The Investigator

I will be updating this, at the very least, 2-3 times a week.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Terrians: Attack

There was only a sliver of a moon outside as she gazed upwards and the clouds managed to part just enough to ease her fears of the dark. The slim light that seemed to snuff out by a simple wisp of a cloud surfacing did little to put her fears at ease, though. Instead, it caused her only to strain more in the dark, eyes squinting in hoping to see better, hands and arms groping out in front of her, and many more looks upwards to check the sky above. Something was following her, and whatever it was she really didn't like it. Not only was it following her, but it seemed to be gaining on her while still keeping its distance, a distance just great enough that she couldn't truly tell if anything was there or not. But she wasn't lying to herself, she just couldn't be. There truly was something behind her, stalking her, and she just needed to make her way into town so that it wasn't able to find her alone here in the dark woods.

At first it was just a feeling, but then she started hearing things she wasn't certain she heard. It started with a soft sound deep and far away like thousands of busy little bees, but it became stronger as she continued walking. Stronger and more frightening as the humming because this mind shattering noise that just couldn't stop, burrowing into her head and not getting out no matter how hard she tried. She couldn't think any longer, couldn't do anything but continue walking and although she knew she needed to get out of the woods, she couldn't, for the life of her, figure out how to get out. That noise. All she could hear was that mind numbing noise that was turning her thoughts into goo to leak out of her ears and dribble down her jaw.

The noise grew steadily, not in pitch or volume but in mass. It caused the woman to stumble, fall, collapse onto the forest floor where she clutched at her ears, tears streaming down her cheeks, just wishing the noise would go away. Or, at least, she would wish it to go away if she were able to collect a single thought instead of shreds seeming to drift in the flow in her mind right now, no two fragments seeming to fit together in any form of intelligible thought. Her lips parted and a scream formed in the back of her throat as she continued to roll on the ground, clutching her ears, seeming unable to do anything else but grasp and gasp and cry.

Suddenly the noise stopped altogether, as if whatever it was that the noise was coming from suddenly darted in the other direction, fleeing for its life. Hands slowly pulled away from ears hearing the buzzing disappear as wide eyes opened onto the forest, staring upwards into the canopy above. But the thoughts didn't seem to congeal in her mind and the puzzle pieces of sanity had been fragmented to small and shaken so extreme that she couldn't even begin to place them back together again. Grabbing knees in her arms, she hugged them to her breasts and began to rock.

“The song was doo doo. Find a time for the woman. Find a song for the word. Run away and sleep another day.” Burying her face within her knees she began to cry. She knew something was missing. She knew she would never be the same woman again. And that knowledge would only last her another few minutes before that fell apart as well and left her to drift into a mindless lack of sanity.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Terrians: Hunger

The wood cracked and fell away in chips, falling in a pattern to the forest floor below before the next handful fell away a few inches before the first. The falling chips were accompanied by a maniac giggling chitter that could barely be discerned as to the direction it was coming from. The noise seemed to buzz and hum and come in from each direction as it echoed throughout the woods in a terrifying and never ending loop. Another glittering of bark and leaves floated towards the ground before a cracking was heard overhead in the trees. The source of the chattering was soon seen: a large charred creature with a tail so long that it could hug the entire tree and nails so sharp that they tore deep into the very heart of the oak. The tree seemed to groan in protest to the claws that dug into its flesh and the tail that strangled its arms, crying out in the only way it knew how.

The odd creature feel to the forest floor with a soft whump of a sound, mulch of the floor crunching between fingers and toes, if fingers and toes was something it even had. The tail lashed back and for the as bone white teeth gleamed in a terrifyingly painful grin against the pitch black of the dead flesh the reeked and flaked with each movement. The chittering sound seemed to come from deep in the creatures gullet, resonating through the bones and muscles of the animal as it stood in place with hungry eyes searching one way and then the other. It didn't seem as if it were scanning the forest so much as passing its penetrating gaze deep into the shadows, watching the very movements of what it sensed with flaring nostrils. It stared long and hard, laughing away like some lunatic who had lost all sense of sanity, watching as whatever it saw seemed to continue to move further, continuing in a line until eventually it hit and surpassed the horizon of what the animal could view. The grin only grew as a massively muscular tongue managed to swish behind the teeth, as if desperately wanting to lick its lips if only it could figure out where its lips were.

There was only one thing, if anything, on the creatures mind. It had instructions and a one track mind to finish the task on hand before returning, but there was only one simple problem with that. It was hungry. Very hungry. The creature's head flashed quickly to one side as the chittering that had died down to at least a rather pleasant hum of a noise started back up to a bright and powerful insanity that buzzed and brimmed with a power so frightening it could tear directly into the brain. Eyes of coal flicked to follow another movement far off in the trees, one that could near be heard rustling through the leaves about half a mile off, if one had good hearing.

The steps were slow, languid, muscles moving gracefully under the charred flesh that cracked and flaked every now and then. The Terrian never ran for its food. It stalked it. And then got back on task.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


They were terrible creatures made of dead flesh that was always peeling and cracking, flitting away with each step the took. The flesh reeked of death, decay, the burning quite often. They always walked slow unless on the prowl after having caught their first whiff of the prey.

The were terrible creatures with teeth made of metal spikes, bone, and shards of broken glass. The insides of their mouths were lined with row after row of these haphazard teeth, all needle thin and sharpened to impossible points. The teeth stuck out at so many angles that it was more often than not that they lacerated their own mouths and created cavities where there should be none if they ever closed their mouths. Their mouths were rarely closed.

They were terrible creatures with metal capped claws on arms so strong that they splintered floorboards that they walked over. They had a monstrously strong tail that could broadside even the strongest of war horses. They ate the horses to try and quench their insatiable appetite.

