Topics

Still There Are Darkened Places #Brandy #sarnai #Killick #Liam

Steph
 

Who: Liam
With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

When Liam got the message from home that his old childhood friend Hugh had gotten lost in the Deep Woods, he'd figured that was the end of it and mourned with everyone else. When he'd gotten a second message that Hugh came back--and shortly after, that Hugh had somehow ended up captured by King James of the NorthEast, he'd been concerned enough to take action. Something had happened out there in the Deep Woods, something that it seemed the king did not want people to know about, and Liam wanted to know what.

He was glad to have Killick along, healer that he was, and Sarnai and Brandy rounded out their little team well. They'd come along with the delegation but kept their heads down--just helping with the horses and the baggage and such. No need for anyone to take any sort of particular note of them. Liam hadn't done a lot while he'd been part of the Marauders, but there was still the off chance someone might recognize him, or Queen Malia and King James might have figured out ways to ferret out werewolves in human form.

Fortunate that it was a new moon and his inner-wolf was relatively calm.

Discreet common clothes as they all were, it wasn't too hard to break away from the stables and head toward the depths of the castle. This next part was where Liam expected the plan to fall apart. Ahead, two guards flanked the heavy steel-banded wooden doors that separated the castle dungeon from the rest of the castle. They had to get through those doors.

"We'll have to be fast to take the guards down and get their key without allowing them to raise an alarm," Liam mused softly to his companions from where they stood around a corner, out of the guards' line of sight. "I can try my hand with the lock, but I'd be much more confident that we'll be able to get in if we have the key in hand."

<Tag!>

Manda
 

Who: Liam, Sarnai, Killick, Brandy

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai Wearing: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/82/45/df/8245dfe7161e5232e04d268038130084.jpg 


Sarnai was on edge. 


From the safety of the People's City this had seemed a great idea. It was an opportunity to, possibly, destabilize the NorthEast. It was also, from a more selfish perspective, a chance for Sarnai to fuck with James and Malia and, maybe, she was just a bit bored. Yes, she had plenty of responsibilities in the People's City and they certainly kept her busy, but it was rare for her to venture past the borders, to stretch her legs - metaphorically speaking - and put her more physical skills to use. 


So, she'd insisted on joining the delegation - a decision that Killick had explicitly disagreed with - and right up until their arrival, she'd thought it was a splendid idea. Now though . . . well, now she was realizing that she'd been beyond stupid. She'd walked straight into the lion's den and may as well have hung a steak around her neck. At any point she could be recognized and would the Peacekeepers be enough to keep Malia and James from taking her into custody? Could they stop the royal pair from poisoning her food or drink?


Liam: "We'll have to be fast to take the guards down and get their key without allowing them to raise an alarm," ... "I can try my hand with the lock, but I'd be much more confident that we'll be able to get in if we have the key in hand."


Sarnai's first instinct was to simply kill the guards, but nothing raised an alarm quicker than bodies, so she forced her hand to relax it's grip on the dagger at her waist and settle instead on Killick's lower back. Not every problem had to be solved with violence, she reminded herself. She settled her eyes on Brandy. "Anything in your bag of tricks?" she asked the bartender. 


Tags!

 

Rachel
 

Who: Brandy

With: Liam, Sarnai, Killick

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Liam: "We'll have to be fast to take the guards down and get their key without allowing them to raise an alarm," "I can try my hand with the lock, but I'd be much more confident that we'll be able to get in if we have the key in hand."


Sarnai: "Anything in your bag of tricks?"


Sarnai's words were the first Brandy caught, since she was joining them only after having secured and changed into the palace uniform worn by the palace kitchen staff. It was a little small, but the straining laces of the gray top were only working in Brandy's favor. Brandy sauntered up, all ease, and gave the queen-who-could-have-been a casual nod. She had worked in this exact castle, in this exact capacity, for years in her youth, and she knew their norms and routines - although she did have to trust that they hadn't changed much. 


