his body began to change. He squeezed his eyes so tightly as his body lifted off the bed and began to float in the center of it all. He curled himself into a ball in the air as Kyle continued to conduct his voice out of him. He wanted to scream in pain as something shot out from his tailbone and pressed his pajama pants downwards, before growing out a truly impressive amount of fur on the new prehensile appendage. A headache that had been growing in intensity gave way to the sensation of two ears growing on top of his head, long and pointed with tufts of strawberry blond fur. It had hurt so much to grow that tail and ears, only making his tears spill out with greater intensity. Yet at the same time those tears were that of relief, because they were finally coaxed out of him. He didn’t have to worry about dying anymore. He didn’t have to worry about whether or not he was a choir boy, an Orchestral, the evidence was right before his very eyes now. Irrefutable. His eyes opened up to see that Kyle’s own eyes were crying as well. He could tell his friend had been so concerned about him. He hadn’t even known that Kyle was a Conductor. Did he try to tell him? Had Anselm just not been paying attention? Still his heart fluttered, cause he knew what the second part of an awakening entailed. He could already feel a heat growing inside of him that needed release. Even as things floated in the room, still charged with his magical voice, kyle kicked off the ground and swam through the air like gravity itself had been turned off inside of it and grabbed onto his friend. With only the briefest hesitation he gripped the lad’s head and pulled him into a strong kiss. Anselm hummed into his conductor's mouth even as his back bumped into the wall and his head touched the ceiling of his room. His heart fluttered in panic as his pajama pants were unceremoniously yanked off of him and tossed to the ground, only for the fabric to be caught up into the orbit of small floating objects. His boxers were not far behind them. Never breaking the kiss, Kyle laced his hands underneath his friend’s now bared legs beneath his knees and pushed them up and outwards to give him better access. He conducted Anselm's hum to undue his jean’s belt buckle and fly and coax out his quite hard shaft. He knew his friend was already lubricated and ready for him, he could smell the sweet scent wafting off of him and relished it so much it made him dig his teeth into Anselm's neck and nibble it in earnest. The lad gasped and his breath hitched at the new sensations even as he felt Kyle’s warm head lining itself up to enter him while they floated pressed against the wall and ceiling. He bit his lip and let out a whimpering noise of slight protest as the nibbling on his neck grew harder and that far too hot shaft pressed itself so roughly inside of him. The smaller lad’s socked toes curled and he let out an echoing note into the room as he was filled so completely by someone he had known since they were little. Trembling hands gripped and laced into his deeply tanned friends black hair and pressed his face into his neck even further and groaned as he felt Kyle began to move inside of him. Even his bed was dislodged from the ground now as magic from his awakening permeated the room so thoroughly. His new tail, so long and impossibly bushy was twitching wildly behind him as his virgin rosebud was claimed with such eagerness. It hurt, yet at the same time it felt amazing even as he stared dreamily down at the floor of his room from high in the air, pressed ever further up against the ceiling. Kyle ended up needing to kneel on the wall itself to get himself easy enough access to piston his hips like he needed too right then. Anselm’s legs and arms were now firmly wrapped around his friend, embracing the sensation in while his new tail flicked about beneath the both of them. Anselm flushed such a deep shade of red as his head was tugged forward roughly by his larger friend's tanned hand and let out a whimpering noise as his new and still quite tender animal-like ears were taken into Kyles mouth and nibbled on. His body shuddered at being claimed so passionately, letting out strange words out of his mouth, residual wild magical words from his awakening as his body was pounded into ever harder. He didn’t know what he was saying, but he felt like one of the words he kept singing out was Kyle’s name in whatever language this was. Kyle gripped his friend's hair and tugged him to the side and dug his teeth into the tender flesh of his neck once again, this time drawing a slight trickle of blood to suck on as he finally climaxed inside of his friend. His Orchestral wasn’t far behind him, his small shaft now spurting his own seed for the first time onto his taller friend's shirt that he hadn’t even seen fit to take off in all of this. The only stripping that Kyle had done was to use his friend's voice to undo his belt buckle and jean’s fly to get his cock out. He hadn’t even taken his shoes off when he had entered the home. The taller lad couldn’t pull himself out just yet as things began to settle themselves slowly down in the room. He kicked off the ceiling and drifted the two of them downwards onto the bed that had rested back onto the carpeted floor at a slightly off center angle. The two of them alighted onto the bed so lightly as he held onto Anselm who kept his arms and legs clamped around the taller boy so forcefully. His own shaft was going to need a few minutes to get to a point here it could be drawn out of his Orchestral. While they rode off the aftershocks of what they had done, Kyle tongued his friends slightly bleeding neck and kissed it while he admired the new tail that had grown out of the lad. One could only describe the appendage as something belonging to a very large squirrel. Such was the bushy quality of the strawberry blond fur that twitched and spasmed in the aftershocks of their climax. It was so large that it would likely stick out over Anselm's head when it was at rest, and he’d probably need custom made clothes to accommodate the new appendage. Thankfully such tails were not so uncommon among Orchestrals that they wouldn’t be able to find such clothing in stores geared for him. Kyle had taken on some changes himself. His human ears had become more pointed and his formerly black eyes had taken on a reddish hue to them. That was on top of his new canines that were larger and sharper than before, and could both draw blood and deliver an aphrodisiac like venom into whomever he bit. His nails had taken on a sharper look to them as well, and were now darker hued than they were before. The wound he made on Anselm’s neck was now sealed up, though the mark still remained some. However he still