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Private teine biorach

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Merida, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    The door slammed shut even with no one there to close it, the noise seeming to echo through her. She tried to open it. Of course she did. She grabbed the handle and tugged for all she was worth, and then when that didn't work, she shoved against it until her feet started sliding across the floor, letting out something of a half-shriek of frustration, panic and fear when it wouldn't budge either way.

    And where is it that you are going? At that question, Merida finally turned away from the door, sagging against it with heavy breaths, her eyes wary, frightened and angry all at once on the pale, inhuman woman. As far awa' fae ye lot as Ah kin git, she wanted to snarl back, but what came out instead was a breathless yet firm, "Ah dinnae ken who ye are, but Ah am the Princess Merida of DunBroch, heir tae King Fergus and--"

    Her voice cut off. And nothing. They were in Pandora. Her father was not. Her title, her position, meant nothing in this world, and nothing to these people. She couldn't use it as a bargaining chip when no one would care.

    When the woman reached out for one of her stray curls, clicking her tongue in disgust as though the state of her hair was the most terrible thing she'd seen - something only too familiar to the Princess - she jerked her head away, her expression growing into an almost petulant scowl, though she had to pause as the woman mentioned His Highness. Did Pandora have kings and queens? She hadn't been in this world long enough to know how it all worked. But why would she, a prisoner, possibly be taken all the way up the chain to royalty? Nothing to do with being a diplomatic captive, because she'd literally only just mentioned being royalty herself.

    "Ah'm nae goin' anywhere until ye explain," she said, proud of how steady her voice was. She didn't move away from the door. "Whit's going oan tonight? Who are ye?"
     
  2. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    As Merida had expected, there was very little in the way of intimidation in her own titles or in the names of her family. What did the fairy woman have, after all, to be afraid of from people she'd never heard of before -- and mere humans at that! If anything, the way the girl began listing off her titles and that of her father only seemed to please the Sidhe woman all the more. "Ah! A Princess already, are we? Good then, that will please the Prince." She nodded as if quite pleased with herself over this matter, as if she'd just somehow granted Merida her position in life herself.

    Yet Merida remained stubbornly by the door, as if she could just will the door open by her presence alone and by that means escape. The Sidhe woman sighed to see this. "I would expect a Princess to better understand how to behave."she said, clasping her hands behind her back and for a moment just staring down Merida with near enough stubbornness to match her own.

    The questions, however, seemed to distract her.

    "Oh! You do not know?" She asked, apparently seeming to have forgotten the fact that when she'd entered the room she'd found the girl bound and tied upon the bed. She quickly bustled across the room, disappearing into a side-camber for a moment only to return, dragging out a wooden tub and lying it down on the floor. As sh waved a hand over it and it began to fill from within with steaming water, the woman continued, "The Prince is to be wed tonight, isn't it wonderful? And, why, you should be most excited of us all!" She turned back to Merida and smiled, "For you are to be our new Princess, and I shall be your lady's made, Love-in-the-Mist."

    With those words, she made a gesture towards the bath, as though to direct Merida in, thinking the matter settled.

    ~*~​
    When you were used to using Magic all of the time, and more so, when you were used to your enemies, as well, using magic all of the time, that was where your focus tended to lie. If you were to say...lock them in iron cuffs so as to take away their ability to use magic, then that was settled then, you thought. The threat once posed against you was a threat no more.

    That was, until your enemy took it upon himself to ambush both you and your companion, while you were so kindly leading him down the hall, punching the both of you out and locking your unconscious forms in the nearest broom closet to be discovered later.

    John raked a hand back through his hair as he attempted to catch his breath again. He stumbled towards the wall, leaning against it as the world spun before his eyes, that throbbing knot pulled tight behind his eyes still going at it.

    Right then. Only a matter of figuring out where to go, now.

    He glanced back down the corridor, then pushed himself up, off of the wall again, attempting to steady himself. Pulled the long sleeves of his tunic down to cover the cuffs around his wrists. and then, he set off. Now...if he recalled correctly, the Private Chambers of the Lord and Lady were down this way in Auberon's brugh...
     
