Shatter Me

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  1. Flittering images and scenes flashed in her mind. Random moments with no real significance that were too fleeting to catch a real understanding of what was going on. The muffled echoed sounds didn’t match the scenes before her. It was chaos in her mind, a chaos from which she seemed to be stuck in. But suddenly and softly there came a voice of reason within the chaos. “You are on a new path, my child.” Her clam wise ancient voice was instantly recognizable. The fog of images dissipated and gave way to a single silhouette. Back hunched over from age with layers of robes covering most of her body the old woman walked into view. But she was not human but felise. An ancient race of druid people whom held the ability to transform into huge cats.

    Her face was feline, looking much like an old panther. Her once tan fur on her face was now cream and grey with age. Her crystal blue eyes which were normally blind, looked straight to the woman. White braided hair flowed from the elders head almost to her hips. She chuffed and a warm smile took over her face. Round ears perking as the bone necklaces clanked as she walked. “Walk with claws extended and find that which was lost.” The dreamer gasped and reached for the elder calling her name as she did so. But just as she mysteriously came, she was gone.

    “Elder Gao…” Her voice groggily mumbled as something rocked her somewhat harshly. Bleakly orange eyes opened and focused on her surroundings as heinous scents invaded her nose. She was in a cage of sorts, a wooden top covered the sky and iron bars held her like an animal. Her claws dug into the wooden floor as she pushed up trying to get a better understanding of where she was. The panther like humanoid was not so strange in her dream, for she herself was a felise.

    Eshasugra came from a long line of felise, ancient woodland people. Druids they were called and their creation had been to protect the forest. But over time and through druidic wars even this basic knowledge had nearly been lost, even to the druids. But they had always been taught the dangers of humans. Greedy, ruthless beings which only existed to destroy and burn. The smell assaulting her nose was that of humans. A scent she’d only smelled twice before. Once when she was a child and her mother ended the threat and once in her own adult life, when she ended the threat.

    Felise were cat druids, as well as changing into huge panther like forms their main image was that of half human and half cat. But not house cats, big cats such as lions, tiger and panthers. Esha’s body was covered in tawny lion colored fur with cream socks on her hands and feet. Though reddish brown tiger stripes marked up all her limbs. The hair atop her head was a dusty blonde-brown and cut short. Styled, if you could call it that, it was wild and resembled a lions mane. Her clothing was simple dyed yellow leather with a piece covering her bust and left shoulder and another piece covering her private parts. Though she might have been interesting to look at the human that out smarted her knew already she was no kitten. Scars covered the woman’s body as well as canine teeth from some unfortunate predator and huge boar tusks hung from her neck. Proof she was both a formidable huntress and warrior despite her small size.

    “Said I couldn’t find one! Said I was crazy! CALL ME CRAZY NOW!” He grizzly brown haired human cackled manically as he smack the cage with a stick. Then it all hit Esha like a snow buffalo. She’d been hunting alone when she smelled this same scent. But the human tossed something at her before she could make him bleed. A hellish cougar like scream erupted from her as like lightening she lash out at him. The two men standing next to their boss jumped and ran clear away from the angry druid. But the other human just laughed more. “Whoa kitten! Keep that fight. Your gonna need it.” He remarked in a foreboding tone. Esha lashed her thick plush tail angrily in the cage, her ears flat against her head as she gave a deep hiss. “Keep taunting me. I’ll bathe in your blood.” She promised.

    The next days were filled with more taunting and more snarling. But eventually she was brought to a horrendous and hideous sight. The stench of humans and their civilization was almost too much for her. Horrible blocky buildings lined what she assumed were streets. Animals of all kinds were lashed and tethered in abusive ways, worse were the horses and oxen forced to pull carts, much like the one she was in. Eventually the smell of blood entered her nose. Not fresh but layers of spilled life fluid. Testosterone and ale filled the air as well as raucous yells. She was being led to a pit of sorts. One much like the sparring arena back in her tribe but something told her she would not be sparring this night. This was going to be a fight for her life, she was sure. She lashed out at the men handling her cage as they jostled it into position of a gate. But despite her efforts she was only able to graze one. The roar of the crowd was terrifying and the smells nearly drove her mad as
    her heart thundered in her chest. All she could think about was her mother and little brother. Would she see them again? She had to. Then the gates to her cage and the wooden gate behind her opened. Unsure if she should even leave she merely looked at the blood sand pit.

    But this was a path she had to walk. Being a scared cub was not an option. Boldly albeit cautiously she stepped out, walking on two legs but crouched low, her orange eyes scanned the pit quickly for any danger that might be headed her way.
  2. This day began like any other for the fighter, an iron rod against his cell, a tray was slid in with a bowl of someone's leftovers from the night before with a pitcher of water, the lantern being lit in the hallway. It was always so surreal when it happened before he awoke, even convincing himself once or twice it was still a dream until the angry shouts of the gaoler had roused him from the confines of his dream like trance. If only. He mused in his own mind with a weak smile, sitting with legs crossed in front of his tray, a brief glance told him he was lucky today, it wasn't water in his pitcher but milk instead. Sera, the young blind girl that passed meals to the fighters was being too kind again, she'd be in deep trouble if they knew she was giving preferential treatment to him. Even that might be ignored since he was a prized fighter, even when disadvantaged he was able to win by sheer perseverance, the drive to survive too strong in him to let something like a lack of weaponry stall his victory.