They were terrible creatures that spoke a terrible chattering language that could borrow into the skull of any man and drive them utterly mad. The sound was a mixture between the non-ending chorus of crickets and the mad insane droning of a group of cackling hyenas. The sound buzzed at first and only grew more insane the closer they grew. It was the only warning of their slow and methodical pacing closer, and by the time they could be heard there really was no way to escape. They would do what needed to be done and then would leave. They could cut through a crowd like a hot knife through butter and running only drew their attention further. They normally kept to themselves, though, and so they were more of a legend in most parts than a reality and many have yet to figure how to kill beasts such as this.

They were terrible creatures and they were created by and followed only one man.

The Investigator.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Niokala: The Journey

It was the gossip on everyone's lips, how the King and Queen got murdered. She couldn't deal with hearing it any longer and continued moving, faster and farther, until the lands were no longer familiar and she could hide more easily in plain sight than needing to duck each time a cart rolled by.

The young girl hid herself in filthy rags so that if she sat as still as possible and held her breath, she could easily be mistaken for a pile of garbage thrown from someone's house to the street corner. She would sneak behind people into various establishments and hide under tables to feed off the scraps and crumbs that people would haphazardly drop on the floor. She slept on the side of the road or, if she was lucky, in a barn.

And this was her life for an incredible length of time. From town to town, village to village, the girl traveled far and wide, not knowing what she was doing, what she was looking for. She knew, by the way her family spoke when they thought she wasn't looking that she had a different mother out there somewhere. It wasn't as if anyone who ever knew her would recognize her, though. She was born with a very defining birthmark, a gorgeous vine work that clung to the entire left side of her body looking much like a tattoo. Replacing that birthmark were huge bubbling scars that made her look as though she were a leper. Her fingers were gnarled and twisted. Her foot was worthless and she was forced to limp everywhere she went. Her eye was forever forced shut and her lips were pulled into the most hideous of grins. It was why she hid underneath filthy rags and slept in the garbage being bitten by rats. Children ran in terror seeing her and adults thought she was ridden with disease and skirted her in a wide berth.

No. No one would recognize her. Her life was terribly lonely never having a place to call home or a soul to call friend. All she had was an equally filthy doll that she lovingly called 'bunny'. She could remember the time she was given the doll.

Her life had been nightmare after daily nightmare as her father, dead in the eyes, allowed people to pay money so they could beat the demon child that has been devastating crops, killing the cows, making their children ill, and any other silly excuse. When no excuse could be thought of, they were to release their own evils into the child in order to keep faithful to their wives and keep their eyes from roaming.

One day a stranger came to town and asked to have the child to himself for a month. No one knew who he was, but he paid a hefty price and was given to his wishes. Not knowing what to expect, she was the most surprised when the man only wished to teach her to speak. But after seven years, much of language was hopeless to the girl. He gave the girl the gift of her stuffed rabbit to help her through the pain of life before it was necessary for him to go. He did everything he was able.

As with most things, there were consequences. When she cried out 'no' one day to her normal beatings, her family decided it was time to try and cut out her tongue. She was escaped out of the house not long after by her sister Violet's decree and with her help. No one ever knew that it was Violet that helped her sister disappear that day. Since then, she has been on the road. Traveling. Forever traveling. Not believing the gossip of the dead King and Queen and wondering if her sister was still alive.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Niokala: Inner Monologue Conclusion

I had tried to find the man because I had heard he was a problem solver and I had a problem that needed to be solved.

Niokala needs to be found and removed. She needs to be dealt with. With her gone, there is no possibility of the curse finishing its cycle and removing me and destroying my family's estate. It is time for her to be taken and locked away. Life is well with Father and Mother gone and with Elghrinn now in my life. He has even helped the kingdom to see that I'm not a terrible person. The kingdom respects me now, and I would dare say they even adore me. They are not pleased with my decision to marry the murderer, though. At least, those that know have fully expressed their concern.

But this is not about me. Oh, no, it was never about me. It is all about that filthy wretch of a child. I now regret being the one to beg father to kick her out of the house, let her fend on her own. Perhaps if I kept her here, my darling assassin would have killed her as well, taking pity on the filthy creature. He certainly would have if I asked him now.

Taking the time to think about it, I suddenly wonder if it wasn't she who started all this. Surely there is some correlation between her leaving and the murder that ensued three days later. It doesn't matter. At this point, all that matters is finding that wretch. Elghrinn expected this. That awful man did not desire to even hear my offer. And so tonight I am saddling my finest steed and I, alone, shall go off in search of this spawn of the underworld.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Niokala: The Meeting Conclusion

“Well, I never!” she cried as she slammed a hand on the table. “Your impertinence is foul of tongue.”

“How would your kingdom feel to know you are to wed the one who murdered your family and tore apart your home, not to mention killing innocent guards?”

She studied him for quite some time, obviously trying to figure out what he wanted in lieu of keeping all this information quiet. “You want her too, don't you?”

“She is very in demand, and I can't understand why you would desire her. You wanted her thrown as far from your life as possible for so many years, but now you suddenly need a scape goat. You need someone to place the blame on and she is the easiest and was always the most available. Or, perhaps, you are running out of daddy's money and need to put her back into business.” The hand was quick and stung like a wasp across his cheek, the woman's chest heaving as her nostril's flared. Without moving to rub his throbbing jaw, he continued. “You know that woman Mechora is in search for her as well. It appears you are both hiring me for different reasons, both of them terribly similar, though. Both of you desire this girl to return to the family business.”

“Family business. You make me laugh.” But she didn't. In fact she appeared much like a stern school teacher, even when the waitress returned with the cup of tea and the glass of wine, placing both down upon the table in front of the appropriate person. He took his delicately in his fingers, sipping gently as she continued to fume. “Furthermore, what I do in my personal life should have no effect in this.”