    #22 John Uskglass, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  3. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    When the woman disappeared into a side chamber, Merida took the opportunity to fruitlessly try tugging and shoving on the door again, muttering frantically to herself when it still didn't budge. Turning back as she heard the woman return, she eyed the way the tub started filling by itself. No, by magic. Just like the door shut by magic.

    This wasn't making her like magic any more at all than she already had.

    She frowned when the woman mentioned the Prince being wed. For some reason, the implication didn't quite sink home until several seconds later and the woman had already explained it. She was to be the bride. They'd hunted her down so they could force her into marriage?

    Who did that??

    Her scowl turned into an expression not of fear, but outrage. "Get tae-- Na! Na wae." By all the goddesses, what was it about people trying to shove her into marriage? "It's nae happening, Ah can tell ye that right noo. Ah just dodged one arranged marriage, Ah ain't getting intae another one!"

    Folding her arms, she stared the woman down. Aside from the initial capture, there'd been no displays of violence towards her and that emboldened her. Maybe there were orders not to touch the Prince's bride or something. She still made no move towards the bath. Without her weapons, her clothes were the only thing she had and she most certainly was not going to strip and make herself vulnerable in front of her captor. Maybe if she could get the horrible woman out of the room she could try a window or something. "Ah ain't getting naked wi' ye here," she said stubbornly.
     
    #23 Merida, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  4. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    The fairy woman just stared at the girl for a long while, as if she'd suddenly started talking complete nonsense. She was against marrying the -- No, no, it was impossible for her to have heard that! What mortal woman would not wish to wed a man so handsome, wealthy, magically powerful...it was ridiculous, really! Clearly the girl did not know what she wanted. Clearly he was only being a petulant child!

    Still, she needed to go find the girl something decent to wear, atleast.

    With a sigh and a roll of her eyes, Love-in-the-Mist made her way towards the door, quickly slipping out through it, but not before, with a wave of her hand, she made something of a tempest begin to stir within the bathtub, the water swirling and sloshing into bigger and bigger waves. Soon it began to overflow the tub, filling the room as well, untill suddenly one of the waves swept around, and with a tide-like pull dragged Merida --and all of the rest of the water, back into the tub with it.

    ~*~​
    He walked as though he belonged in he brugh and so no one questioned his presence. John didn't know how long he'd been looking when he first heard the comotion, only that just down the corridor it sounded as though the sea were rising up to swallow this part of the brugh whole.

    Somehow, John could not bring himself to believe this was a mere coincidence.

    He glanced down the way, thinking for a moment. absently he rubbed at his wrists. The iron still hissed at the back of his mind, making it difficult to concentrate. But he could not be seen. He glanced towards the shadows, some of his oldest friends. If he could just....John felt his throat draw as he swallowed, struggling to hold his thoughts together for just long enough...just let them take him in, he knew how to do this....

    Further up the hall, a woman with a face as colorless and pale as porcelain, and her expression alone enough to say that John was on the right track, emerged from behind a door. Her movements brisk with suppressed frustration, she barely even noticed the odd shadow, slipping along the wall and slipping in through the room, just as the door swung shut once more.

    John stumbled away from the wall, looking more as though he'd been thrown off of it and forced back into his human shape. He seemed paler even than usual, and his hair was slicked down to his face with sweat. As he struggled to catch his breath, he glanced around the room.

    "This is where they're keeping you, then?" He said, somehow managing something of a drawl, even now, "Bit nicer than where I woke up."
     
    #24 John Uskglass, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  5. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Merida couldn't help the brief surprise on her face when her maid just left the room straight away. She'd expected to have to fight more on the matter than that. At first, she paid no attention to the water that began to churn in the tub, instead starting to rush over to the nearest window to see if she could get it open and climb out.

    Before she'd made it more than half a dozen steps, she heard a great sloshing sound and then something very wet and very strange swept around her body. It took a moment for her to realise that the water had somehow come out of the tub and wrapped around her, and that moment was all it took for that magical wave to return to the tub, dragging Merida with it with a startled shriek as she was dumped into the tub, fully clothed, the water sloshing around her and soaking her hair.

