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 Post subject: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:13 am 
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There are two types of shapeshifters in these worlds; ones who are learned of the art, and those who are born into it. Those who are learned in it have the starting grace of control, able to shift from one form to another without disturbing the psyche-- however, those who are born into it have to learn control through error and discipline.

*************************************************************

She sat on the edge of the river, staring out at the waters rippling, the moonlight cast into it as a broken mirror, a reflected peace broken by chaos. Ironic, how that was the very way she felt inside-- at peace, and yet at constant odds with that peace... It brought her back to her home, to her tribe, to why she was even here in this new realm, fending for herself without the backings of that very tribe she once called family, yet now thought of as those who betrayed her.

**********************************************************************************************************************

Cruelty was all that was to be known in this life-- torrential rains that drowned the young, strong winds that felled trees, harsh sunlight to burn the new shoots and old logs, ice to freeze the elderly and ensnare the unlucky with its freezing grips; disease and war to kill the rest of them. Such were the teachings of the tribe, the explanations as to why mothers and fathers never come back, why children are taken and why those who are lost are never found. But this was a cruelty all of its own sort. She was old enough now to hunt with the boys, but by the ruling of their father told not to go. She never understood her father, that much was for sure; he never went on hunting parties with others, nor did her participate in council. The other tribesmen said he still mourned his mate, since it was her very own unlucky birth that had been her undoing. But she knew that wasn't the case. Her and her brother never went hungry, for father was a great hunter, nor did they ever get attacked by other tribes, nor did any wars reach their borders. And yet still he was the way he was. She fumed all night over that decree, and in the first light of the morn, she took off with her makeshift dagger and her belt, hoping to catch at least something to make her father second guess his decision. She ran through the woods, loving the feel of the wind through her open hair when a flit out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. Looking over was her twin in every way, her brother, hair tied in the hunters whip, spear at the ready. She admired the way he ran so swiftly and threw his spear with accuracy she could never wish to attain, and yet a small rage built inside her.

...It was because of him that she was not allowed to hunt, because he was the first born of the two of them and the male, that he should get all the glory while she sat and watched from the skinning rafters.

It was then that she felt herself change from her slight elven form to that of a wild animal, intent on killing, hunting, protecting its territory. She sat in the back of her own mind watching herself change course and head towards her brother, her claws extending to rip into him as she pounced... part of her mind was entirely the animal doing this, the other part staring in amazement as she lunged for her brothers turned back. He spun at the last moment to catch her claws and use the momentum to toss her over his head, him rolling back to a defensive stance. She screamed in her mind to not hurt him, it wasn't his fault, but she seemed out of control. She willed herself not to lunge at him as he took his dagger and charged her, instead using the cats instincts to dodge the near fatal attack. Even to this day she isn't sure if it was the blade digging into her shoulder or the willing of the cat that gave her that moment, but whatever it was it saved her life as she shifted back into her slight form, breathing heavily as his dagger stuck out of her shoulder.

He had reeled back and gasped for a few moments, cursing the bewitching ways of the forest, and yet deep down she knew he knew what was going on. He had to have, when that look in his eye came on and he gave up the hunt, gently taking her by the hand and leading her home to father, who patched her up looking more solemn than shed ever remember seeing him before.

He sat her down on the cot her and her brother shared, and wrapped her wound, not saying a word until she felt like the silence was lashing her with blows. "What is it father? Are you going to punish me for leaving on the hunt?" She knew this subordination would be repaid in full if not now than later, but she was surprised when he said simply, "You've been punished enough. For every wrong you do, you will be punished from now on, without my hand."

She stared at her father for a while, seeing him in a new light. "What do you mean father..." she asked hesitantly after a moment. Her father wasn't one to talk much, preferring silence. She waited his reply as he gathered the words; "You are a Sylvaan, and yet you are an animal. You are cursed, same as I." He finished up her wrappings and turned his back on her and his life in the tribe, saying these last words to her as he left into the forgotten realms--

"Never forget who you are."

*************************************************************************************

Nuncia sighed as she tossed the pebble she had been fingering while lost in her memories, the water rippling even more as the pebble made its entrance, the moon's distorted face now mere shimmers on the waters surface. It had been a long time since she had seen her father, and since he was the only other shifter she knew of, it had been even harder to live with the cursed gift than it would have had he stayed and helped her out. Fuck him. He obviously was more shamed to have another animal in the blood line rather than to live with it and teach it to play nice with the other kids. No instead she got the ultimate punishment from him-- solitude.

She watched as the moon righted itself on the waters surface, back to its chaotic waves of glittering facets, more intact than when the pebble breached its order, yet never fully intact as the water ran its swift course; much like her own mind as it drifted back with the tide into her memories.


**********************************************************************************************************************

Now a full grown woman of her tribe, she went out with the men and hunted, yet broke off with her brother to hunt in her shifted form, her brother running swiftly next to her as her cat form fought her for control, yet she had a handle on the forms by now. She flicked her ears towards the right, following the scampering of woodland creatures fleeing, pointing her brother in the right direction as she drifted towards the boar, chasing it down and digging her claws into it.

There was always that moment between control and chaos when the kill is made, when she loses herself in the cat's joy of the preys last breath, the cracking of the bones beneath her teeth, the warm blood running into her mouth... Her brother snapped her out of it before she could tear the boar apart anymore, smacking her on top of the head with his spear. A moment of flash fury settled her as she gained control again and let him carry the boar as they gathered the last of their kills before heading back into the tribes lands, her shifting before they got near to walk alongside her brother, dagger dipped in the boar blood and put back, so as to avoid questions.

It happened not too long after that hunt that the first suitor came up to her like a rutting buck, demanding she take him. She contained her fury at being treated as an object, and beat him down, so as to prove him unworthy of her. Her brother had left out on a long trek into the mountains of the realm to gather the new comers from the other tribe, to mix up the population, and guard them on their way back. And since he'd been gone it had been nothing but hell in the tribe. She was at her snapping point, and often ran off into the woods to shift to relieve the strain and stress of the oncoming and continuing battles.

But that didn't seem to stop him from making the mistake of a lifetime-- ruining both their lives in one fell swoop.

She had just returned back from another run in the woods when she walked into a council meeting in the middle of the tribe, the darkness of the night casting the faint glow of the fire into sharp reflection. The one that was addressing the tribal council was Dravil Oonik, a great hunter and the son of the chieftain. He was lean and muscular, his markings the same leaf pattern as his family's, yet his face much more soft compared to the lined face of his father. He wore the simple loincloth with the throwing daggers in his belt, his dark green hair tied in the hunters whip she now bore herself. She got closer, walking leisurely up to the meeting, Dravil locking eyes with her as he finished his pitch to the council-- finishing both of them with those words.

"...and it is with that that I take Nuncia Algos as my mate, to tame her wild ways and make a woman out of her while she still has the build for mothering, taking the burden from her Brother, Aisu."

She couldn't think as she continued walking straight to him, the animal in her merging with the Sylvaan in her to make a crazed angered beast in Sylvan form-- it had never happened that her form took over her, and yet as she watched in horror at what she had done, a small part of her smiled in satisfaction. A simple clawed hand ripped his neck open at the base, spilling the blood quicker than it could be stopped, the look of smug triumph on his face taken over with surprise and shock as her mind dulled the surprise of her actions, blocking out the yells and screams of the other council members.

She looked to her hand, dripping with the crimson of the young mans life, and down at the now lifeless eyes of the man himself as he fell to the ground, locking gazes with her. She didn't resist when rough hands beat her down, though the animal in her roared, nor did she resist when they tethered her tight to the pole, her half form still, chaotic in her swirling eyes, and waiting as they prepared the brand, fashioning it out of the dead man's daggers, and branded her on that spot, over the blood spray that raced across her right shoulder and collar bone, marking her with the flame of one who betrayed, an exiled. She was left at the pole for a day, her mind racing fluent with her furious animal self and her own panicked thoughts, until that following night her brother came back. Seeing the funeral pyre and the broken form tethered to the pole, silent tears streaking her blood stained face, he walked away and said not a word.

He told her later about how he pleaded with the council and explained the cursed gift she had, and all that he could do to sway the council's minds, yet to little avail. In any other instance of this, which was only a few thousand years ago when another Sylvan lost their minds and started killing the tribe, the sentence would not have been able to be changed. Instead of being killed in a hunt however, she was to be sent away, off the isle, never to return again.

Waiting on the dock on the far side of the isle, she looked to her brother for a long time, memorizing his features as she turned to look away from him. "I am sorry my brother. I forgot who I was," was all she could say to him as he stared off at the waters, the moon glinting off the surface in glittering facets. He looked away from the water to put a hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him as he said in a soft voice the last thing said to her before she left to Darkness Incarnate;

"You are not what you think, but what you feel."
**********************************************************************************************************************

She stood up from her place next to the river and gave a stretch, looking at the moon itself this time. He had been right all along. She just had never known it until now.

She walked off along the river, following the edges of the forest as she wandered this new realm, cautious as to what she may find. She wondered what her brother was up to now, if he was mated, or if he had children; if he was teaching the young ones the way to hunt, or if he was sitting on council. She'd never admit it but she missed home, yet at the same time she felt as if this was home now, no matter how far she wandered. Maybe she'd find another shapeshifter, or maybe she'd learn more about herself. Either way, this was what the world had given her, and this was what she was to take.


