Fishy Business

While selling his fishies, Augustus gets even fishier than usual when he spots a galdor.

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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Augustus Drogace
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:09 am
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Race: Raen
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Writer: TheNetiquette27 / Nick
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Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:43 pm

Haverton Pier
30th of Ophus, 2718 ♢ Sunset
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Augustus had a fish in each hand as he called out to the crowds, "fishies to eat! Fishies for sale!"

None of the people walking by seemed to take interest in his offer, however, no matter how much effort he put in to his sales pitch. It didn't help Augustus that his body already had a bad reputation throughout the harbor, but it didn't stop him from trying. The real adventure for the lost soul was in watching the people. At evening you could spot a couple here or there, and Augustus spent most of his time gawking at them as they would pass by. Augustus' past life as Robin was still heavy on his mind, and he felt a burning desire to find another family--even if it meant taking it from someone else. No, I promised Robin.

After another hour of trying to sell his fish, he had gotten one successful sale. A young girl had come over to buy his other, but something about his smile had seemed to scare her off. With a frown, the raen/wick patted his last fish on the head and started to walk for his shack. We'll work on the smile tonight, maybe then the fishy will leave. The lanterns made a nice scene on the bridge for the fish and the two. The people on the pier all seemed nice, but nobody seemed to like the body Augustus was inhabiting. This wasn't a concern for Augustus yet. Nobody had caught his eye, so he didn't feel a need to care. There were more people in Anaxas than on the pier he was walking.

After another minute of walking, the raen stopped and called out to the crowd once more as he actively watched his smile, "one taaasty fishy! Right from the water!" In truth, the fish had been out of water for at least three hours, but that wouldn't matter. Scanning the crowd the wick's eyes landed on a man with dark red hair and tired look to him. He stood out among the crowd. Galdor. Augustus' smile faded, and he lowered the arm raising the fish to his side.

The raen's mind started to itch, trying to remember memories it would never be fully able to. Augustus scratched at the walls in his mind as he felt himself warning him not to, and could feel the aching pain of his old memories trying to come over him once more. An image of a man he couldn't remember was all that came to his mind, and the old and un-buried emotions from his former self had come back. His body started move on its own, and Augustus found himself unable to do anything about it.

This isn't how you want to start our new life, Augustus, the voice of an old man called out from his mind--Robin.

Let me handle this on my own, plowfoot. You aren't needed here.

The galdor was at best twenty feet away when Augustus reached into a hidden coat pocket. The wick he inhabited didn't have any crossbows or guns, but he sure had a lot of knives. The people had started to disappear to their homes, and he knew it was a matter of time before he had the galdor to himself. Even if there were witnesses, who would stop him?
Last edited by Augustus Drogace on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:07 am, edited 3 times in total. word count: 601

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Tom Cooke
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:15 pm
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Location: Vienda, but also hell
Race: Raen
: Ψυχάριον εἶ βαστάζον νεκρόν.
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Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:52 pm



haverton pier, old rose
sunset on the 30th of Ophus, 2718
That was the smell – fish and spices and the sour smell of sweat and carrion, the salt-breeze that whipped up off the pier and ruffled his coat and tangled in his hair. He could barely hear the roll of the Tincta above the cacophony of footfalls and voices, merchants hawking their wares to haggling customers; the only thing louder was the hoarse shriek of the seagulls, those gawky black shapes wheeling against the canvas-white sky, shitting wherever they damn well pleased.

He breathed deeply of that breeze, as if he could draw in everything about Old Rose that was precious to him before he had to leave it. It burned his lungs, but not in the way that Vienda’s smoggy, clammy ice did; it was a tempest, it was a terrible mistress, but it was his mistress. He remembered – with increasing clarity, for once, delightful clarity – nearly dying on these streets, shivering in the cold, huddled with the other urchins. He remembered the time that bastard Arlen Brook had left him with a wound that had nearly killed him, and he’d limped to the sawbones through the slick back alleys in the Achtus chill, delirious, wondering if he’d make it another day. He remembered so much.

And he was there in it all, alone, like a little boat tossed on keja waters. He was set to leave for Vienda tomorrow morning, and he hadn’t been able to pass up his last chance to have a day out in his old home. Fleeting though it was, all this made him feel like himself again; he might be looking at everything from a lower angle, but these were still his haunts, Tom Cooke’s haunts, and he was haunting them. Caution could go fuck itself. Wasn’t right to visit like some foreign dignitary, some damned politician with a flock of servants and toughs. Wasn’t right to just pop in and then leave, barely dipping his golly toe in the water.

