MH - S01 E08

Nov 5th, 2014
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  1. <Darkling> It's the next morning, school is about to begin. Everyone parted ways after the weird vision trip they all went on together. Elisa has not shown up for class yet.
  2. <Billy_Blackfeather> Neither has Billy. At least not officially. There were some whispers that she's stalking around without her backpack looking for someone.
  3. <Avaline> "Elisa... so not cool not showing up after that." Avaline mutters with a sigh.
  4. Tina_ arrives later than usual, looking skittish and heading directly for homeroom.
  5. <Billy_Blackfeather> Looks like that isn't enough to save you. Billy appears in the doorway close to seething, eyes locked on you.
  6. <Tina_> "Oh...Um...Hey Billy...I think...I think we should talk about yesterday."
  7. <Billy_Blackfeather> She walks right through the classroom. Desks, chairs and students are pushed aside until she's on top of you, hand around your wrist. "Damn right."
  8. <Darkling> There's a murmur amongst the rest of the students in the class, the teacher doesn't seem to have noticed somehow though.
  9. <Billy_Blackfeather> No choice is offered, Billy pulling the girl or dragging her if needed.
  10. <Tina_> Tina walks with her, she'd rather not be dragged.
  11. <Billy_Blackfeather> While the hallways or bathroom would be the usual spot for such a confrontation Billy sees fit to pull Tina outside. "Start with the one of us amongst you."
  12. <Tina_> "I don't know, really. I have no idea what that thing was talking about."
  13. <Tina_> "I would never curse you. I didn't even believe it until I saw that thing..."
  14. <Billy_Blackfeather> With a frown Billy pushes Tina until her back is against a tree out on the lawn, fingers pressed firmly to her ribs to keep her in place. "Then why does it seem to think you can help me?"
  15. <Tina_> "B-because...you were there...I said I would help you any way I could..."
  16. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Because you're one of them!" Billy gets in close, breath hot. Smells like she's been eatting raw meat or something. "It said so."
  17. <Tina_> "I...I don't know!" She's trying not to make Billy any more angry. "Why would I want to hurt your family? We're friends!"
  18. <Billy_Blackfeather> She snorts, staring Tina right in the eye. She'd seen Gramps do it before.
  19. <Billy_Blackfeather> She got in so close it looked like she might kiss the girl she was menacing but with a lick of her lips she backed off by a few feet. Her shoulders slumped as she looked away, off at the forest.
  20. Tina_ takes a deep breath as the other girl moves away. "I'll do whatever it takes to fix this. If I am some part of it or not. I promise."
  21. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Then get your folks to stop cutting down the forest."
  22. <Tina_> "Fine."
  23. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Good. Sabotaging their equipment wasn't working anyway."
  24. <Tina_> "That was you?"
  25. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Yeah."
  26. <Tina_> "You knew about this before yesterday?'
  27. <Billy_Blackfeather> "I've been spraypainting their windows black for months."
  28. <Tina_> "Why did you do it then?"
  29. <Billy_Blackfeather> "To stop them from cutting down trees. Just felt right."
  30. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Anyway, I'm going."
  31. Tina_ didn't answer. She just sat down next to the tree.
  32. Billy_Blackfeather leaves school property, crossing the street and disappearing back into the woods.
  33. <Avaline> Meanwhile, Avaline stays in class, likely taking notes for Tina.
  34. <Darkling> Eventually the bell rings, letting people out to their next class.
  35. <Avaline> And then off Avaline goes, eventually coming to the tree and waving to Tina if she's still there.
  36. Tina_ doesn't look up. She's just sitting there, arms around her knees, looking at the ground.
  37. <Avaline> Avaline sits down next to Tina. "This doesn't suit you at all, you know? What's up?"
  38. <Tina_> She sniffs and rests her head on Ava's shoulder. "A monster told me that I'm just like it and now one of my best friends thinks I cursed her family. And now I have to destroy my parents business..."