"Lemme see." She had a platter up on one hip bearing two jugs of ale, and with a beckoning nod, handed it briefly to Sarnai while she dug about in the bag at her waist. Even if her lips pursed thoughtfully for a moment, it didn't take long for her to find a small vial of clear fluid - Carniflower juice. She split it between the drinks, flashed a smile, and whispered, "Wish me luck!" before sauntering off. 


"Sorry, boys, no break - thought I'd bring you a li'l somthin' to tide you over," Brandy greeted. The guards did not immediately respond - not unexpected; they would probably have remembered seeing Brandy among the kitchen staff before - but they loosened as she continued. "I guess there's been more men than usual falling sick. Have you heard anything about that? Is the plague back? My mother died in the plague of 862..." 


One of the guards was native to the North, and Brandy's obvious connection to his homeland warmed him up to her immediately, plucking up his drink and jumping into the conversation easily. The other was native to the East, and he was warier, taking his drink but without taking it to his lips as he listened to the easy banter flowing between the Northerners. 


Brandy, still with a flirty smirk on her lips, cast a significant glance down the hallway toward where she knew her partners were watching. Soon, the Northern guard would pass out, and the Easterner would quickly confirm his suspicions...


Tags!

Silvy
 

Who: Killick.

With: Liam, Sarnai, Brandy.
Where: Marauders Camp, Northern Duchy
When: March 28th, 872 RoK - Morning


>>>Liam: "I can try my hand with the lock, but I'd be much more confident that we'll be able to get in if we have the key in hand."

>>>Sarnai: "Anything in your bag of tricks?" she asked the bartender. 

>>>Brandy: "Lemme see." ... Carniflower juice. She split it between the drinks, flashed a smile, and whispered, "Wish me luck!"


Sarnai wasn't the only one nervous about this. Liam might have felt confident with the promise of a key, and on Brandy's arrival she seemed boldly prepared to take on anything - but Killick was all too conscious of where they were, right then. Entirely too deep in NorthEastern territory, but if Sarnai was going, he'd insisted on going with her. Gladly, now, as the warm touch at the small of his back was a grounding presence he would have sorely, anxiously missed back in the People's City... 


But as Brandy lit off to take her stab at the guards, he still cast a dubious look to the remaining two of his companions on this inadvisable mission. "Do you think it'll work...?" Shifting his weight to lean a little over to watch, he twisted one arm behind himself to rest the back of his hand against the back of Sarnai's, uncertainty riding high. It couldn't really be that easy, could it? Just walk right up and hand them poison to drink and a pretty smile? 


As clinging as that top was, maybe it really was all she had to do. 


It certainly seemed that way, Killick realized as at least one of them seemed comfortable enough to drink from the jug he was given. The other, though... that might be a problem. They might need to find a way to deal with bodies, after all!


~tags~

Steph
 

Who: Liam

With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening


Brandy was a stunning and ingenious woman who always had a trick up her sleeve in a way that Liam almost envied. Any time he wanted tricks, he had to think long and hard about how to design them, brew them, and activate them. And with a smile and a bit of flirting and a convenient brew in her bag, she'd managed to at least take out the one guard who was drinking deeply.


Trust the Eastern man, the one who'd likely trained with the Duke of the East, to be more heartlessly disciplined in the face of such temptation. 


Even with the new moon leaving a void in the sky,  Liam felt a deep-down instinct to charge in and draw blood. To kill, quickly and quietly. But they didn't want to leave evidence that they'd been here at all if they could help it. He reached into his pocket and ran his hand over a small smooth sphere of glass he had inside--one of his specially concocted shadow balls. When shattered, it would let out an inky cloud of darkness that would block out the light and leave anyone stumbling through it totally blind. 


"Sarnai," he said softly. "I'm going to blind the guard that's not drinking so he won't see your face. Take him down, but try not to kill him if you can? He's just doing his job. The darkness dissipates in a minute or so, so you'll need to be fast."


He waited to get confirmation from her before he drew out his shadow ball and tossed it ahead of them, aiming for the wall behind the Eastern guard. 


The guard spun, catching sight of the movement, but the sphere shattered against the wall and pitch black inkiness started to billow outward from the impact point, swallowing up the guard...


