Double Blind With the Lovely Leviathan

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by LuluRS, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. December's chill had hit the little village of Liore hard that winter, a thick blanket of snow covering the dirt roads and open fields, heavy and wet. Families stayed huddled together near their hearths to keep warm as the winds whistled just outside the walls of their small homes. Fathers and sons woke early to dress in their layers of fur for the long trip down the mountain into the city to sell their wares, and bring back food and supplies. The trip was a long one, often filled with slippery roads and viscous, starving creatures. If nature didn't do you in, then the bands of thieves would. Andante was a rather harsh country, but that made the people their tougher, able to survive under such conditions.

    It was on one such morning that Xanthe awoke to the howling wind, scarlet eyes blinking away the remnants of his sleep. Beside him, wrapped in heavy woollen blankets, slept his Ka'Ellu (Father) and Ka'Ellas (Mother). A slight frown cross the young male's face as he took in his Ka'Ellu's sunken eyes and bony cheeks. The sickness was starting to take hold of him with a stronger grip. It wouldn't be long before the man was as cold as the ice outside. With a soft groan, Xanthe pushed himself to his feet, keeping the blankets wrapped around him to trap the warmth he had accumulated while he slept. He blew his white bangs out of his face irritably as he shuffled to clothes that hung near the hearth, the wooden floor feeling icy beneath his feet. Only when he was near the clothes did he let the blankets fall from his body.

    He let out a small hiss as the cold air hit his black skin, hurriedly donning the first layer of clothing of lighter linens, followed by layers of warm wool and fur, his boots being pulled on last. No longer required, he draped the extra blankets over his Ka'Ellu, hoping the extra warmth might do him some good, before quickly exiting the house. The door was hurriedly shut behind him to preserve warmth. Every little bit counted in these dark winter months. The snow crunched softly under Xanthe's feet as he made his way over to the storage house, which also held their pack dragon, Bruelle. A smile touched the corner's of his lips as he caught sight of her blue scales, raising a hand to rub her nose gently. "Good Morning Bruelle." He greeted.

    The dragon gave a soft purr in response, her tail flicking excitedly. "Eath Wo'al, Xanthe. Are we to go down the mountain today?" She asked, her eyes sparkling. The warmth in her voice seemed to reach his core, some of the winter chill that seemed to grip like a vice shedding off. "Yes. Now stop wagging your blooming tail, and let me pack the carts." That earned him playful nudge by the dragon's snout. One hard enough to knock him on his back into the snow, releasing a soft 'oof'. The red eyed glare that Bruelle received did nothing but spur the dragon into laughter, which infected Xanthe a few moments later. He stood and brushed himself off, moving to the rear of Bruelle, hitching the large cart up to the dragon's harness.

    Liore's economy, as small as the village was, was rather strong; based entirely on the crystals that were grown in the fields. An assortment of crystals, in any colour you could think of. They powered the hearths and machines that the cities used, and the green ones were eaten by the dragons. Nothing in the country was more valuable, yet underpriced, as the crystals. With the boxes loaded on the back of Bruelle, Xanthe opened the barn doors, leading the dragon out into the clod morning. The dragon didn't seem to be affected by the freezing conditions, laying her neck down to allow Xanthe to climb up on to the saddle. Situating himself, and strapping himself in -He had taken a fall off of Bruelle's back before. Broke his shoulder in three different places. Never again- the two began the long journey down the mountain road.

    The movements of Bruelle's steps rocked him from side to side, the familiar rocking bringing him into a better mood, pulling his mask up over his nose to help keep in warmth. "How fast are you feeling, Bruelle?" He asked, giving her sides a light kick. Bruelle growled, though both understood that it wasn't threatening. "Watch that mouth of yours, boy." Xanthe gave her a friendly pat, and the two fell into a comfortable silence. It was safer that way. Bruelle would be able to hear if anything was sneaking up on them easier if they didn't talk. It was one of the wonderful advantages to having a pack dragon; wonderful hearing.

    While Bruelle's ears were focused on the surroundings, her eyes needed to stay focused on the mountain road to avoid slipping and dropping them both off the edge of a cliff. They might have been able to survive if Xanthe could release the cart quick enough. So Xanthe's eyes were watching their surroundings, red irises trained to catch the slightest of movements. His head swivelled, making sure he could see almost all of the area around them.
  2. Brosca was officially in over her head. Literally and figuratively. She'd been crouching for so long, so still, by the side of the mountain path that snow had long since finished building up around her shoulders, and was perilously close to tumbling down her forehead and into her face. For all the thick furs she was swaddled in that hid her figure from the biting wind, she was still chilled to her bones. She didn't even have the company of her Clan members (future Clan members, she reminded herself.) Her nose was red and chapped from the cold, but she could not leave her position; not until she'd completed her Task.

    Briefly she considered running; running straight back down the mountain to her father's cabin, shouting that yes, she did want to marry the old butcher and raise a gaggle of strapping brats. It would be so easy. But she couldn't and she knew it. Even if she left now, she wouldn't ever fit in amongst the villagers again. She'd become different; she'd been Chosen, Blessed. Just like the rest of her (soon-to-be) Clan.