wanted to taste the tender flesh of his friend some more. The strawberry blond boy flushed pink as he was pushed back slightly and had one of his arms lifted up into view for Kyle. That tanned hand gripped around Anselm’s smaller wrist lightly and, after the Conductor tenderly pulling back the pajama shirt’s sleeve to his elbow, the smaller boy winced and hissed as he watched Kyle sink his teeth right into his forearm and begin to suckle blood right from his veins. A warm, pleasant feeling replaced the pain of the sharp piercing sensation a minute later as Kyle’s now red eyes looked into his own green pair. Anselm couldn’t pull away since his Conductor’s cock was still firmly erect inside of him, engorged with something called a bulbus glandis, or colloquially known as a knot, which kept them firmly in place till that erection went down. The strawberry blond lad bit his lip and flushed deeper shades of red as he closed one of his eyes at the sensation in his forearm, not able to take his eyes off of Kyle’s swallowing throat and passionately suckling mouth on his flesh. He didn’t take a lot of blood out of his Orchestral, just enough to feed an almost feral hunger for the magic that resided within his smaller companion. It wasn’t until everything had settled back down in the room and Kyle was licking the wound on Anselm's arm clean and healed that his cock calmed down enough to pull out of the smaller lad. “Told ya you were a Choir Boy Ans.” Kyle said with a huskier quality to his voice as he tried to calm down his more dominating tendencies that came with being a Conductor. He wanted to control those urges until Anselm got more used to being what he was. Anselm tried to get his new tail under control behind him, but for the life of him he had no idea how to get the thing to listen to his commands. Both his ears and tail seemed to have a mind of their own as they twitched and moved about, brushing up against his flannel pajama shirt’s back. He couldn’t help but gawk at how huge his own tail was. “How am I going to sit in chairs with this thing?” He asked in the calming atmosphere. The awkward question coupled with their still excited nerves ended up throwing both lads into a fit of laughter as they hugged onto each other. Anselms laughter took on a sadder quality to it as he hugged Kyle and buried his head into his friend's neck. “I was so scared. I couldn’t even move or breathe properly before you came in. I thought I was going to die here.” “You’re safe now.” Kyle said as he patted his friends head. “I’ve been in contact with Shire’s Grove down the road from here. I’ve been holding off moving in until you awakened, but I have a place waiting for us inside there.” “How long have you known?” Anselm asked quizzically, knowing that arranging such a thing with that gated community must not have been an easy feat. “Roughly around when I hit puberty two years ago. You actually ended up awakening me by accident when you started humming something on the bus without thinking about it. I’ve had to keep myself hidden for quite awhile. It’s hard to keep these damn fangs up all the time and not drink any magic. I was getting really parched actually.” “How the heck have you been holding off on feeding for two years?! Isn’t that super unhealthy for Conductors?” “Ooh yeah,” Kyle said with a tone that belied how hard it had been. Suppressing himself all that time had been brutal. “but it was worth it. I wanted my first to be you.” Anselm’s face flushed pink and he found himself having to hide himself in the larger teens chest just to wrap his head around that one. “Y-you didn’t have to wait like that. Conductors get a whole group of Orchestrals after a while right? I didn’t need to be the first.” “Yes you did. I knew it the second I awakened. I’m glad I held out too, cause I don’t think I would have been able to save you had I had been in Shire’s Grove already.” “Wh-what is my mom going to think?” Anselm thought in some alarm now that his brain wasn’t so lost in the moment like he had been. Kyle laughed dryly at that. “We don’t have to worry about our parents anymore Ans, I’m an Awakened Conductor and I have you under my care now.” He spoke with some determination in his voice, “The only thing left is the paperwork, and even that they don’t have much say over. They can hem and haw all they like, but it’s not like a hetero relationship. We’re quite literally symbiotically linked together right now. We need each other to be healthy.” “Strange, I would have thought she’d have been banging on the door wondering what was happening in here.” “She probably has been.” Kyle said with a smirk, looking at the door, “I used your voice to seal off the door and silence it.” “Wait, I'm one of those Shield Orchestrals? Oh boy I’m even lamer than I thought I was.” Anselm grumbled. If he had cool attack powers that’d be one thing, but being a support Orchestral was just even worse than being one in the first place. Suddenly the smaller boy let out a hitched noise as he felt his sensitive animal ears get bit by his conductor, making one of his eyes close in protest at the rough treatment. “Hey!” Anselm said in something of a whine as he pulled back with a shove and looked up at Kyle grumpily, “What was that for?” “No more badmouthing yourself,” Kyle said smugly, “Every time you do I’m gonna nip you from now on. I’m allowed to do that too, cause I’m your Conductor.” A toothy grin grew on his face as he teased his friend. He had known the lad since they were all the way back in Kindergarten, and he had picked up a very bad habit of admonishing himself and putting himself down that only encouraged people around him to do the same. Now that he was his Conductor, he could finally do something about it. Anselm’s cheeks grew pink and he found he couldn’t hold the stare with his companion, and that break in eye contact earned him a peck on the cheek from the larger boy, which only made Anselm grumble half heartedly. He wanted to be angry about the nip but he couldn’t help but enjoy the affection he was getting afterwards. They both enjoyed the calm for the moment, all the while wondering what their life was going to be like from now on.
  17. Oooh I'll check that out! I got a story with my own version of a cat person as well. The Filter system is rather unyielding imo. If there were anything I'd have a complaint about with regards to this site, it would be the story search functions. I am sure there are plenty of stories on here I'd find to my liking, but actually getting the search bar to give me the goods is another matter entirely. I don't think I've ever dealt with a search engine playing 'hard to get' like this one does lol. I'll give those suggestions a peek! Thanks again for the responses!