    As soon as the water settled, Merida tried to clamber back out of the tub, feeling the weight of her dress on her body and of all her hair sodden with water. She'd only managed to push herself halfway out of the bath when the water rose up around her again, somehow managed to physically push down on her shoulders to shove her back into the tub, and then wrapped around her so she was sitting there in a cocoon of magical water with her head poking out of the top and an expression of frustration, anger, panic and not a little bit of fear on her face.

    And that was how she was still stuck when the door opened and a shadow slipped into the room. Merida's eyes widened, wondering what new devilry this was, before the shadow solidified abruptly into the tall young man who'd been captured with him. He looked... ill, was the first thing she noticed. Or in pain. Had they been doing things to him? She didn't even know his name, but she couldn't help the concern that peeked through all the other emotions on her face.

    "Are ye a'right?" she asked, as though she wasn't sitting there being held down in a tub of magic water by the water itself and his situation was of the greatest concern. Warily, because she was not having a good time with magic at all today, she jerked her chin down at the cocoon of water. "Can ye get me outta this? Ah need tae get outta this place before they marry me off." Just the tone of her voice implied how horrifying the prospect was for her. "Ah ain't getting married tae nae prince."
     
  6. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He turned to get a proper look at the girl, and found her fully dressed and sopping wet, sitting in a tub full of water. John took in the sight before him, listening to the girl's words, nodded, and then released a long sigh, brushing back the hair out of his eyes as he approached her.

    He ignored how she asked after him, quickly brushing aside the question as if it were nothing at all. As if it weren't readily apparent that he'd just been put through hell. Granted, that last attempt had been strictly his own doing, but he needed to slip in here relatively unseen.

    Resting his weight against the tub's wooden wall, he absently skimmed his hand across the surface. Completely normal bathwater, if a bit luke-warm...

    Glancing back up at the girl, John only shook his head. "I need to get these off." He said, holding up his wrists and letting his sleeves slide down, revealing the dully shining iron still attached there. "Bad enough getting in here with them on." He paused, thinking. "Just...wait a moment. Play along, for now. That will buy you your freedom of movement at least, and from there--"

    He cut himself off, hearing someone at the door again. Without another word, he slipped away, beneath the bed, watching, waiting...
     
    #26 John Uskglass, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  7. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    She stared at the cuffs on his wrists. They looked like iron; just... standard iron cuffs, like manacles but with no chain. Her first thought was wondering just what the point of that was, but then what logic she did possess amidst her wilful and not particularly thoughtful nature caught up to her and she realised that it must have had something to do with his magic. Not that she understood how any of these things worked, and she was in no hurry to, either.

    The sooner she was done with magic, the better.

    His words made her groan. "Play along?" she repeated incredulously. "Are ye ki--" But then she heard someone at the door, her gaze flicking automatically towards it. When she looked beside her again, the boy was gone, and she caught sight of a single foot wriggling away into the shadows before the door opened and her maid walked back in, carrying what she could only assume were clothes.

    Wedding clothes, she thought with a chill.

    Play along, the boy said. The thought set her teeth on edge, but his words had merit. If she struggled against this too much, she was likely to find herself tied back up again and literally carted up the aisle to marry this prince whatever she wanted. So she wrestled with the sullen expression on her face, trying to make herself appear chastened.

    "I wouldae washed," she said to the woman, still sitting there fully dressed in the cocoon of water that wasn't letting her move anything below her head. "But ye water's stubborn."
     
  8. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He could hardly see much from where he hid, but it was enough to tell him that the Fairy woman had returned, apparently with wedding-gown in hand. He heard the woman scoff softly at the girl's apparently chastened words, though quickly turned his attention --and averted his gaze -- elsewhere as soon as it became apparent that...well, wedding preparations were to be properly gotten underway.

    He'd seen how well the girl could shoot, and between his acquaintances with Lady Melusine, and Nimue as well as the tales he had learned from Auberon of Diana, he'd grown to be warry enough of breaking a woman's privacy. Certainly, she seemed the sort to -- at the very least -- know how to leave a good bruise or two over any pair of prying eyes.

    In any case, John had more pressing matters at hand to deal with anyway. He stared down at the cuffs around his wrists, chewing at the inside of his cheek. If he turned his hand, he could see the lock, just there, on the palm side. If he had a piece of wire or something....