  39. <Avaline> Avaline slips an arm around Tina. "I dunno... do you really have to destroy it? Maybe you could convince them that they should redirect their efforts?"
  40. <Tina_> "To what? They own a lumber yard."
  41. <Avaline> "Maybe there's some other forest? Or they could sell the business to someone they don't like and then Billy could be mad at those people instead?"
  42. <Tina_> "Another forest would involve moving...And selling the business would still mean that we have to destroy it later."
  43. <Avaline> "Can't have you moving, no. But at least we wouldn't be hurting your parents, right?"
  44. <Tina_> "I guess...But that still means that I'm a monster..."
  45. <@Mr_Rage> "What about new policy?" Izumi chimes in from the other side of the tree. "Spirit only mad about destruction, yes? Maybe compromise enough; go green, sustainable, farm only young trees, blah blah."
  46. <Tina_> "Do you really wanna call up that thing and try to compromise with it?"
  47. <@Mr_Rage> "Who asking its permission? Do what possible. If that not enough, then we talk."
  48. <Avaline> Avaline grins and opens her mouth as if to say something, but apparently thinks better of it. "Do you have any reason to believe you're a monster? Claws? Fangs? Glowing red eyes?"
  49. <Tina_> "Well...I guess you're right Izumi." She looked back at Ava. "No but that thing said I was one of them..." She looked down.
  50. <@Mr_Rage> "You think every weird creature in this world a monster? Pah!"
  51. <Tina_> "If not some monster then what? Because it definitely wasn't a fluffy bunny rabbit."
  52. <Avaline> "Even if you're a monster I'd still think the best of you, Tina. Unless you were a black widow monster. Or a mantis monster. Might have some issues there."
  53. <Tina_> She grinned despite herself. "Well gee. Thanks."
  54. <Avaline> "Billy wasn't too rough on you, was she?"
  55. <Tina_> "I'm okay. We talked and then she left."
  56. <@Mr_Rage> "Very restrained for her."
  57. <Avaline> "Good. I wish she'd quit skipping school so much, though."
  58. <Tina_> "I don't blame her."
  59. <Tina_> "Speaking of skipping school...Elisa didn't show up either, did she?"
  60. <Avaline> "She didn't. I guess she's still spazzing."
  61. <@Mr_Rage> "Maybe I should give her therapy..."
  62. Tina_ sighs. "We're all gonna need therapy." She looked back at the school. "I don't wanna go back in there. Not when I've got this on my mind."
  63. <Avaline> "Nah, I think I'm good on the therapy end."
  64. <Avaline> "Either of you know how to get in touch with Elisa? I hope she's still spazzing... I mean... still spazzing instead of having done something rash."
  65. <Tina_> "I've got her number." Tina says, pulling out her phone.
  66. <Avaline> "Hope she answers..."
  67. Tina_ brought her up in the contact list and pressed send.
  68. <Darkling> No answer.
  69. <@Mr_Rage> "Hmh. Let's go to her house after classes."
  70. <Darkling> ---------------
  71. <Billy_Blackfeather> Hands in her pockets and shoulders hunched the girl makes her way through the familiar, if darker, forest towards Gramp's place. Over and over she heard different parts of what that frankly scary-looking spirit had said.
  72. <Darkling> Oddly enough, you can't seem to find the trail to Gramp's. You felt you knew where you were, thought you heard the stream, but you should have been there by now.
  73. <Billy_Blackfeather> She stopped her walking to take a good look around, worried the forest might be turning against her now. She knew that sounded dumb but a lot of stuff sounded dumb until yesterday.
  74. <Darkling> The wind was picking up suddenly, blowing leaves up in her face.
  75. <Billy_Blackfeather> "What? What?!" She swats at the blowing leaves in annoyance. "I know! My family fucked up and I have to fix it!"
  76. <Darkling> Swatted out of the way, you're in a different part of the woods now. It looks, unhealthy.
  77. <Billy_Blackfeather> She lowered her arms, a bit shocked. For different reasons of course, the least of which was being teleported. "What's going on here?"
