Private Tales An Evening with Friends

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Nathaira

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Nathaira was certain that her heart would tear itself apart as she listened to Rumer, as she heard Kasimir’s ragged breathing, as she thought about walking through those dark, cold passages again.

What would happen to Rumer? She didn’t know. She didn’t know and it terrified her. She hadn’t needed to know answers before. She was encouraged not to. She was ordered, and she obeyed. Casting aside the leash had been more difficult than she’d ever imagined, and the images of giant serpents and rivers of blood still haunted her dreams.

”No one iss dying,” she said firmly, more against her own fears than to Rumer’s pleas. ”We will fix thiss. We are sstaying together.”

She was going to try and console Rumer against her pain more, using her as a proxy to assuage her own fears, when Kasimir’s sudden outburst tore her attention from the child and her entire body went rigid.

She heard herself yell his name, though whether she did so out loud or in her thoughts she wasn’t sure. Nathaira was strong, but she could not hold his arms nor keep him from scratching himself bloody. It felt like an eternity before he stopped.

She positioned herself directly in front of him, both hands on his shoulders, amber slit eyes bleeding worry. ”Are you well enough?” She would stay here a thousand nights if he needed it.

...but she knew they would need to take that card. Whatever magic had quelled the rune in Kasimir’s neck would not last forever. She only hoped that Kala had figured out a new way to remove the binding symbols. Kasimir and Rumer were not naga, they could not use the blood ritual that Nathaira had subjected herself to, and she did not feel like losing any limbs as she thought on the shining metal arm Kala had been forced to acquire.
 

Genevieve

Ex-Dreadlord
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A key and a portal... now all they needed was a map to whomever this, 'Kala,' person was.

Genevieve didn't bother to voice any of the dozen concerns she held onto. Instead she simply nodded at the ogress, feigning an understanding of whatever dark arts the group had walked itself into. There were more questions of course but she refrained from opening her mouth, literally biting at her tongue to keep silent. Whatever it was that Kasimir had intended by bringing them here she'd see it out. Hopefully for the best.

The Anirian's heart sank though when the tiny half-elf spoke. Someone her age shouldn't be forced through the horrors that had been subjected upon her. Genevieve's own damaged childhood played through her mind and while the state of Vel Anir had tried to break her of emotions like compassion it had routinely failed.

"When this is over," a gentle hand squeezed at the girl's shoulder as the naga went to comfort the tiefling, "you will be out of Vel Anir. You'll have a new home, with these two."

Whether or not Genevieve was part of that home didn't matter to her. None of them could stay in Vel Anir, not after the events of tonight. Not after their pasts. For now she just hoped to give the girl a bit of peace. The trio of former Forsaken would need to carve out their own future in the vastness of Arethil.
 

Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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Sitting up felt like climbing a mountain but as the unnerving sensation beneath his skin began to fade he found himself feeling less exhausted. His head still felt like cotton wool but he didn't think his mind would begin to bleed out of his ears in the next hour. Hopefully that would be enough time to see them through the Ways. Just the thought of travelling them alone made him feel cold but Rumer's quiet, heart-shattering words filled him with determination.

Nobody was getting left behind.

As Nat came to stand before him he stared up into those amber eyes and for a moment allowed himself to get lost in them. In the dimly lit hut her pupils had widened a fraction but the firelight dancing in her iris' made him think of fireflies. Thousands of them illuminating her worry-filled gaze. He gave a weak smile and reached up to cup her cheek then rested his forehead to hers.

"Well enough," he had to be. His orange eyes flickered briefly to Rumer and Genevieve then back to Nat. "I did something... reckless," he admitted slowly, eyelashes coming down to obscure his eyes for a moment. "The shadows... when I encouraged Rumer to..." pain spiked through him and he gritted his teeth. Even the words were hard. "I obscured what happened in that room."

Kasimir didn't know a lot about the Runes bored into the back of every Forsaken's neck but what little facts he had obtained over the years suggested they relied on their bearers eyes and mind and reacted against them.

"I made it look like the shadows were what... I made it look like it was my fault. To spare the child," he said in a low voice so Rumer wouldn't overhear. If he died he didn't want her to feel the guilt for it.
 

