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Douglas Baines

There is no thing, living or un-living, or that has been or ever will be, that hates like the Nuckelavee.

0 · 572 views · located in Earth

a character in “Glamour: From Ashes to Wine”, as played by Raidose

Description



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"Y'ever have just one day o' your life you wish was just a horrible dream? Some moment you could wake up from, a moment that never really happened? What would you give up for that?"
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Name: Douglas Baines the III
Douglas being an old Gaelic name meaning "Dark River", given to him in memory of "his" grandfather. He isn't sure if the Fae ever had a name for him, as the only ones who ever seem to address him do so by his new title.

Nickname(s): The Nucke, or Old Nick
While the general shortening of his proper name is common amongst the extreme few who know him, these would likely be the only two which could qualify as true "nicknames" and are often used by Unseelie messengers of the Dulluhan to taunt and antagonize him. Needless to say, neither of these will likely make him your friend.


Role: Dullahan's Younger Sibling
Funny how you can go from son of a sheep farmer and horse breeder in the 12th century, to being the younger brother to the Headless-King of the Winter Courts in the 21st.

Age: Somewhere around 900-ish...?
Douglas isn't exactly too sure anymore, and frankly lost track several ages ago. His closest guess is that he was born in the 1100's on the Orkney Islands, Scotland.

Gender: Male
Not something that's really ever been in question.

Nationality: Orcadian
This was, of course, where the myth came from after all.

Romantic Interest(s): None
Douglas simply avoids relations in general, utterly and entirely. His life is much too dangerous to ever put someone in harm like that. More so, he strongly feels that were he to fall for someone again, it'd be as if he were trying to forget the memory of his wife. The thought itself feels disloyal, and even after all these years he refuses to move on.

Sexuality: Asexual
There has never been doubt that Fiona was the love of his life and soul-mate, a fact that Douglas was always passionate about. After her passing, though, he just lost all interest.

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"I just can't keep up with the world. Every time I come back, it's all new and different."
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Height: 6'1"
Douglas was considered a pretty lengthy bloke in his day and age.

Weight: 12 Stone
He has the typical sort of farm-boy build. Not bulky by any standards, but definitely no stranger to manual labor.

Hair:
A deep brown with a slight tinge of red in the morning's light, Douglas keeps his hair trimmed short and usually well-hidden underneath his cap.

Eyes:
Green as they come, though the shine they once had is well gone. His eyes flash both tired and thoughtful in equal amounts, often gazing out over the nothing, losing himself to some train of thought or memory.

Description:
Glamour: In his skin, Douglas could easily be called either handsome, or just one year shy of it. A slightly squared though well-defined jawline, and if you're lucky you may just catch a glimpse of a rather charming smile. A stubborn and seemingly permanent stubble covers his face, the kind one often gets when they travel far too often and rarely find time to worry about shaving. He may have long since stopped aging, but he definitely has a fair more gray hairs than he use to. Slightly darkened rings tend to appear around his eyes, side-effects of stress and terrible dreams. While he does try to appear content with his life in a passing sort of sense, it doesn't take much to see past this. The little movements he takes happen a shade too slow, his reaction seems off, his responses seem distant. It all shows the hard life he's lived. Douglas is tired, and who knows, maybe even a little desperate. He has two scars. One tiny nick on his eyebrow from a nasty fall when he was a child, and one straight slice across his left palm. An accident with a pair of sheep shears.

The Curse: Whenever Douglas is touched by saltwater, is exposed to burning kelp, or loses control of his temper, his glamour fades away. Taking with it his senses, thoughts, and humanity. What's left is something coughed up from a nightmare. The Nuckelavee is of two part, steed and rider fused together. It's without any trace of skin, showing off twisted musculature, polished bone, and white sinews. Tar black blood can be seen clogging sickly yellow veins. It is covered head-to-toe with a deep red-ish mucus or slime, giving it the appearance of gore. The skeletal head of the rider is inhuman, it's mouth protruding like that of a pig or canine, filling it's skull-ish grin with rotting, jagged teeth. It's entire head tends to lol or slump from side to side, as if it's neck lacked the strength to hold it steady, though it will perk up once something has caught it's attention. A fleshy mass covers the left eye socket of the rider, and the right of the steed, leaving the other eye to burn with a blood-red flame which grows in scale with it's rage. Both heads exhale thick clouds of black fumes.

The steed is larger than a Clydesdale, with a rider to match. It's forelegs and hooves split in half up to the knee, connected by a thin, meaty membrane. The hooves themselves appear serrated, looking a lot like black, broken mollusk shells. Long, mangled fins run along all four of it's legs. The steed has two spinal cords, running down it's length into a twin set of tails. Both these and it's mane are covered in more tattered remains of fins, which have the appearance of dark kelp or seaweed. The head of the steed often hangs low, as if sickly and dying. Like the rider, it becomes more lively when active. The rider is able to alter it's "placement" on the steed's body, shifting from just above the pelvis to the base of the horse-like skull. The creature's arms are spindly and massively out of proportion, reaching all the way to the ground. It's hands are massive, allowing it to easily palm a man's entire head or grip his whole upper torso. It has claws of polished finger-bone, which scrape along it's path as it's arms hang limply. A row of small barbed spines run along the sides of the arm and hand, trailing all the way back to a set of bony elbow-spikes.

The Nuckelavee's howl sounds as a mix of a gull's cry, bleating, braying, neighing, screeching, squealing, screaming, and shrieking all at once. A God awful racket rivaling any banshee, loud enough to deafen the dead.

Preferred Clothing:
Douglas doesn't quite show his age, but he's no where near modern times in terms of clothing choice. Whenever he wasn't "needed", he was often taken back into the Faelands, only to return an unknown age later and find the whole world had a make-over. He's sort of given up on adjusting, and sticks to very simple clothing. A tweed or leather cap, long coat, britches with suspenders, and often a scarf hung either tight or loose around his neck. You know the kind, still sorta popular in the extremely rural parts of Europe, but one could easily argue that they've been out of date since the 17th century.
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"Sometimes, when I wake in the mornin', I'd swear I still catch a glimpse o' her....."
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Personality:
Douglas has become more and more morose over the years, losing hope in ever breaking his curse. He simply trods along without a word. He's that strangely silent passenger you see in the back of the bus. Never saying a word, and almost depressing to look at. Get his attention away from whatever thought he was brooding over, and he'll fake a smile for you. He'll chuckle at your jokes, lsiten to your stories, but never add anything of his own, really. Something truly awful weighs on his mind, you can tell that much just from looking. The question is, is it something he's done, or is about to do? His eyes grow dark with a dreadful purpose, pushed on only by the fleeting promise of a King of Liars and Deceivers.

Douglas often finds himself in struggle, especially when deep in his cup. On one hand, he absolutely must be vigilant and in control of himself, else his curse could manifest. On the other, however, he's waited nine long centuries to be free. He's tired of it all, his patience is beginning to wane fast, and he's not sure how much longer he can do these horrible things. Almost every night he wakes in a cold sweat, dreams coming to him in mostly sounds and scents. Screams, smoke, and the smell of copper. They aren't without images, however, and those are what haunt him the longest.

