A Pound of Flesh (Pegasus Quest featuring Finn, Kasoria, and Qit'ria)

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Qit'ria
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A Pound of Flesh (Pegasus Quest featuring Finn, Kasoria, and Qit'ria)

Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:38 pm

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Zi'da 60, 718, Sunset



Qit'ria sat crouched in the shadow of a chimney atop, looking down upon the castle with her panther eyes. The sun was finishing setting, and Qit'ria's ears twitched as they swiveled all about, listening for signs of that boy with the magic. What was his name? Feen? Sounded right. Her large batwings were wrapped around her form, as she studied the distant castle. It was surrounded by a moat, looked rather large, and she could see figures moving around atop it, as well as others moving around down on the ground. They were easy to spot, they were carrying torches so as to be able to see in the darkness. But even from here, she could see the large swaths of darkness between the patrols.

Tonight was the night. The last night in Rynmere. There was one person above all others, other than herself, for what happened with her family, with her father. King Cassander. It wasn't hard to discover that it was he who ordered the Mantis into existence, it was talked about quite often. And so, he was the one she would make pay. She remembered the coin she'd found with the king's likeness in it. She was pretty certain she'd be able to pick him out. It shouldn't be hard to find him in his own house, no matter how big.

Qit'ria wondered what would be the best way to get her and Feen across the moat. She could fly and carry him in her current form easily enough, swim beneath the surface as a Mer or as the sword dolphin, or take one of the ferries. She looked down at the vines that wrapped around her ankle, and slowed her breathing as she tapped into it. She could feel the forest envelop her, she could smell the trees, hear the wind and the birds. It was as if she were there in the Lori, truly. She felt a stirring in the far and distant spirit, a comforting reassurance. The forest was mightier than the city and the huntress mightier than the king.

She knew very little of the boy, but she trusted him more than most people she'd met. She got a good feeling from him. And something about him felt... natural. He was a city boy, yet she got the strange feeling the wilds might accept him too. The elements themselves seemed to welcome him. And so, Qit welcomed him as well. Plus, he was Zeepa's kin. And while Qit had been hurt by Zeepa, she still held the woman in a dear place within her. So Zeepa's brother was her brother. Zeepa had fought with her many a times, in situations a lot more dangerous than some king and his "guards". Qit assumed that Feen would fight with her too. She could feel it.

Once he arrived, Qit'ria would return to her Sev'ryn form, nude save for her bear cloak totem wrapped around her shoulders though splayed open. Tied around her waist was her magic bag that held her many javelins, and a few other things. Hanging between her breasts was her self totem and the hand from the Mer. Around her wrist was her rat totem and cat totem bracelets, from her ears her batcat totems, her opposite wrist was her vines and finally, her angry turtle mask covering her face. There were no clothes, no loin cloth, no breast covers. She'd long since stopped using such things when hunting. She relied on her magic, on her forms, her vines, and her magic bag. Everything else was pointless.

This was her predator form, and tonight, she hunted a King.



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Kasoria
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Re: A Pound of Flesh (Pegasus Quest featuring Finn, Kasoria, and Qit'ria)

Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:51 pm

Things were as they had been, so many times before. He was, in the span of his form, as he had been for almost as long as the boy had been alive. He was a thing in shadows, and almost of them, so attuned was he with their depth and security. Even his black eyes didn't seem to shine in the darkness; just stared out coldly, interrupted only by quick, reptilian blinks. A monument of burning torches and stained glass windows and towering marble rose ahead of him. A mark of human civilization, regal power, noble authority over all it could survey, gouged and planted so that all in the city could see, and know, and tremble, and obey.

The man in the shadows did not scoff nor sneer. True, he came from a city that would make the spires and walls of the palace look like a child's castle in the sand. But he knew an impressive construct when he saw it, and appreciated it as such. That said, he was not concerned with architecture or culture at that time. His eyes scanned and raked and flickered and looked for crevices and doorways and grates and windows and any other chink in the stone armor.

