2.0.2 THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
Beasts of Beyond

Private THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL

Offline beck.

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« on: February 14, 2019, 03:58:07 PM »
     Seventy years. An unfathomable number before, but years sure added up fast. The gravity of such an impressive amount took a hesitant while to sink into his realization. In fear of losing count of time, the boy adopted the tradition of etching a tally mark onto one of the cuffs encircling his wrist, his dagger's point scratching into the cold black surface seventy times with every new year. Even now as he aimlessly lazed on a snowy riverbank, a restless thumb found its way to the shackle to brush past the fourteen clusters of five.

     The world changed. Forests toppled to be replaced by civilization, towns developed only to be ransacked by the latest war, fashion transformed into something unrecognizable by its ruffed collars and mercury-dusted cheeks of the royals. Did he change? He was still Beck, still dead, but everything was different. The world felt empty now. It had since she left. On moonless nights, he would find himself curled up next to her tombstone, reading the epitaph carved by her children as if he could converse with her once more. Young as he may be, the girl's death was enough to fracture his ignorance. He was an idiot, he knew she would die eventually. Why should I even care about her? She left me.

     With a ragged sigh, he slouched forward, resting his cheek on a propped arm as he glared at the river's contents. Minnows and catfish and bream lurked beneath the rushing water, stirring up dust from their sluggish grazing and huddled in schools. He was almost surprised to see the bottom feeders so active in the tapering winter. The river sloshed with the floe and snowmelt, flooding up the bank until the freezing water could have brushed against the tips of his worn shoes if it stretched out just a little bit more to reach the cross-legged boy. His bandaged hand sifted through the muddy sand to scoop up a fistful of grit, tossing the pebbles at the nearest cluster of fish. The rocks pelted the surface in strewn splashes and sunk with indignity. The fish scattered from the disturbance, disappearing in a haze. Beck narrowed his brown eyes, almost regretting scaring his lone source of entertainment away. What else could he do to pass eternity away in the meantime? Standing back up, he didn't bother to wipe away the mud clinging to his legs and kicked at the water's edge instead. "Stupid fish," ensued the mutter of frustration, rasped and scratchy, and he flipped up his oversized hood to skulk away back into the ice-blanketed forest.
WE SWAM LIKE RATS ON FIRE RIGHT, RIGHT DOWN THE RESEVOIR
WE TOOK ALL THAT WE COULD CARRY, BUT WE TRIED TO CARRY MORE
​​​​​​​the poltergeist tanglewood​​​​​​​ sawbone info pm to plot ​@tricky

Offline ska'arq .

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Re: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2019, 11:49:38 AM »
//OOC

Creatures like him were only spoken of in fables and legends. Those who had seen him, however, could agree upon one thing- this was not the same thing the tales spoke of. He was not a massive, ferocious beast that killed hundreds and burned down homes. He did not guard mountains of gold and dozens of kidnapped princesses. He did not tower above those who cowered at his feet, staring down with fearsome yellow eyes that only held bloodlust.

No, not at all.

He was a dragon- that much was blatantly obvious. But he wasn’t any dragon that anyone would expect. The reptile was purple, and underwhelmingly small. The eyes that rested in his sockets were an icy cyan blue rather than yellow. Fire-breathing didn’t seem to be among his skills. Stranger still was the curious intelligence he had, as well as the colorful vials that hung at his neck.

To top it all off, humans were chasing him, not the other way around.

He stumbled through the prickly and dead undergrowth, eyes wide with terror but feet still weighed down with the burden of a hibernation he had been cruelly snapped out of. A sharp purple glow cast itself on the half-melted snow that blurred past.

Several grown men whooped with the excitement of the chase, pointing at the small violet dragon that was steadily losing ground. It was a real live dragon- perhaps the first one spotted in centuries. Imagine how much money they could make from it! If only they had brought their dogs. It was possible that this was just a baby. Could they use its cries to lure out more?

