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Duchess Sophie Vespre

"Sit down and enjoy the pepper"

0 · 245 views · located in Wonderland

a character in “On the Wings of a Dream”, as played by Orbweaver

Description

Did you hear about...
Image
Image

Full Name: Sophie Vespre

Role: Duchess

Age: 16 (Is about the same age as the Queen)

Gender: Female

Personality: The Duchess loves to gossip but doesn't often get to do so because she spends most of her time in her mansion with her cook looking after pigs and momeraths and writing fictional stories about the residents of Wonderland, her favorite of which being 'Hopping Mad' a romance story about the White Rabbit and the March hare. She has one pig in particular that is always with her and often transforms into a human child she refers to as her son or her boy, however, nobody knows where he came from or what his name is, he seems to be very intelligent but doesn't talk. Despite being a very caring person, she is often misguided in her attempts to look after people. She considers herself to be the Queen's friend, if not her best friend but doesn't know how the Queen feels about this. She is very friendly, sometimes overly so and loves to have visitors

Hair Colour: Long honey coloured hair

Eye Colour: Amber

Quirks: (if any)
● Writes fictional stories about Wonderlanders
● Has a fondness for pigs and momeraths
● Can't resist giving awaythe morale of a story

Appearance Description: Extra information? Build? Height? Preferred apparel?

The Duchess likes to wear a victorian gown of golden yellow and orange and will often wear a bonnet with this for when she goes outside. She is pale and of an average build (It wouldn't do for a lady of her class to be skinny). Her boy wears a school uniform that consists of a dark orange vest, white shirt and dark grey pants and often has a book with him.

Quotes:


Likes:
● Morales
● Writing
● Gossip
● New Aquaintances
● Pigs and Momeraths

Dislikes:
● Rude children
● People with no manners
● Writing critics
● Non Fiction
● Unladylike behaviour from everyone but herself and the Queen

Powers: Projection, whatever she imagines can become reality for a limited amount of time, for example, a pig may become a baby, however, this is limited to her immediate surroundings, about a meter away.

Contractor: Belca

Weapons/ Things They Are Carrying: She has a pepper grinder which acts as a gattling gun, however, it's difficult to aim. She also has a croquet mallet which she uses like a hammer. Her boy carries a meat cleaver that the cook gave to him.

Back Story: : [You should update this slowly, revelaing a little bit of your story in the course of the RP, because that would make it interesting. But you might not want to do that, in which case you can write it out.]

So begins...

Duchess Sophie Vespre's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Cheshire

Cheshire's nose tickles slightly, bringing about a smile of relief. Pepper. Duchess' house was close. He could hear shouting in the near distance which fueled his aching body further. He was exhausted. Adrenaline had helped him through his fight and outrun the Plague, but it was ebbing off, reminding his body just how hard he had worked it. Dizziness was beginning to warp his mind, threatening collapse. He shook his head. With a final burst of energy, he rebelled against these feelings and soared into Duchess' yard, head down like a ram. Collapsing, though a lovely idea at this point, before Duchess and her child wouldn't do. He still retained his pride, regardless of how beaten it was.

His introduction didn't turn out exactly how he was planning, however, as he barreled straight into the Duchess' contractor. With a grunt he tumbles a few feet and chooses to remain on the ground, the transformation into his human male form to occurring in mid-roll. He looks around the familiar area, pushing away the darkness which threatened his vision, and laughs aloud. He made it. His dull, yellow eyes drag across the property. He almost despised how everything here was still brimming with life whilst his land wilted away. The thought passes quickly however when he locates his previous tree. His eyes widen as he traces along every limb. It too had been marked, the bark still carried deep etches were his claws had touched. He thinks back on how often he had laid in its branches and remembers how homely the place was. Why did he leave again? He found himself wondering, until that shrill voice shocked through his system: 'Cheshire!' Oh yeah..

He sighed, bringing a hand up to his face, as Duchess scrambled towards him. He realized, seeing the blood on his hands, that he didn't exactly look his best. His ears folded down on his head. He hoped he wasn't in for one of her lectures. Introductions and presentation were a big thing for her and being in his current state, he could only pray she would ignore appearances. Unless, of course, it meant a little first aid. His ever-present grin strained against the sting of open wounds and overworked muscles. "That would be most pleasant.." he mumbled aloud, closing his eyes.

The setting changes from wonderland to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Duchess Sophie

"Oh dearest Cheshire, it's so wonderful to see you again," she exclaimed, hugging the man tight, "I see you've already met my contractor, Belca, she's a lovely girl deep dow..."

She froze, there was something wrong with the cat, looking down she saw blood smeared all over her dress and the stench of decay was all over him.

"Oh no Cheshire, not in my house you don't," she said darkly, "How dare you lead that thing here."

She wanted to slap the cat for doing such a foolish thing but refrained from doing so, it would set a bad example for Belca. Instead she helped the cat to his feet and led him inside, sitting him down by the tea and cakes.

"Although I'm furious at you for endangering my contractor and my son, I can see that you need help and I'm not one to refuse those in need," said the Duchess calmly, "With luck the pepper will keep it away for now."