  18. *POINTS AT PEN NAME WITH A GRIN!*
  19. The old gal’s engine wont start. Don’t ask me what model the vehicle is I have no fucking Idea. I just know it’s a FORD and it’s from an age where they still used manual rolled up windows and a CD player was considered a hot selling item. She’s an ugly little rust bucket to be honest, but she gets me where I need to go when I actually need to drive somewhere. Granted about twenty five percent of the time my face is getting smoke from where my air conditioner should be. I keep trying to get it fixed, but every time I do the mechanics just stare at me in confusion on why I’m even driving this lumbering corpse of a vehicle. Cause It was dirt cheap and it actually does technically perform the barest essential task a vehicle should be able to do. Take me from one location to the next. Granted, the poor old gal stalls whenever I run into a traffic light that’s not green and I have to coax her out of another cardiac arrest, but she gets her old ticker of an engine moving again. So I’m sitting there, twisting my key, listening to my Elder FORD plead for me to let it die already, when the most baffling thing ever happens. “GET OUT OF THE CAR.” Some normal as fuck dude in a ski mask and what looked like a nine millimeter pistol is attempting to Car Jack me. I couldn’t help it. I kept turning the key, letting the old girl whine and shudder a few more times as I stared at this baffling carjacker incredulously. With a smirk I can barely keep off of my face I ask him a very simple question. “Out of all the fucking cars you saw on this street, you pick this piece of shit to try and steal? You serious right now?” “FUCKER IF YOU DON’T GET OUT OF THIS FUCKING CAR I’LL BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT, MOVE!” I threw my head back and laughed as I put my hand to my forehead. Fucking Christ why did I get out of bed this morning. “Get in the car.” I ordered. “You and I are going on a drive.” “FUCKER DO YOU NOT SEE THE GUN I’M POINTING AT YOU?” “Are you? Cause you’re holding that peashooter sideways man, you’re just as liable to hit my car as you are to hit me with that fuckin janked up grip you got on your weapon. Get in the fucking car.” He tries, but of course my old gal’s passenger seat door is a bit finicky, which is why I leave the window half rolled up. “Reach inside and open it from the inside, it’s the only way that fucking door opens. Seriously out of all the vehicles on the street you pick this one?” “Shut the fuck up!” The ski mask wearing man yelled as he got inside of the passenger seat while keeping his gun trained on me. I couldn’t help but notice he actually shifted trying to hold it sideways to upright. Hey, look at that, it can be taught! “What are you waiting for! Drive!” I shoot him a dead panned look as I twist the key again, and this time the old Gal coughs and sputters to life, filling the inside of my vehicle with smoke as the whole thing starts to shake and tremble at the thought of being forced to drive once again. Sorry Old Gal, Until you quite literally won’t start any more I’m going to squeeze every fucking mile out of you as I can. Not like I drive you much anyway. Normally I just take a train or the bus, but getting to places like Clareabelle’s store is easier with driving. “Your engine light is on.” The Ski Mask man said looking at the dash board. “NOOOOO!” I said in my most scathing sarcastic tone I can muster, “I just got the Old Gal back from the repair guy too! Do you think he might have missed something?” “Maybe I should get out.” He didn’t seem to like how unfazed I was about the gun at my head. “Oh nonono! I insist! Think of it as a free Uber! Why I’ll even figure out a complimentary destination for you!” “You drive where I want or I’ll blow your brains out!” The man yelled at me, sticking the nine millimeter right to the side of my head. I proceed to reach up and snatch the gun out of his hand before he can even react. He starts freaking out and holding his hands up of course as I keep my eyes on the road. “You’ve never done this before huh? Never leave your gun in a place where your opponent can grab it dumbass. Your bullets shoot at range for a reason! Now this time I want you to point it at me and keep as much distance between us as possible, got it?” I handed back the gun, holding onto the business end. He looks so confused even under the ski mask as he shakily grabs it and trains it on me with his back against my passenger seat door. “Wh-What are you playing at! Why did you give my gun back? Are you fucking stupid!?” “I’m having a real bad day Jack. See you’re a carjacker, so I think Calling you Jack will work for the both of us.” Jack’s not sure what to do with himself as he keeps an eye out around him as I drive, all while keeping a shaky aim at me. “You don’t look like you’re carrying anything. Botched robbery?” “SHUT UP AND DRIVE! FUCK WHY DO YOU TALK SO MUCH! Another word and I’ll shoot you!” “Oh please do. However if you shoot, do me a favor and empty the whole clip and try to aim center mass. I don’t need you putting any more holes in the old gal than she already has.” The Carjacker looked at me in some bafflement as we turned another street corner. “What are you suicidal or something? Where the fuck are we going!” “You know I’ve been asking myself that all day. Where am I going anymore. Most attractive fucker I’ve ever seen comes into my life and I can’t touch him or he might end the universe, and whats worse is he’s got me so goddamn randy now that I’m half tempted to go back home and just let that Alpha pound the shit out of me just to get me to calm the fuck down. I know I shouldn’t reward him for fucking my bathroom up like that, but if he has that apartment clean I might just say fuck it and ride that weird ass knotted cock of his.” “You’re a faggot?!” The Ski mask man yelled in a higher register voice. He sounded almost scared. My carjacker can’t be this cute! I felt an impish grin play on my face. “Why? Does that excite you Jack? Trapped in some rust bucket, going god knows where with some professed faggot who isn’t scared of your little peashooter?” I let my words play in such a way that he wasn’t sure I was talking about his pistol or the firearm between his legs. He tries to work himself up into a rage as he trains his gun even harder on me. “I-I’m not fucking gay! Don’t you fucking play with me!” I laugh as I keep my hands ten and two on the steering wheel. “Holy shit you really are closeted?! Fuck man I was taking a shot in the dark on that one! How long have you known?” “Sh-Shut up!” “What’s stopped you from coming out man? Religious parents? Afraid of bullies in school? Uncle touch you in a bad place?” He panicked and pulled the trigger on that last one. A normal human’s ears would be ringing and damaged from the sound of the gunshot, but my non magical defense prevents such