“I told you. I already don't like you. You have no uses offered to me, nothing valuable that you yourself could give or do and you only grate on my nerves. You are foul tempered with a cunt of ice. I don't know how,” but he was interrupted again with another biting sting, this one to the other cheek. He reacted only by taking another sip of his wine and continuing. “Don't know how he finds any admiration for a woman such as yourself.”

“You will be quiet.”

He stood suddenly and returned the glass to the table, looking down his nose at her in a different way. The sudden rising upwards caused her to stand in turn and face his with anger raging over her face. “Seat yourself.”

“I know this might be difficult for you to understand, but you hold no sway over me. Good day, Ma'am.” And with that he turned and began towards the door where he soon exited and disappeared on the streets, leaving her standing there with her mouth agape wondering what happened. She knew that chances like this came only once in a long while and she perhaps lost what could have been a close partnership.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Niokala: Inner Monologue Part 2

Yes. I love him. Yes. He murdered my mother and my father. We sleep in the same bed and he is to wear the crown as well as I after our marriage. Elghrinn may have been an assassin once, but now he is my lover and I his.

Elghrinn was an assassin hired, I'm more than certain, by that devil child Niokala's true mother, Mechora, to come and slaughter my family before burning down my home. But her plan of ruling the land met up with a little hitch when he met me. Certainly, my mother and father met their fate and I hope that it wasn't too terribly gruesome, and much of my home was torn to rubble, but then that man met me. He planned to rape me, I knew, but he couldn't bring himself to kill me. Obviously he has some taste and knows beauty when he sees it. It didn't make me any less angry, though, and I did hunt him down and chased him with whatever I could find to knock his head off. It is almost funny to look back at now, me chasing him around the dimly lit city square with a chair leg held above my head. He was a good sport for putting up with that.

Somehow we fell in love, though. He is a darling man. I know most of the country side is against me marrying him and claiming him King along side me, but it is what he is. He isn't wedging his way into my heart only to get to the kingdom, is he?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Niokala: The Meeting Part 2

Eyes narrowed as her lower lip quivered a moment, head turning quickly away from the man, nose held up so that when her eyes did open wide enough again she would be viewing down it at this man in front of her.

“I also hear you fell in love with the murderer.”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Niokala: Inner Monologue

Mechora was this woman that Father had met long ago while he was still doing the knight-in-shining-armor tasks. Mother told him it was the proper thing for a king to do to have his people respect him, fear him, revere him. I'm not sure on the where, just the when and extenuating circumstances there of. From what I recall of Mother, I almost don't blame him for falling for the woman. Almost. But I do. I don't blame him for having a mistress, but I do blame him for getting involved with that one.

Mother never had an idea, but I was always a smart child and I could see what was going on around me rather easily. Perhaps mother really was lazy in the head. Goodness knows that things didn't become any easier for any of us when that woman appeared on the doorstep one day claiming she needed to see Father. She hadn't seen him in months and worried something terrible had happened. Nothing did, of course. After he had learned the woman he had been having his lurid sexual affair with was carrying his illegitimate child, well he hid himself away. How could you blame him? She came, that woman, that succubus, plump with child, but the servants turned her away saying they didn't know what she was talking about. There I was, hiding in the other hall and that is where I got my first peek at the woman who would soon create terrible chaos in my home.

She wasn't an average woman or much of a woman at all, really. Her clothing hung awkwardly on her as if it really didn't belong there and it was protesting visually. She had this awful aroma to her, pungent and overwhelming. I didn't know what it was then, but I do now. There is a reason she is called the Goddess of Blood Lust, that gypsy tramp. An entire sect of foul folk worshiped this woman in ways I would never desire to describe. She truly was a satanic hell spawn come merely to tear my family apart. It would have been impossible for me to believe at that age or even at this that Father was a part of this wide spread sect. So, due to impossibility, I never thought about it and still wave away the question. Now Father is gone and many of his secrets were buried along with him.

The most remarkable thing about this woman, though, was that inked birthmark she wore. Whether it was painted on or she was born in that manner, if she even was born at all, it wound around what of her body could be seen. If I had to bet on it, and I am not a gambling woman, I'm certain that it continued far beneath her attire. It was as if she was marked for life so anyone could easily tell her to be Mistress to the Lord of the Underworld himself. And she flaunted it happily. How could anyone want to flirt such knowledge on the populace? I, myself, can not understand why one would desire to try and be part of a world where they didn't belong. And she did not belong. If I had known that this child of hers and Father's would show the same signs, I would have done all I could to end that life before it began. I knew enough of what was going on, so perhaps I could have informed Mother. That would have been the end of that.

Needless to say, it was a few months later that she returned again in tears holding the swaddling baby. But this time I wasn't the only one in the other hall to listen to this woman's sob story once again. Father and I were about to go outside together for my riding lesson he had promised me, so we were on our way down the great hall just when the bell rang throughout the estate. Perhaps Father had forgotten about the woman, but we were beside the door when it opened and the woman was there in tears that flowed even harder gazing upon him. And then a raging anger hit her and there became a screaming match there in the door-way as I held Father's leg, glaring at this woman. This woman tore apart my home with her mere presence there that very day. The yelling eventually gripped the attention of Mother and from there all the realizations hit in for everyone. Mother realized Father had been having an affair. That woman Mechora realized Father had been lying to her all this time about not having a family. Father realized that life would never be the same in this household ever again. And I realized that I was about to have a startling change in my life.

