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[O]  Somnambulance

Offline Baal Apr 24 2020, 11:06 PM
#1
  • Corzya
  • Age: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 10
  • Played by: Sbicy
225 Mana · ?
Baal wakes up staring at his own reflection.

The dark sea water is disturbed by the dock that shudders with every heavy footstep that pounds against the wet, swollen wood. It creaks and moans, each piece worn and held together by clusters of barnacles. His mind is slow to catch the fleeting awareness of himself, reluctant to settle back into his skin. Disconnected, he merely blinks at the distorted image of his face below, waiting to feel his limbs again. His nerves heat like a young fire, turning the coals over and catching the tinder as the sweat on his brow drips and rolls down his nose. The sun is bearing down on his pallid skin, bringing a flush to his lips and his cheeks. His hair is matted from sweat, bare arms sticky from the salt on the wind. The next jostle of the dock is enough to return him, awareness focusing with a sudden and painful clarity as the activity of all that surrounds him beats on his skull. A ship is tethered to the wood, its crew bringing in its bountiful haul.

Pirates pulls links of people on chains to the slaving market, and others in pairs move large crates to assorted piles. His nose twitches, sampling the contents of the boxes as they pass. Sweet fruit and silk, warm from the heat of the day, and a familiar, musky animal scent of his own kind. Though the Culling was years past, many wealthy still hungered for the rare and exotic pelts of fallen demi-gods.

Finding the hustle and bustle to be too much for the walking-sleep he just awoke from, he pushes himself to his feet. In his human flesh he is slight and unassuming, the blue of hie eyes sticking out bright and pale against the red and pink of his eyelids. He looks sickly, thin, and hardly able to lift his own arms. Alas, appearances are quite deceiving as he is a hound of the hunt, and his strength comes from his speed.

Baring his teeth at a broad woman that shoulder-checks him on her way by with heavy sacks over her shoulders, he knows better than to start anything. Cassian would have his hide, and that would be the least of the terrible things that she could do to him as punishment.

The dire weaves through the crowds, looking for a fixation to pull him away from the headache that gnaws on his temples where the metal has grown hot. His hair is not enough to shield it from the heat, irritation rising that pulls up his fingers to scratch at the spot with agitation. Growling low, he manages to free himself of the high-traffic areas, brows arching up and tongue wetting his dry, cracked lips at a flock of seagulls that peck at the ground nearby. Checking his pockets, he does find that he has some leftover bread from this morning before he began to sleepwalk. Breaking it apart, he kneels down and begins to toss them crumbs. The animals are used to picking up scraps left behind, as well as the vast amounts of people that walked to and from the docks. Their fear is nonexistent as they venture closer and closer, lead by the snacks he offers before one of them is close enough to grab around the neck.

It squalls, but his hold is vicious and crushes its throat in an instant. Its struggles have not quite ceased before he brings it to his mouth and bites right into its belly, spitting the feathers from his tongue and repeating until he gets to the red of its guts.

Satisfaction in such a small meal was not the goal, so much as it was something that he could focus on while he collected his bearing. Blood dribbles down his chin, dripping onto his shirt as he moves back to the dock and sits. No one bothers to look his way, as he hardly appeared the type that wouldn't eat a live seagull for an afternoon snack. He digs inside of it with his fingers, removing some of the organs that would make him sick to eat, before he feels someone's eyes upon him. Baal's memory is no good, so he does not remember names or faces unless they are majorly present in his life. The young eximius staring at him is not a familiar one.

"What? You want some?" He holds out the gutted bird toward him, his grin pink and teeth stained with gore.
Offline Eirik Apr 28 2020, 9:26 AM
#2
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 115
  • Played by: Day
85 Mana · View All Items?
They’d docked at some busy city along the coast of Gibrantt. It was the closest Eirik had been to his original location since they’d first snatched him up off that nameless rocky beach. Even so, finding it would have been a needle in the haystack situation. And it wasn’t his thought to leave. He relished in the chance to stretch his legs upon land, to take in all of its messy sights and sounds…even if it did come with a rather sad procession of slaves. These weren’t “their own” but, it seemed, from another slavers’ ship upon the docks. Eirik makes his way past them, sparing them a glance or two. Their eyes are mostly trained on the ground. But for one, a girl, eyes still bright underneath her messy hair, the defeat and despair upon her face a tragedy to witness in one so young. He’s distracted for a moment until he hears the sound of a sharp voice behind him, his ear tilting.