damage from happening to my hearing. The bullet hits the side of my head, but as it does so its momentum is absorbed into the non magical defense so much that it didn’t even so much as touch my skin before it dropped from being a millimeter from being in my hair and bounced off my shoulder into the passenger seat. I didn’t even skip a beat as I kept talking as he stared at his gun in confusion and fright. He looked like he wasn’t expecting to actually shoot it, which spooked him. Then he found the gun hadn’t done anything, which spooked him even more. “Had an uncle perv huh? I get it dude, having a bad experience like that can make you scared that he made you like that or something. Ever thought about talking about that with someone!” “What the fuck!? Why didn’t the gun work? Did that guy sell me blanks?” The Collective Unconscious at it again making him rationalize why his gun didn’t work instead of acknowledging that his bullet didn’t do shit to me. “Well? Have you?” “What the fuck do you want man?! Where are you taking me?” Why did Jack sound like I was the one kidnapping him now? “I have no clue honestly. I’m just trying to stick to the side roads so I don’t have to see a traffic light.” Well that wasn’t exactly true, I generally had an idea where I wanted to go, but I wasn’t sure how to get there from Claire’s shop. “So have you talked with someone about your uncle?” “Why do you even care!?” “I’ve had a bad day, and I’m curious: Why has some guy who’s never done a crime a day in his life decided to attempt to rob some store, failed miserably at it from the looks of you, and then attempting to carjack the worst Fix Or Repair Daily in the Tri-state area? You’re probably some paper pusher right? Office Jockey?” Another couple shots out of the man’s gun at me, this one at my arm and my side. Both bullets halt a fraction of an inch away from my skin like the first one and flop uselessly down towards the Old Gal’s floor. The One on my side actually punched through my shirt and fell down inside of it instead, the bullet actually getting caught by the waist of my jeans. “Shit! Shit! Why are they all blanks!” “So Jack, who are you in trouble with? Cause that’s the only reason I can think of someone like you who hasn’t done a crime in his life would be doing something like this right now. I’m not getting the feeling you’re a druggie either from the way you carry yourself. Gambling debt? Loan sharks?” He threw the gun on the ground and buried his face in his hands in frustration. Oh yeah, he sucks at this. He has no fucking clue what he’s doing at all. “J-just let me out of the car man, I’ll leave you alone.” He sounded so dejected. It was actually kinda cute if you got over the fact he tried to shoot me three times over. My own ability to feel fear with small arms was practically non-existent since my family played with small arms like this with each other like a normal person would play with PaintBalls. We’d go out in the woods when I was a kid with semiautomatic weapons and tactical armor and just shoot the shit out of each other from behind cover until we didn’t have any coverings left on our bodies. It was one of the few memories I have of my family I actually liked. Being held at gunpoint like this was just fuckin nostalgic to me more than anything. “Sure, after you answer my questions Jack The Closeted Paper Pusher with the Pervy Uncle. Who are you in trouble with?” “I took this loan okay! I thought I could make the deal work fast enough that the interest wouldn’t matter, but the deal turned out to be a scam and now the men I got the money from want their money back and the interest keeps piling up! They keep taking shit from my apartment man! I don’t even have a bed anymore!” “Holy shit,” I chuckled as I turned another street corner in my trembling Ford. “You got fleeced like a motherfucker didn’t you?” “W-what do you mean?” “Bitch who do you think scammed your dumbass?!” I said, laughing louder, “Fucker those guys got you fuckin good! Made you some kind of get rich quick scheme deal right? Then they probably said they ‘knew a guy’ who could loan you some money but you’d have to pony up some cash yourself right?” The man was staring at me dumbfounded through his ski mask as I laughed even harder. Holy shit! “Jacky boy, come on now you didn’t smell the scam a mile away off this fucking deal?” “What am I going to do?!” Ski Mask Jack lamented into his hands again, “Some teenager who just got his first car is smarter than me. I’m fucking useless.” “Oh! That’s why you picked this car!” I said in dawning realization. “You think I’m some teenage punk you could scare easily right? How old do you think I am?” “I-I don’t know, f-fifteen? Sixteen?” The guy said as he looked apprehensively at me, “I’m not so sure anymore. You just look like some snot nosed skinny teen at a distance but you don’t talk like one at all.” “That’s cause I’m twenty-eight dumb dumb.” I retorted with a smirk. He looked at me baffled but I just rolled my eyes as I turned another street, now recognizing some landmarks and street signs. “My family got some bangin genes, we all look younger than we actually are.” “Holy Shit.” The guy said in some bafflement. He was calming down at least. Which was nice cause we were pulling up to the police station. He froze in his seat and looked at me in a panic. “Now don’t you give me those puppy dog eyes Jacky boy, you tried to shoot me three times with that blank filled gun remember?” I wagged my finger at him, playing into his rationalization that his gun was useless. “Now you are going to go inside of the station and you’re going to tell them exactly what you did today. I’ll be a buddy Jack, and I’ll leave out that you shot your gun at me. We’ll just say you tried to carjack me and I talked you into turning yourself in, which is the fuckin truth by the way.” I put my finger to his chest. “Tell them about the loan sharks, tell them why you did what you did, and get an attorney to soften up any charges they might give you. You’re a first timer so they’ll be lenient anyway. After that, work with them to get those loan sharks and talk with them about getting some therapy about that Uncle business. No reason you need to be holding that shit in.” Jacky boy was actually sniffling behind his ski mask and thanking me as I got out with him and walked him into the station. Yeah he tried to shoot me, but with him holding his gun like that he was going to fire that gun with every nervous twitch he had. At least the dumbass ran into me instead of someone else who could have actually got hurt or worse. Then his ass would have been in a whole lot more trouble than just a gloriously failed convenience store robbery, which I later found out was manned by some teenager witch who made stuff fly at him from all directions like a damn poltergeist. The security footage was fucking hilarious not gonna lie.