Niokala, I would later learn she was named, ended up staying with us after that moment. Mechora decided that she desired not to have a reminder of the mistake she made. But more importantly, she gave the child to Father because she wished to place a curse where this child of theirs would watch the death of us all. A curse where she would become the true ruler. Hogwash, I figured. This woman, this Mechora, she only wished land to call her own. She placed a curse to rid the land of us so she could then reclaim her daughter and take over the land in the name of the Goddess of Blood Lust. At least, that was what I felt and still do to this day. And Niokala seems to be the key to it all. If I rid the world of that child, even though Mother and Father are gone, I will remain safe. The curse can never be completed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Niokala: The Meeting

“My name is Violet Trieal.” She held out her hand in that delicate and proper lady-like manner taught to her for when she was greeting a gentleman. And this man certainly held the look of a gentleman, so she also offered him her most winning of smiles.

“The Investigator,” he replied. Her hand was ignored. This infuriated her as she now had the awkward duty of pulling her hand back to herself and yet trying to make it look as natural as possible as if she had done this a thousand times. She hadn't.

“What is that,” she sneered, “your name or your title?” That helped to ease the discomfort in her.

“I already don't like you very much. No need to give me further reason.” The anger faded at that point, faded along with all the color in her face before she cleared her throat. She was silenced at that point, rightfully put in her place. “I don't care what your name is or that you are a princess or whatever you like to consider yourself now.”

“Queen,” she interrupted dutifully.

“Queen. Whatever it is you would like to be called. I'm not here to exchange pleasantries and we both know that. I have something you want and you have something I want. That is all we were planning on exchanging.”

“Now you listen here,” she began, waving a finger before realizing what she was doing and putting her fingers to work straightening her bodice instead. “Mister Investigator, or whatever your name is, we weren't planning on exchanging anything. I called you here because I heard you were the best in the business.”

They were seated in a secluded room off the common area of a rather well established tavern of sorts. Certainly the woman paid a fine price to rent the room and the guards that went with it so she might conduct her business in privacy. The money didn't impress him, though. In fact, it vaguely disgusted him as he watched her flaunt her price to get everything she desired.

“A glass of tea, servant. A twist of lemon and one single lump of sugar. No more. And I don't wish to see even a drop of cream. Just lemon, a single slice. And, if you could, make certain the tea isn't too hot. Last time you gave it to me still steaming and everything and I near burnt my tongue. But you better not be delivering it to me cold either or I shan't pay for it.”

Disgusting. He sat while she ordered, just sat and watched the way her back appeared entirely too straight and her head was held at an inconceivably too high angle. Now and then she would wave her hand as if she were continually dismissing the barmaid that was taking the order.

“And yourself, Sir?”

“Thank you, Miss. Just a glass of red wine, thank you.” And the waitress strode off to fill their orders.

“You don't have to call them 'Miss'. They really are nothing but the lower class.”

“We all start somewhere, Miss,” came the slighted response, heavily leaning into the title as the woman seemed to take another step down off her high horse in his presence. “So you say you called me here? To do what I do best?” And what, prey tell, was that, he wondered. And who was it this woman spoke to in getting his name? But he only asked himself these questions to swell his chest with pride, for he knew he set up the entire bargaining quite some time ago, long before this woman even knew what she wanted was missing. Let the bargaining begin. “I hear your parents were murdered.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Niokala: Gypsy Camp

He frequented the camps often enough, and this one was no different than the others. It sat back in the woods about a good mile or three away from any form of civilization which was they way they liked it and what he felt was necessary. The camp consisted of a good few dozen covered wagons of sorts and a various amount of tents set up throughout the vicinity. Either way, the entire society of vagabonds, much like their nomadic forefathers, were prepared to pack up everything and move with only a moments notice. They had done it before, he knew, and they would do it again. They didn't move to follow a food source, though, as their ancestors may have, nor to follow the change in season. No. These people left whatever it is they called home only when their presence caused an uprise at the closest city or town. Not that this happened often, but there were a good number of times that they had been labeled witches or werewolves and had to take their family to a place where no one had ever heard of them and start with a clean and empty slate.

This latest location, though, they had been living at for a good slot of time, seeming to get along well enough with the surrounding civilians. The locals found it easier to merely enjoy the caravan for what it was: a traveling source of entertainment. Many of the small tents that skirted the wagons themselves were not even used by the gypsies for familial tasks or even a home. Instead, these tents were used to hold a private audience with some of the more able of the townsfolk. Inside one could hear giggling or praise or the simple sounds of two lovers in the throes of passion. Some of the gypsy folk sold their bodies, others their wares. Some, though, managed to sell both.

Selling their body did not mean they had to take a romp in the sack with anyone that threw coin their way. Quite the contrary. Their bodies were often a thing of art and were sold through dance or other various venues. Those that took lovers did so for the mere fact that they delighted in it, not for the coin. They took pride in the fact that they were not your typical fare found in the red lantern districts.

He himself tried never to allow himself to fall into the trap that these mysterious groups of people offered, from their delightful smelling smokes that caused beauty to waft visibly in the air to their delightful smelling bodies that caused wonders to speak from ones lips. He came none the less, though, to conduct business at times when he so desired. Tonight, he had been called here.

The woman who called him there stepped out of one of the wagons wearing very little. She saw her body much like the others; her body was a work of art. She had inked many designs of a tribal style along most all of her body. At least, along all of her body that he could see from where he stood. Over the ink, over her flesh, was a sheen that he was not familiar seeing on many others. It sparkled and danced on her, seeming to continue to flow on her body as water would over rocks. As she began walking towards him, their eyes locked. Her hair was bushy and long and the brightest of flames. She was called the Goddess of Blood Lust and she had asked to meet with him without using any words.

“Mechora,” came that delightful voice of his, singing on a breath.