She wasn't sure if this was true or not but at the very least she hoped that the smell of pepper would distract it long enough for them to get away. Silently her son appeared with a pile of bandages and a bowl of warm water which she used to begin cleaning and binding the cat's many wounds.

"Honestly, how do you get yourself into scrapes like this," she said, trying to cause him as little pain as possible while washing out the cuts, "In any case, you came right on time for dinner, at least we should have some time to discuss what to do."


Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Absolem looked troubled but Grey knew that trying to read the man's mind would be like trying to thread an eyeless needle which was to say, impossible. Still, he didn't like to see Absolem worried. To take his mind off of things he began to sort through his tarot cards again, examining the details of each one. He was in the process of examining the ace of wands when he thought about how useful it would be to have a weapon like the staff depicted on the card. Before he knew it, the card was gone and in his hand was an elegantly detailed staff. Bewildered he looked from Rhia to Absolem and back to the staff.

"Umm...Absolem?" he said uncertainly, "What just happened?"

Was this the ability that Absolem had talked about or was it just the way the cards worked? He remembered back to the place where Absolem had found him, the cards hadn't been wet despite floating around in the water for several minutes. Maybe there was something magical about them.


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

Smiling he opened the door to the cottage, for some reason it always smelt of fresh baking, even if they hadn't made anything for weeks.

"Come on in and make yourself at home," he said heading towards the kitchen, "I'll make us all some hot drinks, do you like tea?"

The walls of the cottage were lined with all sorts of things, artwork, cross stitch, masks, all of which had been made by either him or his brother in an atempt to outdo the other. Sometimes it just seemed like everything was a waste of time, he wondered what he'd be able to accomplish if he wasn't always trying to best his brother, perhaps he'd have made friends with some of the other chains, then again, probably not, he was too fond of tricks for that to happen.


Destra/Tweedle Dum

Leading Moonlight inside he sat down on a sofa and gestured for the girl to take any seat she felt like. He wanted her to be as comfortable as possible before explaining the game further.

"I'm sure you must be really tired and hungry," he said, "We'll do everything to make you comfortable here,"

He considered telling her the story behind the Rattle but wasn't too sure if it was something she really needed to know, perhaps later on. For now it would just be best for the girl to relax and build her strength up. No doubt he would have to tell her exactly what he and Sinistra were capable of when it came to fighting but he wanted to avoid sharing that information for now incase she asked for a demonstration.

"Fate must think it's hillarious to give us an ability that we're too afraid to use," he thought grimly.

The setting changes from down-the-rabbit-hole to Wonderland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Cheshire

He groaned as the woman embraced him, keeping his body as limp as possible. The sudden motion left his head swimming and he would've swatted her if it wasn't for the fact he needed her help. Instead, he glared pass her shoulders, a low growl growing deep in his throat. His narrow eyes found Duchess' contractor and he almost laughed aloud. You poor thing, he thought, musing over the girl being stuck with Duchess. "I hope you have a hard head," he murmured indignantly, meaning from his collision and for her contract.

He was overjoyed when Duchess released him and sheepishly grinned at her scolding. It was rather funny seeing the mixture of emotions at war in her face, though he was relived when she didn't scold him further. He took her offered hand and allowed himself to be ushered inside. He purred softly as he was placed before various treats and instantly melted into the chair. His head was still swimming and the cushion of the seat felt more than welcome. He gazed about the house, unconsciously licking an open gash on his lower arm. Nothing had changed really, this both disappointed and relieved him. Everything still reeked of pepper and the shouts of the cook and his sailing objects were ever noticeable. He was happy to be in a familiar place that still had yet to be corrupted by Jabberwockey, though he wouldn't remain here long.

Mentally, he was cursing himself for getting separated from Absolem and the children. The frustration of not knowing if they were safe or not was overwhelming, but he knew better than to run directly for them. Not with Jabberwockey at his heels. His tail flicked this way and that, revealing the irritation within. He kept quiet, knowing it was better to let Duchess rant, especially since he was testing her already. He was relieved she didn't give him any lectures and he wanted to keep it that way. Though inside the sanctity of her home, couldn't help but be on edge. His ears were pricked up and twitching about, listening attentively to any signs of danger outside. Only when she began cleaning his wounds did he put his full attention on her. He jerked back with a hiss, his ears low and hair bristled, "Ow! Easy woman!"

He couldn't help but complain, her light touch felt like sandpaper on his injuries. He let her continue however, it was something that had to be done. He wasn't against keeping his complaints to himself though and was happy to squirm and growl when she cleaned the worser wounds. He glared pass her, his head and ears lowered, refusing to make eye contact. "It's not like I volunteered," he hissed when she commented on his getting into scrapes. The pain of cleaning and bandaging his wounds was making him grumpy, and he did his best to keep his tongue in check. One thing he knew, you did not piss off your doctor. Though, when his unhappy eyes found Duchess' boy he couldn't bite back the frustration, "You've certainly grown some. Are you on the menu?"

The setting changes from wonderland to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Duchess Sophie

"Dearest Cheshire, you do speak some nonsense," said the Duchess as she finished bandaging up the cat, "As if my boy would make a suitable meal, look at him, he's skin and bone. No indeed, but I trust you'll find the pan fried fish that cook has been preparing to your liking."