  78. <Darkling> The trees around her were dead looking, not a leaf on them, rot and fungus growing in patches. The ground was soft and smelt of decay. That bubbling stream looked thick and oiley as it slopped down the rocks.
  79. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Not just pollution." She covered her nose with a sleeve, walking slowly and examining the place. Was this something they expected her to fix? How?
  80. <Darkling> You can kind of see, things, moving around you. You can't really say what they could be, but they weren't human, and it was hard to focus on them, but everywhere they moved, the forest around them died.
  81. <Billy_Blackfeather> Can't be healthy...natural. If she...the Blackfeathers...were guardians of the forest then she had to clean this up. How? Think, stupid. Eventually she lets out a growl, trying to channel the beast within. "I demand answers!"
  82. <Darkling> You can feel a presence too. Something worse than everything else around you that you can't see.
  83. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Answer me or I'll find you and rip out your throat, you know what I am!" She barks her threats at the dying forest, gaze sweeping back and forth for something to focus on. "What are you doing here? Why are you doing this?"
  84. <Darkling> The ground gets softer around your feet, sucking at your shoes and you suddenly feel queasy. It's heard to tell, but there's a mass in front of you, moving in a straight line through trees and brush and rocks. Sliding and leaving a path of blackened earth behind it.
  85. <Billy_Blackfeather> Despite the feeling in the pit of her stomach and the muck grabbing at her feet she manages to look desfiant. Its what she was good at after all, barely restrained violence on the surface.
  86. <Darkling> As it gets closer you can see organs moving inside the creatures body. More than two eyes float around, some sort of stomach maybe, a heart even. There were other things as well. Bones, half dissolved things, rock or branch here and there. Even the smell as it got closer was near unbearable.
  87. <Billy_Blackfeather> If she could just tear at those eyes, blind it long enough to pull at the organs. If only she was that...that wolf now. She'd be the strongest. "So lets hear it! Giving me the silent treatment only pisses me off!"
  88. <Darkling> Well, it didn't appear to have a mouth of any sort, but it kept getting closer and closer until it was over top of you, and with a shudder of its gelatinous body it engulfed you and the forest you were in appeared again, the stream that ran by Gramp's bubbling around your feet.
  89. <Billy_Blackfeather> She stood shaking, glad she went pee before leaving the trailer. Otherwise her shorts would be soaked. "What...the fuck?!"
  90. <Billy_Blackfeather> This wasn't something she was equipped to handle on her own. She's heading up to Gramp's porch before she even realizes it.
  91. <Darkling> Gramps was inside his little shack, sitting in that delapidated rocking chair that was a million times comfier than it looked.
  92. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Gramps, we gotta chat." She picked a stray leaf out of her hair as she approached him.
  93. <Darkling> He turns to look to you, quiet and listening.
  94. <Billy_Blackfeather> "I've got the forest spirits sending me messages I don't get at all. If I'm some sorta guardian I kinda have to know stuff. I think you know what stuff."
  95. <Darkling> You can hear him sigh a bit, but he keeps quiet to let you go on.
  96. <Billy_Blackfeather> "I mean...what are we supposed to be doing and how do I fight some big blob with a lot of organs floating around in it?"
  97. <Darkling> "There are ways, everything has a weakness."
  98. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Can you be more specific?" She moved to sit down in front of him. "I'm in the dark on all of this."
  99. <Darkling> "Answers elude me, you must consult another on specifics.I can arrange a meeting."
  100. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Consult who? Who could have more answers than you?"
  101. <Darkling> "I am old Nikiq. I am wise, but I am old." A soft, wrinkly hand comes out to stroke the side of your face. "But there are older, stronger forces at work here that can help you more."
  102. <Billy_Blackfeather> "I...whatever you think'll help."
  103. <Darkling> "I will teach you what I can. I will give you what I can."
  104. <Darkling> He gets up from his chair and ambles across the room.