“You know of me. I'm so glad. Come. We shall sit by the fire.” It was if she had not been the one to call him. The business wasn't in her voice. She almost appeared to have no desire to speak with him as she continued walking, stepping past him and continuing to the fire without once looking behind to see if he may be following. He did, of course, without pause as he trailed behind her with his casual and languid gait as if he indeed had all the time in the world.

The fire brought all new joys and visions to him as he approached and stood by the woman's side. Flames licked from their kindling and threatened to blot out the darkening sky with their brilliance. The heat was astounding from where they stood, still a good twenty feet away. Closer still to the fire were groups of men or women, a few of them having slithering bodies slick with sweat dancing to the beat of the drums that could be heard throughout the entirety of the camp. Every now and then a gleam caught his eye as it flicked through the air; coins being tossed into the pot beside each dancer as laughter then followed along with various lewd gestures. One of the dancers in particular caught his eye; a striking vision she was. The way her body moved held the same exotic language as the others, but also defiance towards those that might be thinking of her in particular ways besides that of the art of dance. It was difficult to tell whether more laughter or less was coming from her particular corner in the flames, but it was easy enough to know that she attracted quite the gathering.

“Aensa Xenthrope,” she eased, seeming to catch his roaming eyes. “A fine dancer and talented in many other ways as well. She is good for a little roll in the hay, no?”

“No.” The tone of his voice even startled Mechora as she was taken aback by his lack of interest. How could someone not desire a body like hers?

“Well, no matter. Please, sit. I have much I wish to discuss with you.”

“We will see how much there is to discuss.” And with that he did take a seat at the small table that was pressed flush against the wall of one of the covered wagons facing the burning flames on the bonfire. “You are called the Goddess of Blood Lust, are you not? Where is it you gather this name from?”

She cleared her throat as she finally took a seat on the opposite side of the table, straightening her back which offered a view of a few of the inked designs that hid beneath clothing that stretched away in the movement. “I am. Or, at least, it is the title that they have given to me here in the camp.”

“Various camps, as I have heard. Your name precedes you.”

“Well, I can't say that is because of my own doing.” Her legs stretched outwards before crossing and locking at her ankles, her gaze flitting over the man with a frown as she noticed his own gaze watched only the fire. A slight shrug caused her shoulders to roll before her head followed in order to stretch the muscles in her neck. “It is simply a title.”

“I have heard much otherwise. Please tell me why it is you called me here. You must have been watching me for some time to be able to have the other camps point me in this direction.”

“Not watching, really. More that your name precedes you as well, Investigator.”

“Ahh. Then it is more that you have heard of me than that you were asking for me.”

“When looking for information, I have heard you are the best.”

“But you don't want me to find information for you, do you?”

Her mouth opened, lips twitching, at a loss for words at the moment. It took her a full minute for her to recompose herself, turning to follow his eyes in watching the fire with him as it danced ever increasingly into the sky. “I suppose I don't, no.”

“Honesty begets a strong partnership.”

“Partnership. You flatter me with such words.”

“It is what we are both looking for, I'm sure.” Golden gaze finally flipped from the flames to look at the woman with the flaming bush of hair crowning her head. “So tell me, now, what it is you seek.”

“They do look nice, don't they?” she says quietly, her eyes still watching the women flickering towards the sky much like the flames of the fire.

“Yes they do,” he replied as he allowed his gaze to return to the fire as well.

“Don't they, though.” Her lips fumbled for a moment, seeming to fail in smiling briefly before her gaze returned to the man again, his golden orbs shifting back to her as well. “I am known as the Goddess of Blood Lust due to the fact that bringing others pain gives me great pleasure. Watching their blood flow makes me desire to bathe in it as I allow the lust to take over. It is the reason I have very few lovers. Not many survive encounters with me.” He was silent, though, listening to her words, so her volume shifted lower as she leaned partially across the table where they sat, both hands resting flat against the roughly cut wood. “I had a daughter once, though. The only man I was unable to treat in such a way. Is it possible for a woman like me to fall in love?”

“Love is a very strong word. For as strong as it is, it creates as equally weak people.”

“I would agree with you there, Investigator. I admit that such an emotion made me weak. Blood Lust keeps me in charge. With love, I lost all of who I was, including the respect of all others. I had a bloody daughter!” Her fist slammed on the table and a silence held the attention of the two before she slowly leaned back in her chair, relaxing into her seat once again as she recollected her thoughts. “I'm sorry.”

“No apologies needed.”

“Either way, this daughter of mine can not be out in the world as she is for much longer. I was angry at the time and left her with her father, but it is not the wisest of ideas now that I look back on it now.”

“So you want me to find her?”

“No. Yes. Not in the way you think. She could become dangerous. I would only like you to keep an eye on her and remove her if she seems to be creating too much trouble.”

“And what is it you would consider 'too much trouble'?” His hands clasped together, fingers knitting before resting in his lap neatly.

“I'm leaving that decision up to you, Sir.”

“A wise choice.”

“As well as how to dispose of the problem.”

“An even wiser choice. You play fair. A worthy opponent.”

“I don't need to be an opponent.” And with that she pushed out her chair and stood up, slowly moving away from the table. She turned suddenly back to him, back lit by the fire behind her so she appeared to be merely a silhouette. “What do you require in payment?”

“I will contact you about payment when I feel payment is necessary.” He, as well, moved to stand.

“A fair enough bargain. I'm certain I will be seeing you around, then.”

His gaze drifted back to that one dancer again, Aensa Xenthrope, watching as she bent over to collect the coins that were thrown before her on the ground, scooping them out of the dust and ashes. “I'm certain I will be around, seen or not.”

Once again her gaze followed his before flitting away from them both. “As you desire.” And with that she disappeared back in the quiet of her covered wagon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Niokala: Assassin

His name was Elghrinn and he was a hired assassin. Though the man didn't know who hired him, he was always good at his work. All he was allowed to know know was his task: kill the family and burn down the house. He was to fulfill Mechora's curse, not that he knew that was what he was doing. Tear down the family house and let the family name crumble and die.

