View Full Version : Ink and Flesh

Sep 18th, 2019, 08:27:36 PM
Kamurda groaned as she pushed back a strand of silvery hair from her face.

She didn't remember when was the last time she had just relaxed. Back when she had lived with the Azurite Seas, training and honing her talents to provide for the Clan as well as to follow her soul's calling were the norm; but they also knew how to celebrate the gods by enjoying down time. Then the cataclysm had ravaged Dathomir. Even though they had been threatened later than other who were more inland, they nevertheless had to run for their lives, keeping very few possessions with them.

The witch rested her long fingers over the large pouch that contained her inking instruments, a gift from her adoptive father. It was a rarity for a witch to be raised by a male, but he had found her as a baby and occupied a position high enough for a brother to get permission to be her guardian. These tools were the only belongings she had carried with her, besides the clothing on her back and a knife.

She gave a silent and quick prayer to the gods to watch over her lost people wherever they might be, here or in the great beyond. The two others she had reached the previous survivors' enclave hadn't chosen to go further when Mother Anjali and Great Sister Cearia had spoken of Elder Matier's haven.

Kamurda couldn't blame them; but her heart's magick had made it clear she was to follow. She belonged with these people and would help providing for her new clan, the Ember Claws.

She was a potter by trade, and an ink artist and amulet crafter at heart. When she had spoken to the Clan's leaders, Elder Matier had allocated her a dwelling near old stone pillars, where a pottery oven could be carved and installed. It was next on her list. She had carried some stuff she had acquired, crystals and a few tools she had been carving during her short time in the previous enclave.

She had been working on installing her few possessions there. She needed to explore the area to figure out where to find appropriate resources.

Kneeling to the dusty ground, she opened a small wooden box in which some leather binds made by Sister Nerolia, as well as some metallic strands and crystals, the latter gathered along the long and tortuous road that had led her here, rested.

Then she felt a tingling on her inked pale skin, and she knew someone else was close to the entrance of her dwelling. In the past months, she might have reached out for her knife at once, which was still strapped to her thigh, but now she simply looked over her shoulder.

"Reveal yourself."

Sep 30th, 2019, 12:12:28 PM
Reveal yourself.

The command was met with a deep, dark chuckle that seemed to echo around the kneeling woman from every direction.

"Now… where is the fun in that, vorel krar?" His words were forged in the blackest of smoke, the quality of his voice deeper than the void; a tantalizing combination of smooth temptation and violent promise. A bitter wind swept through the modest area she had secured for herself, carrying with it the scent of fire, freshly tilled earth, and the unmistakable metallic tinge of blood. The masculine voice hummed curiously but still his location would elude her; seemingly circling her general vicinity in observance.

“You came with the others, the kifel iri.” He described and it was difficult to disguise the disgust that flowed with the description. It was not a question, simply a statement, and so he did not wait for her unnecessary answer. “Did you feel some discarnate pull to this place, vorel krar? Do the Gods guide your every step?”

His voice seemed to drift further and further away with each word. Another perfunctory breeze tugged at her, tempting her in the direction of the darkened wood beyond.

“Come reveal me yourself.”

Sep 30th, 2019, 05:28:28 PM
The dark chuckle sent a shiver down her spine; but not one stemming from fear, but rather of violent want. She had little patience or goodness of heart for those ridiculing her. While she had had earned her place among her childhood clan, as her adoptive father had done before her, she hadn't always been well-accepted. Her contrary nature a counterpoint to her extended skills in various craft had caused her some trouble; and she had refused to be shamed for who she was for many years now, even more after the cataclysm that had ravaged so much of Dathomir.

Some of his words were foreign to her; but for a mysterious reason, she felt what he meant by them. It was a weird perception that she couldn't explain, reminding her of how she often connected to others when crafting personalized amulets or letting her hand be guided to adorn other bodies with ink patterns, sigils, runes and assorted shapes that would speak of their true nature.She

She couldn't pinpoint where his physical presence was, and it angered her, magnifying her focus, especially as he spoke with such disgust about the people she had come with, mostly strangers really; but with solid prospects. She was still kneeling before the tools and materials she was organizing, unfazed by the danger she was coming to realize he could present.

She waited for his ramble to end, before speaking up after he attempted to turn tables. A vicious grin curved her lips and a vibrant spark in her bright eyes came to life, for he had ignited a fire he might not be willing to play with.

One way or the other, she had little interest in playing his game.

"I do not take commands from men," she spat.

While she had more lenient views towards men than other witches, it didn't mean she was going to jump when a male told her to. That would be foolish and outright beneath her.

