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[P]  The Wretched

Bacalou Mar 17 2020, 10:12 PM
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December 25th, 1475


Positions shifted constantly, thrones overturned with the right touch and crowns knocked from the heads of false kings and queens alike. Things had been no different here when what remained of the Verdoem set their sights beyond the eximius' island of exile to where the lost and the damned trickled amidst Vanderhal. Whether they wound up on the jagged shores of the connected isles by happenstance or whether they purposefully staked claim, it mattered not to the mutated beast who rose to the challenge. And what a challenge it was. Bacalou could still taste the Khan's blood on his teeth, feel his skin beneath his claws, and pieces of that worthless whelp were now forged alongside those of others deemed the most esteemed of opponents. Worthless in many ways, the way Giruvagans sequestered themselves away in hopes of keeping their traditions and their bloodlines safe. The Khan had been worthy in that regard only in that he had proved to be a valiant warrior. Still he was crushed like all the others beneath a forceful heel.

Beheaded and slaughtered in front of his own people, Bacalou stealing the throne that would be slowly built on the bones of all those who so generously donated them. Now came the culling, the separation of the useful and the useless. He was finding so many of the latter, and so little of the former. Days had passed now since the downfall of the Khan, bested in combat and left to rot with those who chose to ignore the rightful triumph of the hyena who so proudly walked amongst them now. Above them in every way, his demands not one to ever be denied lest they fall on the wrong side of his wrath. Yellow eyes burned with a fierceness as they found the faces of those he had called to gather. From their homes they were ripped, forced to bend the knee and pledge their fealty or be ground into the dirt where they all inevitably belonged. Not all of them were reluctant, surprisingly enough, and many met his gaze with hardly a challenge within them. Respect might be the kindest word for it, and change would be soon to follow. It would be as inevitable as the Verdoem had been in their arrival and their conquering, for as slight as it might have been. New beginnings, as they say.

Bacalou had much to work with. Warriors eager to please and eager to wet their blades in conquests of their own, and the exi's chest swelled with the pride of it. His tribe had fallen at his own hand and that of his laksman, but from their ashes would be born something far more menacing. Nostrils flared as he surveyed the next round of those chosen to undergo the Trials, taking in the stench of burning bodies and the smoke that came with it. It intermingled with the sweat and the blood, a few having fought back against those who decided to lay their lot in with the Khan. Bacalou had given them only a day or so to prepare, and as he spoke with each one of them they began to disperse with their newfound orders. Black lips curled upwards in a sneer that bared yellowed fangs, tongue slipping out to drag wetly across his scarred muzzle as tattered ears twisted and pulled upon his head.

The Koning's attention fell upon the next in line, a woman of dark brown hair and a collection of stories of her own etching themselves upon her upturned face. Bacalou stared at her, the way her chin rose and despite her size she filled her space just as much as any of the others before her. He didn't care much for modesty, letting his eyes roam across her body, the portions that were not currently covered that is. Scarlet eyes glowed with two pinpoints of clarity, a well-known darkness swirling within that caused the hyena to let out a low, growling laugh from his chest. Dirtied and scarred, a tell of many battles fought whether they were won or not, Bacalou's muzzle dropping as he towered over her. "Tell me your name," he demanded, accented tones rumbling in a deep baritone. "And how you came to be here."
Offline Sullivan Mar 19 2020, 1:06 AM
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"S..So...you aren't worried, Miss..?"

It was the most he'd spoken to her in a long time. As long as she could remember that she'd been here. Her own story of coming here was still developing, and had begun with an uncertain hand. As it should have, and she expected no less of the Khan than to prefer his people be mindful of just who she was. Many had prohibited themselves from having much to do with her at all and this was fine, because Sullivan did not have much an interest in the nation as to become a part of them, socially present and politically invested. She was here for reasons she will not say, but it certainly wasn't for that. It was why she lived in the outskirts, away from them but close enough to use their stables, their smithies, their resources if she happened not to have them already for herself.

And then there was the defiant boy who'd been checking on her frequently. With wide eyes, clearly curious, attempting to make himself well hidden despite how she knew he was there in a myriad of ways that would astound him. He seemed harmless enough though, and she'd let him follow her as though she were none the wiser. Across the valleys as she hunted, and she'd "eat her fill" and leave cooked morsels behind--of course, because she knew he was there and would have gotten far more hungry trying to keep up than she'd gotten.

But now..he was brazenly front and center, right on her heels, the panic palpable. Things were changing she could tell, she'd heard of the bloodbath, cruel and sudden. He'd clung to her more in these coming days than he had ever been so willing to before. She briefly wonders if it's just to take his mind off of things, or if something has happened to one or both of his parents and she's the only plane of normalcy he has left. "Worried. Why?" She answers him so easily as the ax comes down to split yet another upright log, ripped from the stump and another placed in the path for a cleave. He was taken aback by how simple her tone reached him, like some barrier between them had finally collapsed. She talked like they'd spoken many times before, or like they'd known one another for ages. For him, of course, he's only just revealed himself to her.
"the trials..I mean. What if something happens to you.." a hard swallow temporarily stunted his response. "Do you worry I will be killed?" It's a loaded question, because despite her present muted behavior, Renepault wasn't going to be put down by any man, woman or creature. A silly thought! And the boy fed into that assumption, stammering his response as he worried that he'd been caught in some place where he'd be punished for challenging her fortitude. Instead, though, she lifts from the chopping block and turns to him, a small snuffing of the fire in her eyes. "It's sweet that you worry.." and she leaves him to process that unexpected reaction, lifting up the ax once more and splitting through the wood.

