Heart of a Lion

Corwynn's plans are ruined when he takes his boss out to relax...

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Leander
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Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:41 pm


6th Dentis, 2718
The Black Dove Tavern was hardly Leander’s favourite place in Old Rose Harbour. A place of distinct ill-repute, the galdori-raised young man had, initially, turned his nose up at the disgusting premises, and the violent punters who frequented it. He had thought himself better than them all for years after being left in the city. He had thought himself better than most in the city, truth be told. The proud sone of two proud scholars, the filth around him was difficult for him to comprehend.

Even now, the passive struggled, remnants of his upbringing bleeding into the belief that he was undeserving of the last eight years of his life. Somehow a mistake had been made. It was this denial which kept him from crumbling and accepting his lot in life. It was this denial which made him careless, reckless. It was this denial which made him still refuse to bend his pride, even as he stepped through into the tavern, counterfeit documents in hand, with the plan to cheat some of the most dangerous criminals in Anaxas out of their money.

Forged himself, the documents were not perfect. But he was a fast learner and, chances were, most of the people he would be gambling with would be illiterate anyway, so the risk level was minimal. Regardless, he was down to his last few tallies and shills, and his recent exploits had left him owning more than he had left. With few other forms of income, Leo had no option but to gamble - even doubling his money would put him in a more secure position. The counterfeit document, proclaiming deeds to a nonexistent property on the edge of the city, was his buy in to a larger-stakes game. The plan was that he would win anyway, so the Brothers would be none the wiser.

‘Evening, gentlemen,” the dark-haired passive greeted the men with a confidence he didn’t feel, releasing the clasp on his outer clothing with one hand and casually flinging it over the back of one of the unoccupied chairs. the tavern was, for the moment, relatively quiet: it was filled with merrily drinking punters, but there was no raucous discussion, no rowdy brawls yet. It made it easier, not having to shout to be heard. The young man was not unfamiliar with most of the men around the table. Some he didn’t know, but Leo had become a frequent visitor to the Black Dove Tavern over the more recent seasons.

That was how he found himself to be in debt in the first place, but also how he thought he had a chance at winning his money back. Were he in any way slick with his hands, he would have risked a more ballsy attempt at securing his winnings. “What are we playing tonight? Another round of Rooks?

Si’down Leo,” the man shuffling the deck gruffly replied, “Though Gods know why, unless yer here to pay yer debt?” The boy smiled and made a show of straightening his clothes out before sitting. As if he could be told what to do by the lowlife criminal. when he did sit, he clapped his hand down on the table, forged deed underneath it. One of the other gamblers picked it up and examined it while Leander placed his other coins on the table, there to be used as gambling chips. “Buyin’ yourself back in, then. So be it.

The first hand dealt, Leo leaned back in his chair as he pulled the cards from the table to look at them. It was hardly the best of hands, but he had brought it home with worse. The corners of his lips curled imperceptibly as he fought to maintain an impassive expression. He had a good feeling about tonight.
Last edited by Leander on Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 647
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Corwynn
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Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:17 pm

6th of Dentis, 2718
BLACK DOVE TAVERN | EVENING
"Silas, sometimes your subjects just need to see your pretty face." The blond gunman was grinning like a shark from over the rim of his pint of dark Hessean stout, Corwynn able to feel the unease in his King's field as they finished buying into the next game of Rooks for the evening. The galdor had already shed his fine, tailored coat, hanging it over the back of his rickety chair and rolling up the sleeves of his pale silk shirt to show off the inked lines of waves that began at his wrists and washed up to his elbows on both tanned, freckled arms. At his hip without a hint of shame rest his pistol, and while he wasn't here to be Hawke's bodyguard, he certainly wasn't afraid to use it. Ever. Elsewhere in the crowd meandered at least a Brother or two, their sole purpose to keep the game safe for the King of the Underworld to enjoy himself out of the Palace for the night.