How the assassin became involved in this, The Investigator wasn't certain, but he knew there was too much going on to not involve himself as well. It was too tantalizing to keep himself out of the middle of it all or, rather, creating the chaos that was soon about to ensue. Oh, he had some lovely cards lined up just waiting in his hand. And here they were, setting up their own tin soldiers, ready to watch them fall one by one. The man followed behind this Elghrinn fellow, this assassin who was hired to do some devilishly deviant tasks. Nothing, of course, that he would ever do since he had no desire to dirty his hands with such menial labor, but it was a delight to watch. And so, outside the castle walls that night, he sat quiet and still in the shadows, a flicker of gold being all that could be seen when the light of the moon hit his visage just right.

Onward the man walked, keeping to the shadows, perhaps even having them follow him. It all made sense after a minute or two of watching. How delicious! A drow. The man was a concubine of the dark and here he was topside embarking on a terrible mission what? Tear down the house, yes, but he strode with more purpose than that. Could this ninja of the dark have death on his mind as well? They usually did though, didn't they? Death and decay and destruction. It wasn't really his way just to kill for the joy of killing. Everything had a purpose, a reason when he did it. Or so he always believed.

A flash, and there it was. A chain sputtered out of the assassin's arm and a claw went flying before a clank spoke of what it might have hit. Cranking it back, the assassin shot the claw again and again, stones tearing from the wall like chunks of clay. Sentries came running and the claw cut through them like butter. The gleaming caps of the claws became slick with blood before the man would continue with his even pace and disappear indoors. Having seen all he needed to, The Investigator turned and fled from the scene, not for fear of being caught, but merely because inspiration had struck a spark in him and he needed to fuel it quickly before it died out.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Niokala: Escape

As the months steadily grew longer, the man steadily grew more cold deep within his soul. Months became years and all he ever heard from his wife was what they would do about the satanic daughter, about the evil vile creature living in the cellar. He began taking coin for people to traipse through the dank dark below the homestead to view the creature curled in the corner, shivering under her rags. He took more coin for those that wanted to yell at her, beat her, blame all the ills of society on this creature. And he finally allowed his eldest to carve into the flesh of the younger and tear out that vile mark strip by long strip. The wailing was terrible and terrifying, shaking the house and filling the surrounding village with the pain and agony that sat in the voice. It brought more people to the castle wanting to watch, to participate, to be part of the reason the small girl kept crying. It was no wonder she managed to worm her crippled and scared body out of a window and disappeared into the night. And good riddance.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Niokala: Violet

“No, Jordan. This will not do. No, she needs to know her place and this will simply not do. I suggest we remove that marking so she is no longer so special. We should remove that mark so people will stop believing her to be demonic. At least we can hide what she is by making her look normal. No! No, I will not hear you try and stop me. I am going to take Violet with me and we are going to walk into that dungeon and we are going to cut off that terrible looking birthmark. It gives me the willies. I can't stand looking at it. I'm going to have Violet do the honors. She is of a ripe age now and should learn how to start taking care of our dirty work.”

“You can't just have that child go down there and cut into flesh that isn't her right to cut into, Lily! That is cruel and unfair to both of the children.”

“Children! Pah! Violet is a young woman now and she is ready for the responsibilities of the kingdom. As for that thing in the basement, well, perhaps if we remove that terrible marking the devil gave her then we can put her to work and she will stop terrifying the help.” She was right, of course. Everyone was terrified of the child. It had been two years since she was brought into this house, and at six years she should be able to start taking up some duties and chores around the keep. But there she sat in the basement because she was a terror that no one desired to look at let alone deal with.

“Alright. Alright, Lily. You win. But I will not let you go down there. I know how squeamish you can be seeing that girl. Let me take Violet and we will come up with a way to do this together. I'm not fond of your idea of removing the mark. I think there could be some way to hide it.” A great hefty sigh caused his chest to deflate before he worked up the strength to rise from the chair as his wife huffed and spun on her heels to stalk out of the room. She desired nothing more than to be rid of that child. Jordan, though, could only wonder if their little girl Violet would turn out as haughty and needy of power and riches as his mother. A frown played upon his lips as he shook his head back and forth slowly, glancing towards the door swinging on its hinges after her exit.

He began his journey towards Violet's play room where she had a daily play date with a child of a staff member to keep her social as she had no other siblings other than Niokala. Niokala, though, was off limits, even if Violet did ever want to play with her. Which she didn't. Climbing the stairs he began to call. “Violet. Violet, honey. Put down your dolls and say good bye to your friend. You and I need to have a little walk together.”

The response was almost instantaneous as the door pounded the wall on the other side as it was swung open with such an incredible force. “No. You stay right there. And don't move. And don't touch any of my things or I will cut off your little finger again.” Again? Goodness! He hoped this was just some part of a game they played. Children had such wild imaginations.

“Come now, my little angel. Your mother talked me into taking you down to the dungeon and teaching you how to deal with some family business. You don't have to come if you don't want to, honey. I don't want to take you from you games if you are enjoying yourself.”

“Oh daddy, are we finally going to get rid of that little slut?” A slap came hard across her face at that time, causing her jaw to throb. A whimper followed shortly after along with a look of wonder that her father would do such a thing.

“You will not call your sister a slut, Violet. She is still your sister. We are only going to try and help her be more normal looking so people wont be so afraid of her. You be nice, now. She has never done a thing to hurt you.”

