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[P]  Underneath It All

Offline Iesha Apr 16 2020, 11:49 PM
#1
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 99
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Civilian
  • Total Posts: 12
  • Played by: Isilzheha
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Biting, chafing, and dry cold air rolled into the monstrous beast's lungs with labored breath, expelled in frosting puffs that chilled the second the warmth touched the frigid air. Between the jutting peaks of the mountains there was not but a single soul outside of the hag who pulled herself with a limping gait through the thick layer of powder that chilled her to the bone. Not such a difficult feat for the once dead creature who had plenty of it exposed to the elements amidst the thick muscles that rippled across her frame. They tensed and relaxed with the grotesque figure's forward haul, wheezing breath expanding her chest before it caught in her throat and she was forced to hack it out. Such an action jarred her body, spine shuddering as hunched shoulders strained with the movement of her neck upwards to see where the once living wolf had fallen. Claws dug into the tough and slick icy layer beneath the snow, fighting to find purchase as Iesha schlepped up the slope towards her prize. "It died, it fell," she mumbled to herself, "you did not get far. No, no, you wretched little thing you did not." She laughed, the sound tapering into a wet, gurgling cough that echoed throughout the valley just behind the entrance to the cavern she came from.

It always was a harsh contrast to step into the desolate and unforgiving abyss of Snelandia from her rather warm and toasty abode. Among the relentless cold her fire had burned hot, admittedly out of her own frustrations once the supposedly immortal thing had attempted to flee from her hungry jaws. It was a hunger that remained, though one that called for a feeding of different means. Bulbous pink eyes rolled down as she tilted her head to peer upon the light-furred canine, Iesha clicking her tongue as the ever long muscle flicked forward to set against the charred face. The stench of burnt flesh and hair rose into her senses as the body steamed and melted the snow around it, quickly cooling and that was when jagged teeth sank into his calico hide. It would be damaged skin; not even her newfound ability to take it upon her body as if it were her own could help repair it. Not that it mattered to the ghastly hag who shuddered and growled as she tugged with careful precision.

Well, as careful as she actually cared to. Iesha worked loose some of the finer bits around the wolf's muzzle, teeth against lips and paws settled upon the stiff body pinning it down for leverage as she harshly tugged and pulled. It was easier with the body still warm, though the cursed mountain air rapidly stole it away and Iesha found it to be a race against time. It made her work more sloppy than usual, determination growling in her chest as sides heaved with her efforts. Her tongue pushed down in the spaces she created, paw reaching up to scrape claws against the loose flaps and she tasted delicious iron that only added to her eagerness. Curses were uttered in the brief pauses as she flipped the corpse over to keep peeling, Iesha lifting her head back to let out a wet cough that spat red against the white. A rough hum echoed in her throat as if in consideration, setting back to work sawing her exposed teeth where the flesh connected. The grumblings she made were hellishly animalistic, blood squelching and sickeningly sticky noises filtering out into the faint howl of the wind that rolled across the mountains that shielded her. Not entirely, it seemed, as gusts pulled loose snow drifts around her to hiss along the rocks.

Iesha did not bother to count the minutes spent removing the skin, moistened jaws clicking together in several quick successions of her own amusement once she got to where the constructed phylactery once was secured to his body. It had been impacted and shattered, crushed to dust and broken down by the rushing torrent of flames until his temporary immortality was stolen away and his life with it. The skin was off now, the brute reduced to nothing more than a mass of meat. Only unlike Iesha this one was still and lifeless. Worthless, except for her stolen skin she triumphed over. Clutching it in her maw she tossed it up haphazardly to flop over in rolling folds. "Mercy me, immortal man, this does not bode well," she crooned harshly, tongue snaking out to slip inside of the folds in a taunting gesture that reflected her gleeful humor. With that she ducked her head, stepping forward to try rolling the skin upon her head once she had properly aligned it. The hound had been smaller than she, and in no time at all such a fact became apparent the longer she struggled to put the skin on.

