• Mature • Meat Grinders

91st of Ashan 720

Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers.

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Rakvald
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Meat Grinders

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91st of Ashan 720

Perhaps one would think that being an ugly son of a bitch, with a bunch of mutations that twist one's face and warp the flesh of a seven-foot behemoth of a man, might put people off from picking fights with him. Yet every time Rakvald walked into a tavern, it seemed there was at least one drunken layabout willing to prove himself again him.

This time it was a wart of a man, whose head didn't even reach Rakvald's pectoral muscles. Rakvald looked down on him, quirking a ridged brow. "You wan' fight liddle man?"

The guy's face went beat red at the suggestion that he was little. "I'm not little, you're oversized and ugly!"

"Bah." Rakvald waved him off with his mutated arm. The tentacle arm was disguised, wrapped in a bolt of leather, and stitched to keep it from showing as anything but an ordinary arm. Nonetheless, the way it bent in unnatural ways often gave it away. So he usually tucked it under his half-cloak, to hide it. His clawed left-hand tentacles were similarly covered in a glove.

"Lemme buy you drink. You like da screaming mer?"

The little guy didn't seem to enjoy this suggestion or the offer of a free drink and drew a seax knife from his belt. "I'll fookin bleed ya mate!"

Without warning, the little fighter stabbed at the leather armor Rakvald was sporting. But the leather was tough enough to turn aside his blade. Rakvald sighed and gripped his forehead with his left arm. His palm covered the man's face. It might've appeared comical, but for the fact that Rakvald was slowly lifting his feet off the ground, and visibly gripping the man's face harder with every moment.

But before he caused too many bruises on the little man's face, he took him in both hands and threw him over the end of a table. Beer glasses and pitchers went flying as he rolled across the surface. Then all hell broke loose in the bar.

The chaos that unfolded was swift, and over too soon as the sound of elements marching toward the scene caused the brawlers to scatter. Yet the little man met eyes with Rakvald one last time and drew a finger across his neck. Rakvald only shrugged at him, before ducking under the exit to the bar, and heading off into the streets, to find a better place to work out his aggression.
Last edited by Rakvald on Tue May 05, 2020 5:18 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 424

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Re: Meat Grinders


Ashan 720
"Stop!" A small block of earth would rise from ground in front of Rakvald, just enough to trip him if he didn't step over it or stop. Balthazar stood about a dozen feet away, slowly rising from a kneeling position and wiping some dirt off his hands. He was better with fire and earth but a fireball sent the wrong message. A lightning bolt sent an even worse one. So now he would try passive aggressive earth.

Balthazar had always been a little faster than the other Elements in his patrol group when he did shifts with the Land Troops but that was because he didn't just run, he played with portals and sometime flew but this time he'd just been lucky. He was closer to Rak than the others when the call came out. Rakvald was a large beast man and so it was fair to say there was some element of intimidation at play. Balthazar kept his distance, kept his hands out in front of him in the open-palm stance he'd developed to use with his magic. He didn't want this to get violent but he did have a job to do and Rakvald was one of many brawlers scattering but he was also the biggest and by all account meanest looking of them. That meant Balthazar's coworkers could deal with the supposedly smaller and more nimble ones running off into the city like rats.

"You're coming with me." One way or another.
word count: 255

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Rakvald
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Rakvald hadn't gotten several yards through the street, when he saw a block of earth rise just in front of him. He wasn't agile enough nor quick on the uptake to avoid tripping on the damned block, which he presumed must've been raised by some sort of mage. He had heard that the Elements accepted some mages among their number. He didn't have long to ponder it though before he was stubbing his toe on the piece of earth. He went down with a loud groan and shout.

"Ahhh, you stubbed my toe, Bro!" Rakvald writhed on the ground like an oversized child, clutching the foot that had been so injures. "Ahhhahah! Why'd you do that to me, Bro?"

His face contorted in pain as he lifted his head. It was then he saw a familiar face. White hair, wiry build, and wearing the uniform of an Element. He'd know that sense of style (or lack thereof) anywhere. It was the mage Balthazar!

"Ohh... Balthazar?! It's me, Rakvald. Remember, we did adventures in dreamland together! You help beat Fartlord and get the Tome of Flesh!" Within moments, Rakvald's spark began numbing the pain in his toe. It went very quickly, and once done it began knitting the soft tissue and healing the small booboo.

"You an Element?" Rakvald said, as he rose to his feet, looking down on the defiance mage. "You wouldn't arrest a dream buddy, would you?"

He lower lip began quivering as he thought about being escorted to jail. "I'm too pretty for jail, I won't last the cycle in there!" His bat-like nose began filling with snot as he thought about the idea of getting locked up in Slag's Deep. They weren't nice to mages and marked, those tended to get sent to the seventh level, he heard, where all kinds of terrible things happened.