“Gotta be done.”Eirik’s eximius guard comes up behind him. “‘Least the pup’s still with her mother, eh?”

He’s not really in the habit of engaging the members of the Rembrandt in conversation unless it was clear he had to. So he says nothing, just crimps his lip a bit and turns away. The eximius remains unbothered. With a spoken prompt he leads him away. “Come on then. Out in front. Try anything and you get back on the boat.” He was an efficient handler, calm, gave off the impression of experience. Erik follows indeed, slightly from the front, as they enter the various streets of the city to fulfill the pirate’s checklist. Mostly he leaves him to look about on his own without the need to speak, which suits them both just fine.

They come away from the main markets, into a more secluded wing. It smells strongly of fish. There are smaller, seedier docks here, full of sloops or fishing boats or the like. As his guard goes to speak with someone — some kind of transaction or another — Eirik wanders about its length until he comes across a peculiar figure huddled in front of some seagulls. The boy looks sick. He could see it from here. Lanky with pale and somewhat patchy hair. Usually, he’d just leave it at that, ’til the boy strikes out with a hand to grab one of the gulls.

Eirik’s eyebrows furrow as he watches him gore the thing. With his own teeth no less. He was no stranger to violence in nature, particularly when it came to consuming things — wolves and cats eating their prey alive, maggots crawling in things not-quite-dead, dead birds affixed to a deer’s antlers — but ’twas jarring to see in a supposedly civilized area. He even watches him rummage around in its open stomach for strings of intestine and bird-liver. Eirik wrinkles his nose.

Unfortunately the thing sees him. Eirik glances back at his guard who, with a quick look toward him every once in a while, assures him that he is still watching. If he saw the sickly boy with gull guts dripping down his face, too, he didn’t react.

The boy holds up the red stained bird.

“You’re going to get worms,” Eirik tells him.
Offline Baal May 11 2020, 5:08 PM
#3
  • Corzya
  • Age: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 10
  • Played by: Sbicy
225 Mana · View All Items?
Baal tilts his head at the stranger that stops to stare at him, catching the dire’s distant attention. His fingers pick at the delicate bones of the bird’s rib cage, snapping them easily with a hard pinch and pushing them apart to find the tasty bits. His mouth and teeth were smeared in blood, tongue flicking at the spaces between to lick at the clinging gore.

Finally, the eximius speaks, not confirming or denying his offer. Baal snorts in amusement at the words, sucking the meat from a thin bone before tossing it into the water.

”Thanks, doctor body-snatcher.” His tone is sarcastic, eyeing the young man and the larger one that accompanied him. A body guard maybe? No, that didn’t make any sense, unless he was a free-roaming slave. That didn’t make any sense either. Did he just pay him to stand there and look intimidating? ”Worms ain’t killed me yet.” With that, he grabs the small heart with his nails and pops it into his mouth. He likes how chewy the muscle is.

With a strange deftness that lacks grace, he hops from the beach up onto the dock, the wood creaking beneath his feet as his weight settles. He strides up to the slaver, nose working as he leans close to get a whiff of him. Vaguely familiar, in some aspect, but he can’t place it. A lot of the people here mingled enough that their scents were all over each other, making it near impossible to tell them apart.

”What ship you from? I ain’t seen you around before. You new competition?” Not that he could remember if he’s seen him before, but the prospect of fresh faces has him giddy. He loves competing and making Cassian happy. Really, though, who doesn’t like to win?

Baal examines the traffic on the docks again, tossing the corpse of the seagull onto the beach--where a flock of them swoops to pick at the remains. ”That’s some beginner’s luck if that’s your haul.” He comments, unable to see the name of the ship from the distance they are at.
Offline Eirik May 11 2020, 10:35 PM
#4
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 115
  • Played by: Day
85 Mana · View All Items?
He can see that the stranger’s teeth had been dyed the red of fresh blood, the excess pooling between teeth and lip. Eirik’s nose wrinkles. “Thing about worms is they kill you slow.” He again takes in how thin and sickly the stranger was. Pale and patchy. Flesh a sallow tone. Raw fingers and limp, shaggy hair. Had a crazed look in his eye too. “Looks well on their way if you ask me.”

