Seaside Moors Maybe I should get to church on Sunday...
All Welcome  June 13, 2020, 03:28 PM
Stryx
Lone Wolves

Checking in on @Raleska, but open to anyone! Would lowkey love a @Vlad thread but whoever wants to find her, feel free to drop in!

Beyond the moors, further north, was a rocky coastline which Stryx picked her way along. The summer air was hot despite the early hour, while a salted wind blustered at her hunched shoulders. She had gone out at high tide and waited for the water to pull away. As it did, she lurked across the wet sand and kept an eye out for anything valuable. A few larger crabs got scooped up by gulls, and as Stryx watched they were dropped from the air and would crack upon the stones below. A sick, wet sound. It reminded her of bones shattering.

When she finally caught up to one of these birds a tussle ensued; the gull shrieking with wings raised, flapping aggressively and trying to pry the crab's carapace away from her. Eventually it gave up and winged off, seeking an easier meal. Stryx carried the husk of fresh crab back with her to the edge of Rusalka. She dropped it carefully, licking away a strange milky film off her lips which had come from the alien creature, and waited for a patrol to find her.
June 19, 2020, 11:18 PM
Erzulie
Rusalka
Beta*
i saw this when u put it up & knew i must have it if no one joined

        she found the shrewd young healer along the moorline. erzulie herself had sought the warmth of the day, considering the time in which she might bring her small blossoms along upon a patrol.
        it would be sooner than she realized, the harlot decided, shifting her attention to the sharp-eyed huntress and her kill. "stryx, it be?" erzulie inquired warmly, flicking mismatched gaze briefly over the physician.
        she had been truthful to her word, remaining close while raleska recovered from some great as-of-yet unheard ordeal. more than birth, the cinnamon courtesan sensed, but for now she only waited, thinking of offering their guest a cache for her catch.

[Image: veve3.png]
June 19, 2020, 11:29 PM
Stryx
Lone Wolves

*energetic seal clap!!!!*


Crabs are odd things. It is not the first time she has sought them out in her life, and while this one is for the benefit of the new mother Stryx cannot help but think of the rich meat inside the alien carapace. How rich it would be - how beneficial to her own belly. Bits of her oath play through her mind like a mantra - do no harm - and she wonders if it would count as harm if she ate the meal herself.

She does not have to wait long and as soon as the bronzed shape materializes in her peripheral vision she latches her teeth upon one of the still-intact legs of the crab. Its tucked neatly against a chunky set of pincers. Her teeth drag lightly across the rough surface of the chitin but she pauses, hearing the woman's voice, and withdraws from it.

Yes. This is for Raleska, or... Whomever. Rather than grabbing the crab she noses at it, pushes it, and it rocks on an uneven keel. She licks her lips again, finds a shard of shell on her lip and flicks it to the ground with her tongue. Are you her mother?
June 21, 2020, 11:48 PM
Erzulie
Rusalka
Beta*
        she found herself studying stryx as the woman spoke her short words, examined her own quarry. the healer was not as young as erzulie had previously thought — more flush with youth than herself, but matured in a ways that the harlot sensed might be intriguing.
        "i do not know if she would call me dat," the beta-wolf demurred, stepping forward. beneath her paws the rocks were warm, and the nearby lap of water called to her siren's heart. so down she stepped, pacing into the licking surf, wading silently until the salt embraced her mid-thigh.
        "i nevah was told how you foun' raleska," erzulie purled after a moment, shifting her leaf-green, half-gold stare to stryx and her pretty, closed features. would she surrender her patient? or perhaps might tell the harlot to fuck off. hint of a smile tugged at her lips.

[Image: veve3.png]
June 28, 2020, 06:08 PM
Stryx
Lone Wolves

Stryx had been around, but had never heard anyone speak with the lilt that Erzulie now did. She abbreviated words heavily and the accent, while fitting, sounded odd to her ears - but it wasn't worth commenting on. Curiouser was the manner in which Erzulie spoke of Raleska, refuting that they held such a familial bond, before probing for more details.

It wasn't Stryx's place to explain anything. Such a traumatic event would sit with Raleska for a long while, perhaps never leaving her, as it had left an indelible impression upon the new mother; thus, it was not for Stryx to share. She kept it brief.

There was a seaside grotto. She needed aid, and I was nearby. A shrug. As if saving someone's life was as easily and commonly done as any other task. Remembering being elbow-deep in seeping blood while voices stormed around her in that sullen space, Stryx's gaze glossed, becoming distant, and she steadied herself with a deep breath. It had been a traumatic scene for her, too. I am glad she survived - as well as those kids.
June 28, 2020, 10:08 PM
Erzulie
Rusalka
Beta*
        erzulie did not miss the ghost that haunted stryx' gaze a moment. 
        nor the grotto.
        the harlot had known in her marrow that the seawitch had come to a bad end, but had not sought the details. in the end, however, it did not seem to matter. caiaphas had beckoned raleska from beyond the veil, seated in power forever somewhere in the boneyard of death. how could a daughter do else but listen to a woman become gatekeeper? and that dear link was why erzulie could never adopt the role of mother; not fully.
        "i will always be grateful to you for saving her life," the woman rejoined softly with a twitch of her spice-dark ears. another breath, and then she swept them both on, refusing to linger in the dark shadows of the sound with her assumptions of what had happened.
        "i would be happy to learn a t'ing or two about midwifing. it was nevah for me. just patching woun's." that had been a skill erzulie had avoided all her life, despite seeing the birth of cully-bastards all her life.