"Uhh, some guy just like..." Rakvald began to explain, "Pick a fight with me cuz he's jealous of my looks. I guess his lady friend was making eyes at me."

"I'm innocent!"
word count: 357

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Re: Meat Grinders


Ashan 720
When the mass of man turned to Balthazar his hands lowered slightly. He didn't recognize him at first. Rakvald seemed... different than he had when they'd met in the dreamworld but Balthazar couldn't quite pinpoint what was so different about him. His reaction to the rising earth went a long way to make the man before Balthazar seem less threatening which Balthazar couldn't help but think was Rakvald's intention. He almost wanted to apologize for doing it but he didn't immediately do so. Balthazar watched Rakvald's movements as he talked. In the trills that he didn't recognize the man Balthazar was all business, trying to assess if Rakvald meant to get him to lower his guard.

All the same Balthazar made the mental note- raising the earth causes people to stub their toes... and it seemed surprisingly painful.

"Rakvald?" Balthazar repeated as the realization slowly dawned on him. He remembered the dream and the tome and the putrid smell... oh and the fartlord too. A small grin spread across Balthazar's face and he lowered his hands to his side. Then he realized what he'd done to the man and added,
"Sorry about the foot, I needed to stop you." But Rakvald had posed an interesting question. Would he arrest his dream buddy? Why? If Rakvald spoke the truth then he was just a victim and why shouldn't Balthazar give him the benefit of the doubt?

"I won't arrest you, just try to keep your fighting to clubs and the Proving Grounds." Balthazar said to Rakvald as he moved closer to his dream bud. "We should definitely go before more Element's arrive. Most don't get the dreamer pass, come on." And so Balthazar walked passed Rakvald, stepping over the bump in the ground he'd made with his magic, and continuing down the alley.
word count: 319

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Rakvald
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"Y...yeah! It me, Rakvald! How doing buddy?!" Rakvald chuckled nervously, which went on and grew into a full throated guffaw as he began to relax. He knew Balthazar! They were dream buddies, Rakvald didn't think a dream buddy would put him in jail, whether he was a copper or not...

"No big deal, I fake pain. It not that bad." Rakvald drew his foot wrappings up his ankle, to show Balthazar the toe, which had already full healed. "Remember, got healin' magic! Now can use not in dream!"

Say, I hear you know Devin too! He tell me about Balthazar the white haired mage and I almost drop my jaw." Rakvald said, a little loudly. He felt far more at ease now, and ready to start conversation. Part of him thought that if he didn't stop talking, the other man wouldn't turn him in or slip paradigm cuffs on him. "Small world, yeah!?" Rakvald nodded, and followed along when Balthazar warned against the gathering elements. He kept in step, slowing his stride to match the athletic mage's slightly shorter steps.

"Yeah... I meet Devin in Desnind, when I live dere. I give him magic manicure... His black nails came from me!" Rakvald smiled at the memory. He'd only a few tentrials ago given him a new set, and reinforced them to make them truly a part of Devin's physical form.

"Hahah, remember the Fartlord! That was brilliant when drop brazier on him! He stupid to keep fire near him, when it make him weak, no?" Rakvald pounded his fist in his empty palm, thinking of the memory of that worthy foe, and the burning crater that still haunted his most familiar dreamscape.

Balthazar had mentioned something about clubs, which piqued Rakvald's interest. He thought for a moment, and then scratched his chin as he kept walking along side his ally. "Clubs? I pretty okay using a club. Good for bashing skulls." He didn't quite understand the homonym for an organization, his common still being quite poor.

"What you been up to since our dreamin?"
word count: 353

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Re: Meat Grinders


Ashan 720
Once they were a good distance from the tavern the brawl had been in, Balthazar slowed his pace a little so Rakvald wouldn't have to hurry to keep up with him. Rakvald talked a lot for a guy who's common was only decent. Yet when he'd mentioned meeting Devin it all seemed to make a little more sense. Did Devin have some magical curse on him that made people more social around him? Balthazar knew he certainly talked too much around the bard. Though it then dawned on Balthazar that Devin had told Rakvald about him. People were talking about him... it was going to get harder and harder to go undercover in the city if everybody knew about the white haired, glowing, electric Element. "Small world indeed." Balthazar replied to Rakvald as they walked.