This didn’t seem to disturb him. He devours the bird’s heart, too. There were a lot of misconceptions out there over worms. The most accepted version, among the commoners, at least, was that the body made worms on its own — that they manifested when there was an imbalance. Baal might be of the same mind. Sure didn’t seem an erudition. Eirik doesn’t quite like it when he lurches forward; he was roughly the same height but his lanky frame made him seem unnaturally long. And, with his keen senses, the smell of guts and blood is nearly overwhelming — and the way he sniffs at him — the way he smells, under the viscera — like a wolf.

Baal might see the way his pupils expanded. Eirik got an odd feeling when he first identified dire. It must have been in his blood, some kind of response programmed in him when all memory failed.

“Don’t you touch that,” calls the voice of his chaperone. It’s actually unclear whether he’s addressing Baal or Eirik specifically, but in any case Eirik takes a step back, which seems to placate him. He turns back to his conversation with a very pointed look in his direction.

“Rembrandt,” Eirik utters in response to the stranger’s question.

He’s not really sure if he’s enjoying this dire’s company at all, but there’s no reason why he wouldn’t engage in a bit of dialogue. Nor does he feel the need to withhold from him any information. He doesn’t know if the ship’s name has any significance to him, even; Eirik himself didn’t know anything about other slaver-ships, not now, anyway. He turns his head to where Baal indicates. “’Tis not my haul, and I don’t think it’s the Rembrandt’s either,” he replies.

His eyes sweep him up and down. “You’re young to be a slaver.”
Offline Baal May 11 2020, 11:20 PM
#5
  • Corzya
  • Age: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 10
  • Played by: Sbicy
225 Mana · View All Items?
Baal snorts derisively at the observation, taking a moment to enjoy the squeak of the chewy muscle as it slides between his teeth. He clearly does not bother to keep up appearances, and shows it in more ways than one. The implant in his head had run him ragged and split his mind in two, disallowing certain aspects of awareness. Wild thing that he is, he was not raised with the customs of a man, but a beast. But a cub when he was torn from his mother, beaten and tortured until it meant little and became a way of life. It might be sad, were he to grow wise to the notion that he was treated poorly.

The wolf leans close to get a whiff of him, unable to detect anything beyond the chemical stench of eximius. He's used to it by now, non-reactive as he meets the glowing blue eyes of the young slaver. He catches it, the blowing of his pupils, the hitch in his breath when he tastes his dire scent--instinctual. Baal can't help it, he grins wide. There is a feral giddiness that overcomes him at the idea of that drive to hunt, his competitive nature twisting it into a sordid fantasy. Cassian would never allow the game to pass, possessive of her hounds and their utmost care. A shame, really, he would love to see who would win in the match-up: the slaver boy, or the foundling dire.

"Rembrandt? Oh, that's uh..." He snaps his fingers, attention completely diverted at the bark from the guard, "North, aye? That captain?" He looks pleased at being able to recall his name. They are not usually so ready upon his tongue. "Mn, sad for you then. Looks like the brothels will be nice n' full for a few days." He never had an interest in such things, and the observation comes as passive as it possibly can.

"Haha! Me? I ain't no slaver, I'm a hound. Don't do so much slavin' as I do catchin'." Baal's laugh is hoarse around the edges. A look comes over him then, a glimmer in his eyes as he leans over again--forcing the other to partially look down to meet his gaze.

"Ya' ever hunt a dire before, Doc? I saw the look in your eye. Ever get your hands dirty with dog blood?" It is apparent in his tone that he feels no connection to his race, dangling them before the eximius in a low taunt.
Offline Eirik May 14 2020, 10:55 PM
#6
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 115
  • Played by: Day
85 Mana · View All Items?
Eirik gives him the barest of nods. “Aye…that’s the one.” It didn’t quite sound like an ‘aye’ of a pirate. More like a rounded oiye — some sort of accent, a dialect either defunct or rare. He’s not sure what to make of his brothels comment. Eirik didn’t spend much time there anyway, and neither did he manage finances; it mattered little to him whether it was full or not. He would have asked Baal for his ship, too, but he wouldn’t recognize it even if he’d named it. He decided the information would do him no good.