    The milk was cold at the very least, ice cold even, and gone in a matter of seconds with deep chugs without a breath. With a naked arm he wiped the line layer that held to his upper lip like a youthful boy and his morning milk, though he was no boy it was relished as if ambrosia. Last night's stew was no different though, tasteless and cold, couldn't win them all, as he ignored the dinnerware and drank it down, bits of unknown meat and bitter root vegetables all. The bread though, oh the bread was somehow warm, whether thrown on a hearth for a minute or fresh from some bakery it was like pure bliss as he bit into its still steaming body like some of the ravenous beast's he'd killed in the arena. Inside a small ball of butter had melted and made it all the more savory, if left too long the smell might get around and questions would be asked. Not so much in this case as it was gone in moments.

    "Up, Killer. You're on." He knew the voice of the man who owned him. At least he wasn't cruel enough to leave him in chains anymore, in the beginning he did of course, mostly because he continued to struggle and even managed to kill one of the jailers with his bare hands while chained to a wall. They'd almost taken him for a beast when they found the man choking on his own blood with his throat torn open by a normal man.

    Despite it all he stood and stepped out of the open cell and followed the man, no rattling of chains, only the jeering of the others in their closed off cells as they placed bets of meals or other less savory favors on if he died or survived again. "Breakbreads for a week he bites it this time." "A month says he comes back with a smile." "Hah! Deal." It always made Tarsus smile knowing he got this attention, it meant he was alive at least. Dead men don't place bets.

    Unceremoniously he was pushed through the gates into the day's blinding sun, already beginning its trek across the pale blue sky as he was thrown a weapon and single piece of armor from a pulpit on the stands. A breastplate that didn't quite fit him and a short sword that was barely longer than his forearm. The opposite end of the arena held a great many doors, two of which opened and other men came out with weapons at the ready. Tarsus didn't know their names, he didn't want to, names meant you knew them, it made you pause before killing them. That's what killed men. That moment's hesitation that let them survive while one bled out.

    No, they weren't his opponents. The slavering were-beast in the far cage was their enemy, though he'd kill them or let them be killed. The other cage was too quiet, they never let beasts go unperturbed before a fight, to rile them up. Quiet meant empty usually, or so he thought.

    It's fur black as night, arms that were far too long for its body and a maw that couldn't close and showed off yellow teeth. The thing's gangly body moved fast as it rampaged around its iron wrought cage, sweeping arms out between bars to swipe at anything.

    "Today, today, like every day. Stones roll down the river." Tarsus recanted with a deep breath.
  3. The sand was hot between her fingers and toes. Stained red from all the blood that had been spilled here. Her whiskers twitched at all the scents and the uneasy feeling that surrounded this place. She was sure broken spirits lingered here when no living being was present but she didn’t have time to think about it. The roar of the crowd boomed louder upon seeing her. An even louder voice tried speaking over crowd trying to tell about the rare catch. She wasn’t able to catch all the words but ‘half beast half man’ she did catch. Esha moved quickly to the edge of the arena making sure her back was covered. She looked up and took notice of the height and curve of the bars as well as the mesh net covering the top. She could jump fairly high bit escaping didn’t look like an option.

    As her mind raced a bellowing yell tore her back to the moment. A human was rushing towards her, his pale skin barely covered by flimsy armor and a heavy mace in his hands. Esha bared her teeth at the man and gave a deep snarl. He was easily twice her size but that never mattered to her in a fight. She ducked and rolled under his trunk like legs and turned to slash him with her claws, raking deep wounds in his back. He yelled in pain and turned to face her, swinging his mace as he did so. Esha ducked and slashed her claws on more bare skin as she let out cougar like screams.

    The human that caught her was pacing anxiously. He’d spent quite a bit of time trying to find her and he worried that all of it would be for nothing if she died now. A heavy hand punched his arm which drew him out of his mild panic. “Eh Darren where’d ya find dat, ol boy?” The man turned to face a dwarf. Standing four foot nine he was average height for his kind. With a dark brown beard and beady black eyes. His attire was of fine leather and on his hips were various weapons. Not that he ever needed them with the two brutes that stood behind him. Ironbeard was a very rich dwarf having owned the best fighter in the business. Tarsus was near unbeatable. Darren’s stomach hit the bottom and his shoulders slumped. If Ironbread was here that meant Tarsus was here. Which meant his kitten was about to die. “I uh… Found her way up in the Doomridge mountains. In the ancient land there… She’s a druid!” He said trying to bolster himself with confidence. “Druid eh? How much ya want fer her?” Darren shot his head towards the dwarf.

    Esha may have stood only five foot six but her frame was nothing but muscle. Her small body was agile and easily dodged the heavy slow swings this barbarian was trying to hit her with. Finally her claws slashed her attackers throat, sending his life fluid spraying all over the hot sand. As he grasped his neck Esha kicked him away, sending him stumbling backwards. She stepped back and looked around the arena. “Alright. Who’s next?” She said to herself as her opponent lay dying.
  4. "Kitten's got claws." Tarsus mused to himself from across the arena. That idiot had went and gotten himself killed before they ever released the leviathan still inside its crate. His eyes darted between druid and the far beast while the man died, over in a matter of seconds. They'd even looked up, his owner, Ironbeard, was here. That meant something was up, it always did, something was always up when the master came to see him fight wile he usually just collected the winning bets as bigger and bigger odds were placed on his head for each fight.

