Of the Night

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Tyranes, Nov 21, 2013.

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  1. It was dark, for she always moved in the night. During the day the city was nothing but crowds, filth, and voices shouting in a blurring mass of confusion. But when the world was lit only by the moon all was quiet.
    She ran silently across the rooftops, a black cloak flying through the air behind her, a hood shielding her face. The wind rushed past as she seemed almost to fly through the air. Then she stopped, crouched on the cold stone and listening as two people walked down the streets towards their home. She didn't care what they were talking about, only that she could hear them and they didn't know. A grin spread across her face and she started running again.
  2. "Thank you, witchdoctor. Here's your payment."

    Elizabeth took the small pouch of coins. Normally she would have the patient visit her hut in order to perform cleansing rituals, but Jeremy was so affected by the curse that he couldn't move. "Been a pleasure doing business with you," she replied to his wife while she donned her black cloak to cover her green skin from the chilly night. With that, she exited the house to return to her forest. It was a little ways away from here. Just take the dusty path down south until the trees grow thicker and thicker. Elizabeth walked quietly and the only sound she made was her leather sandals shuffling on the dirt pavement.

    Living in the forest had heightened some of her senses, alerting her that there was someone running across the rooftops. A shadow could be seen jumping here and there and Elizabeth paused for a while to observe this person. How strange. A spy? For what? Hopefully it's not a spy to get her.
  3. Living by the bottle had dulled all of his senses, so it was quite a wonder when he saw the shadow moving across the rooftops. At first he dismissed it as yet another drink's vision, but when the shadow passed in front of the moon in perigee it became quite clear to him that what he was seeing was real. This realization stroke fear into his heart, as he was one of the few people in the town still believing in the legend of the Archola; that is, until the shadow passed in front of the moon once again, and clarified its true nature. "Ah, it's only a woman", he said to himself. "Nothing to fear. Women, unlike gargoyles, can be conquered..."
    Osweald chased after the woman, not for any curiosity about her purpose or identity, but only to see whether or not the woman could be another one of his "exploits". His pursuit led him to many districts of the town, and the longer the amount of time he spent chasing after her the greater was his desire. However the hunt he was not able to finish, as he had failed to notice the witch-doctor's presence in the midst of his path. A crash, and he was down; when he recovered, the woman was gone.
  4. Ryn felt like someone was watching her, almost as if there was someone standing just behind her and peering over her shoulder. She turned and saw someone walking into the forest. They weren't looking at her, not now, but she could almost hear something telling her that a moment ago they had been. And there was someone else as well, another set of eyes, but she wasn't quite sure where. She crouched down and tried to become almost part of the shadow.
  5. Elizabeth paused at the sound of people running, a combination of fleeting footsteps and heavy thumps. A couple, man and woman, were running. First, a woman ran past her like the wind. A chase? She was running for her life. Then suddenly a heavy force collided against her and she fell with a startled grunt. The sharp scent of fermenting alcohol invaded her nostrils, causing Elizabeth to cough and cover her nose desperately. Alcohol and men; two things that she hated the most. With a growl, the witchdoctor pushed herself up and pulled the knife out of her shoulder bag. Using all her weight, she pushed the man down. Elizabeth was curvy, but not exactly slender so this man could probably shake her off with some effort. The question was if he was willing to do that with a knife at his throat.

    "You were chasing that woman," she spat at his face. Being this near his face, the smell of alcohol was so strong that it might even make Elizabeth drunk. "You were going to take her against her will, weren't you? I could bring you to the big house. They'd pay me a pretty penny for you." The alcohol was starting to get to her, a faint blush forming on her green cheeks. Why did she have to be so sensitive to the stuff? This was why she preferred smoking. Elizabeth had to hold on a little longer, otherwise the man might take her instead.
  6. “Interesting, interesting...”

    These were the words that Iuno had been repeating under his breath as he watched the two figures that had been moving and shuffling about in the streets and out at the forest. From atop of the watch tower in which he was stationed, it was quite easy to make out what was going on down there, despite it being night. Iuno had to thank his upbringing for that.

    He had been eyeing this cat-and-mouse chase for quite a while now, and, although he knew that it was his job to take action upon noticing, he decided to let things play out, see what kind of development would come about from their actions. It certainly wasn’t every day that he gets to see action like this, especially since he was assigned to do guard duty on a place that is near isolated from the more active parts of the town. What he wouldn’t give to be given a place at the marketplace, where thievery and mischief are rife.