She wondered where Belca had disappeared to, perhaps she was still outside practicing with her sword, the Duchess had to admit that she had forgotten about the girl for a few minutes whilst tending to Cheshire's injuries, still, it would be best to have the girl inside, chances were that they would have to leave soon if the pepper didn't work as well as she hoped. At least the pigs and momeraths would give her plenty of warning before the Jabberwocky arrived, they couldn't stand the thing and always rushed away in such a noisy panic as soon as they sensed its approach.

"Belca!" she called out of the window, "Come in here this instant, dinner is almost ready and you still need to wash up, besides, I want to lock all the doors for the night."

Satisfied that she had done her best and that it was all up to the girl now she turned her attention to the cat.

"So why did you come here Cheshire?" said the Duchess seriously, sitting her son in her lap, "Please tell me that you didn't leave your contractor out there all alone, what is the girl's name by the way?"

She figured that she might as well get some answers from the cat before they started comig up with a plan. The cat had endangered everyone around here so the least he could do would be to tell her what he knew.

Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey looked at Rhia, equally as surprised as she was.

"I'm...not entirely sure," he said, gazing at the staff in wonder, "It sure surprised me."

If this was his ability then it would certainly be useful...provided that he could figure out how it worked.

"I am glad, I think we work well together," he said in answer to Rhia's question, "No offence to Cheshire but I don't think we'd get along quite so well, mind you, maybe that's the reason he didn't contract with me in the first place. You two will probably get along really well when you spend more time together, once he comes back to get you, I can feel it."

He meant this, he could just sense some sort of connection between Rhia and Cheshire, even if they weren't aware of it themselves he was sure they'd both discover it soon. He wondered if it was like this with all the contractors. Absolem's talk of food made his stomach rumble, he hadn't realised how hungry he was.

"Food sounds great now that you mention it," said Grey, "I didn't think it was possible for hunger to creep up on you."

Soon after he had entered Absolem's house the staff he had been carrying disappeared and in his hand was the Ace of Wands card again.

"Hm, how odd," he thought hazilly before realising that his strength was draining, "Oh dear, this can't be..."

He never finished his thought. Shadows seemed to rush in from the corners of his eyes as he lost collapsed, losing conciousness. It seemed that his new found ability had a drawback.


Destra/Tweedle Dum

He looked at Moonlight, the girl was full of surprises.

"You like herbal tea too?" he asked, "We have a mountain of different herbal teas, which is your favorite? I like rosehip and hibiscus."

Perhaps getting along with this girl wouldn't be so difficult if she kept on revealing these pleasant surprises.

"Oh I wouldn't say we're artistic nohow," said Destra, eyeing the artwork on the walls, "Rather that we dabble."


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

"Contrarywise, if we were artistic we would be and if we would be we wouldn't dabble," piped up Sinistra from the kitchen.

He frowned to himself, how very odd, the two of them hadn't used that pattern of speech for a long time, the one where they backed up the other's statement rather than contradicted it.

"My favorite is pommegranate and grape," he said, heating the water.

Herbal tea he had to admit was the one thing that he and his brother could always agree on, of course they each had their favorites but both of them enjoyed it so much that they never bothered to fight about it, especially if it was sweetened with honey. It was nice to know that this girl was interested in it too, he found himself thinking that maybe she wouldn't turn out so bad, it wasn't like Moonlight was her real name, perhaps it was Sol or Sunny? He would have loved to find out right then but there was no way to rush that sort of thing.

The setting changes from down-the-rabbit-hole to Wonderland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Cheshire

Once he realized Duchess had finished he faded off the chair and reappeared standing a few feet away. He twisted and flexed cautiously, testing the dexterity of the bandages. Impressed by her handiwork, his face breaks out in a wide grin. "My thanks, Duchess." Indeed, the injuries left him sore and inflexible, but the weariness was gradually fading. He no longer felt unconsciousness threatening to take over, just the annoying weariness of sleep, and that was easily pushed aside. He could sleep later; now that he had time to catch his second wind he was ready to find the others. However, the smell of fried fish made him pause. He narrowed his eyes at the Duchess. You evil temptress. he thought, then cast his grumbling stomach a matching glare. After a pause, he sighs and surrenders back into the cushioned chair. Perhaps, I can wait after dinner..

He watches as she places her son upon her lap and chuckles to himself. Did I really worry her about eating her little 'boy'? His grin shrinks somewhat when Duchess brings up his contractor. His ear decor chime softly as his ears fold onto his head. Just when I was beginning to perk up, she had to ruin it with such questions. "Honestly, I happened to be in the neighborhood. I figured this was just as good a place as any to..gather myself." The fact that he had taken such a beating infuriated him. His claws dug into the arms of the chair, just thinking of how things went down with that Beast. He was completely unprepared and couldn't help but think the Queen had something to do with it. Was it truly coincidence that she managed to kidnap other-worldly children whilst Jabberwockey miraculously made his escape? The thought was preposterous. Surely, she understood Jabberwockey's power. Why else would she have allowed it to be sealed before?