Hawke himself was far from concerned, aware that most of the Harbor didn't know who he was and what he looked like, out as he was without his more recognizable wide-brimmed hat and light hair tied back to reveal his handsome features and silver earrings. Even though anger and frustration had worn down his enigmatically jovial nature over the past several days, he kept it all from the broad grin that creased its way into his expression at his friend's words,

"Havakda, Cor. Save yer flirtin' for the rest of the table or I'll make ye buy me in the next round out of yer own pocket." He winked none the less, reaching into the floral-patterned vest that hung off his lithely muscled shoulders, open to reveal his bare chest despite the Dentis evening chill, and pulling out a silver case of hand-rolled cigarettes, his bejeweled fingers opening it with ease and selecting one wrapped in pale green paper while his dark eyes glanced up to take in the newcomer that approached.

The wick knew the boy's face but not his name, tilting his head at the blond galdor beside him as if asking whether or not Corwynn knew. The dealer harassed the delicate, dark-haired thing, clearly ruffled by his presence, and Silas lit his cigarette with a quip of Monite, filling everyone's senses with the sting of sulfur for a heartbeat or two. After a long drag, he waggled a few fingers at the deed, wanting to see it, ignoring the comment about debt since this was the Harbor and everyone owed someone something, and it was almost always handed to him in the end. The smoke from his cigarette was almost pink in color and smelled floral and sweet.

The human that had picked it up, a pirate known as Jorl, rolled his one good eye and passed the paper over to the King, who glanced over the words, no hint of suspiciousness playing across his handsome, ageless features, "Dze, Dobbins, jus' let the boch play. Deal him in. Here, I'll make good on this deed in coin m'self ye buncha whinin' luggers."

Silas fished into one of the inside pockets of his vest and placed the pile of necessary birds onto the tabletop, kicking out the empty chair to his other side and shoving the coins. The King of the Underworld's grin was devious and threatening at the same time, "Leo, is it? Take a seat."

Now there were five players, Dobbins making the sixth at the table, still shuffling cards.

Corwynn watched the young man sit down with a curious glance, his crystalline gaze wandering over the fair features and his heavy field aware of what was missing. He reached for the deed, snatching it with his less-whole four fingered hand right out of the grasp of his King, smirking at the wick, looking over the paper without letting any hint of suspicion pass over his well-aged features, "Leander. I've seen you around, boy. He's got such a nice hand, Silas."

The gunman purred his words like they were some kind of code and Hawke chuckled, "Oes, he does. It's refreshin' for someone to know how to write like they know what it means, ye chen."

The two Brothers shared a laugh and the blond galdor returned to his drink while Dobbins set about dealing the cards, the older, gruff human not feeling the need to mete out a repeat of the rules just because Leo had joined their table, aware that Cor had already promised to shoot anyone who cheated. Everyone took their cards, glancing at them and keeping their faces straight. Well, Jorl struggled, the frown that creased into his salty features perhaps not the best way to start a hand.

"Ante up." Dobbins tapped the table with a long nail.

Hawke set his cards down and slid his coins toward the center of the table first, his dark eyes watching Leo with uninhibited curiosity. His first bet was ambitious already. Far higher than necessary. A test. As always.

The woman next to Corwynn, a freckled Hessean with her blonde hair worn in intricate braids and armed with too many sharp objects shrugged and slid a matching pile. The older galdor followed, sliding his birds with the middle finger of his scarred hand and looking to Jorl. The old pirate grumbled, slapping his cards on the table and shaking his head,

"Fuck you, Dobbins." He hissed through his missing teeth.

This left Leo.