    So seeing this rare sliver of action unfold before his eyes feels like some sort of fresh air after a long day of sitting under the sun, doing nothing.

    That is, until he spies a small flash of silver as one of the runners collided with a third person.

    “Woah, that’s it. Game’s up.” He muttered as he hoisted his readily-armed crossbow up to eye level. As much as possible, he does not want any bloodshed to come about while everyone was under his watch, otherwise it’d look really bad in his record.

    Taking a second to decide, he chose a spot where his bolt would hit the loudest. Without wasting another moment, he let his shot loose into the air.
  7. A crash, and he was down; when he recovered, the woman was gone, and a knife was at his throat. It was the witch doctor. "You were chasing that woman", she spat at his face. "You were going to take her against her will, weren't you?"
    Noticing the blade, his mind sobered up, and quickly thought of a reply. His mouth, however, remained drunk, and with his rapid breathing (due to both the chase and the witch-doctor being right on top of him) made his answer unintelligible. The knife then broke skin. "I could bring you to the big house. They'd pay me a pretty penny for you."
    His mind started to become a bit frantic. He did not want to spend another night in the dungeon. The dungeon, he thought, was much worse a place to stay in than the street. He started thinking of an escape plan.

    'Push her off? Hmm... She's putting all her weight against me, so it will take some effort. But then there's that knife...
    Try to fight her? Again, the knife. Plus I don't think my body's got the energy for such a fight, not at this time, after that chase...
    Reason with her some more? Don't think that'll work. Didn't work the last time, probably won't work the next. She's the one with the knife, after all...
    Oh, if only something would get that knife away from my throat!'

    Just then a loud "twang!" resonated throughout the area. Startled, the witch-doctor drew back her knife, giving Osweald a chance to fight back and escape. A punch here, a push there, and the witch-doctor was no longer on top of him. He stood up, and tried running as fast he could away from the witch-doctor; this freedom, however, only lasted for about a second, because of the small puddle of water next to their scuffle's set. He slipped and fell right on top of the witch-doctor, with the fall knocking him unconscious.
  8. She watched as the witchdoctor spoke to the drunkard, not knowing if she wanted to run or stay to listen.
    Then a loud and sudden sound came from close-by and she flinched, dashing away. However this was going to end she didn't care, it now involved far too many people for her to want to deal with. They could all end up killing each other for all she cared. But then again, it might be interesting to see who this new person was. She found a place where she hoped she was concealed and continued to watch.
  9. Suddenly an arrow pierced the ground next to them, causing Elizabeth to flinch. Her eyes tried to adjust to the darkness when she stared at the arrow next to them. A ranger's arrow? Suddenly, she felt herself being pushed away, then sluggish punches rained on her. Elizabeth cried out in alarm as each attack stung her. She was already thrown away to the side and she had to deal with such abuse? She cursed the age of men a thousand times under her breath while she tried to recover while the man got away, only to find him toppling over her the next second. The man fell unconscious, but to Elizabeth - he was probably doing something else.

    "How dare you?! Get off me! Stop!" she screamed. He was going to take her instead of that other women after she stopped him! First he rendered her vulnerable, and now it was her turn to be pinned down to the ground. She struggled, unable to notice that the person above her wasn't moving at all. Her mind raced, the alcohol in his breath making her feel even worse. Then she remembered the arrow. "Assault! Assault!" she yelled out, trying to get the guard's attention.
  10. “… Well, that could’ve gone a lot better.” Iuno whispered to himself after witnessing a violent scuffle that ended with such a conclusion. It was so anticlimactic that he literally stood there for a couple of seconds with a dumbfounded expression plastered all over his face.

    Suddenly, the air was filled with screams of a woman crying out charges for sexual assault and all other possible synonyms that she could think of it, to which Iuno shook himself back into reality as he heard them.

    Although, from where he was standing, it didn’t look like something of the sort was happening. He could easily dismiss it as the overactive imagination of the woman, but then again, he couldn’t just leave it be, on the off chance that this might cause an even bigger scene, should anyone else come around to hear it.

    So, with an accompaniment sigh, he grudgingly walked towards the ladder, slid down from it and entered the forest.

    As he sprinted towards the source of the shouts, he started to feel like he’s being closely watched. However, he could not fully discern if there is any hostility coming from it, but despite that, he kept an iron grasp on the trigger of his crossbow.

