Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Tales of blood and bone from Matadero to the Grove, and all the places in Between.

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Delahada
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Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Post by Delahada » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:50 pm

Saturday, December 21, 2019
Approximately 11:15 PM RST


Autumn released a heavy sigh and lay down its weary head. A shiver pulsed through all the places In Between. It came as a cold creeping down the spine, footsteps over a grave. Felt far and wide by those sensitive to such things, those with connections, as something inexplicably amiss, an uneasy sensation that could not certainly be named. There and gone. A tingle in the funny bone that faded as fast as it spiked. There and gone. Gone, gone.

The last of the falling leaves rustled. The quiet came. Autumn pulled up its blanket of snow, and slept. Winter stretched and yawned, and woke. And the feeling, whatever it had been, was easily forgotten.



(( Those of you whose characters have some kind of connection to the realms of Faerie, or the Umbra, or the Between, or are otherwise magically sensitive in some way, may use this, reference the oddness. No hints. No explanations. Only as is. Stay tuned. ))
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Re: Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Post by Delahada » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:03 pm

Salvador Delahada.

His name was a sigh breathed frigidly into the darkness.

This is what I named you.

He knew this voice. Hard. Dispassionate. Belonging to a woman. He called her Mother.

You know what it means.

Yes, he thought. He did not speak. Could not speak. In this darkness he didn’t even have a mouth to form the words with. All he was was thought, drifting. Timelessly. Forever.

‘Gods give names to men so that they will build kingdoms for them.’

They were not her words, he knew. They shared this penchant for recitation, taking the words of others and making them their own. Are you a god? He wondered.

No, but I am a creator. Your creator. I made you.

Yes, yes, he thought. I am a made thing. A formless thing. What did you make me for?

There is no answer to this. She is silent. The darkness and the cold is all there is.

It goes on like this.

And it goes on.

Dark and cold.

Endless.
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Re: Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Post by Delahada » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:26 pm

Hostility made the atmosphere churn. Its source: the sea.

The grounds of Matadero shook, and shivered. Vines curled more tightly around the walls, roots sinking deeper and more securely into mortar. The iron gates creaked and swung themselves shut, locked, sealed.

Thankfully it was a Saturday. The facility was closed. Its denizens slept, as he was sleeping. The air within was calm, protected. None of the rage by the sea could reach them here. They were safe.

Since its acquisition, the fortified manor of Seaside had been abandoned by its baron. There had been no sign of him even at the celebration held during the holidays. Nor was there any sign of him now.

When the first manifestations of strangeness prickled, the caretaker had shut the doors and locked themselves safely away in their own quarters. If anyone, later, was hoping to find refuge during the storm they would find no one to greet them. The house was empty, still, and silent, but perhaps safe.

Nothing let anyone in, but nothing kept them out, either.

An open letter addressed to Salvador lay discarded atop its envelope on the foyer entry table. There was no indication of any attempt at a reply.

The Ring of the 10th remained nestled in its red, crystalline cage on a different table tucked against the base of the stairs. It, too, was safe and secure. Its cage was sharp, enchanted to do lethal harm to anyone who was not Salvador himself. The poinsettias were gone, replaced by some other winter flower in a decorative pot.*

The car was parked safely in the garage, unlocked, its keys tucked into the sun visor.



(( * As referenced in “echoes of history”.

Though I will not be actively participating in the Cthulhu SL, having noted that the events tonight will be taking place in Seaside, I felt it prudent to note that the manor is open should anyone choose to reference or make use of it during the live event. ))
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Re: Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Post by Delahada » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:56 pm

Rhydin pulsed, a ripple that spread from the Outback, far reaching, and shook the planet to its very core.

Matadero felt the tremors. The vines wound themselves tighter around the foundations of the walls. Skeletons rattled in their clutches, some snapping and crumbling to dust. They reached and coiled around the bars of the iron gates, threatening to knot them shut and bar access to the facility. Salvador’s queen had to soothe them apart.

Dama had another name, as most faerie creatures do. Having once been trapped by it, she grew wise not to share it with others. When the abomination broke her free of her prison, he hadn’t even asked her for it, and this was how he easily won her loyalty. Not with control, but with compassion.

“What do you suppose is going on out there?” she whispered softly to Torre.

The forest giant had long been her most faithful companion. They often walked together through the verdant gardens of Matadero’s rooftop, and through the twilit woods just on the other side of the Veil of the autumn prince’s domain. When they came out into the open like this, to patrol along the walls and trim the creeping vines with Dama’s soft touch causing them to curl away and loosen their grip, they still remained shadowed, invisible.

Had they not been so shrouded, Torre’s imposing bulk might have frightened away lesser creatures. His towering head could see far too easily over the walls, like no other creature could. He, too, had another name, but adapted well to the chess board placement that his new master had given him. He pledged himself when Dama had, refusing to ever part from her side.

“Nothing good,” the giant grunted.