**********************************************************************************************************************

Shifters must choose between their heart and their mind as to whether they are labeled 'animals' or creatures of their race, for the difference can be as simple as a handshake instead of an attack, or a friend instead of a foe. The heart and soul of the shifter is often overshadowed by the turmoil of the mind, having the instincts of an animal and the intelligence of a higher creature, and yet unable to choose between the two. Chaos within order is what is attained when a Shifter accepts ones nature and lets their hearts rule. But it is a delicate balance that is often shifted as many times as the form of the Shifter themselves. However, no matter that, the differences between their forms and themselves are lost along the way, often losing themselves as well to their animal instincts and forms.

The question will always be for the shifter-- is a Shapeshifter an animal with the form of a creature, or a creature in the form of an animal?

_________________
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~What do You know about Surviving~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
=========================================Aisu, the Cursed Shifter==========================================


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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:29 am 
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Standing against a new tree, looking upon new features of the land, Nuncia wondered if her crime truly suited this punishment.

It had been early on in her travels when she first came across that Cathedral, and what an amazing work of art-- if she ever saw beauty in anything other than the wood around her. It had seemingly called out to her as she wandered the new realm, and with that calling another answered as well. As she made her way around the magnificent building, inspecting its outer before traipsing into the interior to admire the light filtering through the colored windows, she saw the other inside and instantly felt that the gods of this realm had wished to test her. Even what the man had said as they began their test was enough to solidify that thought; the gods of this realm ruled this land more actively than in her home realm.

Their conflict didn't last long, but it was with that single skirmish that she got a taste for what she wanted out of this realm. The man, Jaedin, had shown tricks she had never thought to see outside the shadow folk, shown adaptability in times of pressure, and even managed to do more than just hold his own with her attacks, making her seem as harmless as a small house cat in her leopard form, or a small teddy in place of her panda form. What he had shown her was Power.

True strength, skill, and ability. And that would be what she went for in this new realm. The more she thought of having such power, the more she thought to get back at her tribe for their punishment of her-- she didn't deserve what they had given her, since she had given so much more with little thanks. She had risked her life countless times to hunt for the families, and did so without complaint. She had prepared the meats herself often enough, when the women couldn't be bothered to get it all done. She had lent hands in plotting out battles, and even though she herself could not fight, she had trained many of the boys in fighting stances and skills. Though many of her teachings were disregarded as 'womans folly', she continued to do nothing but help the tribe. And how they repay her was by selling her off to the first man that told them he could tame her. No one would tame her.

There was nothing to tame.

Nothing but her own inner animals, and they did not need taming. They were her fall back when her own strength was not enough, her own speed not enough, her own agility lacking; they were her, with another form. She used her animal souls to take their forms, yet even though she used them, they had no ill feelings towards her. Only the mutual feeling of success when they take down a worthy foe, only the thrill of the hunt. She took no true pleasure in killing-- the brand a stark reminder of what senseless killing got you, her predicament a testimony to the loss of innocent souls. And yet she couldn't deny the satisfaction of ridding the world of one more sneering fool that thought her nothing more than a woman with a toothpick. Each that had thought that had been given a reminder to mind their heads and hands that would stay with them for the rest of their lives; or if the situation warranted, the end of their lives.

Her own life was nothing more than a statement to the gods and her tribe that she could withstand great force and still stand-- that she would get her revenge and live as one to be known rather than shoved aside. No woman to be claimed, nor bought off to the men who drooled at her form, nothing that others were. She was an Algos-nosse, and the Algos name would be known as one to be respected. Her father may not have stayed to uphold his name, and their mother long past to prove anything... her brother held the name with earnest, simple pride of the name, and nothing more. He honed his skills to be respected, but never strove for anything truly great. She would be the first to make the name mean something more than just simple Pain. It would mean more than a simple scratch on the surface of a frosted pond, when its mark will have disappeared the season next. No, she would be more than a simple mark. She will be as the wilds of the land, taking the respect from any common man and bending their whims to her will. They would see her and not drool, passing caressing hands. No. They will stay with heads bowed as she passed, respect in every sense. Respect that comes with the power she wished for, the power she would have.

One cannot tame the power of the wild; only cage it until it breaks free.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~What do You know about Surviving~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
=========================================Aisu, the Cursed Shifter==========================================


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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:26 pm 
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When will they learn?

She lay next to a pond to cool her aching feet and clean her scratches from the latest skirmish. It had been simple folly on the farmer's part, bt the guards were something else entirely. Scoundrels. They think to uphold the law, but yet do not abide by it themselves... After she defended herself from the two that advanced, another had come out from behind to land a dirty hit to her head, rendering her useless for a time. But only a time.

In that cell, there had been another. A man who seemed possessed by the very god he worshiped, a Demon Man. And yet even so, he had broken one chain that bound him just to pull her closer. She had shown no fear to that man, she would show no fear to anyone. He had been a killer, a worshiper of Demonic proportions, the vessel of Zu. The name still made the scent of lilac come to her, even in this overgrown wood she rested in where no flowers were to be seen. A strange man by any means, evil by the populace that watched him slaughter towns, and yet to her he had been kin. An ally in need. A simple deal was all it had been, and yet she knew he could have made it so much more. He respected the art of death, he respected fighters, respected her. He hadn't drooled at her form or passed wanting gazes. No... he had just wanted the heads of those who imprisoned him, the same as she.

Together they had torn the jail apart, and at the end, she escaped to part ways with the man, him continuing his massacre elsewhere, whereas she left to find her precious woods again. Nothing quelled her fury or gave her a sense of home than a wood. A simple forest, with its wildlife, birds and animals, and the trees. How the sun filtered through the canopy, how the birds didn't stir from her approach, how even the predators knew she was one of them... it was her own sense of family, even if it was with animals she had never spent time with aside from sharing an existence... But even so, she was different from them in any way that could be so. She had enjoyed the kill of those men, even the ones that ran; it had been the rush of the hunt, and the man exuded a sense of blood lust that seeped into her very soul until she was tearing flesh and armor from men in a frenzy.

She had wanted to impress him. Impress him with her skills, so that one day, he would speak of the Shifter that shared the cell with him, that aided in his escape, that shredded foes under her claws until their life's blood soaked her fur... She had just wanted to be known. To be respected. To be free. She didnt want to kill so many, and yet they had made a mockery of her, disrespected her and spat on her dignity. She showed them a lesson they would never get up from. Serves them right.

Now after the frenzy was done, and the blood lust run its course, she was left alone again, with nothing more than a few new scars to show and sore feet from running on the hard packed roads in the town. Nothing. News would be spread about a naked elven woman who helped a mass murderer escape, or even a jailed leopard that killed the men, but no one would know her. No one would know her name. No one would know her as anything other than the naked elf who helped Cerit. She didn't know what pissed her off more-- that she had gone to all that work for nothing, or that she had been put in that circumstance to begin with.

Washing her face with a splash of cold water, quickly scrubbing the crusted blood from her until the small pool seeped with it, as if it was the one bleeding, she got up from the waters edge and stretched, rotating her arms a bit before walking off to the forests depths. She knew that guards would track her, but they wouldn't get far. The forest had its own way of protecting those it loves, and she knew that the great trees of this realm would cradle her gently as she slept alone again, under the canopy of stars and leaves, surrounded by the very animals she knew deep inside she was. Once again, they tried to cage her, and once again, she proved the force of the wild cannot be tamed.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~What do You know about Surviving~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
=========================================Aisu, the Cursed Shifter==========================================


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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:04 pm 
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A new day, a new foe.

Go figure.

She had long since given up on living peacably in this realm, yet still, even when she wasn't in her elven form, she was still hunted. Typical day, she wanted to avoid conflict and have a day to herself and the wood, the sounds of the rutting bucks deeper in the glade, yet even with the added ruckus in her ram form, she could still hear him coming. He wasn't one of the wood, that much was for certain, for even a hunter would never go buck hunting during mating season-- that was a spell for disaster. Yet still the man lept from the tree to attack her with a staff. A human man, a wanderer, even he had no name in this realm, and yet he had the need to hunt as well. He had said during their entanglement that he had just wanted some food, that he didn't know that she was a woman or anything, he was just hungry. They both were. He had interrupted her feeding, if munching shoots could be called a feast to a ram, when he had tried for a killing blow for her head. A quick move and she was out of harms way, yet no less irritated.

The conflict itself had been rather short, him refusing to hit her after she shifted back to her true form, pissed beyond all belief at the interruption of her day off from fighting. She had thought if she were an animal, she would have no worry for a day, and resume her own ways at dusk to continue her journey, but even animals were not spared from a fight it seemed. She felt a little bad for hitting him below the belt like that, and yet she had allowed him the time to get up instead of ravishing him, or slitting his throat like so many before him. He was just another hunter looking for food, and didn't find what he wanted, and throughout the entire ordeal he continuously apologized and tried to make it up to her-- it was the drooling look he gave her when she shifted that set her off.

It wasn't that she was unattractive, but ordinary at best on elven standards; her hair was wild when not bound by the whip she tied around it, her eyes feirce in their golden flame, her fram thicker than most elves, yet still rather lean on most others. She had a wild beauty, if any, though no beauty that could compare to the other women around her. Compared to them, she was just wild.

And at that time, very angry.

After their skirmish, she had taken her leave with a last warning to him, her nose bleeding and her body scratched up from the ground, a few good bruises from his staff and little stick, her dignity just as bruised as she was, and her wrath nowhere near abated. She had taken the rest of her anger out on the water she stood wast deep in now, washing her body of the dirt and blood, cooling the burning bruises and sore muscles in the waters rapids. The sun was setting lower into the sky, the rut continuing on as she got out of the water to put her belts back around her waist and her kris at her hip, tired, sore and hungry now.

