Private Tales Something You Don’t Recognize but Remember

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Kuu

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Early morning in the foothills of the spine, snow still coating the forest floor despite winter having come to an end. It had been a hard winter for the inhabitants that lived in the spine, game had been scarce and the freezing cold had reach new heights. Everyone was looking forward to spring but despite the spring equinox taking place a few weeks ago, the snow had yet to stop. There were some faint patches of undergrowth attempting to reach out to the sun’s weak rays, moist earth that was ready to flourish with bright green sprouts.

A few rabbits were out of their burrow. Muffled footsteps of their young leaving weak traces of their presence. Hunters saw this and left them be. They weren’t desperate enough to destroy an entire generation of rabbits just yet. Keyword: yet.

Kuu had been sitting up in a branch, looking down at all that was happening beneath him. He saw a few pine martens and squirrels, a fox or two, a couple of birds. He frowned, realizing that this was unusual. Perhaps the scent of that black shuck from a few days ago was really a ominous warning after all? He’d have to go and investigate more, had to see if he could come across that scent again and discern the nasty dog’s intentions. Belonging to no court, safer out in the human world than the fae, everyone with a nose should know that this was his forest.

Sure he had been absent the last decade, he had things to do! Kuu was a busy man! A curious man! He was fae after all, staying in one place was such a drag. There was a world to see, mischief to make, pretty ladies and handsome men that could enthrall him for a week or two while he waited for her to remember him. Because really, nothing could begin until she remembered his name.

And it was boring waiting for that to happen.

So he had gone away, only to come back to his forest, his home, to see that everything was a mess! Black shucks roaming around like they owned the place? Give him a break. Kuu rolled his amber eyes, leaping down from his perch and in mid-jump shifting into the incredible large form of a black cat, completed with a black mane and long, fluffy black tail. He almost looked like a house cat— if a house cat was just shy of six-hundred pounds. And the funny thing was: Kuu was considered small for his kind. Many cat siths were closer to seven-hundred pounds than six-hundred in their large cat form. But the smaller he was meant that he made far less noise. Perfect for sneaking up on a black shuck.

Without further ado, Kuu gave a large yawn, his whiskers twitching before he set off, jaws parted open slightly, letting the breeze lead him to whatever scent shouldn’t be there. And much to his disdain he picked up that scent again: a black shuck. The same one? Maybe. He was going to find out, and to the west of the forest he stalked.
 
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Her boots that had seen better days padded softly along the snowy forest. Light green eyes swept across the dark wood. Even with the light of early morning, shadows still dominated the area. Thread-bare gloves rubbed her hands together. It was still so cold. And she’d never been a fan of it. Ironic considering where the village of Stowe stood.

Her thoughts were distracted as she trekked deeper into the wood. She’d gotten her father out of bed today. A small victory. She missed the days before her mother’s death. Not that she missed her mother much but how it changed her father.

A ripple of frustration crossed her brow as she refocused. She was looking for a specific herb. And she has to find it soon. A branch snapped somewhere behind her. Head whipped around, strawberry strands shifting on her shoulders. Eyes squinted but she didn’t see anything. Probably just a dead branch falling.

Still.

Her hand dropped, resting on the handle of her axe.
 
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Kuu

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Kuu moved through the forest, a rare sight to behold in such a place. He was careful to try and take the paths that the humans didn’t, continually scenting the trees and underbrush around to continue the scent of the black shuck. Or rather, black shucks. Further to his chagrin, Kuu realized that there wasn’t one black shuck walking around but two— a male and a female. Mates? Siblings? Kuu couldn’t tell through scent alone and really it didn’t matter. They needed to get out of his territory.

Like a body of smoke that wafted from a father, Kuu was just as silent, and the scent of the shucks was getting closer and closer. He didn’t like that while following this trail it seemed that these fae were remarkable close to where the humans liked to hunt. How strange… you’d think they’d want to stay away unless…

Kuu paused, seeing blood tainting the pure white snow. There was a trail as if the shucks had really dared to drag a body along the ground like animals! How ridiculous. Surely they would’ve have done something so… barbaric? He sniffed the blood. Not human. Deer. But there was something heavy with that scent, as if it was a doe— had to be, because Kuu could sense something that smelled like barley. His whiskers twitched.

There were three sets of tracks. As if two had gone back to wherever to feast on the prey but one shuck had headed back down to the shallower part of the woods. Kuu took over, following the fresh track, curious.



A shadow figure a good couple of meters away from Juniper would be crouched down low, it’s black pelt standing out starkly against the snow. Silver eyes tracked the human and when she reached for her axe, it would begin to stalk forward, growling, parting it’s jaws to reveal teeth that had large globules of slobber dripping down it’s black maw.

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Horse shit.

