Fable - Ask Monsters In A Cage

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Felice

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"Well, when I'm on my game it's just as good as cheating," Felice insisted. Although even she would have to admit that cheating was the better course of action to secure coin for the prime rib fund.

One corner of Felice's mouth craned upwards, "um, thanks, but I don't know if Harlowe and I could share very well." They'd never actually tried but in her head the maneuver didn't work out all that well. "Besides, at least for me, the slimmer the person the better." She technically just feasted on organs but spared her two pals the sorted details of why the obese weren't as appetizing.

At least Harlowe was there to bring a little levity to the situation. If they cheated and tried to maximize their winnings it'd be more of a job than a vacation. "I'm sure we can trade in for at least a little spending money." Red hair warped around a bit as she nodded to the vampire's touch.

Matias could do his little cheating tricks to build them a bank and then they could gamble Felice's way and let the riches roll in. Or, you know, fall back on cheating if things got too dicey.
 

Matias Vaquero

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”Huh.” Matias said, scratching at his chin as he considered what Felice had just said. ”I just always thought…the bigger the better?”

A frown touched his lips, but just a second later he shrugged. ”To each their own I suppose.”

If Felice wanted to snack on skinny men all day then that was her business. As long as Matias got prime rib at the end of the day that was all that mattered to him.

Of course, he was pretty sure that both of the women were going to get him killed eventually. If it wasn’t on the battlefield then it was going to be due to massive gambling debts. Either way he might as well enjoy the time between. ”It’ll work well enough.”

Starter coin. That was a good way of thinking of it.
 
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Harlowe

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"It's usually... the healthier the better," Harlowe explained awkwardly. "You can tell when a person hasn't eaten well or cared for themselves," it made the blood taste bitter. She wasn't so sure about the meat that Felice ate but she had always assumed it was the same. Most of the monsters who ate human flesh seemed to prefer healthy humans anyway.

"I do miss real food," she sighed wistfully. Much like Felice she could nibble a bit but it could also make her horrifically sick if she gorged.

They were well beyond the city gates now and a good distance along the dusty dirt road that thread its way over the countryside towards the East when out of the sky two large bison suddenly dropped.
 

Felice

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Felice nodded in agreement with Harlowe. Healthy organs were always better than an overweight person or someone who was skin-and-bones.

"I miss sweets," she added, "and since Nazara isn't here..."

The misty shade creature had forbidden her from eating anything with sugar after a job they'd carried out in the plains between Oban and Alliria. Felice had gorged herself on a regional type of blackberry pie until her monster body violently rejected the food. Apparently, the keep the regiment had been awarded as payment still bore some of the stains.

As the bison carcasses fell before them the redhead craned her neck and shouted upwards, "good boy Doyle!" She cast a toothy grin to Matias, expecting even the frozen-hearted giant to give their flying companion some praise.
 

Matias Vaquero

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A loud thud and crunch echoed out as the two bison fell onto the ground.

It was such a jarring occurrence that Matias found his mind completely pulled off track. He was about to comment on the fact that he would absolutely not be cleaning up after Felice if she once again spewed everywhere. Yet before he could speak the crunch of bone echoed out.

He looked up, glancing to where the Manticore still banked about. "Well, I'll be damned."

The Jotunn commented, scratching at his chin.

"Maybe he really is useful for something." He had to give it to Felice, getting Doyle a contract was turning out to be one of the smartest things she'd ever done. "But we're going to have to take a bit of a break."

He told the two girls."I prefer my meat...you know, cooked."

Unlike the two of them.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe could only blink in surprise as the bison landed barely an inch or two in front of her. If she'd taken another step she'd have been crushed under the weight of the two dead bulls. Her eye twitched.

"He could work on where he DROPS IT," she shouted up at the manticore before he circled once more and swept off to hunt some more. Matias had said four. Harlowe just hoped that next time he dropped them a little further away from his friends. With a quiet huff she grabbed one leg on each of the giant animals and then dragged them off the road.

"We haven't got anywhere we have to be, can take our time."
 