Passing through the stone wall that separated the main facility from pig country, they continued their stroll even along the stream that cut through the property. Though the air was frigid and howling winds had so recently blown with fierce outrage the night before, the waters flowed smoothly.

“How is Seaside?” Dama asked the water.

A ripple became a swirling whirlpool that lifted itself from the stream, churning and twisting until taking on the shape of a woman. She was in constant motion, flowing along with the giant and the dryad as they walked along the bank. Her report came not with words but with feeling. She morphed and shaped herself to express further, with imagery, the things she had seen. The end result was an impression that all was well at the baronial estate. Dama thanked her as she melted away to become little more than the stream again.

Farther along, under a copse of moss-heavy willows, they found the crocodile. He was standing in man shape, shoulders pressed to the bark of a trunk, and picking gristle from his teeth with a tiny wooden pick. Half a corpse lay at his feet.

“What happened?” Dama asked him.

“Cage broke,” Gallo grumbled. “Chased ‘er this far. Gon’ have to get a new one.” He belched and Dama frowned at his lack of manners.

The corpse bothered her not at all.

“I’ll see to the rest.” For a body made fine fertilizer, and already she was shaping the vines to carry it off for composting. Gallo pushed off the tree and turned to slink away. He had hunting to do to find a replacement. She didn’t need to tell him.

The dryad and the giant continued on. They finished their rounds of their master’s domain and settled together under the boughs of her favorite oak. A large, mossy-coated dog came to sniff at her fingers and report for the day before loping off to attend its usual duties.

“I do not like this quiet,” she said to Torre as she started sinking into the tree.

The giant squatted down at the base of the trunk, folding into himself to create a protective mound. Though he did not say, he did not much like this quiet either. It was not the usual quiet and made them all uneasy.

But at least, the leaves rustled, everything remains secure.

The wards stayed strong, and Matadero was vigilant.
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Re: Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Post by Delahada » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:51 pm

Where he walks the wildlife withers.

“This is the third one this month.” Mamorel Fiedlerson hefts the shrunken husk of a pig carcass into a wheelbarrow. It takes her very little effort. The remains are as light as a papier-mâché replica and nearly as brittle.

Gallo grunts where he leans against a nearby tree.

“You can feel it, can’t you?” The half-elf girl turns and dusts her hands off on her pants. “A bone deep ache. The ground shifting. It’s never felt so alive, and hostile.”

“Yeah,” Gallo grunts again.

“And these vines--”

“Don’t touch ‘em,” the crocodile warns.

Mamorel gives him a disparaging look. “I’m not stupid.” She tosses aside the stick she had been using to point them out, the same stick she had used to pry them from the husk of the pig.

They are red and fuzzy, like a strange and bloody cousin to poison ivy without any leaves. Sometimes they look like veins, and seem to pulse as if a throbbing heart, somewhere, is pushing plasma through them. The break apart like ash, scattering red dust to the wind, when forced apart. And they are icy cold to the touch.

“You didn’t breathe any of that in, did you?” Gallo asks, pointing to a little billowing cloud of red that forms after the half-elf stabs again at one of the grounded vines.

“Of course not.”

“Good,” he grunts, relieved.

“I’ve tried calling the boss about this over a dozen times, but he doesn’t answer.” Mamorel looks at him expectantly, suspecting he knows the reasons why.

“Boss’s been busy,” is all he tells her.

The half-elf woman frowns at him, unsatisfied.

“He’s got that barony to run now,” the crocodile tacks on.

“Oh right.” This one gives her relief. Mamorel never leaves the grounds of Matadero and pays no attention to the outside world beyond it. Her only concern has ever been for her pigs, her livelihood. That single-minded dedication and willingness to ignore everything else is one of the main reasons Salvador had hired her.

Gallo scratches the side of his neck, the man skin with its thick beard still itches. He hasn’t spent much time acclimating and getting used to it. He much preferred scales and murky waters, but some things couldn’t be done with a tail and powerful, crushing jaw.

“Well, I’m glad I got ahold of somebody about it.”

“It’s only been one at a time?”

“So far as I’ve discovered. One goes missing, I go looking, and this is what I find. Last month it was only one. I wrote it off as a weird fluke. Maybe a vampire got in looking for a meal that couldn’t tell him to bugger off. This month it’s three, and I noticed they’ve all got these in common.” She gestures at the vines.

“Maybe your pig-eating vampire’s moved in,” Gallo suggests.

Mamoral snorts and shakes her head. “I hope not.”

“I’ll keep a look out,” the crocodile promises.

“Thanks.” This eases some of Mamorel’s worries, and she smiles. “Well, I’m going to cart Felice here off for a proper burial.”

“Felice?” Gallo raises a brow.

“I don’t usually name them, but when they’re dead like this they deserve it.”

Gallo only grunts again and pushes off the tree.

“Waste of a good pig,” Mamorel mutters as she pushes the wheelbarrow containing its husk away.
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