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Chaillot is facing a civil war. Rebel Queens have refused to Bless the land and are gathering supporters. Prince Etienne Roux is besieged as female led villages and districts rebel beneath male dominated rule, leaving Dark Haven caught in the middle of the two Blood factions. With the Blood at war the Landen have cast their gaze towards expanding their autonomy. Extremist organizations are rising within their own government as A.C.O.R.N officials move to take further legislative power.
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Author Topic: It is not the bite that kills, but the poison left behind  (Read 238 times)

Description: attn: Jeremiah

Offline Regarte Barrault

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Summer 193 AP, The Dreaming

The line between the dreaming and the waking grew slimmer each day. Or was it each hour? Regarte had long since lost her hold on time. It was slick like seaweed, slipping through her webbed fingers no matter how she tried to grab it. She swam down, down, her powerful tail propelling her deeper into the dark.

Down here, everything was quiet. Only the sound of her heartbeat interrupted her thoughts and so she found she needed no thoughts at all.

No breath passed her lips. No words were spoken. No one tried to pass hot spoons of sea water into her mouth or lock her in a chamber filled to overflowing with her screams.

Behind her, in that room she had known for so very long, bloody fingers curled against her calloused palms. She didn't like that place without Dorian. Thirty seven years he had been gone. Or was it seconds? Long, too long, left with black feathers and wings of midnight. Even Hell has kind demons, and Regarte had found those, or more rightly, they had found her.

But not tonight.

The she who she had been slept restlessly within the confinement of her bones. The she who she was swam further, harder, straining happily aching muscles. She saw it, finally, shimmering irridescent Rose in the light that streamed through from the water's surface before darkness swallowed it. Gathering it in her hands, she pulled herself up and out of the water onto the stone steps of the underwater cave. Light too bright came from one side and she turned to shield her eyes. One step followed the other on freshly granted soles, taking her deeper into the twilight before her.

Wrapping the skin around her body, she let the tail trail behind her. She had her suspicions. When she saw him, she knew.

"Look what you have become." 

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: It is not the bite that kills, but the poison left behind
« Reply #1 on: Jul 30, 18, 01:11:02 AM »
With everything that had gone on in the aftermath of the Decimation, that fateful day, Jeremiah had not truly paid attention to himself. Things were still masked and hidden, be it by the spell that Elenor had taught him or otherwise, and so there was no thought about how things had truly settled. Though this mostly happened as he slept, so it was no surprise that it was not fully noticed.

That the venom sac that had been near forced into being gave way to a snake-tooth underneath his ring finger; that the witchblood that had always been part of his psychic scent was not merely there but it riotous bloom.

He was too invested in following the edge of the Abyssal waters that he was fond of. The ones that he swam within, the ones that carried stories to him and from him, the ones that could take him - though he realized it not - far, far away and yet never leave his bed.

Eventually, he came out of the waters within a cavern, torn between following the step upwards and going deeper or following the glow of soft light. Two paths, he realized, but neither offered true respite. Behind him, within the water, he realized he had left a skin behind.

One that was being gathered and pulled away from him, bubbles forming on the water's surface as it began to ripple. Something was rising from the depths, something that was always so terribly lost.

Look at what you have become, she said to him but he did not hear her immediately.

He was watching as she cloaked herself in the scales of the skin that had been shed behind him. The Rose hues stayed upon the scales but they were suffused by Sapphire, as part of the skin became one with her. Not entirely unlike a selkie but then who was the selkie here?

Him or her?

Jeremiah was distracted from looking at himself in this moment, more focused on the form of the witch before him. The witch that had saved him when he had nearly come undone.

"Lost Sapphire," he breathed out. "You've taken my skin." Not that he was particularly worried about it. Not from her.