“She isn't my sister, father. She is a terrible girl and it is all your fault she is here.” Violet rolled her hand into a fist and punched her father in the thigh before running full strength away from the man with tears in her eyes. All her father could do was shake his head. She was still too young, even if she was six years older than Niokala.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Niokala: Bastard Child

“She is a filthy being and I want her out of the house!” cried the woman, tossing the soiled blanket to the floor in utter disgust as the tip tapping of her feet carried her out of the child's room and into the study where her husband sat. Her shrill voice caused the man's head to throb in the beginnings of a migraine each time he had to listen to her. “She is your illegitimate child and I want her out of this house. She is not even part of this family. Look at her, just look at her Jordan! You take one look at that girl and tell me she isn't the devil incarnate. Look at that terrible birthmark on her body. Daughter of Satan, I say. How could you lay in bed with such a creature? Jordan, are you listening to me? I want her out of this house. I want her gone and never to return or so help me I will turn my back on you and take Violet with me and we will leave you with your devil child.”

“Yes, dear,” was all the man could reply, nodding frequently to her words while trying as hard as he could to tune the woman out. Ever since that child was accepted into the house hold, the entire world had turned upside down, the house filling with a chaos that couldn't settle. Something had to be done, and he had to stand up and take charge in order to do that.

It was years ago when he had his love affair with Mechora. He didn't expect or even think it could end so poorly, but he adored the woman as much as she did he. Even now, if asked, he wouldn't be able to put his finger on the exact time in which he had met the woman, but he knew that it was easy to love her after dealing with his wife here for so many years. And Mechora, unlike his wife he had now, did not adore him for the wealth or the power or the title that came with marrying a lordly king. Or, at least, he was king of his kingdom, even if his kingdom only held one, perhaps two small towns surrounding the area. It wasn't the grandest of kingdoms, but that didn't matter. When he met Lily and married her, she desired it for the plain idea of being called Queen and having her children be called Prince and Princess. Not so with Mechora though. Perhaps her own title kept her from such mortal desires, though.

He never did find out what that title was.

Out of wedlock, they produced a child five years ago. And four years ago, even though the idea of being with each other was absolute bliss, she learned that he was already married and had been since long before their affair, so she pushed the responsibilities of taking care of the child she no longer wished to look at into his lap. He accepted, albeit begrudgingly.

He didn't know why the little girl Niokala looked like she did or why she seemed to upset the household so much. He did know, though, that upon giving Niokala to the family that Mechora cursed the lot of them. Cursed them into destruction and demise where Niokala would see it all and dance upon their graves. Rubbish, he decided, though he did take some caution to the wind.

Ever since, it was as if the entire world had been turned upside down. The child went from being Violet's equal to living in the slave's quarters to slowly being pushed towards the dungeon. Something had to be done to satisfy the household again and let them all live in peace.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mymyk: Master

“My dear, you appear so very sad.” The voice was so gentle, so tender as a hand reached out in her direction, unknown to her. It took to rest upon her shoulder as she sat there, still in the razor sharp grasses that smelled so sickeningly sweet that bile was forced to rise in her throat on many occasions. How long had she been sitting there? Days, perhaps. She couldn't tell.

The woman was silent, though. Her head hung low and the dark crimson had long since turned brown, crusting along her cheeks and under where eyes should have been. Her ebony hair was a wild mess with twigs and leaves stuck in the nest. No reply for the man with the kind words and soft touch, though, as she was just reliving the nightmare over and over again, her mind refusing to allow her any freedom.

“Is anything the matter?” Again the voice appeared concerned as he gave the woman's shoulder a gentle squeeze, offering what comfort he could to a woman that was obviously very distressed.

A hiss flitted past her lips like a small leak in a gas line, waiting to explode. It was just a small hiss that whispered a single word. “Ava,” came the tiny airy whisper from the woman before she seemed to come apart at the seams and just tumble into the man.

“There there, Mymyk. I promised Phimires that I would take care of you and your daughter. Come. Come, my innocent lamb. Come with me.” Caressing her shoulder still, he took his free hand to stroke over the gaunt and malnourished cheek of the woman, pushing aside some of the greasy strings of ebony and tucking them back behind her ears. “What you have been through must have been horrible. Come with me and I will help to ease you out of that nightmare.”

A nod. That was all he needed, any form of affirmation on her part, and that was exactly what she had offered him in such a simple movement. Releasing her shoulder and cheek he parted the cloth away from the package that he carried. It was that simple thin golden ring that he held. The runes glimmered and glowed as the seamless ring appeared to crack and hinge open in order that it may be placed around the woman's throat. Once perfectly in place, a click could be heard as the hinges closed and the seam seemed to vanish and reseal itself away from spying eyes. Then slowly, ever so slowly, to the point where it could barely be noticed, it began to reshape and take form to more readily fit about the woman's throat in a snug manner.

“Mymyk,” he breathed as her feelings, thoughts, and emotions slammed into him like a hurricane. The purr started deep in his throat before becoming a moan that trailed off as his golden eyes opened once more. “I need to be inside of your mind, my lamb. And you need to be inside of mine.” Hands crept to her face, fingers gripping behind her jaw as he pressed his thumbs deeply into the sockets that once held her eyes. Taking in a deep breath his eyes half lidded as his lower lip trembled. The pressure began to ease, slowly, before his hands fell away from her face. “Open your eyes, dear. Open your eyes and give thanks to me.”

