Two And I

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Alistair
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Two And I

Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:14 pm

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The darkness came for the fourth time. The black mists sputtered about, wildly, consuming segments of the city with the cyclical humming of the wind. It seemed almost that when the mist receded, as it so often seemed to, that much of the city had changed. The people and their faces shifted; where once a mother and her three children may have lain, the beasts of Nagash would come to her home within the field of black and split them apart. No one seemed to die, though . . . they would just change; a child one day would become a child marred by war, with a sword and shield in his hands. And then the next, a sailor, a singer, a boy with an innocent crush - and the crush would change. The child would sometimes almost die, but then the black would come, and his suffering would end for the night. He would be there again, on the morrow, alive.

What seemed strange to Alistair was that in this city - the one that he only seemed to meet at night, somewhat lucid and somewhat aware - he was one of the few who seemed to look upon the others and know. That it was false. That something was wrong with these images, with the black mist descending, with the beasts of Nagash and the craven mothers and fathers who always seemed to let their responsibilities fall and their burdens pass on. Though Alistair didn't quite truly know, he had grasped; this was a city of nightmares. And the people changed, always changed, disappearing and shuffling through... except for the onlookers. And who were they? The Magi.

He had always lived in this city in the night. Mostly... in a hospice, across the room from the strange man with the hedge cutter, and the carving knife. Sometimes face-to-face with the demon that had done such harm to Damien, his dearest friend. Somewhere along the line, those images had gone awry, and that shadow twisted into nothingness. And there he was; free, roaming the black corridors of Nagareen, weaving through alleyways and watching men murder their wives through the exaggerated golden lights that gleamed through their curtains... or equally watching wives throw their husbands from those same sills.

Everything about this place was terror. And every apparition that was not human, that was born and bled from the blackness of this place, appeared to linger at his back and lurch whensoever he did not dare to look.

Alistair was dressed in a black trench coat, with cold mists of air spewing from his lips each time he attempted a breath. The city was cold - it always had been. Alistair often searched for the good traits.

"Kin' Mallard bit the dust, she tol' ya?" a man whispered, in the city's grimy accent. That was another thing - everyone was of poor breeding, and insecure speech.

"Nay, nun' tol' me that," the woman he was speaking to replied.

"Tha' cook at Brinditch say his son kill'im. Long live the Kin', right?" he laughed. Long live the King.

The mist began to fall, lower and lower. The next round of people were about to disappear, and a new batch was to come in. He could see the beasts from within the clouds, and could hear their yawning, and gnawing for the flesh they all relentlessly sought to consume. Alistair knew that it was time to go inside - his flesh was, above all, most desirable. So, he stepped to the entrance of a shanty place that laid in the center of this alley-corridor, and parted the sliding wooden door, shutting it behind him. It was something of a bar, but with only a few seats, and a cramped room only a few meters wide in each direction. The bartender was seemingly a golem, or some other metallic animate beast. No one appeared to be lucid, like they were all stuck dumb, watching their fantasies unfold. The bad ones, at that.

That was almost everywhere, though. Above all, Nagareen was lonely, and these mold-covered bars even moreso. He was surrounded by the warmth of human proximity, but all of his peers were too blind to others. He took a drink - one that looked and tasted like blood and iron - and sipped somberly, lonesome. And then he waited, for his own mist to come. For this night to end.
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Re: Two And I

Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:24 am

It started subtle. Like waking from hibernation where the hunger of seasons gripped on a stomach with viciousness of a bear. Only this time, that spasming pain was not in his abdomen, but his left forearm...and various other parts of his body. Something warm poured over his skin and the smell of iron in the air was as strong as blacksmith's breakfast of metal shavings.
He groaned and turned. Uncomfortable. The squelching sure did not sound right. Then the searing pain of thousand claws digging into his body and ripping out flesh shocked him awake. With a scream that would sore his throat, Finn burst to full awareness. What he saw...frightened him still.
Gaunt faces covered in rotting cuts hovered over his body. Skin hung of their scalp, hair only in chunks covering the ghastly baldness. But their teeth. So few in the mouth but sharp, with last dinner dangling here and there. One of them grinned, before going for the next mouthful.
Finn felt its teeth sinking into his shoulder. Rusty razors forcing their way through the resistance of fibre. The creature's descent gave way to a more horrific sight. Behind it, another sat. With something wiggling in its mouth as it chewed in delight, holding Finn’s left arm down.
“No,” Finn whispered, petrified. He realised immediately what the piece of flesh was. They took it.
“No…!” Another hollow groan like echo in a cave. The need for survival surged through the priest’s body. It broke the chains of fright paralysis and he knew he could move again when a cold, bony hand landed on his abdomen. Jagged nails scraped across the skin and opened shallow lacerations like scratches from a cat. Finn didn’t need to see, didn’t want to see what did it. Swinging his other arm around, it connected with something, unsettling its balance and relieving his own body of its pressure. Then with the space given, Finn curled a tight fist and pummelled it into the temple of the flesh eater feasting on his shoulder. The creature let go with a sickening pop as its sucking on Finn’s blood was interrupted and it fell backwards in surprise, dazed. Next in line was the worst of them all.
It saw. It knew. It snarled at Finn, gulping down the delicacy. In its crouch it readied its jagged claws, releasing Finn’s injured limb. Mistake. Through the adrenaline, the priest ignored the blistering agony as he lifted up slightly, to engage his core and swing his shin at the head of the abomination. Right across the disgusting face, its teeth knocked in.
Howling in pain and in frustration, the thing fell over. This was Finn’s chance. Scrambling to his feet, frantically looking around, he closely avoided a recapture by the first creature he shoved aside.
Door! He dashed for it, breaking out like a tornado freed from its chains, exploding out onto the street. A gust of cold wind rushed over his bare skin at the chest. Wearing but a pair of breaches, the priest shivered but it might as well have been panic. For a moment, he paused, breathing ragged, shallow. Close above him strange dark mist was settling and it did not feel like good news. Behind him angered screeching filled the air. He was reminded of the predators. His instincts flared up.
The monstrosities filled out of the door like disorganised pack of dogs, yapping and clawing at each other, just as Finn turned a corner into a darker alley. Could they smell him? Could they hear him? He didn’t know, but he heard the thudding steps of pursuit.
Another corner. His heart in his throat. How close were they? Could he feel their breath on his heels? Their blood thirsty claws at his calves? He dared not look.
Over the fallen barrel. A meagre obstacle in the way of the unnatural beasts. He had to hide. Away from those things. He had to mend...the wound that did not bleed.
In his frantic escape, he saw the inn signage idly hanging in the air. They may help. They may kill the nightmares for him.
Ramming into the door with his shoulder, it gave in under the force way too easily, causing Finn to stumble to a halt lest he’d face plant the floor. But even before his balance was regained, he spun back to face the door gaping apart.
“They took it…” He whispered desperately, stepping backwards. Finn clutched his injured arm to his chest, unaware that there was no hint of his pursuers on the street outside. To him the horrors were still all too real.
word count: 792
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Re: Two And I

Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:44 pm

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The men around him wore cloudy vision, like their eyes were settled in a thick fog; they viewed things absently for a time, and then with utter clarity, their eyes widening to the image of the mage wearing his black coat, waving his hands before them. Their pauses between misty-eyed, open-lipped staring and the intense focus they gave were gaps in the dream, though he was not aware enough to understand that fact. Instead, he could only wonder why their consciousness seemingly broke and came restored, and why they stared at him with such a provoking gaze when their focus returned. Alistair . . . perhaps made one man's dream what it was; a Nightmare, curiously examining the globules of his eyes, summoning tools from his own black mist as he delved into the man's curious eyes. Firstly with a needle, then with a wide clip of tongs as he pulled them from their sockets.

There was then no gap, and no half-conscious gleaning; the man's body awoke with terror, as so violently he fled... with his eyes both gone from their sockets, blood pooling down his face. Alistair attempted to stop him, grasping at his shoulder, but in flickers he moved beyond what seemed possible. The mage recoiled, as he questioned the informality of his actions. The blood did seep through, and pooled within the center of his palms, before it began to overflow. Within the tongs still lied the peering, misty eyes, undisturbed from when he'd first plucked them. He wondered if the man could still see through them, when the mist receded... but then he questioned the violence of his curiosity. He felt crude, and disgusted, and eventually he let the eye fall from the grip of the tongs as it dribbled silently against the surface of the shanty floor.