Felice

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”He probably just wants to make sure we don’t miss it,” Manticore’s had incredible eyesight. Probably. Maybe. Either way they could talk to him once Matias had been fed (gods taking care of him was worse than watching after Doyle). ”We can ask him to drop the carcasses further away from now on.”

Above all else Doyle was an incredible listener. He barely ever talked back. Probably because he couldn’t speak common or any other language but at least he retained his ability to understand what they were saying to him.

Harlowe helpfully dragged the two huge beasts into the edge of the forest while Felice used her hair to grab hold of as many sticks, twigs, and branches as she could muster. In a few short moments she’d assembled two firepits and had even been able to use her hair to tear off long, sturdy, branches capable of hoisting and rotating the carcasses over the fires.

Still, they remained unlit, and Felice wasn’t too keen on using her hair to start the fires. She’d also been quite bad at using flint and steel with her bare hands in life and hadn’t ever tried again in her un-life. ”Wanna do the honors?” she asked the frost giant, without really thinking about the fact that he was a, well, frost giant.
 

Matias Vaquero

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Surprisingly, Matias had no real problem with fire. It wasn't as though he was made of ice or anything...he was pretty sure anyway.

Even if he was, at this point Matias would have risked it all just for the fucking semblance of a meal. His stomach was gnawing at him badly enough that he was ready to start screaming about it. Quickly he took the flint and steal, crouching down and sparking them against one another. "Why couldn't I have been a fire giant."

He grumbled quietly, sending sparks into the bundle of twigs again and again. Eventually, finally, thankfully, the flame caught.

Fire sprang into life, and Matias quickly took a twig from the first flame and brought it over to the second pile of twigs. As soon as the two flames were burning brightly the Frost Giant seemed to show up, yanking a knife from the belt.

"OKAY!" He couldn't keep the excitement from his voice. "Time to carve!"

They couldn't roast the whole beasts...not all in one go. That would take too long. So quickly, giddily, Matias practically bounced over towards the bison.
 
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Harlowe

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"Is that how we look when we eat do you think?"

Harlowe was a bit more wary of the fire. Her mentor had informed her fire certainly killed a vampire - even one such as them - and so she had begun to treat even the small fires with wary caution. She took a seat beside where Felice was sat now that Matias had taken over the barbecuing duties. She was watching as Matias practically capered around the bison like a small elf brandishing his knife and cutting into the bits of the meat he wanted to eat first.

She tried to ignore the stench of blood.

"Or do you think it's just a frost giant thing?"
 

Felice

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"No way!" Felice commented, "we're much cleaner than this."

Matias didn't even look like he was trying to keep the blood and innards of the beasts from spilling everywhere. When Harlowe ate it was a quick, almost elegant, sort of embrace. If one didn't know better it sometimes even looked like she was just giving someone a really big, really painful, hug.

While Felice's method of sustenance was a bit more... gruesome... she got it done quickly and with less mess! This whole carving and cooking nonsense was taking forever. Even when she was a human meals never took more than a few moments. You just popped down to the tavern, got some bread or sausage, no carving required.

Felice leaned in close to Harlowe, "I think it's just a him thing," she whispered. Surely actual frost giants just ate snow or something.
 

Matias Vaquero

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"You know I can hear you, right?" Matias asked as he carved off the largest piece of Bison he could.

He took the hunk of meat in his arms, carrying it to one of the large sticks that Felice had snapped off and impaling it through what he had cut. No chef would have called in elegant, not in the least, but the Frost Giant hardly cared.

All he wanted was some fucking cooked meat.

At this point he would have settled for vegetables if someone had offered. He was just so damn hungry. "I'm sorry we can't all people."

The Frost Giant said, the smell of cooking meat emanating through the air as he went back to the other side of the Bison and repeated the process. As he admonished the two women he never even noticed the bit of drool that was forming in his mouth.

He was so hungry.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe giggled at Felice's agreement, especially when Matias turned to reveal drool on his chin too, and continued to gently tease the giant for his hunger as the meat cooked. In a way she hoped it would take his mind off his snarling stomach. Doyle returned not long after with another two bison before curling up near the two women to snooze in the warm heat of the fires and before they knew it the meat was done.