She grunted and wheezed, paws scrambling against the stone as she eventually slid to her belly and pushed herself with zest until it finally fell into the right places. At least mostly it did. Iesha coughed again as she stood, rolling her bunched shoulders as her neck reared up as much as it would allow, weight canting to the side as she collapsed against the nearby mountainside wall and began to use it to nudge the skin further onto her back. Part of the mask from the head hung off on one side, only a single eye to be seen when she paused at the approach of a figure from the corner of her perception. Still she leaned against the wall as the lidless eye rolled to fully see the two-legged creature that approached. Hairless and with robes rippling in the breeze, standing taller than she with weapons abound. A man, perhaps, though she could not be for certain with the ever so delicate nature of its features. Her jaws parted and her tongue lolled out as her head tilted in a rather impossible looking angle to get a better observation. "Avert your eyes, boy," she called out in rasping, guttural tones, "don't you know it's rude to watch a lady who is still getting dressed?"
Offline Decha Apr 28 2020, 7:35 AM
#2
  • Snelandia
  • Age: 33
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Western Emperor
  • Total Posts: 19
  • Played by: Rosie
230 Mana · View All Items?
The thing. It was ugly. His face snarled rather instantly, in disgust. It was not just the red fleshy creature but the barbaric way that she pushed herself against and into the skin of another. Another Snee that was his to protect, that had weathered much of the harsh winter terrain so far, until he had come upon the misfortune of meeting this thing. He was addressed, in such an odd way. A show of almost propriety, or a nod to it in a ghastly manner. The man both smiles and snarls to one side of his mouth, the gesture jarring but amusing. He tilts his head, not saying anything. Instead he thinks, that so far is clear.

‘You are not a lady.’ It is perhaps clear in his eyes, but he also thinks it is not best to stoke the aggression in this stranger when instead placating the creature appears placable…in that she did not meet him with immediate hostility, just discomfort.

“You seem a woman dressed to me,” he says instead. His face is near stoic as always, except for the hardness in his eyes, the thought on his brow. And the large shadow that soon also engulfs him that his Chet, the wooly mammoth bear that had been following just a little shortly from behind. Giving him the space and absence of a load upon his back to better aid the bear in digestion from his last kill. The blood still a little drizzled on its maw. Chet does not exercise the same restraint. The pale honeyed bear sensing the threat and his companion’s discomfort instantly, wears his head down. Agitated but still in place. A sign of intelligence or domestication. “Enough Chet,” he says, as he feels the warm breath upon his neck. He does not say anything further in courtesy, or in hostility.

His stance, and being there is enough to suggest otherwise though. He is watching, he is waiting. A deterrence to venture further north, or east to his people- like a security guard at a store. A patient still presence, a hostile mammoth bear.

The glass emperor does not even move to sign to his vassal of mercy, as he sees her come into view in the harsh thick fog air but something in his eyes and the muscles around his brows seem to gesture towards the meat thing. Either a signal to keep an eye (and perhaps an arrow) pointed towards her, or inquire her thought.
Offline Iesha May 11 2020, 6:23 PM
#3
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 99
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Civilian
  • Total Posts: 12
  • Played by: Isilzheha
255 Mana · View All Items?
Growling, snarling, huffing and puffing. All of it contributed to the struggle the dire encountered in getting the pelt exactly where it needed to be. On her body to protect her from the cold, even with all its holes and its tattered bits. Iesha let out a crooning groan as her shoulder rolled against the cold stone beside her. Claws scraped and clicked in comedic rhythm with the kicking of her limbs even as exposed bone protested to the shift in weight. Her toothy snout dripped freezing saliva, moisture both collecting and dissipating the moment it arrived. It left her throat feeling chafed, among other parts of her to join it. Her neck ached with a pinching of muscles between the shoulders, Iesha only pausing in her wrestling with the stolen skin when another joined her. However long he had been standing there she could not say for sure, but it stilled her where her weight pushed up against the expanse of the mountains.

Together they eyed one another, visibility decreasing with more distance spread around them into the depths of this snow-covered wasteland. Iesha coughed, a retching sort of noise, and grumbled to herself with a toss of her head. The skin flapped, blood mingling with blood, and with a shuddering step the hag pushed herself from the stone wall. He looked disgusted and didn’t seem appreciative of her tone. ‘You seem a woman dressed to me.’ She laughed with the sound gurgling in her throat, head twisting around to the other side with jaws parted in permanent snarling grin. He was baby-faced and hardly looked threatening, not as much as the massive form that joined them before Iesha could even speak up. Rude, rude. She would know. She smelled the blood, it intermixed with the kind she spilled already and the rot. Luckily the cold helped such matters, at least quelling it to something… tolerable.