A low growl reverberated within his chest. One thing he was sure about, he would kill Jabberwockey. What it did and was doing now was unforgivable. He glared his annoyance upon Duchess, "Not that it's your business, but her name is Rhia, and for now she is in capable hands." He hoped his words were true. He refused to think that Jabberwockey had found the trio and was currently toying with their infected bodies. He sank into the chair, his appetite gone. Every moment he spent away, not knowing the condition of the others left him growing more and more irritable. He hopped from his seat and stood awkwardly before the Duchess and her son. His wide grin was tight as he winced through the pain of sudden movement.

He didn't know why he detested being here so much. Perhaps it was just the way she pampered everyone about her, attempting to make things as comfortable and easy as possible. He wasn't made for such luxuries and even though he couldn't fathom her domesticated style he couldn't help but be grateful. He bowed slowly, his body jerking slightly as he moved against the bandaged wounds. "Thanks again for the help, Duchess. If you will, warn the others of Jabberwockey's escape. I have left my contractor for too long." He stood and locked his mischievous eyes on her boy, "Keep growing as you are and you will definitely make a fine meal one day." He chuckled at the dark truthfulness of statement and disappeared through the door. He looked about for the girl he ran into. He wanted to ask her some questions, study her more, however the need to find Rhia and the others kept him moving. He shrugged and stared at the forest before him. He'd give his body time to rest and heal before he transformed again, but he didn't mind. There were other ways cats had when it came to traveling.

The setting changes from wonderland to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts] Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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#, as written by Bani

Belca ... ? That sounds about right ....


Belca stared confusedly as the Duchess suddenly ran away, leaving her on the ground alone.

Ah well.

What was it the Duchess said? Cheshire? How had she known someone was coming?

Lifting herself off the ground, she had just began dusting her clothes, when something - or rather someone - barrelled into her.
"Why you- " her voice died in her throat as she caught the stench coming from whoever it was. And then she saw the blood streaks all over his body.

Involuntarily taking a step back, she watched the exchange between the Duchess and this new person - Cheshire, apparently - slightly shaken up. She didn't mind the blood, in fact it was a beautiful colour, but this stink ....

She let them go inside, choosing to fall behind to scan the horizon. Yes, the faint, faint smell of decay had grown stronger, if only slightly. Did that mean Jabberwocky was close?

According to the Duchess, pepper put it off? That sounded silly even in her own thoughts, but the Duchess had seemed quite confident about it.

Hearing her name being called, she quickly walked in, not wanting to stay outside alone any longer than absolutely necessary. The smell itself seemed to sap away her strength and courage. She might be stubborn and arrogant and whatnot, but Belca was no fool.




❤ The Queen of Hearts ❤



"Your Majesty."

Alde opened one eye lazily, smiling her sweetest smile that promised death and blood to the person who had dared disturb her after she expressly instructed everyone not to.

Kuro flinched a little.
"Your Majesty, Jabberwocky's broken free of the Lower Level."

"And?" She asked in a bored voice, relishing the way Kuro's eyes widened.

"He's - "
"We fail to see why that should bother you, unless you want to take Its place in the Lower Prisons? Is that it, Kuro? Is that why you dare to disturb us, defying our orders to leave us alone?" Alde's sweet voice was like a whip lash now. Kuro immediately turned tail, only to be stopped.

"Seal the Palace of Hearts. See that no one outside can come in. Not even the Chains. If someone needs to contact us, we will meet them Ourself. Don't let anyone enter the Palace."

As interesting as Jabberwocky was, and was going to make things, she couldn't afford to put the Palace at risk.

Flopping down more like a petulant child than a Queen, she closed her eyes and glared at the image that was always on her mind, no matter what time it was. The only difference right now was that the image smirked back. Good, that meant she would get her answers.

Did you know this would happen?

Why do you think I would? You are the one who calls the shots here. Alde replied grumpily, sulking a little.
You are always doing things without telling me. If you keep on doing things like this, I won't play anymore. Were you the one who helped Jabberwocky get free?

The other smiled innocently, mirroring her own smile.

What makes you think that, Alde? Jabberwocky dosn't need my help. You're underestimating Jabberwocky if you think it needed me to get itself free.

She gritted her teeth.

This conversation isn't finished, Alice.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Destra/Tweedle Dum

Destra swallowed nervously as Moonlight brought up the Rattle. Looked over at his brother for help but Sinistra had busied himself in the kitchen and clearly didn't intend to chime in any time soon. This situation was his fault, if he'd kept his mouth shut when they'd first met Moonlight then she wouldn't even know about the Rattle.

"Well, I guess I was expecting this," he said slowly, looking Moonlight in the eye, "But it's not an easy thing to talk about."

He remained silent for a few moments as Sinistra brought over a tray of pastries and cake along with a pot of green tea with mint.

"You see, a long time ago, we knew this girl," said Destra, remembering back to when they'd all spent time together, "She wasn't just any girl, she was our older sister, her name was R-R-R-Raven."

He cursed himself for stuttering but his pear of birds was so great that he could barely speak the names of them, even Sinistra had flinched a little.

"We used to spend so much time together and before we started dressing differently, she was the only one that could tell us apart," he continued, "We loved her and she loved us but then one day the was...an incident."

Here was the hard part, neither he nor his brother had spoken about what had happened since.