The hairs on the back of her slender neck prickled. And as soon as her human ears picked up that growl, she spun around. A huff left her mouth. Fingers tightened around the axe. Booted feet back-pedaled in the snow. Light green eyes, the color of new and bursting growth in spring narrowed on the beast.

It reminded her all too much of the day in the dark wood years ago. The day she'd saved her sister from the wolf and gotten the scar that now decorated her face.

Feet tried to set in the slick snow. Her stance widened slightly. She couldn't risk looking away for a branch to perhaps climb. She knew if she took even a second to look away, the beast would be on her.

"You don't want this," she called quietly. The tip of her sharp axe found a glint of sun as she lifted it. "Walk away," she forced the tremble out of her town.
 
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Kuu

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Kuu had to hurry. He didn’t have any particular reason on why he had to hurry, but something within him just knew that he needed to get to that black shuck as soon as possible. It was a sixth sense, and invaluable trait to the cat sith that was as innate to them as breathing or blinking was.

It was something that Kuu had learned to never distrust.

And so despite being one who preferred to move like a shadow, to leave nothing more than a faint breeze behind, Kuu was running like a house cat that was getting chased by a pack of dogs. His jaws remained parted, still picking up the scent here and there but really as long as he kept his eyes opened he could see the black shuck’s trail. It’s like this fae wanted to get caught.

Kuu’s arrival could be heard before either Juniper or the shuck could catch sight of him. And it was why the black shuck had tensed it’s large haunches before leaping up and over at Juniper, snarling at her, bloodlust clear in it’s gold eyes. When the massive black wolf was at the highest peak of it’s leap was when Kuu crashed through from the side and jumped as well, tackling the black shuck off to the side.

A furry of howls and yowls from both fae could be heard, each snarling and snapping at each other, each pawing and kicking one another. The rolled about and the earth and air trembled and shimmered around them as each creature fought for their life. Kuu hadn’t even looked over at the human he had protected, but all he knew was that this shuck was on his territory and he was about to make a lesson out of them.

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Jun was just about to launch her axe. The wolf’s speed caught her off-guard. She would’ve been a hair too slow. She lunged to the side in surprise as the other beast came out of nowhere. She hit the snowy ground and quickly picked herself up. Eyes darted to the blur of claws and fur as they rolled around and tore up the ground and themselves.

There was something strange about what was happening but she couldn’t figure it out. Grimacing, she saw the tumbling and snapping duo headed her way. Tucking away her axe she yelped and jumped for a lower branch to a tree she was under. She heaved herself up as jaws snapped for her ankle. Swinging, she managed to hook her ankles onto the branch she cling to, red hair hanging wildly behind her.
 

Kuu

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The cat sith and black shuck growled anathemas to one another as they fought against the other. At times Kuu thought he had the upper hand but whenever he tried to collect some space from the shuck, the bloodthirsty fae would lunge and the two of them would be back at each other, snapping at one another’s throats.

The worst part was that there was a human nearby. Sucked that now she had seen too much and now Kuu was going to have to kill her after he killed this shadow-sicken shuck.

Getting fed up of this game of cat and mouse, Kuu hissed, finally beginning to use some of his magic. The air around them seemed to still and get thin, and the light that did filter in through the forest dimmed, more and more until it seemed a dome of shadow had been placed over the three in the area.

This didn’t cause the black shuck to pause and Kuu realized what was going on: it’s mind was being wrecked into oblivion by the shadows the shuck once commanded. It couldn’t understand it’s situation. He’ll take the black shuck out of it’s misery then. Another hiss, one that echoed and bounced against the shadow dome, Kuu’s claws grew longer and thicker and stronger, now black through the enhancement of shadows and he lunged at the black shuck.

The black wolf’s head was loped right off and it few directly towards Juniper.

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"What the hell," she whispered as she was plunged into sudden darkness. She could still hear them fighting below her and she clung to that branch like a kitten stuck up a tree. She managed to pull herself up so she was resting on the branch on her belly, arms and legs hugging it tightly beneath her. At least she wasn't hanging upside down anymore.

Pale green eyes kept blinking in the gloom, trying to make out shapes or something. She could barely see the shadow of the large tree she clung to. The hissing made her heart stumble and stutter in her chest. Her lips clenched and pressed together.

Something large, hard, and fury smacked against her side, nearly knocking her off the branch.

She yelped in the darkness, feeling the slrrckk of something slide down her side where it hit. And it was warm. Blood? The sounds of the fighting had suddenly stopped. One hand risked releasing the limb she perched on and went to unsheath her axe, clinging it tightly.

She didn't know which beast had won.

And it didn't matter.

If whatever below came for her, she'd be damned ready.
 

Kuu

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Kuu was panting. He had expelled quite a bit of magic, something he wasn’t fond of admitting. Cat siths had always relied and excelled on stealth and to use magic sparingly. While some cat siths were more in tune to their use of magic, Kuu had never been patient enough to consider focusing on magic. Instead he relied moreso on his speed and his battle-wit.