    'It will be easy,' they'd told her, 'the men who come down from that village are weak.' She could feel her pulse quicken with thoughts of the bounty to come. At first, she'd hated what the others did. But she'd been shown the Way, her eyes had been opened.

    All she had to do was wait for one of the village men to come down the path. She was strong, quick, she wold be able to overtake them, with the element of surprise on her side. Tightening her grip on the heavy hatchet in her hand, she listened to the leather grip creak and re-focused her eyes and ears. There! Someone was coming!

    Brosca crouched even more still than before, though her heart was beating wildly in her chest. She would kill this man.

    She would feast on his flesh and recieve the blessing of Namira.
  3. Xanthe had lost the feeling in his fingers and nose some time ago, gently flexing his hands to make sure that he still had all five digits. He had heard horror stories from other pedlars about unaware travellers who let their fingers stay idle for too long loosing them to winter's horrible bite. He knew that they were stories merely meant to scare him, but dammit if it didn't work. Bruelle titled her head slightly, taking her eyes off of the road to give a sly glance his way. "Still worried about your tiny fingers, Xanthe?" She teased, pausing in her walking. "I could warm them up for you, if you'd like?" The grin that crossed the dragon's maw sent a shiver of fear through the young man. While Bruelle was a tamed dragon, she was still very much a dragon, capable of burning him to a crisp.

    Well, he thought she would be able to burn him, though he had never actually seen her breathe fire in all the days of knowing her. Perhapse she was an ice dragon? But that would be contradictory to her offer. Still, either way, his answer stays the same. "Not a chance in the world, Bruelle." He laughed, patting her back softly. "Just keep walking, girl. We need to get this shipment in." Giving a gruff snort, the dragon turned her head back, continuing to crawl along the slippery paths. Xanthe let his thoughts drift for a moment, to the employer he was currently delivering to. If he recalled, it was a middle-aged lady, nothing remarkable about her face, but the image of her bosom would be forever implanted into his mind. He had gotten a rather nice feel of them the first time he met the woman (why couldn't he remember her name?), young enough that she didn't feel threatened to give him a hug, yet old enough to appreciate how they felt pressed against his cheeks.

    He hadn't been able to say anything to her for the longest time afterwards, glad for his dark skin to hide the warmth in his cheeks. The memory made him smile, drifting further into his own wonderful thoughts of a time when his father still ran the trade. The train of thought would have stayed unbroken had Bruelle not given a sharp lurch to the left, the action nearly throwing him from the saddle had Xanthe not harnessed himself in. He was immediately thankful for that; it was a long way down the side of the cliff. Bringing his attention back to their surroundings, he watched carefully, eyes drifting slowly over the land. He couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. "Bruelle? What's wrong?" He asked, voiced hushed and soft. The dragon's tail swished in agitation behind her. "I heard something moving in the snow." She growled, teeth bared threateningly. The young male kept very quiet, watching carefully for any sign of movement.
  4. Brosca tensed and nearly cursed out loud, narrowly avoiding a break in her already tentative cover.

    'Shit! Shitshitshit they've noticed...they know. They know I'm here!'

    She'd really never been a particularly calm or patient girl; it didn't cross her mind that if she had perhaps gone very still and held her breath for as long as she could, they might have moved on. The panic of realizing that her prey had not a simple, docile cart horse but a cart dragon overtook her, and in a moment of pure animal fear, she broke cover. Snow fell from her legs and shoulders in a cascade as she burst from the deadened brush, altogether too close to the frightful beast of burden for her comfort. Brosca found that her legs were continuing to carry her forward, even though that wasn't really where she wanted to go. Her body seemed to think that if she could just knock this man from his dragon's back, and down the cliff, that her chances would be greatly improved. Her brain knew better of course, but that wasn't stopping her adrenaline-fueled forward-motion.

    In what was likely a futile attempt at maintaining her fierce cannibal image, she raised her hatchet (which now seemed painfully small and inadequate) and forced what she hoped was a blood-curdling and heart-stoppingly fearsome expression onto her face. Brosca hoped that if she died, the man and his dragon would chuck her body into a ravine, so that her disappointed Lady and Clanmates would not eat her.
  5. Bruelle startled, rearing back as the wild woman leapt out of the snow, heading straight for them with rage in her gaze. Xanthe let out a startled shout, the sudden movement of the dragon throwing him from the saddle. He now hung in midair, off the edge of the cliff, the only thing keeping him from falling to his doom was the thin piece of leather that bound him to his dragon, pinching tightly around his waist. He was having a hard time breathing, arms reaching up desperately to try and grab hold of the harness to pull himself back up. Bruelle growled, her pride wounded by the behaviour she had been displaying, feet planting firmly into the ground. A terrible roar rose in her throat, pushing forward through the snow towards the charging woman, dragging poor Xanthe with her.