  20. Tucked under the arm of a drunk and angry looking knight of the Silbel Army was a frightened and pleading little Hareling boy. He looked mostly human save for two large pink bunny ears that matched the color of his hair, and a tuft of a tail that poked out from behind him. He was bound, blindfolded and gagged in the same restraints that he had been in when he had stood on the auction block. The knight had recently gotten a bonus, and after drinking copious amounts of alcohol he decided to poke his head into a slave auction to see if there was any scared boys to play with. He always liked to break in the terrified ones. This Pink eared Hareling was by far the most shivering and terrified of the bunch, and he had paid quite a bit more coin than he had wanted to make sure he won that auction. So much coin in fact that he was feeling pangs of buyers remorse. Sure this frightened lad was going to be fun to torment, but he had spent so much of his bonus on this scrawny little demi human. He’d just need to make sure this brat paid him back and then some with his screams of mercy. The knight considered himself an upstanding citizen of Silbel, and was quite nice to free human children and citizens of the country. However once they made it on the slave block, they were just objects to toy with to him. It was his legal right to consider them that way as well. What did he care if they lost their parents or they were stealing. The circumstances that put them on that slave block didn’t matter. Once they were up for sale, he didn’t need to think of them as people, and that made tormenting them so much fun to him. The knight roughly tossed the boy onto his bed in his private quarters so hard he bounced off the wall. He had already greeted his friends earlier and joked about how there was going to be quite a lot of noise out of his bedroom tonight, and to not worry about it. They didn’t care, and even laughed, cause it was just some demi human slave after all. Who cares what happens to them right? The Silbel government all but made such a mindset law, though they did pay lip service to the idea of treating slaves nicely when pressed by other nations. If he was going to enjoy this boy, he wanted to see his frightened face. That was always the best part. Enjoying their despairing face when they realized nobody was going to help them. Roughly he ripped off the blindfold and gag from the whimpering boy, expecting to enjoy pleading cries for mercy. The kid instead stopped struggling and stared up at him with such a bone chilling smile and dead eyes that he had a tremor of fear in his heart for the briefest of seconds. He tried to turn it into rage and quash the feeling, but the Bunny boy’s ears seemed to have twitched the second that heart palpitation happened. “Hi Mister Knight man. How much money did you end up losing on me?” The dead eyed grinning lad effortlessly got out of his restraints, never breaking eye contact, never blinking. “I tried to make sure who ever ended up with me paid through the nose. I do like to make sure I hit you peoples wallets as much as possible.” What was he saying? He raised his hand to slug the boy in the face for his insolence, but all of a sudden a horrifying feeling of exhaustion flooded his body. The kind of feeling when he had broken a magic item by mistake a few months back. “Mister Knight Man,” The bunny boy cooed as he stood up and stretched on the bed, “You probably shouldn’t try to do that. It’s not good for your attunement slots.” “What…Did...you....Do?” He asked, barely able to think. He felt so utterly sluggish due to the curse of Exhaustion in his body. “Well you see Mister Knight Man,” He whispered, grinning that dead eyed grin at him, only making him feel more fear inside of his heart. He couldn’t think straight anymore. “I used that tiny little bit of fear you felt earlier and I crafted it into a magic item called a Geas. Do you know what a Geas is Mister Knight Man?” He didn’t wait for the trembling knight to respond as he leaned in and smiled so much wider. The bunny boys eyes dilating to pin pricks as he enjoyed the frozen man’s fear. “A Geas is a magic item that is given instructions by me that you are to perform. If you do not follow those orders, the Item will attack and destroy one of your attunement slots. You’ve already lost one of them Mister Knight Man. Do you know what happens if you lose all three?” The Hareling leaned in and took his tongue, dragging it up the quaking man’s face as his ears feasted on the fear he was feeling. “It will give the item access directly to your soul mister knight man. Which means if you don’t follow it’s instructions, it won’t just kill you Mister Knight Man, it won’t even let you have an afterlife. No god will be able to bring you back if my Geas devours your soul.” The boy let out a staccato of giggles after he told the confused man that, enjoying all the fear the man was giving him to play with as he crafted more and more items inside of the night with his concentrated emotion. “Do you want to know what the orders are, Mister Knight Man? “ He whispered into the knights ear through his giggles, standing on tiptoes on the bed and leaning on the knight to do so. “Would you like to guess?” “How....how are you...doing this?” “I’m fifty nine years old Mister Knight Man, did you know that?” He nibbled on the man’s earlobe as he stood stock still in fright, not sure what to do at all anymore. “I spent so much of that time feeling so afraid, so scared of my master. He was such a cruel man, such an evil man. But then one night… he came.” A lustful noise came into the Bunny boy’s voice “He was bought by the man, a lovely blue eyed angel of a Lynxian. I had foolishly pitied him so much, thinking he was going to live out his days in fear like I had been. He was such a small little thing too, couldn’t have been more than a toddler at the time.” The bunny boy giggled again. “But I watched him! I did! I did watch him Mister Knight Man!” He sounded so excited, so yearning as he told his confusing tale into the frightened knights ear. “I watched that delightful cherub crawl on top of that awful, disgusting fat slob and strangle the life out of him with his tiny little fingers! He didn’t let fear stop him! He took control of it and he used his anger to end that pig of a human right then and there.” The bunny lad pulled back and stared so deeply into the terrified knights eyes. “It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my whole life, Mister Knight Man. So beautiful, as that cherubic angel of a lynxian stared into the frightened eyes of the man who sought to make him a victim, and turned that fear right back on him instead! Mister Knight Man, I confess I was given such clarity that night that it made me realize I had been letting fear control me this whole time.” The bunny boy licked the man’s face again, this time directly over one of his eyeballs as he shuddered in fright. He didn’t want to do anything that would trigger another attack on his attunement slots. There was so much fear inside of him now that he couldn’t think of doing anything but just pray the Bunny boy would let him go. “He didn’t stop there either. No. My little cherubic lynxian kept on going! I know he did! I know it!I know it for sure Mister Knight Man!” He was yelling with such glee into the man’s face. He thought perhaps