[Image: veve3.png]
June 28, 2020, 10:22 PM
Stryx
Lone Wolves

The prompt to move on was welcomed. She would be happy to walk alongside this woman, happier if she could leave behind the muddy, blood-rich memories of that hellish grotto, but that would take a long while yet. There were formative surgeries in Stryx's past that still clung to her like syrup, but this singular event was fresh, and it would linger longer than anything before it.

When asked about the specifics of midwifery, Stryx was unsure of how to proceed. She was hardly skilled in that avenue; her specialty had never been decided during her training. The only reason she had succeeded with Raleska had been - well, she wasn't really sure. The will of Askleipeius pouring through her, perhaps. The spite of her soul, more like it. She'd seen enough death. It was unfair to watch it happen again.

That shadow crossed over her eyes once more, flickering.

That is where my tutelage ended also. Months of patchwork. A little dabble with motherhood, at least the motherhood of others... My choice to pursue this vocation removed me from the gene pool, culturally. She was being verbose and it was unneccessary; but she could not stop the flow of words, finding a vague mirth within them.

Had she saved Raleska because she been in need, or because she could not bear the thought of children without a mother? Stryx could have let her die easily enough and assumed the role if it had been her desire. She falls silent, speculative, cramming such foul thoughts somewhere small.

Turns out, withered crones make the best teachers - and like all things over-ripe, the most bitter.
June 28, 2020, 11:01 PM
Erzulie
Rusalka
Beta*
        for a series of moments erzulie was content to move in silence along the water's edge, listening to stryx speak with a sudden profusion of words blossoming in her throat. she herself was both healer and mother, but it would have been impolite to suggest such a thing. the harlot knew the breadth that healing demanded, and that was why she had only applied herself to it in a rudimentary way, to begin.
        but the other's description, cut like slashes of ink along the inside of a tome's cover. did stryx mean it for herself, or another? a non-commital sound thrummed in her throat. "a bitter heart would not have felt for an ailing girl," she mused lightly, turning her mismatched gaze again upon stryx. "an' crones are not cold, beautiful women who appear beside de sea to bring a new mot'er home."
        witch, perhaps.
        a challenge on her tongue.

[Image: veve3.png]
June 28, 2020, 11:11 PM
Stryx
Lone Wolves

There is a warmth trying to fester within Stryx. It comes easily at first, fed by the presence of Erzulie, her comments, her understanding. Then there is something that restrains that warmth. Not enough kindling perhaps. An unwillingness to be open and truly present with another person. For too long the aged creatures who served Askleipeion had been her only constant; Erzulie was so much like them, Stryx thought. Secretive to some measure, and seemingly wise, but the similarities made Stryx suddenly resistent.

There was a look that Erzulie held as she looked upon Stryx, something motherly, but cold. Maybe she was seeing a chill where there was none. Hearing compliments which were not intended as such. The unspoken word hung between them for a moment and Stryx thought, surely, that she'd heard it spoken aloud; her ears twitched to slant, her eyes turned sharp.

She broke her momentary silence to murmur, I left the order before all the teachings could take root. It was forbidden for her to speak too openly about those women - equally so to evade them, abandon them. With time perhaps Stryx would break that vow, too.
June 29, 2020, 10:35 PM
Erzulie
Rusalka
Beta*
        it was there, a thin rime clinging to the underside of an otherwise pleasant expression. not cruel, but probing, wondering. erzulie was a reactive woman. given the barest hint of a sign that stryx was not to be trusted, the fire just beneath her skin would be provoked.
        and yet there was nothing provocative about the other healer, nothing that erzulie could see might threaten rusalka.
        intrigue now, and her gaze turned to honey even as stryx' own became shrewd.
        "i was also part of an order once," the harlot purred, not taking the moment to question her companion. "i left before i could be ... domesticated." a different order, sure, the warm rooms where marie had brought her girls, but a cultish thing all the same, rot rampant along the shadowed parts no one else was able to see.

[Image: veve3.png]
Today, 01:24 AM
Stryx
Lone Wolves

This place - Rusalka - was so far removed from what Stryx knew as civilization that she was, for a moment anyway, surprised by Erzulie's comment. There was no sense of camaraderie bestowed upon her upon hearing that term, domestication, nor any semblance of kinship for having shared a similar lifestyle. If anything, it bolstered Stryx against the siren woman. Being reminded of those days only soured her further.

She was silent for a moment or two too long because of this... resistance, for lack of a better term. A flash of doubt swam in her eyes before she walled herself off completely and emotionally withdrew from the conversation, becoming clinical and cold, as if a switch had been flipped. No more talk of that life.

You found something better here. Stryx murmured as a hasty, clipped reply. There were obvious signs of recent pregnancy still clinging to the woman's body; for the physician it did not seem out of place, not until she mentally included the dispatched Raleska to the equation. Stryx had not wondered why the new mother had been so far from her supposed home until that moment - but did not let that little nagging voice inside herself grow in to anything greater than a pale skepticism.