Culling.
It was a culling, mass murder. Bodies fed to the fire and distracting the minds of those who were poised in line. Not because they had never seen such things, smelled such things, but because these were their own people. People they knew, almost-recognizable faces half melted in the fire, staring back at them. As for Sullivan, she knew no one here in great excess, but their deaths were considered unfortunate. For all her notoriety, Sullivan portrayed no symptoms of a tyrant when it had come to her people. The ones who disagreed with her could do so, but they were unable to change her mind. And the ones who were weak, were simply not sent to war. There was only one head she'd wanted, and one species she had wanted to punish.
She fought for freedom, not for power.
This was most certainly not the case here. And even if her time here is temporary--she cannot know how invested she is in the new management--she knows that, eventually, savagery will breed a savage counterbalance. Gilead had a way of acting in such a way, and from what she'd seen Giruvaga was certainly the place for it to sprout up.

It was best to be rid of the mandated arrival as soon as possible so that she could resume life as it was before--in a self-maintained quarantine, an exile almost. So she does, and winds up somewhere near the front of the line as opposed to many who had perhaps chosen to drag their feet. When she reached him, it was the first time she had seen him. Her head held high as always, never was it not, her eyes a steady flickering flame. Size was of no consequence to her, ever. She was neither eager to please nor eager to displease, no more than a tigress was thinking of performing in the circus. She simply is, as always. And when he looks over her, rather than feel disgusted or violated, she merely does the exact same to him. She doesn't return the bought of laughter, however. She was willing to attribute it to being out of context, and move on.
He command for her to give her name, so she does. "Sullivan Renepault." no bells or whistles to it, no titles, nothing more than what was directly asked of her. The language he chose to speak to her in was not her first one, and rather than fumble on words, Sullivan has long since learned to simply cut idle chatter wherever remotely possible. This simultaneously blended very well with her overall personality and what she thought of wasting time in general.
As for how she came here...far too large a window to get any one answer he's looking for. A long history, none of it really here nor there. So she says what she thinks is important. "An open-ended question. I was impeached. So now I am here. Likely the same way you have come here, merely..different intentions." quite clearly.
Bacalou Apr 4 2020, 11:21 PM
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Hatred and pain, fear and sadness. It ran in tandem, twisting and tying itself into so many knots within the eximius left upon the claimed isles. They were eager to please and eager for vengeance. He could see it in some of their eyes when they looked at him, and Bacalou had seen it countless times before. Within his own tribe even, though he had just as sooner gouged their eyes from their skulls for it. He would not be so foolish as to pretend he did not need them for his own ambitions, goals already set from decades of searching for something more and something powerful. There were still plenty who held no ties to those who had already perished, now burning in the pits where their lifeless bodies had been dumped, and it was those who held his attention. Bacalou and Inteus would dwindle them down, whittling away at the frayed edges until they could be conformed into something to their liking. There had been freedom and fierce loyalty to the Khan and to Giruvaga before the hyena and the butcher came here, there was no mistaking that. What Bacalou offered would be more, something better and stronger, and far more free than it had been before. Sacrifices would need to be made to achieve what the new Koning set out to do, and thus the Trials would commence.

This one didn’t back down, didn’t quiver, and he did not see any of that hatred and pain within her scarlet eyes. She stood as a sentinel, like some of the others, but Bacalou could see something else within the aloofness. Disinterest, perhaps, or something entirely mechanical. Either way, Bacalou did not intend to dwell on niceties and this fact was voiced in the means of a demand. ‘Sullivan Renepault,’ she answered simply with accented tones, a rumble echoing in the hyena’s chest as he committed it to memory. Just like all of those before her. Bacalou’s brow lifted expectantly, but she only took a moment to formulate a response. ‘An open-ended question. I was impeached. So now I am here. Likely the same way you have come here, merely..different intentions.’ His ears twisted back as he let that sink in, teeth exposed in a sneer that bordered on a vicious grin. Bacalou tilted his head as he looked upon her, gaze unwavering. “Not the same,” he countered, a bite to it that clicked his teeth when his jaws came back together.

He scrutinized her further, not in hopes of making her skin crawl or to drag forth whatever apprehension might be there. That would likely be a wasted effort on his part, and he did not wish to toss away such time. “So tell me then, Sullivan Renepault, what these other intentions are. What do you seek in being here?” he asked after a moment of his own silence, as to the point as she seemed to desire. Bacalou appreciated it as compared to some of the others and their ramblings, their prideful monologues when asked such questions to better suit the Trials for them. It would make things far easier.
Offline Sullivan Apr 10 2020, 5:31 PM
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She deemed his response (both the words and the emote) to her assumption on how he's come here very telling, so she does not bother continuing down that train of thought. Sullivan seldom speaks without reason, and therefore should she find her question answered early on there was no need to indulge. If she was moved by the snap of his jaws, whether by aggression or wariness, it's impossible to tell. She remains before him despite it, her gaze unwavering. Her place in space was a constant no matter the ones who were around her. It was often jarring, this unyielding personality that maintained itself without adjustment; neither serf nor queen, because the outside labels infinitely eluded her. It was how she'd become all that she had been, after all. The more civilized would consider her antisocial in that regard, tearing down threads of communication almost by instinct.

“So tell me then, Sullivan Renepault, what these other intentions are. What do you seek in being here?” Far more direct this time, a question without that many answers. Of course, one could find amusement in the question because the context made it sound as though she had come here after him, standing as a new recruit of Giruvaga and not a person who'd arrived nearly 5 years ago, but she doesn't dwell on it. "I sought to live here." she tells him as exact as possible, "If I'd wanted more than that, Giruvaga would have been the first to know years ago." Because there was nothing physical that stopped her from going to war yet again, especially not if it was to claim a new home as her own. It wasn't a laurel she needed because the job that she'd wanted any control for had already been done--at least, for now.