Memories of his family are usually always at the forefront of his mind. When times are good, he's lost in remembering the sound of their laughter, the feel of his children's little hands tugging at his clothes, the sweet sent of honeysuckles which always seemed to follow his wife, and the heavenly glow the morning sun would cast on her hair. When times grow dark, all he can remember is sickness, coughing, and crying. Tears nearly freezing as they streamed down his cheeks. The terrible sound of dirt being shoveled.

His interactions with other fae are limited, and his general opinion of "his kind" is rather biased. Douglas learned to distrust almost all fae, and still never really thinks of himself as one. He'd gladly give up his timeless self to be human, though the events of his life have all but destroyed that hope. But that's not acceptable to him. Douglas is far from content with his position, he simply doesn't know what he can do, or what could even be done in the first place. In a way, he's waiting. For what? Who knows. Maybe a purpose, or a reason why this all came about. Maybe to have a goal or cause. Because lord knows waiting to be free isn't helping him any.

Oddities:
Douglas tends to avoid any sort of advanced electronics or even vehicles, relying on public transportation and small grocery stores to get by. He's never owned or used a computer in his life, and is almost entirely off the grid. He also tends to either smoke or roll a coin over his knuckles when he's not doing anything.

Likes:
Lakes.
Simple Living.
Peaceful Scenery.
Children. (No, not in the "come inside my van" sorta a way. Perv.)
Animals, especially horses. Irony.
Fishing.
Whittling.
The Sea He use to love the ocean, what with living on an island and all. Nowadays, though....

Dislikes:
The Sea, for obvious reasons.
Fae, and anything to do with them.
His brother, and his brother's servants.
The Nuckelavee.
Big, Noisy Cities.
Computers.

Fears:
His curse, and anything that can trigger it. The things the Nuckelavee has done or wants to do always seem to find a way to Douglas, often through dreams. No amount of time can blunt the pain, and he can still barely stomach them.

Crowded places. Like malls or parades. He tries his damnedest to keep away from packed crowds, to try and protect them from himself. Losing control in some place jammed with people is one of his greatest nightmares.

Connections. Despite how lonely he gets, it pales in comparison to the sting of loss. Douglas has had friends before, even after being torn from his human life. A few of them even Fae. A few still linger on in this time, but many more have passed. Some because of him.

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"And there'll howl no demon louder....."
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Skills:
Douglas actually doesn't possess all that many talents, and fewer still are useful or relevant anymore. Sure, he has pockets of knowledge about history, but only the pieces he was in or near. He's good with animals, skilled at whittling and carving, picked up sleight of hand and coin tricks along his path, but other than that... Oh, wait. The man does have an arm like a well-aimed canon, able to turn small stones into deadly (not really) missiles. He's about as accurate with a river rock as some people are with a gun, and in the good way.

Weaknesses:
Doug's definitely no fighter, nor genius, nor some social wizard. He has exactly no technical skills, is barely able to drive a car, and has no idea how to work a cellphone (let alone smartphone). The past is a very painful subject for him, and it can be held over his head. His curse could easily be used to blackmail and manipulate him.

Powers/Abilities:
Glamorous Glamour: It may seem surprising, or perhaps not, given his "noble" bloodline, but Douglas' Glamour is particularly strong. So much so that even some Fae can't tell he's one of their own. Just like that of Changelings, he could have grown old and died as a mortal were he left alone. While the aging effect was broken, he's still completely human in appearance.

Devil of the Sea: A puff of kelp smoke, a splash of saltwater, a flash of anger, a fatal wound, or the call to ride from the Dulluhan. All of these bring about the Nuckelavee, either to burn and claw it's way through the skin of Douglas where he stands, or to vanish and emerge from a Red Tide near the shore. It should go without saying that the Nuckelavee can exist underwater indefinitely. The hooves of the Nuckelavee can traverse along the surface of seawater as if it were land, and can move below the surface with even greater speed.

A Foot in the Door: The creature is one of the few fae to be a metaphysical being. It exists as both flesh and ephemeral, being a physical entity as well as a spiritual one. This allows the Nuckelavee to manifest and vanish whenever not being witnessed, and renders it immune to all mundane and even most magical weapons. There's a reason why in 900 years, the only thing said to stop the monster was an ancient Sea Goddess. It was said that had it not been for her to contain the demon, it would have well forced humanity out of the Northern Isles on it's own. Shame that people don't know the whole truth behind that.

Fairest and Swiftest: The Nucke is terrifyingly fast, tirelessly moving at speeds no living creature could ever match. It's even able to run down some modern day vehicles. This speed goes beyond it's hoofed feet, slashing with it's claws with supernatural celerity and dexterity.

Scourge of Man: As it is fast, so too does it posses great strength. The bone-claws of the Nucke can rend through steel armor, and leave eight-inch gashes in solid stone. With but one hand, it could push through a brick wall or human chest cavity. The demon is known to rip even trolls limb from limb, and tear grown men in half like a phone book. Holding it's sharpened fingers straight, it's elongated arms make excellent makeshift lances.

The Black Reek: The breath of the Nuckelavee is one of plague, pestilence, and death. It can exhale horrible streams of black smog from both mouths, carpeting large areas and leaving few places to escape. The Reek is often accompanied by the moaning cries of a hundred dying and the hissing buzz of a thousand locusts. Anything that is touched by this toxic haze instantly begins to whither, rot, or decay. Living or unliving, magical or mundane, few things can resist the blighted breath of Old Nick. Even Fae should fear it, because of those few beings who can survive the breath, fewer still can resist the horrible sickness which follow. A supernatural disease known as The Mortasheen, which drains the very essence of life out of the being. Sucking away the water from their bodies, and magic from their spirit. No natural creature is immune, and only a small handful of fae are. There is no known cure.

Lord of Drought and Plague: The Nucke was known to be responsible for terrible droughts. Entire seasons would pass without rain, causing the lands to grow bare and families to starve. Even though the rain could banish the creature, it can simply prevent rainfall entirely. On rare occasions, it does far worse. While rivers and springs are sacred things, often protected by powerful spirits or even minor Gods, non-flowing pools or even the moisture in the clouds are vulnerable to it's corrupting influence. Lakes grow stagnant and fetid, and rain becomes brownish-red, viscous, and possesses a foul, putrid odor. Normal beings should best limit exposure to this tainted downpour, as it can cause any number of illnesses.

A Hate Unmatched: The Nuckelavee's hatred is for every and all things. It is legendary in it's capacity, causing it to attack anything around it with scant thought of fear or pain. It is immune to all forms of control that do not hail from it's original creator. It is utterly unrelenting.

Pale Rider: The Nuckelavee is also a messenger of ill things to come, and brings with it a presence of pure chaos. When it is near, anything awful that can happen, will. Computers glitch, electronics fail, machinery fall apart, fuel lines rupture, gas mains burst, fires start, guns backfire, people get injured, and even the toast falls jelly-side down.

Weapon(s):
Douglas doesn't really posses any weapons. He does, however, have a few fairy charms and items that often come in handy.

The Generous Coin Purse: It's more of a wallet, really. The only gift given by his brother, to aid in traveling from here to there. While it appears as a simple, though quite old wallet, it's actually a rather morbid fetish. The leather used to make it comes not from pig or cow, but instead a leprechaun. Yes, it's a leprechaun-skin wallet. Douglas was told that "whenever (he) should reach inside, there will always be money".