He tilts his head at Baal. A hound? He had not heard of the term before. Eirik was no expert in slaving, so it may very well be that a “hound” was a legitimate job description. Catchin’ he said. “Slavers catch.” He would know. Roaming the beach with crossbows they were. Sometimes the arrow wound in his sides still ached. “A hound. Seems an apt name for a dire.” His ear twitches. “Or a cruel joke.”

He squints at him. Maybe this creature was a bit like he was — not quite free. It might explain his condition. And his hunger. Was he starved?

Eirik pauses then, looking at him. By now his pupils had shrunk to a normal size. He doesn’t remember killing dire…not any more. Yet it seemed likely he had. The instinct was still there. He could feel it. There was no rancor there, no grudge, no memory, and yet, the mere sight of one, the thrill of identification, the sudden, rapt attention — it fills him with a certain anticipation, unique to the Hunt. It was slight and small, and easily ignored, but there. And it was violent.

“A’course I have,” he answers simply.

It’s stated as fact without smile or triumph or, seemingly, anything else. “Don’t worry. Those days are past,” he said. “Besides. I’ll be in for it, if I get in a tussle with a dirty stranger. Supposed to keep my head down. You know.”

That, and he just plain didn't want to mess with anyone who ate seagulls raw if he could help it.
Offline Baal May 25 2020, 11:50 PM
#7
  • Corzya
  • Age: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 10
  • Played by: Sbicy
225 Mana · View All Items?
Baal is has grown familiar with the coming and going of strange faces and accents. Corzya is a hot spot for travel and a mix of cultures and people. Pirating drew in a diverse lot, though Baal had only met those on Cassian's vessel. Still, he tilts his head at this man's voice, ever-curious in what feels like continuous discovery due to his lapses in memory.

"At one point, I s'pose I was. Now I do the catchin'." A crooked grin crawls up his face, blinking owlishly at the title being named a cruel joke. Had he any concept of freedom, or what his people were like, he might have given pause to the idea. Raised away from them under the tyrannical grip of a slaver, all he knew was Cassian and her ways. The dire was under no impression that he was not as free as he could be, and that there was nothing wrong with being a possession--or a means to an end. Professional relationships were limited in their capacity, anyway, why would he desire the complications of something more... well, complicated? "You must be a slave if you think so." He says without malice and more with understanding.

"Oh, I ain't worried. " Baal looks past him at the man who appeared to be shadowing him, pondering a moment before he thinks he starts to see the whole picture, "Ah, I bet, you bein' a pet n' all. Surprised you aren't in a collar, though I guess that guy acts as enough of a leash." It was always odd, seeing an eximius enslaved. They weren't exactly the easiest things to capture. "Can't you just leave whenever you want? You guys are all on the same playing field, right?" His question is born of genuine confusion and lack of knowledge on the subject.

While disappointed that the young machine didn't take the bait, he also doesn't know how much of a thrill he would earn in being chased by someone of the very same status as himself. The dynamic of power is what made it exciting, no?
Offline Eirik May 29 2020, 10:24 PM
#8
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 115
  • Played by: Day
85 Mana · View All Items?
What did he have to explain to a dire, a self-professed hound, with seagull blood staining his lips?…He could see it now, sticking still to his teeth. The way a piece of gristle clung to the corner of a lip. A trail of it, grazing past his chin. All that cracking of bone and pulling of tendon ’til it had snapped off a delicate ribcage. And he hadn’t even eaten all of it. Most of it laid on the ground behind them, dead now, thankfully. Slowly Eirik’s brows weighed down as if affected by gravity. The strong light shadowed his eyes, so that they peered out in glints. He looked decidedly peeved. Was it so obvious? …He supposed it was, to the natives. Eirik doesn’t respond for some time, but he does glance over his shoulder at the other eximius.

“Do you think so,” he utters.

Then, his eyes glance down. The port has made the water a bit murky; there’s twigs and debris pressed up against the dock where the water had pushed it. Being able to talk to a ‘peer’ was a new concept. Back on the ship he’d only North and the crew, and the latter especially didn’t always make for good company. Certainly no one had asked why he didn’t just leave. “A hound in the gutter can’t ask me anything I’ve not asked myself a hundred times,” he says at last. “Do you not think I lie awake at night? Wondering?”