Iesha had stopped noticing after all of this time. When the other dire spoke the hag almost expected it to be in the folding fingers and sweeping hands of the others she had seen here. Her breath wheezed as she drew it in, body tilting this way and that with ambling steps that brought her closer to the small drop where the boy stood in the snow. “Chet, Chet,” she parroted, mimicked, her voice breaking the more she tried to get it to rise. “What is the matter, you two?” she rasped, neck twisting to send her head to the side so that she could look at the larger than life bear. Iesha snickered, dropping down into the drifts with uncanny movements.

What do you know of women, boy,” she asked, teeth clicking together in an abrupt series of biting empty air. The muscles rippled and flexed, pulling and contracting with a shudder and a sigh. Iesha didn’t press into the other wolf’s space just yet, not that way, but her lolling tongue began to lift from where it hung. Instead of scraping the surface of the powdery snow it started to elongate. Pustules and warts decorated its length as it seemed to go on and on. Like a serpent it slithered through the air with a purpose, slapping wetly and quickly around the hand of the other dire. Touching while being a few feet away. Iesha let it slither up around his wrist to cinch tightly around his forearm, tugging and pulling taut to send him off balance before the muscle reeled back quickly. “Aside that you look like one, heh,” she barked with a laugh and poorly enunciated tones now with her tongue wagging, a sudden inhalation of breath sending her into another fit of coughing.
Offline Decha May 16 2020, 5:30 AM
#4
  • Snelandia
  • Age: 33
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Western Emperor
  • Total Posts: 19
  • Played by: Rosie
230 Mana · View All Items?
He was not sure exactly what he was seeing as he looks, seeing the red dire made up of muscles, sinew, bones and not much else struggling to pull herself into the skin and fur of another that she had killed. He can smell it in the air, in the blood. It is a fresh. There is both a mix of pity and easily accepted apathy, there is not much one could do for the dead. Not much one could do in predicting or fending one’s self from whatever creature is before him although it looks like a dire. It is not a safe or welcoming landscape, in any degree – either by exposure, the beasts that snap up from the ground to the east of here or the Corzyans that wished to sell them for coin. Otherwise it would be better to stay within the hidden walls of either of the dynasties. Although he is an elusive emperor, he is not one that hides or remains there, it seems his burden than to find curiosities when he is looking for them among the snow.

Is it wrong that he is glad he had not met her first when she was without the skin?

It raises so many questions of how she has lasted so long.

Her raw form stands out against the snow, if not already from the hacking coughs and the abnormality of ‘dressing’ herself than being already coated in fur.
’Chet, Chet,’ she spoke in the same fashion. It got a rise from the bear very quickly as his maw grizzled and pulled back show teeth with his head down low like a guarding hound, as the dark but intelligent eyes met her as she tracked, as her head lolled this way and that. Though he held his ground for now, for now. But it did not appear that there would be too much funny business that the creature would tolerate now in the way of a wrong movement that may prove uncertain or a threat to the Emperor. If she decided to poke the bear, if you will. Decha does not dismiss this hostility in the bear as it slides into this instinct, he may need it yet, although he does not take or make the show of ill will himself.

“How did you get here?” he asks, as both chin and brows raise although the spear does not join the two, yet. It is important information, if he can gather any hint. If there were more, if he should be worried. Or a disease going around. Close enough, he decides it from the smell that wafts of her even if it is mixed so differently with rot and blood. She is not a Snee, maybe that too is a relief.

It is an insult that she says next, or a talking down to, not meaningful really apart from the way she says it with her rough voice ‘boy,’ and clicks her teeth in a lecturing air. He does not say too much to this, except that now he thinks she thinks simply from her take in his long hair. It is not a guess he had not already made before, as he tilts his head up inquisitively. More ease in the deliberate body language to communicate his feelings to this, where words are regarded as less precious out here in the blistering wind and cold.

She is sad looking, though with her pathetic pace her tongue oozes long from her mouth before it reached itself out towards him. Maybe if she was one in the Dynasty, someone diseased there he may have extended her more sympathy if he could keep her as subject for further study but out here, survival was the thought on the forefront as the tongues slaps around his hand and wrist, he instinctively reels back in disgust at the unknown thing and the hints of disease and unhealthiness that is on the body as it grabs at him, as she tugs at him, compromising perhaps his balance before he pulls again in what happens in a mere second before the harsh guttural sounds of a throat deep as a body is wide are made as the bear lunges forward with his mouth to bite at the long extended muscle snapping only instead the cold biting air of the North as Iesha reels her tongue back. Eyes are dark, and empty of domestication, only the primal as Chet turns his pale albino head.