    The gladiator gave his sword a slow flourish for the crowd as he began to walk forward towards the fighting druid. The distance of the arena took time to close the distance as he eyed her with a cunning that was often best left to lesser beasts or rogues. No, she was about bleeding her opponent dry. He figured, seeing the claws that were now covered in his would-be enemy's blood, one good cut to a tendon in the arm or leg and the fight was over. His meager breastplate would be near useless unless he kept her in front.

    Now sandals came off, flat end of the sword slid behind the ropes that held it to his shin and tugged letting the pieces of hard leather fall to the sandy arena floor. Bare feet hit the hot sand, though not enough to scald his calloused feet or cause him any worry, briefly reminding him of the seaside where he'd spent some of his youth with relatives. The difference being instead of waves of azure the waves here would likely be crimson.

    Soon after his moment of recollection had passed did the heavy sliding of iron followed by a thump and plume of dust bring his attention off the druid and to the far side. "There ain't no way--" The gripe was soon cut off as the monstrosity lunged out inhumanely fast, claws open for Tarsus' body.

    Fighter's instinct took over and he dove out of the way, not even managing a swipe of his short sword. The beast skid, let out a fetid hiss and took two lazy swipes, testing its cramped arms. It easy had two foot on him, which put him at the severe disadvantage and made his blood run cold as its empty eyes turned to him with that dead glare.

    Again it leapt at him, this time he ran towards it. Catching a sliding cut along its left side. The gore that spattered out was black and hissed in the daylight sun, seeping into the orange sands, and smelling like rotten bodies. If its insides were that bad then a swipe of its grotesque claws would be more than enough to kill him even if he won.

    It knew he was armed, and its eyes leered towards the druid Esha. A murderous hiss as it changed targets and attacked!
  5. Movement caught the cats eyes and Esha snapped her head towards the new human in the arena. This one was clearly seasoned. Her own trained eyes could tell he was being methodical with his approach, eyeing for a weakness. Esha began to slowly pace around as she watched him, her orange eyes looking for a weakness or a point from which she could attack. As tradition in her tribe, she took her bloody fingers and placed two bloody streaks on each cheek. Painting her face with the blood of the first fallen. Her movements were casual and with confidence as if she’d done this action many times before.

    This human wore more, although not by much, armor than the previous human. She’d need to strike him from behind. Her plush tail twitched in anticipation as he cut his sandals off. In this pit or in her forest, Esha felt all humans were the same. And she’d kill this one just as easily. But if he proved more of a challenge, she did have a vital trick on her sleeve. Suddenly a sound broke her attention, causing her to instantly crouch and look towards the sound. A shadow of black and smell of putrid death flew past her, rushing towards the human. Not standing still long enough to see him taken out Esha quickly darted away. Only when she looked back did she see him still alive.

    It’s stringy black fur and freakishly long arms proved problematic. This she absolutely needed her true form to deal with. Suddenly the human became less of a threat as this beast gave a hiss that made her fur stand on end. Her tawny ears flattened against her head as she crouch low, her eyes dilated ready to bolt if need be. It attacked the human and the smell from the beast almost made her gag and as it’s blood sizzled in the sun her gut dropped. Heart thundering in her chest as a ping of fear held her in place a moment. But before she could collect herself it attacked her.

    Esha lunged forward and in one bound her humanoid body shifted and gave way to a pure feline form. Looking like a stocky panther her padded paws hit the ground as her agility proved vital for getting out of the way. With a face much like a lions she turned to let out a cougar like roar as she darted behind the beast and jumped on it’s back. Raking her fish hook like claws into its back as she tried to bite the back of it’s neck. The crowd went wild with this sudden transformation. And Darren’s brows rose. He had no idea she could change like that. “Dere ain’t no way!” Ironbeard stammered as he clung to the bars watching the transformed cat move about.
  6. The man let out an impressed whistle as he kept his distance from the shifted druid and the abominable beast. At one point they came close enough for him to see the bestial look in her eyes, he'd seen it plenty of times before, feral instinct and intelligence. Admittedly he was incredibly jealous, what he'd kill to have that sort of speed and power at his fingertips, surely he'd be the greatest fighter this side of the great salt sea.

    Still he clung to the meager weapon and buckler he'd been given, they were little more than extensions of his arm, pitiful extensions if he'd spoken his mind. For now he continued to watch beast and behemoth duke it out. Swipe after swipe of its long arms missed the agile cat-folk. In Tarsus' mind each one of those swipes would've ended him in some gruesome way or another. Yet he felt a bit of pity, knowing that if she fell the beast would surely rend him with ease.

    In the blink of an eye he'd found his new ally in this arena, though alliances rarely lasted longer than the opponents heart beat, this one just might if the slaver's wallets began to move.

    Into action he dove, waiting for the right moment when the beast's attention was on the druid before he dove in. Short sword plunging into its back just above its hip. The cacophonous roar drowned out the hoots and hollers of the crowd, gasps and shrieks from the few women allowed to watch the spectacle. Briefly deafened he pulled back, shirking off the fetid blood on his blade.

