Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Guppy » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:40 pm

The others were ignored and instead, the woman followed beside Giuseppe. Her features were set in stone as the voice sounded. She was a silent cry against the dark one's ears. She could not interact with the thread nor the man traveling with the group and her plans were quickly dissipating.

The voice goaded, insisting that he had failed in his task. Silent, she traveled with them. Waiting. Watching.

Even if she failed here, his story would not die if she knew it. That would have to be enough.
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Glenn » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:02 am

Glenn Burnie looked to be waiting for something. He sat, starving, surviving off of Underdark moss with the sort of expertise and surety of one experienced in eating it or desperate enough not to care. His once beautiful clothes were tatters. He did not seem to mind. Perhaps he reveled at the differences between he and the glamoured fae storyteller so close to him. "You know," he said, his voice raspy, weary. "I think I'm ready for you to tell me a story about a lovely bird that can carry us out." A long pause. Did the Storyteller rub her hands together in anticipation over the Governor finally breaking? In the end, it hardly mattered. His tone turned bitter and playful all at once. "Only if you have it eat you first, though. Do you know a tale about a giant bird eating an obnoxious, unchanging, unfeeling, unsympathetic storyteller who doesn't know the first thing about what makes a story good?"

Someone at his best might have heard the talking only a few twists and turns away. Someone who spoke more loudly might be heard by others just around those same turns. As it was, though, Giuseppe was silent. From the look on his face, tedium had settled in. There was something else, though, a fraying. His clothes were not as clean as they had once been and the tarnish did not stop there but in subtle ways upon his skin as well. Perhaps it was the journey. Perhaps it was Golben itself. Or perhaps he had angered his lady with his absence. Regardless, between that and the strange combination of Cinnabar and Wynsee for company, everything to say might have already been said.
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Dulcie » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:48 am

The storyteller opened her mouth to begin weaving a tale, at least right up until he qualified it with sarcasm. She clamped her mouth shut again and glared at him.

"How this town ever elected such a ridiculous, stubborn and annoying leader I would truly like to know the answer. Being stuck here with you is more than enough punishment for a lifetime." All it would have taken was one simple story and they'd both be free of the place and she could move on to another town, just as she had for centuries. Most humans had a greater sense of self-preservation than this one.

She was unaware of the others coming around the corner. Perhaps if she had been she might have tried to guide them in a different direction. Strange how in a place as large as this one that one would cross paths with another at all.
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Rance » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:28 pm

IT

IT IS THIS VERY MOMENT, INTERLOPER--

Only a matter of steps, and the two groups were suddenly one -- Glenn Burnie and the Storyteller; Giuseppe, Cinnabar Calomel, and Gloria Wynsee. Their elopement was no grand occurrence, no explosive clash. Three sets of feet turned a corner, and then another, and then another, until they came to a clearing where two others already lingered.

--DURING WHICH THE MISSING HOUR BEGINS. AN HOUR FROM NOW, A CORPSE [husk, body] WILL LAY HEADLESS UPON A FLOOR FAR FROM HERE. OF THESE FIVE, THREE WILL LEAVE [depart, escape].

NONE OF THEM WILL RECALL THIS. THAT ALONE IS OUR TASK [duty, purpose].


NIALL

Why would I construct such a thing?

"Why any prison would be created," he said. "To contain. In this case, not necessarily liquid or drink, but a presence. One of immense volatility. You came with the intent to destroy this place, yes? It may seem like a noble purpose, but it is an altogether dangerous one.

"Raze this prison of enchanted earth, this Golben, and the acumenus trapped within will achieve its freedom. But create with me a bottle, a simple bottle, and together, we will be able to contain another being of comparable destruction, that it may no longer move unchecked through the world you seek to protect."

He tried to usher her upon the stool, not to sit, but to stand, flapping his fragile hands at her as though she were a child. His cork-plugged eyes were blind, but they never left her. Hunched, decrepit, he mixed the glowing, molten glass using the edge of the hollow dowel.

"Will you help me in this?" the Glassblower asked.
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Guppy » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:44 pm

The group, the whole of them, were suddenly joined in one clearing. Time stood still. The scene before her seemed to pause for a moment as that unseen voice echoed. It cautioned, it cajoled. The woman with her serpentine gaze, swept it along the players of this game.