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Leander
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Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:15 pm


There was something about the table’s atmosphere that sat strangely with Leo. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it but, when another spoke, the boy’s chocolate eyes followed the other gamblers’ to rest on a man who looked not much older than himself. The way he held himself, though, was beyond his years, it was the same way Leo tried to present himself, except he didn’t think this man was acting. It was too relaxed for it to be anything but. He was not the largest man at the table, the dealer was a solid foot wider at least, but he filled the space with sheer presence. The passive’s gaze followed his forged deed making its way around the table to the man who spoke. His heart stuttered as it did; he had not expected them all to take an interest in it, and the vital organ actually stopped when the not-so-subtle (for those in the industry, at least) reference to his skills were said aloud.

He had been employed by various Brothers before for his particular skill set: he wasn’t the best, but he was cheap and he was, most importantly, discreet. None of the gamblers around the table knew his hand, though, and all who had seen the deed took it without suspicion, so he could only assume he had gotten away with it.

But he did not like how the man’s expression twisted. Had they been standing, Leo could only imagine the man’s raptorial circle around him: an apex predator dangling freedom in front of his prey as if it had a chance. “Leander,” he corrected dispassionately, suppressing his irritation at being addressed so informally by a stranger, even if he knew no better. Yet he also intentionally withheld his surname. He doubted anyone at the table would know of his family, not was the knowledge a secret he guarded closely, but he had learnt over the years the power a name could have. He wouldn’t deny the information, but he wouldn’t go out of his way to share it either. Besides, the stranger had made no effort to introduce himself either.

The game underway, Leo remained watchful of the movements, the expressions, and the hesitations of the other players. More was given away in what they didn’t do than what they did, but it was only the first round. With new players around the table, Leo didn’t know their styles - did they play reservedly until they knew more about their opponents, or did they try to hit hard and risk an early exit in order to secure funds for when the rest pulled out the big guns? One round in, he could not tell if they were bluffing or not, but he made a mental note, for later reference, of anything that could remotely be classified as a tick.

Settling in, this felt more like home. The boy had had to get his thrills somewhere, and gambling had quickly become his favourite outlet. At its foundation, Rooks was a game of being the most intelligent player. It was Leo’s residual sense of self-importance that made him so genuinely confident. In the past, he would use what Leo liked to describe as ‘discreetly unorthodox’ methods to win the game, but he had taken a big enough risk already to commit such a folly. Coming to the predatory man’s turn, Leander felt a chill of terror running down his spine at the realisation that he had been watched the entire time, even as the coins were pushed to the centre of the table. Leo levelled his own gaze, face attempting to be unreadable.

He wasn’t next, thank the Gods. He had enough time to consider his options, while trying to give the impression of casual indifference or distraction. It probably wasn’t working. It was a challenge, he knew that. But the other’s eyes were dilated: quiet and lovely and promising endless suffering as if to say try it. He knew. Then again, if he were a cat, curiosity and risk would have taken all of his lives from him long ago. The problem was that the passive wasn’t circumspect. Leander swallowed his doubts and misgivings and, pushing well over three quarters of his own pile across the table, he matched, and then doubled, the bid. The sharp intake of breath from some around the table was hidden by groans from others. The silent few sounded the loudest to Leander, whose eyes still hadn’t left his quarry’s, as he felt the menace in the air build. Rather than lowering his gaze, he lifted his chin, because he was a stubborn son of a bitch.
Last edited by Leander on Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 799
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Corwynn
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Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:27 pm

6th of Dentis, 2718
BLACK DOVE TAVERN | EVENING
"Epaemo.Leander, then. Myself? Silas Hawke." The King of the Underworld smirked at the correction of the younger man's name, not even ruffled. His dark eyes studied the youthful face as Corwynn had, noting the delicate features and as the wick caprised the table with his impressive field for his kind, he noted Leander's lack of one.

"My old friend here's Corwynn. That's Sabynne. The ugly ol' pirate's Jorl. It appears ye know Dobbin. Junta." A fair eyebrow quirked just so, but he said nothing, choosing instead to savor his unusual cigarette and shape beautiful etherial smoke rings out of the pale pink smoke, watching Dobbins deal out their first hand with a look of casual interest.