    "Go for it's legs!" He shouted to the druid. A brief prayer to his god in his mind came as he dove, the pincer attack hopefully enough to end the beasts life quick enough that they may finish off one another in relative peace.
  7. As the druid bit into her attacker her mouth was filled with vile, putrid black liquid. It was cool and reminded her of a rotten corpse and it took everything she had not to release and spat out its poison blood. She wasn’t thinking of what it could do to her only what she had to do now to survive. Though not thinking didn’t stop her from gagging. She pulled her paws down, choosing to hang on the beast with her mouth and rake at it’s flesh with her claws. It let out an ear piercing screech as its claws swiped at its own back, trying to get to the cat.

    “Everehthings gotta price boy. How much she worth to ya?” Ironbeard said as he crossed his arms over one another. Darren ran his hands through his hair as he looked between the dwarf and the fight. She could be his winning ticket. His chance to become rich. “After all I went through to get her? No-“ But he was quickly interrupted. “One thousand gold.” Darren stopped and looked at the Dwarf. “My expedition cost more than that just to get to her.” Ironbeard grumbled as he came up with another number. “Fine. Fine. Three thousand.”

    But just as it started to flail the human rushed in and gave it a weakening stab. It turned to roar at him as it finally got a grip on the thick fur of the females back. Ripping her off it tossed her to the ground like a rag doll, although its flesh and fur came with her claws and mouth. The hardy cat hit the ground with a quick yowl, and lay winded a moment. Luckily for her the beast was snarling at the human and didn’t finish her as she lay on the red sand. Shaking her long face Esha scrambled to her feet, pacing around the back of the beast as it focused on the human. Its black blood sizzled painfully on her face and paws as her orange eyes darted to the human.

    That price was almost worth it but he could make more if he won a fight. “She could win more in a night than that.” He barked back. But the more and higher the numbers got the harder it became to say no. Darren started to sweat as he looked at the cold eyes of Ironbeards guards. “Five thousand. Ya be daft ta say no to dat boy.” He gave a grin under his beard. But still Darren managed to shake his head no.

    He yelled a command and she didn’t hesitate to obey. She leapt forward closing the distance between the beasts legs and her. Her jaws slamming down and her teeth shredding through its flesh like butter. More of the putrid blood filled her mouth but she knew she couldn’t let go. Her head violently shook back and forth as she ripped and tore at its tendons. Esha managed to lift one leg off the ground causing the creatures balance to sway. It screeched from the pain and fell on its arms, its claws scraping the sand as it bared its teeth.

    They were working as a team. Ironbeard was unaware that Tarsus could actually work with someone but he saw piles of gold n his future by having these two. He had to have the cat. “Eight thousand… Yer not gonna get a better deal then that!”
  8. Just as he'd commanded, at least she proved to be obedient. He'd begun to grow worried after seeing what it's blood did to the sand, yet there she, was it a she? Yes, likely. Was covered in it from hands, paws, to face? Muzzle? It didn't matter, she was a mess.

    All he could do to ward off its onslaught was parry each blow, with no chance to counter attack he was briefly on the defensive. Somewhere in the back of his mind he swore he heard wildly high betting, someone wanted him dead, Tarsus figured. One blow knocked his buckler clean off, saving his arm from a bloody swipe.

    His chance came when she brought it to its knees. There was no time to think, only act now.

    Tarsus ran to its back the short distance between, his short sword barely diving deep ebough to poke its thick spine. It's vertebrae resisting his attempt at snapping it for a decisive blow. Something else had to be done.

    From where his sword was plunged into it's back he used it for leverage, one tree trunk arm going around its neck as he grasped it's too and bottom jaws. It attempted to bite. His muscles flexed and he strained. It couldn't claw him off without falling, which it did. Into the sand he went, air knocked from his chest by its bulk.

    Survival kicked in, adrenaline flowed like water at an oasis. With a sickening crunch of tearing tendon and sinew it's lower jaw came off, hurled into the crowd with the excess force. It lay gurgling, Tarsus, no time to rest, had his eyes set on Esha. The next thing that wanted, no, needed him dead were she to survive.
  9. A deep snarl rumbled through gritted teeth as she bit down, her orange eyes catching the failed killing blow. As much as she wanted to blame the weapon she knew enough from her own bite that its bones were as hard as rock. Something the human thankfully realized quickly as he moved onto it’s back. The beast reached a claw up to swipe at the human but Esha began to pull with every ounce of her strength, dragging it through the sand. More worried about balance it kept its claws embedded in the sand. The flesh tore off in bloody sizzling chunks but Esha kept up the assault until…

    A gut sickening crunch and flesh ripping along with horrid painful screeching told her the human had managed to subdue the creature. Spat it’s leg out as she retreated, allowing it to claw its dying gurgling form away from its attackers. She wanted to finish it, to make sure it was dead but the black blood started to painfully burn her mouth as well as throat. She had inevitably swallowed some. Hacking and coughing she spat up as much blood as she could. In her moment of weakness she looked up to the human. She was about to shift back and compliment his fighting style but a look in his eye told her the situation might shift dramatically if just a moment.