Decha is speechless at once, although it is not unknown for the Emperor of Glass. The Emperor who watches his people from afar like he is not one of them, as they have already pointed out in their whispers or the curious gouging he receives at court. At the tongue, the bear, and whether he now has to worry about disease affecting both Chet and himself. Decha makes a sound that is quite bear like himself before the Albino Mammoth bear appears groan in something that sounds like acknowledgement to an alpha, of another beast standing down. As cold eyes turn up at the meaty one who calls herself a lady again. Instead now he smiles. Maybe because he is nervous, amused or has seen he has lost control of the situation. Likely it is a mix of the three, “you still look cold,” he says. The words sound almost strange on his tongue, not because he does not know how to speak the familiar tongue or is well versed in it. He has proven that already, from what he has learned from their indigenous traders. It is strange because there is still something that lingers there ominous in words and tones that appear reaching to be docile, comforting.

He wipes off the saliva that has gathered on his hand, around his wrist on his own collected and made furs and skins, unashamed of his need to do so in her presence. The one that believes him pretty as a woman. “You will find no warmth here, why not roam in the mainland’s greener mountains? I am surprised you have made it this far,” he says this truly for out of all the places of the icy north she choses where the winds screech and cry the hardest. "Or search the choppy waters for seals," their fat would be better for the sheltering in, a similar practice that he had seen with the bigger fatter sea creatures to protect one's self from the cold. For human Snees, foreigners that have managed to get that far or if for some reason it grew to be that cold. Of course also, the peeled one could also die, but that too was of course a reality that Glass Emperor could accept. It would save him for having to do it himself.
Offline Iesha May 20 2020, 4:56 PM
#5
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 99
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Civilian
  • Total Posts: 12
  • Played by: Isilzheha
255 Mana · View All Items?
A spear in the hand and a dumbfounded look signified a boy who didn’t know what he was doing, no, Iesha didn’t think anything good or bad about the mortal before her. She had died then come back, though she hadn’t been granted the same existence as before. Iesha would have to be satisfied with the placement of the stolen pelt, her focus now shifted to the native who stood and watched her down the ledge as if he had nothing else better to do. Some other presence lingered in the distance, watching and waiting, yet not as prominently as the bear. Large, sagging lips peeled back from the beast’s teeth when Iesha parroted the name she heard, teeth clicking and neck swaying with its crimp in the muscle of her shoulders. An irritable ailment that prevented her from lifting her head up all the way. The hag made do, crown twisting from one side to the other as she dropped into the drifts and felt the bite of the cold beneath the pelt still.

She didn’t care for the bear, she didn’t care for the cold, she didn’t care for the wolf who stood in the skin of the people. Iesha’s jowls dripped, blood crystallizing on her muscular frame as she stalked her way just close enough to be on the same level. Her head turned and her eye found the boy’s face. What did they call them here? Snees. Said with a sneer by many and far more colorful terms to be attached, Iesha had heard it all once upon a time. From who, from what, the faces all faded into the blackened ether of her mind. ‘How did you get here?’ Iesha laughed again, the hag’s maw of shard-like teeth clacking and snapping. The laugh drifted into a growl, a snarl that rolled deep within. “I walked, stupid boy,” she hissed, saliva trailing from between her teeth, “with my legs. These legs I stand on, yes, the ones you can see.

When her tongue snapped out, tasting the frigid air and soon the flesh of the other dire it urged the mammoth bear into action. Iesha snickered all the same, bony tail swaying behind her as if she were pleased with the aggressive charge. The tang of his flesh was instantaneous, as was the reflexive reaction to pull away. Iesha’s throat gurgled as the tongue started to retract and her head with it to tug against him. He didn’t fall, or stumble, before the hag released him. The bear missed by inches with his snapping jaws and hulking frame towering over her. The dire groans, like a wailing phantom, then coughs in the challenging face that hovered so close. “No harm, no foul, not yet, Chet,” she croons, though it wasn’t as comforting as one might think.