his friends might hear what was going on and come save him, but he realized with some horror that he had told them that it was going to be loud in his room and not to worry about it. As far as his friends in the barracks knew he was just having fun with his slave. “I love him so much Mister Knight Man. He inspired me to be the Hareling I am today! He inspired me to bask in my fear until I reached out and felt the presence of such a wonderful caring being. A being that gave me the power to not only use my ears to feel the fear within others, but the ability to craft and manipulate their fear into magic items! It was such a splendid gift, and I got it all thanks to the inspiration that cherubic beauty gave me. My Love. My Silbel Strangler!” He gripped the man by the collar as he giggled wildly, his grin stretching so far that it hurt him and made tears fall out of his eyes that he hadn’t let blink yet. “I’ve been trying to find him! Trying to find my love! He’s just so sneaky though! Such a sneaky little lynxian! When I find him though mister knight man, we can finally be together! I’m not going to let anyone else have him!” His face took on such a frightfully angry expression so quickly that it made the man piss himself, “Especially not a human. I would never give up my love to a human. Never ever ever Mister Knight Man. He’s mine. All Mine!” He petted the terrified knight’s face as he giggled, letting his face take on his grin again. “I’m going to tell you what the orders are on your Geas now Mister Knight Man. Are you ready? Are you ready to hear your orders! Remember, if you try to deviate from the orders my Geas will devour your very soul. You won’t even get a chance to plead your case to the angels and gods! You’ll be completely gone forever and ever and ever Mister Knight Man. So it’s very important that you follow your orders quite carefully if you value having an afterlife. Do you understand?” The knight gave a barely perceptible nod even as his mind was overwhelmed with fright. “GOOD! I’m so happy you’ve been listening, Mister Knight Man! Here are your orders! Don’t worry, I’ve given you all the tools you need to carry out your orders.” The childlike voice dropped entirely as a jaded and cold order took it’s place, devoid of all the parody of childhood he had before. “I want you to pick up your weapon and kill as many people in these Barracks as possible. Starting with your friends Mister Knight Man. I don’t want you to be loud about it either. I want you to be a sneaky Mister Knight Man. I want you to slit as many throats as you possibly can. Once you are caught, my items inside of you will give you the strength and endurance to fight and keep fighting until you can’t fight anymore. Do not let them capture you mister knight man. That’s very important. If you can’t kill anyone else and they’ve captured you, you need to immediately kill yourself. If you don’t, my Geas will eat your soul right up Mister Knight Man. Do you understand your orders?” The man nodded, moving as quickly as he could to grab his sword and exit the room with such a panicked look in his eyes. The Hareling let out a staccato of giggles and slipped his small body right through the window and made his escape out of the building. He would find a place to hide some distance away and listen to the fear within the barracks as they try to fend off their now super strong and homicidal companion. The little Hareling hoped his love, the Silbel Strangler, would be proud of him if he could see him now.
  21. So yeah, I've had a bit of whatever the opposite of a writers block is lately, and I ended up typing so much it busted my Laptops keyboard. Had to go out and buy me an external keyboard after, which didn't set me back much, but I'd thought I'd share that fun little anecdote. Apparently typing well over 100k words in less than two weeks can exacerbate wear and tear on a keyboard.
  22. The small mining village where The Old Man’s Tavern resided in was noticeably vacant of residents this morning. The reason for this was the same reason it had been vacant the last time the maids had shown up in force. They were evacuated from the area by the Bertolde estate for their own safety. Some had not seen the reason for that evacuation until that horrifying minute where the sky itself was lit up with blasts of magic and the crazed howls and roars of so many werewolves flooded the night air, even over the thundering rainstorm. The village still hadn’t quite recovered by the time the Old Man informed them they’d be coming back. Even the ones who had been reluctant to leave the last time were all too happy to make their exodus out of town and wait for the powerful magic users and the potential trouble they might bring to go away. Whatever the Bertolde Estate was up too, they were of such a higher caste than anyone living in the village that none really dared offer more than whispered curses towards their local rulers for causing the village so many issues. Though the Duke was a fair man, even the fairest of Nobles were not to be taken lightly, especially when they had so much magical firepower at their disposal. There was also the fact that they did not have to evacuate the village in the first place. Many of the more level headed residents were able to inform their angrier counterparts that many of their kin could have been killed in that brief skirmish if they had not been made to leave beforehand. The Dukedom knew Preja Bog was attacking, they said, so it only made sense to ensure the safety of its citizens. Some even felt glad for being under Duke Bertolde once they came to such conclusions, though the accuracy of such assertions is tenuitive at best. On that clear morning with dew hugging the grass outside, the air in front of the Old Man's Tavern warped and popped, causing A carriage surrounded by several Maids to appear. Inside of this carriage was a very excited little Lynxian who was wearing a quite fancy frilled suit that had rather short trousers that only just qualified as such, and quite high stockings that ended just above the knee, giving a flash of his thighs in the middle. This with a tailored overcoat that was split deeply in the back to leave plenty of room for his tail to maneuver. The entire getup was white and blue, the colors of the Bertolde Estate and Lord Baldric, and was made to accentuate his absurdly fancy collar around his neck. One might question who the Noble was in that carriage with an outfit like he was wearing, however it was generated out of compact frozen snow and ice by Lord Baldric, who had designed the look entirely for his little lynxian. He even put a bell both onto his collar as well as the tip of his tail, which Kotik actually found he liked after a moment of feeling embarrassed about it. He had had to do some training on how to walk in the heeled shoes he was wearing, but thanks to his collar’s accelerated learning he had been able to pick up the art even faster than Bavaram belly dancing. This was partially due to his tail and extra set of ears offering a level of balance that a normal human simply did not have. “And who be this fancy youngster showin up at mah tavern this mornin?” “OLD MAN!!” Kotik leaped, not ran, directly from the carriage and into the arms of the elderly man who still looked quite built even in his old age. One of his eyes was clouded