"As I told you before, we dabble," said Destra, trying to keep calm, "This means anything from artwork and sewing to cooking and...matters of the occult. When we were little we'd try to do anything we could to impress our sister and outdo each other. One day we found a book that had a spell in it, we weren't entirely sure what it would do but it seemed like a big thing to accomplish so we wanted to do it in front of our sister."

He was nearly in tears now, it was so painful to think about.

"Part way through Sinistra and I got into an argument and our sister stepped in to stop us but I was so angry that I threw the bowl of ingrediants we had been using for the spell at her," said Destra, his voice shaking, "There was a big explosion and a ton of smoke, when it cleared, she was gone. We didn't even think the spell would really work but whatever it was, our sister wasn't there anymore. We rushed outside to see if she had gone out there to try and trick us as a lesson for being so mean to each other but we couldn't find her anywhere, we just got chased by a montrous crow and its been following us ever since."

He hoped that Moonlight would never have to see the crow, it was such a horrible sight.

"It's all my fault," he said, tears streaming down his face, "I should have never let myself get so angry."


Duchess Sophie

The Duchess watched as Cheshire wandered off.

"That cat could never stay in one place for too long," said the Duchess to her son, "It's a pity, he was nice to have about the house."

So he had left his contractor in capable hands? Well that had to mean Absolem. Who else would the cat trust? He didn't like Rabbit and the twins were often too busy arguing amongst themselves to think of anyone else. The point was that the girl was safe and Cheshire had escaped intact, she knew that she would have to eliminate them at some point in the game but right now all she cared about was everyones safety considering what was prowling around Wonderland at this moment. Silently she beckoned to a momerath and tied a note with a warning about the Jabberwocky around it's neck.

"Take this to all the chains," she said, waving it off, "Make sure they all read it."

She would have watched the green pig wnder off if Belca hadn't chosen that moment to enter the house.

"Ah, there you are, I was wondering what became of you," she said cheerily, there was no need to alert the girl to how close danger lurked just yet, "It would appear that dinner is ready, I hope you like fish."

Smiling she led the girl to the dining room, and then seated herself, prepared to eat.

"Belca, before we begin, I just want to warn you that we may have to leave at a moments notice," she said, trying to sound casual, "Can I trust you to be ready?"


Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey woke to the smell of soup cooking, he felt so out of it, like he was still half asleep. He wanted to see what was going on so he sat up only to have his head start throbbing and his vision swim.

"Ok, definitely not a good idea," he thought, bringing his hands to his face, "Too late now, I'll just have too deal with it."

Still, he figured it would be a good idea if he didn't try to stand just yet. The last thing he remembered was walking into Absolem's house and the staff disappearing.

"What happened?" he asked of nobody in particular, "Did I collapse or something? How embarassing."

He was sure that his cheeks would have been burning red if he didn't feel like he was going to fall asleep again at any moment. Everything seemed so hazy, the couch he was on felt as if it was going to melt away. Now there was a thought, how had he wound up on a couch.

"I bet it was Absolem," murmered Grey, "He'd protect me, I'm so glad it would be him, I like Absolem."

He was sure that he was half asleep now because that definitely didn't feel like the sort of thing he would normally say out loud. He could feel the heat rising to his cheeks as he grew more and more awake, despite his reluctance. He really hoped that Absolem and Rhia wouldn't tease him. He didn't know if he could cope with any more embarassment.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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#, as written by Bani

Belca ... ? That sounds about right ....


Belca stepped in in time to see a yellow - what was the name again? - mammoth? Ah, whatever - wander off, with something thaat seemed suspiciously like a note tied to its neck.

She gave the Duchess a contemplative look, trying to judge if she was going to be upset if Belca broached the subject foremost on her mind or not. Deciding to risk it since the other seemed composed, she spoke.

"Its the Jabberwocky, isn't it? Can't your Queen do something about it? Isn't it, like, her duty to protect you all?" she said indignantly.

'Fish... eek. I don't like fish at all. But I suppose.'

Belca sighed, sulking a little. This was an emergency situation, and something within her seemed to respond readily. This wan't the time for personal preferences.

"Fish works." she said, before tapping her right foot once. "Hey, could it be? Your Queen has no control over this Jabberwocky either?" Her eyes narrowed. "What kind of a Queen can't protect her own subjects anyway? She must be a particularly shitty one."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Isaiah "Grey" Gris

"I'm not actually sure why we're close to tell the truth," said Grey so only Rhia cold hear, taking a seat and a bowl of soup, "I think maybe it's just the fact that I trust him.

He decided to let the soup cool for a little bit while he undid his ponytail, he was begining to get a headache from it. He almost regretted the decision as all his hair fell about his face, sighing, he flipped his hair back to one side, feeling like a woman in a shampoo advertisement and took a sip of the soup.

"This is delicious!" he said, smiling at Absolem.

Food seemed to be just the thing his stomach needed, he could feel his energy returning bit by bit. He didn't say anything else for a while and just concentrated on the soup. Soon enough it was all gone, now for the next problem. Rhia had been right, Absolem was looking a bit worse for wear and definitely needed to rest but Grey knew that if he asked the man to go and take a nap or something like that then he would just put on a brave face and refuse saying that Grey and Rhia were more important than rest.