Rakvald told him of Devin's black nails and Balthazar craned his head slightly. Black nails? When he last saw Devin he either hadn't noticed his nails or he had thought they were just painted on. Devin chose to live with black nails forever? Balthazar looked down at his own hands curiously... maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing. Black nails would have matched most of his outfits... but still that was a commitment Balthazar was surprised Devin had made. Before Balthazar could really comment on it Rakvald had moved forward to reminisce about the Fartlord. "The Fartlord? Yeah it probably wasn't a great idea for him to have fire so close nearby. Worked out for us though. You'll have to visit one of my dreams sometime- less farts but also... actually all of my dreams have been really strange lately so maybe not." Balthazar trailed off in thought for a trill before Rakvald's misunderstanding about the club prompted a small chuckle.

"Not club like a stick. Club, as in a group of people who get together for something." Balthazar tried to explain but he was no teacher."As a matter of fact..." Balthazar looked around. Where were they? Exactly where? He wasn't sure but he had a feeling he could find it again. He'd been there before... "This way, I have an idea."

While they walked the new direction Balthazar addressed Rakvald's question to him. Amidst all his other dreams he wasn't quite sure what Rakvald knew and what he didn't know about Balthazar so the detective kept it rather simple. "Well I learned another magic- a gentle one, joined the Elements- as you could probably guess, started learning to fight with polearms again, and have been working on whatever cases I get assigned or find. What have you been up to?"
word count: 453

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Rakvald
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Rakvald walked along, and listened to Balthazar answer his questions mostly in silence between answers. By the time they'd put the bar brawl far behind them, the other mage slowed his pace so that Rakvald could keep better pace with him. Although his legs were longer by far, he was more a lumbering traveller. Slow of step and rather clumsy.

"Club, as in a group of people who get together for something."

"Hmmm... like a... bando?" Rakvald said the word in vahanic, which was probably the closest approximation between it and the common word for 'club'. "Yeah, yeah, we go. They got drinks? I feel like wasting away." He grinned obnoxiously, and slapped Balthazar on the back with his tentacle arm, which was concealed by a leather sleeve. Yet if Balthazar was particularly observant, he'd note that it landed with a little less force than he might expect, and was rather soft.

The Lotharro listened to Balthazar's list of accomplishments. It almost made Rakvald feel inadequate, almost. But then he remembered a few thing she'd gotten done in the past season or so. "Great! More magic good. Staff weapons good. Work good." Rakvald let some time pass between them. By the time that Balthazar's club began to come into view, Rakvald went on to list his own accomplishments, nto to be outdone, "I meet my daughter! Her mother a bitch, stab me with pitchfork. But we good friends now. Women funny sometimes."

He grinned at the memory. "Oh, I got house in Gunvorton! Big gamble room in the rec... reception. Come by sometime and we have game!"

He felt it better not to mention Coldheart Hostel in Quacia, as the operations of that residence/business he was trying to keep closer to his chest. And it was best to keep at least some of your secrets! "So... when we get to dis bando, dis club?"
word count: 320

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Re: Meat Grinders


Ashan 720
"Sure, a bando." Balthazar replied to Rakvald, not understanding what he meant. "I'm not sure if they have drinks but we can find out." When Rakvald slapped Balthazar on the back he couldn't help but notice how surprisingly soft the impact was... and squishy... but the conversation moved on and so Balthazar didn't linger of the mystery of Rakvald's leather wrapped arm. After Balthazar shared, Rakvald shared his own story which Balthazar found immediately more interesting.

"Women are funny, yes, but stabbed with a pitchfork? What did you do?" Balthazar couldn't get over that imagery, let alone that Rakvald seemed in good health despite it. And he had a daughter? What was that like? Then Balthazar realized he had to actually ask Rakvald to find out. "What's it like having a daughter?" And shortly after Rakvlad replied they'd arrive at the question of the century, how long until they got to the club?

"We're almost there, just let me do the talking to get us in." Balthazar replied when Rakvald asked how far away they were. One turn later and Balthazar had lead them into a seemingly dead end in an alleyway. Yet Balthazar forged head with a purpose and knocked on the wooden wall at the end of the alley. A trill passed. Then another. Then a hidden door popped open and a bald man poked his head out. The bald man gave Balthazar a quickly look, then a nod, then he gave Rakvald a look.

"Who's this?" The bald man asked.

"Another fighter." Balthazar replied. He didn't know exactly what to say but he knew why Durden had let him in so he leaned on that knowledge.

"A double then?" Balthazar had no idea what the man was talking about but knew better than to refute him.

"Sure." And the door was opened for them to enter The Decked Halls.
word count: 324

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Rakvald
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Rakvald's tentacle arm squirmed beneath its bindings, writhing and wriggling for some reason as it got closer to Balthazar. Rakvald quirked a brow but didn't turn his head. Although Balthazar was a mage and knew all about mutations, he didn't want to alarm him with the grotesqueness of his newly awakened mutation. Besides, it was probably just complaining about the impact. It definitely wasn't hungry for the mage's mortal soul! Yeah it definitely wasn't that.

