The bogs of Erestelle

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The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:07 pm

It had been four excruciatingly long days since they’d left Tolderas behind.
The demon had been flying hard and fast towards the fairyfolks’ homelands; he and the fae had weathered strong whipping winds, pounding rain and the occasional calmness of a clear sky lit by a waning crescent moon.

Zepar had parted from Tolderas with a strange ache in his throat that he couldn’t quite describe. It had been almost a century last he had been this far away from the razed little town and it just felt very strange to him. Tolderas, Downwarren and the vast, massive forests of Urskar had been all he had known for the longest of time. Curiously, though, he had not looked back once - he’d kept moving ahead.

All throughout their voyage he’d kept his pace steady and unwavering, while occasionally lifting to the sky to hide behind thick icy clouds when they’d hover above human settlements. He’d then lower to almost caress the crowns of great sentinel trees perching on lush hills that began to bald as they neared the tall, rocky mountain pass.

The demon had been deadly silent, the only noise being his powerful wings whistling softly as they soared on high or cracking against the headwind as he beat them for elevation or speed. The clouds could’ve perhaps been a better conversational partner if they weren’t left behind so quickly.
A pale ashen dawn lit behind a veil of closely-knit clouds before the ground under them cracked open into Erestelle’s vague familiarity; though it was clear to see that the land had changed somewhat since his last visit. He hardly recognized its nooks and running veins of marshlands.

A cloak of dense mists encompassed the stretch of the Unseelie territory, wandering and whooshing through willow and massive elm trees that would sometimes tilt when their weight would barely hold them above the connection of treacherous bogs and swamps that dotted the landscape.

Zepar slowed the velocity of his flight as he neared the edge of a small cliff, streaked with red rock and invading, stubborn roots that sprouted from the cracks between boulders and stones.

Hooves fell hard on top of the plateau with a thud and a chime-like sound from the chains that clung to his hip and fell over his belt. The demon almost felt like his knees would give from under him, having not touched solid ground for days. Despite this, he quickly regained his composure with a forwards swing of his enormous wings while his back remained partially bent to keep the blonde fae clung to his back from falling over. A mild, reflex-based courtesy.

Eyes scanned the forests and depressions that stretched before him as his chest heaved lightly, breathing heavier than usual from the harsh and sudden shift of effort. Flying continuously feels hardly straining, as long as one kept going and didn’t stop. The moment one ceased to move, though, the body feels the tax settling in; in the joints, the swollen muscles and the trembling on the exhausted limbs.
He was perhaps scanning for a sign of civilization or evidence of the fairies, but even as they entered Erestelle he had not quite noticed anything. Either it was further up ahead, or they hid better than what he thought.

“Andromedeux.” The demon called the fae’s attention without turning his head. “You must direct me.”
While he had knowledge of the wells, it was not because he’d personally seen them or knew where they were. In fact, he’d never even come close to a fairy settlement that he could remember. His kin and himself were not welcome, surely, and he’d not had the motivation to try and dare come back despite what he’d heard of the well’s magic. Today, though, would be different if it all went well.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:42 am

Light cut into cobalt eyes like daggers as they opened into slits. The world was a mix of bleak and iridescence, marred by floating orbs that threatened to blot out the sun.

The flight had not been kind to Andromedeux.

Over the course of four days they had flown over the land, crossing an expanse that had taken the fae an entire moon cycle to traipse. At first it had been bewildering, exciting even. He had never been so high in the sky… He quickly grew to hate it after various attempts to hold back the vomit that threatened to spew all over his ride’s armor. Whether it was from being so high up or the poison coursing through his body, the sickened fae felt weaker than he had ever felt in his life. Delirium had begun to set in, whispers of past voices tugging at his thoughts like ghosts in the mists of his homeland while a deep hunger gnawed at his belly.

Zepar had set an unforgiving pace.

Sights of the familiar, but achingly distant past began to cloud his vision as the demon wove his way through the sky and Andromedeux silently wondered if he was dead. It hadn’t been terribly long since he had last seen Erestelle, but he found that he was feeling strangely nostalgic. Maybe it was the agony his body was wracked with, but he wished for a soothing presence that used to lull him…

Andromedeux was shaken from his poisoned daydream by the sudden and abrupt crash to ground, which in reality probably wasn’t as abrupt or rough as it felt. A ragged breath was sucked into his burning lungs and he groaned pathetically, looking like a wet rag that was draped over Zepar’s body. How he had managed to stay clinging to the demon was a mystery in itself, as his body lacked any sort of strength.

“Home..?” His voice wearily asked, broken by the four day silence.

The lame fae attempted to look around but despite his efforts, his head sort of lopped to the side in a strange and unnatural way. He blinked, the action becoming more of a one-at-a-time wink as his eyes adjusted to actually being open.

“Don’no where we are...” Andromedeux’s voice slurred, “Follow…”

And with the last of his energy, the blonde managed to point downwards to the ground. Nothing really stood out however, not the naked eye at least- not right away. But slowly and ever faintly a light began to glow at Zepar’s massive hooves. It wasn’t so much of a light as it was a natural brightening of the flora that surrounded them. The Unseelie territories weren’t much of a candle next to their brethren on the other side, but they still had many of the same plants. This one, a strange mix of a mushroom and flower gave off a soft glow that seemed to become contagious as it spread to another of its kind, creating a trail off to the side that lead into the dark forest that began a few feet away. Andromedeux knew them as tulya-eithel, the path to Anduinn. They were a natural occurring flower that the fae had discovered glowed when imbued with their lifesource – mana. It was said that The Creator had dotted the land of Erestelle with tulya-eithel to lead Her flock to Anduinn when they needed healing. No matter where they were, they would be able to find salvation.

Andromedeux closed his eyes with a shudder. Anduinn awaited him.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:05 pm

It was not immediately clear to Zepar what Andromedeux was pointing towards, and it had admittedly taken him some time to notice the cold, luminous glow of the tiny flora by his hooves. He thought the fae had already gone insane, at first, but he hummed in affirmation after he noticed the fact.