    He sighed, turning over on his back to stare at the underside of the bed, and for just the briefest of moments, dared a glance outside. That was when he saw it. Just the faintest glimmer upon the dresser. A brightly enamaled hair comb, glowing like stained glass and wrapped in silver wire...

    Now if he could just get to it.

    He bit back his own breath, hearing movement from within the room approaching his direction, moving past him...the voice of the fairy woman going on about something or other as she moved past him, and picked up the comb. There was a long series of frustrated noises that followed --likely, he imagined, getting the girl's hair in order was proving more of a challenge than she'd have hoped -- until finally here was a clatter of metal as the hair ornament was thrown across the room.

    Moments later, he heard the sounds of footsteps and the door opening as both the girl and her captor left the room. John wasted no time at all, scrambling out from beneath the bed and across the room. As he knelt down, he snatched up the comb, nails scraping at the wire until it started to unravel. He streightened it out as much as he could,before getting to work on the lock.

    He had no idea what he was doing, of course, and the wire bent and kinked, even as he worked, the silver was so soft. But finally, finally, after he didn't know how long both shackles had fallen with dull 'thunks' to the ground.

    John rubbed at his wrists, before leaping to his feet and melting back into the shadows again. He had a wedding to get to...
     
  9. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    To say Merida was unwilling to disrobe in that room, with her captor stood next to her and a strange boy under the bed, would have been a grave understatement. But she had little choice, and playing along did not involve throwing a paddy and refusing to take her dress off to wash and get changed.

    So she did so with gritted teeth, and the moment the maid looked away down to the gown she'd brought in, Merida's eyes flickered to the bed under which the boy was hiding. She couldn't see him, but that didn't mean he couldn't see her, and how was she supposed to know he wasn't keeking at her? 'Accidentally' kicking her dress several feet towards the bed as she clambered out of the tub, Merida padded over, leaving glistening footprints on the floor, and surreptitiously tugged the bedsheets as far down towards the floor in front of where the boy had disappeared as she could before quickly snatching the dress back up and heading reluctantly to her maid... and her waiting wedding dress.

    Looking at it gave her a deep sense of revulsion. Not because it looked terrible; it was a stunningly beautiful garment, one that she could only imagine her mother would have loved to wear, but Merida cared much less about pretty dresses than her mother thought a princess should have done. Wedding dresses, she could safely say, she cared about the least. What it represented was what made her feel hate when she looked at it, and made her want to screech and tear it into shreds.

    Play along, Merida. Taking a breath, the young princess let the maid help her into the dress, before she sat down in front of a vast mirror and forced herself to put up with a comb being dragged through her hair. A comb that was, as it turned out, much too delicate to deal with the bird's nest that was Merida's curls. Every tug brought a noise of frustration from the maid and a hiss or grunt of pain and irritation from Merida as her head jerked with every pull until she almost jumped off the stool and hollered at the woman to leave her alone.

    Eventually, the faerie woman just gave up, much like Merida's mother - and Maudie - often would, and threw the comb across the room. Not a moment too soon, Merida thought, as her fingers had been itching to throw the thing herself. With the best made of her hair that could have been done, and the gown clinging to her subtle curves, Merida was ushered towards the door. Glancing back at the bed, her expression tugging into a frown as she hoped the boy would be able to do what he needed to without getting caught, Merida reluctantly followed her maid, pulling a very rude face at her back.
     
  10. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    The sound was muffled around him, as though he walked through snowfall. No sound reached him, none of the distant chattering voices that usually echoed down stone corridors, no padding feet slipping their way down the halls. There was no one there to make any noise louder than the flickering passage of one shadow past another, no one there within the whole of the Brugh save for the twining, leaping silhouettes cast by candlesticks -- like tree-shapes growing from their own darting flame-light -- and the formless darknesses that lurked in the corners. No living soul walked there save the Raven King himself.

    Moving through the shadows, their touch was fainter than mist, like the ghost of rotting silk and gauze just brushing over his skin. He crept his way through their number towards the center of the pace itself. The Hall, that was where they would all be now.