  105. <Billy_Blackfeather> Billy watches from her spot on the floor as long as she can before getting to her feet.
  106. <Darkling> Once he reaches his bed he kneels over and starts searching under it, mumbling to himself the whole time. Before long he pulls out a box about two feet long and gets back up, making his way back over to you.
  107. <Billy_Blackfeather> "What's in the box?"
  108. <Darkling> He hands it to her then sits back down in his chair and motions for her to sit.
  109. <Billy_Blackfeather> She sits down, setting the box between them.
  110. <Darkling> "This is what I can offer you Nikiq."
  111. <Darkling> He lifts the top of the box off revealing a bunch of soft cloth wrapping some items.
  112. <Billy_Blackfeather> She looks up at him then leans forward to unwrap them.
  113. <Darkling> The first item is a pendent. It looks old, worn, the etching on it hard to make out from years of weathering, but it seems to be a moon inside of a wolfs mouth.
  114. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Neat."
  115. <Darkling> "Protection." He nods.
  116. <Darkling> The next is a tomahawk. It looks as worn as the pendant, the leather wrapped handle soft to the touch. Feathers hanging from the dented blade.
  117. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Did you actually use this thing?" She looked it over, suddenly wondering if he kept one of those feathered head dresses around too.
  118. <Darkling> If there was an answer to that question there may still be small bits of blood in the nooks of the blade. Gramps wasn't saying though and said instead "For strength."
  119. <Billy_Blackfeather> She nods.
  120. <Darkling> The last item was a short bow, barely fitting in the box. It matched the age of the others, though it's wood still seemed to have a good amount of lustre to it. Maybe it wasn't used as often as the others.
  121. <Billy_Blackfeather> A questioning look at Gramps.
  122. <Darkling> He looks like he dozed off, his head lowered a bit and eyes closed.
  123. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Gramps."
  124. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Gramps!"
  125. <Darkling> "Snrk!" He jumps a bit.
  126. <Billy_Blackfeather> She holds up the bow.
  127. <Darkling> "Yes, that is for you as well."
  128. <Billy_Blackfeather> "If we have these things...why turn into wolves?"
  129. <Darkling> "For when you can't. The wold is not always the answer."
  130. <Billy_Blackfeather> She looked over the assembled items, slipping on the pendant. "What now?"
  131. <Darkling> "I make contact, and we get information. Your friends, they are not a round?"
  132. <Billy_Blackfeather> She made a face, looking away a moment. "They're at school."
  133. <Darkling> "We have no time to wait." He is up out of his chair again. "Follow me." He starts to shamble to the door, leaving you behind.
  134. <Billy_Blackfeather> She scrambles to her feet and quickly follows, bow in hand and tomahawk in her belt.
  135. <Darkling> ---------------
  136. <Darkling> Elisa's house was proving harder to find than you expected. You knew the address, but the house just didn't seem to be there, and to be honest, none of you had actually ever been to her house before. You had circled the block about three times now without success.
  137. <Tina_> "How is her house not here? It doesn't make sense..."
  138. <Avaline> "I don't get it either. Unless there's a portal to another dimension hidden around here somewhere..."
  139. <@Mr_Rage> "Hmmh... perhaps we not looking the right way." Izumi strokes her chin.
  140. <Avaline> "What would you suggest?"
  141. Tina_ shrugged and took out her phone. "Try her again, maybe?"
  142. <@Mr_Rage> "Go for it."
  143. Tina_ dialed up Elisa expecting to have no response.
  144. <Darkling> The phone rings twice before it's picked up. "Hello?"
  145. <Tina_> "Hello? Elisa? Hey!"
  146. <Darkling> "Hey, what's up?"
  147. <Tina_> "We're on your street, I think. We wanted to come see if you were okay but, well, we can't find your house."
  148. <Darkling> "What do you see? Are you near the mailbox at the corner?"
  149. <Tina_> "I-I think so? I mean...There are a few mailboxes.."