    As long as it just stay still like that, then I can forget about it for now. Iuno told himself as he came up to the fallen body of a large man, which, from underneath, he could see someone smaller, which he deduced to be his damsel, squirming and struggling to get free.

    “Geez, this scene looks even sillier, up close…” He muttered under his breath before he slung his crossbow on his back and bent forward to peel off the alleged ‘molester’ from his ‘victim’.
  11. When she was finally free from the guy, Elizabeth tried to catch her breath while pushing herself up. "I just want to go home," she groaned, putting back her knife in her bag. Her sensitive hearing caught her savior's muttering, so now he wasn't very much of a savior after all. Men are so disgusting. Elizabeth will never change her opinion, not in a thousand years. They should all just be bed-ridden like Jeremy. Without thanking the guard, she walked back to the path she was taking which should take her to her forest as if nothing happened. The calm, welcoming home - the forest. Free from dust and drunkard men.
  12. As he pulled back the man who reeks heavily of alcohol, the woman underneath immediately pushed herself from the ground from which she was pinned on a few seconds ago. With a brush and shake, she shoved her small dagger out from his sight and stalked away without a word.

    Well, that was ‘rewarding’… Iuno thought in annoyance as he knelt on one leg to check up on the man on the ground. At first glance, it seems that nothing untoward had happened to him, aside from a few cruises and the fact that he is unconscious.

    As soon as he made sure of the man’s condition, he quickly turned his attention back to the leaving woman.

    “Miss, I don’t think it’d be wise to be walking alone in the dark any time soon.” He called out before she could completely slink away from his view.

    His reason being: That sense of being watched still hasn’t faded away. With that thought in mind, his hands unconsciously found its way back to his crossbow.
  13. Elizabeth sighed in annoyance before she turned the next corner to leave through the city gates. "Where I'm going will be a lot more safer than being with people like him." Which was true. "Unless you have some business with this witchdoctor, please leave me be."

    With that, she walked with a faster pace, her black cloak concealed her and blended her with the shadows. Trees scatter at the side of the path as she journeyed back to the forest, which was already in view from the horizon. It shouldn't take fifteen minutes before she could step into the grass.
  14. Awakened from a deep sleep was Osweald, when his pillow of flesh and bone was pulled away from underneath him. He refused to open his eyes, however, as he wanted to return to the peace of his sleep; that is, until he felt the icy cold water of the puddle which caused his fall wetting his pants. He slowly sat himself upright, then strove to recall the events which had led him there.
    'A knife, a knife... I remember seeing a knife...
    A knife... Where was that, err, my, knife? My knife? My knife? No... I don't recall brandishing one...
    I remember... it was a woman... she held that knife... where?
    Hmm... My neck wasn't submerged in the puddle... Why is it wet?
    She had green skin... Oh wait...
    This feels like blood... Oh gods...'
    He looked around, saw only a guard. He still wasn't sure if he was the offender here, so he didn't think it wise to approach him first. He stood himself up, then as quietly as he could, left. At first he walked at the pace of a lion's stalk, then when he thought he was far enough he quickened his pace to that of a soldier's march.
  15. "Who to follow?" She asked herself.
    Not the drunkard, but possibly the guard or witchdoctor. Things had been consistently boring recently, no one of much interest to follow. Out of the two it seemed that the witchdoctor would lead her to the most interesting location. After a moment she slipped from her hiding place and followed on silent feet, remaining low to the ground and staying within the shadows. Someone might see her on the path to the forest, but she had to hope that no one would notice. Who knew what kind of punishments might come to someone sneaking around and stalking at night.
  16. It's been a while now since they walked on the path, and now they've entered the forest. The plant-life around her were becoming restless. The trees whispered in her ears, telling her that she's being followed, warning her of a mischievous shadow in the night. Usually by now, Elizabeth would turn around and confront her pursuer but there's one thing that's stopping her; Her pursuer was a girl. The vibrations of the grass tell her that this girl had footsteps as light as air and she maneuvers as elegantly as willow's spirit. For the first time, Elizabeth smiled that night. This cheered her up very much from the string of unpleasant events in the city earlier, so why not play around?

    Underneath her cloak, the witchdoctor made some hand movements, as if she were knitting a scarf. She was in her territory now - the forest - so she can use her powers here effectively. The branches began to rustle and a few vines fell loose, yet there was no wind. Leaves shuffled together, making noises that one could mistake as snakes or other reptiles. As she walked, the grass behind her grew taller and thicker. Now if the girl could press on after that, perhaps she can allow one visitor for tonight.
  17. The red haired woman burst out from her home. Her husband chasing after her as he called her name.
    "Bevan wait!" He called and chased after her.