    As he grew nearer he could feel it,the change from silence to...something else. Not buzz, not conversation..but a low murmuring waiting sort of sound was there, like the change in the air just before a storm. He slipped into the hall, his own shadow shape so easily lost amidst the leaping, dancing tangle of so many others, splayed across the walls and floor.

    The girl was already at the end of the room, a man -- Tall and sandy-haired, with a look on his face that seemed to belong to wolf that had just taken down an elk three times it's size, more than it resembled any human sense of pleasure -- stood beside her. Her prince, John supposed. He bit back a low curse as he sped down the way.

    Everyone else was far too distracted to notice the spare shadow hanging about the room, growing nearer and neaerer their new Princess, untill it was too late. John crept up, just behind the girl, until it seemed she had two shadows rather than the one. He reached up, hand grasping around her ankle, and then pulled her down in with him.

    It was only at the sudden shriek that tore across the hall, in the very midst of chaos and drawn swords, and shouting men that John caught the glint of a ring on the girl's finger.
     
    #30 John Uskglass, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  11. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Merida's feelings began to shift further away from irritation and closer to pure panic the closer she was led to what she assumed was the location of the wedding. Her fear had slid away in the face of nothing violent being done to her since the kidnapping, but it was starting to come back again now. A wedding. She was to be married to a prince, a faerie prince she'd never seen. At least when she'd been presented with the lords' sons that were to compete for her hand, she'd got to see them first. And figure a way out of it herself.

    She was struggling to think of any way out of this one.

    Her feet dragged so much that her maid had to tell her several times to pick up the pace because everyone was waiting, and the only thing that kept Merida moving was the sure knowledge that if she refused, there'd probably wind up half a dozen fair folk there in the blink of an eye ready to cart her in by force. The least she could do was retain some dignity.

    The Hall was full of so many of the fair folk that Merida knew running would be pointless, if she even knew where she could run to. She was so new to Pandora that she wouldn't have had a clue. She just kept her mouth shut, her sullen, frightened gaze on the ceiling rather than meekly on her feet. At least until she was stopped in front of a tall figure, and she couldn't help her blue eyes dropping down quickly to see just who was forcing her into this.

    She supposed he could have been considered attractive if not for the fact that he was a lot older than her and his expression put her in mind of a forest predator far more than it did a man. It was an expression that gave her chills and immediately put such fear of what she was going to be made to do after the wedding in her bones that she would have bolted right then and there if not for the fact that the prince had taken her hand firmly in his as though expecting that very thing to happen. The panic was enough now that she could only stand there numbly, not even listening to the words that were spoken. All she noticed was that she was not given the opportunity to say anything.

    What kind of people did this??

    "I'm nae going tae do--" she started, the words getting stuck in her throat. Whether they wanted her input or not, she was going to give it. "I dinnae want tae get marr--"

    She wasn't even given any chance to finish her protests, the prince lifting her hand and pushing a sparkling ring onto her slender finger with some words that she couldn't even listen to, even as she tried to pull her hand back before he could do so only for him to hold onto it easily as though her struggles were barely even noticeable. She felt sick. And angry amidst the fear and panic as she stared at the ring on her finger as though it was a thick, ugly manacle.

    It was probably a good thing that the boy slipped over and pulled her into the shadows right then, even if he was too late. It at least stopped her from punching her new husband in the face and getting punished for it, though she couldn't help her disappointment when she was pulled down and her fist swung at nothing.
     
    #31 Merida, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  12. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    Perhaps he'd come too late, perhaps he'd arrived right on time -- certainly he'd stopped her from making things worse. John eyed the girl a good, solid minute, even as the chaos reigned on down around them, as Fairy huntsmen and Lords scrambled to regain their wits about them and organize into some kind of a search, before shaking his head and without another word, dragging her out of the room, through a dark path that led between the shadows that now roiled about them like an angry sea, and then back, out into one of the empty corridors, on solid flagstones once more.

    John glanced about, breathless. Now...where to next? The exit, obviously, the stables if they could manage it. Steal a horse or two...perhaps they'd even kept the girl's own, though he doubted it. Right which way now...

    These brughs were always labyrinthine in their proportions. Like a collection of rabbit warrens that all tangled together as one. He'd made lucky guess work so far at it, with what knowledge he had of Auberon's in his own world.