As intrigued as she was, she had greater priorities. She could have told him she had come because she knew how to seize opportunities, rather than some grand mystical calling, for she knew she could be of service in many places and various clans; but he appeared unlikely to have any interest in hearing her out anyway.

Oct 1st, 2019, 09:35:26 AM
Amusement curved crimson lips into a feral grin, all sharpened teeth and malicious intent. Had he expected her to take the bait right away? No. These women did not pursue anything if it was not their idea, especially if it was instigated by a male. How many wasted opportunities could be attributed to their stubbornness? How many fleshly delights, both carnal and appetizing, had he been deprived due to their willfulness? His tongue laved over his lips at the mere thought of tasting that headstrong morsel, his golden eyes dipping down to the jewelers' tools he'd pilfered from her collection. No doubt, she'd be missing them. He had a more infrequently employed use for them. Ciphas was not done tempting her just yet...

It was mid-day by the time he reached the fringes of his territory; where the forest melded with the craggy face of a mountain, the mouth of a bleak cave yawned in welcome to him and warning to others. He made quick work of lighting a fire just outside and mounting his freshly skinned kill of the morning on a spit above it. He turned the human carcass for a bit before heading into his dwelling, stepping over humanoid and beastial bones alike that littered the floor. Her belongings were set with reverence upon his skin-cloth covered altar and he bowed his horned head before the crude bone statuettes of his deities to announce his intentions to Them silently. In the dark and unpredictable planes of her dreams, they would encounter each other once more. He would see if the shackles of her prejudices would hold up to him there...

Oct 1st, 2019, 03:34:23 PM
While Kamurda hoped that this new life would be fruitful and bring bold inspiration and lavish creativity, she wasn't the most spiritual person around. She did pray for the departed souls, and had felt a fire in her at the possibility of following Mother Anjali to the new place and clan; but it was only part of what she was. She had faith in her magick for it was primordial in her art and craft; but she was nevertheless pragmatic and wasn't the kind to pass up a good opportunity, or a compelling challenge.

She had been used to stand out, regardless of where she was. After all, she still had no idea of what her biological was, even after over twenty years. Nothing had indicated anything when her adoptive father had found her as a baby. Her facial features were sharp and intelligent; but there was nothing particular in her external appearance that could easily point out towards specific genes.

She didn't care that much, enjoying carving her fate. She was fierce at heart, and relished in the violent dreams that often took over her nights, whether she had spent them in company or by herself, mostly by herself. She was a demanding lover, and got very easily bored, regardless of a bedmate's gender. The Clan in which she had grown up was among the many comfortable with assorted sexual activities and preferences; and she had gladly experimented prior to the cataclysm, and a couple of times in her brief time since reunited with other survivors. Mostly, she hadn't found a match that could sate her needs for more than a few nights.

She growled at herself for having had her mind wander towards such topics. She wasn't shy or even really modest by nature, given how comfortable she was with wearing practical but revealing outfits that gave more than glimpses of the many ink works adorning her body. No, her problem was that this obnoxious but elusive visitor had distracted her more than she wanted.

She refocused on organizing things in her new dwelling, for she wanted to get to work as soon as possible. Idleness had never been to her liking. She always carved time for her art besides actual craft that would provide for others and build her reputation; but really she was ready to get started. She had been wandering for survival enough. Getting back to work and hone her skills were high priorities for the potter, ink artist, and amulet maker.

Over and over, she felt her mind slightly pulled towards the brief exchange she had had with her hidden visitor in the morning. Every single time she pushed it away; but she couldn't deny that she liked a good mystery. And maybe, just maybe, she thought he might pose a challenge, and she liked the idea.

She worked until beyond sunset. She took no break, unpacking as much as possible, and mostly going back and forth to retrieve new tools and talk with a few fellow witches to bargain and trade so she could finish to get set in the very near future. She still needed to empty a few boxes and get shelves; but it had been a productive day, and she felt satisfied.

She debated sleeping right away; but the growl of her stomach made it clear that sustenance was required, so she made her way to the hearths where other witches were. She chitchatted a bit; but was mostly keen on eating so she could go back to her new place and rest.


The scent of cooking meat and the crackling of fire guided her to the entrance to the cave. The fire had finished licking most of the remaining pieces; and she couldn't resist stepping forward and cutting a small piece with her knife. She had always had a strong appreciation for meat. The moment she tasted it she knew it was human flesh; but it didn't deter her from swallowing it and letting the taste roll down her tongue. She had never yielded to cannibalism in her waking hours; but it wasn't the first time she did as such in her dreams.