The Lotharro nodded and smirked as Balthazar agreed with his point on women. Then he asked what he did, Rakvald went silent, "I don't know! Maybe because I pissed on her leg as she slept! HAHAHAHA!!" Rakvald threw his head back, savoring the memory of humiliating that bad woman. Yet she'd had the last laugh with that pitchfork of hers, nailing him in the yarbles. "Thank fates I got magic to heal meself. I'm a mighty Grafter!" He lifted his tentacle arm out from under his cloak, and flexed it. Balthazar would note that it appeared to be boneless. If he was particularly sharp-eyed, he'd see the suckers on the other side of Rakvald's fingers, like the suckers of a squid's tentacles...

Once his sense of mirth abated, Rakvald nodded at his question of having a daughter, "It big disappointment at first for her not to be a son... Not gonna lie." He shrugged, "But she so cute, couldn't stay disappoint for long. She got strong mother, so I sure she become strong too someday!"

When at last they came to the end of their conversation, of Rakvald asking when they'd get there, Balthazar merely assured him it'd be soon. And sure enough, Balth approached an establishment, and before Rakvald could rap on the door with his crook staff, the other mage knocked with his fist. A man answered, asking who it was.

"Hi! I'm Rakvald!" The Lotharro waved.

An exchange followed, during which Balthazar seemed to come to an accord with the man on the other side.

"A double? What a double mean?" But then, Rakvald supposed more was always better. He'd always take more. Whatever it meant, Rakvald wasn't gonna leave Balthazar alone here, he entered into the place, this club. Rakvald put the butt of his staff ahead of him as he walked ahead, into the establishment.

"So uh... What?" The men inside didn't look very friendly, in fact, they looked like they wanted to tear Rakvald another mouth-hole.

But Rakvald already had enough of those, so he fought back when the twenty men came at them, the door shut and barred behind them.
word count: 453

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91 Ashan 720
"You know, I was on your side till you said that." Balthazar pointed out to his large friend "If you peed on me while I was asleep you'd be lucky if a pitchfork was the worst of what you got. Maybe restrict your peeing to chamber pots and tree? Just a suggestion." But then Rakvald showed off his tentacle arm. Balthazar's eyes widened a fraction when he first saw it and then he seemed to internally compose himself. Graft? He wasn't familiar with that magic. Neither Xanax nor Isabella had known anything about it and as a result, neither did Balthazar. He was curious, because it was magic and he liked magic, but the time for questions passed them by and they had arrived at the Decked Halls.

Honestly if anything it was Rakvald's discussion of his child that seemed to take the majority of Balthazar' attention. That topic struck a very personal chord with Balthazar. He and Isabella had been driven apart earlier in the season because Balthazar was afraid of having children. He was afraid of what it would do to his life and how things would change... but Rakvald didn't seem concerned in the slightest. Balthazar wanted to ask why but upon remembering Rakvald's story about the pee incident, Balthazar decided to take his parenting advice from more reliable sources.

"I have no idea." Balthazar responded to Rakvald when he asked what a double meant. Balthazar figured the only way they were getting into the club was if he agreed to whatever they told him. The duo entered the club which Balthazar had to admit, was far larger on the inside than on the outside but still really simplistic. Druden, the club leader, sat in a most intricate chair at the head of the room but he was not the only one. There were nearly thirty people gathered in the building, none of them doing anything more than chatting. Durden stood when Balthazar and Rakvald entered and he began moving among the crowd, separating out twenty of the club members. The ten who were not chosen began moving aside tables and chairs to expand the fighting space they'd set up. Apparently a double needed more space.

While the twenty were chosen and the tables were moved out of the way, the bald man who'd invited them in kept Balthazar and Rakvald relatively by the door. They were not club members yet and as such were to have no part in anything the club did until the moment came. Once that work was done, Durden stood at the head of a crowd of twenty men.

"Welcome to your Crucible." Durden said to Balthazar and Rakvald. "Normally it is a ten against one fight for five bits, you brought a friend so we will be doing twenty against two for five bits. No magic, no purposefully lethal force. If you're still standing at the end of the time, we will all gladly welcome you to our club and I'll explain the club rules. If not, I'll have someone drop you off at the nearest medic." Durden paused for only a beat before he uttered the word that set loose the hounds of hell. "Fight." Durden moved to the wall and the twenty men descended on Balthazar and Rakvald.

For his part, Balthazar did not shy away or wait for them to reach him. When Durden spoke the word, Balthazar moved forward- lashing out with kicks and punches as the sea of fighters washed over them.
word count: 600

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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