He fell into the same seat of that man, who had left in the wake of his terror, and felt a gap amidst his own dream. The time spent in blackness was agonizing, as his mind gnawed on him; why did he act in such a manner? How had his curiosity always managed to manifest so cruelly? Behind him, he could feel it... the heads of corpses rose from the walls, all the dead he'd raised, with all their maledictions and carved imperfections. He'd always been a cruel man with a scalpel, tepidly splicing mounds of flesh together, seeing where the body--

The door snapped open, and a flurry of chilled winds smashed through, bewildering the silent watchers of the black-molded bar. It quickly thereafter shut, as a man half-limped through, with injuries so foreign and grievous that even the Magi felt ill looking upon him. Alistair winced away from his gaze, as the blackness receded, and his guilt stilled. The eyes he'd plucked seemingly still rolled around the floor of the bar, and dribbled, like balls bouncing against a flat surface. The blood that pooled in his hand now stained the edges of his seat, as he'd gripped them for dear life through the visions that came.

But the man was not his own doing. He had been injured by something else - the dark things that they all saw. Alistair knew.

They took it, the man whispered, his tone drenched in misery; he was bewildered and afraid, a damaged thing. Immediately, Alistair stood from his seat, his boots clacking against the wooden floor as he grasped at the shoulders of the damaged man. Two of the tables along the edge of the wall seemingly vanished, and in their place the smallest bed formed from the ground. The mage - the doctor - quickly set the damaged man onto the surface of the bed, commanding the role he so often did in life. Perhaps, he could only imagine, there was a gentle nature to his curiosity. Perhaps.

One of the eyes dribbled closer to him, and the mage viciously plucked it from the ground, before lodging it into the flesh that surrounded the open hole of Finn's upper arm. The eye dug in, but began to apparently... repair the flesh around it, slowly. Alistair watched with silent nodding, as if he'd anticipated that result; the eye was somehow no longer a foreign object, but yet another tool of his.

And then, though all of this had been done unspoken, the mist truly receded now from his own eyes... and he looked upon the broken man. Terrified, bewildered, weakened... but a face that he remembered. From somewhere else, something else, only briefly. And a handsome, proud face, if not marred by the horrors of this place. Alistair's eyes silently wept for him, the lightest droplets of tears falling from them, and moistening his cheeks. Whether or not Finn felt anything in return -- fear at the vortex that was his eyes, or attraction to the glamour that emerged from the wings of his back, or any other manner of things... it didn't matter. Alistair only felt sorrow, and he felt it dearly.

"This place is filled with such... terror," he said. "We need to get out."
Last edited by Alistair on Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 859
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Re: Two And I

Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:19 pm

The door swayed. Taunting him. Laughing at him. Mocking his suffering with whispers of the horrors outside. He was shuffling backwards, away from the possibilities of the monsters still lurking out there, until he felt a heavy hand fall on his shoulder.
He did not hear the approach. He was not aware of another presence. So when he spun around to face what he feared was another danger, Finn’s eyes were wide open, ready to mobilize himself to escape once more. Alas, that was not needed. For when his eyes fell upon the man, Finn saw no razor sharp teeth, no oily tufts of hair sticking out of the skull, no rotting flesh gracing the face. Only a human. Or as human as it would get.
Falling prey to the illusion of safety, Finn relaxed from the curved tension in his back just as the pressure from the hand guided him on top of the bed. His eyes zoned out. The reality sinking into his dream consciousness. His mark...was gone. The one thing that defined him as a Grafter, torn out. Devoured by a creature right out of the worst nightmare. Ultimately gone. Everything he hoped to be resting in the belly of a beast.
He allowed the man to manipulate his arm, examine the wound of exposed muscle tissue and tendons. All was so clear and void of blood that any anatomy fanatic could examine each fibre with clarity. Finn shivered, feeling last rush of adrenaline racing up to his head and then the pressure suddenly dropped. For a moment, it was as if life was sucked out of him, causing him to sway back and forth for a fraction of a trill. About the same time an eyeball landed in the gaping cavity in his forearm.
“Oi! What?!?!?!” Finn protested, grossed out. He attempted to pick out the misplaced object, feeling the prickles of disgust run up and down his spine.
“This is not going to…” fix it? His fingers dipped into the wound at the time that the eye began transforming. It was wet. It was warm. And his fingers emerged covered in a gooey substance. Looking at that and his healing forearm, Finn felt his stomach turn. He did not even dare to ask where this man found that eye, or who it belonged too. Maybe it was another perk of this place. Random eyes rolling around the place like an emergency first aid kit.
Maybe it will make a third one… Something whispered inside his mind. A voice he’s not heard before and it made his hair shoot up in attention. Much like his eyes when he heard the man speak.
Like a saving Avriel that swept to a rescue, it was hard to believe that the man had a voice. The storm greys of fright bore into the face of the man in front him, for the first time looking to see. For the first time captured but something else than a pack of hungry abominations. A fragile calm overcame him. There was something to the way this man looked that fascinated Finn and he could hardly pinpoint what it was.
“Yes,” the priest murmured quietly like a hypnotized subject in an experiment. Before the discipline took over, snapping him out of the trance with a crack. The door slammed shut forebodingly. Shaking his head to clear his mind of the fog so similar to the one outside, Finn nodded.
“Yes, we need to get out of here,” he said more clearly, standing up, but he could hardly yet focus with the eye turning frantically inside his forearm and a screeching howl coming from the outside.
word count: 622
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Re: Two And I

Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:52 pm

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Shock - he'd encountered that feeling before. The awe of what could be performed here, in this place beyond places, with rules inexplicable to them both. Finn's terror and amazement were one in the same, and Alistair almost reveled in witnessing his horrified bemusement. The mage nodded quietly as his patient quivered in disgust, and as the eye twisted and turned, weaving itself into blood and muscle fiber and bone. It mended through assimilation, and at the end of it all, nothing but the slight discoloration of skin remained. Alistair nodded upon witnessing the completion of his work.

All Finn's lips had to offer was agreement. But then, Alistair understood; the circumstances they were bound to were shocking, and startling, both.

"You're new here - a Wanderer," he assumed, his eyelids lowering as his gaze narrowed. With his palms, he examined what was previously a wound marring the man's skin. It was still so strange to see what powers this place had brought. "We're in Nagareen -- a city of Nightmare. It's a... hunting ground, I can only describe it; and all the prey are of mankind. The predators rule the roads, and are unbound by what we understand as physical constraints. I've been dwelling here for some time, and despite my continued survival, I've found myself unable to overcome these creatures. Even the most feeble of them." But then - he was just a doctor. His role was to live, and to help others live. A wellspring of health, a man of supposed knowledge.

Though he could recall having greater powers at one time, he was bound only to the knowledge that he was a Mage, and not what that meant or what he could do. Alistair could only wonder if Finn had some greater wonders to draw from - if by his addition there might be some hope. Even if meager.

A horrific, screeching wail sounded from beyond the doors. The knob shook, and the windows beat with the sound of what felt like heavy wind. Alistair was visibly lit by discomfort; a fear. From what he knew, some of these places could not be invaded by the Nightmares. But how could he really know that any of the laws of this place were bound to hold?

Even so, he didn't want to go. Not yet. He wanted to still his fear behind this wall, and with the complacency of conversation. It only felt right.

"S-so," he began, "What's your name? I'm Alistair Venora. You're the first I've been able to hold a conversation with, to be honest -- all the other onlookers quickly scurried away. Always running from something; always in fear. I suppose that's the nature of this place, but all the more glad I am to have met someone truly awake." The mage smiled faintly, though his expression was lit by an uncertainty. A deep, compelling anxiety - what if Finn would quickly flicker away? Or lose his cognizance? He'd had a few encounters with... hopefulness here, and always, they were dashed by the onslaught of insanity that appeared to affect all. In response, he could only look upon the man silently, and wait to judge whether the two could truly be companions in this darkly place.
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Re: Two And I