"Well? What are you waiting for, then?," it snapped, impatient to begin.

This was a matter of utmost importance. Giuseppe was hers, even if he were not aware. Her eyes were affixed upon the group. Her temptation was to linger upon him, but every detail must be recorded so that it might be recalled later.

She would either stop this, alter the course of history, or she would tell his story until he lived again.
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Glenn » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:22 am

What could one tell from body language? From a few begrudged words and the look on a man's face when he thought no one could see him? What could a man learn? What could Noura? Niall? What could It understand, with how many years of existence that it owned, with the understanding of humanity, feeble or otherwise? What could It fathom of what these few words and images? How much? How little?

The parties came together. Neither of them was particularly festive. There had been things said between the thee newcomers. These things had been said before this moment, before their arrival. All of this was obvious for the way each walked, for the hostility that was in their gait and proximity to each other, emotions overt and otherwise.

He was fading away. The churning machine that Rhaena Olwak had transformed his mind into was breaking down due to the lack of proximity to her, due to his defiance of her will. She had saved him once. Before that, it had been the storyteller, and the two of them, now were forever tied. He was fraying and some of what was left of him was being tugged back towards her. "You look improved, Nonnina. Imprisonment does you well. And you, Glenn, you look about as you should. There is justice, yes? A man in his own mousetrap? It was not personal, though. It was my life or yours. Honor stops at the grave. What is the point of loyalty won if you're not alive to spend it?"
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Jirai » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:43 am

"I did not ask why it would be constructed." She clarified after his first works. "I asked why I would construct such a thing." He had more words, though, and she listened to those easily enough - but when he tried to guide her to the stool, she did not move.

"I do not know this word, acumenus. I would know more before I do anything to help you with this. Explain."
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Dulcie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:26 pm


More people. Not what she was hoping for or expecting, although maybe one of them would slip out and want out of this damned place. For Guiseppe there was a little bow to his compliment. "I'm prepared for every situation my darling." She'd look over them then, trying to determine a weak link that she could exploit into a story. Preferrably one that would harm Glenn and help her.
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Rance » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:04 pm

IT

The presence said nothing; it allowed for the tale before It's eyes to play out like the notes of some chapel-master's longing dirge.

The moment the seamstress' gaze met the Storyteller, her stride stiffened and her gait slowed. She was harnessed with all manners of objects, a pack-mule in patchwork skirts, the blue and red and violet squares dulled from her days kneeling in mud and grass. A cast-iron pan dangled from her hip. A rolled coverlet was wound over one shoulder and torn across her chest like a sash. She lingered at Cinnabar's side. Her fingers, as if looking for comfort, drummed on a leather-bound hilt stuffed into the waistband of her skirt.

She dragged her attention away from the Storyteller, seeking out Glenn. He was a bastion, a pedestal, a comfort. She watched him as she told Giuseppe, each of the words a labor, "If -- if you're here to perform a task, ignore all the words and complete it. Do it, that we may fix all that's gone wrong."

And because no one should die alone, she extended a shaking hand out to the woman whose tongue knew nothing but tales.

"Giuseppe means to -- to kill you. And it is for the best."


NIALL

"Because you are the only one in this room who can. Together, we can help the bottle take shape, we can be the architects of the prison, but you must provide the power to allow the glass to be more than glass."

He stirred the molten slag continuously, his long face illuminated by the hot, orange radiance. He paused in his task only long enough to reach for a burlap pocket, and from it, he procured a small folding knife, which his cork-plugged eyes seemed to revere with something like pride.

"I -- we -- gave to you your body. We returned your vessel from the usurper who inhabited it. Give us from your flesh a small fraction of your power, your azure, your blueness, and we will consider the deed reciprocated, Ingenue."
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Guppy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:08 am

The creature watched as Giuseppe spoke to the woman who held his life, his story, within her grasp. He lived at her whim. Megera lingered at his elbow, arms crossed as she observed in passive manner. The greeting was fairly affable for a man whose goals included doing the Storyteller harm to amend his rather dismal legacy. He sought redemption and for that, he was given nothing but scorn from the woman who trailed at his side. Still, she seemed the only creature alive who took note of his passing. Who mourned him, in her own furious way.