    “Ha! You gonna lose! Everyone knows night terror’s blood is poisonous. That cat is gonna die. If Tarsus doesn’t kill her first.” One man next to Darren and Ironbeard said. The burly man he spoke to growled and punched his neighbor in the face, from which a brawl started. But his words didn’t fall on silent ears. Darren looked back at Ironbeard, thinking he could take the money and leave him with a dying champion. “Eight thousand gold? …” He looked back a moment as the creature was dispatched. Seeing the cat choke on the blood he whipped around quickly, hoping to make the deal before Ironbeard backed out. “Deal.” With that he stuck his hand out and shook the dwarf’s. Ironbeard grinned. “Aye theres a good lad. You ken fund many an expedition with dat gold. Grimm!” He barked at one of the guards. “Get nightbane brew going for her.” He turned to moved towards the arena master, to tell him to stop before Tarsus killed his new champion.

    Esha shifted into her more humanoid form, fingers digging into the sand as her body started to shake from the effects of the poison. “I will fight you with my dying breath… But I’d rather fight my way out.” She said as she breathed heavily, watching him carefully.
    • Love Love x 1
  10. His eyes fell from the struggling Druid, watching the abomination choke and gurgle on its last few breaths. In the daylight it was terrifying, if he'd seen it at night then surely it'd shake him to the core in a heartbeat.

    It wouldn't take a medicant to know she wasn't going to last against that things lingering taint. Tarsus almost felt pity for her, after all, she had fought so well against if. The killing blow would've come quickly at least, well, until the familiar word crossed his ear over the roar of the crowd. Deal.

    Instantly a sigh left his nose, no more for the day. A glance at the dwarven master and the fresh face told him she was sold, even if he'd not heard the details. Turning back to her he knelt, brushing sand around with his foot a few inches deep.

    "Eat some. It's clay. Should help.." He squatted down, wincing a bit from a rapidly growing bruise on his hip. Fingers dug into the soft tan soil of the later beneath the hot sands. It was cool as it went below his fingernails, and held its shape well, recent rain still helped it hold moisture and prevent the sand above from billowing out in the strong easterly winds. "Go on. He'll be mad as a hornets neat if you die." Despite the cheers of the crowd for more blood he persisted in being calm with eyes on Esha.
  11. Deafening jeers and boos resounded around the arena as the blood shed stopped. They expected the two to start fighting once they felled the beast, which normally would have taken place. Ironbeard made it to the arena master bellowing over the crowd for him to halt the fight. The arena master as a tall thin drow with nearly black eyes and dark navy blue skin. His white hair tied back he glared at the two of them. Annoyed that the fight was being called off. That meant that all the bet money had to be paid back, since no winners stood alone standing. But still as Ironbeard paid the human his gold he honored his wish, grabbing an ox horn that hung on his neck he gave it a deep blow. The deep bellowing sound alerted his goons in the pits to not let any other fighters or creatures in. Although just because he blew the horn didn’t mean the participants didn’t stop fighting one another.

    Her throat and stomach began to ache and nausea started to set in but her eyes never left the human. Would he kill her anyways? This must have been all he knew after all. Her body arched and she moved away as he moved closer, still not quite trusting him. But instead of attack he offered help. He kicked away sand to reveal clay and it was goddess sent. It was just what she needed to stave off the effects of the poison. She stared a moment unsure if he’d simply attack her while her guard was down. He mentioned someone being mad and her eyes briefly looked towards the man with the horn and the smaller hairier man beside him. Even through his thick beard she saw the grin.

    Pain stabbed her gut bringing her back to the moment. Wincing she dug her fingers into the sand before reaching out to take the sand that he’d dug out. Strangely it tasted better than the black blood that poisoned her body. The sand even helped get the taste out. She groaned still from the grain going down her burning throat. “Who’ll be mad… That stupid human who think he owns me?” She said looking up at him. Her ears twitching to the sound of gates opening. Her body tensed, trying to ready herself for another fight but nothing came out. Tarsus would know this meant the fight was over and they were meant to leave but Esha was clueless. After eating as much clay as she could she backed up, facing the gate waiting for something to come out. She took handfuls of sand and rubbed it on the black blood that covered her face and mouth. Trying to get as much off so it would stop sizzling in the sun.
  12. The horn was always a welcome noise, hearing it meant he had lived for another day in this hellhole. The whole situation had left him often melancholy, though rarely depressed or sad about his life, it was what it was, and what it was meant he killed to live. Any excuse to show humanity was a godsend, be it a rat in his cell, or in this case, a sick kitten.

    "No, the ugly thing with a beard." He stated with a monotone, thumb shooting over his shoulder at the grinning dwarf. Even from this distance Tarsus could imagine hearing the golden gears inside the dwarf's mind turning. It was the re gears of the gate that made him stiffen as he stood alongside the Druid. "Don't fight them. The lash bites hard."

    As the handlers came out with iron spear and chains in hand Tarsus unclasped his meager armor and let it fall to the ground, holding his arms in front of himself with fists clamped so they'd have no trouble putting them back on. One of the men sported a scar that ate up half his face, he seemed warier than the rest of the near naked gladiator. "And don't stare at his scar. He's mad enough I swallowed it." Again the monotone voice stuck, even if he was grinning as the chains locked around his wrists. They'd do the same to her, assuming she'd not try to maul any of them in the process.
    • Love Love x 1
  13. A smile almost twitched on her face as he mentioned ‘the ugly one with the beard’ although this meant she had been passed into someone else’s hands. This infuriated her more than she already was as this meant the likely hood of finding and getting her revenge on the human called Darren just became slim. She hissed deeply as men with chains and whips came into the arena. “Don’t fight them?!” She stammered out as another stabbing pain hit her stomach. Why not fight them? This was their only chance at freedom. She’d fight her way out, although she was clearing aiming high. Her condition was worsening by the moment.