As a side thought, she wondered if the Drifter had managed to get food while she wandered to her den for the night, not bothering to hunt that day. She would have just as many animals to catch when she woke up, and her screaming muscles demanded rest from her, even though her mind was still seething. There were always other days to get back at him, and no doubt she would come across him again one day. Or another like him at least. But for the time being, her day off didn't seem like much of a day off as she rubbed her sore nose, settling into her spot between the crutch of branches she had climbed up to. Through the canopy the stars blinked at her as they started coming through the magenta of the setting sun.

There would be another day.

Another day to live, if surviving was living.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~What do You know about Surviving~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
=========================================Aisu, the Cursed Shifter==========================================


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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:50 am 
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It seemed to never end.

I had just managed to get into the wood, peaceful in it's tranquility and general distance from large settlements, soothing my soul a little more each step, that was until those steps brought me to the dainty tracks in the dirt. Now that I have time to think back on that encounter as I walk under the canopy of a new wood, I realized it had been a serious turning point in my life; that much was for sure.

Those simple almost leisurely prints had led me to one of the most intriguing, if not anything but the closest to kin I had found in this battle-worn realm; crimson hair, no doubt dyed by some sort of juice or sorts, simple robes, and sandals. She had been simple, gazing out over the pond lost in thought, and yet even within her I could feel the conflict. Something had happened with this woman, who seemed as tranquil as the woods around her, and yet the animals seemed to keep their distance, wary of someone who should have been welcomed instead of feared. Later I found out she had been tainted by the very man that I had set free from the jail, the Demon Man, Cerit; it was a taint that left her soul conflicted and the animals at bay. At the time though, I had been naive at best, and thought that if the animals were wary, I should be so as well.

It had been a short conflict really-- I had given her usual threat and warning, the woman standing with her back to me. It was how she had spoken to me at that time that made the battle short really. Why are you so eager to lay claim to the gifts of the earth? Why do you feel the need to own a blessing to many? Surely you don't expect the wildlife to care who's claiming what. I am simply here to live. I can only guess that's what you are doing too. No one had ever questioned my claiming of lands in such... terms. It was as if she understood the wood and lands around her, and her seeming ease with the area causing me to take a second to rethink my ways regarding others. It was rare enough that I spoke long enough to another to get such a conversation. And no one had ever claimed to be doing as I do, simply living... surviving.

The more the woman spoke, the more intriguing she became, so many questions... so little time. If we had another chance to speak, I would tell her so much more, and ask so much more, but at the time, I had thought I had all the time in the world.

Naive.

She mentioned him in the beginning, and seemed unafraid of me for such a reason as to compare the outward threat I posed. What struck me deep though was the fact the woman had seemed sad about the animals avoiding her, about to give reason, but decided against it for a time being after I had made a point of using the animals wariness as a defense for attacking her. It only added more questions to my arsenal. Being rash and prideful was a few traits that I held from my tribe days, and even the battle proved that.

Rushing in as a panda, I had intended to strike her down; a quick grab of clay was all that was done and the earth beneath my very feet turned to smooth pebbles, which sent me for a dip into the pond. At the time I was beyond angry at this point-- not only was I being underestimated, but I was also being beaten by a woman that looked as if a stiff wind could snap her. And yet the earth aided her. It was a serious point I realized soon enough, which had led to my later actions. But that will have to wait.

I managed to climb out of the water (thankfully pandas swim better than I do, or else it wouldn't have been so easy) and began another rush with a nice swipe added in, but I failed to realize what was strapped to her back. As she fell on her own pebbles my slash grazing her, she managed to whip out that damned crossbow, and at such a close range it had pierced straight through my shoulder, thankfully missing the bones and joint, but well placed directly over my brand. She seemed almost horrified at what she had done at the time, most of the walk fuzzy in my memory from the pain. But this is what I will always remember.

After I had shifted out of my panda form, I was staggering at best, not used to having such pain; being gored by animals was one type, but this was a whole new experience for me, and not one I would really like a redo of. Oddly enough, after causing such a wound, Ellia had been more than willing to help me... it was just my pride that was against it. Even that caved with this, since I knew this would be a wound that could put a serious damper on my hunting abilities, and as such, not only would I have an infected wound, but I would also starve. Starving was one thing I can never do again-- I'd rather start eating the dirt around me than starve. So I let her aid me, as much to my chagrin. Yet even though I was pained beyond belief and attempting to trust another with my life, without a weapon in hand by the way, we still managed to have a decent conversation. She even went so far as to set my nerves at ease by handing me back my kris, definitely soothing my angst against being so powerless in this situation.

Yet even as smoothly as our conversation was going, for some reason (later I got the entirety of the situation, but at the time I was more than a little confused) her aiding me suddenly took a back burner, so much so that she turned violent towards me. Not that I could blame her afterward, but really?! I trust you and you toss me into a tree? Ugh...

It was after a thorough search for some kind of mark that she relaxed a bit, explaining herself a bit; apparently Cerit, the demon man I had helped out of jail quite a while earlier, had marked her and had caused her to become poisoned with some kind of darkness that ate her soul... Even the animals fled from her now. She had the insane idea that I must have been one of his group because I had contact with him in a good way, and had decided to search every inch of my feverish and pained skin to find a stupid mark I knew I didn't have.... After her insanity ebbed away though, she did help out again. Sort of-- I had hurt less before she threw me against the tree, but whatever....

I didn't manage to get very far at all before I had to unceremoniously fall on the ground against another tree. I honestly was so worn out by that short trek and the pain and everything else... it seemed like I could never get enough air in my lungs and I was more than a little tired. Just so happened that a couple of guards saw us and came over, Ellia giving me a much needed warning and a decent reason behind it; they may be able to help. I hate guards and just about everyone, but I wasn't in much condition to kill them, or have them kill me, so I went with it.

Hesitantly.

The first guard was more then enough to get my fur bristling, what with his obvious adoration of female forms... that even continued on when we got into the village and was searched for weapons. The spirits know I would have killed him on the spot if it wasn't for the fact I could barely stand to breathe nonetheless shift and tear the mans throat out. Since that was out of the question, I had to merely show my disapproval with snide remarks, and once it was done, the doctor came over and took a look at my wound, asking Ellia to assist in the removal of the robe she had painstakingly put on me earlier. A quick trick (I do believe now that I look back on it, he must have been a Trickster, or as the people of this realm call them, Mages) and my wound was much better. Not perfect, but just about anything was an improvement from the way it had felt earlier. At least now I could breathe, and move around with little pain. A bit of bandaging and that was the end of my treatments, making me have a second thought about men for a moment... the moment didn't last as long as i would have liked.

The Doctor moved onto Ellia, examining her scratches she claimed she got from an animal-- truth, in a round about way. Considering at the time I was in animal form when I gave them to her. A quick dab of some kind of salve and she was done with, the guard --Daylen, I think his name was-- having been sent out to talk to his father, who I assumed was the head of this group of sorts. Shortly, the man came back, sending his fathers word to the man; Ellia was to be tried for killings in the area, whereas she could go free. The moment the man started to take Ellia away, she tried to sit up, but the Doctor held me down for a moment to allow Daylen to take her away.

Part of my mind was glad I wouldn't have to deal with the elven woman anymore, but the other part of me was a little worried. By the sneers on the men's faces, she could safely assume that this 'trial' was going to be one sided against her, and she would meet death. After she was gone the doctor let me up, my weapon taken away somewhere I couldn't fathom at the moment, my one concern now getting her out of there.

Southern Tribe Bond: A life for a life, even if it means no one lives in the end.

I got out of the little medical hut, and looked around, seeing my surroundings much clearer now then when I was carried here; burnt remains of huts and homes were everywhere, one side more demolished than the other, a few buildings still intact or repaired enough to be intact, more crumbling and charred. The guards wandered around between huts on patrols, or readying for them, or heading towards another hut for food... None paid me any mind. Instinctively I bound the rope around the robe she had given me and started to track her, which was easier said than done considering the amount of booted tracks all over the dirt paths. A bit more searching and I managed to find the small sandal prints, following them with more instinct than actual evidence, a quick look to see the archers pause in their training my only true indication after the boots ate her prints...

I found the 'jail' easily enough and with a painful shift i ended the guard, retrieving my kris from him as well, and freed my friend. What was not planned was the man in the cell next to her that gave even me a civilized look; the man was wild and broken, though with a calm reasoning that could have talked the spots off a leopard if he had ever tried so hard. I honestly sympathized with the man, but my fear of betrayal ran too great for me to consider letting an enemy at my back while I had then in front of me as well, since with my leopard ears I could hear the blasted bastard ordering his men to arms to catch us in our escape.

Plans went through my mind, so I left the decision of the crazed man with Ellia, in hopes that it would be her conscience to deal with rather than our lives.... how I wished I would have let him out to kill him then and there. With the fire creeping up the walls, our fort had become a trap, and escape was paramount, i knew that much at least. So it was with caution to the wind that we both dashed out of the now flaming building, leaving the crazed man behind in the pyre with his yells ringing out along with the arrows of the bowmen on the roof. Ellia was quick witted as her race gave right to be, and protected herself well from the projectiles that were aimed for us with the use of the Earth that now holds her close, and with a pained leap I toppled the lead bastard over and made our path to the woods, running as fast as I could with my shoulder burning in protest to this work, careful to make sure she was following close enough behind that she would not be lost.

It was a long haul before we rested, believing ourselves safe for the time being, me knowing that they would have at least a bit before the troops spread out and even readied themselves to attack an elf with magic and a Sylvan in her own home wood; it was like fighting a shadow you cant see. With our panting we didn't hear the pursuer until they were upon us, calling us out from behind our thick oak. Ellia was the first out, to confront this man while she had her spells, I trusted her to do well, though I still drew my kris in case.