Certainly, Gloria spoke his name often, a gesture meant as defiance. A name held as evidence of her own triumph - as if he had been felled by her two hands alone. The Marshall, too, held some measure of notice of his demise, though it had been fleeting and ended the moment she had burned his clothing to ash. Only It came to discover what had happened for herself. Only she was making attempts to change his fate. Only she, who had only fleeting grasp of his scrutiny. Not for the first time, she seriously considered why she had ventured here, her mind lingering on tasks that seemed far more important.

She circled around as they spoke, still silent as the grave. The words did not much matter, in the end. He looked through her (which she thought was poetic) as her brows, scattered with snake scales, furrowed. She struggled to find the measure of his worth. A hand lifted, knowing that he would be unlikely to feel the touch, to smooth a forefinger briefly across his lower lip. She wondered, if she were successful, if she would tear out his spine with her teeth for the trouble he'd caused her. She wondered if Noura would wear his skull, if she asked nicely. The thought made a brief flicker of emotion dart over her features, the two of them dancing in his blood around a fire in the privacy of her mind.

And then, abruptly, she moved. She whirled, her steps almost appearing to scald the earth as she moved, hips swaying in serpentine slink. Her eyes were hollow, onyx stones within the pale skin of her features. They were affixed upon the other woman. The Storyteller was her goal and she turned once she arrived, placing herself in the path of violence she assumed would be soon in coming. With a curious quirk of her lip, she awaited the man's action, cracking her knuckles in preparation.
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Jirai » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:55 am

Because one can does not mean one should. That was a lesson Niall was slowly learning. And the last time she repaid a debt in such a manner, things did not end well. Perhaps this is what makes her resistant. Perhaps it is the talk of prisons, that same repellent idea that brought her here in the first place, with destruction on her mind.

"What is this thing you wish a prison for? I have no wish to build a prison for anyone."
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Glenn » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:05 am

"It's not how it's done." This was from Burnie, or from whatever was left of him, which wasn't much by this point. There was a simple truth here, perhaps a few, quickly apparent to both sets of observers. The storyteller needed an audience. Glenn Burnie was an unwilling one. He was also only human. Only. Only Mortal. Only. That was his strength, but in the here and now, it was his weakness as well. It was a plague and a curse and something he fought against every day, not by using magic to change who he was but through gritting his teeth and trying to change the world around him.

Starvation would overtake him. Feebleness would win out. Eventually, he would be lying upon his deathbed with two options, either he could helplessly hear her story, or he could end his own life to prevent her escape. Golben had, in and of itself, taken away his original options as judgment and sentencing. He had yet to find another. His decision would have made a fine tale for the Storyteller if they were not so rudely interrupted by those who would save him and end her.

Burnie's voice was a bit of a rasp by now. His eyes were deadly clear. "Tell her, Giuseppe."

"Ah, my bellita," the Southerner began, his tone a bit more relaxed now that they reached their destination, one lie out of a hundred, one piece of a lie that made a tapestry that was the man. "I am afraid the Governor is right. We're here. We must parlay. The stories can end and everyone can go home to their suffering instead of experiencing it here. This involves you after all. We would not have reached this moment without you, Wynsee. I could not kill her for you, Nonnina." He smiled his dark, fading smile to the Storyteller. "One task you give me, a murderer, a scoundrel, an assassin, yes? One task, and I cannot do this. I know the spell you weave, one of beginnings and endings. I do it now and I live. You weaved the rest already. I just have to end it. I end you, though, and I end myself."

Yet he had brought Gloria Wynsee here, to the Storyteller, to her power, and here he could save himself by finishing a tale already begun. "Get on with it," Burnie all but hissed. There was a human tendency, an all too human tendency. The body gives away more and more as you reach your goal, in the anticipation of it. He would be conscious for this, helpless but conscious.