"Right," thought Grey, "I'll just have to be firm with him."

Silently he walked over to Absolem and grabbed his hand and tried to pull him up.

"Come with me," he said before dragging the man over to the couch.

Absolem was bigger than him so it took a little effort but he was determined. Once there he pushed the man onto the couch and made him lie down.

"Now stay there and go to sleep," said Grey, firmly, "Don't make me sit on you because I will if you try to get up."

Of course, Absolem probably wouldn't have any trouble pushing him off again but he hoped that he'd made his point clear. To tell the truth, he hoped that Absolem had taken him seriously at all, Grey knew that he wasn't that great at the dominating assertive thing and the fact that he looked like a girl when his hair was down probably didn't help but he was determined to make Absolem rest, not just because of the prospect of what might happen if something bad came along but also because he cared about Absolem.

"Don't think I won't do it," he warned again.

Satisfied he turned to Rhia and nodded decisively.


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

Sinistra shuddered, his mind stuck on the crow. It had been bad enough just hearing the story again but for Destra to actually have to tell it, he found that his respect for his brother had gone up a little, if only a little.

"R-Raven used to wear a chain around her wrist so we used to call her Rattle," said Sinistra, gloomily taking a sip of his tea, "All of the chains seemed to think it was a joke, it was like our sister had never existed. They made up a rhyme about it but it didn't really explain anything."

Moodily he began to pick at a pastry. His brother had taken the blame but he knew that it wasn't the truth, in reality he was just as guilty for causing the incident as his brother was, he supposed that this just showed that deep down, Destra still cared for him and was trying to protect him, to cover for him like he used to.


Duchess Sophie

The Duchess nearly burst out laughing when Belca suggested the idea of the Queen protecting the chains of Wonderland.

"The Queen rules over us but I don't believe that she would concern herself with protecting us," said the Duchess, "Besides, as powerful as she is, there is only one thing that can put that horrid disease in its place and that is the vorpal blade."

She raised an eyebrow as the girl claimed that fish would work fine. Belca was clearly lying through her teeth.

"My dear girl, you're as transparent as a window, if you don't like fish then say so," said the Duchess in what she hoped was a kindly tone, "I can easily change it into something else for you but I'm afraid you'd have to eat it quickly."

Really, the girl was a wonder sometimes, was it simply because she was stubborn?

"And to answer your question," continued the Duchess, taking a seat, "Yes, it is the Jabberwocky but we shall have penty of time to get away if it decides to pay a visit.There's probably no point in telling you of all people this but if we do encounter it then keep a strong head about you unless you want to become its plaything."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ariana Storm Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Queen of Spades [Millace Fiore Liddell]
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#, as written by Bani

Belca ... ? That sounds about right ....


Belca frowned, clearly the Queen wasn't a very good one. In fact, she sounded downright tyrannical, what with this game and ...

Something just occurred to her.

"She's a dictator, isn't she?"
There was just something in the way the Duchess had laughed when she suggested the Queen should protect Wonderland. The way she had dismissed the idea as an absurd one.

"Did you people even take part in this stupid... whatever this - " she indicated her own self and the Duchess in a swiping gesture - " - thing is willingly? Or did she force you into going along with her? And if so, then why?"

She sulked when the Duchess said she was transparent.
"Fish is fine." scowling, she marched to the table and began picking at the food. She didn't want to be treated like a spoilt little kid. Besides, she wasn't really hungry after all those tea cakes., and said so.

"So you mean there's no way to defeat the Jabberwocky except with ... the ..." she scrunched up her face, trying to remember what the Duchess had said. "Vor... pal Blade? How do you get that? And why hasn't someone used it yet?" Letting out a snort, she nodded. "Yeah, like you said, you don't need to tell me to keep a strong head."
Fidgeting a little, she added, "But th- I appreciate it all the same."



♠ The 'Queen' of Spades ♠


Millace was lying peacefully under a random cherry blossom tree in his garden - all the trees were in full bloom, even though it really wasn't their season to be so in, that was one thing he appreciated about Wonderland - and practically the only thing he did - except for the whole immortality thing. That was an added perk, especially since Alde couldn't touch him here, in his own turf.

Pink petals rained down on him, and he drowsily opened one eye, wondering what the tree was trying to tell him, before finally realising and sitting up, startled.

Why is someone here?
Frowning, he got up, not bothering to dust himself. Petals of cherry blossom clung to his flowing robes, but he didn't care.
Well, to say he didn't care would be wrong. He liked it this way.

Strolling around the garden, trying to locate the intruder - it would have been much simpler if he had just asked a tree, but he had already confirmed that the newcomer wasn't one of Alde's men - and he had absolutely nothing else to do - not that he was complaining, he preferred it that way. Milling about without any worries...... - he came across a girl lying under a tree. In his favourite patch, nonetheless.

Intrigued and somewhat annoyed by the strange presence, he walked closer, noticing she seemed to be an Outworlder. Probably here dut to Alde and her twisted games.

Alde had informed him of her 'game'. It was a sick little game, if he might say so. But he would be the first to admit that it seemed interesting, since he couldn't figure out her motive, what she hoped to achieve with this one. It was far less twisted than her previous ones, and while it was just like her to make the Chains fight each other without any reason just for her own entertainment, he would have put it beneath her to involve Outworlders in it. Besides, teleporting Outworlders took up a hell of a lot of energy, and Alde wasn't stupid enough to waste hers without any reason.