He snorted lightly with amusement – fairies were very… strange creatures.
Nevertheless, he listened without questioning further than in his own mind.
Zepar jumped from the red rock plateau towards the ground bellow; seems that he didn’t quite consider how sickly the blonde man both sounded and limply felt on his shoulders. Granted, he landed considerably more softly than before, as his wings extended to his sides to allow him to glide down more than slam into the earth.

With an itch of curiosity, the demon began to follow the path into the tangle of forests. The air about this place stunk of marshes and was damp with humidity. It was not a very pleasant experience when you’re completely covered by layers upon layers of armor. He felt confined, trapped. The heaviness of the air when combined with his own body heat was a similar feeling to having a wet cloth covering his face fully.
Though he felt compelled to take his helmet off to relieve himself if just a little, he didn’t. His left hand was busy holding the grip of an impressive claymore he’d settled to place in his belt; his back was, at the moment, already occupied. The blade was so large and long that if Zepar didn’t incline it forwards, he’d leave behind scratches of its point scraping against the soil. His right hand would at times raise to move foliage of brushes and branches away from his head and often times the leaves would wrinkle and darken at his touch, as if they’d soon light aflame.

“How much further?” Zepar didn’t mean to sound too impatient, but he probably did. He didn’t plan on being a ride for this long, nor did he plan on the fae to still grip himself to his back almost immediately after they’d arrived to Erestelle.
For someone who’d thought four days ago he was probably the scum of the earth, this scum had saved his life at a very low price.
His tongue touched the pointy tips of his fangs before a corner of his scarred lips twisted upwards, though now without a hint of bitterness. Perhaps he’d made a mistake.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:49 pm

A feeling of frustration flowed through Andromedeux’s body – how was he to know how far it was? Did this creature honestly think that he knew where everything was in Erestelle? Truthfully, he had never even been to one of the wells. The fact that he even knew about tulya-eithel was merely thanks to childhood stories that were murmured to him by wetnurses and nannies.

Andromedeux frowned from his position on Zepar’s back as leaves and brushes brushed over the tops of his strawberry gold locks. It was hard to tell where the fever was coming from- his own body, or the beast beneath him that didn’t seem to care that he was carrying an ill person. He hated Zepar at that moment. For bringing him back and making him remember things. It was irrational, but somehow it was easy to pin the blame on someone else. It was even easier when said person was complaining about distance when he was the one truly suffering.

Indignant and hot, the young fae grumbled out a response that didn’t quite get translated.

Laminya beleg’raug…” Andromedeux’s voice was quiet as he spoke in his mothertongue, and although the demon below him might not understand the exact words, the tone and expression were more than enough to get the hint. It didn’t quite sound vicious though, more so frustrated and child-like in nature.

Andromedeux felt heat pool in his face at his cheeks while cold leeched away at his extremities, adding to his discomfort. It was a strange combination when mixed with the heat that came off of Zepar’s back in waves. In the back of his mind he wondered how far they had walked, but it was only a haze, just like the heavy mist that swam around them and clung to their feet like a carpet of ghost reeds. It was hard to think with the pulsing wound at his side. Having flown nonstop he hadn’t been able to clean it, and it had most definitely begun to fester and grow infected.

Dropping back into silence, Andromedeux quickly forgot that he hadn’t answered the demon’s question.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:43 pm

The idiot didn’t answer. Again. Instead he received blabbering gibberish from him. Useless, as always – Zepar didn’t know what that meant, but judging from the voice it was probably best to keep it that way. Somehow, the demon was hoping the damnable fae would be grateful that he hadn’t just dropped him there, where the road began. A low growl bubbled in his chest and Zepar almost felt like pulling Andromedeux from his legs to rid himself of a parasite strapped to his back – but he didn’t. He needed him alive, at least for now.

After moments without any response, he concluded he would not be given an answer. Zepar, then, simply returned the kindness.
Dwerth hûrtyn.” He spat in his own guttural language and shrugged his ample shoulders forwards; although it would not knock the blonde down, it would at least startle him enough as to think he might. He was not about to let him get comfortable after being such a thorn.

In silence, he continued to tread through the murky woods, accompanied by the sounds of rustling leaves and the singsong of birds. Their sounds, however, were quite different from the ones in Urskar. They were haunting, and they’d almost sound like howls at times; the growth of the trees felt so dense that the echoes of their calls would bounce and seem to be coming from every direction.
In the distance, Zepar had begun to hear the hush of rushing water. He barely reacted however – Estelle was filled with swamps and bogs, he thought he might’ve bumped into one.

As he came close, with the fae on his back, the mists opened to reveal a strange spring. From its center, the spring bubbled like a fountain and even through the fog the clear, white vapor emitted by the warm waters was visible. Unlike the swamps and bogs around, the springs waters seemed clear and clean, bordered by the luminous mushrooms that had guided the demons way.
Zepar ought to thank them, if not for them the useless ragdoll he carried might’ve not deigned to give any verbal directions.

He walked close warily and tilted his head a little. They… sounded more magnificent than this. This could easily be confused with any pond, anywhere.
Well, the obviousness of it would perhaps make them harder to find, he supposed. It didn’t particularly matter.

A few feet away from the water, the demon bent down to remove the pesky fae, a wing dropping to the ground as he leaned sideways so he would simply roll towards the lush earth – truthfully, he wanted to simply drop him, but he resisted this temptation with quite some difficulty.

At last, his back was free of the extra weight, though Andromedeux’s mass was comparably minuscule. Regardless, it was a big relief. He rolled his neck and shoulders, which gave a small crack under his armor as he did. Then, Zepar removed his helm hurriedly and nonchalantly dropped it; despite the flora, it still echoed a metallic thud as it hit solid ground and sank the grass underneath it.
He breathed in the freedom of having one less piece of armor, though he didn’t feel as relieved as he would’ve liked. Puffs of vapor formed whenever the demon exhaled through nose or parted lips, and even his very skin emanated it; he removed the giant claymore from his belt and buried it in the soil, its red etched runes seemed to glow brighter through the thick of the mists. Finally, rest.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:53 pm

Somewhere between his thoughts and the comforting ambience around him, Andromedeux found himself squawking in dismay as his world shifted suddenly, and for a moment a strike of fear settled in his chest, mind sure that he was falling to the ground. Only…the drop never came and he was left with a fast heart beat and reverberating pain throughout his trunk and limbs.