    He choose a path, waving the girl on after him with a jerking motion.

    "What," John hissed back to the girl after a moment, breaking the silence of the corridor, "Did you think giving him a black eye would solve?" Well, aside from wiping that smarmy looking grin off of his face. Despite himself -- or perhaps because he had been locked up and bound in iron himself, on her dear husband's orders -- he was finding that a rather worthy cause unto itself.
     
    #32 John Uskglass, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  13. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Everything turned into a blur around them as the boy dragged her away. All the people around them were scrambling, calling out orders, pulling out weapons, and clearly getting ready for a search. Merida just hoped that she and the boy could get away; there had to be some way of getting out that wouldn't involve just trying to ride away.

    She already knew the result of poor Angus trying to outpace these horses.

    Where even was Angus?

    As soon as they got out of the hall and into a corridor, Merida tugged her hand free of the boy's, and then, taking advantage of his pause to get their bearings, she bent down, grabbed the skirts of the wedding gown she wore, and then used all her strength to tear the beautiful garment along a hem up past her knees to make it easier to sprint in. And because it was satisfying to ruin it. That too.

    She glanced at the boy as they sped along the corridor, and shrugged her shoulders. Her hair was bound up with various other ornaments which made it feel as though she were lacking, without the familiar bobbing weight of all those curls bouncing as she ran. She itched to pull the ornaments out and throw them away but she knew that would be as good as leaving a trail.

    "Yer aff yer heid if ye expect me to just let that bampot marry me wi'oot daeing anything," she said as they ran, her tone coming out more like a snap than she'd really intended towards the boy who'd only been helping. Not that she could be blamed, really, she thought, considering she'd just got married to some faerie prince who'd kidnapped her and forced her into it. "He'd probably look better wae a black eye anyway."
     
  14. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    "I had a hair comb to pick my locks with." he snapped back. He didn't know why he was attempting to defend himself to this girl, not really. He doubted he would ever seem much of her again after any of this, and what did her opinion of him matter in the end?

    He was just on edge, he told himself. His body still recovering from a day spent in iron cuffs, his ears pricked for any footfall, any voice, any sound that was not of themselves. Anything, really, that might --

    "They're this way, over here!"

    A low curse escaped John as he glanced along the corridor. Nothing...Nothing save for those wide widows that lined the way, black with the night sky behind them, as the forest below stretched on and on a sea of trees...

    Trees that would be so easy to get lost in.

    An idea began to form in the young magicians mind, one that, despite himself he found he was uncomfortable with. Was he growing sentimental on top of everything else? His own life was on the line, as well as that of the girl. Whatever special moments he may have had in the past, they didn't matter. Not here, not now.

    And Lift did not even remember anyway. And even if she did, she would surely understand.

    That was, if she ever found out.

    With a final glance cast down the corridor, John lept up, his fingers grasping onto rough stone as he dragged himself up onto the window's ledge. He lay his hand against the glass, willing it to shatter, and as the shards broke away as though they too were fleeing the approaching horde, he leand down, offering his hand out to the girl.

    It did not really count if he just did it, would it? If he just turned her himself without teaching her?

    He would figure it out later.

    "I need you to trust me." was all he said to her.
     
  15. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
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    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    She couldn't even grumble back at him, because it seemed they'd already been found, shouts ringing along the corridor behind them. It didn't seem like there was any way for them to go, and Merida felt that panic start to rise up in her chest again like ice cold water. The ring on her finger felt like it was weighing her entire hand down.

    Staring at the young man as he clambered up onto the high window ledge, using some form of magic to break the glass with nought but a light touch, Merida for a moment gave his outstretched hand a look as if to say she thought he was utterly barmy, but what else was there?

    Jumping up without the need to take his hand, scrambling up onto the ledge and tearing the beautiful wedding gown even more as she did so, she stood at the shattered window, staring down at the trees far below.

    "Yer crazy," she said, breathless after the run and then the climb onto the ledge. For a moment, she looked hesitant, unsure and frightened as she stared out of the window and then at the boy's hand. Trust me, he said. He hadn't given her any reason not to, and had in fact not done anything other than try and help her, from the moment they'd first met. He might have had magic, but he was certainly the most trustworthy soul around.