He wasn't participating, of course. As rulers, it was required of Alde to issue him a formal invitation to whatever events she held, and that was why he had been informed. Even though he was below Alde in rank, ruling over a small portion of Wonderland - the part known as ChessWorld, in fact, a portion which contained only two Chains - he was still a ruler.

"Hello." he gently called out to the girl. He didn't take kindly to people trespassing in his world, but the girl might provide him with some information.
"Who are you? What are you doing here?"
But that didn't mean he would be polite to her, did it now? Especially seeing as how she was intruding on his favourite space.




Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Destra/Tweedle Dum

He was shocked. Moonlight seemed genuinely upset about what had happened in the past and seemed like she wanted to help. The way she was acting really reminded him of Raven but there were subtle differences, still, it was nice to have someone that was almost like his sister back in the house.

"It's ok," said Destra, "You couldn't have known and now that you do it just makes us all the more closer."

He reached for a piece of maple cake, the idea had come to him in a dream long ago and now it was one of his favorite recipes. He wondered if something like this existed in Moonlight's world, no doubt he would find out when he one this game, perhaps he and Sinistra could run a bakery...if they didn't fight too often, Moonlight could help too, it'd be like the family was whole again.


Duchess Sophie

"A dictator?" said the Duchess, "I suppose you could say that, just like how you could say we were given a choice to join the game...of course, the other option wasn't really desirable either."

Picking at her meal she thought back to how the Queen had invited them all to play, Alde hadn't said anything out loud but then again, she never needed to. Everyone knew what became of those that refused any kind of invitation from the Queen.

"The Queen isn't really the type of person you can say no to," concluded the Duchess, "Lets just say, I'd rather risk playing this game than face the consequences."

The Duchess smiled to herself as Belca began to eat the fish, reverse psycology worked every time.

"Well you can fight the Jabberwocky off if you're strong enough," said the Duchess as Belca brought up the horrid creature again, "But the only real hope anyone has against it is the Vorpal Blade and lets just say you'd have to find the thing before you could use it...if you could use it."

It was clear that Alde had no intention of doing anything about the Jabberwocky so it was left to the other chains to take care of it. Would she be able to use the Vorpal Blade if it fell to her? She wasn't sure.


Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey squeaked as Absolem pulled him down onto the couch and trapped him in a hug. He hadn't been expecting it. He began to squirm and struggle, kicking his legs feebly as he tried to get away but even exhausted, Absolem was too strong. He froze as the man began to nuzzle his neck, it tickled and soon made him squirm even more. What was Absolem thinking, doing this infront of Rhia. Grey was glad that his hair was flying all around his face, hopefully it would hide the bright red blush that was creeping across his face. He cursed the fact that he was so ticklish as Absolem sighed, the man's breath teasing against his skin was just to much for him to handle, with a final spasm from the tickling sensation he grew limp. It was obvious that he wasn't going to be able to overpower the man. Pleadingly he looked at Rhia for help but she seemed to be just as embarassed as he was.

"You'll do what!" exclaimed Grey, his eyes growing wide as Absolem brought up punishing him.

What on earth could the man mean? Surely this embarassing display was punishing but then again, Absolem probably had something more creative in mind.

"Hurry up Cheshire," he thought, hoping that the cat would make an appearence soon and rescue him.

It occured to him that maybe he could turn this against Absolem and embarass the man right back but decided against it. Absolem didn't seem like the type that could easilly be embarassed and it might prompt the man to initiate whatever the punnishment was, still, he'd be forced to do something if Absolem continued in this way.

"All I wanted was for you to rest," he sighed, as he reluctantly submitted to the man, accepting defeat.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

Sinistra was in a bad mood, the discussion had brought up bad memories but that wasn't the problem. He was begining to have warm and fuzzy feelings towards his brother and that was most definitely not allowed. He still wanted to destroy his brother...or did he? For so long he had blamed his brother or what had happened with the Rattle it had been the source of his enemity towards Destra but to find out that he also blamed himself when he clearly wasn't the only one at fault, it sort of made all reasons to hate him void. Still, Sinista was stubborn and wasn't going to give up the grudge he'd carried for so long so easily. In the meantime, surely they could be doing something a bit more usefull than sitting around eating tea and cakes.

"Why don't we all go out into the garden?" said Sinistra, "If we're all going to work together in this game then we need to know what everyone is capable of."

Without waiting for an answer he lead the way out into the garden and over to a training dummy that he and Destra used for target practice, this would be perfect for seeing what Moonlight was capable of.


Duchess Sophie

The Duchess looked at Belca, it was clear what the girl was thinking, at least you couldn't fault her bravery.

"I know what you're thinking Belca but trust me, if we ever encounter the Jabberwocky, run in the opposite direction," said the Duchess, "You saw how badly hurt Cheshire was, that was because the stupid cat tried to be brave a fight the Jabberwocky. Cheshire was lucky to get away."