The Scrying Eye: Another grim totem, made from the glassed left eye of a goblin. How exactly you glass an eyeball remains a mystery. The eye was given to him as a means to summon the messengers of the Headless King, so he could gain further instructions on the next horrid task wished of him. It requires a basin of water, and a reflective surface. Bathroom sinks do wonderfully.

A Singing Stone: A palm-able, flat stone with many small holes boring through it. While they're suppose to form naturally, enough practice (like, a life-time's worth) and time (a year to a decade) can allow anyone to make their own. When thrown, it emits a whistle that's like nails on a chalk board to any fairy, troll, trow, or goblin. The painful sound is seconded only by the inevitable impact to their noggin. This is usually enough to banish most lesser Fae back to the Fairylands.

Fairy Bathwater: A small, glass vile containing the water that a sprite or pixie has bathed in. Unhygienic though it sounds, this little trinket can be used to attract swarms of butterflies or blind most dark fae. It could also be used to gift a human with The Sight, but Douglas feels most people are better off not knowing who, or what, they're sitting next to.

Flask of Fresh Water: No, nothing magical about this one. A simple whiskey flask filled with pure water from a natural spring. Douglas either downs this or pours it over his head when he feels too close to changing.

Celtic Wedding Band: A simple iron band with small Celtic knots carved into it. It should have rusted, corroded, or something years ago, but it seems oddly as timeless as Douglas himself seems to be. He can often be found thumbing at it absentmindedly whenever particularly lost in thought.

Fighting Style:
He's no stranger to a fight, but by no means a warrior. The only "battles" Douglas has ever participated in were pub-brawls back home, and yeah he "won" (no one ever really wins in a bar fight) about half of them, though that was close to 17 lifetimes ago. It was also before he had to worry about transforming into some demonic sea beast.

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"Most people hear 'Scotland' and they'll start picturin' me in a kilt. I hate that. Really. Kilts didn't start 'till the 1400's, and they looked like ugly-ass plaid togas. Those skirt things they wear at festivals and parades? You know, to 'show Scottish pride'? Yeah. Invented by an Englishman. True story."
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Species: Nuckelavee the Skinless
Known as Old Nick or The Devil of the Sea, the Nuckelavee is a dreaded sea demon of abject horror, known for being the harbinger of disease, famine, drought, and doom throughout all the Isles of Orkney and many other Celtic lands. It's black breath is known to make anything it touches whither to nothing, and the beast carries a legendary hatred for all living things. It was said that only the power of a divine being known as "Mither o' the Sea" (Mother of the Sea) could hold the terrible fae creature at bay. The Nuckelavee has a deep loathing of freshwater, and will not cross a spring or river.

Family:
Douglas is generally kept in the dark as to his Fae bloodline, knowing only of the Dulluhan.
His human family consisted of:
-Fiona, his wife.
-Lorna, his oldest.
-Boyd, his first son.
-Donel, middle child.
-Moira, first twin.
-Ronette, second twin/youngest.

History:
Douglas Baines was born into the Winter Courts of the Fae as youngest brother to the Headless King, in sometime around 1100 A.D. on the Islands of Orcadia (Orkney). Douglas was a sickly child, as many Unseelie are born, and so was left in the care of human parents, swapped out for their real child as a Changeling. Though as things in the Fairylands tend to be, the Unseelie charged with responsibility of him died in a skirmish with Fae of the Summer Court and never came to reclaim him. As such, under the guise of Fae Glamour, Douglas grew up believing he himself was indeed human, and took the fairest girl in town, Fiona McConnell, as his wife.

On the eve of the wedding, the Dulluhan himself appeared before Douglas and revealed all, asking him to return to the Fae Kingdoms. However, despite being given such irrefutable proof, Douglas still swore his home was here with his mortal bride. Having renounced his Fae blood, he returned to his human life as a horse breeder, though the Dulluhan felt personally slighted. Years passed, and Douglas raised a family. Three beautiful daughters and two rowdy sons. Then a great sickness came, claiming all of his farm hands and family. All, except him.

Astride his fastest horse he rode to every village, doctor, and even king who'd grant him council. Of all of them he begged for aid, offering his horses, coin, and even land. Anything to cure his wife and children. His pleas, however, fell on deaf ears, and all he had sought out turned him away. So, immune to this plague by virtue of his Fae blood, he was forced to watch as all he held dear withered and died.

That night he dug six graves, burying in each the pieces of his heart and soul. He greeted the morning as a husk of a man, father, and lover. The only thing left in him to fill such a hole was his sadness, and wretched hatred of all the humans who had forsaken him. Douglas saw no other course in his life, and so he walked to the height of the tallest cliff to overlook the sea, seeking to leap off and join his family. In that moment he was greeted by a seemingly divine maiden calling herself the "Mither o' the Sea", who asked what such sorrow had brought him here. She appeared heartbroken by his tale, and offered him a bargain. If he would ride his fairest and swiftest steed to this very cliff when the moon had risen over the waves as a gift and offering to her, then she would gift him with that which his heart most desired. Douglas leapt at the offer like a fool, believing that the Goddess intended to return his family to him. In truth, he had been tricked, for this was actually the Dulluhan, having used Fairy Magic to take such fair form.

The moon began to rise, and true to his promise Douglas was nearly to the cliff atop his prized horse. Though along the journey, some ghostly force had spooked his steed, causing it to race off in a panic. Douglas was unable to stop it from dashing straight off the cliff, plunging them both into the ocean below. There, stuck somewhere between life and death, Douglas lingered at the sea bed as the Mither o' the Sea appeared before him. However, she revealed her true form as the Dulluhan, and the true nature of his deal. Hate had indeed crawled into his soul. A hate unlike any other, and in it was his true desire of heart. It was not for his family to return, but instead for revenge on all those who let them die. On all of the Land. On all of humanity.

Thus did the brine of the sea turn to acid, burning away hair and skin, fusing horse and rider, twisting flesh and bone. What emerged from those waves was a terror never seen in any creature before or since. Such was the birth of the Nuckelavee, and it's breath brought the plague that had claimed all he loved. This horrid beast ravaged and raged almost uncontrollably on the island for decades, held in check only by the Dulluhan in the guise of Mither o' the Sea. However, no matter how great the hatred which fuels it, all fires grow cold eventually, and the man who once was began to surface again in his human form. Douglas was grief-sticken with what he had done, and was cursed to return to such wretched shape whenever he felt the touch of the Sea or remembered his old anger.

He begged the Dulluhan to end it, to cease this "curse" and let him simply return to what he could. The Dulluhan meerly asked if Douglas was truly dissatisfied with his vengeance. He simply could not lie. As much as it sickened him, some black stain on his soul was pleased by what he had wrought. The Dulluhan stated that since Douglas had indeed received what he wanted, it was only right for him to return the favor. The Nuckelavee would ride for the Dulluhan's call whenever beckoned, wherever beckoned.

And so, the Great Sea-Demon traveled the world, it's ride a terrible sign of ill omens and some horrible disaster to come. Anywhere plague choked the air or blood bathed the Earth, all of it was in the wake of the Nuckelavee. Though as the years passed, Douglas became more and more distraught with his new occupation, more-so in recent times. He's found that the wretched thing within him is becoming more often the cause of such tragedies rather than simply the messenger. He knows this to be the work of the Dulluhan, and begs the Unseelie King to free him from this nightmare.

The Dulluhan merely gives a new place for Douglas to go and wait for that awful call of the Sea, leaving Douglas to wonder if his "debt" will ever finally be paid.