There has to be a way out of this. He couldn’t fly away. His wings would get caught in the branches that tangled overhead. Think. Think! Could he fight them off? A ragged breath clouded the air. Of course not. Was he going to die now? Eleven years wasn’t enough.

A simple root covered by snow was enough to decide his fate. He tumbled, skidding in the mud. They were on top of him just like that. The breath was crushed out of him when one straddled his shoulders and pinned him down. Struggling and thrashing, he snarled and snapped at their ankles while they danced around him, shouting happily. One of them stretched out his wing to look at it, but he snatched it back. A blade was pulled from its sheath at the hip. A second man grabbed his horns and pressed his head into the dirt. With his jaw forcefully closed, he could only let out a muffled and hoarse cry. The man with the weapon met his eyes while he weighed the blade in his palm. His killer.

Leaning forward, the one who sat on him lifted up one of the many vials in his necklace, letting out an inquiry. With a violent struggle, the dragon freed his head and clamped his jaws shut on the man’s hand. With a howl and scream of bloody murder, he lifted a leg and stomped it down, snapping the mythical creature’s fragile wing, earning another cry and struggle. This time, he was restrained with greater force. The man with the weapon kneeled down, snapping at the two who yelled at him, and held the blade to the dragon’s throat.
ATTACK IN BOLD #6e65b5 - TAGS

THE DANGER DOESN’T REGISTER ,
THE FEAR FEELS LIKE AN ACT !
dragon — emotionless — tags — tanglewood — roleplayed by cakie !

Offline beck.

Re: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2019, 03:01:31 AM »
     Whoops and hollers of a hunt stopped him dead in his frozen tracks -- even more dead? The apparition stiffened either way, dread blanching his features. Armored figures releasing their grip on the hounds' chains clouded his vision, engulfing his senses back to the night everything caught up with him. He needed to escape them. To reach the safety of the forest. To hide until they surrendered their search, or run until his legs buckled and exhaustion left him to be torn apart by dog teeth. The vicious barks pounded inside his head --

     But... there wasn't any barking. No dogs. Only a trio of men trampling through the forest after presumably a boar. Beck removed the hands instinctively covering his eyes. He hated when his memories did that, blinding him to reality. Before he could fully recover from his false panic, a purple blur visible through the leafless undergrowth darted past, maybe nine or ten yards ahead and followed by the predicted troupe of noisy pursuers. The boy shrank backward, startled at first before confusion crossed his face. Purple? What type of creature was purple? The peculiar hue stirred his interest, and his curiosity reared its ugly head, beckoning him to give chase. Bony shoulders hunching in defeat, Beck directed a puff of chilled air up at the choppy brown bangs tickling his brow and followed parallel to the path of disturbed foliage.

     The trail didn't last much longer than an effortless jog for a few feet; the hunt must have been drawing to a close by the time he glimpsed it. Silently picking his way over dead brambles, Beck peered around a dormant oak to sneak a better view of the purple oddity. The men had their backs towards him, and subsequently, the creature's front wasn't visible, but simply from observing its scaly flanks, a sense of wary familiarity began to tie knots in his stomach. Well, whatever it was, it was about to become a trophy mounted on a wall. Why should I care? It shouldn't have gotten caught in the first place. As he weighed the thought of abandoning the reptilian to natural selection versus intervening and exposing himself to the living again, a crack of bone jarred him, cringing, back to attention. The ensuing bellow of pain twisted his face into a grimace as anger welled up inside his shallow chest.

     A blade plunged into the leader's exposed side. The internal warmth of a body quickly shocked him back to his senses, and he stared down at his hand embedded up to his wrist in the man's stomach. Oops. Beck blinked dumbfoundedly, almost impressed before his stare drifted upward to examine the face of the man he stabbed, realization already dawned on him and beginning to clutch at the seeping red in agony. The boy hurriedly wrestled his dagger from the man's gut, yanking it free. Faint steam escaped the wound; the man recoiled from the pinned creature, one hand clasping his abdomen and the other wobbly lifting his sword for a counterattack before he collapsed to the snow. The display seemed to be enough to distract his cohorts long enough to release the reptile, an array of expression shifting across their faces. Beck didn't waste any more time in getting this whole mess over with, taking an almost predatory stance and readying his dagger for another strike.