  150. <Darkling> "Okay, I'll be right there!"
  151. Tina_ looks up and around. "She says she'll be right here..."
  152. <Darkling> Sure enough, true to her word, within a few minutes, Elisa is rounding a corner and walking up to the three girls.
  153. <@Mr_Rage> "Hm," Izumi grins, as though she'd told a joke to herself.
  154. <Avaline> "Hi, Elisa. You alright?"
  155. <Darkling> "Yeah, something wrong?"
  156. <Darkling> She looks perfectly normal and chipper.
  157. <Tina_> "Well...You did... um...kind of freak out and miss school."
  158. <Darkling> "School?" She blinks. "Oh crap! I thought it was the weekend?" She shrugs.
  159. <@Mr_Rage> "Mmhmm." Izumi leans over, bapping Elisa on the cheek with a stack of dollar bills. "Next time behave more proper, hmmm?"
  160. <Darkling> That makes her blink again, looking quizicly at the money. "Sorry to worry you guys. You didn't skip school for me did you?"
  161. <Tina_> "We were pretty worried."
  162. <Avaline> "Yeah, we kind of did."
  163. <Darkling> "Aw shucks guys. I'm flattered but I really just slept in and forgot."
  164. <Tina_> "You're sure you're okay? You don't wanna talk at all about it?"
  165. <Darkling> "It was just some really bad weed from an old guy in the woods, right?"
  166. Tina_ looks at the others, unsure of what to say.
  167. <@Mr_Rage> "Well, since we already come this far out, maybe you take us to your place? Get us something tasty-tasty?" Bap bap, that money again.
  168. <Avaline> "Eh... I don't believe in bad weed."
  169. <Avaline> After a few seconds Avaline goes on. "That came out wrong. Sorry."
  170. <Darkling> "My place? No, it's kind of in a mess right now and I'm sure my parents wouldn't be too happy if they came home and found me not in school."
  171. <@Mr_Rage> Izumi clucks her tongue, eyes scanning critically over Elisa's face. "I see."
  172. <Darkling> "Maybe we can go for a drink at the cafe?"
  173. <Tina_> "That sounds like fun. You guys want to go?"
  174. <Avaline> "I'm game."
  175. <@Mr_Rage> "Hm. It serviceable apology for now~"
  176. <Tina_> "Let's see if Billy wants to come too."
  177. <Avaline> Avaline begins cackling for a few seconds. It stops abruptly.
  178. Tina_ looks at her with a strange look aquestion clear on her face.
  179. <Darkling> "Does she have a phone?"
  180. <Avaline> "Sorry. I had an underhanded idea on how to get Billy to come. But I decided against it."
  181. <@Mr_Rage> "Hmh?"
  182. <Avaline> "Let's not talk about it."
  183. <Tina_> "I don't think she has a phone...or at least, I don't have her number.
  184. <Avaline> "Neither do I."
  185. <Darkling> "Well, maybe we should have got her that instead of a knife."
  186. <Tina_> "Yeah. That might have been smart."
  187. <@Mr_Rage> "Cellphone with Billy's activity level? Would need to be Nokia."
  188. <Darkling> "Well, how are we going to find her then?"
  189. <Tina_> "Her house? Gramps'?"
  190. <Avaline> "Off in the woods, maybe."
  191. <Darkling> "I don't really want to wander about aimlessly."
  192. <Tina_> "Gramps' is where she's always hanging."
  193. <@Mr_Rage> "Seem right to me. If she not there, she on her own."
  194. <Avaline> "Alright."
  195. <Darkling> "Sounds good."
  196. <Darkling> ---------------
  197. <Darkling> Gramps was taking you somewhere deep into the woods, you had lost your way awhile ago without knowing how. He had kept quiet the whole time, keeping a steady pace that was unkown of for the old man.
  198. <Billy_Blackfeather> She followed along in silence, hardly aware of the mysterious bow's weight in her hand.