The shadow dome was still in place. There was one last thing he had to kill. He turned around, facing Juniper completely and looked up at her. His gold eyes locked with her pale green eyes. He froze. All he could see were green irises. The color of faded viridian jade, the color of a pair of eyes that had jolted him to action years ago.

His heart was beating so fast he could hear it drumming against his ears, feel the flow of his blood in his veins like white hot plasma. A shake breath fell from Kuu’s jaws and he morphed back. His fae form: human except for his ethereal beauty, pointed ears, and unnatural gold eyes. The shadow dome faded and light came back to grace the forest.

It’s you. I didn’t think I’d see you so soon.” His voice was like a mixture of sweet vanilla and heady coffee, deep yet smooth and somehow gentle all in one. It was a voice that didn’t seem to fit his slender and lithe form.

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She waited in the darkness for the attack. To feel teeth along her limbs or something. But she didn't have to wait long. A duck of her head, fiery hair tumbling over her face for a moment as she closed her eyes and blinked. The light returning.

When she opened again and peered down, her breath caught.

A quick note of the strange male before her then a sweep of her gaze across the area. Where was the beast? Should she yell to him that he should get up here? That he should watch out? She sat up, straddling that branch. Axe still gripped in one of her hands. She made no move to climb down.

There was a whisper of something familiar about him but it was like trying to grasp at water. It just kept slipping through her hands.

"Who...are you? And you better lower your voice. There's a beast on the loose around here."
 

Kuu

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Kuu frowned, his gold eyes confused. He could feel it, even now, that pull towards her. Every limb, every muscle, every fiber of his being was screaming at him to move closer to her, to touch her, to embrace her and her scent. He parted his lips, a tongue swiping over his lower lip.

His stomach rolled over, his heart dropping. The hairs on the back of his neck and arms were raised.

A beast is dead.” He said, pointing at the shuck head on the ground, forcing himself to tear his eyes away from hers and to look at the decapitated head. A pink tongue was lolling out of the mouth. “My name is Kuu.” He whispered. “Don’t you remember?” He persisted.

Juniper Grey
 
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Those golden eyes set on a canvas of skin as warm as summer. Dark curls with a strange urge to run her hand through them and those pointed ears. So he was an elf? Getting an early start to the season she assumed.

Jun rolled her eyes at the elf pointing out the obvious carcas at her feet.

"Yes I can see that. That one is dead." She paused at his question and took one last glance around. Deciding it was safe enough, she very carefully shimmied across the branch and climbed down, jumping the last few feet to land low in a crouch before straightening.

She did not sheath the axe though. She held it loosely at her side. He was a stranger. And she was alone in a wood. And that other creature..must be somewhere still around.

The scars became more apparent on the one side of her face as it scrunched up, looking at Kuu.

Thinking.

Had he been in Stowe before? Head finally shook. "No." She would've remembered someone like him. And those eyes. They burned like the rays of sun just at dawn. "Do you come to Stowe often?"
 
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Kuu

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Lying. The bane of all fae. Or so one would think. Kuu had a way with words much like all fae did and as he looked at Juniper, he merely grinned, giving her the most charming smile he could muster. He held his hands up and waved his hands as if he could wave her notion of another beast away.

I only see one dead stinky mutt.” He said. Well, that was the truth after all. He then cocked his head to the side, that grin dropping into a thin line. “I haven’t been here in about ten years.” More truth. He sighed then. “It seems you don’t remember me, what a shame.” His tone changed then, making him sound bored and disinterested.

In reality, his chest felt heavy. His heart felt like it had sunk to the deepest pit of his stomach. It hurt. But his face was unreadable, decades upon decades of a perfected craft.

To be fair, I’ve nearly forgotten your name. But I know your eyes from anywhere.

Juniper Grey
 
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Ten years.

That was strange. She would've been fourteen then. And he barely looked her age. Had he traveled as a child with his kin along the trade routes? Then again, if he was an elf she imagined he was probably slightly older than he looked.

And ten years ago was exactly the same time when there was something...just strange about her memory. Her father said he'd found her by the lake and it looked as if she'd been soaked. She'd just been laying there. He seemed to think she'd gone in the water which was crazy because she couldn't swim.

But she couldn't remember any of it. Nothing about that day. Just her father finding her.

One last look around the area before her eyes snapped back to his own. "Juniper," she said hesitantly. "And you?" Settling that he wasn't much of a thread she couldn't handle, she finally sheathed the axe. Without waiting for him to give her a name, she strode with purpose off to his side.

Clearly looking for something.
 
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Kuu

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Kuu let forth a lazy yawn before smirking.