Offline Regarte Barrault

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Re: It is not the bite that kills, but the poison left behind
« Reply #2 on: Aug 27, 18, 10:37:39 PM »
Within her small room at Dark Haven, Regarte's body lay on her thin mattress. Heavy manacles were secured around her wrists and ankles, a step taken for her own protection, they told her. It's what they always told her. The tea that she drank that made everything slide sideways was for her own protection, as was the collar that rubbed her neck raw. In Dark Haven, there were so very many things for her own protection. After all, in Dark Haven, there were so very many things to be protected from.

But here, in the pale light of the cave, she was safe. The fang of the snake-kissed Rose would not pierce her flesh and pump her full of venom. She wondered what that would be like. Would she slip away quietly, losing her way of the path so thoroughly that nothing but her Jewels would be left behind? Or would it be a new and unexplored kind of agony that would seize her body until she could endure it no longer?

"You don't need it anymore, silly." She pulled the skin closer, causing the light to catch the glimmering Rose scales. "You will always shed what you no longer need. It is your nature." Bare feet found slick footing on the wet stones of the cave, and yet she made her way closer to him. Could he not see it?

A hand wrapped in snake skin darted out to grasp his wrist. With a surprising strength, she pulled him to the edge of the water. "Look," she said, circling behind his heavy tail. Calloused fingers reached to sink into his silver hair, tipping his head forward to look into the water. "Look!" she repeated.

Glancing over his shoulder, she could see his reflection dancing in the water. The spider. The snake. The bear. The mountain lion. The rose. The ryllis. The badger. The shattered remnants of a monstrous cage. All flashed before her as she watched the water move.

"What do you see?"

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: It is not the bite that kills, but the poison left behind
« Reply #3 on: Aug 30, 18, 10:36:13 PM »
There were lessons now to be careful, to be mindful, to avoid things latching upon him because he was a Black Widow learning his way. None of this he thought of when it came to this Sapphire, forever lost and never moored in one place. She floated somewhere between the Abyss and the Twisted Kingdom, touched both places and was changed for it for all that she was still simply witch. Yet that was enough, was it not? Everything was possible when one was a witch, nothing out of her grasp, but this Sapphire wanted not anything but for others to understand, to see as she did.

That, in the least, Jeremiah could do.

"You are right," his tone was thoughtful, "I suppose I did not realize it was time yet." He watched as she pulled the skin closer, wondered as it sunk into her as if it was a living armor that could protect her, and was caught off guard as she grabbed his wrist and pulled. Jeremiah stumbled but straightened with a grace born of being a fighter. She slipped around him, the phantom feeling of her brushing something behind him that he did not have just another distraction.

Fingers in his hair pulled him right back. No response came as she told him to look, not immediately, because he was doing so. The water was deep, so very deep, and he knew what lurked within its depths. Something flashed but it was the old ghost, the man with a too wide smile, because it would always be there. Fears and doubts and otherwise were never truly conquered and only accepted. That, he suspected, was not what she was wanting him to see.

Or ... perhaps it was? At least a part of it. Jeremiah's head tilted towards Reggie's (she was so small and yet so tall; the magic of this place they were within) as he continued to look. The air of the cavern changed, alive with the hum of everything that was this Lost Sapphire. The water shimmered as the ripples in the water grew. No, he realized, there were two sets of ripples. One his and the other ...

The other he focused upon, that heavy tail behind him coming to curl around her feet without him realizing still. "What I was," he breathed out, watching the water dance. The spider that darted across its surface as it turned into a snake. "What I am." The snake opened its mouth, a singular fang visible, before scales became fur of a great bear. It was as it shifted into a mountain lion that he froze but even that fell away as it burst into the bloom of roses and amaryllises that eventually became a badger. A shattered cage was visible, turned to a cairn made of stones that were cracked and broken as witchblood sprung to life. He thought, for a moment, they might have spread across the entire surface of the water but they stayed only within the ripples.

"How do you see me," he asked, "when I am so many things?"