  199. <Darkling> The forest here had a different sense to it. There was a slight fog or mist hanging around and a silence permeated the air. As you walked behind him the ground sucked with each footstep.
  200. <Billy_Blackfeather> She frowned at the familiar sensation.
  201. <Darkling> "When we get there, you do not speak Do not agree to anything. Do not touch anything. And do not run."
  202. <Billy_Blackfeather> As suprising as the instructions were it was the last one that really caught her attention. "Run...from what?"
  203. <Darkling> "Her." Was all he said and he kept trudging forward. You were getting surrounded by tall reeds now and there was pools of water around, and the stink of peat moss in the air.
  204. <Billy_Blackfeather> What else was hiding in these woods? This 'her'...was she someone Billy was supposed to guard too? She wasn't so sure.
  205. <Darkling> A little over an hour of floolowing you Gramps, you enter a clearing, a pond or bog of some sort with a crooked tree sitting on a tiny land mass in the middle of it.
  206. <Billy_Blackfeather> Yeah, that didn't look ominous.
  207. <Darkling> Or stereotypical. Not at all.
  208. <Darkling> You get the weird sesation you're being watched. Maybe it's some feral wolf instinct kicking in, or just paranoi, but you know you aren't alone. Gramps on the other hand looks completely unpreturbed, stoic and strong.
  209. <Billy_Blackfeather> She wants to ask him what's going on but she's too busy watching out for whatever was watching them. Could she ever really look at the woods the same way again?
  210. <Darkling> You feel a hand slip over your shoulder, only to spin around to nothing.
  211. <Billy_Blackfeather> A growl rumbles in her chest. She didn't like games like this.
  212. <Darkling> "Enough Witch!" Gramps boomed out. "No games, we talk!"
  213. <Billy_Blackfeather> A witch? That didn't sound good.
  214. <Darkling> "What brings Maone and his pup to the Unsound." As if she was there wall along, a woman stood hunched over in front of you, up to her waist in the bog, only a mere few feet away. Long ragged hair fell across her face and down the the water, covering and obscuring her pale, clay coloured skin.
  215. <Darkling> "I come to trade for information."
  216. <Billy_Blackfeather> Billy squinted at the figure, trying to get some measure of the one crone. She wanted to stand between the Witch and Gramps but she had the feeling he was the stronger of all three of them.
  217. <Darkling> "Information coems at a price, ah, but you know what." The figure twisted as she spoke, her voice bubbled and choked, murky water dribbling from her lips as she spoke.
  218. <Billy_Blackfeather> Gross. Still, is Gramps could look all stoic and brave then so could she. A Witch wouldn't be worse than the Forest Spirits, right?
  219. <Darkling> With a shudder her hand was inches from your face, curled fingernails and the smell of damp and musk forcing their way into your nostrils. "Shall the pup pay the price?"
  220. <Billy_Blackfeather> "!" She winced back, suddenly less stoic. She was ready to say something but bit it back, looking to Gramps.
  221. <Darkling> "No. I shall pay. You will not touch the young one." A hand reached out from Gramps, cutting off the hag from advancing on you.
  222. <Billy_Blackfeather> That had her worried, not hiding the expression as she watched Gramps.
  223. <Darkling> The Witch retreated slightly, eyeing up Gramps like a hunter would prey.
  224. <Darkling> "You know the price for what you ask." He nods.
  225. <Billy_Blackfeather> Now she was really getting worried. Should she speak up? She couldn't let Gramps shoulder all of this, he's the only member of the family that ment anything to her!
  226. <Darkling> As if reading your thoughts he puts a hand on your shoulder, squeezing.
  227. <Billy_Blackfeather> A little whining noise but she doesn't say anything.
  228. <Darkling> "As you wish." And her hands reach up again in a flash, grasping both yours and Gramp's face and pushing you back into the muck and down under the water.
  229. <Billy_Blackfeather> How is THIS supposed to get them knowledge? They'll drown! Of course the poor girl tries to yell, a mass of bubbles escaping instead.