Kala

The Other Gutter Rat
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The Ogress watched the small exchange for a few moments, though didn't say anything as she held the card in her fingers.

She knew, at the very least, that Kasimir would be able to make it through the Ways. Using magic again for a while might very well carry him to deaths door, but Raska did not mention that. Mostly because she felt it was obvious.

Her fingers twirled for a moment, and then she glanced around at the others.

A few minutes passed before she spoke.

"I suppose I'll give ye a little nudge then." It wasn't that the Ogress necessarily wanted to throw them out...but she also didn't want any trouble that they might bring onto her. She was not their friend, not their ally. She was a Reckoner, and Kala had been brought here by Kasimir.

But she had only been brought here because of him. The Ogress was not exactly inclined to keep them here overnight. Besides, she had plans for her evening and it did not involve a bunch of runaways.

With a flick of her hand she tossed the card against the wall.

Nat and Kasimir would see that the act was not as practiced as it had been for Kala, not as quick, not as smooth, but the effect was the same. The card seemed to float, and then pulled itself onto the wall. A pulse passed over the wood, and then suddenly it began to collapse in upon itself.

Within seconds the wall seemed to warp, pulling into a deep void of nothing and opening a portal of pure black. There was no sign of what lay beyond, though two of the Forsaken would know.
 

Rumer

The Forsaken
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Nathaira's words eased a tension in her and she nodded quickly, sticking close to Genevieve's side as her mentor tried to soothe Kasimir.. They would stay together. All of them, and that meant Kasimir really would be alright...

She looked up at Genevieve as the woman offered her reassurance and she frowned. "Will you come with us too?.." she asked meekly. Had Norris been alive to hear the mere suggestion that an Anirian woman join a trio of abominations, he'd have smacked her around, and it would take her a while to get used to the fact that he wasn't coming back and to quell that flutter of fear she felt any time she said the 'wrong' thing.

The Ogress' voice dragged her back into the room and she looked to her, her brow furrowing as she watched the card hit the wall, and she gaped at what happened next. "Are we going in there?.." she asked with intrigue and trepidation all at once.
 

Nathaira

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Nathaira closed her eyes and leaned her forehead into Kasimir's. She couldn't chastise him for protecting Rumer, no matter how much she wanted to. Foolish man, she thought silently. Foolish, selfless, wonderful man. None of this had gone according to plan, but what had been done could not be undone.

She sighed instead. "It will be alright." It was more for herself than for him, and when she stood up her jaw tightened to see Genevieve so close to Rumer. Had the girl not seemed so comfortable by her side, so calmed by the healer's words, Nathaira would had clawed her hands off. She did not speak, for Rumer's sake, but she stared so hard at Genevieve that her meaning could not be mistaken. It promised death should so much as a hair fall from Rumer's head.

Instead she tried to focus on the inky black portal that had opened into the wall, and took Kasimir's shoulder to help him to his feet. She had no idea how long the ogress' potion would last, and Kasimir's body was tearing itself apart minute by minute. "I hate this part," she murmured to him, and stepped across the midnight threshold.
 

Genevieve

Ex-Dreadlord
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Her mouth fell open as the portal appeared on the wall. Magic wasn't as unusual to those who grew up in the Dreadlord Academy as it was to regular Anirians but something as unusual as this was still far from most of the magics Genevieve had been exposed to.

The sandy-blonde haired woman looked down at Rumer when her question was asked, though one eye stayed trained on the naga's protective face. Well, I," she stopped herself as thoughts circled. There wasn't anything left for her here but she hadn't really thought of where the rest of her life was about to take her. There hadn't really been time for any of that.

"I'll stay for as long as you need me," she answered firmly with a smile. Careful not to overstay her welcome so that she wouldn't have to meet the toxins in Nathaira's fangs anytime soon. When the other Forsaken stepped into the portal Genevieve nodded.

She turned her gaze back to the half-elf and extended an open palm, "it'll be ok, it's safe." She waited for the young girl to take her hand before stepping off into that strangeness.
 

Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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Kasimir dragged himself to his feet and let out a quiet breath of relief when his legs didn't immediately give way. Whatever the ogress had given him it had leant him enough energy to complete the next part of their mission. At least... he hoped it lasted that long. The last thing the group needed was for him to collapse within the Ways. There were things that lived on there that seemed to sense weakness. With that in mind he steeled himself, gathered the shadows in close and stepped after Nat.