Tanyi awra!” He hissed as he grasped tightly at Zepar’s armor, eyes squeezing shut to dispel the tears that had threatened to form. There was no way he was going to fall further than what he had already. With a grunt he opened them to slits, just enough to glare daggers at the hulking beast.

The rest of the walk turned to silence as Andromedeux nursed his wounded body, attempting to not move as best he could despite Zepar lacking grace. He had regained some clarity by the point they reached Anduinn. Its bubbling hum was melodic to his rounded human ears, urging him closer into its warm embrace. There had never actually been a time where he had visited a well, but it felt like he had been there before. It was akin to seeing an old friend.

Andromedeux’s sense of calm was short lived due in part to Zepar’s dismissal, and although it was obvious that the demon had attempted to be gentle…he was not. A curse left the blonde’s mouth yet again as static seemed to invade his vision, making him gasp while colors danced across his eyes.

Avalê…” He groaned with obvious pain and curled into a ball as if to protect his body from any more damage, yet it did nothing to curb his pain.

The soft gurble from the well called out to him like a quiet whisper, beckoning Andromedeux from his feeble position and into his welcoming waters. It took some effort on his part, but soon the blonde managed to push himself to his hands and knees before slowly crawling his way over to the edge of the pond where the clear water lapped.

As Andromedeux reach the water, he noticed that it seemed unearthly in the way that it looked, hedged by beautiful flora that only lit it up further. He had seen nothing as pure. When it touched his finger tips he let out a startled yelp as pain registered and his dull mind suddenly realized that a stinging sensation had broke out along his skin.

A confused but amazed noise came from him as he watched in wonderment as the water seemed to purge his flesh. The stinging was quickly replaced with a warm, soothing sensation and before he knew it, Andromedeux was hauling his entire body into the magical liquid without a care for his clothes or weapons.

Again, the blonde cried out, this time in more agony when the water soaked through his blood-stained shirt, reaching the gnarly wound on his side that had grown infected. It was difficult to keep his head above water, but Andromedeux managed somehow until his cries of pain turned into moans of relief.

“Hahhh…” Andromedeux sort of half-floated, half-sat on the sloping edge of the “well” so that his body was mostly submerged and available to the curing water. He couldn’t see it, but a dark fog had started to cloud away from his skin under the water. His head lopped backwards and for a long while he simply existed, unaware of everything around him.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:50 am

The demon was slowly learning to completely ignore almost anything that came out of the blonde’s mouth - perhaps because his voice had become a shrilling, complaining whirr in his eardrums that would otherwise be very annoying to deal with.

Thus, he pretended not to see or listen as the fae continued to speak in his foreign tongue. What he was saying mattered not to him.
Though Zepar wished he could rid himself of the rest of his suit of armor and not just his helmet, he refrained. He didn’t know how long they’d be there, but it would regardless be unwise to disarm himself in unknown territory. He didn’t trust this one, he had no reason to – he’d yet to prove he was honorable at all. From his part, he’d fulfilled what they agreed. He told him he’d take him here and he did, despite the circumstances. By all means, he’d done his part of the bargain to the letter.

With a characteristic heaviness, Zepar dropped himself to the ground and leaned against a mossy tree trunk, stretching his wings before folding them and resting their thumbs and wrist against the ground.

He watched with hooded eyes and disinterest – until he noticed the dark corruption that escaped from Andromedeux. It was, well, almost what he had expected… though he had imagined it would also require some sort of spell from the fairy. It was oddly unsatisfying.

With a deep sigh, the demon leaned his head backwards upon the wood and raised one of his legs, resting his forearm upon his knee as he exhaled a cloud of warm breath that stirred the mists about him. The sounds of far-away loons that sometimes would resemble voices would often keep him from resting completely – he was cautions and even paranoid to a fault when he visited lands whose hidden civilizations reminded him of a time past. Not all races had forgotten, or forgiven. He’d made it vital to remember that.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:17 am

After what felt like forever in an eternity built of sunshine and slumber, Andromedeux slowly cracked open his eyes with a soft exhale of breath, a look of calm entering his features. He felt immensely stronger in a very profound way, one that left him almost paralyzed for a brief moment before he realized that he was in no shape or form alone.

With a sudden splash the fae sat up, eyes wide as they darted over to where his oh so friendly companion sat. The demon had taken off his helm, but he still looked crazy dangerous with all of the spikes that protruded from him- skin and armor. Zepar didn’t seem like he was going to do anything however and so Andromedeux found himself relaxing just a tad. He cleared his throat and carefully used a hand to push back the soaked hair that had escaped the leather thong he used to keep it tame.

“Thank you,” He tried to offer a smile but found it rather difficult for some reason. Zepar hadn’t killed him, or even tried to for that matter, so the blonde chalked his fear up to the fact that the demon would probably change that after he found out that the fae had absolutely no clue on how to help him get rid of whatever mark it was he wanted gone.

Andromedeux began to chew his lip nervously, thoughts racing to find a solution. Maybe he was worrying for nothing? For all he knew, the mana-infused water would give the beast exactly what he wanted. Though…he seriously doubted it, as he had never heard of Anduinn helping those that were not fae.

“Maybe you should come in?” He offered with a soft jerk of his chin, motioning to the water. It was a fairly large pool of water, though not as big as a lake. As Andromedeux raked up and down the demon’s body, he mentally figured it could hold maybe three Zepar’s.

“It will sting a lot but I feel great now!”

And he did! A world of a lot better. He just hoped Zepar would too.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:45 am

The unexplainable gesture of thanks came as a surprise to Zepar, who didn’t really respond to the fae further than the acknowledgement given by a very stiff and somewhat forced nod of his head. He saw how strangely anxious the man appeared, but he could accurately imagine why this was even though there were two possible reasons – one of them being far more grave than the other.