  230. <Darkling> The muck enters your mouth and lungs, choking you and making you gag, then lights begin to appear before your eyes and the Witches voice fills your head.
  231. <Darkling> Earth and dust, iron and rust. One will survive, the other will bust.
  232. <Darkling> Bloom and wither, summer and winter. Wood will grow and die and splinter.
  233. <Darkling> Bend and break, stones will shake, oaths and vows you must retake.
  234. <Darkling> The one you seek, the demon of reek. You must be strong, you are too weak.
  235. <Darkling> To fight the spoil, do not use foil. A ritual call for the demon to fall.
  236. <Darkling> Four things needed to be succeeded. Heart and Blood, Earth and Wood.
  237. <Darkling> Find the source and burn together, end the curse, now and forever.
  238. <Darkling> In the next moment, you're awake on the edge of a lake you're altogether familair with.
  239. <Billy_Blackfeather> Billy sits up to cough, expecting mud and water to still be in her mouth and throat. All those things the Witch said. A demon of reek. A ritual and four things. Damn riddles.
  240. <Darkling> She was wet, smelled liek shit, but she was intact.
  241. <Billy_Blackfeather> Okay, but what about Gramps?
  242. <Darkling> There was some footprints beside you leading to a rock where Gramps was sitting. He looked older than usual, if that was possible.
  243. <Billy_Blackfeather> She got up and made for the rock, looking up at him. "You okay Gramps?"
  244. <Darkling> He nods, looking off over the water.
  245. <Billy_Blackfeather> Her brow furrows and soon she's climbing up the rock to sit next to him. They stank of fetid water but...whatever. "I uh...I know I can be a pain and I probably don't say it enough but..." She dug at the rock with a heel, focused on it. "I love you Gramps."
  246. <Darkling> He puts and arm around her and pulls her close.
  247. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Is she a forest spirit too?"
  248. <Darkling> "She is a bargainer of knowledge and magic. She will give you just enough without the real answer. You msut be careful with what you enterpret of her words."
  249. <Billy_Blackfeather> How much help could she be, then? She how she liked being drowned. Bitch. "She called you Red Wolf." She was careful with her words. It was a nice moment and she didn't want to ruin it. "Were you like me?"
  250. <Darkling> "No. I embraced the curse. I became what you should not. I was more the wolf than the man."
  251. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Then why give us the power to change at all?"
  252. <Darkling> "If you let yourself, you will become lost as the wolf. You will never return."
  253. <Billy_Blackfeather> Not the answer she expected but eh. She'll have to figure some stuff out for herself. "Do, er, mom and dad know? Any of it?"
  254. <Darkling> "They have chosen to forget, and have lost themselves in another way."
  255. <Billy_Blackfeather> Figures, stupid drunks. Never any help. A sigh and she decided to look out at the water too.
  256. <Darkling> Her new possessions were still laying by the shore, and the sky was grey with a cool wind coming in off the water. Rather peaceful, if not very mellow.
  257. <Billy_Blackfeather> "What about the rest of the tribe?" Might as well try learning a little something from Gramps while he was in the mood to answer. Maybe it would make him happy, knowing she was finally interested.
  258. <Darkling> He shakes his head. "Lost over the years. We are not meant for this world."
  259. <Billy_Blackfeather> She could very well be the last? Damn. Heavy. "We should get you home."
  260. <Darkling> He nods again, lifting himself up off the rock using his cane more than ever.
  261. <Darkling> ---------------
  262. <Darkling> It's a little past noon when you reach Gramp's shack and you can hear movement inside.
  263. <Darkling> There's wet foorprints leading up into the cottage and a rank smell coming from within.
  264. <Avaline> "Could this be lutefisk?"
  265. <Tina_> "Gramps? Billy?"
  266. <@Mr_Rage> Knock-a-knock~
  267. <Billy_Blackfeather> "No solicitors!" Billy shouts from somewhere inside.
  268. <@Mr_Rage> "What about molestors?"