Unlike his shadowy world it was not as unpleasantly cold within The Ways. The darkness, however, almost seemed worse.

"Keep close," he advised Rumer and the human with a brief glance over his shoulder. "This is not the place to get lost," even Kala didn't know what happened to people who got stuck in here. The last time he had been inside Kala had followed a path he had barely understood but this time he thought he could see the odd silvery line that snaked along the path, over a bridge to the connecting island and off towards the right.

"The card must be connected to her," he murmured aloud thoughtfully.
 

Kala

The Other Gutter Rat
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That odd silvery line seemed to stretch into an eternity, reaching far beyond sight and along the strange paths that lead into an utter abyss of nothingness.

The great maze that was the Ways seemed to stretch for miles upon miles. Thousands upon thousands of doors took the place of stars, each one holding a separate and singular path that lead to him. No direction existed here, no sign post.

All that could be seen were hundreds of different pathways, each leading to a different doorway, each guiding those within to no place in particular. It was a maze, a labyrinth that no one could possibly have interpreted. Each step could take one left, right, or upside down.

The only guide the group had was that thin silvery line, a snake that seemed to hover in the air and take them to what they desired.

There was no telling how long it would take them, how much time they had to spend wandering through that eternal abyss. Yet eventually when they reached the door that silvery snake disappeared, and once they stepped through the party would find themselves within a hilly meadow.

A great rolling grassland would present itself as they stepped out of the door. A scenic view that seemed to stretch for miles around, yet directly before them stood their destination; A simple farmhouse of stone, rising in the midst of the meadow as though it had been placed there by the very hand of god himself.
 

Rumer

The Forsaken
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Rumer's palms were already sweating as she stared into the dark void. Already she was back underground, back in her dark, damp room. She looked up at Genevieve and wiped her hands on her tunic before reaching to take the outstretched hand without hesitation.

She paused to look up at the Ogress with a quite "Thank you, Miss." and a small, shaky smile before she followed the others into the darkness. Her grip tightened almost immediately on the hand she held, and she shuffled quickly forward to stay as close as possible to Kasimir and Nathaira. The darkness seemed to envelope them, the feel of it like insects crawling over her skin, and so Rumer decided to keep her eyes closed as she walked, giving more logic to the unsettling darkness.

The girl was tired, and had she been anywhere but here she'd have been dragging her feet and dallying, her muscles stinging and head pounding. Blood slowly trickled from her nose and her head drooped forward heavily the further they went, but she tried not to stumble. She leaned into Genevieve a little more and more until light burned at her eyes and she tried to force them open, squinting until her eyes adjusted. The moment they had and she felt the grass brush against her ankles, she let go of the woman's hand and let herself flop into the grass, and pass out.
 

Nathaira

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Nat grit her teeth again the bizarre and somewhat nauseating sensation of passing between worlds. The cabin had been pleasantly warmed by a fire and smelled of deep woods. This place, the place of endless spiraling pathways, it was chill and it smelled of nothing at all.

Kasimir's weight felt almost heavier here, like she was dragging him against some unseen current. Of course, it could have been her own fatigue catching up with her. The pathways looked, as they had before, like ribbons in the endless night. She half expected to step right through them with each footfall, but they held firm.

Time didn't seem to matter much here, and whether it was a minute or a day Nathaira finally held her breath and lurched through that final doorway.

The sunlight was blinding at first but the warmth was merciful. Sweet, earthy aromas filled her slit nostrils and she blinked herself out of her daze to see the simple home. An actual smile of relief spread across her olive face as she looked back to the others.

"We're here, we- Rumer!" She had turned just in time to see the child fall limp to the ground, and she let Kasimir down to his knees with only a touch more gentleness before leaping over the small girl. Her mind jumped to the worst conclusion with icy dread. She could not lose her now, she had so much to atone for. She gave a shaky sigh of relief as she turned Rumer's head in her hands sand saw that she was still breathing.

Relief lasted only a second. She rounded on Genevieve, face twisted in rage and green dreadlocks flying about her head in a fury. "What did you do??" grasping for the woman's throat. "What did you do to her??"
 