By sunset, he’d begun to have second thoughts. Around that time, he started to get the niggling feeling that somebody was following him.

The chill was rising, and he’d had to pull his collar up and hunker down in his heavy wool coat, shivering and sniffling. (Since when did the cold ever bother him this badly? He felt like a trembling leaf.) The merchants were all packing up, and the red sun glinted off all manner of metal charms and makeshift jewelry and slick fish-scales; the docks were emptying of their human traffic, slowly but surely. It had occurred to him more than once that evening that there were plenty of desperate folk in the Harbor that wouldn’t object to scragging a golly, and that he wasn’t much good at physical fighting anymore; he’d pushed the thought into the back of his mind until his neck had begun to prickle, like there were eyes on his back.

Cooke glanced back covertly, scanning the scattering crowd at every chance he got. He saw a woman in a plain dress, some sort of busker, a dirty-faced boch, then – that fucking fishmonger. Tocks! He’d thought there was something strange about the wick; you couldn’t have paid him a dozen birds to go near that stall. He hunkered down a little deeper into his coat, glance darting about. Wondering what he could do to get the stop-clocker off his trail, wondering what the kov even wanted. Had he been recognized? Did somebody in Old Rose want Anatole dead? Was he just a tallyboy, looking at a cleaned-up golly with a doetoed field and thinking he’d found an easy lift?

Suddenly Thomas darted to one side – down an alleyway between two old brick warehouses, barely enough room for the two of them to pass single-file. It was colder in the shade, though, cold as death, cold as a ghost. He thought he heard the footsteps stop, thought he’d finally shaken the bastard, when he turned to look over his shoulder and saw him there in the entrance of the alleyway like a godsbedamned specter –

“Shit!” he hissed, foot slipping in a patch of ice. He went down awkwardly, twisted halfway around, just managing to catch himself against a brick wall; he heard a crack and felt a sharp pain in his ankle. “Shit, shit, shit –”

He managed to collect himself to his feet, stumbling back on his twisted ankle, drawing in a shuddering, ice-cold breath. Swallowing thickly and trying to ignore the tingling in his jaw, the flip of his stomach. Anatole’s heart felt like a hummingbird that had been shot out of the air, and his lungs couldn’t seem to fill up enough.

Dignified way to go. Incumbent Anatole Vauquelin, shanked to death in an alleyway while puking. Appropriate, if only because I hate the stop-clocker. But what would Clark say if he could see his big brunno now?

He forced his eyes to focus on the wick through the bleary cold, trying to ignore the way the other man’s field made his skin crawl. It reminded him of something, but he couldn’t say what. He didn’t like it, but he gritted his teeth and tried to stand up straight, shifting his weight to his good ankle. Staring him right in the eye, just like he might’ve when he was alive.

“Listen, kov –” The words came out garbled, syrupy-slow, but he tried to make his accent as broad and common as he could. Tried to talk like he used to. “Listen, I ain’t – whatever you want, I’ll give it to you, hey? Money, someplace to stay, the coat off my back – we can settle this like civilized folk, long as you agree there ain’t no need for spilt sap. Ye chen? Don’t – don’t come any closer!”
word count: 1035
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Augustus Drogace
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Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:10 pm

Haverton Pier
30th of Ophus, 2718 ♢ Sunset
Image
Augustus cursed to himself as he calmly pushed his way through the crowds.

Augustus, the voice was calm, but after years of living in the same head he knew himself enough to know Robin was anxious. Augustus grumbled, pushing the woman in front of him out of his way. This doesn't concern you, Robin. You should thank me, you know, you do all the dreaming in this damned corpse and it's always up to me to do the doing!

Augustus blocked the voice out of his mind and took the knife out of his pocket. A few men had glanced at the commotion, but one look at them was enough to encourage them to mind their own business--this was his mark. With a frown, the wick turned into the alleyway to watch the galdor slip to the ground. "Hrmph! You pitiful rat."

The raen tried to speak as formally as possible, but Jack Tibby had never known what "formal" meant. His voice, normally harsh, became high pitched and pierced the ears enough to shatter glass. This hiccup served only to make Augustus angrier as he walked towards the galdor who had finally started to get up. Augustus could hear the faint noise of Robin shouting somewhere deep inside of his mind. He had little time left before he would lose control. Fine by me, Robin. You'll be back in control as soon as I'm finished.