"A pleasure." The blond gunman nodded, the rich depths of his voice a rumble in his broad for a galdor chest, leaning back in his chair and waggling his less whole hand at the young man in greeting.

"You look a little too sweet for my taste." Sabynne grinned, a gap between her front teeth and a row of gold along the bottom, "But maybe I'll need some dessert after this game, boy."

"Keep yer panties on for fuckssake." Growled Jorl, crossing his arms across his chest because he'd already folded.

Silas' mind was far too occupied with other frustrations to take offense with some upstart scrap off the street who'd forged a few papers for his Brethren and now thought himself walking among the stars. Scarlett had been most disappointed with his decision to honor that godsbedamned passive's requests, and Hawke had been further displeased when that same infuriatingly strong piece of galdori garbage had smashed the wick's face. It had been a horrible negotiation, but one the King had come out on top of, as always. And yet it lingered like a sore in his mouth, the sting refusing to go away.

Corwynn cleared his throat, noting his friend had grown distant in thought, cigarette dangling from his pretty lips.

All eyes snapped to their cards and the first round of moneys were shoved toward the center of the table. Jorl folded, as expected, and Sybanne was looking nervous, the tall Hessean's gaze shifting between the ante and her cards with too much frequency. She regretted her choice, and all but hissed a series of curses when the dark-haired young man next to her doubled the bid.

"Havakda. Good thing I had some pocket change tonight." Grunted Silas, cackling a laugh and watching as the woman fidgeted before meeting the amount. The wick took a long drag, looking up at Leander with his mischievous dark gaze, the rings on his fingers sparkling in the light of oil lanterns as he shoved his coins across the table, a sly grin creasing into his wild, handsome face. He exhaled through his nose, pink smoke washing over the table, elbowing his galdor friend, "Cor, you gonna fold, too? Or can you out last our Sybbie here?"

"Clock off. My endurance isn't ever in question—childish card games included, Silas." The older galdor purred as if the conversation was suddenly an innuendo, tilting his head not toward Leo but toward Dobbins, sliding his coins to meet the challenge before he reached up and set two cards face down on the table. He drained the last of his stout while waiting for the exchange.

His King set down two as well, not taking his eyes off the youngest body at their table.

The dealer sniffed judgmentally, "Don't ye worry yer head, Hawke, sire. This toft's jus' gonna leave all that cash an' then some on his way out in yer pockets. Jus' ye wait. Payin' yer taxes to th' King himself tonite, y' are, y' dumberse." Dobbins sniggered at the dark-haired young man, his beady, bloodshot eyes sparkling with cruelty as he waited for the other man to set down what cards he hoped to exchange for better ones, "Go on."
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Leander
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Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:03 pm



Leo wanted to leave. He wanted to fold and stand up. He wanted to take the thrice-damned deed with him and burn it. Rid the world of evidence that he had unwittingly danced with the King of the Underworld in a deadly game he had no hope of winning.

Except, he couldn’t leave. Regardless of how suspicious it would look, rules stated that money and assets in the centre of the table were forfeited until won by the winner of the round. He had no rights to the faked document, and a slight like that, especially in such company, might be enough to see him resting at the bottom of the harbour with a very surprised look in his face. Gods only knew his fate if the forgery was discovered. Drowning would be a mercy, he suspected.

Fine words! I wonder from whom you stole them,” he made the conscious decision to dismiss the Crime Lord in favour of politely turning down the leered comments of the gap-toothed woman. Banter and bickering was far preferable to anyone spending too much time on him. “I’m sure you can make do without me, but if you have exhausted your other alternatives,” he glanced around the table with a show of disinterest, “before midnight, I’m sure we can come to some arrangement.” He was not skilled in the art of rhetoric, preferring his own company to that of people who had no right to look down on him, but he would make an effort to turn the attention away from himself. As it was, none of the players had called him out on his forgery. Maybe he placed too much stock in their intelligence.