Giuseppe nodded direly. "I could not kill her then, Nonnina, because I know a thing. A plain thing," his glare was for the Governor, who seemed to want him to walk a direct route instead of the proper one. "This girl, this lumpy, stubborn, fool of a girl, who cannot see so many truths because her vision is taken up entirely by the truths of her own heart, she will someday be a better story than either of us. I cannot be the one to make it end so tragically early, to cut it so tragically short. She has to unfurl, to extend to all the, ah, how should it be? Yes, yes, the consequences of what she shall do and what she shall be. Look at what you made me, Nonnina. Look at what I was before. I could never blaspheme so wonderful and terrible a tale before its time. It is," and then, having taken firmly for himself the space, the precious time, that his former employer had tried to deny him, he would look to Burnie with a shrug, a request.

The Governor simply sighed, his legs starting to give way. It was all he could do to stand, yet he always did all that he could at times like these. "Quality over quantity. The choice of a man who cares far too much about wine and nostalgia." His stomach made a noise far louder than his voice and many times more violent, "and what I'd give for either right now."


"
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Cinnabar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:31 am

The groups cross paths at last - or rather, the path of one leads to the lair of the other. Cinnabar Calomel is a quiet figure in travel-worn clothes, and as the others speak of stories, full of fairytale rules and nursery-story illogic. They speak, and Calomel steps softly to the Governor's side; a moment to unfasten his pack and set it at his feet; a glance to assassin and storyteller and seamstress each in turn as he wordlessly offers his friend a sip from the half-drained canteen. Not wine, alas, but even stale water is better than dust.

"Some of us still have breath to waste, hm?" A wry smile accompanies those murmured words, and the eyes that seek the Governor's gleam mirrorbright. He takes this moment to gauge the man's condition, to guess how well he might be able to walk, little heed paid to the Man in White's explanations. It's a stretch of time in which to tend to immediate matters - Glenn Burnie himself being the most pressing of those - before the inevitable bloodshed that must end it all.

At length, the words stop. Calomel's posture shifts subtly, silvered gaze flicking between the sorceress and her... what, her thrall? Her puppet? It hardly matters.

"If you're going to end her, do so now or stand aside. I've no wish to stay here another night."
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Dulcie » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:04 am

The storyteller had once met an old gypsy who had told her a tale about death, and how when one has reached theirs they know that it is inevitable. It had never done her any good as a tale to weave, but something in it spoke to her now. She could have created a story that would have left them trapped here for the ages to come, and yet staring back into the hurt eyes of Gloria she somehow knew that the end was here, that this was where it was meant to happen.

The truth was her life had been long, even amongst the fae. Those that fed on humans were easily caught, and perhaps her glamour had afforded her more time than most. She looked at Gloria then and stepped towards her, her green eyes lingering on the young woman's.

"As he said. Go on then child. I have wronged you, and I will offer you no fight as you take my life. You've brought a weapon of iron I believe? I'm quite sure I can feel it there with you."

She paused then and offered the rune covered walking stick to Gloria.

"I leave this to you, to do with as you will. Keep it or try to destroy it, though I caution that mortal attempts at destruction of fairy works tend not to go well. It will obey you, as much as anything of my kind can obey any of yours. I would tell you what powers it could bring to you, but then I suppose there are none willing to listen." A glance to Glenn for that.

She would release the stick then, whether Gloria took it or not and rested her hands then carefully at her side.

"I believe one quick thrust to the chest should do it. Do be swift won't you?"
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Re: Catch a tiger by the tail: Into Golben

Postby Rance » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:59 am

IT

This girl, this lumpy, stubborn, fool of a girl...will someday be a better story than either of us. I cannot be the one to make it end so tragically early, to cut it so tragically short.

"Stop speaking around me," the girl breathed, cutting a hand through the air as if she could sever his words from their roots. "Stop knowing so much, stop acting like -- like you know the fabric of existence as though you stitched it together yourself. Stop acting as if you know me, Giuseppe."

They all moved like dolls ushered along by children. Cinnabar shifted himself toward Glenn Burnie, whose body was a reed, whose eyes had less a luster and more a desperate want for sleep. Giuseppe was the actor at the center of a stage, a stahl at the heart of a Capitol, commanding attention out of a sheer love for the art of speaking, addicted to the roll of his tongue the way any mother could find herself desirous of smokeroot, smokeroot--

In the moment, she remembered. Why she wore her knife, and what she'd once requested of the Black Man.