Genevieve

Ex-Dreadlord
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Not the place to get lost, she thought as she readied herself to move directly forward, following in the wake of the older two Forsaken.

Genevieve stepped forward, through the threshold, grasping the young girl's hand tightly back as they made their way through the maze of lights. The silver lines were dazzling to behold but the sensation of not really being in a physical space, while still being in a physical space, caused her knees to wobble as they pressed forward. It was all she could do to keep her cool until they reached the end.

Once her boots firmly planted themselves onto the soft grass she let loose a sigh of relief until the tiny hand clasped in hers went limp and slipped out of her grasp.

In horror the Anirian looked down as the child collapsed into a heap. Her chest continued rising but the fear of injury still leapt to the front of Genevieve's mind. Before she could check on the girl it was Nathaira who interceded first, practically pushing the human out of the way to ensure Rumer was ok.

And then, suddenly, the half-naga was at her throat. The other woman's grip was firm and Genevieve instinctly brought both hands to grasp at her attacker's wrist. "N-nothing," she said between a constricting windpipe. "Need... to... check..." the words failed her while her face paled.

Surely, after all of this, the former dreadlord and assistant to proctor Norris wouldn't meet her end like this? She'd have to realize that if Rumer truly was harmed the only person in a position to heal her was the woman being choked right now. Of course, none of that registered as Genevieve looked into Nathaira's eyes with a panic. The runaway Forsaken appeared to be full of emotion and regret.
 

Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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"Nat..."

Kasimir wanted nothing more than to collapse on the grass like Rumer had but he forced his hazy mind to focus. If Kala wasn't nearby this Dreadlord might be their only healer and the child needed aid. If one of them survived, let it be her. Let it be the girl, he thought quietly to himself. It was for her that he forced his feet back under him and stood. Something popped in his body when he did, then something else. The brand was now scolding hot and he thought abstractedly whether it was searing through blood vessels in his throat. It would be a gruesome way to go but at least Rumer was unconscious.

He put a heavy hand on his loves shoulder.

"Nat! Rumer needs her, she needs a heal..."
snap.

Kas' eyes rolled back into his skull and his body dropped to the floor with a heavy thump where it began to fit.
 

Kala

The Other Gutter Rat
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"Oh what in the sweet fuck is this!" Kala's voice broke through the air like a thunderclap, her voice echoing through the crisp mountain air.

She appeared as she ever did. Bare shoulders, vest with it's furry cuffs around her neck, and a loose collection of pendants and baubles hanging from her wrists. In her arms she carried a small stack of firewood, her expression that of a stern disbelieving mother.

The Tiefling stared at the collection of lost Forsaken and Dreadlords, her lips thin. "Let go of her."

Kala shouted at Nat, recognizing the serpent woman, Kasimir laying on the ground.

"I don't need the pain of burying a corpse near my house." She wasn't opposed to killing anyone for any reason, but she was most certainly opposed to digging up the land she had worked so hard to make perfect. "Now."

The Tiefling insisted, her arms unrolling as the wood clattered onto the floor. "Then you can tell me how the fuck you got here."

A hint of concern piqued through her voice, though whether that was for Kasimir or her privacy was hard to tell. "And maybe why..."

She added, taking a few steps towards the other Tiefling and the girl on the ground.
 

Nathaira

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Everything had been tinted red in her vision. All of her pent up anger and resentment towards the Anirians had mixed violently with her maternal instincts towards Rumer, paradoxical and undeserved as they were. Her lips were curled back in a snarl, showing glistening needle-sharp teeth reaching back to her ears. Genevieve looked into her eyes, but Nathaira did not see her. She saw Norris in her eyes, she saw Vel Anir. She saw everyone who had called and made her a monster and now... she wanted to be that monster.


She inhaled sharply, her fingers twitching around Genevieve's throat. His touch, his voice, she had pined for them for so long that she started to shake. He was right, she should not be doing this but... gods she wanted to. She deserved to, didn't she? After everything?

Rumer needs her

Yes... yes Rumer did. Why then did she not let go? Kasimir's voice battled with the hissing in her head and her fingers began to loosen. Then suddenly his touch was gone, and she felt a heavy weight hit the ground.