"Are you going to share with Doyle?" she asked just before the giant took his first bite.

There was no way the frostie shite was going to eat all four surely...
 

Felice

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"Hear what?" she said through a snicker while ignoring his quip about eating people.

Once it was finished she had to admit that her residual human brain actually did enjoy the smell of the cooked meat. She wanted to save her stomach though for the plethora of sweets they were certain to come across at the carnival, not waste it on unseasoned cooked bison meat.

Harlowe was quick to point out what Felice hadn't realized just yet. "Doyle's probably hungry after hunting all of that bison for you." Matias was going to share. One way or another.
 

Matias Vaquero

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Matias looked back at the two women with a small glower.

He stared at them, but couldn't deny the logic to their words. Doyle had been the one to actually hunt for this meal, it would only be fair to share with him. "But..."

A frown touched his lips.

"He probably doesn't even like cooked meat anymore." One look from the manticore would likely have been enough to confirm that such wasn't the truth. Not that Matias wanted to look at the monster right now. "He can ha-"

Before he could speak Doyle let out what could only be described as a loud bark, or a growl? It was difficult to tell with a Mantictore. "Fine!"

The Frost Giant called out. "I'll share."
 
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Harlowe

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The manticore didn't need telling twice it seemed.

Harlowe cursed softly as Doyle leapt to his paws disturbing their leaning position against his warm side. In a single bound he was snuggled up next to the frost giant with his own giant shoulder of roasted meat. The vampire's lips quirked up into a smirk. It was actually an adorable site but it was even sweeter because of the glower on the frost giants face before he tucked into his food.

"They're such a cute couple."
 

Felice

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It was obvious that Doyle wasn't picky about whether his meat was raw or cooked. And his bark was absolutely wonderful to hear too.

Felice laughed at the vampire's quip and then looked on as Doyle and Matias effectively raced to eat their meals. Doyle seemed to be a tad faster but, upon realizing it, started to slow down his nibbling so that Matias could keep up.

It had only been three days but he really was such a well behaved pup.

"Doyle is probably going to have to stay grounded for an hour or so after this," flying on a full stomach had a tendency to upset the manticore's stomach.
 

Matias Vaquero

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"Noft like he can carfy all thfee of uf anyway." Matias said as he munched on more of his meal.

The Manticore could in fact carry the three of them, but not for any real length of time. Felice and Harlowe probably could have flown on his back all the way to their destination, but with Matias' added weight Doyle would really only be able to do short jaunts.

There was a reason that the Frost Giant didn't ride horses anymore.

Becoming a Frost Giant had made him considerably heavier. Even when half starved.

In a complete lack of surprise, it took Matias and Doyle only a few minutes to utterly demolish the two bison. As either an impressive, or utterly disgusting, display the two monsters ate the beasts down to the bones. Within an hour the bisons were nothing more than remnants, and Matias finally managed to lean back happily.

A content sigh escaped him. "That was nice."
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe gave a big stretch and then with a content sigh laid down on the ground beside the fire. She wasn't tired per see because vampires didn't have to sleep often, but she felt that same kind of sensation. Weariness she supposed was a better word to describe it.

"I could do with a good rest, too. It was tiring watching you all night you dripped a lot," she groaned at the mere memory of it.

"Why don't we all have a little rest then continue in the morning?"
 

Felice

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Could he not chew with his mouth closed? Felice bit her tongue as the frost giant spoke, at least he was sharing with Doyle. When they both finished though she added, "good boy Doyle!" The manticore slinked over towards her, spiney tail wagging and joy in his eyes.

"A rest sounds great." Unlike the vampire the harionago did need rest. Although, Felice did think it would be extremely cool to never need sleep again. You could stay up all night without even trying!

The redhead leaned her head against Doyle's side as the beast spread out in the grass, ready to sleep after such a big meal. Within a few short moments she found herself out just as quickly as the winged beast was.
 

Matias Vaquero

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After eating Matias felt as though he could go through a whole other battle. Two Bison, or really one after Doyle had eaten away at the other, was enough to energize even him.