     He paused, a trace of reason tugging the corners of blue lips into an uncertain frown. He swore to her he wouldn't kill again. His promise would be broken in a couple of minutes as the man's blood spilled out into the muddy snow. But one was better than all three, right? Hesitant for a moment, his apparition distorted, revealing his nature to the remaining men. They were swift to shout an alarmed accusation of "demon" or something akin to the entity, and Beck merely bared teeth in response, snarling like the wolves engaged in a fight he'd overheard on rare nights. Abandoning their catch in exchange for keeping their skin, the men stumbled over themselves to flee. Beck watched their retreat with a bitter scowl before he sheathed his dagger back on his own belt. They would be back to retrieve their catch, considering they had already injured it. Figuring he would clean up the mess later, he glanced at his hand painted with blood, splaying his fingers to admire the red ooze strung between and forming a visceral webbing of sorts. That was one way to cure his prior boredom. Entranced, Beck easily forgot about the creature behind him, oblivious to its legendary status.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 10:19:34 AM by beck. »
WE SWAM LIKE RATS ON FIRE RIGHT, RIGHT DOWN THE RESEVOIR
WE TOOK ALL THAT WE COULD CARRY, BUT WE TRIED TO CARRY MORE
​​​​​​​the poltergeist tanglewood​​​​​​​ sawbone info pm to plot ​@tricky

Offline ska'arq .

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Re: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2019, 06:53:39 PM »
//OOC

Pupils that were slitted with a feral sense of fear took in the light that glinted off of the blade when it moved to his throat. Blood pumped feverishly through his veins, and he could almost feel it spreading into the snow and mud. He was helpless now, unable to move as death drew closer and closer. Was this how...

A weighted breath struggled into his lungs - it was difficult to breathe under the pressure of the hunter on his back. His fear relentlessly screamed at him to run away as far and fast as he could, but the depths of his mind told him to give it up. Fighting back was pointless. He'd lost. Muscles began to relax, contrary to the rapid heartbeat and ragged breathing. Hunter and prey locked gazes for the last time, one of victory and glee, the other of fear and defeat.

He had just closed his eyes, not willing to watch what remained of his life spilling out before him, when the sickening wet noise of an inflicted wound brought him to contract in a flinch. Only... it wasn't him that was bleeding. Was it? Was he already dead? Hesitantly, he slowly opened one eye and looked up. It wasn't him that was bleeding after all. A bloody hand and blade removed itself from the gut of the hunter, who took a step back in response, weapon dropped in favor of clutching at the fatal injury. A new, unfamiliar human had joined the fray, and it didn't take much deduction to know he had just single-handedly dispatched a full-grown man. Quite literally, in fact. The weight on his back abruptly lifted. Demon. The single word was shouted at the newcomer. He was small, almost comically so, for human standards. A demon?

Now wasn't the time to think about such things. The hunters were fleeing, two running and one staggering. He should too. He needed to run. Run, far away. Scaly body lifting from the mud with a short stumble, his sore ankle made itself known. He winced, twice when he folded his broken wing to his side. Mud that coated his belly also covered the necklace that hung at his neck, blocking the various glows that betrayed how he felt. Go. Go. The dragon began to back away, abruptly turning tail and beginning to flee back into the wilderness. Get away from the scene of his attempted murder. Staying here was impossible now that his existence had been exposed. Moving on was of utmost importance. Go, and go quickly.
ATTACK IN BOLD #6e65b5 - TAGS

THE DANGER DOESN’T REGISTER ,
THE FEAR FEELS LIKE AN ACT !
dragon — emotionless — tags — tanglewood — roleplayed by cakie !

Offline beck.