A slight wrinkle in already-deep crevices of his brow surfaced before the demon could keep himself from mulling over possible setbacks to what he had initially thought, but he admitted himself to be ignorant of how strong the fairy magic was, especially in their own lands.
Andromedeux’s hesitant question broke his string of thought, perhaps thankfully, and instead diverted his eyes to the warm waters of the pool questioningly.

“I doubt it’s a good idea.” Zepar said negatively and his hands gave a small jerk upwards as a declining gesture to the blonde. “Is there any other way?”

It was not because he feared the magic or the well at all, but because he imagined his own temperature heating the body of the pool further and driving it into a very unpleasant or near boiling point if he did so. This mattered very little to the demon, but seeing how he had no knowledge of how calmly or even violently the well would react to a demon instead of another faefolk, he’d rather steer clear of actually stepping in it. If he desecrated it simply because of what he was, he’d have more than a brand to pay to the Unseelie and their kinds hadn’t precisely seen eye-to-eye for millennia past.

In his mind, he had imagined that perhaps just dousing the brand in the water would be enough to cause a reaction, he’d never have pictured himself stepping in. Andromedeux didn’t seem too fazed by the idea of it, but the demon couldn’t help but wonder if it was because he knew nothing would happen or he was ignorant of it. The latter seemed more plausible, but that might the bias he felt against the blonde talking.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:37 pm

When it didn’t appear that he was going to be able to coax the demon into the water, Andromedeux sighed and pushed himself up and out of the pool. He felt waterlogged as his once flowy shirt clung to his frame, accentuating the fact that he was thin but still muscled. The water also made almost transparent, revealing dark markings beneath the fabric that appeared to cover the blonde’s torso.

“Not afraid of water, are you?” Andromedeux found himself almost laughing, amused by that idea. He couldn’t really imagine the winged beast being afraid of anything. As if he’d never been knocking on Death’s door, the blonde wandered over to where Zepar sat with his usual swagger, one brow arched.

He studied the hulking creature with an inquisitive gaze before using a hand to quickly motion to the beast’s body. “Where is this mark of yours? Is it underneath all that?”

Again, Andromedeux motioned to Zepar’s body, this time pointing out the thick armor plating that covered every inch of skin that the blonde could, or rather, couldn’t see. His mouth quirked into a lopsided grin.

“Do not worry, we are both men here.” After a beat he added, “I think.”

His nose wrinkled as he crossed his arms. Zepar certainly looked masculine, but the fae wasn’t too sure on demon structure. Regardless, there was no way they would know if the well’s water would do for Zepar what he wished. Not if he didn’t expose whatever mark he was talking about… Andromedeux silently wondered if it was a scar the creature talked about, or why it would even matter.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:27 pm

Andromedeux’s latter commentary sorely confused him, as he didn’t fully understand what the fae meant with the phrase ‘We are both men here’. His kin was never the one to shy away from exposed skin, be it amongst each other or in the rare occasion they’d find themselves mingling with others. Oftentimes, demons were almost disdainful or lacking any understanding of the unnecessary care some other races had on being modest and prudish with their jeweled and brightly colored cloths or mantles of silken drapes upon fair, flawless skin. They had a crude and almost primitive society where the appearance of your body matters very little; as long as you could fight well and boast of some skill useful in combat, they did not care should you choose to fight in the nude.

Zepar himself was only used to hauling all his layers of armor due to his constant presence in the human village far behind them, and had the trip not extended into foreign territory where his arrival would surely be questioned, he’d all but left his plate carapace behind. It was a pain in the arse in matters of practicality.

A small twitch twisted a corner of scratched dark grey lips momentarily before the demon answered with a wordless snort and a wave of his hand as if he considered what Andromedeux just said to be trivial. This was not a matter of modesty, but of pride.

As if he needn’t verbally answer, Zepar stood quietly from where he sat with an unnatural bend of his plate-covered legs and hocks. The armor clicked softly as it adapted and straightened its overlapping layers on now somewhat straight limbs and with strangely skillful movements from his hands, he began to undo the multiple belts that attached his armor to his hulking form.

The first piece of plate to come off where the heavy skull-adorned pauldrons attached to the chestpiece and, once off, they revealed more naturally-formed spikes that sprout from Zepar’s skin like a trap hidden under metal. Next came the heavy breastplate that was held in place by leather cords on the sides of the ribcage under the arms. Once all the belts were undone, the breastplate opened like a heavy metallic shell that sank on the earth bellow with a heavy when the demon nonchalantly cast it aside, linings fuming from the heat they’d been absorbing from his body.

Underneath all the coats of metal it seemed that Zepar’s very body brandished its own defense as more of the coarse spines lifted from robust triceps with a much smaller pack of them rimming the demons’ serratus like they were scales. Scars the color of ash marred his shoulders, toned back and left side of the chest, while on the right side was the brand, covered slightly under the tips of long raven locks.

The mark was in the shape of a demonic symbol as large as the Zepar’s own pectoral muscle, composed of crosses and tridents that were circled by small demonic writing.
The skin around it looked slightly twisted at places, as if the very brand was pinching the more darkly colored skin around it and raising its volume. It’s most curious feature was that it looked charred or burnt – an odd thing for a demon, whose veins appear to have untamed wildfire for blood and whose nerves barely even notice the heat of boiling water.

The mark itself didn’t bruise Zepar’s pride, nor did it seem to be off-putting for him to show it to the fae. He only turned his palms upward in a sort of half-hearted shrug, perhaps inviting the fae to investigate if he so wished.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:52 pm

Andromedeux openly watched what Zepar did, seemingly fascinated by the demon’s movements as he rid himself of the heavy-looking metal armor, revealing more grey skin that steamed as cool air hit it. The blonde wasn’t exactly accustomed to watching others undress, though this…was different. He had always been a curious creature by nature, and having never seen a demon before, it was interesting to watch its mannerisms.