Still, he could tell the other two were tired, and since they had just spent a few days watching him sleep it felt only right to let them rest. A frown touched his face for a moment. Was he actually starting to care? The thought was a disturbing one. "Right."

He said, shaking his head.

"Monster nap time, I guess." The Frost Giant said with a shrug. "Then tomorrow we hit the casinos."

After that? Well he supposed it would be back to business as usual.
 
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Harlowe

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When Felice woke, the four monsters dropped their camp - or what there was of one - and then headed off towards the carnival Harlowe had mentioned.

And it did not disappoint.

It might have been in a swamp with lurking alligators and bugs that would have been a real pest had they been human, but the carnival more than made up for it. Across the great marshy land a whole city of sorts had been built on stilts so people were not at risk of getting accidentally eaten by wandering predators. That city was lit up with every kind of colour a person could thing of, and some they probably hadn't known existed. Dancers paraded down the streets in gloriously flamboyant costumes with frills and feathers, people were dressed up in their best monster costumes, and there was a general atmosphere of excitement hanging over the whole place.
 

Felice

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The carnival was even better than Felice could've imagined. Doyle had taken off and soared high above to ensure they didn't just scare away half the populace here. They ascended the ramps leading to the pier that the various tents and pseudo-structures had been built on.

Every human here was dressed as creatures of the night, just as Harlowe had indicated. Children wearing sheets with holes in them for eyes, a woman dressed as an Avariel with makeshift angelic wings and pieces of cloth over her ears to give them a point, a man with so much paint on his face that it was hard for Felice to tell what he was even supposed to be.

And the smell...

"They. Have. Cinnamon rolls."

Felice was going to vomit later tonight. That was a fact. But having complete control of ones hair made the experience far less unpleasant than when she was human. "Ok, we need to hit the card tables quick." They only had so much cash and they'd need to win big quick so she could gorge herself in sugary bliss.
 

Matias Vaquero

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Matias couldn't help but feel somewhat under-dressed in the midst of all of this.

Though he was a 'monster' like the others, he was certainly one of the most ordinary looking. Felice and Harlowe were human looking for certain, but both of them had small quirks that...well pointed them out of a crowd. At least if someone knew the signs.

In this town he couldn't help but feel like he didn't fit in. Especially with all of the hubub. "Yes."

Matias said in quick answer, deciding it was best to throw himself into gambling rather than try to actually address such negative thoughts.

"Let's go gamble." His hand stuck out to Harlowe. "Money, please."

He gave her a rare chipper expression.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe gave Matias a doubtful look. Suddenly giving her undead savings to a frost giant to fritter away didn't seem to be the best plan. With a quiet huff she rummaged in her coat pockets then produced the swag bag again. Into Matias' hand she dumped a third, and another third into Felice, then returned her third to her pocket. It seemed wise to even out the chances of one of their strategies working.

"I'm going to buy one of those cool costumes if I win," she announced, eyeing up a woman dressed in feathers and sequins as she walked past. They were always in such drab dark colours, she wanted to live a little (pardon the pun). "Which tent should we try first?" she glanced over the various tents and different games. There seemed to be everything there from cards to dice to a curious tiny knife game where a person had to hit a bullseye.
 

Felice

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Felice jangled the coin in her palm for a few seconds until a smirk overtook her. They were all going to be rich after she was finished tonight.

”Oh, yeah, costumes would be great,” they were going to be rolling in coins but her sweets purchase would come first and the next stop would definitely be the costume shop. Harlowe was more than capable of picking out her own outfit, the vampire had great taste. Felice might even bend her ear on what she should buy.

They’d both have to band together to pick out the perfect look for Matias though. Right now he was sporting something that she doubted was fashionable even a century prior. Maybe he’d look good in something frilly?

To the second question her eyes scanned the boardwalk until they zeroed in on the dumpiest looking tent of all. A big sign with faded paint simply read, ‘bLak jAk,’ and Felice nodded in agreement with the non-verbal sign. ”There,” she pointed at the rundown shanty. ”They’ll have less security.” The thought of the house cheating didn’t even cross her mind.

Her hair formed into pointed horns when she noticed no one was watching. Would be good for blending in.
 
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