    Bevan's body burned with a painful heat, as if the silver rays of the moon were burning her skin. She ran, her body attempted to cool her down by covering her in a thick layer of cold sweat. It didn't help her situation much. She struggled towards the forest. She could hear her husbands bare feet padding across the stone pathway. Viciously turning around the woman looked at the man.
    "Henry! I cannot have you following me." She spoke with tears in her eyes. Pain spread across her body as she gripped at her stomach. "It is not safe!" She almost growled at the man who had stopped a short distance away from his wife. The pain was becoming evident in her face as she almost fell over from the tearing sensation.

    "You are hurting Bevan! Let me help you." He stepped closer.

    Her hand shot out to stop him.
    "NO! Henry please." Another groan of pain. "Just go back to the house."

    "My love, I beg you..." His words were sincere.

    "Leave me be Henry!" She roared at the man who stepped back in slight fear. A sickening sound forced her to the ground, bones began to crack and break as she screamed. The tall man was unsure of what to do, he was afraid but he wanted to help. Bevan screamed in agony, nails cracking; dark, sharp claws forcing their way through. Her hand was beginning to expand as veins protruded. Her head slowly coming up, she glared at the cursed moon, her eyes slowly burning a bright amber. Her gaze turned to her husband, a fierce animalistic glare. The man stepped back in fear.
    "You need to leave, now!" Those would most likely be her last human words for the night. The man didn't hesitate as he ran in the direction he came from.

    More bones cracked and reshaped, her spine pushed against her skin as her body began to expand, fabric tore as red fur began to sprout from every single pore on her skin. Bevan had made it fairly close to the gates of the city. After the pain filled transformation was over she would be running within the dark forest, her human half hoping that no harm would come to anyone.
  18. “Well, that was clearly unrewarding.” Iuno grumbled as he watched the witch doctor stalk off from his view and disappear into the forest. Vanishing along with her was the other presence that he had been feeling for a while now, and even the drunkard, who was lying unconscious only a few minutes ago, had managed to slink away, unnoticed.

    He let out a sigh as he started to pace back towards the gates, contemplating on what he should preoccupy himself now.

    Should I follow that witch doctor? But I don’t think I should let that drunkard run rampant in town… He asked himself as he stalled the short walk back to the watch tower. He did also consider returning to his post and act as if nothing eventful had happened, but to do that would mean that he is sentencing himself with yet another night of monotonous boredom. He’s just been given a chance to break from that pattern and he’s not going to waste it.

    … In the end, he wasn’t able to reach a decision between those two choices as he saw, out of the corner of his eye, something scarlet turn sharply from the street corner. Instinctively, he reached for another bolt in his quiver, snapped it on his bowstring and raised it towards the new figure that had appeared.

    He didn’t exactly know what it was, due to the fact that it was covered entirely with red hair, nor did he have the leisure of figuring it out. But whatever it was, it was dangerously bounding up to him on its two animal-like legs. With bated breath, he let his second shot fly.
  19. There was a sharp pain within the creature's shoulder. A low growl escaped the beast as it ran towards the male figure that was becoming more and more visible to her. Changing her position she ran on four legs, her breaths husky as she sped up and approached the male faster. He had attacked her and now she would return the favour by shedding his blood and tearing his flesh from the bone. A snarl formed on her face as she leapt towards her prey.
  20. 'I swear the grass wasn't this way a moment ago. And the vines. Bah, just a nuisance.' She thought to herself.
    She pushed them away from her face just slightly, enough that she could pass between them but no more. There were noises, animal noises, almost like snakes, and they were all around her. The grass seemed almost to be grabbing at her ankles and trying to pull her back, to drag her out of the forest. It felt like there were insects crawling on the back of her neck, but when she reached to flick it away there was nothing there.
    'Blasted sounds... Messing with my head...'
    Something brushed against her shoulder and she drew a knife and hacked at it, severing a vine that moments before had looked like a snake. She didn't have a problem with snakes, they were actually quite fine companions, but in the dark when she couldn't tell what was poisonous and what wasn't she wouldn't like one crawling up her arm. But it was all just the vines.
    It was almost as if there was a presence, like the forest had a conscious mind. She could feel it all around her, she could almost feel thousands of eyes boring into her head. She had already gone this far, it would do no good to turn back now, so she continued after the witchdoctor.
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