Other:
As all things, the Nuckelavee is bound by certain unwritten laws and rules.

It can manifest for several hours at a time, but must return to the sea after such period of time or it will dematerialize on the spot.

Many hear that the Nuckelavee cannot cross a river, but there are certain requirements to be met.
-It must come from a natural source.
-It must be relatively clean. (Mud and dirt are fine, but industrial backwash isn't)
-It must be on the surface and plainly visible.
-If there is obvious safe passage over, you're still in trouble. Fear of touching freshwater will keep the Nucke from attempting to jump even a small creak, but sturdy bridges won't halt it at all.

Freshwater burns like fire and even a small splash will banish the Nuckelavee. However, just as rivers and springs, it must come from a natural source. Bottled water has no effect. While lakes and ponds may have protecting spirits to guard from the Nuckelavee's touch, other non-moving pools are vulnerable to corruption.

The creature can prevent rain from occurring, but cannot cease it once started. As said, it can pollute the rain itself, but this drastically shortens the time the Nuckelaveee can maintain itself.

So begins...

Douglas Baines's Story

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Character Portrait: Douglas Baines
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#, as written by Raidose
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Sometime earlier that day......

It was quiet for once, in his head. He liked it that way. As much as his memories could soothe him, the bite of their departure
was always deep. He could feel the ground beneath him move, a slight bump or sway reminding him along the way. Conversation buzzed around him, though Douglas didn't mind. He didn't care, gazing at the gold coin which danced across his knuckles, letting the winking glitter of it's movements chase away his thoughts. The clink of the coin against his wedding band became hypnotic, each time threatening to drown him in those memories he was trying to avoid. He couldn't dwell on them, not when he had such grim purpose here. Still, they slowly worked their way in. The names of his children ringing out with each clink.

Lorna, my eldest. Always the victor in whatever you did. Meant to be a leader, you were. As proud as you were in yourself, it paled to the pride I had for you.

Boyd, you had you're mother's hair and smile. Heh, you'd definitely have a flock of the ladies swooning for you when you grew older. I half expected to be fending 'em off with a stick.

Donel, nearly born fighting. You definitely were a handful, but worth every bit of it, m'boy.

Moira and Ronette. I could tell from the first time you opened you're eyes, exactly what to name you two. Great One, and Little Great One. You two were my little conquerors. Also wanting to grow up to be the heroines I use to tell you about in tales and myths. I miss you.... all of you...


The moisture of a tear began to form in his eye when he spotted her. In between the passes of the coin, he noticed his audience in the opposing bus seat. Near the same age as his youngest, with the same red locks. She grinned as she watched Douglas play with his coin. He paused, feeling the warmth of a soft and honest smile cross his lips. The coin began it's trip again, a little faster. Back and fourth, slipping underneath and arriving anew at it's start. Forwards and backwards he ran it, a littler faster each time, before flicking it into the air and catching it. He pinned it with his thumb, shielding half of it from view with his other fingers. Any movement he made with his thumb gave the coin the illusion of life, as if it were dancing and ducking behind his fingers to peek at her. The girl giggled. One of the few lights left in the world, in Douglas' views, was the laughter of a child.

The coin ducked down behind his fingers, as Douglas opened his hand fully to show the coin had vanished. The girl looked inquisitively, reaching out and holding his hand. Her mother seemed too busy with some phone call to notice what was happening, a trend that Douglas himself truly hated in these modern times. He turned his view back to the girl, pulling his hand back a bit. He formed a blind with his fingers again, and with the twitch of his thumb, the coin was back to doing it's merry little jig. "How did you do that?" she asked in the most innocent voice one could picture. "What? You mean this?" he replied, making the coin vanish again. "Yes!", her tone both curious and entertained, with a hint of youthful impatience. Retrieving the coin from seemingly out of nowhere, he held it up for her inspection. "It's Magic."

She looked at him suspiciously, tho the smile never left her. "Magic isn't real", she giggled. "Oh? Then how can it do this?", he returned, letting the coin disappear again with the flick of his wrist before bringing it back. "Now what other kind o' coin could do that if not for a magic one?" He was usually very light in his accent, often hating whenever he heard a thickened, stereotypical impersonation. However, he found that children often found such a thing amusing, so he laid it on a bit more... theatrical than he normally ever would. "Do ya wanna know how I know it's magic?" She nodded. Douglas leaned in, like he was letting her in on a secret. "It was given to me by a fairy... You know what a fairy is, dont'cha?" "Like Tinkerbell?" she chirped back, causing Douglas to smirk a bit at the mental image that conjured. "Heh, yes... Yes, like Tinkerbell. The fairy told me it had gotten this coin from the Leprechaun. That means it's good luck...."

Douglas glanced down at the coin, going over that actual tale in his head. It was true, more or less, and the details were something even he wished he didn't know. The coin was old, he could tell that from the imprint of Dido of Carthage on it's head. The bus rolled to a stop, and without a second thought, Douglas flicked the coin to the girl, which she caught eagerly. "Now you hold on to that tight, and it may give ya some good luck. Keep it close, now, or else the fairy might come back for it...." he said with a wink as he rose to the front of the bus and departed. He tried hard to keep the warmth of that moment with him as he stepped off the bus.

But it went cold somewhere along his walk.

He walked the streets of the city without ever looking up. He didn't need to, having committed the directions to memory. It had been quite some time since he'd been in the colonies. Last time he visited the continent, they were fighting to get out from under the yoke of England. Douglas himself was never too sure how he felt about the whole thing, but it seemed to be working out for them so far. It wasn't long till his feet brought him before the front door of an old, brown stone building that was now an apartment complex. An out-dated buzzer hooked up to the right of the door, it's buttons an age-stained yellow. Douglas pressed the one marked 'Main Floor', which got him an immediate, and rather impatient sounding response. "Yeah? What do you want?" barked the mystery voice from the speaker. "I saw you had an apartment listed as vacant? I'd like to rent it for a while." There was an uneasy pause after that. "....It is available, correct?" he inquired. "......Yeah, come on in" replied the voice. A rattling buzz sounded that the door was unlocked. Douglas straightened his travel bag, and stepped in.

A thick, nicotine fog filled the air as he stepped up to the reception desk, if it could even be called that. A grizzled old woman sat behind, taking a long drag off her cigarette and looking quite clearly like she had run out of patience for the world. "So, here for the room, eh?" she asked, in an oddly direct, inquisitorial tone. "Yes, Ma'am. Here on business, and don't know how lo-" Douglas started, but was cut-off. "I don't care for your life story. The room is twelve a month, and thirty-six upfront" she almost spat in a haggard, bitter old voice, well damaged by her apparent self-induced smoke inhalation. "Umm, thirty-six, Ma'am?" "Yes. Three-thousand and six-hundred dollars. Three-six-zero-zero. That clear enough for you?" This ancient battleaxe of a woman was certainly not rolling out any welcome mat for new tenants. She leaned back in her chair with a squeak of old wood and a puff of smoke. "I take checks, but no debit cards or credit...." Douglas gulped a bit at her straightforward and brash attitude. "If it's all the same, Ma'am, would cash be acceptable?"