    Still she’d fight with everything she had. She ignored Tarsus’ recommendation and stood her ground, letting out a deep cat like snarl as she backed up. She watched in panicked horror as they chained the other fighter. Her mind nearly broken by the fact he was laying down the fight with them. Though she was about to find out the hard way why. Fearing shifting would weaken her, Esha stayed in her humanoid form as she bolted towards the man with the deep scar. So focus on Tarsus he seemed like easier prey. A cougar scream leapt from her throat as she went low, like a feral beast she bit into his knee and clawed at his armor with her hands. Jerking back she pulled him off his feet but as she leapt for his throat she was hit on the side of her head but the cuff chains in his hands.

    Other guards leapt to his aide, whips cracked and sliced through her fur like butter. She roared again as she tried to regain from the blows though suddenly she felt something click around her neck. She ignored the crimson blood that poured from her side as she wrapped her hands around the catch pole. Esha flailed and thrashed as she fought with her weakening strength trying to get free. Cracks followed stinging slashes as they continued to whip her. “HEY! Yer breakin’ my merchandise!” An irritated voice bellowed above the cheering crowd. The one catch pole would have been enough but another was lashed to her neck to help aide control of the druid woman. The hot sand felt like acid on her fresh wounds as she was drug out of the arena. Suddenly she realized she should have listened to Tarsus.

    She let out a loud painful frustrated groan through gritted teeth as she was drug her into a cage. And though the bleeding slashes took her mind off the poison, she still was weakened by it. She was in a cage with Tarsus, one that could be moved when Ironbeard was ready to take them back to his own holding yard. If one could call it a yard. The cage was big enough to sit in opposite corners and not touch one another, although they wouldn’t be able to stand straight up. The druid curled herself into one of the corners, furthest from the door. Shivering from the effects of the poison and deep lashes in her fur. “I see… what you mean… The lash… does bite hard…” Her voice wavering from the pain, although there was a hint of humor in her voice.
    #13 Zizikitty, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  14. The cage was new, normally he was allowed to sit in one of the antechambers between pit and the storage rooms where fighters sometime got to choose their weapons early, or they kept less than happy creatures. No, this time was certainly different. Not only had he not been told to kill her before the thing's blood could, but now he was stuck in a cage with her. It was morose thinking that she'd gut him in a fit of rage at capture, even he'd begun to cringe after the third lash had hit her side, sand would likely just make it feel all the worse.

    Still, sitting chained up with his back against the cage bars gave him chance to look her over. He'd not sulk in a corner away from her, if she fought, he'd fight back. The thoughts were soon interrupted by a burly and rather dumb sounding individual he recognized as Russ, one of Ironbeard's bodyguards, wiggling a glass bottle that was large enough to be filled with wine. The substance sloshed about, creating some foam at the top near the cork. "Baws says ta' give dat kitty cat dis stuff. I ain't goin' nears ha." His accent was atrocious. "YOU do it, Tardus." Russ's jab was a terrible one, but still Tarsus took the bottle without a word, anything more than a peep might earn him a broken finger to humor the brute. Oafish as he was, Tarsus knew him to be exceedingly cruel to those he knew he could get away with it on.

    "I told you." It was his turn to speak now that he'd been left alone, relatively so, the guards were nearby a ways. "Now you'll have to heal before the next fight." He stated as he sat to his knees and began wriggling the cork from the bottle with a good deal of effort. Once it popped off it smelled strongly of alcohol and local herbs. He was almost tempted to take a swig if he didn't know better than to not drink the whole thing, the local apothecaries never made more than was needed.

    "You'll need to drink this. All of it." Now if he showed her any fear at how close he was to her he didn't show it. Though all too well he remembered how dangerous any cornered animal, man or were-beast could be, more than a few scars were given before he knew better. The bottle was held to her, if she were able he'd not help her drink. As much as he wanted to be kind and gentle he wouldn't dare, any weakness and they'd throw him to his death against impossible odds even soon.
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  15. The pain in her stomach was starting to take over the pain in her body. It felt like acid was eating and burning her insides. Esha was sure she’d die if no herbal remedy was given. Her mind started to flash with images of her family as she held her stomach painfully. Her father, mother but most of all her little brother. And the promise she made… The promise she’d broken. But as dark thoughts started to swim in her mind she suddenly head a cumbersome figure walking towards them. She would have lashed out but she dare not move for fear the pain worsen. Gritting her teeth and groaning her clawed hands dug into the wooden floor. She tried to listen as best as she could and a sense of hope filled her when she heard there was a remedy in his hand.

    Groaning louder as she curled tighter into a ball her one hand reached out eagerly for the bottle. Even before he was done talking. She did hear him say something about another fight but right now stopping the horrible pain was all she thought about. She nodded painfully, letting him know she did hear him. As soon as the bottle was in her hand she took a long swig from it. Groaning and opening her eyes in surprise. Gasping for breath from the pain as she looked at the bottle. “Are they trying to get me drunk or heal me?” She said shaking her head to chase away the strong flavor. It tasted like the ale they made back home mixed with a dozen or so herbs. The taste was terrible but still better than the black blood that had filled her mouth.