The fae’s nose wrinkled slightly. It was starting to muddle in his mind on whether or not he should call Zepar an “it”. Was it rude to refer to a demon as a thing? Did he even care about being rude? Andromedeux let out a quick puff of air in annoyance- why did things have to be so complicated?

His eyes wandered Zepar’s scarred body with barely hidden interest as he took a spot next to the large creature, crossing his legs and placing his hands atop them while regarding the winged beast with a raised brow. His eyes had paused on the symbol that took up the entire right side of Zepar’s chest.

“You were branded.” Andromedeux stated blandly before lifting his gaze to Zepar’s. “Should I be worried?”

Brands were common punishment in many lands. Andromedeux was very familiar with the practice. He could only assume that Zepar had committed a crime at one point…or maybe he hadn’t, maybe he was just an innocent bystander that just got mixed up in the wrong scene. He almost snorted a laugh but caught himself, silencing his voice by biting his lower lip.

“Looks like it hurt…is it magical?”

It was hard to imagine Zepar being at the mercy of another, enough to be branded. Andromedeux nearly blanched at the thought. He would hate to meet whoever had managed that… Part of him wanted to examine the brand closer, but another part of him thought that it was a foolish idea for two reasons. First, he didn't know the guy that way. Second, despite Zepar’s lovely and sweet disposition, the beast was still a demon and he could definitely be killed by him, and it wouldn’t be much of a fight at all.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:53 pm

It was hard to discern what the fae was thinking at first, as he’d observe the light wrinkles of his nose that was followed by an escaped breath and finally the curiosity Zepar had ultimately expected. At times, the coarse arms by his side would twitch as if they’d wanted to raise or move, but this was due to the uncertainty of what he ought to do with them.

An unconscious nod confirmed Andromedeux’s question absently, barely noticing that he was merely stating the pure and utter obvious; his attention was abruptly caught back by the second question however, and he shot him a sideways glance that was momentarily accompanied by nothing but silence and his low, deep breaths. A thorn in the back of his mind made his brain slowly churn on whether or not he ought to answer truthfully or simply let the man assume what he wished.

He’d not yet proved to be trustworthy, rather anything but. The blonde was fickle and temperamental, terrible characteristics when coupled with the fact that he’d only truly spoken to him for a few hours at most. Thus, he decided not to answer and only divert his eyes elsewhere. If Zepar was being perfectly honest, he’d yet to even threaten the man.

A hiss-like click escaped the corner of his lips almost involuntarily at the sting he felt from the last question. The memory sank like a stone on his chest, wringing his vocal chords and causing him to grimace. Of course it had hurt, disgustingly so. It does not take a laughable weapon or tool to instill permanent damage on a demons’ body, and Zepar couldn’t recall that any of his other scars had even grazed the heels of the physical suffering the brand itself had made him feel, nevermind the mental.

Finally, he took in a deep breath to force himself to release the thought and his expression settled to an undirected frown.
“Something of the sort.” Zepar almost hissed through his teeth, voice coated not in anger, but in a deeply-rooted bitterness. “Do you really need to know?”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:26 pm

“No,” Andromedeux’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly at the change in emotion his words had brought forth from the pallid skinned demon. “I suppose I do not.”

It was obvious that he had stepped on the shattered glass of a past memory. Deciding to try and brush past it as smoothly as possible, the blonde reached up to scratch the back of his neck in an almost appeasing manner.

“I want to be honest with you.” Andromedeux chanced a glance at Zepar, lips pursing. “I do not know if Anduinn will help you.”

His voice was calm and steady but on the inside- Andromedeux was a bit fearful. Instead of lying he decided to be truthful, hoping that Zepar would be appreciative of his honesty instead of the opposite path. That path got pretty violent. Zepar had no reason to trust him…

“Although your bed-side manner is severely lacking, you have been of great service to me. I would like to help you…I just do not know how. Truthfully speaking.”

A thought was mulled over within the fae’s mind before he visibly paled and clenched his jaw, a tight smile growing across his features. The words he spoke brought him great anxiety.

“I…I could get you involved with the best magic user in my land. Uh, the fae lands I mean, of course. They would know what to do.”

Andromedeux quickly stood to give himself some distance from Zepar as he spoke, his hands moving expressively as if to give his words more volume. They had been shaky at first, but the more he spoke, the more the blonde believed what he said. All he would have to do is corner the mage, and Zepar could get what he wished. The sooner that happened, the sooner Andromedeux could cross the border.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:36 pm

Well, he’d come with nothing but a fools hope. After living so much time, it was still almost refreshing to realize you’re still ignorant about a few things – for starters, how fae-exclusive these natural magic-based resources are.
Truthfully though, he was caught slightly off guard when Andromedeux put this much effort to sound honest even through meaningless critique. It was almost amusing. What would’ve amused him most, had he not been dangerously close to a foul mood, was wondering if this was out of honor or fear.

It was quite surprising that the whole time the blonde man talked, Zepar’s face had stayed as still as a stone-carved statue, his words echoing in his long ears as he received the grim confirmation of what he had feared but had hoped could be helped.

An acid low chuckle escaped his lips before he had time to press his jaws shut and silence it. Zepar’s head tilted slightly in the fae’s direction as the wings on his back tensed with a soft clap of the leathery membranes before his temporary smirk all but evaporated impressively quickly.

“I’m sure this mage of yours will have no quarrels with me.” The demon said with heavy sarcasm, form slowly sauntering over to the crystalline body of water where he crouched a few inches away from its swaying border. “You’re young, fae. You’ve no notion of how deep the scars of war can run. Your mage, as most of your kind, would sooner greet me at spear-point.”

The haunting and hypnotizing ripples in the water, accompanied by its flowing hush, was working wonders in soothing his threatening temper. Momentarily, the demon felt overwhelmingly tempted to dip a curved nail onto the waters, simply to see its reaction, but something –perhaps an ill memory – stopped him. Instead, the demon simply continued to focus on the waves’ coming and receding, reflecting back the color of his eyes in chaotic, dancing streaks of dulled orange.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:00 pm

Andromedeux frowned at the thick sarcasm and met it head on with his own sharp tongue, as he was obviously not one to just take such talk sitting down.