Leo, of course, knew Hawke was galdori, his reputation was widely known. And he could only assume the friend, Corwynn, was kin - the bastards kept to their own kind, after all. But what self-respecting galdor spoke with such a crude tongue, or willingly mingled with the lowest Anaxas had to offer for pleasure? Maybe Old Rose’s people were more small-minded than he originally thought. Leo chanced a nonchalant glance up as he fingered the cards in his hand. The pair opposite him were impressive granted... but Leo had had higher expectations. Ten Gods as his witness, he probably could have succeeded in wiping the table clean with some slight of hand if he had prepared for it.

And, all the while, a small voice screamed at him to stop. Silas Hawke. The King could have him murdered before that foul cigarette was burnt out, if he so wished. The stakes had been raised astronomically, and not because of his lucrative bet. Every word he uttered, every perceived slight, anything less than absolute abjection tipped the balance of favour... the only question was whether the players were distracted enough by the audacity of this passive. He came here to win. Shaking his head, he folded his cards into his hand without exchanging any, happy to plow on with the original cards he had been dealt.

Calling my raise on cards you relied on the luck of the draw to exchange? Bold move.” Leander spoke to the remaining players as a whole, but his gaze lingered on the friend, Corwynn. As with nigh everything else, it was deliberate - he refused to give Hawke the impression he was intimidated. By ignoring him, Leo was not rising to the bait. Instead, his intention was either to ignite the Crime Lord’s anger so as to cause foolish mistakes, or to amuse him enough to distraction. Either would suit his ends.
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Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:04 pm

6th of Dentis, 2718
BLACK DOVE TAVERN | EVENING
"Idon't need to steal when all of Anaxas lays their tributes without question at the feet of their King. You will, too, it seems, if Dobbin's right about you, boch." Silas grinned wickedly, cigarette clamped in his pretty teeth, bejeweled hand waving in a mockery of some formal expression, his dark eyes full of an insatiable greed and terrifying surety.

Sabynne giggled at both the wick's words and the dark-haired passive's, her predatory expression not leaving her freckled face, "I'm sure any arrangement we could come up with would leave you saying thank you, boch."

"Maybe he doesn't swing your way, darling. Maybe he prefers far more refined company like mine." Corwynn sniggered playfully, setting his empty glass down and licking his lips indulgently, "Not that I couldn't handle both of you instead."

"Refined? Please. Don't let the aura fool you, boy. Cor's just another animal like the rest of us here in the Harbor." The Hessean smiled at the older galdor fondly, a familiarity between them something she didn't bother to hide. Jorl finally cackled at the exchange of devious flirtation, though the old pirate was aware he was left out of the invitations.

"But he's my animal." Silas offered possessively, "Even if I've let him roam off the leash as he pleases."

"I don't disappoint. Not anymore."

"Ne, bruno. Ye don't, but I'm gonna be fuckin' disappointed if ye don't got some good cards over there, Leander."

Corwynn watched the movement of money and cards from his position at the table, taking in Leander's bold form of personal expression, his facade of bravado, eager to find the edge where the young man's mask ended and his true self began. He glanced back down at his cards, waiting his new two alongside Hawke, and it was all he could do to keep a very even expression when the braggart child across from him refused to hand over a single card in hopes of a better hand.

He chuckled at such confidence, sliding his coin to meet the young man's ante and receiving his cards in return. The blond gunman's face remained thin-lipped and unreadable, aware that the young man was looking at him but not giving him a second glance while he busied himself with his cards.

Silas did the same, though if he was miffed that the insolent braggart was snubbing him, he hid it behind his grin and so much pink smoke. He simply tucked his fresh cards in their place and set the whole hand down on the table, not folding, but reaching for three more birds to sprinkle them on top of the rather ridiculous pile, winking at the dark-haired young man as he did so,

"Kingdoms are won by the bold, child." He purred as if he was tempting someone into his bed instead of simply responding to his retort, his expression becoming a broad grin, "You've got deep pockets and a big mouth to go with those pretty hands. Do you have the cards to back all that up with?"