    Wincing again she took another long drink from the bottle. The more she drank the fuzzier her head got but also the pain in her stomach diminished as well. She let out one last groan of pain, this time from the alcohol burning her throat, before she sat up and let the bottle clink on the floor between her feet. Her hand moved to grip her hair as the pain in her stomach eased away. At least the remedy was fast working, whatever it was. “Did you say fight again?” She said tilting her head towards him. Wondering if bloodshed was only just beginning.
  16. He was a bit surprised when she drank it all as fast as she had, even he paced himself whenever he was gifted booze. With a heavy thump that shook the cage he sat back to the wall opposite the Druid, still eying her warily despite her sudden boom of chattiness. "Depends. " Behind them the crowd roared. "If you're unhurt and the fight ended too soon they'll keep going. I doubt there will be another today. Medicine or not."

    Tarsus didn't mean to stare how he did, with nothing else to look at save bars she was the most obvious thing to look to. Though he averted his eyes quickly when he became aware he'd been staring a bit too hard at her furred bosom and more feminine parts. Human or not, he was often lonely.

    "Don't know much else. Wasn't told anything.. But if the ol' skinflint wants you then you're worth more than a single day." The gladiator stated as he drew a leg up, stretching it up to his chest before letting it bounce back down. Again the crowd boomed and he heard the unmistakeable chanting for blood, some poor sod was done for.

    "Just put on a good show and you'll live longer.. They hate to see entertaining fighters die too soon.." He warned, having been spared the pike after a royale had turned nasty when the other three teamed up to kill him early on, too good for betting, they'd said. Throwing in a she-wolf who's pup had been killed, letting her take out grief and rage on the four fighters. Of course, only Tarsus made it out.
  17. The roar of the crowd drew her weary pain riddled mind awake again. Her ears perking to the sound of violence that echoed in the background as the human talked. She wasn’t pleased that there wasn’t going to be another fight. That meant she didn’t have another chance to escape. She started to wonder if she could escape this cage. She started to look to the bottle in her hand. Tapping it once she heard not the dull thud of wood but the clink of what sounded like crystal. Her tribe had not the technology to make glass so this object was of mild interest to her. Orange eyes lifted to look at the human and though he quickly adverted his eyes his stare was not missed.

    Tension filled her body slowly like a rising river as her shoulder gave a phantom ache. A memory of a time when she didn’t have control. Her hands gripped the bottle a little tighter, ready to defend herself should this male seek to take advantage of the wounded female. Her eyes narrowed and her feline face took on a cold stoic expression. The bellowing grew louder and it made her heart race in her chest. “I wont be dying.” She promised. “I didn’t get all these scars by being a den mother.” She said as she drew her eyes to the bars of the cage. Tapping the bottle against them looking for a weakness. She curled her legs under her, albeit slowly from the aching pain of one of the whips.

    “You showed me mercy and for that I thank you.” She started as she gripped the bars to see if they’d wiggle or come free. “But if I catch you looking at me like that again… I’ll claw your eyes out.” She said darkly as she gave him an aggressive threatening look. Esha kept hold of her bottle, knowing it could prove a good weapon if nothing else. Her training and instincts said to tear this human apart right now in the cage but Esha at least had enough sense to think. Killing him would get her nowhere but further injured. He clearly had prowess in combat, otherwise he’d be long dead by now. And fighting a season warrior in a confined space might end poorly for her. Then that got her thinking further. She paused from her fruitless task of trying to wiggle the bars free and looked at Tarsus. “Why did the put us together?” She said looking sideways at him.
  18. The clinking of the bottle got quickly annoying, luckily she stopped just as quickly as she started it seemed. A small relief. The first signs of a headache were soon creeping in, though he wasn't sure the cause just yet. Maybe stress and maybe that feeling of adrenaline leaving his veins. Then she called herself a den mother. A den mother? How in the six seas was he supposed to know what a den mother was? All he managed to do was roll his eyes and turn his gaze upwards, better to avoid staring at the strange female cat-thing for the time being.

    "Go 'head an' try it, kitten. See how well that turns out." Tarsus snapped back with a glare to match her own. Though he wasn't the best grappler he knew well enough already to avoid the claws and teeth, she wouldn't be much different from the were-beasts he'd killed before, as much as he didn't like it. Surely killing off Ironbeard's new fighter would go over poorly for him as well, even he feared the lash to some degree.

    "Because the same pompous dwarf owns both of us. He must've paid a small fortune for you, so don't piss him off, would ya'?" The fighter stated with a sigh, slumping back to let this new surge of adrenaline pass again. Cage fighting was a small nightmare in and of itself, the last thing he wanted to do was pick a fight in here.