<Tag!>

Manda
 

Who: Liam, Sarnai, Killick, Brandy

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai Wearing: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/82/45/df/8245dfe7161e5232e04d268038130084.jpg 


Killick: "Do you think it'll work...?"


Brandy: *hot and offering free booze*


Sarnai's eyes flickered to Killick, then back to Brandy as she bustled into view and began working her - ahem - magic. It did work, to a point anyway, but it was about to go very sideways, very quick--


Liam: "Sarnai," he said softly. "I'm going to blind the guard that's not drinking so he won't see your face. Take him down, but try not to kill him if you can? He's just doing his job. The darkness dissipates in a minute or so, so you'll need to be fast."


Sarnai's eyes went to Liam and she nodded, once. She could take him out fast, without a doubt, but no killing? Well, she wasn't quite as good at that. She didn't have the luxury of overthinking it though, because Liam was throwing whatever concoction he'd brewed up and within seconds the hallway was filling with inky black. 


Sarnai stole a heartbeat to squeeze Killick's hand, then she was darting into the blackness. She couldn't assume the guard was stupid; he'd have his sword out, expecting an attack, his back likely to the wall. So she kept low until feet came into her view, his steps shuffling and uncertain, then she picked his heel and used her momentum to drive her meager weight up into his belly. The move worked as intended, sending him crashing back into the wall in a clatter of armor and chainmail, and then Sarnai twisted the sword out of his hand and cracked him in the side of the head with the hilt. 


The black smoke was just starting to dissipate when Sarnai straightened, brushed her hair back off her forehead and said, "Let's get this door open then."


Tags!

 

Rachel
 

Killick:  "Do you think it'll work...?


Liam: "Sarnai," "I'm going to blind the guard that's not drinking so he won't see your face. Take him down, but try not to kill him if you can? He's just doing his job. The darkness dissipates in a minute or so, so you'll need to be fast."


Sarnai: *wins Badass of the Year* "Let's get this door open then."


Brandy huffed out the heaviest sigh of relief when she finally saw the smoke - god, for a second there, she worried her team was going to leave her hanging! - and dropped her tray to press her back against the wall as she fought complete terror back from the forefront. She'd intended to be the distraction, not the solution, and it had gone a little too long for her comfort… 


So when she saw Sarnai's small form rise to her feet and come to her rescue, Brandy swept the other woman into a hug and mumbled a humble and appreciative "Thank you…" and then a more characteristic, as she took a deep, calming breath, "You should teach me that sometime."


The sweep of a thumb against Sarnai's cheek and Brandy sighed out the breath signaed that she was getting her shit back together, and turned her attention to the guard. She dropped to her knees and dug through their pockets until she found the key, as she heard Liam and Killick's footsteps joining them...


Brandy held up her prize for one of her teammates and offered a weak smile that absolutely implied she had reached the limit of her tolerance for risk as of this moment: "Honor's all yours."


Tags!

Silvy
 

Who: Killick.

With: Liam, Sarnai, Brandy.
Where: Marauders Camp, Northern Duchy
When: March 28th, 872 RoK - Morning


>>>Liam: "Sarnai," "I'm going to blind the guard that's not drinking so he won't see your face. Take him down, but try not to kill him if you can? He's just doing his job. The darkness dissipates in a minute or so, so you'll need to be fast."


Dark eyes shot a look to Liam, a frown creasing his features, but he didn't say anything. The expression smoothed over a moment later, anyway - comforted, perhaps, by the confidence Sarnai displayed, though no less by the squeeze of her hand over his. He held his breath while the marble sailed out, and still, as Sarnai darted out and seemed swallowed whole by the black cloud that sprang forth from the shattered glass.


>>>Sarnai: *wins Badass of the Year* "Let's get this door open then."

>>>Brandy: *hug!* "Thank you…" and then a more characteristic, as she took a deep, calming breath, "You should teach me that sometime." *key! To someone! Anyone but her!* "Honor's all yours."