What happened next was branded into my soul so deep... I don't think I could ever heal that wound with time alone, too deep it runs now, festering with hatred and guilt...

I was about to go help her, seeing her pale as the man made himself known, her stance grow rigid; a blinding pain broke within my head as I fell to the ground, my dagger leaving my hands so I could grasp my head. This kind of power I had no experience in. But as the waves ebbed, I managed to see her fate unfold, though nothing I could do it seemed to stop it. Like a play in front of my eyes, I saw him bend to pick up my kris, and with a lovers caress, held her close as he drove the kris into her neck, letting her fall to the ground as if in slow motion, the look of surprise on her face frozen...

I had been careless to think we safe when anything could happen in such chaos, and yet this... this was beyond what i thought men of this realm could do. With her blood still on his hands, he laughed, mimicking his former words to her...

The next moments were a blur of crimson droplets suspended in the air, of claws rending flesh and cloth, of struggles and hatred so deep that only more violence could abate its will. When I came to, he was torn apart, his filthy blood coating me as I looked upon the monster... Something caught my eye almost as an afterthought, and I grabbed the letter from his hardened grasp before moving to kneel next to my friend...

Retrieving my dagger, I belted it without cleaning it, hoping her blood would stain it for the guilt I held while I carried her to the place we had met only what felt like a short time before. Facing the waters as I had met her, i buried her beneath the smoothed stones of the waters edge, wishing her soul rest in peace... though my own would have none.

It was after my respects had been paid to my dear friend that I unfolded the crumpled letter and read it, its words only infuriating me more; he had been a member of the army that was there, the bastard that had led us around, he had been killing off his own men who were against him, and the crazed man had caught him. In an attempt to silence him without death, he had claimed the man was broken, and they gave him the position as cell mate to those they captured, blaming the deaths by the son to an elusive elf with red hair, who wielded a crossbow and shurikens.... Ellia had fit the description well enough for them, and he had been adamant on sentencing her before she could plea any way, a ploy which only showed the ways of this realm to her even more clearly than her dealings with these people had. Here was corruption, deceit and death all dealt by the same hand.

It had been a psionist with the ability of Mind Twist that had killed Ellia, the mind twist making it impossible for me to save her, and so in my own twisted mind, I blame all psionists for her death. If there had been no such thing as a magic to bend the minds of men, than only one man could be at fault. For those of the same art, they shall suffer the same fate for the sake of my friend, who had died needlessly in the aftermath of a twisted ploy to save one man by condemning others to his place.

If I ever come across him again, it will be his last time.



If I ever come across her again... What would I say?





What can I say?

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:00 pm 
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It had been a short time to me before I came to the edge of the woods, the light sea breeze caressing my skin as the salt stung my nose and eyes. Strange, how such a large body of water was really the only thing that kept me from my home realm, and yet that same body was more than just water. The gods of this land for sure would keep me here until they were done with me, and that was fine anyways; I have things to do.

Looking over my shoulder a last time at the trees that housed me for those few days, I took my first few steps towards the rocky slope towards the waters edges, the sounds of the waves lapping calling me not as one of the sea, but one hungry for the life it hid beneath its surface. A quick look to the left led me to see a man mending nets, a small craft of wood floating tethered to a rock-- the man had not seen me at all, daft fool. A shift in my steps and I was headed down the rocky slope, my footing a little unstable, since woods rarely had so many rocks, the points and edges of them digging into my bare feet as I made my way to the man. Finally as I was within reach of him, he looked up from his mending, his hand holding the small shiv he was using to do his work.

"A' wha' can I do ye, Woodlin'?" he asked with a strong accent, his faced lined with age and his hands roughened by the work he did for most likely his entire life. The smell of the sea clung to him as closely as his very skin. Cringing my nose, I pointed my kris to his craft.

"I wish to take your boat, so I may eat. What say you to that?" I was being nice today, I guess, I dont know why, but the man seemed too kindly to make too much of a fuss. He looked at the hand with the wavy dagger in it, and to his craft at which it was pointed at and stood up with a creaking of his bones, which reminded me of old trees bending in the wind.

"This ol' thin'? Why ye not jus' build yurself one an' be done wit it?" He held his shiv lightly, though I noticed his stance was one used to battling against the harshness of the Natures wrath. Unbending. I narrowed my eyes on the man.

"Look, I don't have the time or the energy to do such a thing. Let me use your craft now, or I shall take it from you. Either way, with or without a fight, I am eating fish today." I was losing my cool, for sure, and though I knew the man was only defending what was his, my needs were greater than his. He could mend the nets and go back to the village I could see from there, and get another one. Or he could make one as he had suggested I do. Either way, he was testing me, and seemed to see just what I was made of, and gave a sigh, his stance lowering a bit, his old bones creaking as he bent to pick up his net, gathering it up in his arms.

"I wish neh figh' wit ye, tha' be for sure. Ye look li' ye have been in moe fights than ye shoulda been for one as young as ye. Tay it. Jus' try n bring 'er back to me, eh? I go' a line 'ere ye can use, an' a bit o' bait. Jus' ta' 'er easy, eh?" he said with a smile, sitting down real quick to put together a makeshift fishing rod, and even put the bait on the end of the small hook made of what I could only guess was a fish bone. He got up again with his creaking tree bones and set the pole in the boat and untied it from the rock, handing me the end of the rope. "Tie 'er up when ye done" and he was off, walking with his sea legs towards the village.

I must have stared after him for a good length of time before I realized my hunger and got into the boat, with a decent soaking once or twice, and began to row as I saw others do back home, heading out towards the deeper waters where the fish would bite. I let the line drop along the side of the boat and kicked my feet up, the sun more than warm on my pale brown skin, my markings getting more sun than the rest of me.

I don't feel the need to lie, but to say that I fell asleep while holding that pole and in the sun would be almost shameful to say, so I wont say it. But not soon after I began to nod off, a slight splashing could be heard, and before I could even think to right myself, arms appeared over the edge of my little craft and dumped me into the ocean.

Did I mention that the ocean is a very large body of water? I spluttered a bit as the man called out to me, his face smiling as he looked over at me, gathering the paddles and ready to steal my boat. It must have been the pure indignation of being dumped into more water, or maybe the need to be out of it that spurred me on to make chase of the craft, all the while yelling after the man with venom in my words and hatred in my limbs as I fought to keep myself afloat.

Swimming had never been a strong point for me, and nor do I think it ever will be. Its not like I plan on ever being a fish. I like my land animals very much, thanks.

The rod, I had noticed, had become wedged in the craft and now the line was dragging behind it. My only thought to end the man who stole my boat (and get out of the damned water), I managed to reach and nab the line as it trailed behind, wrapping it around my hand, the tension dragging my thin body along, though I must have had enough weight for both the man to notice and the line to cut into my hand, the salt stinging it all the while, spurring me onwards.

I must have been curious as to why the man had to steal my boat in the first place, and I realized shortly after why; he was racing towards a ship that was racing towards the shore, and where the village was. Another hero type. Great. Maybe then he shouldn't have stolen my damned craft and at least help me on board, but noooo.

He must have realized the weight change and maybe a few thoughts passed through his slower mind before he realized that the threats I had been yelling to him could very well be true now that I was fast on my way over there. At least he stopped rowing and even lent me a hand, but that still didn't put a damper on my murderous mood. He even offered me dinner, if I do remember correctly. Huh.

He was quick with his bargain-- part in the bounty, some guy on the boat killing people, save the port, yadda yadda yadda... I swear the only part of that whole thing I listened to was 'gold' and 'kill', and that's about it. I had been wanting to get a new weapon for a bit, but crafting my own seemed fruitless at best, so I hoped to find some traveler or something and pay him off for a good weapon. Oh yea, and his name was Xander. I named him Xander the Boat Thief, but he never knew that.

At first glance, the man was a brawler, easy going, and decently prideful. Not very observant outside of battle I was guessing, and not over quick at thinking, but what can you expect from a brawler? Simple leather armor', and a long sword of sorts I was guessing at his hip. Another swordsman. I swear I could find them like leaves on a tree. Seriously. One thing that did catch my attention though was that he had at least a decent amount of respect. At least he didn't mention anything to do with those few hated words, like 'clothes' and 'decency'... Actually come to think of it, he mentioned sunbathing, what ever that was. Crazy people sitting out in the sun. They'll cook themselves that way.

Anyways, I just decided to go with it, though I really wanted to bash him, but I figured I could use the bigger boat anyways. It'd be a nice gift for the old man, for letting me use his little craft. And I could fish without getting sick. Or wet.

He maneuvered the boat towards the path of the oncoming vessel, and stood, ready to nab the ladder as it passed. I stood as well, though whereas he seemed stable enough, I was shaky at best, and had to work at keeping upright. As soon as he grabbed a hold and I knew he was good, I decided to take the leap towards the larger target, and clambered up over him to the deck.

Standard killing spree, though one thing was missing amid the watered down blood. Bodies. Oh well. Not my concern. I followed Xander around for a bit, doing my own scanning, until we came across the madman. I say madman loosely, since his brain must have been scrambled as a child and put in the sun to toast. He put up one helluva fight though.

I'll make this short and sweet for those who don't like big long stories.