“I have no idea?” He parroted with a laugh, “Oh Zepar, I know full well what war does. After all, my kind does have a tendency to point spears.”

The blonde’s face seem to redden with unbridled emotion before he quickly shook his head and threw up his hands. He should have expected as such, but it was hard to think reasonably when nerves were struck. Andromedeux didn’t even know why the demon’s words upset him- they were true, after all. His kind wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows. His expression soured as he crossed taut arms across his chest, eyes flashing slightly. He wanted nothing more than to just go on his own merry way and just forget that he had even met the tall beast, but Andromedeux knew that was rather extreme. After all, Zepar had helped him. He just wished that the guy wasn’t such a…he didn’t know what to classify Zepar as, he was that frustrating.

“I refuse to be patronized! You are in my land and I will not be spoken to this way!”

Oh how embarrassing, he was losing his cool once again. He had been doing so well too after having been traveling among humans- they didn’t take well to people like him. With an aggressive attempt at placating the demon, Andromedeux waved a hand at Zepar, brows drawn.

Rictha! Look,” The blonde seemed to take a calming breath to attempt relaxation, though it was obvious he was struggling. “You should just trust me. Okay? Just trust me, and I will get this taken care of! I do not make it a habit to go back on my word.”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:34 pm

It was until then that something finally dawned on the demon, not without ripping him violently from his vortex of illusory soothing and calm. It had been as if the blonde had stepped on a fallen rake and caused it raise as if it had bounced on a spring.

From being crouched, Zepar had turned and stood upright to meet Andromedeux’s anger perhaps with a warning of just how small he could be provoked to feel.
“You know nothing of war.” He repeated with a hiss, fingers opening in a fashion that resembled a tiger drawing out its sharp claws.

Gods, he truly wanted to retort with as much poison as he’d been thrown but it seemed that he was in somewhat of a leash. Now that Andromedeux got what he’d wanted and Zepar hadn’t, the fae could simply deny him and that – well, the only way that would end is down the path of bloodshed. While he’d get the satisfaction of eating the grub raw, he will ever wonder if he could’ve finally rid him of the brand.
The thought forced the tense joints of his hands to slowly release, and the task proved to be as hard as putting down a bow when the archer was but a fingertip away of letting an arrow loose.

It was then that he got a bitter reminder of why he had been so damnably idiotic in offering his help to a brat. It was also then that a specific word jumped out from the venom that dripped from the other man’s mouth… HIS land? The first time he’d said it, he had shrugged it off as simply a way to refer to his homeland. Zepar and his brethren would often talk in the same way about Helgrind or, rather, used to. Andromedeux, however, just spoke of it with such territorial jealousy and high demands for respect that it couldn’t help but sound eerily similar to the hellspawns from monarchies.

Such entitlement demonstrated time and time again couldn’t lie, and not in all his years had a commoner behaved in such a way, especially towards him. Well, well, appearances be damned – there’s royalty amongst us. There were two things that seldom failed to make a man honest, if not brutally so – alcohol and anger.

With an almost direct gesture to express doubt and perhaps even defying the fae’s plea for trust, Zepar lowered his head just enough to look at the blonde directly in his eye - cobalt against jasper.

“You want trust yet you forget to mention you’ve kingsblood after I saved your hide?” He began with a gruff voice as low as rolling thunder, an arm moving to his side as he gesticulated his words. “Your status does not make me desire your death more, but it changes everything for me. And somehow I’m not worthy of the knowledge?”

The corners of Zepar’s lips ran deep with the wrinkles of sourness that hid underneath his tongue, and the scars that ran across the left side of his mouth seemed to have pronounced and exposed a tiny fraction of his upper sharp teeth.
“Please, Andromedeux. If you have want for trust or respect you can’t expect it for free. There’s no such thing as birthright for people who’re not of your kin.”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:06 pm

With the force of an invisible slap, Andromedeux reeled back with a look of pure shock, physically in awe of the absolute contemptuousness that was being shown to him by the demon. Never once in his life had he ever been spoken to in that way, save for his father, and now he had really stepped in it.

“You have some nerve!” Andromedeux gasped as he squared his shoulders, cobalt eyes alit with anger. He may have been a fraction of the size of Zepar, but he was by no means going to back down when confronted. “My bloodline has nothing to do with any of this!”

With his secret out, it was very easy to let loose. It felt like he had loosened his belt after a large meal, letting it all out for a bit of relief. Andromedeux’s lips curled back in their own snarl of sorts as he pointed a finger disdainfully at the large demon, meeting his glare head on.

“You should have left me to die to spare me from this stupid attitude of yours!” The blonde carried on, voice growing louder. “What does it matter if I am king? Would that really have changed anything? Do you know what risk I have put myself in just coming back here? Not just for me, but for you! I promised to help you!”

Andromedeux forcefully turned around to stalk a few steps away, anger weighing his shoulders down as he panted harshly.

“I know everything of war.” He spat, ruefully. “Do not tell me I do not. To imply so is childish, and beneath one who boasts of age.”

The young king’s voice held finality, a sign that he wouldn’t argue who knew more about war any further. War was all the same and he had no doubts that Zepar had suffered…but so had he.

“You speak of kin...” Andromedeux turned to look at Zepar with cold and unfeeling eyes, expression blank. “I have no connection to the meaning.”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:50 pm

The argument lit and heated as much as an oil-filled brazier that had swallowed a burning spark, its flames jumping and spreading far and wide to lick at anything that stood too close. The forest reacted to the dispute with a silence fit for a graveyard. The once echoing song of birds and waterfowl had all but abruptly interrupted itself and even the rushing pool of water was as quiet as vulnerable prey that hid dangerously close to its prowling predator.