"Let go of her."

Kala's voice, sharp and unexpected, broke her final defense. She released Genevieve and stepped back, eyes wide in horror as both Kasimir and Rumer lay before her. Broken. Dying? She couldn't stop shaking, she felt sick.

"Help," she wheezed out, feeling panic taking hold of her.
 

Rumer

The Forsaken
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The girl's breathing grew sharp and ragged and her skin was rapidly growing hotter, so much so that the beading sweat on her skin turned to mist on the cold air. Her body writhed, her muscles tensed so tightly they quivered under her skin.

Blood continued to trickle from her nose, and soon her ears and eyes bled too. It spluttered from her lips as she coughed. It was her own magic, it was the suffering she'd been forced to inflict on others turned upon herself in punishment.
 

Genevieve

Ex-Dreadlord
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Genevieve fell to her knees and gasped air for a brief second. She caught the gaze of the half-snake, seeing the desperation in her face forced the Anirian into action.

Rushing forward the former Dreadlord put a hand on the child’s cheek. Her skin radiated heat and blood began to pool out of every orifice as her writhing continued. Genevieve had yet to witness a medical condition like this one. Not even the vilest of poisons behaved so aggressively. She focused and a mist began to flow from her skin, wrapping around the girl with mutilated ears.

It was difficult to tell if the healing fog was having an effect but it poured into her mouth and nostril trying to counteract whatever had taken hold of the Forsaken child. After a few seconds of the treatment Genevieve began to heave oxygen through her lungs in an audible pant.

The combination of healing Kasimir, now Rumer, and nearly having the life choked out of her was starting to catch up with her. If this wasn’t working it might be more prudent to move on to Kasimir. She simply wasn’t going to be able to keep this up long enough to tend to both of them. But, she wasn’t going to give up on Rumer. Not yet.

”How is he doing!?” she shouted at Kala and Nathaira exasperated.
 
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Kala

The Other Gutter Rat
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What in the fuck was all this?

Since Kasimir and Nat were here she could only assume this was more Forsaken shenanigans, but who the little girl and older woman were she had absolutely no idea. Still, she quickly moved over towards Kasimir and placed two of her metallic fingers on his throat.

She could feel his pulse, faint, but still there. "He's alive."

The Tiefling said with a frown.

"Can someone, please tell me what is going on?" Kala still had absolutely no idea why they were even here, no less how they had managed to find her.

What was she supposed to do. Kala wasn't a healer. She didn't have the knowledge of experience to do...well much of anything. The one time she had tried to help Kasimir she had failed catastrophically, so much so that it had ended up with her own near mortal injury.

Her help was about as useful as putting the-oh. "Shit."

Kasimir's magic had defended him. Had put a stop to the wizards rune, but the girl? Maybe it would work on the girl.

"I might be able to help her..." Kala said pointing to the girl. "But I already tried it once with Kas and..."

The thief raised her golden hand, letting the fingers clink together.
 

Nathaira

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They are dying

The serpent's voice hissed through her head, ringing in static as she looked from Kasimir to Rumer and back. She was paralyzed, as if her own venom had taken hold of her limbs and she stood useless. They could not die, she just got them back. Panic seized her chest, squeezing the air from her. She was watching them die. She was watching her family die.

"He's alive."

It hurt to look at Kasimir, but she was right. He was breathing, if imperceptibly slowly. She felt relief for a second, but then the static hissing started to well up again.

No, snap out of it! If there was life there was time, but not much. Nathaira was used to thinking on her feet, to making snap decisions to save her own skin time and time again, but she had never had to do so to protect something she loved so dearly and it was terrifying. No. She would not let this end them, there was so much more to do.

With a great force of will her panic gave way. Now her adrenaline fueled her focus, and she looked at the scene anew. Rumer would be alright for now with Genevieve's healing, but Kasimir's body was breaking apart. She swept over to him and Kala, speaking quickly.

"They killed our master, now their markss are killing them." She knelt by Kasimir's shaking body and pulled a vial from beneath her leather coverings, throwing the cap aside. It was an old poison and commonly used. It killed quickly, quietly, and almost undetectably. To any ordinary examiner the body would appear to have died from natural causes, the heart having simply stopped. That is what a full dose would do, but a very small amount...