Augustus smiled as he looked at the man in the eyes. In all his time of hunting, he had never found a victim so paralyzed in their fear that they'd forgotten to use their magic. Curious, the wick took another step towards the galdor and sensed his field. It was weak, but not a normal type of weak. This was something else, something too similar to Augustus than he had wanted.

A voice inside piped up. We haven't seen this before, what is this?

Hrmmm, The sound of a middle-aged professor spoke up, no, Johnathan. I think we know exactly what this is.

No! it's just a weird field. A weak field for a galdori, nothing else! Augustus' voice had mentally rang out above the others.

The wick stopped in his tracks, confused and uncertain.

The professor used their wick's head to nod. Yes, Augustus. Just as weird as us, don't you think? I never thought we'd meet a third one like us.

The wick's head then started shaking furiously as Augustus took control back, stuffing the voices away. "SHUT UP! Just shut up!" This was too much, this was impossible. He'd just kill the weak galdor or whatever it was and go somewhere less confusing.

You've been dead for over a century, and you still can't give this up?!

SpoilerShow
Augustus' attempt to keep control = 3
Robin's attempt to take control = 5

Robin's voice echoed in the raen's mind, and the wick stumbled onto a wall in the alleyway for support as he clawed at his head in an attempt to get rid of the burning pain coming from inside of it. A few moments later, the wick pushed himself off of the wall and dropped the knife that he had been holding. Robin only had enough time to hear the frightened galdor's last sentence.

"Oh yes, of course," the wick scratched his head as he listened to whatever accent the man had been trying to imitate. Maybe they have a tradition we don't understand? Oh yes, of course. The harbor was an oddity to them, and they hadn't been there long enough yet to understand their culture. In an attempt to make the man feel calmer, Robin tried to copy the galdor. "Oes, I ye chen. Your field wrong, isn't like a normal vroos."

No no no. Treat him like us. If he can't understand normal speech, I may just fall over and die.

The wick picked up his knife and stowed it in the pocket he had retrieved it from, and then took another step towards the galdor. "Are you... galdori? Really?"
Last edited by Augustus Drogace on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:07 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 738
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Tom Cooke
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:15 pm
Topics: 20
Location: Vienda, but also hell
Race: Raen
: Ψυχάριον εἶ βαστάζον νεκρόν.
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Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:21 pm



haverton pier, old rose
sunset on the 30th of Ophus, 2718
His heart could’ve stopped in those awful moments, the big black-haired wick looming closer like some horrible apparition; Tom saw the glint of a knife in the faint sunset light from behind, wicked-sharp, right at home in the hand that held it. This was a man who knew how to hold a knife, and Tom didn’t like that one bit. He fumbled at his own belt, in his own coat pockets, for anything he could use. It was to no avail: he hadn’t come armed. Why hadn’t he? Why in the hell hadn’t he? What fucking planet did Tom Cooke think he was living on, that he’d decided to go on a sunset walk, alone, on the pier, looking like this?

When the wick spoke, he nearly stumbled again, leaning hard against the brick wall. That hadn’t been a wick’s voice, he thought, as queer as it’d sounded, but this was the field of a wick. And he looked like a wick, but Tom knew as well as anybody that looks could be deceiving. This was a man who had the steady, stalking gait of a predator, the scars of a fighter, a man who held his knife like a born murderer. Now he talked like – well, Tom thought, like a clocking golly. He’d been around enough gollies lately to know that accent, that snappy intonation. Didn’t seem too far off from the way his favorite constable inspector talked, although the voice itself sounded rough, like it wasn’t used to talking that way – wasn’t used to talking at all, maybe.

And that smile! He winced at that smile, tried to look away, but found himself captivated. Pitiful rat, he thought, hissing through his teeth. Got to admit, it’s not inaccurate. But nothing had ever put him off quite like this. Nothing had ever made him feel this bizarre, save maybe dying, and even that wasn’t like looking this kov in the face.

It didn’t make any sense, especially with that frazzled, godsawful field. He had to be a wick. Unstable, maybe, bang moony, out for blood anyway, anyone’s blood. Wouldn’t be the first. Wouldn’t even be the first that Cooke had run up against, though he hadn’t a chance in hell now that he was Anatole. So Tom gritted his teeth, glanced up at the strip of darkening sky that showed itself above the narrow alleyway: he saw stars up there, the beginnings of them, little tiny pinpricks against the velvet dark. He didn’t want that stop-clocker’s face to be the last thing he saw before he got scragged by a moony murderer. This time, he’d be looking at the stars above Old Rose, the way it was supposed to be.