Re: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 02:31:16 PM »
     The blood was warm, sickeningly so. His stomach twisted at the red slowly coagulated in the creases of his open palm, dripping down his wrist. As he stared at the nauseating crimson, a hum of static crackled between his ears, disrupting his thoughts with a hissed strand of words. Was that fun? Did you see how his guts fell out? Beck squeezed his eyes shut in a vain attempt to escape the voice. Why did you let the other two go? It hadn't gone away since... since -- Answer me! The boy winced under its harsh shriek, tearing his eyes away from his hand to sheepishly drift down at the muddy snow. He just needed to ignore it. Yeah, ignore it, then it would go away eventually. The hand free of blood crawled up to grip at his arm, searching for anything to grasp as even the snow threatened to blur into the venomous fuzz of the voice. Why won't you listen to me?

     Rustling branches interrupted the static and Beck whipped around in time to glimpse a retreating tail. "Wait, where are you going?" came the instinctive plea before he realized it was most likely pointless. He relaxed his grip on his arm, almost dejectedly as his attention directed itself to the dead man standing between the fleeing creature and him. "I don't even get a 'thank you', huh?" he quipped to an absent audience, giving his blood-stained hand a shake then smearing it across his shirt front to try and clean it. Gratitude wasn't expected; he hardly anticipated a slight acknowledgment if he was truly honest with himself.

      A sigh forced itself from waterlogged lungs. Beck's gaze snapped back to the corpse, red seeping from its side and into the grimy white beneath. His amber glare softened, yet not for the spilled life. Should he return the body to... wherever it came from? Oh, what the hell, he had nothing better to do anyway. Plus it would be funny to watch the reaction of whoever found the remains. The poltergeist moved to kneel by the dead man's punctured side, not minding the puddle of blood turning the snow to a sticky ruby-red as he studied the damage. His sword had been discarded beside him; Beck reached over the corpse's torso to hesitantly grab its blade, pulling it to his lap with some difficulty due to its surprising weight. After investigating the cheaply-forged metal and tracing its worn edge with a fingertip, he wobbled back to his feet and promptly kicked the worthless sword away, sending it into the wilted underbrush. Beck circled around to the man's legs, grabbing the body by its ankles and attempting to drag it through the slush. Only to fail miserably as he uselessly tugged on the body's legs, boots slipping in the ice.
WE SWAM LIKE RATS ON FIRE RIGHT, RIGHT DOWN THE RESEVOIR
WE TOOK ALL THAT WE COULD CARRY, BUT WE TRIED TO CARRY MORE
​​​​​​​the poltergeist tanglewood​​​​​​​ sawbone info pm to plot ​@tricky

Offline ska'arq .

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Re: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 11:16:42 PM »
//OOC

Wait, where are you going? The words were shouted after him, but he didn't have time to stop and decrypt what was said. Instincts screamed ceaselessly- his fear told him he had no choice but to obey. What was next? Should he take the time to stop and check for more humans? What about his den? His books...

The wet pounding of feet in mud slowed to sticky steps, which then halted completely. His books. His den- his stuff. Was it okay? They didn't take his stuff, did they? What if they were waiting there for him? A painful throb streaking through his wing offered a grim reminder that his escape possibilities were limited. Hopelessness was creeping in from all sides. The dragon sniffed, lifting a hand and wiping his nose, which only succeeded in smearing more mud on his face. It clung to his body, sapping his dwindling body heat, but he knew the water would be too cold to clean himself with. A clouded breath wavered in the air. Taking his chances and going back to the den was probably his only choice at the moment. He needed to collect his things and warm up.

Climbing the gentle slope and getting further from the river, the mud finally changed to solid ground. Unfortunately for him, the snow did not. At one point snow fell from a tree and landed on his back, earning a mixed and startled squeak. With a vigorous shake and a disgruntled huff, he picked up the pace until he reached the crudely hand-dug hole in the ground. Anxiously peeking around, the reptile quickly vanished inside.

Peering around the dimly lit space, he wasn't surprised - but was disappointed - that it was just as cold as the open air outside. Another breath billowed and dissipated. Adrenaline having faded, he was left with a sense of returning exhaustion and invading pain from various scrapes and injuries, greatest of all being a snapped bone.