"This will sslow his heart and suppress his mind. If we're lucky the stasis will sstop his magic and buy us time." She dipped a single fang into the vial. "Help the girl if you can, I will watch him."

She leaned over Kasimir, lowering her lips to his neck. If she was correct his magic would stop killing him. If she was correct, his body would be slowed enough to not need air or bloodflow for some time, and the seizures would fade. If she was correct, she would save his life.

If she was wrong he would die.

"I love you,” she said before lunging for his neck.
 
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Genevieve

Ex-Dreadlord
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Their marks where killing them?

Genevieve wouldn't let that happen. They'd suffered enough from Norris and their other Anirian masters. They'd suffered enough from the atrocities that occurred after she had healed them. It wasn't fair, wasn't right. They deserved a chance at a fair life. At a free life.

White mist continued to pump from her palms in an effort to keep the half-elf girl stabilized while the half-naga and tiefling continued to speak with one another. She turned as the woman known as Kala approahced, her emerald eyes filled with horror.

"Help."

It was a simple word that implied everything that she needed.

Genevieve wasn't certain how long she could maintain the healing fog that emanated from her own flesh but she was certain that once it ended whatever mark the nation-state of Vel Anir had forced upon Rumer would kill her. That wasn't an option. Either Genevieve would die keeping the poor girl alive or Kala would find a way to fix this.
 

Kala

The Other Gutter Rat
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It didn't take her long to find the scroll that the mage had given her in Elbion.

Even after everything that had happened with Kasimir she had thought it was good to hang onto. From beneath a pile of jewels the small parchment was yanked free, the Tieflings eyes casting over the marks to make sure none of it had become smudged or damaged. After she ran through her memories she quickly dipped her head in a nod.

From a shelf behind her she plucked three vials, dragging them free and throwing them into the satchel on her hip.

"Can't believe you're doing this shit again
"
Kala remarked to herself, turning on her heel and once again dashing out into the field. She moved with a surprising amount of speed, running over the grasslands and coming to a sliding stop besides the Dreadlord and dying girl.

From her satchel she quickly pulled out the vials, using pointed teeth to uncork them and nestle them within the grass. "Hold her still."

Kala growled to Genevieve as her finger was dipped into the first of the vials.

Her other hand tore away Timers shirt, revealing the rune mark upon her flesh. It seemed to pulse angrily, blood vessels around the tattoo swollen and tired. The Tieflings stared at it for a moment, hesitating. Then her head shook and a curse was uttered in the infernal tongue of her people. With quick, but practiced hands she began to draw the counter rune.

As her fingers moved memories of what had happened with Kasimir rolled through her mind, lips thin, tongue clamped between her teeth.

"Okay." She breathed. "Here goes nothing."

Kala said, her finger dashing down as she used the last of the three vials to complete the final line of the rune. At first nothing happened, and then a burst of light burned out from the rune that Kala had drawn. It seemed to glow brighter and brighter, burning outward...and then suddenly turning inward. It seared across Rumers flesh, scorching inward and grasping at the Forsaken Mark that held her.

Her flesh would burn, scar, but slowly the Mark gave way. Slowly it edges were burnt, until the fire of Kala's rune turned it into little more than a mar upon the flesh.
 

Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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Kasimir's body gave a violent, back-arching jerk when Nat's fangs slid into his neck before dropping back to the ground with a hard thud. Poison raced through his bloodstream and whilst he was locked in the throws of fighting the magic of the rune that intended to kill him he still felt the pain of it. His eyelids fluttered as his eyes rolled backwards and he begun to choke and gasp as though he could not get enough air into his lungs. And then...

His whole body went deathly still. The rise and fall of his chest seemed to stop to the naked his eye and his breathing too. His pulse, silenced.

Suddenly, the shadows - be them demons or some other dark and twisted creature he had never figured out the origin of - all begun to leave. First went the shadow hounds, then the horrific giant spider. Weapons and other animals none of the Forsaken had ever seen all ran from the prone body and slunk back into the darkness from which they had been born. The last to go was the butterfly. It fluttered into the sky and further, up and up until it was lost in the oncoming night sky.