Basically this guy was a badass of badassery, covered in spikes and the likes, his armor thick and his speed quite decent. Didn't seem to slow him down at all. I knew even in my panda form (the biggest and baddest form I had at the time, might I add) was no use at all for this battle, to I decided to make myself useful, and load up a cannon. I had figured the smelly black powder was put in it since it was covered in it, and fire used on the little string to shoot the big ball out. Having no thumbs and doing this task was trying at best, but I managed, and Xander must have realized I was brewing something below decks, considering he led the badass down. Light to the wick and boom. Couldn't hear for a good couple minutes, and had to shift out of my tank form just to be able to move. He wasn't down though, even after Xander stabbed him, and I got the brilliant idea that since the black stuff blew up so nicely, maybe it caught fire nicely too. I had done some serious damage to the guy, but he missed the most of it, which made me a bit upset. Tipped over a barrel, set it on fire, Xander grabbed his sword, and we were back in the water as the ship blew up.

So much for my not being wet.

And drowning wasn't exactly on my to do list either, so thankfully Xander pulled my weight around to shore and there I could begin to maybe dry off. And shake off the fear the fiery logs flying at me gave.

Scare the villagers away, strange guy comes up and kills a guy. Honestly, if it wasn't for the lack of huge armor, and the fact the badass had like no face and a million eyes, I'd have thought they were the same person-- at least he seemed to know us.

A good battle between him and us, and somehow the place got set on fire again, and I ended up dashing off towards the woods, Xander off in another direction and the other guy (first his name was 'Destruction', then he changed it to 'Sins' and had a creepy voice) left in the fiery remains as well.

After that, I just avoided the fires that were snaking into the woods, and managed to get away to rest my feet, my gut wrenching at the hunger I now had, on top of my new wounds. Simply, I just took out a couple of travelers, nabbed their food and ate it, and then set up my own den for the night, hoping that no one else disturbed me.

I never did get fish. Or my gold. Or my boat. Jeez, that was a big loser day that was.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:57 pm 
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A day in the life of me.

The stars that night winked at me in a formation I remembered from home; a holiday of sorts. A day of rest for the next day. I couldn't help the slight smile as I relaxed more in the limbs of my newest home, a large oak. Snacking a little on the fruits the tree bore, I took my holiday early, and decided to partake in a self reflection moment that the hunters of my tribe did on this day. We were told to think of the lives lost, and the animals sacrificed to feed us, and the forest that bore marks of our ancestry through the ages... I thought about none of those things in this new land. I had no remorse for those I had fought, a small amount of respect for some, but mostly just foul feelings towards them.; I held remorse for the animals I fed on only because I had an intimate relationship with most of the animals around me, considering I was welcomed as one of them. The forests within this land held no markings of my ancestors, though save for a few marked trees in past woods where I had fought. No. A new land, a new reflection.

Staring at the stars, I wondered how they could all live so close to one another without destroying their own light, how they merged to create the river of light in the ink blot sky. I knew I could never live that close to others, not without one of them taking my own light; I kept people far from me just in case. Even the silence and serenity of the woods felt lonely to me, thinking of others-- I had not always been such a ruthless and violent person. The world had made me that way, for my own safety and for my own sanity.

And yet no one thought past the snarls and aggression. No one wondered how a creature such as me could end up so... lost. I like to think I know my way in the world, but as naive as others think me, I know better than that. Doesn't mean I don't believe it anyways, I just continue on the path before me. Many others cross my path, and though some only pass by it briefly, others stay on it for a while. And yet no one looks behind them, at the creature following. No one cares about the feral elf. Of course no one cares. I try to kill them at any chance I get.

I dig my own grave I guess. I know father had said once that I take things way too personally; the hunters didnt want me hunting with them, I fought my way into their ranks. They try to marry me off so I would submit and be a wife, I killed a man. Instead of being killed, Im exiled. Even now, I think that was the worst punishment for me. At least if I were dead, I wouldnt be able to live through all of this. Alone. Funny how that word now rings true within my ear. I am alone. And yet I am not. I have my anger, my alter souls, my forest and all those within... yet what I wouldn't give to see my brother once more. Or even Ellia, that high elf with the damned crosbow.. but both are impossible; he's far in another land, living his life, and she is dead.

Father was wise. He taught me many things that others would never had learned, spoke to me as an equal and not some subordinate. He was everything I wanted to be, and then he left us. He was wise. I should have left after him. But I stayed. One of the last conversations we had, I lost my temper, and lashed out at him. He didnt seem fazed, and just subdued me so I would listen past my anger to his words, and until now, I never had bothered with them.

"Animals do not hunt with emotion. They hunt with purpose. If you are going to be anything worth the land you live, then you will learn this. Until then, you will continue to be worthless. Now get up, and come at me again, this time without anger..." I hadn't listened to him. Not even when he was gone, I never learned that vital lesson. I always used my anger as a force to propel me down the path I wander, and yet no matter how fast or hard I push, I am always beaten.

Maybe that was why I couldn't beat the statuesque Sutera, when our paths crossed. I had been angry at the desolation of the ruins, blaming everything from the sun to the stars for the misuse of such a beautiful place when she walked in. She was just on her way, minding her own business more or less, when I stopped her and demanded she leave or die. Stupid thing for me to have said, but I always seem to let my anger get the best of me. We fought and I pulled out every stop I had at the time. But she was faster, better, and more skilled. And out of all of that, the one thing i remember most; the mask she wore the entire time. She felt, I knew that much after seeing glimpses of remorse and irritation, and yet she didn't let it control her. Maybe she had a point in that entire show. Maybe that is why I can never beat anyone; I rely on my emotions, not my skill.

Fingering the healed edges of my newest scars, the marks of that battle, I decided to change my path. Instead of blindly rushing in, I am going to heed my fathers words, and the example I was given. It will be a long road before I completely overcome my emotional ways, but in time, I will have more skills than all those who had passed me before, and I will defeat them. I will train harder than I had before, not only surviving, but I will thrive.

Funny how my day of rest became a turning point in my path.
But it was said that this night was one of change, and that is what is going to happen.
For better or worse, world, here I come.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Life has odd ways of doing things at times, and this was no exception, that was for sure.

I had decided on my course well before I came across the girl on the rooftop, and with my resolve steeled within me, I decided to make this quiet-- i was within a town, so stealth was the best I could do in such circumstances. Especially when a foot is all I need to make or break my course.

With my mind blank, stalking my kill, I heard multiple voices, but only saw one body. That enough was odd, though I thought to see the situation out better once atop the roof of that inn. I wonder if the roof still sags even now? Its a miracle it hadnt collapsed after all it had been through.

I crept up on the girl, small and fragile looking, I thought to take care of her quickly, the blade of my kris slipping easily between the chinks of her armour beneath the robe.... though there was no flesh beneath to penetrate. Instead I got a strange look from the girl, and her inquiries as to why I had stabbed her. I was so taken aback at the living dead I saw in front of my very eyes that I reeled backwards, defensive. The dead should not walk. Yet here she was, a skeleton of a girl (literally), speaking to me about the importance of not stabbing those you just meet. I admit I was more than stunned.

However, the more she spoke, the more anxious I became; someone may hear us, someone may emerge from the inn and demand reasons that I myself could not explain without another mob effect occurring. So in a fit of anxiety, I shifted into my gorilla, and tried to silence her.

I managed to take hold of her, yet something in her voice as she spoke to me.... it made me pity the creature I held, rendering me unable to crush her bones like I had planned from the beginning after realising my blades would be ineffective. So I stole her foot. Yes, just her foot. Then I threw her away and went about my business, checking tracks in my leopard form as if this was an everyday occurrence. However, apparently a foot means a lot to a skeletal girl, and enraged, she chased after me, screaming rhyming verse at me. She had mentioned she was a priest of some god.... I cant remember who. But I honestly wondered if gods of this place were true, or if it was all an illusion set up by delusional folk.

She proved me wrong, that was for sure. Though her book ranted on nonsensically of flying sharks (which I thought was more than hilarious, breaking my concentration and anxiety almost as well as fishing does) she continued to rage, until her god gave her the boons she had been needing. A new foot, and by the humour of her god, a wagon. The very thing her book had ranted about angry sharks needing. It definitely put her in a better mood, though whether it was the foot or the wagon, I know not.

Some instinct in me was overwhelmed though, with an insistent need to destroy the very boon she had been given, my mind believing that she wished to follow me to my goals, try to talk me out of everything I believed was right. And yet I do believe she had valid point in her own rights, I know I also made an impression on her.

Especially when that mob showed up. We had been having a rather civilised conversation about view points --a rarity in my life that someone actually wished to know why I felt so strongly in my actions-- when the mob began to emerge, and form a rather imposing force. I let her show her views in action, on tactics other than outright use of force, and when I saw some doubt creep in on the surveyors, I gave it my own shot. I had been in countless situations in my lifetime now where reasoning never worked, and where scare tactics gave up one of two options. This was a case where we both got to see the others opinions in action, and how they both worked in some way.

She parted the crowd with her books wailing and moaning, and left to the other side of the town, giving me my chance to flee. It had been a battle more of the mind then of physicality, and that was new to me. I have had many thins to think over after battles, but philosophies of alternative methods of gaining what you wish were never one of them. This time, that's exactly what I took out of this, and it gave me the insight I needed to decide my next actions... if I could ever do so.

Next time I meet with Musalis, I almost wish to sit and speak with her a while, instead of come to blows. She is wise beyond her years, and death had done nothing to taint the virtue she holds onto so dearly. The world is a harsh place, but that child has strength of will, and I admire that more than I admire the strength of other opponents I have faced.

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=========================================Aisu, the Cursed Shifter==========================================


Last edited by Nuncia Algos on Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:46 pm 
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Ultimately, the quest for Sutera was lost, though the quest that was my reformation not so; I decided that I wuld have to start with a more specific purpose instead of surviving. Though I still have my emotions running amuk within, I feel a little better with my control over them. At least now I can fight without rage blinding me, so I can see my opponents as they are and not as I paint them.