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:31 am

Maybe seen, maybe unseen but at the end of the gross regrowth of his forearm, the tissue underneath the skin was attempting to continue to malform, bending the skin almost imperceptible to the naked eye. If the man examining his forearm was any good in detection or maybe even medicine, he would have felt it. But it seemed that the power driving the continued growth was dwindling, unable to finish what it felt it needed to. Hence, whatever was bubbling inside the tissue could not take on a full form. Finn could feel it in there. It was a sensation he experienced once before. But the continuous struggle to completion unsettled him more than its absence. In a twitch, he withdrew his forearm to rub it himself in a nervous, somewhat irritated manner.
“Wanderer? Nagareen?” He asked the man who would later introduce himself as Alistair. It made no sense, though the truth was there. This surely felt like a hunting ground and the priest’s eyes scanned their surrounding, feeling as if he was looking through a mist at something he was meant to understand, but which eluded him still. Part of him even questioned safety of this dingy bar.
However, the assault on the door startled both of them. Finn took a cautionary step back, forgetting about his limb as the drive for survival kicked in with new healthy dose of adrenaline. He couldn’t tell if it was the same screech as earlier, from those nasties that bit out his arm...his gift. But if it was, he felt a surge of violence so alien to his nature that its high was almost intoxicating. He’d have them pay. Even if he was no fighter himself. They transgressed.
Then the need in the man’s look struck Finn without warning, halting him in his boyish burst of false bravery. It was the expression in Alistair's eyes that pinned him in place. The anxiety of being left alone, of waging in this unforgiving space for himself. Something distant touched his heart center. Cold. Left outside to fare for itself. Was this solitude Alistair’s own torture to bear? His own nightmare to live out here each day like the sleepers he described a moment ago?
His eyes flicked to the door which remained ominously silent, though there was no doubt something was waiting just past the threshold.
“Finn Ashbroken,” the priest replied, his cautious grey hues settling on Alistair properly at last to see him properly in the clearest attempt of self-consciousness one could achieve in a place like this. “How did you end up here then, Alistair?” He questioned curiously, moments before the knob rattled again and from behind the worn wooden door, there came a pitifully begging screech as if to lure the less knowing into its trap. Something began to scratch at the entrance like children’s broken nails asking to be let home.
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Re: Two And I

Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:19 am

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The shaking continued. The screeching, and of course, the anguished scratching on the door - like someone was begging to be let in. But they could come in if they wanted to, if they were human. Only Nightmares couldn't enter, and so... he didn't want to open that door, to let the Nightmare in. The Nagash, he called them, at the behest of another he'd met some time ago. They were truly creatures of nothing but horror, that despised all that lived. He was sure of it.

"F-Finn, huh?" he replied. All of the fearlessness he'd ever demonstrated... as a mage, a man of skill and talent, dispersed quickly in the face of these relentless horrors. He'd never before been the victim of paralyzing weakness; he even felt it clenching at his throat, almost suffocating him. There was a sudden strange, incredible desire to leave, to get out. Even if it meant dying - dying was perhaps his release from it all. And the screeching continued, with shadows moving across the foggy class of the bar, each shape horrific in nature.

The man restrained his fears, for a trill. With Finn came opportunity - the ability to hunt these creatures, or at least clear a path. He'd noted many humans gathering around the city Cathedral, and wondered if it might be a refuge. No matter how he tried, though, he could never make it. The density of the monsters grew as he drew nearer, and there were as many fleet-footed runners carving through the crowd of beasts as there were corpses laying on the floor, only to quickly fade into shadow, much like the beasts themselves.

He calmed himself. The man clearly was not one for many words, and that was alright. He was one for far too many words, so the two would balance out.

"Finn. We need to leave this room," he said, with some urgency. "There are more of them gathering. We need to fight. Here," he began, and in a blink, it was almost as if the object in question flickered into being. It was a blade, of unspectacular make and quality, likely silver being the material used in its construction. Silver being the material of the weapon was, of course, funded by Alistair's own mythologies... which bled into the dream.