Things were as they had always been for Kasoria. He was a scuttler in shadows, seeking entry into a fastness, intent on murder and outrage within.

But this isn't Etzos, the boy isn't Vorund, and there's no purse for this job.

Andaris City was where he found himself, and he sighed at yet another cruel jest the Fates had played upon him. No hated Immortals did he recognize (curse and thrice damn them and their abominations), only the machinations of man, the whims of the ether, and the inscrutable designed of the Fates. All three had seen him plucked from a forgotten dungeon underneath Etzos, and hurled through a portal to his freedom. All accurate, oh yes... only it wasn't Etzos he found himself liberated upon. Hells, it wasn't even the same continent.

Yet again, feeling less and less shame every time he did it, Kasoria cursed that mage who'd broke him out. The man had broken his chains and brawled with him, slayed with him, and ripped a hole in reality that he might escape through. He died so that Kasoria could live. He sacrificed the last drams of his life, so the Rupturing portal would remain open... and still Kasoria cursed him. Now he was a thousand leagues from home. Wounds still itched and ached and gnawed under his skin, pulling and hissing at stitches barely healed. His purse was gone, and all his weapons save the Talon at the small of his back, and the brass knuckles in his pocket.

But you got the talisman, he reminded himself, feeling the featherweight of the naerikk-scorning necklace against his chest. Wasn't a total loss.

Something moved in the darkness behind him. Kasoria's ear pricked, keen senses forged in a city even more claustrophobic and merciless than this one heightened as it scratched into his ear. Scratched. Almost. More like... grinding. Leather or cloth against stone. Like a footfall. He half-turned and peered over one shoulder, eyes almost hidden by the masses of hair he has spilling out of every scrap of skin upon his head, save his ears and his face (most of it).

Kasoria inhaled, and what his nostrils quivered at told him yet more. Something foul and familiar yet inhuman. He smiled softly, a gesture without real humor that did not touch his eyes. He slackened the grip on the karambit at his back and turned away from the unseen figure. Turned his gaze back to the castle across the moat, and his mind back to how they would get inside... even though it would be him deciding that.

"You still smell like horse shit," he said, loud enough for the boy in the shadows behind him to hear. "Should do somethin' about that."

He didn't say anything else, just waited for the boy to sidle up next to him. He should probably have a little more respect for "the boy", considering he was technically working for him, but he found it hard to separate the hard-faced little bastard Finn was now from the soft-faced little cunt he knew years before. It wasn't like he was disrespectful, though. This was the second time O'Connor had saved his life, or thereabouts. Looking back, he thought he could have probably got over to Randulf himself, bacn in Etzos, but ten days before... no, he was still spry enough to steal that horse and get away.

Oh, aye. With nothing on but breeches, no saddle, no reins, no coin, and two open wounds pissing blood all over yourself. Fates, man, learn some fucking humility.

The b... Finn, took up position next to him in the darkness, and Kasoria turned to give him a curt nod. They had business in that castle, them and another figure he could not see and wasn't sure he wanted to again. Quit, or whatever her name was, seemed like something trapped between mankind and daemon. Her eyes were more at home amidst a pack of wolves than in the skull of a young girl. Her language was chopped and mutilated, as if someone had thrown it to a starving animal then jammed it back in her throat. More than that, she had a cunning to her, an intelligence... and wyrd.

Kasoria was hardly unfamiliar with magic, and he knew when a mage of prodigious strength was before him. Quit was one such, and had already proved it to him. Kasoria had been impressed, though he tried his best to hide it behind his eternally impassive stoicism (tried and failed, in point of fact). But marrying that power, that wyrd, that magic, to a mind like that?

Hold fast to hope, boy.