  269. <Avaline> "What if they're soliciting sexual favors?"
  270. <Tina_> "Or, you know. Friends."
  271. <Billy_Blackfeather> The door opens enough for Billy to stick her head our. She's wet alright and smells terrible. "Shhhut up. Trying to get Gramps to rest," she hisses out.
  272. <Darkling> "Did you fall into a sewer?"
  273. <Billy_Blackfeather> "That would have been a lot more fun."
  274. <Billy_Blackfeather> She slips out the door to stand outside, back pressed against the cabin.
  275. <Tina_> "What happened?"
  276. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Went to play with one of your relatives. Gramps said she'd have answers."
  277. <Tina_> "My relatives? Answers?"
  278. <Darkling> "That wasn't bad weed, was it." Elisa says to herself quietly.
  279. Billy_Blackfeather huffs, pulling at some of her wait hair. "Crazy, right?" She looped an arm around Elisa and pulled her in close. "There's a witch out there in the bog. Looks like a drowned old crone."
  280. <@Mr_Rage> "Fufu~ And you offend her?"
  281. <Tina_> "Or...Maybe hug her for too long?
  282. <Darkling> Elisa holds back a gag squirming a bit.
  283. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Gramps had to pay some price for knowledge and then she tried to drown us." She let Elisa go so she could motion to her soggy appearance and smell.
  284. <Avaline> "Oh, a swamp witch? Kind of neat."
  285. <@Mr_Rage> "Hmm."
  286. <Tina_> "Did she answer any questions? Is Gramps okay? Why is a witch my relative?"
  287. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Because it's a forest spirit I don't know." A sigh and she collected her thoughts. "It spoke in riddle and rhyme so no real answers, and Gramps warned me not to believe everything she says." She run a hand under her nose to wipe at some water and regreted it. "He looks older now."
  288. <Darkling> Elisa doesn't look like she knows what to say.
  289. <@Mr_Rage> "What did she say, exactly?"
  290. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Oh geez, uh..." She clears her throat.
  291. <Billy_Blackfeather> "Earth and dust, iron and rust. One will survive, the other will bust. Bloom and wither, summer and winter. Wood will grow and die and splinter. Bend and break, stones will shake, oaths and vows you must retake. The one you seek, the demon of reek. You must be strong, you are too weak. To fight the spoil, do not use foil. A ritual call for the demon to fall. Four things needed to be succeeded. Heart and Blood, Earth and Wood. Find the source and burn together, end the curse, now and forever."
  292. <Billy_Blackfeather> Figures she could remember all that nonsense and still suck at school. Dummy.
  293. <@Mr_Rage> Izumi folds her arms. "I see..."
  294. <Billy_Blackfeather> "I think the demon of reek is something the forest showed me earlier today."
  295. Tina_ looks at Izumi. "You do?" Back to Billy. "W-what is it?"
  296. <Darkling> Elisa takes a seat on the porch rubbing at her temples.
  297. <Billy_Blackfeather> "It's this big blob of like, pollution. Its got too many eyes and organs floating around inside of it. I think it's more of a problem than your parents logging company."
  298. <Avaline> "Hm. That's interesting. Makes me think of something I saw in a hen... nevermind."
  299. <Tina_> "Yeah..." Tina looks a bit dumbstruck.
  300. <Avaline> "I guess we have similar tastes."
  301. <Billy_Blackfeather> Billy grunts and growls, scratching at the top of her head aggressively. "Anyway, what are you doing out here instead of sitting in class?"
  302. <@Mr_Rage> "First we come to check on her, now we checking on you."
  303. <Avaline> "Exactly."
  304. <Billy_Blackfeather> Billy looked conflicted briefly. "If you can stand the smell, I'm making stew. I guess you can stay if you're quiet." With that she opened the door and went back inside.
  305. <@Mr_Rage> "Fufu~"
  306. <Tina_> "Beats coffee. Too bitter."
  307. <Darkling> ---------------
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