and there was a scar dragged down the entire side of his face down into his tunic. He let out a grunt at being tackle hugged around the neck, which was subsequently followed up by Kotik’s legs and tail wrapping around him as well as he hugged the man as hard as he dared without hurting him. “Whoa there, y’all gonna bust this old man’s bones if’n y’all hug me any tighter.” He said with a laughing admonishment of the lad, patting him on the back as Kotik pulled a way with a huge teary smile. “Y’all know how much business Ah’ve been losin since I haven’t had mah star server and food catcher helpin round here?” The old man said, poking Kotik’s nose, “The customer's swear’n up and down that it just aint the same without ya youngin, it’s given me quite the handful! Ah done think ya spoiled the lot of em!” Kotik was so moved at that moment he simply opted to bury his face in the neck of the old man and just hug him like that for a moment while the other members of the carriage stepped out. One in particular that had to employ every spec of his noble and performer training to keep himself from freaking out was one Lord Baldric, who knew exactly who that old man truly was. The Old Man seemed quite pleased with the fear of Baldric, if only slightly showing, and decided to have fun with it. “Say, Kotik…” The old man started with a grin and looked over at the Lynxian who still had his face buried in his neck. “Mhmmm…” Kotik replied, not looking up. “Ah didn’t recognize this Noble boy when ah first saw the lad, but ain’t he that Bertolde boy who galavants about the world chasin youngster bum like he be a breedin dog in heat?” Never in all the years of the Bertolde Estate’s existence has their MaidStaff been so utterly incapacitated. The epic struggle to hold in their laughter at the comment was only worsened by Shahnaz and Count Raudh, who both spat and burst into such an uproarious fit of giggles that they collapsed on the ground in front of the Tavern. Even the strong willed Maids had to hold onto the cart for support and turn away from the utterly devastating description of their lord. Shahnaz looked up to see that Lord Baldric actually had a small flush of embarrassment, the shock of which made her laugh even harder on the ground. She was probably the only maid in the whole estate comfortable enough to do such a thing since she had such a close relationship with Lord Baldric. It would be quite some time after the fact that the phrase “youngster bum” didn’t incapacitate Shahnaz where she stood. Kotik meanwhile looked positively mortified. He took the old man’s face in his hands and looked at him with pleading eyes. “Old Man. You can’t say that kinda stuff to a noble! You could get hurt!” “Oh ppssssh, Ah’m old! Ah’ve done mah time in this world. If’n ah go out bringin a noble brat down a peg or three ah say that’s a good way ta go.” “But I like him.” Kotik said, his pleading look only going stronger. The old man let out a strong sigh and ruffled the boy’s well groomed hair and ears. “Alright I’ll be nice to the whipper snapper, but only cause y’all like him okay! If’n y’all start to not like him just let yer old man know and ah’ll thump him good for ya!” “Old man! Nobles!” He let out a raspy laugh as he carried Kotik inside, letting him take in the homey and quaint looking birthday party they had set up. It was nothing fancy. Streamers, scented candles, banners that read “Happy Birthday Kotik.”, it was just the normal looking birthday of a peasant boy. Kotik was actually shedding tears of joy at the sight. He was having a hard time keeping his lip under control looking at all of it and had to bury his face in the old man’s neck again for a minute to steady himself. It was everything he had wanted before all this happened. Nothing big, nothing fancy, just a little Birthday Party for one time in his life. The old man seemed both pleased and in some pain holding Kotik and seeing him go through all those emotions. It only made his wrath at the people who had hurt his boy over the years grow even more as he comforted him in the Tavern. It wasn’t long before the fun actually began however. One particular moment of delight among the pleasantly chatting guests and games was the epic struggle that was the arm wrestling match between the birthday boy Kotik and Count Raudh. “I would like to challenge this supposed undefeated champion of arm wrestling to a duel!” The Count had said with a competitive smirk on his face, which Kotik was only too eager to match in intensity. Unlike with sex, where Kotik took great delight and pleasure in being submissive and surrendering control to others, in competitions like this the Lynxian’s competitive spirit shone through. On paper, it looked like Count Raudh had the arm wrestling match in the bag. His arms were so much more defined and muscular than Kotik’s own supple limbs, and he took quite a lot of pride in his physical prowess. However the Ruby haired lad knew from his race and his sparring match with Kotik that the lynxian was not to be underestimated at all. “Whoa there, look at this youngster go! Ah’ve never seen anyone last more than a few seconds against Kotik!” The old man said with a genuine laugh as he watched the two lads grinning like predatory beasts at each other as their arms shook so desperately to claim dominance over the other. Count Raudh had gotten a surprise lead early on by employing every strength esoteric item he had to give him an edge against his much stronger opponent. It had taken the lynxian by surprise and almost made him lose, but the birthday boy had halted the Counts advance just before his arm hit the table. Kotik’s eyes went into slits and his mouth took on a huge grin as he began to shakily push his arm back against Count Raudh’s own, making the Noble lad’s face grow red in concentration as he tried to maintain that early lead. Even with employing his Barbarian esoteric items to augment his strength however, the struggling count was finding his trembling arm slowly but surely being brought to the other side of the table. If he had more strength augmenting items it might have helped, but he preferred ones that augmented his speed over strength cause he normally was more than strong enough for what he had to deal with. The old man held Kotik’s arm up in victory when he had finally slammed Count Raudhs arm into the table, shattering the poor thing’s legs in the process from the force of it. Raudh, who had his breathing so controlled the day before, found himself sweating and huffing slightly after that epic struggle. He was grinning though, his affection for the Lynxian had only grown seeing Kotik get so spirited in their competition of strength. Lord Baldric surprised Kotik by materializing a strange instrument with a crank on the end of it. The instrument looked a bit like a fiddle he had seen Bards use, but far more complicated. It looked so strange resting on Baldric’s lap in front of the onlookers, with both buttons, strings and even a hidden compartment on top that he could open and close. It was seemingly designed like someone couldn’t quite figure out what kind of instrument to make and just decided to make an amalgamate of several, and put a crank on it for good measure. Kotik had laughed when Lord Baldric had amusingly held out the instrument and said. “Behold Kotik, The Hurdy Gurdy.” “It cannot be