It was almost impossible for the demon’s brow to frown further without breaking the skin. Zepar felt like he was being all but grazed with the sharp point of a dagger that looked for soft flesh but in its stead found skin as hard and thick as rock, then complained in a shrill metallic voice as its scratch did naught but raise sparks.
“To imply you know as much as a veteran is absurd.” Said the demon with a soft bellow.

Would he like to compare scars? Losses? Deaths, kills? The number of turncoats each side of the coin had among its ranks?
To hear Andromedeux tell it, he’d been a veteran himself, though this would be all but impossible. He didn’t recognize the symbol savagely burnt on his chest, and that symbol had been carved as a parting gift from the Eldra war to him and a handful of his fellow brothers-in-arms. The young fae musn’t have even been a wishful thought in his dear mother’s head, if she wasn’t a babe herself.

Their experiences, it seemed, were mutually-exclusive; one had been a cog in its destructive machinations while the other a result of its havoc.
Fine, if the fae wanted to turn a blind eye to the fact of his obviously mistaken thoughts, he was welcome. Talking to an earth golem would be a more blissful experience than to this damned fledgling.
And quite explicitly, that’s what Andromedeux looked like; a huffed fledgling that bristled its feathers to appear less inoffensive than what he was, in essence.

Zepar’s spine straightened and his arms folded across his wide chest before coarse fingers pinched the bridge of his nose with clear impatience.
“You shoot all these accusations as if I know your story, Andromedeux.” He said, squared jaw tight with the effort that kept him from equaling the younger man’s exasperated tone. “No, I do not know the risk. Do enlighten me, perhaps that way you’d stop fretting over assumptions I’ve had to make due to your silence.”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:28 pm

Andromedeux felt slighted by the beast before him. Couldn’t the damn creature see that he didn’t want to compare war stories?

“Do you want me to pet your chest and tell you what a grand war veteran you are?” He spat back, refusing to back down. Nowhere had he stated that he knew more than the demon, and yet the beast felt it his right to belittle the blonde’s experiences. And why? Because he had lived longer? “I am not shysi!”

The king’s voice matched the ferocity of his glower as he stalked back towards Zepar, body bristled as though he were a feline provoked by another predator. It was all he had, because obviously he would not be besting the brute with his strength.

“I am Unseelie!” Andromedeux’s use of the word implied not only his clan name, but his very being itself. Though…there was something that wavered in his tone, something that stopped him from giving his entirety to it. “This land is divided…in many more ways than you might know.”

A growl rose in his throat as his mana itched at his skin. It was an ugly feeling that mirrored his emotions. It wanted to rip away from his skeleton and escape into the tensed air, anything to leave his internal prison. Something needed to break.
The blonde lifted a hand to his forehead as a sudden wave of dizziness struck him, sending his body into an unbalanced state.

Mir…” He cursed and quickly let his attention fall away from Zepar while his hands dropped to the shirt that clung to his frame. He struggled momentarily before ripping it off over his head. With another growl he shot the demon a distracted glare. “Hold on.”
Hands quickly fumbled with the leather of his belt and then the button of his trousers until they too were ripped off with his boots, and thrown haphazardly with the soaked shirt on the grass by his feet and swords.

It appeared he was racing against time but soon he was completely bare, as naked as the day he came into the world. Andromedeux groaned as his shoulders rolled and suddenly his flesh seemed to tear away from his muscles. With a yelp he fell forward onto his hands to welcome the transition. At first it looked as though he was injured, but soon it was apparent that something was growing out from underneath his tanned skin, spreading until it replaced the soft flesh.

He appeared unnatural for a moment in between forms, but soon the fae king quickly began to resemble the forest around him until the gruesome transition had ended and he was left panting on his bark covered hands and knees.

There was no longer any white to his eyes, as they lacked sclera and were completely cobalt. They stared up at Zepar unblinkingly.

“Where was I?” Andromedeux pushed himself up to once again square his shoulders and face Zepar directly, this time in his true form. “Oh right, we were discussing whoring and your damn attitude, plus the fact that I do not believe I owe you much more than my lifeblood.”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:25 am

The scene had turned from an argument into a hilarious comedy, for Zepar. This was no king, this was a princeling wearing oversized royal drapes and walking lost about a castle with a crown far too large for his head falling over his eyes.

The demons’ impatient ire had turned into a veil of amusement that he made a decently crafted effort to hide under an impassive face.
Andromedeux’s proximity had made Zepar’s head begin to turn downwards just to see him clearly, and a small chuckle almost escaped him. Almost.
The demon was trying to grasp at how gravely the matter seemed to Andromedeux, but seeing how he had been dandily mingling with the commonfolk back in Tolderas didn’t quite speak highly of his concern for his so-called kingdom.

The string of his meandering consciousness was short-lived, as the mindless, non-stopping rants from the young man came to an abrupt and unexpected stop. Zepar arched a quizzical brow as he watched the fae’s strange actions with a curiosity that would’ve been dishonest to deny.
He’d never seen one of his kind transform in his lifetime, but half of him wondered if it’d be as dull an experience as witnessing this ‘Anduinn’ for the first time as well.

Interestingly enough, it wasn’t – especially by the yells that had rendered Andromedeux satisfyingly quiet for the time being. Bark replaced flesh just like mild interest replaced antipathy, though not completely. Suddenly, he was much more interesting.

Admittedly though, simply watching as the fae’s bickering was quickly interrupted by his transition was enough to involuntarily draw a half-smile on dark lips.
Quietly, his eyes analyzed the newly gained form of the once golden-haired huffy princeling into a fuming humanoid tree – he almost seemed carved into his own wood.

“More than your lifeblood?” he questioned with a hoarse chuckle. “You’ve made no notion that anything matters to you more than that, fae… save your pride. On occasion.”
Zepar’s shoulders shrugged with an almost silent hum that vibrated in his chest and rose with a small clicking of his tongue and a small shake of his horned head.
“Hear, you made your own choice to accept my help –I certainly didn’t force you. Last resort or not, face the consequences of what you’ve chosen. You don’t have to tell me shite about your people, but you’re bound to explain why you’ve a demon looming over you shoulder.”
The demon rose his hands outwards slightly in front of himself, not a gesture to pacify Andromedeux, but more with the intention to say ‘It’s none of my business’.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:16 pm

It took a long, frustratingly quiet moment before Andromedeux could find the words to speak again. It was annoying how Zepar was managing to push each and every one of his buttons. The faerie had to hand it to him, the demon was quite good at making blood boil with just his smug face.