He only let it out again when she reappeared, stepping forward - hitching, to watch Brandy intercept Sarnai with a hug she seemed to need. Brandy, not Sarnai, who looked altogether good - and who'd set his heart to racing, seeing her rise in triumph. Only for a moment, before he glanced behind them to make sure they were still in the clear. And then, forward again as he crossed to one of the downed men. "We need to move them," He said, or else all their being quick and quiet would be for naught. 


"You made that?" He asked Liam, knowing the likely answer but wanting the details, as he bent to grab a pair of feet and start dragging. 


~tags~

Steph
 

Who: Liam

With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai: *is badass*

Brandy: *key!*

Killick: *gotta cover tracks!*

While Killick observed the need to hide the guards, Liam accepted the key from Brandy and stepped up to the door. He did flash a grin to Killick when he asked if Liam had made the shadow ball. He knew it wasn't the time to get into the alchemical principles of the glass marble, but he could still accept a compliment paid.

"I did. It's one of a few tricks I have in my pocket for this endeavor," he said. Before he placed the key in the lock mechanism, he bent over to check and be sure there weren't any other aspects to the lock--no obvious alchemical runes or triggers for traps. It looked clear enough to him, so he stood and placed the key in the lock.

With a satisfying click, the door unlocked, and he pushed it open.

"Killick's right--this is a little too obvious," Liam reasoned. "Two choices: We find a cell to put them in and leave the door without an obvious guard. Or, we prop them up unconscious with drinks in hand in case anyone stumbles across. Pros and cons to both options, I suppose. In a cell, they can't call for help if they wake up, though."

He crouched down and grabbed one of the two unconscious guards under the arm pits to start dragging him at least next to the door. He was open to either option, glancing between his companions. They didn't have a lot of time to debate things. Wherever they moved next, he was more than ready to figure out where his old friend was being held and ask some questions.

<Tag!>

Manda
 

Who: Liam, Sarnai, Killick, Brandy

Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle

When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai Wearing: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/82/45/df/8245dfe7161e5232e04d268038130084.jpg 


Brandy: "Thank you…" and then a more characteristic, as she took a deep, calming breath, "You should teach me that sometime."


Sarnai stiffened as she was pulled against Brandy's ample bosom, taken aback by the sudden show of affection and gratitude. She opened her mouth, blinking as the redhead's thumb smoothed across her cheekbone, then Brandy was pulling away and busying herself with digging through the guards' pockets and Sarnai swallowing back what was sure to be an awkward you're welcome. 


Instead, her eyes went to Killick and she let her lips twitch into the hint of a secret smile just for him. She liked that look he got in his eyes when she did something, well, violent.


Brandy: "Honor's all yours."


Killick: "We need to move them," … *to Liam* "You made that?"


Liam: "I did. It's one of a few tricks I have in my pocket for this endeavor," … "Killick's right--this is a little too obvious," Liam reasoned. "Two choices: We find a cell to put them in and leave the door without an obvious guard. Or, we prop them up unconscious with drinks in hand in case anyone stumbles across. Pros and cons to both options, I suppose. In a cell, they can't call for help if they wake up, though."


Sarnai didn't step forward to help move unconscious bodies; she'd leave that to the men, since as far as she was concerned, she'd done her part. Plus, both of them probably outweighed her by at least a hundred pounds. So instead, she flexed her hand around the pommel of her pilfered sword and stepped through the now open door. 


The dungeon was pretty standard fare - not that Sarnai has seen many of them in her short lifetime - with rows of barred doors lining each side of the main hallway running up the middle and, luckily, no more guards. She paused as movement came from behind the first door and a man peered through the bars at her, eyebrows lowered in curiosity. 


"Ya ain't from around 'ere," he noted. 


"I'm not," Sarnai answered, simply, then turned to look at Brandy. "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"


Tags!