His own weapon appeared - a trusty spear. It looked and felt just like Shadowsong, from the waking world, and its familiarity brought him comfort. But in Nagareen, he did not feel like a warrior. Only a doctor, again, scared of what lied outside. Feeling the burden of his own expectations grow on him, and knowing he could not properly wield such a weapon, the man set the spear down and instead crafted a surgeon's saw between his fingers. A weapon of comfort, for a man who apparently only knew how to work bones, and meld eyeballs into flesh.

"There will be more time for understanding later. The Dark Ones are here - we need to fight them. You'll understand for yourself when you do," he said. "I'm not particularly proficient with a weapon, so I'll need you to lead the charge. I'll mend whatever wound they may incur on you, I promise, Finn. And I'll guide both of us to somewhere we might find safer than this."

The doorknob rattled again, and began to twist, and press forward. It almost popped, though it reeled back quickly before it did. The shadows skittered, shifting their positions, before pressing against the wall. He could see their silhouettes, and their hungry white eyes, as they stared directly into the room. Their faces were pressed against the glass.

They were looking at them, sadism in their eyes. He recognized that intense vitriol, and being the weak man that he was... Alistair was, eminently, locked to the soles of his feet.
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Re: Two And I

Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:02 am

He looked outside in the moments of silence. What else was there to do, but think about that place? Its inhabitants with tendencies for violence and unnatural taste pallet...
Finn felt caged. The walls loomed over them, dark. The shadows claustrophobic. Finn shifted. His back tensed again. Suddenly, torn out of his own prison of fear, the priest shot Alistair a glance, followed by a nod.
The blade looked alien. He's never held one before, or felt like he hadn't. What was to change now suddenly? The only reason he held it by the hilt was enough awareness that slicing his head off would not help them survive. So he took it. It's weight reassuring in his grip even if it meant he'd swing it without aim or experience. After all, it was another length between him and the creepers out there.
"Do we know what we're fighting?" Although the idea of a skirmish made him uncertain, it spurred heat deep inside his belly like the waking of a smithing forge. The raging fire of survival, but also...the thirst to harm. A strong grudge he never knew he could hold. His need to tear stilled only when he was designated to lead the attack.
Wide eyes looked at Alistair. Disbelief was not the only emotion stark in the molten greys that were still heated somewhat. "You kiddin' right?" Looking at the weapon in his hand, the man in front of him and the door that rattled violently, a shiver arrested his body. "What makes you think I survive?" Even with the healing, maybe Finn would get bit one too many times? Maybe his hand would get torn off and that'd be the end of him. He wasn't ready to die.
Seizure then shot through his forearm where the eyeball turned into his witchmark. A roar thunder through his brain heard only by him. He thought he'd explode and then his consciousness slipped. It felt like a kick in his lower back, but it restarted the flames. The door rattled, dust falling of the walls, the hinges barely holding on. Finn twisted his lips, baring his teeth.
"If I die, Alistair," the priest whispered deep in his throat in the most unholy of ways. "I'll come and haunt you." A sidelong look of deadly gravity punctuated his words. The whites of the gazes irritated him. This place irritated him.
Make them new. The roar gentled itself into a whisper with hunger of its own and inclinations most unnatural. But it was enough of a impetus. Remembering only the pain, Finn propelled himself forward through the open door. Screaming on top of his lungs almost to match the shrieking, now excited and starved.
There was no aim or precision in his swing still but lethal force of survivor. Anything that moved would be a subject to his attack. Adrenaline numbed him, red mist took over his eyes...
Or was it the first wound he received? Knocked back by a claw, ringing in his ears, his forehead sliced with blood pouring down into his eyes.
word count: 529
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Re: Two And I

Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:46 pm

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Knowledge:
None Requested

Loot: None Requested
Injuries: None Requested
Fame: None Requested
Magic: +2 Dreamwalking

Comment: NONE REQUESTED. jk. whythefuckdidalistairtakethatguyseyesthatssorude. And you call Fridgar violent.

Finn

Points: 15

Knowledge: None Requested

Loot: None Requested
Injuries: None Requested
Fame: None Requested
Magic: +2 Dreamwalking

Comment: Well, I'm sorry you're leaving. This thread was fune to read. I've left you some rewards in case you do come back someday.

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Please paste my thingy here!
word count: 112
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"Who needa politics when you can eat the politics."
-Nightshade Eld 02/02/19
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