Jay Lewis - Molt

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AgentOrange
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Jay Lewis - Molt

Unread post by AgentOrange » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:10 pm

CW: Violence, outhouse shenanigans.


Seven years ago, The Spine of the World, somewhere near The Moonwood.


Yesterday it was a tribe of orcs. The day before, scavengers, ousted from their tribes. Today, a small warband of Uthgardt. Black Raven.

You're short, Justinian. Aim low. The man just out of boyhood cleaved the shaman in two at the knees as she began to cast. Writhing and yelling, she slumped in three pieces. Don't look. Next, a scout. Next, a warrior who held his spear aloft, ready to plunge it into the chest of Justinian's comrade--a soldier of Ilmater on his back, arms held up as if to block the incoming blow, eyes closed tightly and head turned away, trembling like a Luskan youth on his first brush with death. Two words left the prone man's lips in a desperate plea: "Have mercy!"

Greatsword impaled through the tribesman's abdomen from behind, to the hilt, and the demon-blooded manchild kicked him off the long blade--and it took a couple kicks. He let the casualty fall down on his brother. "Bad time to lose your head, Ashwell," Justinian grunted before continuing his single-minded mission. As an afterthought, Justianian kicked the Ilmateri's battered shield and longsword towards him as he wiggled out from under the larger and now-departed tribesman. "Works better than begging, by the way."

He looked around. Sir Sniffalot, the black dog with pointed ears and a brown leather harness emblazoned with the symbol of Tyr on either side. Where? Biting the throat of another scout, refusing to let go. "Nein!" Justinian shouted, and then whistled sharply to get the canine's attention. Sir Sniffalot abandoned his current project and turned to his master, ears perked, head tilted, awaiting command. "Hier." Justinian made a circular gesture with his forearm. Sir Sniffalot approached, curious and taut. "Ge herum." Sir Sniffalot barked once and darted back into the fray.

Justinian made eye contact with the tribal warband's leader who was engaged in a furious two-on-one skirmish with two Triadic soldiers, both of whom held their own but could not take down the beast. "Move!" Justianian roared, and he began to close the distance through the fighting, through the clash of weapon against weapon, across blood-stained snow. The two Triadic soldiers scattered. The black-bearded warband chieftan approached his new challenger. The same bloodlust in two sets of eyes reflecting back at each other. Simultaneously, they both began to jog, and then run. He has at least a foot on me. He'll go up and I'll go under. The chieftan let forth a mighty bellow and raised his waraxe aloft as they neared. Justinian slid to the ground. Don't piss off a short man. The chieftan stopped short when a well-placed arrow pierced through his throat, in one side and out the other. A second arrow passed all the way through his neck and he dropped to his knees, looking dumbfounded as he died by archer's aim.

Justinian crashed into him, and they both collapsed. The demon-blooded manchild aimed a left hook at the dead black-bearded leader's jaw, a futile blow before he got back to his feet and looked around for the source of the arrows. Romulus Kildare, mentor, stepfather, commander. The older man with piercing green eyes frowned and shook his head subtly; he stowed the longbow at his back in favor of his trademark bastard sword.

* * * * *

At the end of the long trek back to the outpost through the frozen wasteland, Justinian caught up to Rumulus and noticed that with each passing day, his brown hair looked increasingly grey.

"Could've taken him." The alabaster manchild huffed the words.

"Temperance, Justinian."

"Let me do my job."

"I promised your mother I would not let you die, and I intend to keep that promise."

"Wasn't gonna die."

"Selfish brat," Romulus growled, raising his forearm in a gesture of dismissal towards Justinian.

Sir Sniffalot, ever at his master's side, whined softly and pinned his ears back in response.

As soon as they reached the ramshackle outpost, Justinian visited the outhouse where four walls would provide a false sense of security and solitude. He knew all too well the effect adrenaline took on his body, and it doesn't go away when the skirmish is over. It never does, and so release must be sought in a moment of peace. In an outhouse at a military outpost. Then he took a post-release nap. In an outhouse at a military outpost.

About an hour later, he woke to the sound of Sir Sniffalot pawing at the door.

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.:Jay Lewis:.
Marshal of The Golden Shield. Head of Security for The Golden Wheel. Uptight veteran. Charges into battle on a moral high horse. Bounty hunter for justice.

.:Erik Harwell:.
Fortune-teller. Locksmith. Minstrel in tight pants. Wannabe womanizer.

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AgentOrange
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Re: Jay Lewis - Molt

Unread post by AgentOrange » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:44 pm


Twenty one years ago.