 

Rachel
 

Locking up the guards was really the only option, and so Brandy made it happen. She dug about in her purse when the key they had didn't fit this lock, and what do you know? She got one to pop, so Killick and Liam could deposit their uniformed-but-lame bodies into the darkness. It was fucking magic, that the random bit of metal she'd stolen from whatever seamstress locked the cell back in place… 

Prisoner: "Ya ain't from around 'ere,"

Sarnai: "I'm not," 

Brandy stepped between the Queen-to-be and the bars, thrusting herself with all the power of her angry gaze at the prisoner. "Keep to your goddamn self, you worthless piece of shit…" 

Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"

Brandy kept her gaze fixed on the obviously-malnourished prisoner who had retreated under her outburst. She felt a certain control over him, then, and so even as she took a half-step back, her eyes stayed fixed. A fleeting glance to Sarnai, Killick, and Liam brought her gaze back to the thin man in green rags cowering at a distance. She crouched. 

"Your friend…" Brandy gestured toward the cell across, which was obviously two or three times the size of his own, with chains upon chains as if it contained a more dangerous creature. She lifted the simple little lockpick that that imprisoned two guards not two feet from him, as if to promise to free him, if he could make it worth their while. "What's his deal?" 

The prisoner cowered as if he had been struck back, but he froze in place as Brandy's words drew his attention to the large cage across from his own. With the strange prisoner who opted for silence, even as the rest of them thirsted for any interaction, anything to keep the darkness and the cold from getting into their souls as well as their bones… 

"The Witch of the Roses got 'im," the prisoner breathed, words less than a whisper. "Took 'is heart. He got no…" 

Brandy could hear his struggle. No cares? No heart? No soul? And when he trailed off, Brandy knew what he meant: No nothing. Nothing.

She cast a glance over her shoulder to her companions. "Be careful. There's nothing in there."

Tags!

Silvy
 

Who: Killick.

With: Liam, Sarnai, Brandy.
Where: Marauders Camp, Northern Duchy
When: March 28th, 872 RoK - Morning


With Liam's help, getting the bodies out of sight was less work than dragging them on his own, but still a struggle. And once they were all locked up, they could move on-


But for the poor man in his cell, whose eyes Killick met briefly between Brandy's brief but intense impositions on him. What had he done, to wind up here? Enough prisoners were just unlucky. The wrong time, the wrong place, the wrong allegiance... He found himself glancing back at the cell across from the man in green's, even as he felt the promise implied in Brandy's gesture with the lockpick hollow.


"What's he mean?" His brows knit, and Killick looked to Sarnai first before turning back to the prisoner: "What do you mean?" Took his heart, left nothing? The words iced over his spine, raising the fine hairs on the back of his neck as he tried to make sense of it. 


People didn't survive without hearts... so what was the point of jailing someone who had to be dead? All the old stories aside - and he'd read them, once upon a time when he had much more of it on his hands - there were no actual documentations of a living, breathing person leaving the witch's woods without their heart. No real, trustworthy sources that weren't a friend of a cousin's grandmother's neighbor


And so, embracing that skepticism, Killick took a step back from the prisoner's cell...and turned to the other one, jaw clenching tight. His steps forward were unsure only for a moment, growing in confidence as he approached the bars and his thoughts drifted back to the smallest touch of a smile at the corners of Sarnai's lips. The soft curve of it, like everything else about her subtle until it wasn't-- he steeled himself to the task of drawing up the torch stolen from a dungeon wall, and watching the flickering light encroach further into the shadowed cell.


~tags~

Steph
 

*gentle nudge to Liam*


On Sun, May 24, 2020 at 10:53 AM Silvy <afranklin09c@...> wrote:

Who: Killick.

With: Liam, Sarnai, Brandy.
Where: Marauders Camp, Northern Duchy
When: March 28th, 872 RoK - Morning


With Liam's help, getting the bodies out of sight was less work than dragging them on his own, but still a struggle. And once they were all locked up, they could move on-


But for the poor man in his cell, whose eyes Killick met briefly between Brandy's brief but intense impositions on him. What had he done, to wind up here? Enough prisoners were just unlucky. The wrong time, the wrong place, the wrong allegiance... He found himself glancing back at the cell across from the man in green's, even as he felt the promise implied in Brandy's gesture with the lockpick hollow.