So it was with this wandering-- first through wood and thicket, and through town, and finally to the top of a mountain covered in thick forest-- I decided to head back to my home. The ruins I had found what felt like a long time ago beckoned me, and I was hard pressed to think of a reason not to go. At least protecting the ruins would give me some purpose. Though reminded of the battle with Sutera, I hoped it would fare better than that for the next time.

So my journey home was long and restless, though I avoided most attention by sticking to woods, sleeping and hunting when it was necessary, until I arrived back in the forest I had found the gentle broken visages of the dryads long before my time. It was a stray thought, or maybe not so much a stray thought as a calling, that I climbed up the tallest tree of the wood to get a glimpse of what there was around me from a bird's perspective.

Treetops scattered and spaced in places where there were possibly other outlets to the ruins, but all of that was backseat to the tallest grey thing I saw in the distance, on the far stretch of the wood. I couldn't make out the details, but by the way it looked, I assumed it to be some kind of statue, a larger face to the mini temples that lay scattered around the area. With the direction in mind, I began to set out, towards the main hub of the ruins, walking the trees great limbs to avoid another tracing me to the sacred place, the sun setting on my first day of travel uneventfully. I chose my resting place carefully within a large hollowed tree, the small family of rodents that lived there not minding that I took their place over for the night while they went about their nightly lives.

It would be at least another night before I reached the marker in the distance, if I kept my pace, by my calculations. But even then, I felt as if I needed to go faster, to make it there sooner, as if my purpose was only within those very ruins. Untying my hair from its wrap, I ran my fingers through it, realizing how long it had gotten with the many years; it reached well past her hips now, wild and untamed. Twisting it so it was easier to wrap, I bound it back in its whip, and settled down for the night. My feet were sore from the mountain climb and the pebbles of the town, the soft foliage littering the ground of the forests welcome to sooth me as I settled into the tree; shoulders snugged safely in the trees embrace, head lowered to rest on my chest, the new leather armour chafing a little, but I would get used to that soon enough, my legs propped up onto the limb that extended from the hole. It was soon enough that sleep stole me away, kris held lightly to my chest as the darkness consumed me.

The next morning, I awoke to the original owners of the home on me, their tails and ears twitching as the little bundles slept easily. I moved my arm slowly as not to wake them and stroked them, easing them into a less fitful sleep. I stayed there with them cuddled up to me for most of the morning until I knew I had to leave. Picking each one up carefully, their little paws stretching out as their mouths opened wide in sleep, and replaced them in the trunk of the tree where I had been sitting, now balancing on the limb of the tree. I gave the sleeping rodents one more look and pet before I started out.

Using the limbs of the trees as a walkway, I continued on for most of the day, stopping by a stream to wash and drink, finding fruits and nuts within season on some of the trees which I ate slowly, savouring the new tastes as I continued on my way towards the Ruins.

I was not single-mindedly intent on finding it soon, as I had thought, as the deer began to race me through the trees, my smile growing as I fled through the trees in chase, their white tails flickering in the dense greens of the wood as I sidetracked, birds swooping in to light on my shoulder as I sat by the watering hole to drink again. Birds songs are some of the most beautiful sounds of the wood, and it was everywhere that day. It had been well too long since I could relax to the sounds of the woods around me, so I enjoyed my break immensely, though it didn't last long. Deeper in the woods-- I must have been closer to the Ruins than I thought, though still a good length away, at least half a days walking-- I heard the shuffling noises, echoing off the trees as a noise not known in the woods. With a frown, I started to follow the noise, expecting to see a hunter with a kill, or the likes.

What I found was anything but what I expected. And I can say this; the stories of my people had a few things in regards to this, though I never listened more than a few stories in before leaving. Now I wish I could have listened to Aisu tell me one more story, or even my father.

I was not expecting a God of my realm to walk in this world.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:45 am 
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I've never really been one to enjoy the finer things in life, like others of this realm. I enjoy having a place to sleep, clean wounds, good food with a good hunt, ripened berries, and a nice cool stream to drink from. Simple things others take for granted, yet most of them already have those basics. Maybe that's why they can admire the finer things, like beauty, art... dreams even. I don't think I've ever had time to admire such things with my very survival on the line. Not even my dreams were worth admiring; figments of memory blended with all the negativity I've endured my life, battles I had more than just lost, family and friends I will never see again... these weren't dreams. These were nightmares.

So all of this was why when I saw that paradise Hubris had led me to, I was more than enthralled-- I was mesmerized by the natural, untouched beauty, the sacred feel of the very ground and trees around me, the peace, the calm... all the things I had missed in my lifetime, all within my grasp. There was no hesitation in me at all when he brought up his propositions of my calling this home, protecting it, and expanding its borders. I didn't care how, or how long it would take, the mere thought of this purity encasing the tainted world I knew... it was the best dream I had ever had.

The dream continued on as I bit into the golden apple Hubris had handed me, visions of the past painting a better picture of what exactly I was fighting for within this paradise. The sacrifice of Saurojin to create the beginning of a new era only solidified my already rigid resolution to see this world rid of the taint that had marred its natural beauty so that even one of the earth itself could not admire it any longer.

The dreams that followed were of my own life, some of the finer days where my resolutions and convictions within myself were tested; the first touch of death to mar my innocence and taint my heart to accept loss, the rejection of my people for only doing what I knew to do in life, their laughter stinging more than any beating to follow ever could... The last dream to grace me was one I wished I had never forgotten, and yet had never remembered, its bittersweet taste still sitting in my mouth. My dearest brother --the one I owe this life to-- sitting with me by the brook, throwing stones and giving secrets to each other, speaking of old days long past. The first person to know of my secret, besides father, and he took it in stride. Instead of denying it, or fighting it, Aisu had taken my secret with him, and honestly believed me.

My greatest fear had been that my dear brother would have turned on me for my gift, yet he only opened his arms wider-- he wanted to know me. He wished to know what made me fight, what made me continue on my path when I had so many against me... it was more than I could ever ask for.

But I knew the rest of that dream was less fantastical as that moment, with more pain and sadness as she was exiled from the only other one to accept her. He had saved her life that day, but the cost she never knew. One day she would go back home, and bring Aisu away from that home of sadness, and bring him to a new world of beauty and peace. The world Hubris had shown her, the world that she now knew existed.

A world that was now threatened, so early in its infancy, by intruders that no doubt would wish to destroy such a paradise out of jealousy.

I have failed before, with less to lose. I cant fail this.

I won't fail this.

Not when my dream is so close to becoming a reality.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:30 pm 
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I had found peace at last, but even I knew the cost would be heavy; any intrusion into this sanctuary would break the spell, my calm destroyed in an instant. It was a tight rope to walk, yet for now, such a gentle state was well worth the risk. It was these feelings of anxiety that caused me to wander from the Haven, into the wilder territory of the world I knew so well by now.

The trees did not sing here, like they did in the Sanctuary, yet the winds were a song that I knew well, the sway of the branches familiar as long lost friends, the animals flitting from sight like glimpses of family long far from here. It was strange to call this wild home, though a safe home lay just behind me. Something was coming, a sense deep within told me that much. Friend or foe, I would find out before they stepped foot near my tranquillity.

Stopping in a small clearing, the wind billowing my loose hair into my face, I tensed as I felt more than heard the gentle footsteps headed my way-- from this distance I couldn't tell if they were human or not. Not bothering with a defensive or aggressive pose, I relaxed, the footsteps coming closer of an animal, not human. It calmed me a bit to know it was a creature of the wood, and not an invader so close to my new temple.

Slowly, amber eyes were seen in the din, out of the shadows a mottled grey brown wolf stepped forwards, the stripes making familiar patterns swirling along his flanks, the patch of fur missing on his right shoulder a cause of worry. My eyes narrowed in concern as I slowly began the greeting of welcome into my territory, circling hi while he circled me. His tail began to wave back i forth as he closed the distance between us, and out of respect I knelt down to his level, startled by the eyes that bore into my own. A wolf with amber eyes wasn't as rare as any other, but these eyes-- they swirled with intelligence, and a kindness that felt more familiar than my own reflection. Hesitantly I reached out to the bare patch on his shoulder as he sat before me, my eyes watering instantly as I saw the flame brand hidden beneath the fur.

"A-Aisu...?"

The wolf gave a grin, his tail waving more, sweeping the brush under him. It is I sister. I cant believe I had found you.... I never thought I would see you again... The gentle voice within my own mind was startling enough, but the fact that my very brother sat before me not as himself but as a wolf.... the tear fell faster as I buried my face in his neck, wrapping my arms around him, his head resting o my shoulder in his own form of a hug.

"Aisu, I thought I had lost you forever... How did you find me? What happened? Why are you here? Why are you a wolf?!"
I leaned back from the embrace to stare into his eyes once more, wondering how my brother came to be in such a state. His eyes lowered a bit as a paw shuffled in the underbrush, subtle threads of nervousness coming through the connection. I hadnt thought about why I could speak to my brother, thinking it more of a reasonable development considering I spent most of my time as an animal.

Well.... I had moved to another village after you had left, I couldn't bear to be around the people that had betrayed my family so harshly... The village was attacked by forces we had never seen before, and I had felt the urge to change so I could fight, so I did.... The battles lasted many days, but we managed to push them back a bit. But by the time that it was all done, the people of the village knew me for what I was, and became afraid. My closest friend tried to help me find myself again, but I was lost to the wolf at the time, and so they branded me and shoved me off in a boat. I was near death when I came upon this strange land, but the wolf knew what to do. After a while though, I learned to work with the wolf rather than against it, and it was then that I had smelt your scent in the woods. So I urged the wolf to find you, and after much travelling, I have. I cannot turn back to myself, Nuncia. I am stuck as a wolf.... but I will help you however I can. Now tell me sister, how have you fared in this world? I have seen so many strange things here....