He heard a shout. His eyes darted back down; he took another half-step back, feeling along the wall, watching the wick’s every move. The kov’s head was shaking like mad, and he was telling someone – himself, or someone invisible – to shut up. Then he was against the wall, clawing at his head. Tom risked another little backwards step, and another, boots crunching in the slush. If the moony wick was distracted, maybe he could get away.

Then the tsuter pushed himself off the wall, and Thomas resigned himself to his second death. When he heard the knife clatter to the ground, he hardly believed his ears; he stared at it, glinting in the shadows and the dirty ice. He stared at it wide-eyed, eyebrows shooting up. Then he stared at the big wick.

His mouth was moving, but it was taking Tom awhile to process what he was saying.

He showed the kov his palms, fumbling back another painful step, limping on his sprained ankle. He spluttered a tattered little laugh; he could help it about as much as he could help his fluttering left eyelid. “You – what?” he gasped. What? Tom laughed again, and then burst into a fit of coughing, throat and lungs scraped raw by the chill. “You call me a pitiful rat, and now you want to – you want to talk? Clocking hell! My fucking erse you do! What the fuck’s wrong with you?”

Cooke was trying to get his breathing under control. He was bent, grasping at the wall for support; he could hear his own ragged breathing, see it misting in the darkening air. His vision was still blurring and pulsing with panic.

“Yes, I’m a galdor, but no, my field’s not – you’re someone to talk! Your field ain’t like a regular vroo’s, either, kov,” he spat, lip curling. Another panicked bark of a laugh. “But I’m not – I don’t want any trouble, you understand? I don’t – I’ll give you whatever you want. Or need – or if there’s some reason you want me dead, maybe we can work this out. I don’t know. I’m not – I’m not who I look like I am, hey? That’s all you need to know. Right?”
word count: 902
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Augustus Drogace
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:09 am
Topics: 3
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Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:06 am

Haverton Pier
30th of Ophus, 2718 ♢ Sunset
Image
The wick raised his arms up, opening his hands to show he currently was wielding no weapons. The galdor was laughing and coughing, responding in what they assumed was anger and confusion to Robin's sudden diplomatic approach. See? You try to be peaceful and it just creates headaches and added confusion. Let me finish this, Robin!

Of course, Augustus. How about we just murder everyone whom you dislike? The sarcastic voice of the middle-aged professor replied, I thought we came here to sell fish, what happened to that? Where did I miss the clocking notice that said 'also, we're killing anyone with red hair today?'

Shaking his head in an attempt to ignore the two Robin opened the wick's mouth, speaking in a calm and slower tone in an attempt to reassure the man. "Calm down, there's no need to fear us, sir," Robin had let his guard down as he spoke, however, and it gave Augustus a few short moments to have control. "WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!"

Augustus charged forwards with a roar and made it two paces towards the sickly rat before he quickly slammed his body into the wall to stop himself. The mental pain inside the raen was building once more, and Robin shouted out loud as he pushed Augustus out of the body once more, "JUST GIVE IT UP, AUGUSTUS!" After the burning pain has passed, the wick once again looked at the galdor.

I'm sorry to say it, Robin, but we're acting quite off today.

Another voice appeared in the mental conversation, snorting before he spoke. No shit, Balderick.

Looking back at the galdor, the wick pushed his body off of the wall and courteously bowed towards the sickly galdor, eager to move past his sudden outburst. "I apologize, sir. That doesn't usually happen. You will give me whatever I want, you say? How about you give me some of your time," the wick attempted to give the man a warm smile, but it came out much more sinister than he had meant for it to, "if I am correct you should have a lifetime spare to talk, after all."

The wick looked back and forth, making sure that the two were alone. This hadn't been how they expected their day to go, but if they turned out to be right maybe they had found family, or maybe at the least a friend? They scratched the wick's chin as they thought. Not who he looks like he is? Maybe we were right!

The wick took another few steps towards the man, stopping when there was an arm's length between the two. Raising a hand towards the galdor, Robin spoke, hoping the galdor would understand his insanity. "The name of this - this wick... Is Jack Tibby, but you can call me Robin. Robin Fletcher, ye chen?"