She eyed him in a very uncomfortable manner, as if suspicious of his motives and intentions. "Uh-huh. Fine, whatever" she finally relented, reaching down to grab a clip-board. Douglas reached down into his pocket, fishing around for the ghastly little coin purse of his. His fingers pulled out a single coin, the face of Caesar staring back at him, which he kept low and out of the old woman's view. He gripped the coin tightly, feeling a small shiver of movement inside. He opened his hand to a stack of U.S. bills in slightly random amounts. He quickly counted out the amount she had asked for, or rather demanded, which she then began to re-count as she prattled out her rules. "No yelling, no trouble-making, no loud music, no visitors after-hours, no house-mates, no pets, and no smoking...." That last one catching in his ears, as Douglas glanced down at what he counted to be at least seven ashtrays filled to the brim with blatant hypocrisy. "Of course. Not a problem, Ma'am" he nodded in respect, without feeling like the old shrew really deserved such.

"Good. Sign here" she grumbled, sliding the clip board toward's him. Douglas Cartwright may not have been his actual name, but it was good enough for this place. He placed the pin back down and headed up the stairs. "Hope you ain't got a problem with fish" his new superintendent shot his way. "Uh, beg your pardon, Ma'am?" "Goldfish" she clarified, before continuing. "Last tenant had a bowl for two, and left 'em here when she moved out. Didn't know what to do with them, and didn't want to throw them out. So, I've been feeding them. I figure you can take care of that now, unless that's a problem...." Douglas nodded. "No, Ma'am. No problem" he answered, and then made his way up the creaky first flight. What happened to 'No Pets'?

Finally he reached his floor, which he had the good fortune to share with some arguing couple he could hear two floors down. Between their racket, the super's smoking, and apparently his new fish, he began to think that the rules were merely optional. He tread lightly passed their door just when something thudded heavily against it, nearly giving Douglas a start. Charming pair, I'm sure... Finally the brass doorknob was in his hands, and with a turn, he was "home", for the time being. It was a small place, with the kitchen and living room sharing a space so compact, you couldn't tell where one ended and the other began. Off-white wallpaper covered the walls, turning a slight yellow with age. Still, it was clean, tho. And sure enough, a fishbowl with two darting orange-gold shapes sat plainly on the kitchen counter. Douglas closed the door behind him, thankfully muffling the yelling from outside. He let his satchel slide off his shoulder, and rested himself on the old sofa. As much as he wanted to enjoy the end to his little journey, he couldn't help but watch the clock with great dread. He knew what was asked of him later today.

He sat there, lost in the ticking as they sounded off each second, then minute, then hour.......

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Character Portrait: Douglas Baines
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Just how much time had past? Three hours? Four? He just wasn't sure anymore. Though the clock ticked away on the wall before him, at some point Douglas just lost the nerve to watch it any longer. His own measure of moments passed was his breaking of the 'No Smoking' rule. Not much for counting, but Douglas figured himself on his fifth fag of the day. Quite an odd feat for him, seeing as he'd started not long after sitting down. He was by no means a chain smoker, but his nerves were in tatters. Besides, as if the landlady would be able to smell it on him through her own noxious smoke cloud. Speaking of clouds, at some point the sky began to grow gray and dreary with a coming storm. Rain pelting against the windows in increasing volume.

Douglas never minded rain, quite the opposite actually, but he was quite thankful his room was not on the top floor. Douglas imagined the poor sod above him was scrambling about, laying down buckets in odd patterns to try and catch the water which was no doubt trickling from his ceiling. No, rain was a beautiful thing. It was calming, really. Whenever luck would finally find him, rain often meant a certain something wouldn't come out to play today. With that thought, Douglas found himself on the verge of relaxing a bit, when an odd shiver came over him. 'Odd', because despite the season it was quite warm in the building, and he hadn't even taken off his coat or scarf since arriving. Yet still that single frigid breath wafted through the room, vanishing just as it hit. Old folks would say that type of thing was an Omen. Douglas hated Omens. They had a habit of adding up.

And sure enough, they did.

Silence really can be as alarming and sudden as an explosion at times. Actually, silence is worse. An explosion can give you direction, possibly prepare you for danger. Silence just leaves you there to dwell in your uncertainty and paranoia. Where once the pattering of droplets echoed throughout the room, now there was none. The rain had stopped, as abruptly as someone turning off a faucet. There was no mistaking it's unnatural quality. Douglas found himself doing little more than staring dumbfounded through the window pane. Beyond what dripped down from the roof, not a drop nor dribble came from the sky. He rested his hand upon the cool glass, peering through to try and spot something, anything that could cause this. No sooner had his skin made contact did he feel a reverberation, a sudden pulse transfer through the pane, sending him back a step as a bolt of ice shot straight up his spine.

A bone rattling shiver took him, dwarfing the one prior. His breath came out as steam, visible as though he stood in the dead of winter. The color drained from him as he made the grim realization. This was The Call. The uncertainty had left the room entirely, leaving Douglas to wish desperately for it's return. But no, he knew in all it's entirety what this entailed. His mannerisms took a sharp shift, becoming somber and bleak. As he placed his hat, coat, and scarf upon the rack, he carried himself much like that of a man who was stepping forward to meet his gallows. Out the door and down the stairs, noiseless as a ghost. He strode past the super's desk, nearly oblivious to the "Where you going?" that shot out at him. "Just going out for a smoke, Ma'am...." he barely droned out in a deadened voice. It's funny, just how numbed Douglas was. He couldn't even feel the old woman's stare drill through the back of his head on the way out.

The air was disturbingly still, not a breath or hint of a breeze. The street had a lifeless quality about it. Silent as a tomb, as Douglas walked over and across to an opposing alleyway. True to his word, a pre-rolled cigarette was already in his lips and being lit. Smoking trailing a tail behind him as he walked on. The path seemed endless, and Douglas had quickly lost track of how long he'd been walking. That's when he heard it. The rustle of a small breeze picking up, carrying a deathly voice he would have sworn for all the would hissed "Nucke" right behind him. He turned, already expecting a lack of any likely, or even possible source. Unsurprised with his findings, he turned back to take another drag off his cigarette, but was unable to. The lit cherry had suddenly died then and there, sending him on edge. The temperature dropped, causing steaming wisps of breath to leave his mouth. Another breeze, stronger this time, barreled over him. "Nuuuucke..." it rasped, unmistakable in it's intent. The phantom voice was only the herald of what was to come.

Hoof beats rapped against asphalt, echoing down the alley and gaining speed. The urge to run took hold, forcing him in a mad sprint against the now constant winds. A sane mind would ask why, why run from something you've already done so many times before? Douglas was too scarred to be of sane mind now. It didn't matter how many tens, or hundreds, or God forbid thousands of times this has happened to him over the centuries, he always ran. He ran with all the strength his burning muscles could grant him. He ran like he had a hope, a prayer, a chance of escaping. He didn't. He never would. The path became forked, back alleys trailing off into nowhere, all leading him back down that same overly-familiar straight he'd started at, but there was never an exit. The sound grew closer. No, that's not right. The sound grew more.... everywhere. The longer Douglas ran, the more the echoes came from all directions, leading him to half-expect running headlong into it.

The encroaching hooves and phantom voices chased him ceaselessly, causing him to doubt his course and double back several times. Douglas was ragged now, spent, and yet still forced himself forward. No matter which way he faced, the wind would blow against him, and by this point it may have been the only thing holding him up. Finally, a tyrannical gust stopped him in his tracks. It roared in his face with that horrific howl he knew all too horribly well, filled with more anger and rage than any creature had a right to. It had caught him. It had won, like it always did.