But presently his brows smooth out; his expression softens; he tilts his head, just so. “Then again, even free men don’t live like I do.”

Baal might be indicative of most slaves’ predicament, which was to be abused, or starved; never to be unchained again, nor taste of good food, only bread and water; to be humiliated, turned to chattel. Eirik was at least partly delusional in thinking none of these applied to him. But it was hard to reconcile when he was so catered to. He’d no need to hunt a seagull. In fact, he could ask for cheesecakes on demand, if he wished it. And he was treated so gentle at times he forgot he was ‘product’ at all…just a boy, receiving affection from a man he adored. He sweeps Baal over, up and down. He was free to ask him things he couldn’t with others. “Tell me do slaver captains always have their favorites?”
Offline Baal Jun 7 2020, 1:30 AM
#9
  • Corzya
  • Age: 19
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 10
  • Played by: Sbicy
225 Mana · View All Items?
Baal's skull tilts, his loose, straight hair hanging over his ears. It parts around his temple, showing a glint of metal embedded deep in the skin. Scar tissue arcing up onto the apex of his skull splits a line through his hair, becoming more visible when displayed from the overgrown way that it shields the gruesome sight. Sharp blue eyes become shadowed by his brow at the eximius's response, wondering why he went from plain to frustrated. A shift in mood throws the dire for a curious loop, the furrow of his confusion showing clearly in his expression. What does he wonder at night? Why he can't just leave? That certainly didn't answer his question, and for a moment he felt a headache coming on at the thought of having to explain through a miscommunication he didn't quite understand.

"Uh... No? Sounds like a waste of time." The wolf waits as the man changes positions once again, the look removed for a smooth deterrent of his thoughts. Baal doesn't know what to make of the statement, and could only guess that he gets special privileges. Cassian favors her hounds over the other dogs in her company, paying special attention to their care and honing their skills. Was this man a prized catch? Seated upon the mantle of his master as a show of pride and victory? Personally, he would never know, nor care to.

"Probably. Job would get boring if ya never kept anything for yourself, ya know? Like a nice treat." Baal scratches at the blood drying in a thin line down his throat. "Usually have more than one, though. Can't tell people that own other people what they can and can't have. Why ya ask?" There are a potential plethora of reasons that his brain cannot grasp at the moment, the images slippery like wet fish. Concentrating makes his head hurt after bouts of sleepwalking. To be perfectly honest, he was still stuck on the notion of an eximius being a willing slave to another. As it was laid out to him, the food chain was simple and they were on top.

Weirdo.
Offline Eirik Jun 28 2020, 3:01 PM
#10
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 115
  • Played by: Day
85 Mana · View All Items?
Why indeed? He frowns. “I suppose I’ve no one else to ask,” he says.

He doesn’t know Baal’s story…but it was a more unfortunate one than his own. He was living life as a ‘hound’, after all, not one of a proud dire. He was thin and looked ailing. He’d scraggly hair, rasping knuckles and — maybe somewhat of a derelict mind. Certainly he wasn’t being fed cheesecakes. If he did, he’d have found the seagull repulsive. Eirik had been tempted to feast on raw flesh during his time in the wild, but he never quite did…even the lichen had been boiled, at the very least.

There’s a whistle; Eirik’s attention lifts towards his eximius guard, who gestures for him. His conversation was over and they were to be on their way. He hoped for a bit more on the docks — just for the change in scenery, though truly, this town was dingy, dirty, and smelling of fish. The sound of chains fill it. In his mind it was a miserable place. Soon he’d be ready to settle down again in the opulence of North’s cabin.

“Farewell,” he says, extending the courtesy of a goodbye to the self-proclaimed hound. “…I hope one day you’ll taste something sweet.”

As they leave, his eximius guard looks over his shoulder at Baal. “You didn’t touch ‘im, did you?” he sounds genuinely concerned Eirik might have. “Don’t want you gettin’ fleas.”

For his part, Eirik merely shakes his head. “Cass likes to play with her food,” his guard says, as they make their way back towards the crowd.