Squaring his wooden shoulders, the fae king narrowed his dark eyes with an exhale of air. Why should he speak to another like he owed them explanation? He didn’t know which to be angrier at- the fact that he was actually doing it, or the fact that he felt he should in the first place. With a solemn tone he glanced away. The slightest twinge of a distant memory clouded his gaze, but he continued. “I was born into politics.”

Andromedeux made an expression akin to a grimacing smile, though it looked rather strange on his gnarled face. “You are old. I am sure you know something of my…kin.”

The word hung from his voice like acid that ate away at his throat. It occurred to him briefly that he wasn’t even sure if said people would help him, let alone a creature like Zepar. They were like scavenging rats, opportunistic and shady. Everything had its price, that much was clear.

“It does not take much to start a war around these parts.”

Andromedeux would have wrinkled his nose if he still had one. Instead, he too made a flippant gesture before continuing with an obvious attempt at changing the subject.

“I find it droll that you would jump at my throat for being who I am, yet you clammed up the moment I asked about your…disfigurement.”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:29 am

A soft snort came from Zepar to Andromedeux’s comment regarding politics, and he couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows in surprise and perhaps question. Politics, aye… perhaps - but diplomacy was something he could not even imagine the fae ever exceling on. He was fickle, quick to lose his temper over trivialities and didn’t have the best choice of words. The demon was aware, however, that it might be simply because of what he was; it could be the man wasn’t this emotionally-driven when addressing his own people.
That is, if he didn’t speak of them with such resentment and bitterness. It was all the more interesting – what had they possibly done to offend him? Serve him the wrong wine? Mixed up the color of his breeches? Zepar kept these questions to himself all the same.

“I am terribly aware.” He then answered the fae with an underlying sigh. He knew full well knowing how thin the string of diplomacy was that tied the other races with his own kind, and it made his own nose wrinkle in the fae’s’ behalf, albeit faintly.

Then, Zepar sank in one of his fangs to a corner of his scarred mouth momentarily and continued to silently listen to the fae. He felt as though he should have second-guessed the passive aggressive comment that soon followed, though a wave of his clawed fingers dulled its apparent harshness. With a grunt, the demon lifted a finger from his crossed arms.

“Firstly, I did not ‘jump at your throat’.” Zepar said with simplicity, though the length of his wings stirred only slightly. Another finger rose. “Secondly, you asked if it was magical, not its history. If you need to know, it was gifted to me and a handful of others by our dearly beloved Warlord. We did naught but end the Eldra war in my kind’s stead.”

The words escaped him as if he had previously swallowed a whole jar of thick bile; heavy, slow and with a beastly hiss echoing in the back of his throat.
A coarse palm lifted in Andromedeux’s direction, as if he was stopping the fairy creature from speaking before he had even uttered a word.
“This is all I’ll say of the matter – for the time being.”
The demon’s features were tinged with the shadow of the anger that boiled in his gut, even after so many thousands of years. Like the brand on his breast, it was an ever pulsating wound, almost like a blood blister, that was bound to bleed if pricked by even the smallest thorn.
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by YeweLion on Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:17 pm

Andromedeux’s mouth froze, half open and ready to fling whatever words it was that he had thought to speak. Begrudgingly, it closed shut with an audible, wooden, click. He didn’t appreciate being muzzled on topics. Still, the fae obeyed the rude gesture…though not without his usual habit of insisting on the last word.

“Call it what you will,” He huffed, swinging a hand back towards Zepar, mimicking the demon’s gesture. “But it is not hard to feel threatened by you and your…”
The fae’s words seemed to trail off as he thought of a good word, but alas, none came to him and Andromedeux was forced to utter a gritted “Whatever!”

Truthfully there were a lot of things about Zepar that were intimidating. For one, the beast was gigantic compared to Andromedeux’s average size. Not to mention the wings attached to his back, capable of carrying his weight and then some it seemed.
No, the Unseelie king wouldn’t admit to all of that outright, but it was glaringly obvious that he was unused to being in the presence of those that could crush him with their fists.

Andromedeux narrowed his eyes just slightly as he observed Zepar from a few feet away. The demon had brought up a good point…he didn’t know quite how to explain away a demon to his people. They were…shrewd and conniving. Perhaps they could disguise him? He had never used his magic to shift another creature that wasn’t the size of a hound, but it wasn’t something he would dwell on.

“Have you ever…shifted your appearance?”
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Re: The bogs of Erestelle

Post by Wolkenser on Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:21 pm

The frustration would’ve caused the demon to laugh, had his mouth not been filled with suppressed curses and remnants of the bile he was sure he’d end up spitting if the fae pricked any further. Thankfully, he didn’t, despite what limited expressions of wooden bark seemed to suggest.

Zepar returned the silent regard with a stern face, thought the slightest hint of curiosity threatened to raise his eyebrows. He wondered what thoughts Andromedeux minced in that tree-like head of his, and at the thought he almost bellowed.
After a few moments, the fae’s question took him heavily by surprise.
“We cannot do that.” Zepar replied simply, though admittedly uttering it rather slowly as he processed what the man was suggesting.

His crossed arms unfolded, and his right hand lowered to rest upon the ornate belt in his armor while the other gestured as the demon tried to grasp the words to explain.
“Demon magic is different – it destroys, it does not change or create.” He continued. “I’ve never witnessed any of my kin look anything except for what they were born as.”

It was difficult to embrace the idea that he guessed the fae had, and his mind couldn’t fully wrap around it. What would he even try to disguise himself as? An animal? The towering spawn of a human-giant hybrid? As amusing as that’d be, Andromedeux’s people couldn’t possibly be as stupid as to fall for a disguise so… mediocre.
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