"What's he mean?" His brows knit, and Killick looked to Sarnai first before turning back to the prisoner: "What do you mean?" Took his heart, left nothing? The words iced over his spine, raising the fine hairs on the back of his neck as he tried to make sense of it. 


People didn't survive without hearts... so what was the point of jailing someone who had to be dead? All the old stories aside - and he'd read them, once upon a time when he had much more of it on his hands - there were no actual documentations of a living, breathing person leaving the witch's woods without their heart. No real, trustworthy sources that weren't a friend of a cousin's grandmother's neighbor


And so, embracing that skepticism, Killick took a step back from the prisoner's cell...and turned to the other one, jaw clenching tight. His steps forward were unsure only for a moment, growing in confidence as he approached the bars and his thoughts drifted back to the smallest touch of a smile at the corners of Sarnai's lips. The soft curve of it, like everything else about her subtle until it wasn't-- he steeled himself to the task of drawing up the torch stolen from a dungeon wall, and watching the flickering light encroach further into the shadowed cell.


~tags~

Steph
 

Who: Liam
With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"

Brandy: "What's his deal?"

Prisoner: "Took 'is heart. He got no…"

Killick: "What do you mean?"

As Killick grabbed the torch and cast light into the cell, Liam turned and braced himself. He was here because of a missive from his village, that this was Merrick, that this was one of his childhood friends. Someone who had done more than just welcome him in when he was a lost boy who stumbled out of the woods. Someone who'd played with him, come up with pranks with him, stolen fruit from orchard trees to snack on while splashing in a forest stream, reveling in the little bit of harmless crime they'd done until one of the adults came around and chastised them and put them to menial work as punishment. Worth all the trouble, all the same. Liam's first childhood crush was Merrick's older sister--a silly crush that went nowhere.

Liam hadn't seen Merrick since he'd stopped visiting his village, though. Not since Liam had been bitten.

Even so, when Killick's torchlight flickered across the chained man on the other side of the bars, Liam recognized the cut of his jaw, the exact shade of his brown hair, the line of his cheekbones. It was Merrick, and Liam didn't even really think about the decision. He had the key in his hand. He unlocked the cell. He went inside to kneel by his friend and reached out to touch him.

But Merrick's eyes snapped open, and he lunged against the chains toward Liam with a sudden start. If this young man had no heart, it certainly wasn't stopping him from moving. Liam leapt back on reflex, anger surging in his veins.

"Merrick, it's me," he said, firmly, tamping down on the way that the anger always seemed to surge up too easily in him now. This was his friend. He wouldn't let werewolf instincts control him. "It's Liam. Calm down! We're here to help."

Merrick snarled out some kind of response, the words too twisted at first, but when he couldn't force his way loose from the chains, he slowed and quieted, though still straining at them, to get closer to Liam. There was something about the way the light hit his eyes that made the irises seem like great empty voids, and his skin was paler than it should have been.

"Liam?" the chained man said, the first word that actually sounded like a word. He tilted his head a bit to one side, then the other, the motion conveying almost a distance from the moment, a disconnect. "Yes. Liam Lostchild... What are you doing here?"

Liam's words choked up in his throat. This was his old friend, but it wasn't him at all. He glanced over to his companions as he grappled with this moment. Something was horribly wrong here.

<Tag!>

Steph
 

*nudge to Sarnai*


On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 4:38 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Who: Liam
With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"

Brandy: "What's his deal?"

Prisoner: "Took 'is heart. He got no…"

Killick: "What do you mean?"

As Killick grabbed the torch and cast light into the cell, Liam turned and braced himself. He was here because of a missive from his village, that this was Merrick, that this was one of his childhood friends. Someone who had done more than just welcome him in when he was a lost boy who stumbled out of the woods. Someone who'd played with him, come up with pranks with him, stolen fruit from orchard trees to snack on while splashing in a forest stream, reveling in the little bit of harmless crime they'd done until one of the adults came around and chastised them and put them to menial work as punishment. Worth all the trouble, all the same. Liam's first childhood crush was Merrick's older sister--a silly crush that went nowhere.