His story made me more angry at my people for their blindness to the true natures of the Wilds, but it was past now. I had to help my brother, that was for sure. I had never had an issue finding myself after changing forms, but then again, I had also been trained in some ways by our father; Aisu came across his gift on the fly, and never knew how to go back. I wasn't even sure if he would ever be able to go back, but I would damned well try to help him.

But he was more interested in my adventures i this land then he seemed to be about changing back. The wolf's soul and his own must have been tightly tied over the time they spent together. Well, I would tell him of my time here.

"After I was exiled, I wandered the woods for a while until this ninja man, a man with many tricks, came to me and urged me to show him my mettle; I fought him, and with that battle I was told that I was fit for this world. So I wandered more, and came across many more battles, fighting many types of people and ranges of skills... I have almost died many times, but somehow I only become more powerful here. I have far surpassed our father in skills by now, that is for sure. Here, our people are rarely seen, and fights are as common as breathing, though in my time i have met a couple people I would call friend, even if it is a loose term. My one true friend here was killed shortly after I met her. There are people who use weapons, and others who have more tricks up their sleeves than thee are animals to fight them. In a dream, I had fought two of these mage tricksters, and I only survived out of sheer luck, considering my brains were on the ground afterwards. But I know that here dreams are just as dangerous as life, since my ram form still bears scars from that fight.

Other than that, I have moved from wood to wood trying to find a home, and I now have found one. A sanctuary of ancient druids long past, where the Sacred trees still grow, though they are weak, and animals live in peace hidden away from the world out here. It is this world I wish to spread, if you would help me...."
I lowered my gaze from his in respect, and in an attempt to hide the pain from my past failures from the many battles I had fought, yet the barking laugh made my gaze raise again to his.

Nuncia, you are truly a creature of the Wilds; only one such as you could form so well into a strange world and survive. I knew my faith in you would be proven in time, and here I am shown that I was right in my saving you from death. You have flourished in a world that would have killed you if you as weak as I am. I see your skills, sister, and they amaze me. Against all odds you have Survived. Your scars show of battles well fought against those more powerful than you; they do you honour. If this new peace is what you fight for, then I will help you in any way I can. But in time. I am still at odds with the soul I now share, and at times it is hard for me not to heed his will. I know with your help though, I will be fit for you. You no longer need to be alone dear sister, I am here with you.

His amber eyes flickered with the fires deep within that I knew him so well for-- my eyes were a solid flame, unbending, unwilling to break, but his were the eyes of one that could bend and flex with the situations. How else could he have lived with the soul of a wild wolf and not completely lose himself to the Wilds? He was still within the wolf, melded so firmly now that I could see within him, that it was hard to tell where one soul ended and where the other began. It would take much time to separate the souls, if they even could live apart. I would help him as much as he would help me, family and now closer than that. We were kindred.

The idea of never being alone again was hard for me to believe, but the smile crept into my solid expression, breaking the harsh features into a softer form of the girl he had known. I put a hand to his head, him bowing his head to me as he closed his eyes in acceptance.

"You are my brother, and my friend, Aisu. I will never be alone now. Come, I will show you my new home, your new home. And hen I will teach you about this world, and all that there is to know."

I rose from my kneeling position, hand still nestled between his ears as I began to walk, my brother at my side as I retraced my steps back to the entrance to the Sanctuary, my heart flying high in the sky, free as the birds I had envied as a child. Finally, my world was coming together-- now to spread my world to cover the ugliness of the world I had come to know and hate. Even if I failed i this, I would still have my brother with me.

If anything, that was more soothing on my soul than any sanctuary.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:19 pm 
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It was night time, my brother and I laying under the stars within the forest surrounding our new Sanctuary, silently gazing into the worlds of the gods. I had been thinking since Aisu came along that I had never truly searched for others to connect with, relying on others to find me. Maybe that was why I had always longed for a friend, yet never managed to keep one. Maybe I was more afraid of losing them than I thought. But Aisu made me realise that it was worth the pain, if I could be as happy as I am with him. He needs help, others to see his plight. A pack. The wolf within him searches for a pack, yearns to be part of a family again. I understand the sentiment, and have been thinking hard and long about it.

I roll over ever so slightly so that I may face my brother, whose tongue lolls out of his mouth as he turns his head to face me, both of us laying on our backs. "Aisu... I have decided to gather a pack for us. A family that we can call our own, to help us with this great task we have been given. We cannot defend this place on our own, that much is certain. We need others we can depend on for this. Have you any ideas how we can do this?" My tone was unnaturally soft, uncertain, like the child I used to be when I lived with my brother.

He rolled over so that he was laying on his belly, his mouth closing to think about this. I could see the warring of his twin souls, both sides mulling over this aspect. Finally after some time, he let his tongue fall again, smiling in his new wolfish way. My second soul and I believe that this task be given to us. We need someone to stay behind, to guard the Sanctuary while we search, and only those that would know of our plight and those my wolf soul deem worthy will be led back here. I do not wish to cause harm to you by my actions, dear sister, so my screening will be extensive. But those that understand me will understand you, and with them we may find you kindred sprites to lead in this adventure. I do not know how long I will be gone, but know that I will return within the moons cycle, with or without our new pack. I will start out at first light to find these sprites, and with everything within me I will strive to make you proud sister. You have been alone too long, and I fear that you may not know how to interact with others more civilised now. So leave this to the wolf, and all will be taken care of. Now you rest dear sister, you look as pallor as the moon, and have not eaten much as of late. Are you ill?

I smiled, snorting a bit. "No, not ill physically. I have been... thinking. Of many things, and I'm afraid my mind is slipping further to the animals souls than I knew of before. I know you will do me proud brother, as you have always had my back. I trust you, and your twin soul, to find those which will be he beginning of our new pack. But you are right to think I am not suited for much life outside of our woods; I do not do well with others, and attract much more attention than I should outside of my world. I will wait. But for now let us rest, and prepare for the newcomers. Howl once you have reached he edges of the forest, give me signal, and I will meet you in this clearing, a safe distance from our Sanctuary if I deem them unworthy, to test them. Then we may have a family again, dear brother. I just wish father could see us now...."

Aisu licked my face, making me smile. Sister, you are not ill of body, but ill of soul. You are homesick, struggling with this new world as a babe struggles once out of the womb. Put you mind and soul at ease. I will not fail you, and together we will make a home that you can love again. I will signal you once I have found them, and we will meet here. Maybe then your hope in this world will be restored. Have faith that the gods of our world shine down on us, and that we fight not for ourselves, but for all of what we are, both Nature and Wilds, one with the old ways. Have faith sister, in me. I will bring you peace. Now we rest.

I couldn't help but believe my older brother; he had always been there for me, even when I was as wild as the animals we hunted for food. Even when the rest of the tribe wished my death on heir hands, he saved me. And now is with me, in this same hell, and yet to him, it is heaven.... he finds freedom in confinement, and I envy him, yet love him all the same. He sees my soul with a look and knows me. I need not explain a thing to him, he knows. I missed the feeling of knowing someone.... something familiar in this strange new world. And now he promised to find others that have eluded me my entire existence in this world.... I was putting faith in the stars and in my brother, and may I not fall once those wings were clipped.

The wind feels nice on such frail wings.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:37 pm 
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The forest was lonely as it ever was, without my brother by my side. Never had I felt such a longing to feel the companionship of another, when the very trees were my friends... and yet here I was, wishing on stars that my brother would return safely. The moon had been full face that night he decided to leave, while I rested. Now I was staring t its full face once more, wondering where he was in the world.

I got up from my place by the lake I had found, its mirror of the sky what had drawn me to it. It meant no matter where I looked, stars were there, the moons face bright, lending me the little light I wished in this darkness. My ear twitched, the snowy fur catching a breeze as I rose from my resting, my claws digging into the soft earth, creating thin trenches in the shore. The glint from the moon made me shine, in this form, as I peered over the edge into that mirror, seeing my eyes stare back at me from within the soft white furs, the light silver dotting and stripes marking me as similar to my natural form, and yet softer. More natural. I turned from the edge of the waters, tail flicking in my own agitation, the leopard's soul within me calling out to the mountains, wishing to run to the snowy caps, to live, to hunt...

So I ran. Through the trees, flitting past me in blurs of familiar faces, much faster than I had moved before; I ran until I came to the edge of the mountains, my soul screaming to be free in that new terrain, away from the trees, at home in the soft snows that called to me even now. It was a moment of hesitation, warring between my two sides. What if I left, and my brother came back? What if I left and never came back... It was a struggle to turn my back on those white caps, and return to the woods. Never before had I struggled so much to return to what I knew was my home, what I felt was my true place. So I left the leopard behind within my mind, the white furs melting as I stood on my own feet, staring at my hands.

Fingers. I had fingers in this form... and no tail. I ran my tongue over my teeth to feel that they were as dull as any other omnivore's, no longer the incisors of a hunter. Fingers ran through my dark hair, pulling it free from its bindings to fly free in the winds, no longer short and white, it was now long and dark. I stood on two legs, not four.

Simple observations, and yet... my soul felt it was wrong. As if all my other souls were my true self, and this form was just another one of the many I had. It was disorientating in a way, to feel so out of shape in your own skin-- what should have been your own skin.

I took my steps carefully, watching how my feet touched the ground, my heels barely ever touching as my toes gripped the earth, each step one in front of the other. Such an easy thing, to walk on two feet when it felt so much more right to walk on four. From this height the ground looked so far away, and yet still I could see everything in the living detail of the hunters I held my souls with. I knew I wasnt like other Sylvaan, who stomped through the woods flat footed, not bothering to notice the sounds they made.