She stared the creature down with one eye, no fear to be felt for what might come at the ripping of those paws. Come on, then, her look said, all toothy grins and wagging tail. No matter the expression it was always the same. Even in the depths of bulbous eyes it was hard to pinpoint exactly what the hag was thinking. Her tongue slipped forward again, the boy grunting and making his noises to call the pale behemoth back. Almost touching the wet nose that huffed hot air against her, Iesha instead slapped the muscle over her eyes to wet them. “Cold? I look… cold?” she mimicked, rattling breath ominous in its rise of energy when the skinless hag jerked her head around towards the other wolf. “You look warm. Comfortable.” Useless observations were returned with just as much useless information, Iesha starting to close the distance between them now.

Iesha watched him remove the saliva and pus from burst boils, ridding the sensation of bumpy warts and writhing muscle. She couldn’t be insulted, though she felt as if perhaps in another life she might have been at such displays of disgust. The wolf crept closer still, the snow pushed around her as the pelt started to fall into place. It was an odd sight to watch to one who might not know the corrupted magic, the aura that pulsed within. The skin seemed to flex and tremble, rippling like water to start adhering to her exposed muscle and the flesh beneath the pelt. It stuck to her in ways it shouldn’t have normally, still torn in some spots and hanging open to reveal patches of the truth. It folded around her muzzle, covering most of her teeth and fitting around her eyes. Ears flicked where once the cartilage had been still, Iesha coughing as she stopped inches away while the boy spoke. ‘I am surprised you have made it this far.

Lips wrinkled, still an odd shape with the way her teeth had mutated, but they had movement unlike before. It was uncanny, just not quite right and not entirely wrong. “Are you a poet, boy? You speak such pretty words, you do, yes. The choppy waters, the greener mountains… it sounds so delightful,” she spat, sneering and growling and hacking when spittle caught in her throat. “Are you not able to say it outright? That you want me to leave? Oh, would that be too much for you, child?
Offline Decha Jul 2 2020, 5:44 PM
#6
  • Snelandia
  • Age: 33
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Western Emperor
  • Total Posts: 19
  • Played by: Rosie
230 Mana · View All Items?
She would be right in evaluating that he didn’t know what he was doing- he did not. He had not come across a being like this before, stripped of fur, stripped of skin. Nothing but muscles, bones and sinew. Violent and sickly. He would have loved to leave her with some of his trusted tacticians or zoologists to study her unorthodox biology, and find out whatever magic or ritual that still bound the limbs together with life. But he would not be seen with something as distressing as the other dire, if he were to return with her to the dynasty. Even more foolish was the idea, after seeing what it was capable of, of its desire for skin.

’I walked, stupid boy,’ she says with a raspy voice, it does not answer his question perfectly, but it answers it enough that he knows now it would be useless.
Her tongue snapped out to pull around his arm, for what rhyme or reason, it doesn’t seem to make sense and he remains ever curious still of the patterns of her behaviour or instincts. It is becoming clear though that perhaps there is none.

She tries to coddle the bear with the words after he roused from the sudden movement of her tongue. He had huffed before in her presence. Hot air escaping in puffs from the round nostrils but now instead he is absolutely silent, and he waits. His eyes seem to be more watching the emperor instead of Iesha ahead of him, for any signs of permission or reason to move forth even as the other wolf might have inspired greater attention by other predators. In the frozen tundra, she looked like a walking open supply of meat in a place that was often filled with hunger.

She moved closer to him still, it caused a hand to flinch and hold his spear tighter, with the sight also of the skin and fur that moved and melded with her body. Somewhat unsettling, what troubles him more though is implications of other possibilities, others out there that might be suffering from the same condition. Even now he worries if this is another unknown, unexamined effect of the Blackening.

The words he speaks he doesn’t mean to speak so pretty. Descriptors had always been important when talking about location in a terrain that was mostly white, foggy and cold, although if she has offended him there is no sign of it.

But his eyes do flash with a glare that holds venom when she chides him for his lack of directness. When he half scowls and smiles in a way that shows his teeth, his eyes darken. “Then go,” he roughly grunts, as he lifts his spear up and for a moment jeers it towards her, stopping short. Like he's animating what he wishes to do...or where he wishes her to go. A last warning. Although he prepares himself for the worst if she instead wishes to engage. “You know how to walk.”

The mammoth bear's head hangs low but he raises up by the nose as a dark heavy throated sound escapes through a thick and rumbling chest.