What good was a vessel, after all, if it was dead?
 

Rumer

The Forsaken
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Old wounds - of which there were countless - slowly peeled themselves back open, blood seeping into her sweat soaked clothes, but with Genevieve's power fighting with her own they seemed to struggle to knit themselves back together. If Genevieve stopped for even a second though...

Rumer continued to writhe, her fists clenched by her sides and her muscles tight to the point of snapping tendons with tension as she too, fought back, but she was very quickly tiring, and something somewhere was telling her to just let go..

Muscle by muscle, the child stopped writhing. Her breathing shallowed, and her heart...slowly......stopped.

She was entirely still by the time Kala had finished drawing the rune, the last breath left in her lungs a silvery mist on the air. Death was a comfort, but not one she got to cling onto for very long.

Searing pain brought her rushing back and she dragged in a ragged breath which she threw back out in a bloody, gurgled scream that made her choke. Her hands slammed into the ground, fisting in the grass and tearing it from the earth as though trying to anchor her arching body to it. It felt like she'd been thrown in a bath of hot oil, though what of that was Kala's magic, and what was her own, she wasn't sure.

"St---op. Pl-EASE!" the child cried out, about to beg for death before the pain began to ease once more. Her eyes rolled in her skull and her body went limp again, but her chest continued to rise and fall with each rattling breath and her heart raced in her chest as darkness dragged her under.
 

Nathaira

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Nathaira held fast as Kasimir’s body convulsed, withdrawing her fang and pressing her thumb hard against the vessel to still the bleeding. Her wiry body was surprisingly strong, and she managed to keep the tiefling from dashing his head against the ground too forcefully.

The stillness was so sudden, and although she knew to expect it her own breathing slowed to a crawl in dread. She could sense his blood slow to near nothing, see the heat dissipating from him and waning away. And...

...the shadows!

She hadn't noticed it at first, being too preoccupied with whether or not she had failed and killed him outright, but she saw subtle streaks of movement on what little skin was exposed, and saw faint dark wisps trailing away from him. She had no idea what that meant, but it couldn't be good. "Sstay," she whispered, "Sstay. Come back!" She looked helplessly after the tiny butterfly, feeling as though Kasimir's soul had been borne by it into the endless night.

It would be impossible to tell if Kasimir were alive or dead until he awoke. It may be hours before then, and already Nathaira had committed to not leaving his side.

"St---op. Pl-EASE!"

She broke her commitment immediately as her attention was wrenched in the opposite direction. Concern, fear, anger, and exhaustion swept through her all at once as she scrambled to the girl. "What's happened??" she pushed to Kala's side.

The relief she felt from seeing those small, shaking breaths would have sent her to her knees, had she not be on the ground already. She looked back at Kasimir, still as the grave, then to Rumer sleeping in fragility.

"Is there... ssomewhere we can go?"
 

Genevieve

Ex-Dreadlord
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Kala's instructions were clear, she nodded to confirm and then firmly held the girl by her arms. In the time between hear healing ability ending and prior to the tiefling's counter-rune beginning the former Dreadlord could feel the child's movements slow. Eventually, Rumer's breaths halted entirely after the process to counteract the rune had begun.

"Hold on," she whispered softly, recalling the time she'd been tasked to escort the half-elven girl to Norris' cabin. How brave she had been to not only refuse to kill the captive but to then try and fight against two Handlers and Genevieve herself. Rumer had nearly killed the trio of them that very night.

A piercing shout woke Genevieve from her memories as she struggled to keep the Forsaken in place. Her wriggling was so violent that she was concerned about the poor thing injuring herself. Then, nearly as quickly as it had begun she ceased and seemed to fall into a dreamlike state.

Witnessing the young girl dying, feeling so helpless as the supposed 'healer,' and the rest of the events of the day had all begun to mount. Tears welled up as Nathaira came near and Genevieve reluctantly backed away from the girl, allowing the closest thing she had to a mother comfort her was the right decision at this point.

She wanted to ask if the two Forsaken would be alright but it was the half-naga who raised a question first. It made sense to move them, leaving them out here in this open field just wouldn't do."They could both use somewhere comfortable to rest," she added as helpfully as she could.
 
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