    Another roar of the crowd, nearly overpowering the cries of some poor soul who's life was cut short. For a moment he wondered who that was, maybe a man he'd passed in a cell before coming here, it wasn't something he often thought about. Soon though, he looked to her with a wry smile. "You fought well, you know. Wasn't sure I'd make it out of that one alive."
  19. Esha merely glared at his retort. He was cocky. She had to give him that but then again he possibly had a reason to be. The way he handled that vile beast back in the pit was an example of his abilities. After a moment and she asked her question he gave a reply, with her hostility lowered so was his. She eyed him as he explained that was ‘bought’. Her tribal people didn’t have currency so buying and selling was a foreign concept to her and she didn’t understand what he meant. But she did understand the concept of ‘ownership’. All the bars closest to her had been checked and much to her disappointment they stayed firm in their place. Perched on her feet with her tail tip twitching in annoyance and looked up and narrowed her eyes. Though not necessarily at him. She was a slave now and she’d apparently be used in some sort of blood sort at the entertainment of other humans.

    “Think he’d be pissed if I killed him?” She replied in a cocky tone. They were placed in the same cage because the same man, or dwarf, owned them. While still perched on the ball of her feet she leaned back with a huff. Tail silently slapping the floor as she tried to think of another way out of this mess. Her round ears lifted again to the sound of the bellowing crowd. Her orange eyes scanned the room, her feline vision excellent in the low light of this dark dank cell. But she saw nothing more than other combatants in other cages. The smell of blood lingered in the air, suggesting some were wounded as well. She looked relaxed but her ears jumped to the slightest noise as she leaned back against the cold bars. The ache in her stomach was nothing more than a sore feeling and was almost forgotten about against the stinging pain of the lashes. She crossed her arms across her chest as the human broke the silence between them.

    A grin twitched on her feline face as he complimented her. She looked down trying to avoid him seeing her smile. But just as quickly as she looked away she looked back up. “You fight hard when you have something to live for…” Her voice hinted to regret and longing. She closed her eyes a moment and saw the smiling cheery chubby face of her cub brother. His pumpkin orange eyes looking brightly to his sister, brown freckles peppered the copper fur on his face. Laughing as she held him was her mother and father. Her mother sharing the same color as her brother but looking much like and older version of Esha. Her father shared many of her brothers features including the freckles but his fur color was tawny, like Esha’s. She even swore she heard their laughs as she opened her eyes. The precious image of her family was gone but it was what she held onto to get her out of here.

    She looked up at Tarsus, a cocky grin on her face this time. “Also helps that I’m one of the best warriors in my tribe.” Her words were bold but it was the truth. She smile faded as she became a little more serious, trying to seem less friendly. “You don’t fight half bad for a furless rat.” She remarked with a smirk. “I could tell by the way you moved that you are more of a warrior than other humans that I’ve killed.” That was about the best compliment he was going to get at the moment. She wanted to be cocky again but she turned humble for a moment. “We might have both died in that fight.” She confessed, her face leaving the cocky smile out of it this time.

    Then something caught her nose and ears. The doors to the pit opened as the pit guards pulled the limping winner into the room. As well as dragging a still bleeding corpse along the floor. She watched with terrified curiosity as they moved about. This made everything more real for her. That she had to get out and get back home. Shuffling followed by the tap of a cane soon entered her ears. This would be a tell tale sound to Tarsus as was the sound of clinking metal from his various daggers and coins. Esha’s stance became defensive as the short bearded figure walked to the cage. Ironbread gave a huge smile under his dark beard as he bounce the cane in his hand. It wasn’t an object he needed but it was used more as a club. To discipline his rowdy ‘pets’. “Eh that’s a good boy fer not killin’ my kitty, Tarsus!” He said in a jovial tone as he poked the warrior in the back with his cane.

    Esha gave a deep hiss followed by a rumbling growl from her throat as she lowered herself, ready to reach through the bars and slice his throat open should he come any closer. The dwarf was followed but his two henchmen, Russ which she had met and his comrade Steve. Steve was more quiet but possibly just as dumb and cruel. A tall brutish man whom was riddled with scars on his face. A nick on his chin was one that Tarsus gave him when he underestimated the man.
  20. All the moving she was doing had begun to wear on his nerves, though he doubted she'd attack him here it still put him a bit more on edge. It wasn't long before he grew slightly accustomed to it and began to ignore it, head turned as his legs drew up to place his arms on. At least the she-cat wasn't bad to look at when she wasn't eyeing him or trying to garner more conversation out of him.

    "Don't make him mad, for the love of Nui don't piss the man off." Briefly he looked a bit morose, downtrodden, even a bit sad as he spoke. The next he was back to the cold hard steel he often wielded in combat, rubbing his eyes and really wanting some water to wash away the sand he'd gotten in his mouth, gods how it grinded and irritated his gums. "Ya' fight to live, don't need much else." Was added in reply as though it was an afterthought, not bothering to make eye contact as he spoke.

    Her compliment garnered a half-hearted chuckle as he gave her a sideways look and a raised brow, the grin just seemed natural given the situation. "You don't fight bad for an over-sized kitten either." Then it was gone again, the smile lingering only for a few moments when he heard the loud guffaw of the approaching dwarf.

    His mention of not killing off Esha was met with a half wave as Tarsus at least made eye contact with him, knowing the dwarf couldn't stand it when folks didn't look at him when he was present, or talking, of which he did all the time. "Yer' welcome." Ya' impudent, stocky, conniving, rotten bastard. Of course his mouth didn't move for the last part, at least he put on a fake smile to show he was marginally grateful for the compliment.
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