A chance at -- at your life. Whether it be a month from now, or -- or years, or decades. An opportunity when I am ready, when I can stomach the task, to put a knife in your guts. Because you disgust me. Because you are a wicked thing, an insult to life, a breeder of violence amid children. A danger to -- to my friends. A story which should end.

She turned her hip. With a quaking hand, she pushed aside the bound coverlet from her hip and the black cast-iron pot that knocked against her knee. Her makeshift knife came free, its handle bound in leather, its hilt the bottom of a tin cup, and its blade little more than a gleaming fang of mirror-glass. Her free palm was still outstretched toward the Storyteller, an offering of momentary peace, but her eyes were for Giuseppe alone--

She could. In this moment, in this little sliver of time, amid all these hedges, she could drive that point into the soft meat of his guts and wrench, wrench, spill all the words that made up his story. Show him how little he knew.

But the Storyteller had her hand.

Her focus shifted. Her pupils were little pinpoint dots, refusing to take in the whole of the woman in front of her. She'd been old, wrinkled, decrepit once; a greatlady, an sergeant of respect due wholly to the virtue of age. Gloria used to want those crinkles at the corner of the old woman's eyes, used to hope she'd one day have skin as rough as a stonebear's knee. Her warm, sweaty fingers wrapped around the Storyteller's, welcoming and forgiving, but squeezing perhaps too hard, too viciously.

So much beautiful, envious green. In the eyes. In the verdant runes carved upon the walking-stick thrust toward her.

I always wanted this. This hovering moment in time, this opportunity.

You betrayed my trust; you sent eleven children to their deaths.

You told a tale. You turned Rhaena Olwak into something she should have never been.

The jagged tooth of the mirror-edged knife scraped like a noisy talon across the flat of the cast-iron skillet -- a traveler's necessity, that object, one of the many tools she'd been tasked to carry. Little flecks of carbon and rust blackened the glass; it was, perhaps, the pan that the Storyteller had sensed, a thing not meant for killing, but cooking. An unwieldy weight against patchwork skirts.

"I never wanted that Dream," said the seamstress to the Storyteller, foregoing every soft, encouraging word for a stammered explanation, her voice the girl's weak palms against the chests of those who strove to command her, guide her. "I never wanted this."

Later, she would take the staff and its ebbing runes under her grip--

Later, she would look upon this moment and tell herself, This is what they wanted; this is what they desired.

Kill a Storyteller, destroy her stories.

With flecks of iron and brown rust on the point of an upraised knife, Gloria Wynsee steeled every muscle in her weary body. She clenched the Storyteller's hand like a vice, and

crying, screaming

cocked her elbow, raised the point

and did as a good Jerno ought, because she assumed it might never come to pass, or because she wanted, desired to--

(but it was what she wanted, truly; it was why Gloria Wynsee had come here at all).


Outside this little compartment of the past, It observed from the perfect spot; the seamstress within these sure images of a recent history had her sight locked at something in the distance, perhaps a hedge, perhaps a comforting fantasy -- but she stared right through It as though the membrane between once and now were thinned, as though they could see one another.

The girl's mouth an open vessel, her arm a piston, she drove the edge of the glass-shard dagger like a shining scourge through the air toward the center of the Storyteller's chest.

NIALL

"You know the thing, Ingenue. You came here bearing it in your veins, beneath your flesh. The soul of an arrogant and timeless beast, one you aided in the destruction of years ago. You know this well enough."

He stopped stirring the slag. The cork-bottom eyes never left her. The wrinkles etched into the Bottlemaker's face were canyons, crags, creases gouged into a dry and lifeless earth.

"Here, there is no illusion of choice. You brought within our confines an unnatural entity, one who's very presence belies the natural course of order. A dead thing which is not dead. A living thing which does not live. Allow it to go free, and it will slither its way back into you without question or permission.

"Should you need a knife," he added, "you need only ask. Give of yourself, and I -- we -- will be glad to guarantee your sovereignty."
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