Slowly her lids parted and slowly it was apparent to her that she could see again, though she didn't know how nor did she completely care. It was only when her eyes opened and she saw the man kneeling before her in his impeccable clothing so finely dressed that it hit her. Or perhaps it was the slamming of words, his name, what he was to be called into her head that caused her to buckle. Either way her head bowed as she whispered the first intelligible word beyond her daughters name. “Master.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mymyk: Eyes

As soon as she realized what was laying there on the ground, she knew it was too late. Her hands, in near desperate attempt to remove the nightmare that she was just forced into seeing, clapped to her face. She was soon viciously digging and clawing at her eyes until a thin glove of blood coated her fingers. Her face squirmed and contorted in pain as her mouth writhed, opening and gaping, yet the terrified screams of her nightmare were latched silently away, unable to be released. The screams were so tightly wedged that even her own breath refused entry to or past her lips. Finally her knees buckled under her before breaking down and giving way, causing her to topple upon the sweet smelling grass that burned beneath her skin. Quivering fingers finally pulled away, her eyes becoming more sunken, just sockets of their former selves. The blood began beading up like tears as her hands clasped into tight balled fists, shaking. Her visage took on the appearance of someone who had just been attacked by crows.

Her vision, now absent, the feeling of her head tilted upward and she knew she was missing the wings that for so long had blocked the sun's rays as she followed in desperation. The journey was over. She was at the end of the trail and there was no prize waiting for her Her head throbbed as her mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mymk: Ava's Death

He left a trail, of course. One that was easily capable of being followed, especially at first since moving would be difficult for her so soon after birth. As far as the child was concerned, she got the best of care. He allowed her to suckle from the udder of a cow or a goat and kept her warm by holding her each night in his arms. She really was such a precious little thing and his mind continued to play the miracle of her birth over and over again. There was a true adoration for the child and a true joy in watching the girl grow month by month, year by year.

At around her fourth year of life she began exhibiting signs of having the magics of her mother and father, but greatly diminished. And after four years of traveling, she adored the man that cared for her, called him Sir, and never thought it odd that they continued to move. It was how she had lived her life up to that point, so there was nothing odd about it. But it created an irking feeling in him watching how her mind flickered in the years and, even though he tried to teach her the appropriate ways of the world, keep her as an innocent, he really was her biggest influence and there was nothing he could do to subtract him from her life.

Mymyk still followed, of course. She still followed for those four years, stumbling along under blind faith, only eating when someone saw her in her tattered dress and pushed food her way. She only slept when one of the towns she passed through happened to force her into a room. Even then, the sleep was fitful and short, but as soon as her head landed on the pillow she was dead to the world. For years she followed the disappearance of her child, pushing along in dire hopes of finding that which she desired so much. At year nine, it wouldn't be long.

“Ava, you have been a most lovely traveling companion.” The ebony locks of the young woman fell into her face as her head hung at the sounds of his words. After a few moments of thought her head tilted upwards to view the golden eyes she had grown so accustomed to as her tresses parted and fell back with ease.

“Sir? Are we finished traveling, Sir?” Her voice was just a minute squeak of a sound still, tiny and high as she pressed her question.

“We are both finished traveling, yes. But it is here that we must physically part ways.”

“But Sir! I don't want to leave you.” Needless to say, he has been all she had ever known. How could he say such terrible things to her? She didn't want him to leave her all alone. She wouldn't know what to do with herself, and if she didn't know what to do with herself then she was just a waste of life that someone else would be more than happy to use.

“Physically, we must. But you can remain with me, if you like. Your life wont be a waste if you travel with me and allow me to use it. Would you allow me this most great honor, Ava?” The look on his face, that questioning look that seemed so strangely to reflect a deep love in his eyes. And she did love him even if she didn't know what that word was, but the feeling ran through her like a deep canyon, something that could never be buried. She took his hand without another second of thought and held her breath. Finally she offered a short nod that this was exactly what she wanted as little cheeks flushed a great crimson color at the thought of always being with the man who has been nothing but kind to her.

“Do not be scared then, Ava. We will prepare a ceremony, you and I, and you will remain with me forever.” The thought of forever was a blissful one for the both of them as time would have no meaning any longer in the void where the two of them would remain holding hands and traveling to new places together. As he has done many times in the past, something she has seen many times in the past, he drew finger and thumb down in a straight line revealing a needle thin sword after a shimmer died down around it. “You know from viewing, Ava, that this will not hurt unless you struggle. Please don't struggle, child. I don't want to forever remember your fear.”

She was a brave soul as she took a step back from him and threw her head back and arms abducting from her body. She took in the sights and sounds around her before her eyes closed and she relaxed once again. “No, Sir. I wont struggle. I am ready.” And she was. He could see deep into her inner most soul, see all the beauty there and her thoughts of just holding his hand. He could see the adoration, the love, the desire to never leave the only one she has ever met. Perhaps it was not precisely the way he should have taught her, but she was an innocent. He taught her in moments of chaos and she was an innocent. She saw him kill so many times and she was innocent. She helped him to find those who were wasting their life so that he may put them to better use and she was an innocent. She was an innocent as much as he was, for they believed there was nothing wrong with what they were doing, and was there?

“You are not a victim, Ava. Victims deserve death to release them from themselves. Only then can they truly live. You have lived an innocent life. Linked for life, you will come and join me now.” With that being said, the sword gently eased through the little girl's chest where her heart would be. She knew from watching him that this was a beautiful way to join him and not many at all were privileged enough to receive this. Yet here she was, knees falling out from under her as she seemed to deflate, slipping to the ground with a soft grunt before all life was gone from her body. Perfection, even in death. His brother did well.

The sword was replaced into the void where it was taken from earlier in much the same manner before The Investigator took out a small hunting knife. A mid-line cut was made following the muscles on her abdomen, peeling flesh to shortly reveal the more earthen body of muscle and viscera. Once all had been removed, he took what there was of this pale flesh, bundling it up in his arms before allowing his wings, which for nine years have been exposed in a way he never desired them to ever be, and gave them one last flexing tremble before casting himself into lift off. Ten minutes later all that could be heard from town to town was the most grievous wail of a mother having come across all that was left of her child. For even in such a raw form, she knew it was Ava that lay there on the side of that road.