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Pain. The most unbearable pain any person should ever come to face. Like his right eye had be torn free, and in it's place was left a white hot coal. The searing heat radiated through him as blood red flames engulfed the socket. He thrashed in agony as thick fog enveloped him, devouring his environment. A moment of emptiness passed, like the blackness in the blink of an eye, and water began to fill his mouth and lungs. Fight-or-flight raged in a spiral against drowning, against the pain, against everything that was happening to him, till finally all senses burned out. Douglas floated there at the sea bed, anchored somewhere between life and death once more. It was a cold bliss, cut short. The brine of the ocean turned to acid, and a new suffering replaced the old. Skin burning away, wrapping him in a crimson haze. Through the blood-obscured water did his left eye catch it. A ghostly, headless silhouette. It stood on the ocean floor as if upon dry land. In it's hand, it held the reigns of a great, pale horse.

His vision gave way to merciful darkness, his mind drifting away....

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Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shankara
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Everything was bad and nothing was okay.

A large, booming shout that echoed through the top floor corridors and even further down to the stairwell Shankara was floating over reached his ears and sent the hair on the back of his neck on end. He stayed there, momentarily frozen as he heard footsteps approaching, loud and clear. He had to wonder who might be approaching, what kind of creature, or monster really, with those vocals, was coming towards him at such a speed with such a warrior's call. With baited breath, he waited, silently listening in on who it could be that crashed through the Mares that had already reached the upper parts of the school and were barreling through them so fearlessly. And then, he spotted them as they-

They nearly crashed right into him.

Shankara barely spun out of the way, tripping over his own feet--which was quite a miraculous feat considering he was mid-air and not even using them--and dropped to the ground, landing on the stairs and bouncing down the steps he'd already passed until he tumbled to the second floor, where he laid there, dazed and confused and slightly intimidated. When he bothered to raise it head to see who it was who'd nearly trampled him down, he was stunned to find that the only one in his immediate line of sight happened to be a simple human girl. She had no distinguishing features, nothing particularly special that would make her stand out in a crowd.

Getting to his feet, Shankara decided that if he were to give this girl a piece of his mind, he would need to do it appearing as a human rather than glaring at her in his invisible state and hoping that his negative vibes would eventually wear down on her over a period of time. He remained grounded, letting his glamour work to mask the marks over his eyes, his eyes themselves going from glimmering gold to an average autumn brown, and his hair, while originally white from the lighting, going black, and remaining that way. He stormed up the stairs to reach her, but just as he got to her side, he paused, any words of vile or insult dying on his tongue and drying in his throat on their way up. He was very suddenly reminded that he had no people skills whatsoever and that chewing out this absolute stranger of a human was the equivalent of throwing himself into an active volcano and hoping he wouldn't get burned. "There's no way this could possibly go wrong."--some stupid person somewhere, probably.

In the end, the beautiful formation of his words ended up coming together to be, "I'm lost." It was nothing. It was meaningless. Immediately, the self-hate settled in and his mind was a whirlwind of insults striking straight towards his self-esteem that he was sure, as he made haste to bury them down, would all come back later to haunt him.

Trying to gather the vomit that was his thoughts, Shankara decided that maybe, this was not the right situation to be fretting over his lack of people skills, or his initial intent to snap at her for nearly causing him to have a concussion. Something was coming, he knew. Something far, far worse than those who had already arrived, an insurmountable gathering of fear all composed together in one tight, enclosed area that would surely lead to the school collapsing in on itself with the people, and himself, inside. It was a sixth sense, really, a sensation that went past the Mares that he knew were already wandering the corridors and individual rooms of the school. It was almost like a tugging, or rather a switch flipped to warn him of the oncoming danger. It wasn't the exact same as the chilling, deep-rooted unsettling sensation that came whenever the true King of the Unseelie Court came anywhere within the vicinity, but it was similar. It was much, much too similar.

"You shouldn't be here," he finally managed to say, his teeth threatening to chatter out of his gums. "I shouldn't be here. Oh god, nobody should be here! What am I doing here?!" Why he ever decided to stay when he knew the school and its occupants, which he was now one of, were in danger, was beyond him. He saw the storm clouds crowding in like an omen for bad things to come and he'd still thought to stay, as if he, of all fae, could do anything to help the situation. Him! The Natural Disaster! What a joke!

But there was this girl, the only human he could see around who wasn't trapped in a classroom or being chased by the Mares (yet). Perhaps he could do something with her, for her. Narrowing his eyes and forcing the ants crawling under his skin to calm, Shankara tried to focus on the situation at hand before it got out of control (which he knew for a fact that it certainly would). "Listen, listen. Bad things are happening. You can see that right? Of course you can see that. You don't look blind to me." Blah, nervous. "Anyway, anyway. What I'm trying to say is, we can't stay here. You uh- Those things down there will tear you- us!- apart, limb from limb, like, uh," a pause, "like alligators! Those are real right? Yeah, yeah. Like those giant lizard things that live in swamps. They eat people. Those things down there eat people. Similarities."

Realizing he was rambling, Shankara took a moment to pause, scrubbing his face and groaning. "Wait, wait, that isn't what I meant to say. What I mean is, we should do something. I mean, right?" He looked to her as if asking for a way out, an excuse that would tell his consciousness that he should just leave. Shaking his head, he moved on. "That was rhetorical. Forget it. The answer is: yes! Yes, we should do something. I have ideas." He held up a single finger, frowned at it. "One. I have one idea. We kill the one causing the bubble blocking the school--you saw that right?--and make a run for it. Everyone else should be good to go from the-"

Before he could finish, a gathering of Mares swarmed over their heads, as if just realizing their existences for the first time. A part of Shankara knew he'd wasted their time by standing there talking instead of running, which was the only smart choice, but the rest of him feared what the Mares might do despite him being fae. They obviously weren't biased.

Rather than continue their conversation, Shankara grabbed the human girl's hand and dragged her down the stairs with him, leading a small hoard of Mares along after them. He tripped out of the doors and out into the courtyard, where the sun was shining through the storm clouds that were already beginning to pass. When he realized that trying to run was probably a futile effort, Shankara spun back around and pulled the girl in front of him like a shield, grabbing her shoulders and ducking behind her form, which was smaller than his own, as if to silently say "Take her! Not me!"

But when nothing happened, he risked peeking past his human shield to the doors of the building they'd left, seeing the Mares hovering inside where the lighting was dim. They seemed to hesitate, the lot of them glowering at Shankara and the girl through the glass windows embedded in the doors, before swirling back around, apparently deciding to remain inside the building instead of chasing them outside where natural light occurred.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Kodak Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii
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The skies were at odds. Rays of sun fighting to break through the shadowy overcast, only to have those same darkening clouds encircle and strangle out the offending beams. Warning growls of thunder rolled through the heavens, like an animal crossed. Even those few areas touched by these golden havens were quickly consumed by fog. The haze grew thicker with unnatural speed, slowly engulfing the whole city. The anxious crowd which had gathered around the police barricade grew disconcertingly quiet, and the local PD were not much better. No demands were given, no orders issued, and still no idea what in the hell that barrier even was. Worse yet was a presence on the horizon. Some unknowable dread which seeped into the bone, making hairs stand on end.