Offline Regarte Barrault

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Re: It is not the bite that kills, but the poison left behind
« Reply #4 on: Sep 03, 18, 12:15:01 AM »
The usual silk at her wrists was replaced with long strands of shimmering Rose scales. It was easy to get distracted by them as the pale light within the cave glinted off the water, then the scales, and then her irises. Still, she needed to concentrate. To focus. This was important and her Rose needed to know, needed to understand.  If only others could see what Reggie saw. It would really be so much easier.

Sliding around him like the snake he was, Regarte curved forward until she was kneeling at the edge of the water. She placed her hand out just over the surface before darting a look over her shoulder. She needed to know he was watching. Really watching. With his heart and not his eyes. Only fools looked with their eyes.

When she was certain of his attention, she turned her attention back to the water. Her hand swept out in a great arc, smoothing the ripples and creating new ones at once. Reflected up from the surface, the freshly shed snake would see a small, dirty room. A thin mattress lay on the floor. Heavy chains were secured to the floor and led to thick manacles locked around pale wrists and ankles. Copper stained the edges of the woman's skin where she was restrained, although whether it was blood or rust was not easily apparent. The same color could be found at the woman's neck, spilling out from a thick collar at her throat. She was sleeping, her midnight hair spilled out all around her.

"Not that. That is not important. That!" She moved her hand again and the image shifted to reflect the walls of the small room. Stuck haphazardly all around were paintings. Most were of a man with silver hair and blue green eyes, although they were a slightly different shade in every painting. There was a clear progression of skill within the paintings. The newest ones were of snakes and spiders. They, too, had the same blue green eyes. There was even one of a badger, its eyes bright.

"There is a Queen who asks me that. Her words are shining glitter falling between cracked lips. She wants to know why I keep dreaming of you and why the eyes are always the same. She doesn't see that you are you are you. You wear different faces and forms but that doesn't change being able to recognize you." She turned and looked at him then. "If we only recognized each other by our outsides, we'd never be able to recognize anyone at all."

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: It is not the bite that kills, but the poison left behind
« Reply #5 on: Sep 03, 18, 07:48:34 AM »
Jeremiah moved as she did, wondering silently at the feel of different form settled around him. Scales glinted upon the Sapphire, a rosy hue, but he caught sight of similar on him. Just as he saw the shadow of a tail, long and curled loosely around her. He said nothing about it because it simply was. Crouching down, he nodded as she looked over her shoulder at him.

In this place there was a brightness to his eyes that had nothing to do with the eerie color they were while awake. Jeremiah's gaze stayed upon Sapphire, following the movement of her arm. All at once the ripples were gone and then back, with them something else visible. He froze as the image took shape, as he saw Sapphire held down and locked away. Again he wondered at the feeling of his chest constricting when here he did not breathe. Was it even his feeling? The weight upon his wrists and ankles, the haze that settled over him until she waved her hand again.

His mouth opened, to argue, to say something, to ask, but no words came. There was a hiss that turned to a growl and then died away because-

-because-

Nothing was ever right with the world and he felt the weight not only upon his wrists and ankles but his throat as well and he knew a truth that he wished he did not. Yet it was smoothed away by the phantom feel of hands holding him, not kindly, and pushing something inward so that everything softened and became not right but what they wanted it to be.

Jeremiah sighed, eyes opening (when had they closed?) to study the walls of the room as that feeling faded. There were so many paintings, each of them him. Those were eyes that could not be mistaken; not when they were constantly shifting, changing from one to the next. "The outsides hide the insides but the insides are what we are, what we will be, what we have been." His head tilted, eyes trailing from one image to the next. Realization settled slowly, things clicking into place as he stretched his fingers out. Some of these paintings were younger but the eyes were always the same because he was and he just did not know it.

"You've waited a long time," he said softly, "for me to remember these things, haven't you? You'd find me and I would know you but not know you because I couldn't find myself." The words made sense but only here, in this place. "I only saw the outsides, not the insides." Not anymore, no. Now Jeremiah saw more than ever.