They had all taken a breath together, nervous but excited to see what the strange coughing man would say to them.
word count: 534
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Tom Cooke
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:15 pm
Topics: 20
Location: Vienda, but also hell
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: Ψυχάριον εἶ βαστάζον νεκρόν.
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:06 pm



haverton pier, old rose
sunset on the 30th of Ophus, 2718
Calm down, there’s no need to fear us, sir – us? – like hell, thought Tom, like hell! – and then the big wick bellowed again, barreling forward. Cooke stumbled another couple of steps back, gasped as he put pressure on his twisted ankle, and then felt his feet go out from under him again. This time, though he scrabbled at the wall, he couldn’t regain his balance; his erse slammed hard against the cold, hard ground.

He’d expected the moony fuck to have him in pieces by now, but he’d thrown himself against the brick wall again, struggling for dear life against some invisible strangler. Circle knew what was going on, but Tom sure as hell wasn’t sticking around to find out. He fumbled in the slush, soaking his coat and gloves, barely registering the wick’s voice. He’d crabwalked back at least a foot when the wick pushed himself off the wall again; by the set of his shoulders he was a little calmer, but Tom couldn’t tell anything about his expression, not in the half-light of the alleyway. Now most of the red was bleeding from the horizon behind him, and he was a big shadow, his face pitted with shadows like a moon-white skull.

Tom swallowed thickly and stopped crawling. His gaze darted from the big wick’s face to the stretch of alleyway behind; it came to rest back on the strange face. Gods, he thought. It’s like he’s wearing a mask. Never seen anything like it. Tom licked his cracked, chill-dry lips, sucked ice-cold air into his struggling lungs.

The big kov was talking again, talking like he had before he’d lost it. Those humble, friendly tones, that accent Cooke couldn’t quite place – it was more offputting than relieving, but, Tom reckoned, beggars couldn’t be choosers. As a matter of fact, beggars couldn’t be anything. He glanced again at the knife, glinting in the slush a few steps behind the wick. That’d been a sign of good faith, at least.

Then the kov smiled that ghastly smile, and – Tom’s blood might’ve froze, if he wasn’t already numb and chilled to the bone. Lifetime? he thought, and mouthed the word, lips moving fumbling-slow: ‘A lifetime spare. A lifetime spare?’ He thought of the wick’s frayed, callow field, wondered.

A long pause, the two staring at each other in the dark, eyes glistening. Anatole’s right eyelid was twitching something awful by now.

“First off, friend,” he said hesitantly, cautiously, pushing himself up to his haunches. He clawed the brick wall for support, slipping a little as he regained his feet. “First off, I – gods. Fuckin’ Lady. I think I know what you’re getting at, but I don’t like it none. I don’t like it at all.” He raised a scuffed, gloved hand himself. The wick was stepping closer all cautious-like, like he was trying to feed a deer. Tom resisted the urge to take another step back. “I’ll talk. I’ll talk. But don’t come any closer, hey? No closer. Stop. No. Right there.”

The name of this - this wick... Is Jack Tibby, but you can call me Robin.

Fucking moony, Tom thought. Moony, moony, moony – it was like a mantra in his head – moony, bang moony… He licked his lips, trying to reckon some way of proceeding. Two options sprang up in his head. Two scenarios, two possibilities. One, this stop-clocker was plain moony, regular moony, and that was what he’d figured the whole time. Voices in his head, or something. Tom had seen it before. He’d never seen it quite like this, but he’d seen it. In that case, he had to play the wick’s game just long enough to figure out how to dust, and then he’d be safe, provided he didn’t wind up with a knife buried to the hilt in his back. Regardless, what else was he supposed to do?

The second, though – he felt the bile rising in his throat again, felt his jaw tingling. He had to check himself from gagging. Clocking hell, he thought, feeling oddly helpless. Is this what it was like for Corwynn? No wonder he was looking at me like that. I am a monster.

Tom bit his lip, then nodded cautiously, face slack and pale with fear and slick with cold sweat. “Aye. I understand, Mr. Fletcher. I do, actually. For once.” Just play along. “I’m – well – I won’t tell you the name of the galdor. Not yet, anyway. But my name – it’s Cooke. Tom Cooke. And no, I – I’m not a galdor. Well, I am now. But I didn’t used to be. It’s hard to explain, but I reckon you’re – ahead of me there. Maybe a fair manna ahead.

“So. Fletcher, or Tibby, or whatever. You want to tell me what it is you think you know about me? And what it is you want to talk about?”
word count: 895
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