"Temperance, Justinian," Romulus' deep voice rumbled to the scowling boy in front of him, the boy with a vaguely corpse-like complexion and two black horns protruding from a mane of wavy grey hair. The towering man stroked his brown beard with a calloused hand and continued, "Don't swing wildly in blind anger. You'll tire yourself out."

Justinian scrunched his nose and charged at his mentor again with the wooden training sword in his hand, a high-pitched scream punctuating his bullrush. Romulus easily sidestepped and the child skidded to an abrupt halt before collapsing to his rear. The wooden sword fell from his grip and clattered to the floor. He reached for it and threw it at his mentor. The wooden tool spun across the dojo only to be deflected with a lazy lift of Romulus' forearm.

"You've been training for hours," said a woman's voice, light and airy. Emma hovered in the doorway and lowered her cowl to reveal an unruly mass of white curls reaching the base of her spine. Justinian growled weakly at Romulus and scurried to hide behind his mother's skirt; he did not realize that his grey-tufted tail was still visible. "Use your words," she clucked over her shoulder to her fiend-blooded son.

"No," Justinian said obstinately, stomping a foot.

"He's still upset that I took away the mouse he found in the pantry," the albino woman said to Romulus as she wrung her pale, delicate hands in front of herself. "He kept it in his breast pocket and said he wanted a friend." A soft sigh escaped her lips and she looked sadly over her shoulder once more to her odd son who presently busied himself with picking his nose.

"I want Sir Squeakalot back," the boy announced, index finger still up to its first knuckle in his nostril.

"He had a family too, so I set him free," his mother cooed, kneeling down to face him.

Romulus approached and gently placed his hand on Emma's shoulder. A long silence as he considered his words.

"He will have to try twice as hard to be seen half as good, even if he makes the cut for the Order in a few years as a trainee," said Romulus.

"I believe in him. Maybe others will see the good in him too." She smoothed his mop of light grey hair, trying to tuck a few locks around his horns to make them less painfully visible.

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((Written on my phone, so it was a quickie.))
.:Jay Lewis:.
Marshal of The Golden Shield. Head of Security for The Golden Wheel. Uptight veteran. Charges into battle on a moral high horse. Bounty hunter for justice.

.:Erik Harwell:.
Fortune-teller. Locksmith. Minstrel in tight pants. Wannabe womanizer.

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AgentOrange
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Re: Jay Lewis - Molt

Unread post by AgentOrange » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:04 pm


A massive ship is struck by an errant wave in the dead of night, inky black heavens above without a star to guide the lumbering vessel that made easy pickings for The Bitch Queen. The ship pitches a roll, slowed as though time attempts to freeze it. Another gargantuan wave, sent by The Bitch Queen's wrath, speeds the process along, and the ship capsizes, motion propelled forth rapidly. The sound is akin to a building caving in, structure weakened by flames.

A woman flies forth from a stained glass window along the hull, thrown into the murky depths like an understuffed ragdoll. Blonde tendrils of hair undone frame her calm visage in serpentine coils, manipulated by furious waters. Multicolored shards surround her, pieces of the broken window she was sent hurdling through. The dark blue fabrics of her skirt billow in the water, dragging her down in spite of attempts to swim towards the ocean's surface. A small crossbow comes loose from under her skirts during her struggle, and it slowly drifts towards away from her. Her outstretched arm reaches for the projectile weapon, but it eludes her.


Jay awoke with a start in his rented room above the Elfsong Tavern, sheet soaked with sweat and twisted around his lean torso. With a few muttered expletives that would make a dwarf blush, he smoothed out the sheet and rolled onto his side. After a few minutes, he drifted back into his slumber.
.:Jay Lewis:.
Marshal of The Golden Shield. Head of Security for The Golden Wheel. Uptight veteran. Charges into battle on a moral high horse. Bounty hunter for justice.

.:Erik Harwell:.
Fortune-teller. Locksmith. Minstrel in tight pants. Wannabe womanizer.

User avatar
AgentOrange
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:34 am
Location: EST, GMT -5

Re: Jay Lewis - Molt

Unread post by AgentOrange » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:09 pm


13 Kythorn 1355, a cave near Greenest.


The albino tiefling prodded at the campfire with a metal stick, returning its embers to life, flame surging up. A plume of grey smoke curled along the stone ceiling. He closed his lone eye, recalling something his stepfather told him five years ago.