Strange words for an assassin, yet he heeded them still. The night was dark and the shadows deep, but dawn would come eventually. He snorted softly at the trite imagery, moreso because it was true for him. One job, unexpected and fantastical, and he was free of these two. He'd have a fat purse and passage back across the sea, plowing West across the waves, and back to a city-state that believed he was dead alongside his gangster master. Fine by Kasoria. Better than he could have hoped, in fact.

He was still in the tunnel, wrapped in the shadows, but the light was still burning beyond it. All he had to do was keep the... Finn, alive, and make sure Quit got the head she was seeking.

The head of a king.

Kasoria smiled. He couldn't help it. After all, how often did a man in his line of work get to carve his name into such a secret history?

One fucker of a last job.

"What's the plan, boss?"
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"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
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Re: A Pound of Flesh (Pegasus Quest featuring Finn, Kasoria, and Qit'ria)

Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:57 pm

A Pound Of Flesh- 60th Zida, 718


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A few trials prior…

Stood at the edge of a quiet plaza, bordering the center of town, was a small two-story house that had seen better days. The three, narrow stone steps leading up to the door were chipped, flakes of paint were coming off the window sills and the roof tiles had turned from bright red into a dreary brown. Colorless curtains hung slightly skewed behind the house’s only front-facing windows and yet the Landlord, who owned many houses on the plaza, had the audacity to charge twenty-three golden nels for the remainder of the season, citing the proximity to town and the opportunities provided by a small eight-by-eight garden as luxury benefits.

“I’ll take it,” said Finn with a curt nod.

The Landlord hadn’t taken him seriously when he’d walked into the man’s office, but after insisting for long enough that he was interested in rentals and capable of paying, the blubbery man had discharged one of his underlings to seal the deal.

“You will?” There was no shortage of surprise on the face of the young man who had shown him around the property, mumbling some poorly rehearsed lines about the benefits of living on the plaza. He’d looked tired, underfed, and underpaid and Finn had already made up his mind the moment he’d first laid eyes on the place. “When did you say your family would be arriving again?”

“Within ten-trials, I think,” answered Finn.

That seemed enough to satisfy the mustached fellow’s curiosity and he was glad the man didn’t pry further.

Finn counted out the necessary gold pieces (plus a few extra for the poor salesman) and within bits he’d signed off on a scroll and had been handed the keys to the decrepit house which the young man seemed glad to be rid of before he vanished the way he’d come. An eerie silence settled over the plaza, and Finn wondered how many of the houses surrounding it were in use. Not many, by the looks of it.

---

He’d woken that morning to the chirping birds and the general bustle of activity on the plaza. The house might be on the verge of total collapse, but it was still a proper house, with a bedroom for himself, and a room to wash, and a bathing tub, and a stove, a kitchen counter, and even a small hearth and old but comfortable chairs to sit in. To anyone else it would seem a small house for old people to live out their final days in, but to Finn it was his very own castle, and he almost regretted having to leave it behind so soon.

After his morning ablution he’d went down to eat, then gathered some leftover bits in a bowl and brought them to his guest before locking the door behind him. Crisp air filled his lungs as he’d made his way to his job at the stables of a small inn where he was greeted by the usual long list of chores left to do. If only they knew this was the last trial they’d see him…

At dusk he’d left work and headed straight to the agreed upon meeting spot. Would they be there? Strangely enough he trusted Kasoria more than the cat-woman to show up. She was flightly, beastial, and unpredictable and he struggled to comprehend her thinking. Kasoria was a known, rational constant in comparison. Sure enough, his eyes found the shadow of a raggedy man leaning against the wall of a dingy alley.

“You’re one to talk,” said Finn, stepping out of the shadows. The raggedy man wore filth like a disguise and his stench had only ever been overshadowed by the smell of the streets on the Outer. Wasn't the smell of muck this time but a cloud of stinging poultices on battered skin hovering about him. Either way, Kasoria had a habit of reeking and it was something of a miracle he could smell anything at all over his own stench. “Took a page from your book,” Finn shrugged.