Mud, drying into caked dirt, began to crack and flake off around his joints as he stepped onto an old and dirty blanket, upon which were a few stacks of hand-bound books. Scraping them to the center of the woven fabric, he tied it up into a makeshift bag. Sitting back and mentally preparing himself for another long journey, this time in the cold, he found it getting difficult to stay awake. Scooting to a wall adjacent to the exit, he pulled the bag-blanket close, untying it to cover himself. He lay on his side, pulling the blanket close. Drifting off, he found himself resenting the hunters who had discovered his hole. A month or so longer, and he would have awoken to warm spring sunlight. But here he was, injured and cold, and still tired... How stupid...
ATTACK IN BOLD #6e65b5 - TAGS
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 11:19:31 PM by ska'arq . »

THE DANGER DOESN’T REGISTER ,
THE FEAR FEELS LIKE AN ACT !
dragon — emotionless — tags — tanglewood — roleplayed by cakie !

Offline beck.

Re: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 04:23:37 AM »
     Several attempts of yanking the man's legs -- only to lose his footing and land on his back with a pained wheeze -- was it took to dissuade the boy from the useless tactic. Since when were dead people so heavy? A fatigued pant slipped from his mouth, invisible despite the frigid air, yet shifted to a growl of frustration as he pushed himself from the snow once more. Wisely deciding to opt for another method, Beck grabbed the man by his ankles once more, this time turning the body until it was perpendicular to the west: the direction he knew where the nearest town slept. Or at least he assumed would be... what time was it anyway? Dropping the body's ankles, his head twisted around to glare up into the bare treetops, branches far too intertwined to allow proper sunlight through. If he squinted enough, he could see a smidge of light overhead. A frown curved the corners of his mouth. Daytime meant he wouldn't have a lot of cover for his planned antics.

     The poltergeist merely shrugged the hinderance off, however, moving to kneel by the body and press his hands up against the corpse's side. Dark eyes lingered on the ragged hole torn by his blade. The soaked red of fabric tempted him to prod at the frayed skin or stick his fingers in the wound, aching to earn a reaction from the man -- it had only been a couple of minutes, right? He might've only been unconscious, but not dead quite yet. Briefly leaning closer to his chest debunked his silly theory. No heartbeat between the two of them. Beck fell back to his knees, sputtering out a wheeze first before setting to work on rolling the remnants of the hunter through the slush.

     Flipping the body along turned out to be a tedious effort, if not annoying. When he finally reached dry ground, Beck gladly reverted back to his original approach, dragging the cadaver through winter's debris. By the time he could look over his shoulder and discern a fence not too far from his forest's treeline, both he and the hunter were covered in mud and blood. Not that Beck minded his grimy appearance. He glanced around with wide eyes, at first checking for any unwanted witnesses before he scanned the clearing within the fence and the trees for ideas. His gaze fell on two wavering birches, close enough to hang the man's body between their branches. The boy almost cackled at his creativity, only to fall silent in thought when he remembered he lacked the material needed to pull off the scene: rope. Scowling, Beck looked from the trees to the corpse, one hand perched on a bony hip while the other ruffled his hair in contemplation. After a moment, his face illuminated with a solution. Maybe guts were just as strong as ropes?

     Stepping back from his macabre work with a wicked smirk, he dusted off his bloody hands. The man, now with his entire abdominal cavity shredded open and emptied, was suspended in the air like a star, intestines binding his wrists and ankles to the birch's helpful limps. Beck couldn't wait to see the looks on the faces of whoever discovered his masterpiece. But... his stare was drawn to the trail his efforts of transporting the body had created. The wiry boy looked torn for a beat. Waiting for horrified reactions was alluring, yet the purple blur crept back into his thoughts. An oddity that was much more interesting than terrorizing people as he had done for so many years. Chest puffing out with an inhale and quickly deflating as he sighed in defeat to his own curiosity, the street rat abandoned the mutilated hunter with a forlorn glance cast over his shoulder before retracing his steps.