Maybe she should worry about such hidden appetites; but she had never let it trouble her mind. Maybe it was embedded in her biology, echoes from previous generations she had never met and would never cross paths with. They all had darkness within them, and she had learned to live and relish in her shadow for a long time. Pain was her mistress and beast for her art to be as extravagant, delicate, and precise as it was.

She knew he was here. She sensed him. She frowned and yet felt the irresistible pull to step inside the cave.

There must be a reason he could connect with her, and her with him; and she wanted to figure this out.

The interior was mostly dark, save for a torch in the distance. It felt both vast and tiny, a collision of distance and nearness that felt eerie to her and yet intoxicating. Her senses felt too raw and threatened to overwhelm; but the moment she heard his voice challenge her, that the "vorel krar" had eventually succumbed and tracked him down, all came to a standstill.

His voice was exactly as she remembered it, if not more cavernous and his tone more commanding. It sent a shiver down her spine, her knees threatening to quiver beneath her; but she felt strong hands claw into her waist. Frustration at still being denied the sight of him made her grab at his hands with her own long and strong fingers, more forceful than her appearance might lead on.

Oct 4th, 2019, 01:36:42 PM
Once he had gorged himself upon the feast he had warmed over the fire, he made short work of scouting the perimeter of his territory. Traps he had set earlier in the day were checked and prizes were pried from the metallic jaws of the crude but effective snares. He returned to his den with another human body slung over one shoulder and a generous row of kodashi vipers dangling lifelessly from his fauld. He dumped the body of his humanoid quarry onto the ground and a plume of ash emerged from both of their forms with the motion.

The ash veil had been generous as of late, providing not only sustenance for him but allies for the remnant that he served. His face twisted into a venomous sneer as he thought of the outsiders Matier had guided to them; more sisters unfamiliar with the trials he had faced to earn certain privileges. He was eager to prove their folly if they challenged him but knew that with his freedoms, a certain game of charisma had to be played. Not an easy feat for someone like Ciphas, who simply preferred to destroy rather than banter over semantics.

Then, there was her. An autumnal wind had blown her intoxicating aroma to his habitat, laving his predatory senses and immediately drawing him to the old stone monoliths a short jaunt from the river. He had watched her, taking in the potters' tools and crystals that she handled with care. Each deft motion of her hands was like watching a pendulum, hypnotizing and lulling him into a false sense of calm that Ciphas both despised and craved. Taste her and be done with this foolish obsession, the beast inside snarled. But, even the beast knew that the most rewarding of prey was not an easy catch.

When night had fallen, he moved before his altar within the warm, pelt strewn innards of the cave. Reptilian leather armor was slowly drawn from his hulking frame, disassembled and then placed with respect onto the grotesque, bone mannequin he had constructed for such a purpose. Kneeling on the thickly heaped furs before the pedestal, he lit the partially melted candles of pure black and crushed a handful of opopanix resin over charcoal burning in a skull censer. The dim light flickered and a coven of smoke trails twisted around him seductively, caressing his skin and imprinting upon it the scent of mulled wine and the fall harvest. He inhaled deeply and placed his palms facing upward on his muscular thighs, his mind stretching out to find her presence. His breath hitched. It seems she had found him first...

He was a bird of prey, tracking her every movement through his domain from the darkened canopy above. She paused at the fire, extracting her knife and then a piece of meat from the carcass that hung there. He held his breath as she consumed it, a sort of understanding dawning in her eyes as the morsel slid down her throat.

Yes..... the beast hissed with pleasure.

She stepped within the cave and he manifested behind her; no longer an observer but a force to be reckoned with. Her back met with the solid wall of his chest and his large hands came up to capture her waist in a biting grip. She pried at him but his grip only tightened. An unseen force caressed her locks away from her shoulder and a most feral chuckle prickled at the tiny hairs at the back of her neck.

"Couldn't stay away, could you?" He purred against the elegant slope of her neck, the tips of his filed teeth teasing her flesh.

Oct 7th, 2019, 12:44:24 PM
Bones... Amber... And garnet....

Those were the thoughts and images that passed before her mind's eye as she felt his presence more potent as moments unfolded in the semi-penumbra of the cavern.

Blood dripping on furs, pooling before slithering away into signs concealed by obscurity....

Patterns formed in her mind, feeding on the free-flowing inspiration that engulfed her soul, right as his body encased her own against him.

Fire crackling in the distance...

Ever the creative fierce one, Kamurda's senses responded to animal instincts as much as a deeper yearning coming from her artistic magick.

Needles perforating flesh...

She bit her lip as his teeth teased the delicate and tattooed skin.

"I like a challenge; and you might present one."

Was she poking the beast? She was; but she had never been known to take the road most traveled.