A sly smirk tugged the corner of his lips as he strode up to Kasoria’s side and gleefully noted that he had grown taller than the old man. Not that it would save him if the murderer decided to have a go at him, he knew that much. One of the first things he’d learned about the odd little man was his undying loyalty to cold-hearted cunt and bygone King of the cobbles, Vorund. He’d struggled to feign indifference at news of the man’s gruesome death which Kasoria had relayed in a few gruff words, either indifferent himself, or pretending equally hard.

Finn spat a thick clot at the ground, but the taste of smoked tobacco still lingered in his mouth. Didn’t taste particularly nice, but it soothed his nerves and mowed down the thousand little thoughts that sprouted like weeds in his mind. He’d mulled everything over endlessly and always arrived at the same conclusion: Zipper was in Andaris, captured by the Mantis and rotting away in one of their dungeons until they’d drag her out and burn her. Either that, or she loathed him more than he'd ever suspected and had taken refugte in some other part of the world, far away from him while he'd waited for her to come to Rharne.

Max and Blackwood had been too preoccupied searching for a bloody pebble. So, instead of relying on their skills and overturning each Mantis base one by one, he’d figured there was someone who could tell him precisely where his sister was, and maybe the boy-king knew more about the stone too...

He was shaken from his thoughts by the grating voice of Bloodhound next to him. “Oh please, cut the crap,” said Finn. He harbored no illusions that he was boss and didn’t aspire to be either. Far as he could tell, all bosses and Kings could do was stave off death a little longer, but their end was just as inevitable, though perhaps more violent and unexpected. His cold eyes swiveled to Kasoria and judged harshly. Nevermind Kas’s fierce loyalty and devotion. The bitter truth was that a man like that carved out his own path, and the only reason he’d joined in this adventure was he was bloodthirsty, barking mad, and happened to be greatly indebted to him.

He wondered if Kasoria knew that he owed his life not to charity or some high moral ideal but to simple desperation. When the man of many talents had washed up at his feet he’d been tempted to let the earth swallow him up, or bathe him in flame. It would’ve been easy to shove what little remained of Kasoria then over the edge. Easy, but wasteful, and not worth the fleeting sense of justice it would have granted him.

“Follow me.”

Two quiet shadows glided past closed shops and shuttered windows. The only noise was the occasional sloshing of bottled courage which Finn nearly half-emptied before unceremoniously offering a sip to the unkillable man who answered with a stiff shake of his head.

“Suit yourself,” muttered Finn with a bob of his shoulders. The road winded on until they reached a small, quiet plaza, on the edge of the center of town. Finn halted suddenly and peered up for a moment, squinting his eyes searching for something. Thick, puffy clouds blocked the last trickles of sunlight and smoke rising from the chimneys further obfuscated his view. “Huh,” was all the forewarning Kasoria got before Finn whistled briefly between his teeth. One of his many overworked teachers had swatted his hands for practicing bird noises while the rest of class had been trying to recite the Grand History of Etzos. “A waste of time,” the teacher had called it. He begged to differ. Soon enough he spotted a flicker of motion on the rooftops and dropped his gaze to motion for Kasoria to follow once more.

Qit, as she’d introduced herself, was even more of an oddity than Kasoria. The Etzori thug was human, his thinking skewed towards crime, but not so wholly alien to him as that of the she-beast. She’d managed to make two things entirely clear though: their interests aligned, and she’d known his sister. At first he’d questioned it. Surely Zipper would have mentioned Qit to him, even if only as an insult to his appearance, but her description of his sister was too frightfully accurate to have been mere coincidence.

While Qit made her way down, Finn fished a key dangling from a cord around his neck and opened the creaking door to his home. “Welcome to my humble abode,” he grinned over his shoulder as he entered the pitch-black darkness of his home. Despite Qit’s lack of decency, he trusted she was clever enough to close the door behind them while he went about lighting a host of lamps and candles in the house with a mere gesture of his hands.