Something wicked this way comes....



The smell of salt rang heavy in the air as the gulls cried in complaint. The plodding, sobriety-challenged footsteps of a local homeless man trekked down to lay his withered body by the docks. He groaned and murmured about the faults of his life, taking another deep swig of misery to cure what ailed him. A dry, cracked hand reached out for support, gripping tight on the old wood post separating him from a quick dip. His leaning turned to a slothful slide as he found himself laying against it, drinking deeper of his spirits only to find that his cup had run dry. Yet the bottom of another bottle searched, and still no answers.

With a disgruntled groan, he cast the offensively empty bottle at the waves and the wall of mist from whence rolled in. The dread shiver of cold came wafting from the waters, making him pull tight his coat. The old man was all but ready for another dreamless sleep, when he heard something splash in the waters. It was light, mind you. Like a fish, but.... not. It wasn't the noise, but the silence that followed which set him on alert. The gulls had fled, the winds had died, and the city went mute. He learned over, to peer into the abyss. Some part of him feared of something down there peering back, and it was....

The water was a bright crimson in color, like something biblical in nature. Slowly his hand dipped in, only to find this was not blood but... slimy. Algae. It was red algae, and from what he could make out through the fog, a whole sea of it. Splash. Another sound, made like thunder against the eerie silence. This.... was not natural. The old man couldn't explain why he feared it, only that he did. It was like he was born to fear this, like some form of predator was eyeing him down. His heart raced, his throat went dry, but nothing happened. And for the next several moments, that was all there was, a big nothing. Nothing except that feeling of dread.

It came in a crack of thunder, like a canon from the sea. An explosion of movement and sounds, as this hulking form leapt from below the waves. It's sound, a Godless mangle of calls, like the death cries of several drowning beasts. On four shattered, jagged hooves it tried to stand, staggering and waving about like a freshly birthed fawn before finding it's own strength. No skin, none save a thick layer of that bright red algae from the sea. Black mollusks pierced out of it's musculature. Stained bones grinning back at him from it's horse-like head. And atop it's back.... No, from it's back, a lifeless cadaver of horrible proportions. Limp, gangly arms dragged the ground, it's upper torso slumped against the horse-like head. This wretched thing looked like something you'd expect to see in a medical museum, pickled as a fetus in a glass jar.

But there it stood, and began to move. Like a corpse reacting to an electrical surge, it's massive limbs twitched before rising of their own free will. The body had gained life, grasping at it's face in pain and letting out a horrible screech. The hellish cry increased in volume steadily, higher and higher, louder and louder, till it threatened to deafen the old man. It'd peaked with a ear-piercing scream, grabbing at the kelp-like mane of it's steed with a strong yank, causing the beast it rode to rear back in pain. Finally it settled, the head of the rider lolling forward like it's neck lacked the strength to hold it. It rolled and twisted, till finally in heart-stopping swiftness, it was staring straight at him. It's eye.... That blood red, burning eye of this damned thing. It Hated the old man. He could feel it. Hell, he could see, taste, smell, and hear it. Every sense he had screamed at him that this thing only wanted him to End.

Pain shot through his left side, immobilizing him against the ground. With one of those ungodly arms, it reached out and point straight at him. His breath caught in his throat, his lungs hyperventilated. All he could do was stare back it it's canid-like head, as the edges of his sight darkened. He gasped and choked, till finally his body gave up. A mercifully blackness spirited him away from this place, from that thing. The Nucke.... That name echoed as the last thought he had. The Nuckelavee.... was free....



Orders came in for the choppers clogging the sky to RTB, the fog making it hazardous to negotiate through the city. Their air support gone and their snipers blinded by the wall of fog, all the police could do was hold the line and wait for orders. Brass was treating this as just an everyday hostage situation, but anyone with eyes could see this was far from normal. Just what in the Hell was that thing? A force field? Was this some kind of military technology? How did these psychos get their hands on it? And what did they want with these children?? People were getting restless, mostly parents wanting to know what's being done to save their children. But the quiet.... that was the worst. It was recent, too. Like things outside this city block just dropped dead. There was a frigid stillness in the air, thicker than any haze.

In the distance, it sounded like a horse's whinny. Everyone, and I mean everyone stopped to look around. The popular question quickly became "what the fuck was that?", as people just stood there scratching their heads. One cop, a rookie holding the back corner of the forward barricade.... he caught sight of it first. A large, looming figure which seemed to materialize out of the fog only a few yards from him. It galloped on horse-back, or so he thought, before it's arms rose up. What.... he thought, before he realized all too late that it was mere feet away. It's gigantic hand scythed straight through him, rendering him nothing but a grisly stain. It rode straight on, a headlong charge for it's objective. Before the masses could react, it's hand plunged into the hood of a squad car, gripping the metal mass by it's chassis and Frisbee-tossing it into the back lines of the police perimeter. Several were caught by the flying wreckage, either being trapped or crushed beneath it. Gunfire started, and the crowd went berserk.

The law enforcement didn't know who or what this new hostile was, only that it was large, and by God was it fast. The damned thing had completely disintegrated the entire rear or the police blockade and slain three news crews before any of them got a bead of it. And even then, something just off. Their guns kept jamming, and even the ones still operational just would not remain docile, jerking around erratically whenever the trigger was pulled. Hailstorms of lead flew everywhere, even into the scattering crowds of civilians. The remaining film crews too stubborn and idiotic to leave without their scoop struggled with malfunctioning equipment. Whatever this thing was, it just refused to show up on film. A few stray rounds punctured the gas tank of their van, and even though such things simply don't happen in the real world, the entire vehicle erupted into flames.

The creature made a bee-line for the force field, but was finally cut off by a police firing squad. Letting loose with automatic rifles and riot shotguns, the thing reared back screeching and covering it's face. A storm of bullets pelted it, tearing through it's flesh and splattering that red slime everywhere. It hissed and shrieked and barked, before finally going limp against the ground. Was it.... dead? There was a moment of unease, weapons trained on the corpse. The look of the thing was..... It couldn't be real. Nothing like this should exist. One officer stepped forward hesitantly to confirm the kill. He couldn't help but look at it's one, empty eye socket. The other, overtaken by some meaty mass. It got closer, step by step, till he was right up on it. The barrel of his shotgun inched forward, nudging the horse-like skull.

The fire came back to it's eye. It glared at him. It Hated him. The arms of the Nucke came alive again, clamping around his entire upper body like a sprung bear trap. It's claws pierced into his back, stabbing all the way through his chest cavity and out his sternum. It made him watch. He couldn't look away. With the most horrifying sound that no human being should ever hear, it pulled it's hands apart, tearing the man asunder. The gunfire resumed in force, but this time to no effect. High caliber rounds tore right through it's meat, and it didn't even flinched. It just trotted calmly up to the barrier, crushing a squad car under it's weight. It stopped just at the glowing field, bullets impacting against it and the barrier itself. The Nucke took a long, rasping breath, inhaling deeper than anything that size should.

There was a pulse in the air, like that sickly breath you get right before you start turning green. The veins which spider-webbed it's whole body swelled to disturbing lengths, ready to burst with it's thick, tarry blood. The foul ichor surged to it's system mass and up it's neck. Putrid black spittle dripped and oozed between rotting teeth. It reared, spinning around with new purpose. It howled, torrents of black fumes spewing from it's mouth like dragon's fire. The Reek, churning from the Nucke with an otherworldly sentience. It covered everything, chasing victims down like a plague of locusts zeroing in on a target. Anyone who could run, didn't make it far. Anyone who couldn't, well.....