Did Hawke? There was a waver in his voice as he settled back in his chair, tossing one arm over the back and taking another long drag to bring his cigarette to its natural end, snuffing it out with the tips of his fingers as if he was crushing a bug. He didn't even wince. Exhaling a few more eloquent pink rings of smoke, he tossed the butt aside and picked back up his cards, looking away from the young forger as if considering his hand.

Corwynn couldn't see his King's cards but knew the wick well enough, taking pleasure in the way the sly creature tested his subjects and weaseled his way into their minds with so much playful taunting. The blond gunman was full of his own kinds of wiles, but even he could admit he didn't possess the kind of well-honed patience Hawke seemed to exude in the form of so much clocking charm. They complimented each other while being very different beasts, and so the older galdor sighed through his teeth and set his three extra coins on the pile.

Dobbins was giggling, glancing between the three men, waiting for them to be ready to show their hands,

"We all done scootin' birds 'round? Let's see 'em, lads."
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Leander
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Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:14 pm



The boy’s gaze narrowed at the assertion that all of Anaxas grovelled after this man. Old Rose, perhaps, but in any other city, he wouldn’t be spared a second glance. Galdori for sure, the way he and his right-hand man batted their jibs back and forth with the rest of the table, remarks bounding between them like a child’s rubber ball. It was crude, and they insulted each other often, but that was the way with them. No insults meant you really weren’t part of the crew. Leo was not. The spoke of Leander, speaking over him rather than to him. Leander was young and self-centred, still very much a child, psychologically, and the world revolved around him. Being condescended to was a personal affront and he bristled, “If you’re quite finished,” he spoke up, glaring down at the pot of coins on the table, reminding himself of his aim.

But he learnt enough: Corwynn was definitely a galdor… if that hadn’t been obvious from his self-aggrandisation. Looks aside, that alone would have turned the young passive off of him instantly. Here they bandied about insults and lewd remarks, seemingly teasing each other about who was going home with whom, and Leo was even counted in that number. But if they discovered what he was, he would be marked in their minds. But it wasn’t a question of entrenched racism, nor Leo’s desire to change their opinions, one galdor at a time. He had little empathy for his own race. He wasn’t going to kneel and prostrate himself like the pathetic wretches who cowered in the halls of Brunnhold.

He was more than his relationship with mona.

In that case, you might as well name me heir,” Leo returned. The passive’s voice did not waver like the Crime Lord’s did, but he had tells of his own, fingers tapping lightly on the table, a rhythm of four as he worked to settle his growing nerves. The boy watched with a barely concealed flinch as Hawke mutilated his own skin for what he must have thought was an impressive show of pain tolerance. “But then again, I never did learn any of that pesky reticence everyone keeps telling me about.

That’s what the boy always heard form his teacher, at least. The mind of a young adult was impenetrable; nothing can get in that the damn fool teenager doesn’t permit. He said Leo was so sure of everything - cast iron convictions and a dearth of contemplation. It was the belief that he could drink a bottle of whiskey and not get drunk. And Reshas was okay with that, because Leo would learn from each hangover. But dangerous times breed dangerous mistakes. At his age, everything seemed so crystal clear, but sometimes the crystals are dew. They evaporate and what he was left with was terrifying.

Leander’s skin temperature dropped a few degrees as he stared at the contemptible men across for him. Hawke, he could excuse, at a push… but the pet beside him, the blond who seemed to be siphoning energy off of the more powerful man, was what confused the passive. Was Silas the flame, and everyone else unwitting moths? As a child, Leo had always wanted power. Power to protect himself, not others. He’d always been powerless, so when he learned that he was one of the pitiful few who were not gifted with the stage, yet wonderful, ability to converse with that which lay beyond the physical realm, it had truly changed his life. With mona, he could have done anything he wanted to those who sought to beat him down. But he couldn’t. He could understand Corwynn, in a way, seeking refuge in the shadow of someone like Hawke.