The flickering lights revealed a house half-cleaned. The kitchen was as well maintained as could be while the chairs in the living room were buried under piles of clothes and other belongings strewn around the floor like discarded toys. “Don’t mind the mess,” said Finn. “I’ve only the essentials packed. Here-” he swiped away a half-eaten plate on the kitchen table and pulled up two extra chairs for his guests. A moment of rummaging through his scattered belongings later he returned with a fainted map that he’d gotten of the market for cheap.

“I’ve got two horses saddled and ready at the stables of Ron’s inn with enough packed to last the journey to the nearest harbour,” he started as he pointed out the spots on the map. “Qit,” his gaze fixated exclusively on her face, “I assumed you wouldn’t be needing a horse to get away. At any rate, the real trouble is gettin’ in. Fortunately, I think I might have a way.” He leaned back in his chair and smiled. “Honestly, I didn’t know this place had a cupboard under the stairs, but it sure came in handy. We have a guest with us tonight,” he said, his smile broadening. “A royal servant. Got a little too much ale in him. Lost his way. Got his boots sunk into the soil and, well, the real trouble was draggin him inside without anyone noticing. I looted those off of him,” said Finn, motioning toward the only neat pile of clothes that looked to be about his size. “Now, with that, I think I can talk my way in. But as for you… I am not sure yet. I thought you might want to pry some answers from my friend, however. Either one of you should do. So, who’d like the honour?”
Last edited by Finnegan O'Connor on Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1880
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Qit'ria
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Re: A Pound of Flesh (Pegasus Quest featuring Finn, Kasoria, and Qit'ria)

Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:22 am

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Qit didn't bother to introduce herself again. They had business to attend to, and etiquette was not part of the deal. She'd met the old man, she knew Feen, the group was formed. She followed Feen down to the house he had, closing the door behind her. She ignored the chair that Feen had given her, intent to hear what the brother of Zeepa had in mind. He talked a lot. Just like her. Did everyone in his family talk so much? She wanted to snarl at him to shut his trap, but business came first.

Once Qit heard that Feen had taken a prisoner, she looked at the cupboard beneath the stairs. She walked over to it, grabbing the handle and yanking it open, destroying the meager lock in the process. Inside was a man, his face tear stained, his eye black, naked and dirty. Qit loomed over him, the god of his fate, glaring down at him. She reached down for him, as he put up his hands defensively. She grabbed one, tightening her iron grip around it, and jerking him out of the cupboard.

She kicked him in the back of the knee, driving him to a kneeling position, kneeling in behind him, pressing against him, releasing his hand, taking ahold of his hair now. She yanked his head back, exposing his throat. She held her left hand up in front of his face, showing the mutated claws she bore from the gasping skitterer, the green hued poison dripping from the tips. She then brought the claws to his neck, punching one into the flesh, into the artery there. She left it in, only the tiniest trickle of blood seeping out.

"Three bits, you no breathe, poison fill lungs. You talk him, you live."

Qit found herself warming at the thought of torturing this man, and she pressed herself closer against him. Her hand released his hair as she felt down the side of his face. Her hand ran along his shoulder, down over his soft arm, devoid of any real muscle. The hand moved lower down his arm, grabbing his trembling hand. She squeezed it roughly, eliciting a squeal from him. She pulled the hand up to her face, staring at Kasoria as she did. She slipped her bear mouth over one of the man's fingers, him whimpering in confusion as to what was happening. She winked at Kasoria, then she bit down hard on the man's finger, severing it. She let go of his hand, covering his mouth with hers now as he screamed. She chewed on the flesh and bone and blood, pouring her ether into it, waiting. She didn't want to transform yet.

Once the man stopped screaming, she pulled her hand off his mouth, and with her mouth still full of ground finger, she spoke, splattering spittle and blood on his cheek in the process. "Two bits."


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