Maybe that was why I was what I was, so conflicted with myself. I wasnt Sylvaan, like the rest. Nor was I an animal, free of all the treatings and traditions of a world long gone from myself. I was both, and yet none of them. Where did I fit in...?

I moved like a shadow in the woods, no animals startling at my presence, no sounds of my approach. I walked as if I were still the cat, and yet something had changed. I had only taken a few steps, and yet I was so much farther than before. I moved faster, as if the very Wilds were taking me with them, far from everything I was worrying about, far from my troubles. Like an animal, I could run from what I feared, I could run far and fast, if that was what I chose.

Sweet temptation from the very natures I held, I couldnt help but thank them for this gift. Yet it was one I could not use for what they wished. They wanted me to run, to be free... but I couldnt. Not with my brother out there, lost in his own way, and yet trying to help me. Trying to save me from his own fate. Sweet temptation, to leave and never look back. To be free.

But even I knew my wings were already clipped-- I would never fly like I wanted to, never be truly free. I was bound to this earth, just as my souls were. No matter f I could now fly on lands, fast and swift as winds, it was still nothing compared to what I wanted. My gaze moved to the stars once again, envisioning a hawk flying overhead, circling on a thermal to gain more altitude before giving a gentle push with his great wings, and he was off; to see the world from that height, to see the world so small and insignificant. To see the world as nothing more than a speck, compared to the wide open endless skies....

I took up my place back by the waters, peering into its face again. No longer fringed in white furs, my eyes stood out against my pale brown skin, my dark markings harsher, lending me a more fierce look. And yet my eyes stood out, because they were no longer harsh, no longer hardened by the world. Instead, they looked almost sad.... the curtain of wild black hair fell over my shoulder, rippling the calm mirror, distorting my visions as I gave a sigh.

This was me. Alone in a world of stars, I had no place among them in the heavens. I had no place here, or anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:37 am 
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It was another week before my brother came back to me, and by that time, I had not moved from beside that still pond, staring at its depths as it reflected the sky above it, the stars mesmerising in their silent lives. I was seated, cradled within the embrace of ancient roots of the great trees that surrounded us, watching those stars fro afar, as they no doubt watched me.

He came up to me slowly, I not even noticing in my trance, until his cold nose touched my arm, a gentle whine making me tear my gaze away and to him. "Aisu... you came back...." My voice sounded hollow, even to myself, which startled me for a moment.

Aisu sat gently next to me, leaning his weight on me as if that would help. Im sorry I took so long, Nuncia... I wont leave you alone so long next time. I wandered far and wide, and thought I had found others, but they were lost along the way. Im sorry... His mind's tone was sad, as if he knew how badly he had failed me...

If only he knew how badly I almost failed him.

"Its ok, brother. I was just... dreaming."

My gaze wandered back to the pond, a soft sigh escaping me as I continued to stare at the inverted constellations I had come to memorise, in my week of trapping. After that close call, I had decided it may not be very good if I wandered around in my animal forms, not when they were calling to me in new and frightening ways... I hunted in my form now, and slept in my form, everything as I was meant to, and yet the souls of my animals clawed on my insides... They wanted free. I had never trapped them this long before, and they were becoming harder to hold in.

Aisu knew there was something more wrong than I was letting on though, whether intuition of his second soul, or his understanding of me, he knew me dreaming while awake was never a good sign. I felt him tense up next to me, his nose nudging my hand again, so I rested it on his head.

I wont fail you this time. I swear I will bring someone to help you, sister. Keep your faith, and remember who you are. You're not the animals that live inside you, but my sister, Nuncia. A proud Sylvaan hunter of Tilith, who wa--

I stood up snarling, my form changing in an instant to the great gorilla, thumping hard on the ground as I roared at him. I know who I am, wolf! I know what was done to me! Do you think I could forget, when it is branded on my skin, every wrong deed I had ever done!? How could I not forget, with you as a reminder of my past actions, how they have hurt you! I am an exiled traitor of a murderer, that has driven her own brother to be trapped in a wolf's body, because I wasnt there to help you!

Aisu stared as I roared at him, understanding my words as only animals could, but the body language was all wrong... my words were pleads and memories that had left scars on my mind, plagues on my soul, yet the gorilla was looking for a fight, baring great canines and slamming his fist into the ground as he growled. The wolf took a step back, ears back, tail lowered as well as his head, his eyes boring into mine. Nuncia, come back to me now. I know you are upset, but fight the great beast, I know you can do it. Dont let him take over you. Dont let him win. You are stronger than that...

His words were soft, coaxing as only an adult could be to a child, yet the gorilla-- I-- only slammed my fist into the ground again, roaring. I am not a child, Aisu! Ive lived with these souls loner than you! I know I can win them over! And yet here I was raging as a gorilla, the beast fighting just as hard as I was. I wanted to tear things apart, rip things into shreds, feel flesh and bone break under my great hands, my great teeth....

I was startled, once again. Those werent my thoughts, not when they were directed towards my brother, my family. No, I had to win this.... it was an inner battle like none I had ever had to fight before, and as time seemed to stand still, it was only a matter of instances before I was kneeling on the ground, my fist in the indent the great ape had made in the ground. I stared at my hand within that print, realizing just how small I was compared to such a beast, what such a powerful creature could have done if I had let it free as it had fought for.

I was shaking, as Aisu came carefully forwards, nose touching my face lightly. I know you are strong enough, Nuncia. Thats why I was worried... You are the strongest woman I know, and yet here you are... caving like I had. Remember who you are. Its the only thing we have left in this world, is that small bit of us. Keep it safe, until I can find help for you... please. As your brother, and our friend, not as an elder.

I wrapped my arms around him as I shook, scared of myself now. How could I have thought to hurt my brother, the only thing I had left in this world?

What kind of monster was I, now?

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=========================================Aisu, the Cursed Shifter==========================================


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 Post subject: Re: The Shape of a Shifter
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:52 pm
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Location: Behind You
If the gods of my world ever heard my pleas, if they ever turned their ear to me, given my sad fate a once over... then they no doubt had turned their backs on me. Spit on my fate. Cut my tie to them.

It was the only reason I could come up with, as I felt the winds of change move swift through the foliage, rustling the ancient boughs in a symphony of silent screams, cascading through the forest from the North as the waters fall down cliffs. It was the only reason I could find, that Hubris had left me alone to guard the Grove, now tainted with that very same silence that threatened the peace of the sanctuary. It was the silence of death, the scent of decay, the feeling of weakness as your heart pumped the toxins through your body.

It was coming.

And there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I could only wait for it.

Flee from it.

As the animals will, in time.

As all will, in time.

My brother had gone out once more, sensing in the night a kindred, as the joint howls to the moon twined together. The silent visage of such a pale goddess reflected on that mirror on earth, her twinkling hair framing her image in gentle lights. The moon was beautiful, the stars her wayward servants, guiding all to her homes, to her wombs. It was this goddess that sent Aisu from me, and this goddess that brought them to me.

A wounded warrior from the darkness, his abyssal lover from those same depths, and a kin of Aisu's soul, lead by the bringer of fate himself. My mind was twisting, reality slipping, and yet I welcomed the reprieve from myself, dove into their pasts, shared my own. Morgoth, Myrie, Moon...

Our words were few, but they held more meaning to them than I could have ever dreamed for. Not even the gods listen for my voice any more, and yet these few chose to follow my messenger, answering my pleas as those very gods never did.

It was a freedom I hadnt felt in so long, to have my wings unbound. To have my story heard, and to have it answered to. To have others to take the burdens from me, to share the load of my souls, and to give me room to breathe once more. To have a pack. A family. Trust. Strength.

It was too good. Such change is always too good, and even I should know that by now. For every gift these gods give me comes with a price they steal from under my fingertips. They returned me my brother, but stole from him his true form. Now they send me this family....

...and they take from me my home.

The winds of change sent the silent screams southward, plaguing the lands and tainting the waters, killing the animals who cried out to me in terror. This sickness of the gods was to be the end of my home, my purpose, and all for a family to trust. To care. To hear me.

Some wishes are better left unsaid, and yet even the heart can cry out when it is desperate enough, and though no sound is made, the gods will hear it. Just as no sounds were made by the trees, the animals, the very earth beneath my feet, I felt their deaths within me as if I were dying myself.

As a Sylvaan, my heart was tied to the forests.
As an animal, my souls all cried out in pain.
As the forest began to wither, so did my heart.
As the animals began to die, so did my will.

I sent my new pack on ahead, to get away from this calamity, dashing as the wilds gave me freedom to do, flying fast to the Grove, only to find it too was decaying, the great tree withered as tendrils of dark plague wrapped around the lands it fed.

With the Grove dying, I felt myself begin to die.

But the gods are cruel in this world. They give to take, and though they do not care for my life, they refuse to take it, it seems. The sickness of my soul was now only matched by the sickness of my body and mind, my entire being now infected with this coming death. I could feel it within my veins, eating my energy, distorting my visions, creating fear in peace, making screams in silence.

It was all I could do to return to my new family, and tell them of the devastation. And to keep them moving, southwards, with the winds of change at our backs. Maybe then, we can avoid this death, maybe then, we may find some salvation in this time of silence. Maybe then, I may rest. Maybe then, I may find peace once more.

My wings may have been unbound, yet are broken still. Clipped. Useless.
Just like my dreams had been.

Just like my gods had been.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~What do You know about Surviving~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
=========================================Aisu, the Cursed Shifter==========================================


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