* * * * *

Justinian pushed open the door of Romulus' office. It was already ajar. The older, larger, bearded man stood up slowly, scooting his wingback chair aside with his foot. The room smelled of a recently snuffed out candle, parchment, and frankincense. There was a hard gleam in the middle aged war hero's emerald eyes.

"Justinian," he said curtly.

The younger tiefling already had his Tyrran holy symbol pressed against his palm, spindly fingers curled around its astronomical weight. After a moment's hesitation, he slammed it down on the oaken desk with more force than he meant. Avoiding eye contact, he focused on the stained glass window behind his stepfather, The Maimed God with a bastard sword in one hand, and a set of justice scales in the other. Long white hair billowed around the glass Tyr. Breakable. Fragile. Fallible.

"I'll serve the Even-Handed better without vows, without the Order," the tiefling growled quietly, words forced through gritted teeth, a fanged smile that didn't meet his sanguine eyes.

"Justinian," Romulus repeated as he reached for the holy symbol that his stepson has cast off like unwanted shackles. "Perhaps not at all."

Justinian started to turn towards the door. He didn't want to hear it. However, a vague sense of duty prompted him to motion Romulus to continue or elaborate. It was almost a mechanical, robotic gesture.

Romulus sighed wearily, shut his eyes, and scratched the bridge of his aquiline nose. He said, "You lack empathy, but you think you have altruism. You love mankind, you love the world like a paranoid, abusive father--"

His statement was interrupted by the soft click of the door closing behind Justinian. He was gone.

* * * * *

Jay opened his eye, and ripped the Tyrran symbol from his left bracer, turned it around in his gloved fingers for what felt like hours, and then located the sewing kit in his rucksack to replace it back to its spot in the campfire's soft glow.

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.:Jay Lewis:.
Marshal of The Golden Shield. Head of Security for The Golden Wheel. Uptight veteran. Charges into battle on a moral high horse. Bounty hunter for justice.

.:Erik Harwell:.
Fortune-teller. Locksmith. Minstrel in tight pants. Wannabe womanizer.

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AgentOrange
Posts: 64
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Re: Jay Lewis - Molt

Unread post by AgentOrange » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:27 pm


16 Kythorn 1355, a house near The Lewd Lyre.

Jay awoke with a start, and in a sweat. Parched, and famished. The room was spinning. Wait, what room? His head felt heavy as a stone slab as he lifted it to look around the dark, spartan room. Then at himself, laying atop the dark crimson quilt, still clad in the skintight black leather outfit he wore the night before, small metal studs glistening in the sunlight that poured through the window.

Jay had manifested as a peculiar Eyrton Cloakback for some sort of dress-up gala at the Darius Estate. This was just days after he heard about the ranger's untimely death.

His boots and sword had been carefully placed beside the bed. The bed. Beneath the covers and topsheet, a woman slept, facing away from him, her straight auburn hair spilling over the pillow.

He leaned to pull the covers back. Is she at least pretty? Do I know her? And why is my Eyrton costume still on? From the glimpse he caught of her profile in peaceful slumber, he recognized her, but couldn't place a name, let alone how he ended up on her bed. The last thing he recalled from the drunken evening was falling asleep on the bar in The Lewd Lyre as the masquerade party died down.

* * * * *

The auburn-haired spitfire had walked over at an inopportune moment, while the albino tiefling screamed against an Amulet of Sending, his lean body shaking with rage, and his alabaster visage contorted in abject fury.

"An old flame?" she asked.

"How did you guess?" Jay responded, dryly, lone eye sizing her up in the dark beside the tree across the road from the Tymount refugee camp.

The woman chuckled mischievously and dug through one of the pouches on her person. "I've been on the other end of those Sendings, you know. Here. Take this. It'll keep bad luck away." A necklace, the pendant of which was comprised of two stylized black antlers, was offered forth to the pale tiefling.

"How much?" he snapped, still seething, as he reached for the piece of jewelry. His spindly fingers closed around the damning symbol, and he squeezed it tightly.

"Nothing. Just take it."

"By keeping bad luck away, you mean sending it to others." He held the pendant for a moment, about to let go of it. With a subtle shake of his head, he yanked it from the woman's grasp, looped it around his neck, and tucked the pendant beneath the neckline of his breastplate.

* * * * *

Jay touched the center of his leather-clad chest as he sat up in the bed, his head throbbing with the hangover he brought upon himself the night before. The pendant was still there. He could feel its shape, barely, through the suede tunic.

He kicked his legs over the bed and put his boots back on as quietly as possible. The scuffing caused the woman to stir.

Make haste before she wakes.