    "Ah guess even if ye let me fall... Ah reckon Ah'd rather that than be married tae a prince who cannae woo his own bride hisself and has tae kidnap her," she muttered sourly, her stance firming and her jaw setting as she decided that yes, a quick death from falling from a window was preferable to being a lifelong prisoner.

    Ah'm sorry Ah never managed to change ye back, Mum, she thought sadly, before she reached out and took the boy's hand.
     
  16. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

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    Occupation:
    Magician King
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    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    "Yer crazy"

    She said, while meanwhile leaping up onto the ledge with him, not even taking his offered hand in doing so. The words actually got him to smile, well and true. Well, of course I am, he might have said, I am a magician. Magic and madness, they were always so inextricably linked, and he was raised in Faerie. Perhaps he did have to go just a little bit mad. To see things the way he saw them, to do the things he did...

    Especially to do some of the things he did. What, was it only recently he was taunting a dragon as well? It was almost a shame Lift wasn't here with him to have seen all of it. He'd have likely gotten out of those cuffs sooner, at the very least...

    At the rest of the girl's words John only shook his head. There was just a glint in his eyes, that knowing glimmer that seemed to promise a secret, yet h said nothing, even as the girl slipped her hand into his own.

    Without another moment spared, he lept outside, and just let that moment, that one wild, spinning, completely out of controll moment of falling overtake him, gave the girl's hand a quick squeeze, and then let go.

    A whispered word just passed his lips. And in the next moment, his wings outstretched, falling became flight, and there it was, right as he rose out of a dive and saw the girl -- well, girl, no longer -- flying along side him as well. There it was, that one single moment, the essence of magic in it's truest form.
     
    #36 John Uskglass, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  17. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
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    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Smiling at a moment like this, when they were standing at the edge of a shattered window far, far above the forest below, was something that made Merida wonder if he really was a bit unhinged. She wasn't smiling at all, because it was hard to do that when there were kidnappers closing in behind them, a lethal drop in front of them, and she had to put her faith in magic when magic had got her into several problems in a relatively short space of time - this marriage just the worst of them.

    Or was her mother being a bear the worst of them? Would she have stayed the prince's bride if it meant her mum got changed back?

    That was a question she didn't want to think about and she was thoroughly glad her mother wasn't there to be the subject of such a problem.

    At the very least, Merida didn't shame herself by changing her mind at the last second. The boy didn't need to pull her out of the window. She jumped at the same time he did, with no idea what to expect. Was he going to slow her fall speed? Was he gonna turn her into a feather that drifted down to the ground or something else mad like that?

    Or perhaps, he really would just let her fall.

    That was what it seemed like to her as, when the air buffeted around her - tugging her hair free of its bindings so that it became a wild red mass flailing in the air above her as she fell, and pulling at the skirts of her gown - he just let go of her.

    She couldn't help it. Eyes squeezed shut, she opened her mouth to scream, because god, she knew she shouldn't have trusted magic, and even if she would rather a quick death than being married to her captor for the rest of her life, that didn't mean she was any less terrified and--

    Everything felt strange.

    Tentatively, she opened her eyes, only to realise that her vision had gone unusual, and rather than falling, she seemed to be gliding. Clumsily. Even more clumsily still as she looked to her sides and saw a brown wing where she expected to see her arm. A wing. That was when she caught sight of the familiar raven.

    The boy had turned her into a bird. A sparrowhawk, though from her point of view it was impossible to tell which type she was.

    Her shock sent her into something of a spiralling dive as she lost control before she managed to get it back, and though there was a part of her that thought this was exhilarating, even more so than climbing the huge waterfalls near her forest back home, she was a bit too preoccupied by whether or not this escape was working to think on it much, as she did little more than follow the raven form of the young man as they flew over the trees.
     
  18. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
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    Male
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    Magician King
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    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    They'd follow if they caught sight of them. John didn't know if they'd rounded the corner in time to see them leap or not, but what he did know was that if they were looking now, the sky needed to be clear. No sign of them, feather, beak, nor claw. And so he dove down. Past reaching tree branch and grasping bough, gliding and turning his way through the winter-barren forest for how long he could not say. He looked back every so often, just to ensure the girl was still there, was still alright. After her initial shock and the sudden loss of control she'd had because of it, he did not want to be too careful.