    No longer dangling over the edge of the mountain, the dark skinned male unfastened himself from Bruelle, sliding lightly into the snow. He had to roll out of the way of the cart as it surged forward, following after the raging dragon, pushing himself to his feet. His hood had fallen off in the fall, his white hair spilling in messy wisps around his face. Gritting his teeth, Xanthe ran forward, trying to catch up to the shuffling dragon before she tore the woman apart.
    "Bruelle! Bruelle! Viet, Viet!" He called, speaking in his crude dragon tongue to try and calm her fury. The dragon hissed, stopping her assault, but her eyes stayed focused intently on the woman, tail lashing back and forth, showing that she would gladly attack the woman if she presented the opportunity. Xanthe came up beside the dragon, sticking close to her side as he eyed the woman. "...You're not from the village. Who are you?"
  6. Brosca continued with her forward charge until the dragon began moving towards her, dragging the dark-skinned man behind it. She slowed herself to a top, then backpedaled a bit, kicking up snow. Her heavy, fur-lined hood fell backwards, revealing dark hair that was just on the comical side of curly. The would-be murder weapon fell forgotten into the snow; there was no way she could continue with her assault now, not with this beast lashing its tail and snarling at her. Surely it could kill her where she stood.

    She was experiencing some light-headedness; she thought that perhaps her hysteric terror had come full circle, and she had reached a zen-like state of detachment. Nodding dumbly at the man in response to his inquiry, she noted that he was a Dark Elf; she had seen precious few of them before, and surely had never had the chance to consume one, having only eaten one or two pale men from her own village. She wondered if the difference was comparable to light and dark meat on a chicken.

    "Er, look. This is nothing personal, okay? I just...I just need to eat you. Really, I have to. No choice. So, if you could just, uh, die? That would be really helpful." She said airily, barely aware of the words streaming from her own lips.

    Of course, even in her manic state, she knew how absolutely ridiculous her plea sounded; of course he wasn't going to just lie down in the snow, close his eyes and let eternal sleep take him, all for her convenience. Shame at what a poor follower she was flooded her face, making her cheeks hot and her eyes prick with tears of embarrassment.
  7. Xanthe raised an eyebrow at the strange girl, listening in silence as she spewed nonsense words about...'eating' him. He wondered if she understood the double meaning behind her words, pressing his lips lips together in a tight line in an attempt to hide the smirk that was creeping to his lips. Even the guilt that he felt as he saw tears form at the corners of her eyes was not enough to stop his lips curling upwards. "If not for how red your cheeks are turning, I'd think you were joking." He commented, his tone sounding bland save for the biting undertone. As if he had lost interest in the girl, Xanthe turned to his cart, inspecting the joints to make sure it wasn't damaged. At the moment, his livelihood mattered more to him than the fumbling girl who planned to eat him.

    "Things seem in order." He mumbled, not seeing any extra wear on his cart. The crystals seemed fine as well, only a few having become cracked and useless. "Bruelle, keep an eye on her." He mumbled, opening up one of the large packs strapped to her side. The dragon growled menacingly, eyes trained solely on the girl as Xanthe began sifting through items, before finding the rope. Smiling lightly, he pulled the coiled length from the pack, turning back to his unwanted guest. "I'm terribly sorry, but I can't die just yet. There's someone I need to take care of." His smile and voice were pleasant, but hollow, as if he the pleasantness was meant to be obviously fake. "Now, I can't just let you go, you might try to eat me again. So, and this nothing personal, could you please tie yourself up so I can drag you with me into town?" If she were smart, she'd realize he was making fun of her. "Or Bruelle could bite you first, and then I tie you up. Which sounds easier?"
  8. Brosca tipped her head back and scrubbed her face with her hands, groaning and stomping her feet in acute frustration. Why in Namira's name did she have to choose today for her initiation kill? What did the gods have against her? This man was barely even paying attention to her, checking his cart and his merchandise instead. If she'd been a proper, frightening cannibal attacker, he wouldn't dare be putting his back to her now; though to be fair, if she'd been a proper cannibal, he would be dead and filling her belly at the moment.

    She sent a withering glare at him, then at his cart dragon, who was named Bruelle, apparently. That glare died a sad, silent death as she spied the rope being fetched from the cart.

    "Fuck. Are you sure? I promise I'll just...go away. I'll turn right around and walk back into the woods and you won't have to take me anywhere! Especially not to the village!"

    WHile she spoke, she slowly began shuffling backwards, her boots making deep furrows in the snow. She wondered if she would be fast enough to outrun the dragon.
  9. "Oh no no no! I couldn't possibly let such a person return home to help build up the canibal population." Xanthe insisted, still keeping his fake polite and mocking tone. Some would say that he was being unnecessarily mean to the poor girl. Those people had obviously never had someone attempt to kill and eat them before. A quick glance down at her feet told of her thoughts on running, a frown settling on his lips. "Please don't run. I really am horrible with first aid, and I'm not sure if either of us could handle it if Bruelle decided to take off your arm." The dragon gave a snap of its jaws, as if to further prove his point.

    He would never admit this to her, but the only reason she was still alive at this moment was due to the fact he couldn't stand to see people die. Especially in the brutal fashion Bruelle would preform. He'd much rather let the villagers decide what was best. most likely, she'd be locked away for a while. Maybe that would break her of the flesh eating habit. In that way, he could convince himself that what he was doing was good for her, and carry on with a clear conscience. He held up the rope again, offering her one last chance to come quietly.