A name fitting for eyes like yours,” he said easily enough, and was about to say something as equally flirtatious, after all, what human woman didn’t like getting hit on right when she met someone, but was shocked when she just… walked past him? A inner part of him felt like it was rather rude that she didn’t give him her undivided attention!

Or did she just not feel it either?

I told you, already,” he huffed, pivoting on his heel to follow behind her. “Kuu. You can call me Kuu. Unless, you’d like to call me something else?” It was true. That was the only thing she could call him. At least for now, until she remembered. More importantly, at least for their present circumstances, was why she was ignoring him. “What are you looking for?

Juniper Grey
 
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Was he...flirting with her?

The village boys had stopped flirting with her after the attack in the woods. And she didn't know how to handle it, so she ignored it. Her eyes remained at her feet as she squatted down next to the base of a tree. Gloved hands pressing lightly against the bark.

"Well, Kuu." She frowned as she said it but didn't look up at him. There was a hint of familiarity of that name on her tongue and that was strange. She pushed those thoughts aside.

"You must've just gotten in, then?" This time her gaze did flit up to meet his own. "Otherwise you'd know that fevers have been ravaging our village for the past few years."
 
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Kuu

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Usually, Kuu liked the way his name rolled off one’s tongue. But how come when she said she seemed so displeased by it?! She didn’t even look at him. His gold eyes peered down at her, urging her telepathically to look at him. Boring his gold gaze into the back of her head— it worked! She did manage to look at him! Finally.

He frowned. If only the topic at hand wasn’t as heavy as she made it sounds.

Just some fevers? Is it serious? Just let them lay in bed and put a cool cloth over their head.” Kuu said absently, doing his best not to roll his eyes. Sheesh, he understood that humans were fragile little things, but a fever? Bed rest and get better in a few days. Why did she act like it was something so serious? “Or go to a bigger town and find a doctor that makes some medicine.

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A scowl rippled across her face and she stood abruptly, pointing a finger up at his chest. "It is serious," voice was a harsh whisper. "People have died...are dying," heart twisted as she thought about how her mother had died. And what it had done to her father. She'd lost both parents, in a way, even though one was still living.

A huff as she felt her own weariness with dealing with this for so long.

Frustration that she couldn't save them.

"There is no cure," she went to push past him, not wanting him to see the build of emotion on her freckled-face. "But there is an herb that can help with symptoms."
 
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Kuu

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Kuu stiffened for a moment, looking down at the finger that had been jabbed at his chest. He had to resist the urge to bring his hand up, to grab her hand in his and slide his fingers through hers. He felt as if he had done something so blatantly flirtatious that her first thought would be to grab her axe and swing at his head.

But then she was walking past him and Kuu was standing there with a hardly charming expression on his feline-like face. He felt he had messed up, and yet at the same time considered that his question— and advice— were worthwhile!

But perhaps that was the cost of outliving many mortal races. Life and death? They meant something to him, but both were mere afterthoughts most of the time.

So clear this up for me, Juni,” Kuu said, pivoting on his foot and following right after her. “A fever that can’t be cured? Sounds suspicious. Your village cursed or something? Have you… even tried finding an actual healer? Someone with divine magic even?” He couldn’t help but be skeptical, but he tried to keep his face neutral and hopefully his tone was more empathetic than smug.

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She paused without turning around.

It was as if he'd slapped her without ever lifting his hand. She had to remind herself that he didn't know her. Kriff, they didn't know each other. She turned to him, unable to hide the welling of emotion in her eyes. The glistening of threatening tears that made her green eyes seem to shift colors.

Hand fluttered to her own chest.

"I am a healer. The village healer. And it IS suspicious. And frustrating. And exhausting." One hand fell to her hip as she willed the tears from her eyes to go away. Letting ire replace them. "Please enlighten me on if you're a curse breaker. Or know of one?" Bold gaze bore into his golden one without an ounce of hesitation. Unmoving and challenging.
 
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Kuu

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Kuu sensed he had made a mistake of some kid. Again. He brought a hand up to scratch the back of his head, strong nails scraping over his scalp with little resistance from his shaved head. He frowned. He could see the frustration in her eyes, hear the tension in her voice. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Kuu had crossed a line.

Gods, it was like he hardly knew her anymore….

But how to come back from his multitude of ignorant comments? A joke? No, that might make her more upset. Saying sorry? What cat sith ever apologized? Perhaps… a little bit of both?

You’re in luck, for I do know a thing or two about curses. And breaking them.” He added. His gold eyes were somber, his smile not matching his sad eyes. Oh, he knew about curses alright, plenty about how curses are… “literally, they’re the nastiest bastards you can come across. A thorn in your side you can’t undo by yourself most of the time. Even then, pulling out the thorn doesn’t necessarily negate the curse to disappear, either.” He paused, licking his lips.

But maybe… we should get those herbs to your village first, yeah? Sure you’re busy enough as it is as the healer.

Juniper Grey