What was once the busiest part of the city was now a ghost land. No live soul dared go back. The Nucke turned back to the barrier, it's burning eye meeting the witch on the other side in a chilling lock. She knew her Lord had sent the beast, but then why did it eye her so? What did this meeting of eyes fit that shared between a wolf, and a hare? It's claw dug deep into the barrier, surprising her. It's hand pierced through entirely, the light of the barrier being mired by it's corrupting touch. The witch concentrated, trying to keep it from tearing through. Summoning the best of her will, the barrier forced the Nucke back. It screeched in anger, lashing and pounding against the obstruction repeatedly, but it held strong. It backed away, before locking eyes again. It's spindly arm stretched out, pointing a clawed finger at her with a menacing hiss.

The message was clear. From this moment on, if the barrier failed to keep things in, it would fail to keep the Nucke out. Fear of life is truly an excellent motivator, don't you agree?

With that, it retreated to the epicenter of the chaos it had wrought, lying down to rest and wait. It's breath became louder, exhaling more of that toxic miasma in thick wafts. The fumes completely shielded it from view in a matter of moments, creeping down the stairs and to the streets. The stone it touched cracked, the steel rusted, paint peeled, tires popped, glass shattered, and the bodies.... Let's just say some things are better left without description. The Reek encircled the barrier entirely, and anything it touched withered away. Silence, awful, terrible silence took hold again, broken only by the ragged breathing heard throughout the block.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii Character Portrait: Cadence Fiala
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#, as written by toajojo

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii Character Portrait: Cadence Fiala
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#, as written by toajojo
It took a few seconds for Bradley to register the fact that his hand was empty. He clenched and unclenched his hand twice just to confirm the now empty space before he finally had the sense to turn around. Stopping dead in his tracks, he spun around frantically. Eyes desperately darting from person to person in search of his date. Though, by then it was far too late, Cordatta was long gone. Not knowing she had left on her own accord, he jostled through the dense crowd looking for a glimpse of her petite figure.

From the distance a strange sound cut through the air. The large mass of civilians and officers alike quieted down and turned their heads to try to find the source of the sound. Bradley was no different. He furrowed his brow and contemplated on what it could have been. His thoughts being whispered throughout the crowd. 'The hell was that?' He squinted seeing a dark figure near them through the fog. Shaking his head, Bradley took off his glasses and wiped the droplets off of them with his soaking shirt. Rendering himself very near sighted for a precious few moments.

That was all the time it took for chaos to ensue. He heard the unmistakable sound of metal being crushed then all of a sudden their were waves of guns being shot, and people screaming bloody murder. He struggled to put on his glasses as people ran into him hoping to get away. He was confused. What had happened? He stood firm as the others around him went into a panic, his eyes trying to focus on the scene in front of him. What he saw was worse than any nightmare one could ever dream of conjuring. His heart stopped for minute as he pieced together what was occurring. "A-A monster." he breathed into the air. Unable to do anything else as his body was stiff with horror.

He watched the fearsome behemoth face the police force. All the while his mind was in frenzy trying to get him to move. Get him to do anything. 'You need to move. Run. Find Datta. We need to leave.'
Was his silent mantra. It was only when the beast was finally overwhelmed, Bradley began to move. He needed to find Cordatta and get the hell out of there. All around him was a tornado of hectic bodies. A few on the ground, lifeless. He swallowed the lump that formed in his throat as he meticulously searched for his companion. Hearing a gruesome sound rip through the area and the gunfire continue once more worse than before, his heart dropped and his search became crazed. Why could he not find her. She would not have left without him. Would she?

The thought that she had left him while he stayed behind to search for her tightened his chest. And all of a sudden a renewed sense of urgency hit him like a wave. He needed to leave now. . . Without her. There was not anymore time. He forced his strides to become longer and pumped his arms. Keeping pace with the others who were beginning to flee. When the air around him seemed to become impossibly thick. He tried to push himself harder. Get out of whatever it was, but could not. Neither could anyone else.

The strangely dark smog suffocated him. Bradley gasped for breath and his body slowed. He blinked as the world around him became darker with each passing second and his body collapsed to the asphalt below. He heard others around him, but could not see them. Honestly unsure if the cause was due to his glasses shattering from it's impact with the sidewalk or the fatal murk. Tears filled his eyes and spilled over his cheeks and he heard desperate cries and gasps from others. He groggily clawed at his shirt suddenly feeling tightly confined. And he coughed, exacerbating the burning in his lungs. He was going to die. Closing his eyes, Bradley barely felt the sobs racking through his body. He was going to die.




The boy's sudden flinching startled Cordatta for a second. She had not meant to scare him so. Maybe it was the black coat she was wearing. With only half of her face barely visible, she supposed that could be mildly alarming. Wordlessly Cordatta pulled her hood back with her free hand and shook her hair out of her face. Effectively revealing her feminine features. As the boy attempted to wrench his arm free from her grip, she only tightened her fingers around his slender wrist. Idly noticing sharp contrast between his pale skin and her caramel hand. In the back of her mind she wondered if her hold on him would cause bruises. Hopefully not.

"Escape?" The male's low voice questioned her. She pursed her lips as a crease formed between her thin eyebrows. The wrinkle always formed when she was confused. Cordatta's eyes roamed over the boys mask in search of his meaning. Her fingers twitched. She wanted to take off his accursed mask and reveal his face. It irked her that she could not read his features. Why would he ask such an obvious question. It seemed obvious enough to her. Anybody with sense would know that they needed to find a way out.

". . .Yes?" She answered slowly and unsure.

"I'm supposed to be here." He challenged her directly. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep herself from saying something rude. Feeling the boy's veins pull under her fingertips, she looked to his hand. Noting how he tightened his own grip on his small axe. Whitening his knuckles. She prepared herself for him to try to lash out at her with it. Entirely unready for the way he opted to lean in close. Cordatta instinctively leaned back slightly. Uncomfortable with his proximity. His demon mask was now beginning to unnerve her. β€œLet go, lady. I'm trying to save people here.”

She opened her mouth to voice an affronted retort, but fell silent as she heard steps. Promptly she shut her mouth and quieted her breathing. Deciphering the noise. Something was nearing them. She had to get out of their. She could not be caught this early. The boy tugging his arm, pulled her from her thoughts. Correction. She had to get both of them out of there. The boy came off as stupid and senseless to Cordatta. If she left, she had no doubt he would try to stay and fight them off. He was a wannabe hero. He would most definitely get his dumb behind killed. "Drop it." She demanded coldly.

He did. A lot easier than she thought he would. It fell with a short clatter. β€œLet go, or I'll kill you.” He threatened. She tensed. Something about his tone was making her anxious. Collecting herself, she curled her lip in disdain. Giving a final squeeze before finally releasing him, she hoped he did bruise. Swiftly, she snatched up his axe and cocked it in her own hand as a response to his threat.

"Boy, you are too weak to kill me, or any of the others for that matter." She stated cruelly. "Escape or get yourself killed. It is none of my concern now." She spat. Turning on the ball of her foot she went to find a way around the opposing fae to some of the helpless students. Never mind saving him.