named that!” Kotik said through giggles, even the maids joined in at that, though they looked more excited than amused since they knew what the young lord could do with that instrument. He started off simple, playing a few plucking notes on the instrument, as well as tapping on the instrument for something of a percussion beat. The notes sounded strange in the room, echoing differently than other sounds that were playing on the air, lingering longer like they were in a cathedral instead of a Tavern. Kotik liked the subtle notes and thumps he was making with it, enjoying how calming it was, however it wasn’t long before he detected something off with what he was hearing. After he would play a pattern of notes, the sounds of those strings or the raps against his instrument began to repeat and continue to play like he hadn’t stopped. The effect was he built up a foundation melody, and he began to add onto that with ever more exciting and strange sounds that he elicited out of the Hurdy Gurdy. Some of them sounded almost like horned instruments. Some sounded like the soulful warbling cry of a singer with how he made the strings let out those pleading cries with his fingers and the crank. Then with rapid flicks of his wrist back and forth he began to coax out of the instrument on top of all the other sounds the energetic playing of a fiddle. If that hadn’t shocked the lynxian enough, Lord Baldric then began to fully twist the crank in earnest on top of all the former notes, which elicited a truly haunting, almost metallic sounding cry on top of that. The effect was staggering after only a couple minutes of playing, as the layers of mesmerizing notes, crying strings, and heart thumping, almost metallic warbles he could coax out of the instrument flooded the air like there was an entire band of bards playing in the Tavern right then, not just one lone player. Kotik’s eyes and both sets of ears were transfixed on the masterful handling of this strange instrument he had not even known Lord Baldric could play. Even the way the various notes echoed and played within the room was under Baldric’s control. The things he seemed to be able to accomplish with sound alone made the lynxian’s cheeks flush and his eyes practically grow hearts in them as he stared transfixed at the Bluish white haired lad. The old man had to take an especially large swig of alcohol after seeing that look on his boy. ‘Must not smite the noble brat, must not smite the noble brat, must not smite the noble brat.’ That was the mantra playing in the Old man’s head as he tried ever so desperately to put his own feelings aside for his boys sake. The way he saw it, he had no right to dictate what made his boy happy after he hadn’t been there to protect him when he needed it. The guilt that plagued the ancient gods heart after finding out how his boy had been living had driven him to bend a lot of arms in the greater pantheon to get himself down here for his extended stay to turn Kotik’s life around. He was just happy his efforts had ended up bearing some fruit, even if not in the way he particularly liked. Surprisingly he had less issues with the Ruby Haired lad, though the way he had used his boy in sex made the god truly wish to rip him a new asshole. However the relationship Kotik had with him outside of the carnal was more masculine and competitive at the very least. With Lord Baldric, Kotik was the spitting image of a fair maiden swooning over her true love. It was a side of Kotik that the cat boy did not give to anyone else. Still, he had no right to try and do anything about it. Not after what Kotik went through. Now, if Kotik is upset with Lord Baldric or he breaks his heart, well that’s a whole different matter entirely! That was what The Old Man clung onto even as Kotik had approached Baldric after such a performance and openly gave him a chaste kiss in full few of everyone present, which got some playful jeering noises out of Count Raudh and Shahnaz towards the two lovebirds, telling them to get a room! NOT IN MY TAVERN, the old man thought with a huff even as he poured another swig. No smiting the brat! Eventually, the moment of truth, the Birthday cake was brought out. It was a simple thing of chocolate and icing with some candles. They could have had the Bertolde estate make it, but the Old Man knew in his gut his boy did not want his Party to be any frilled out noble affair like that. Kotik had to struggle against tears and quivering lips again as they sang The Tavern’s Birthday song that he had heard for other patrons in the past, and even other kids that had come in with their families on occasion. The painful nostalgia coupled with the longing he had had for a moment like this made it very difficult for him to see by the time the cake was placed in front of him. Still he was so happy when he stared down at that simple birthday Cake, beaming with such simple joy that it melted the hearts of all the onlookers who were present. Which made it all the more terrible when the maids they had placed on scrying duty outside had burst into the Tavern to report dire news. “Preja Bog just loosed out a crap load of enemy forces out of it heading right this way!” The Maid said with some alarm in her voice. “It’s not like last time! She’s coming! She’s left the bog! She turned into some strange werewolf thing and is coming right for this village!” The Maids normally would have immediately began mobilizing right away to counter this threat, but a powerfully bone chilling shift in atmosphere hit the room so hard it gave every single person their goosebumps. All slowly turned to stare at the Birthday boy who had his eyes transfixed on his cake as his body trembled. He had been so close. So close to having just a simple, happy birthday party. A wave of blackness radiated from Kotik’s seat and began to slowly encompass all the wood within the tavern, thorny growths poking out the whole way as it slowly but steadily enveloped the entirety of the place of business from floor to ceiling. At that moment the only things that were visible were the glowing flames of the birthday candles, and the enraged, dilated, slitted glowing blue eyes of a crying cat boy. A Lynxian who radiated such a murderous intent that The maids actually moved to protect the Nobles. The deep growl rumbling from Kotik was of a far deeper tone than had ever come from him before, sounding like it should come from a Lion instead of a cat boy. Those enraged eyes snapped ever so suddenly over to where Count Raudh was in the darkness. “Count Raudh.” Kotik said in a deathly calm voice which sounded even over his lion growl, “You said that i’d need to meditate on an emotion in order to become a Barbarian. Yes?” “Uh huh?” Squeaked out the Count, shaking in his knee high sandals at the terrifying presence Kotik was exuding. “Everyone leave the Tavern. Now.” Kotik ordered, turning to face forward into the Birthday cake. “Buy me some time. I have some very powerful emotions I need at least one God to pay attention to right now.” The way he growled that last part out through gritted teeth said he was so unbearably close to just losing control of his rage entirely. He was done trying to hold all these feelings back. Now that he knew he could present them to the gods of emotion, he knew what he needed to do.
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