At the dealer’s behest, cards were laid out before him. Of the players, two laid down before Leander did. He had beaten both, which was an immediate relief. He wasn’t playing against them, though. They weren’t the ones who were toying with him. It seemed to have transcended a simple game of Rooks for coin.

Leander placed his cards down on the table. As he did, his expression still didn’t change, such had his mood deteriorated since he first sat down. He wanted to play his cards, take the winnings, and walk out. The silence was palpable, a physical presence that crawls down Leander’s throat and clenches its fists around his heart. His hand, laid out for all to see, there arranged as a Full House: three Soldiers of the Star suit, and two 7s of the Sparrow suit. This particular hand was luck, and he hoped it was enough.
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Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:58 pm

Dice RollsShow
SidekickBOT - Today at 07:37
4d6 = 5+3+4+2
Dobbin, Cor, Hawke, Sabynne (in order of who spoke first in the thread outside of Leo)

SidekickBOT - Today at 07:48
1d6 = (5) = 5
25 seconds (5 seconds per die number)
6th of Dentis, 2718
The thing about passives, the one thing that all of Vita knew, was that they were dangerous. You could call a passive a parse, an imbali, a child priest of Imaan…it didn’t matter what you called them, they all had one thing in common.

The diablerie.

Who could say what set them off? Many, extensive studies at Brunnhold had tried to discover this, but more often than not the result was death – either for the poor patient or the galdori who tested and prodded and pushed and poked. Maybe it was stress, maybe it was some internal trigger set off by a rogue magnetic pull across a specific ley line.

Maybe it was a game of cards.

Leander would feel it first, a strange and curious feeling that he had only experienced second hand. A drawing, like the inhale of a large breath all around him. Gathering, building, growing. The King would feel it too, his brow drawing in a too slow realisation of the young passives field, overwhelmingly strong and utterly out of nowhere. The young passive would feel a pressure, pressing on him, out from him, his ears pounding and teeth ringing. A sudden sharp contraction, like the implosion of a broken phosphorus globe, before a swooping wave of intense and excruciating pain rolled out from Leander.

Dobbin felt it the worst, screaming in absolute agony and wide eyed horror, before immediately dissolving into seizures as the pain wracked his body as though every bone was breaking and his flesh burning. He frothed at the mouth, eyes rolling back and muscles going stiff. Corwynn was next, the agony perhaps a little less insane, feeling as though he was being doused in boiling water. Hawke gripped the hardwood of the table, the tendons and veins in his neck standing taught against his skin and his face a mask of pain that he refused to bow to, teeth grit and breathing hard. Sabynne had the least of it, like stinging bees on her arms and face, swearing and jumping from the table. Around them, any sentient creature would feel the same. Rats in the wall shrieked in misery and the alley ostas at the fringe of its radius yowled and bolted from their dens.

It lasted only seconds, not even half a minute, but to those under its effect it felt like forever. Leander would not be able to move, frozen by his own uncontrollable power, and when it was done he would feel weakened to the point of collapse. Sweat would break across his brow and nausea would roil in his stomach. As suddenly as it came, the field disappeared and the spell vanished. Dobbin immediately fell to the floor, out cold, blood leaking from his ears in a slow seep. Hawke would growl a sound of pained relief, his white knuckles releasing the table and panting heavily. Sabynne would stop slapping at her body, staring wildly around the room.

"What the fuck was that?!"



 ! Message from: Raksha
This diablerie inflicts rapid, intense, and excruciating pain on sentient beings within a 20ft radius, causing victims to even wish for death, just as an escape to the pain. Prolonged exposure can cause lasting mental injury once the pain has receded.

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