In one deft motion, he scooped up his sword scabbard and crept towards the door, sparing a backwards glance to the bed. Her head was up, poking above the covers, her sage-green eyes watching him; her expression was unreadable.

And the ghost of of Eyrton Cloakback clad in black leather was gone, braving the harshness of daylight.

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.:Jay Lewis:.
Marshal of The Golden Shield. Head of Security for The Golden Wheel. Uptight veteran. Charges into battle on a moral high horse. Bounty hunter for justice.

.:Erik Harwell:.
Fortune-teller. Locksmith. Minstrel in tight pants. Wannabe womanizer.

User avatar
AgentOrange
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:34 am
Location: EST, GMT -5

Re: Jay Lewis - Molt

Unread post by AgentOrange » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:50 pm

CW: A failed infanticide attempt.


26 years ago, an Ilmaterite temple in Luskan.

Emma Longfellow held the swaddled infant against her chest protectively. "Mother, I was willing to visit with you so that you could see for yourself how well we're doing, not for you to to threaten me for my life choices. Now, I was about to set the baby down for a nap and take a bath. You can go." The infant cooed and tried to kick his legs about within the confines of the brown blanket.

"This is for your own good. Give it to me. You'll thank me later," Adrienne clucked, her black hair tinged with streaks of grey, pulled back into an elaborate bun. Her austere makeup gave her the appearance of a 60-year old woman refusing to age gracefully. She got up and reached for the bundle in Emma's arms.

"Leave us at once," Emma said firmly with an upnod towards the bedroom door as she backed away from her mother.

A struggle ensued. Adrienne lunged forward to pry the infant from her daughter's grasp. "Let go!" Emma shouted, fighting to maintain her hold on him, but releasing him after a moment for fear of her son being ripped in two. "Help!" she shouted in hopes of someone, even an acolyte, hearing down the hall. The baby started started to shriek.

"You idiot girl, you were supposed to kill this bastard demonspawn!" Adrienne hissed as she held the infant away from herself as though it was a bag of rotting fruit. The blanket around the baby tiefling had become partially undone. She turned towards the wooden bathtub in the corner, already filled with water for the bath Emma had been planning to take when her mother arrived at the temple unannounced. The baby's piercing howls continued. "Shut up, cur!" she snapped with a violent jerk of her arms, but it only made the infant sob harder.

"No! Give him back, you witch!" Emma cried, charging towards her mother and aiming a punch to the base of her spine. And another, and another.

Adrienne was undeterred as she dropped the brown swaddling blanket on the ground and plunged the infant into the bathtub's lukewarm water. His cries were muffled in an alien, high-pitched gurgling sound.

"Help!" Emma let out a blood-curdling screech and kicked at her mother's shin, then tried to pull her away from the wooden basin. Her mother let go of the baby in the water briefly to shove Emma with such force that it sent her crashing to the ground. Her head hit a nearby chair, dazing her.

In the time it took Emma to recover, she realized that the underwater warbling sounds had been replaced by silence. She used the chair for purchase as she pulled herself to her feet, and used her remaining strength to lift it up and smash it over her mother's skull with an warrioress-worthy roar. The chair broke into four pieces and her mother slumped to the floor, blood pouring from a large gash in her head.

Emma dropped the splintered pieces and reached into the bathtub, pulling her son from the bottom. He didn't breath. His face was a pale blue color. His limbs were slack and limp.

"No. No. No." She remembered what Father Damian had shown her and turned the baby around so that he faced the floor, her right hand beneath his feeble chest and neck to support him, her elbow tucked against her side, and she firmly tapped his back several times with the heel of her palm. "Come on. Breathe."

Nothing. Emma kept at it, her hands beginning to shake. Tears stung her red eyes. "Breathe."

She didn't hear the footsteps running up the hall, or Father Damian open the door with two acolytes behind him.

"Breathe, damn you!" she sobbed, the tears now running down her cheeks as she continued to smack between his tiny shoulder blades with the heel of her palm.

The infant spat up a glob of bathwater and resumed his wailing. Emma pulled him close to his chest. "You're alright. You're alright. Mama's got you," she whispered against his wet grey hair as he fussed and flailed about.

"Oh my," Father Damian said as he noticed Adrienne's motionless body on the ground beside the tub. "What happened?"

Image
.:Jay Lewis:.
Marshal of The Golden Shield. Head of Security for The Golden Wheel. Uptight veteran. Charges into battle on a moral high horse. Bounty hunter for justice.

.:Erik Harwell:.
Fortune-teller. Locksmith. Minstrel in tight pants. Wannabe womanizer.

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