    All of this, now, for a girl he'd decided to help on little more than a whim. She would owe him for this later, and he would collect on that debt, make no mistake.

    As time wore on, and they grew further and further away from their captor's home, the forest began to take on a more familiar look to it as well. Or, as familiar as a deer-path through a fairy-forest could possibly look at any rate. John swooped down, casting off the raven's form again just as his feet touched the ground, and giving the girl back her own shape as she did the same.

    He sighed as he glanced about. "You'll need to find your horse." He said. Another moments thought, and then, because he's already done this much for the girl and he may as well have gone that last step anyway, he added "And a place to stay for the night?"
     
  19. Merida

    Merida Brave

    Posts:
    31
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Hunter
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Although her mother often complained otherwise, Merida was a quick learner - she just had to not be bored out of her mind like lessons of etiquette and public speaking had a tendency to do - and although she wobbled, she managed to keep herself in the air with no great incident, following the boy into a dive that was steady enough to give her a flash of pride amidst all the panic and fear and anger from her situation.

    She hadn't been in Pandora long enough to notice anything familiar about the landscape, but she had trusted the boy this far and therefore trusted him to deliver her to somewhere that she could continue on her way safely. As soon as she found Angus, she was going to leave this particular forest far behind.

    Her quick learning hadn't quite extended to landing and the sudden disorientation of being herself again, and she stumbled, landing on her backside in a graceless manner with an "Oof," before she got back to her feet, hoping that she'd at least smeared mud all over this dress with her fall.

    Although... Ah god, she had nothing else to wear. Her own dress was back where they'd just escaped.

    "Ah've just been camping," she said slowly, as she realised that she really did not want to be alone that night. After having been kidnapped by a faerie prince who obviously had enough power to believe he could just take whatever he wanted, even a bride, who'd no doubt be scorned by his new wife's escape and be sending people out to find her, Merida couldn't help but be afraid that she might wake up in the middle of the night with fair folk closing in around her camp.

    Fair folk, indeed. Yeah, right.

    Reluctant to ask anything more of the boy who'd done so much for her, Merida hesitated, running her tongue along her lower lip as she paused. "Ah dinnae suppose ye've got a place Ah could kip fae the night? Just one?" she asked hopefully. "Ah just gottae find Angus first... somehow." She had no idea how. She was good at tracking, sure, but not when the forest was soon probably going to be crawling with people trying to find them. She would not go back to that place, and she would not be anyone's wife for anything less than love and her own decision.

    Pausing again, Merida offered the boy a smile that, while a little tremulous after her ordeal, was filled with gratitude. "Thank ye," she said, "fer helping. Ye didnae need tae. All ye did ye did fer a total stranger." Realising that they didn't even know each other's names, she added, "Ah'm Merida, by th' way. Figure ye should at least know who ye just went tae so much effort fer."
     
    #39 Merida, Jan 15, 2019 at 3:34 AM
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 3:43 AM
  20. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    231
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He'd only started all of this to distract himself He wasn't by nature particularly generous, or selfless or...really it had all just started growing all along at the same rate this entire affair had. Still. There was something to be said for the gratitude in her voice, and that smile she offered him, even if, with a sharp flick of his wrist, he quickly dismissed it. Merida, she said her name was...

    Well, he couldn't let her go wandering back off into that forest alone. Not after what they had just escaped from, and what was still likely looking for them still. What, just allow her to get discovered and dragged back off to consummate her new marriage now, after all he had just gone through to get her out of it? Hardly. Besides which, work-horse he might have be, the girl's horse was still a good beast, certainly brave and loyal enough towards her, and John could respect that. Without another word he was already making steps back in the direction they'd had to run earlier.

    "Come on then," He said, glancing back over at her, "you'll lookout for your horse then, and I shall look out for any sights more...unwelcome?" He paused for a moment, and then added, in a dry sort of tone somewhere in that grey area between absolute seriousness and jest that made it rather difficult to tell which was meant, "So that you may know and remember the name of your rescuer...It's John. My name is John."