Liam hadn't seen Merrick since he'd stopped visiting his village, though. Not since Liam had been bitten.

Even so, when Killick's torchlight flickered across the chained man on the other side of the bars, Liam recognized the cut of his jaw, the exact shade of his brown hair, the line of his cheekbones. It was Merrick, and Liam didn't even really think about the decision. He had the key in his hand. He unlocked the cell. He went inside to kneel by his friend and reached out to touch him.

But Merrick's eyes snapped open, and he lunged against the chains toward Liam with a sudden start. If this young man had no heart, it certainly wasn't stopping him from moving. Liam leapt back on reflex, anger surging in his veins.

"Merrick, it's me," he said, firmly, tamping down on the way that the anger always seemed to surge up too easily in him now. This was his friend. He wouldn't let werewolf instincts control him. "It's Liam. Calm down! We're here to help."

Merrick snarled out some kind of response, the words too twisted at first, but when he couldn't force his way loose from the chains, he slowed and quieted, though still straining at them, to get closer to Liam. There was something about the way the light hit his eyes that made the irises seem like great empty voids, and his skin was paler than it should have been.

"Liam?" the chained man said, the first word that actually sounded like a word. He tilted his head a bit to one side, then the other, the motion conveying almost a distance from the moment, a disconnect. "Yes. Liam Lostchild... What are you doing here?"

Liam's words choked up in his throat. This was his old friend, but it wasn't him at all. He glanced over to his companions as he grappled with this moment. Something was horribly wrong here.

<Tag!>

Steph
 

*nudge to Sarnai*


On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 12:04 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
*nudge to Sarnai*

On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 4:38 PM Steph via groups.io <singer.of.the.lost=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Who: Liam
With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening

Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"

Brandy: "What's his deal?"

Prisoner: "Took 'is heart. He got no…"

Killick: "What do you mean?"

As Killick grabbed the torch and cast light into the cell, Liam turned and braced himself. He was here because of a missive from his village, that this was Merrick, that this was one of his childhood friends. Someone who had done more than just welcome him in when he was a lost boy who stumbled out of the woods. Someone who'd played with him, come up with pranks with him, stolen fruit from orchard trees to snack on while splashing in a forest stream, reveling in the little bit of harmless crime they'd done until one of the adults came around and chastised them and put them to menial work as punishment. Worth all the trouble, all the same. Liam's first childhood crush was Merrick's older sister--a silly crush that went nowhere.

Liam hadn't seen Merrick since he'd stopped visiting his village, though. Not since Liam had been bitten.

Even so, when Killick's torchlight flickered across the chained man on the other side of the bars, Liam recognized the cut of his jaw, the exact shade of his brown hair, the line of his cheekbones. It was Merrick, and Liam didn't even really think about the decision. He had the key in his hand. He unlocked the cell. He went inside to kneel by his friend and reached out to touch him.

But Merrick's eyes snapped open, and he lunged against the chains toward Liam with a sudden start. If this young man had no heart, it certainly wasn't stopping him from moving. Liam leapt back on reflex, anger surging in his veins.

"Merrick, it's me," he said, firmly, tamping down on the way that the anger always seemed to surge up too easily in him now. This was his friend. He wouldn't let werewolf instincts control him. "It's Liam. Calm down! We're here to help."

Merrick snarled out some kind of response, the words too twisted at first, but when he couldn't force his way loose from the chains, he slowed and quieted, though still straining at them, to get closer to Liam. There was something about the way the light hit his eyes that made the irises seem like great empty voids, and his skin was paler than it should have been.

"Liam?" the chained man said, the first word that actually sounded like a word. He tilted his head a bit to one side, then the other, the motion conveying almost a distance from the moment, a disconnect. "Yes. Liam Lostchild... What are you doing here?"

Liam's words choked up in his throat. This was his old friend, but it wasn't him at all. He glanced over to his companions as he grappled with this moment. Something was horribly wrong here.

<Tag!>