     Identifying the tracks of the creature was relatively easy, its peculiar footprint sticking out like a black sheep in a herd, although the transition to mud took some adjusting. The tracks ran blindly for a while before the space between the imprints shortened as its pace slowed, then quickened once more. As Beck followed the unintentional guide, however, he purposefully disturbed and covered the tracks, smearing them out of existence with the heel of his boot. Just in case. He wasn't entirely sure what the end of the trail would reward him with. Upon gaining sight of the den's widened maw, slight disappointment sent a wave of distortion through his image. Curiosity still gnawed on his mind, enticing him to inch forward and peer inside. Was the thing in there? Would it bite off his head in a fit of panic? Freckles crinkling at the thought, the poltergeist lowered himself onto his belly for a better look.

     Well, it was purple, alright. And larger than a badger. And sleeping. Despite his attempts to squint or rub at his eyes, poor vision failed to collect any more observable traits. Maybe it was winged? He thought he saw wings in the swift flash when it darted into the woods. Beck's cheek hit his folded arms. It looked so peaceful while it was resting, compared to the desperate, squirming reptile maybe an hour or so ago. In the silence, Beck noticed a faint glow from its collarbone, which made him perk in interest. Abruptly, the brush rustled from behind and snatched his attention away once more. Oh, right. He let two of the stupid hunters go.

     "Wake up." He didn't realize he started to speak until the choppy words were rasped into the air. Not waiting for any response more than the creature's groggy stirring, Beck pressed his cheek against a gauze-bound forearm again and added in an amused tone, "You should get going unless you want those hunters to catch up with you."
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 11:55:36 AM by beck. »
WE SWAM LIKE RATS ON FIRE RIGHT, RIGHT DOWN THE RESEVOIR
WE TOOK ALL THAT WE COULD CARRY, BUT WE TRIED TO CARRY MORE
​​​​​​​the poltergeist tanglewood​​​​​​​ sawbone info pm to plot ​@tricky

Offline ska'arq .

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Re: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HELL
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2019, 02:40:03 PM »
//OOC

His reptilian heart pumped slowly in an attempt to make up for the lack of energy and heat that his body couldn’t provide. Sinking deeper into the black tar of sleep, tense muscles began to relax. Should he really stay here? Maybe not, but... everything hurt, and he was tired. Why couldn’t he just be left alone? Come spring, he could pack up his belongings and leave for somewhere safer.

The inky blackness behind closed eyelids offered a sense of security that he knew, on some level of his sluggish mind, wasn’t there. He wanted to care- but he didn’t. So tired...

Shifting on his thin blanket, the last alert piece of his mind snatched the words spewed by the poltergeist nearby. Stirring and mumbling, as the situation hadn’t quite hit him yet, he moved his head, squinting to readjust to vision once more. Wait- wait- eyes settled on the scruffy boy peering into his home. A sharp purple light flared to life. Reacting instinctively, his head jerked back, and slammed against the wall. Following suit, red light sparked violently. He stumbled to his feet and took a defensive stance. The red light dimmed itself into a dull pulse, but the purple remained strong.

A stony silence began to stretch out as he tried to decrypt the boy’s words in his mind. Hunters. Catch up? It was obvious that gears were turning in his mind- a soft magenta light joined the fray. Was this the same boy that stabbed one of the hunters? Was he here to help?

Although tense and distrustful, he swallowed hard and shakily straightened up. The purple light dimmed, allowing darkness to creep in at the edges of the den. “C-can’t,” he managed awkwardly. His mouth wasn’t built to speak human languages. “Buh-booh-kss.” Repeatedly shooting glances in the freckled face’s direction, he shuffled back to his blanket. Pausing, he looked from the books to the human. “Sssstall?”
ATTACK IN BOLD #6e65b5 - TAGS

THE DANGER DOESN’T REGISTER ,
THE FEAR FEELS LIKE AN ACT !
dragon — emotionless — tags — tanglewood — roleplayed by cakie !

 

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