She'd never admit this to anyone, especially not Belca but the Jabberwocky terrified her. The way it spread, corrupting everything, it was like a nightmare come to life. She wasn't sure what she'd do if the Jabberwocky decided to pay a visit, if her ability didn't have such a limited range then that would change things.

"Anyway, I've had enough of talking about the dreaded thing," she said, "If it comes, we run, simple as that, now tell me, do you know what kind of sword that is?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

Smiling at Moonlight he pointed to the training dummy.

"All you have to do is just hit it in any way you can," he explained, "It'll show me and Destra what you're capable of, I'll go first so you can see how it's done."

Slowly he walked a few meters away from the dummy, bouncing a few stones in his hand. He stood with his back to the dummy and then suddenly spun around and launched the stones in quick sucession from his caterpault. As he had expected they all hit the dummy right in the center of the head, one after the other.

"See, just show us your moves," said Sinistra.


Destra/Tweedle Dum

"We also have abilities," said Destra, "You should develop some of your own soon too."

Looking over at Sinistra he nodded, Moonlight should probably see what their ability was. Forcing himself to calm down he began to focus. Silently he raised his hand towards the training dummy with his eyes closed. He was perfectly still for countless seconds. Suddenly his eyes snapped open, glowing silver as a murder of silver crows exploded from his hand and began to swarm the dummy, tearing at it mercilessly.

With a shudder he dropped to the ground and the birds dissappeared. Wrapping his arms around himself he began to shake violently, there had been more birds than he had expected. He wished that he could get over his crippling fear of birds, it wasn't any comfort that Sinistra suffered the same. He turned to gaze thoughtfully at one of the many birdhouses that adorned the cottage, if only he could go back to a time where he still liked birds and the Rattle was still here.


Duchess Sophie

"You're absolutely correct, that is a katana, an excellent sword, especiallly for your style I'd say," said the Duchess, "Although I'm more fond of using a wakizashi and tanto in combination, I'd suggest a dai katana but that may be too heavy and those are really just a bit much."

She sat there smiling for a moment, lost in thoughts of weaponry and martial arts. She couldn't remember why she knew so much about them but they certainly came in useful for her stories. With a start she remembered the contract.

"Oh yes, the contract," said the Duchess absentmindedly, "Well technically we're already contracted, don't you feel the bond? Still, it wouldn't hurt to do something official just to be safe, maybe it'll awaken your abilities."

With an extravagant wave of her hand a thick gothic volume appeared on the table before her with a quill and a pot of blood red ink. She had always love a touch of drama.

"Well now, all you have to do is sign your name and everything will be splendid," she said to Belca cheerfully.


Isaiah "Grey" Gris

He was just about asleep, he could sense a dream just within reach, all he had to do was wait a little longer and then...his eyes shot open, Absolem's remark had cut through the sleepy haze and forced him awake again.

"I wasn't being serious," he mumbled, shifting around a little, "Besides, I think braids would suit me better, I have the hair for it."

Satisfied he settled down again. This time sleep was faster in taking over and before he knew it he was somewhere inside the realm of his dreams.

The broken chess board sky raged around him, a furious tempest ravaging the wasteland so it became even more desolute, his tarot cards lay at his feet crumpled and tattered, drifting surprisingly gently in the violent breeze which whipped the branches of the tree he stood under around like a crazed puppet master. All around him lay bodies, some he recognised and some he didn't. Was that a hint of mint green he saw? What had happened here? In the distance he saw what could only be described as a seaside town but it didn't look right, it seemed to be sinking unevenly into what would have once been the sea but was now just a dusty crater. Why was everyone around him dead? Even Absolem, the man who had promised to protect him. Tears filled his eyes as he sank to the ground, a horrible noise forced it's way through the storm as a huge dark shape began to race towards him. The wind picked up, threatening to lift him into the air, desprerately he grabbed onto the tree, crying out in fear. He was terrified, he was sure that the noise belonged to the Jabberwocky, any moment now he'd either be killed by it or carried away by the storm. He felt so hopeless as he clung to the tree. He was shaking...

Through the haze of the dream he realised that the tree he was clinging to was warm and softer than it should be but he couldn't understand why, it just made him cling on harder as he shook violently.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ariana Storm Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Queen of Spades [Millace Fiore Liddell]
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#, as written by Bani
Belca ... ? That sounds about right ....


A smile spread on her face as she heard the Duchess list off so many weapons, completely at ease. She wondered why the other knew of such things, but why should she care? Talking about steel and blood made her feel much more at home than her - sh couldn't help thinking of the word 'foreign' - kindness and sensitivity.

"I have tried tantos and dai katanas, not wakazashi though, but I feel the most comfortable with this." she raised her slim katana. "Its not too heavy, its simple and clean."

Apparently even though she had forgotten her past, it had a way of catching up with her through unexpected interactions. Not that she was complaining but ... something told her she was just fine without any memories of her own.

Belca was startled at the sudden 'whoosh' and even more so at what appeared, staring at the thick volume pointedly. Anyone could tell the Duchess liked her drama, but really? Really?

Being a sensible girl herself, she found it rather unnecessary and overdone.

A wave of bitterness washed over her, gone as soon and abruptly as it had appeared.
You wouldn't have found time to be so extravagant if you had grown up in the real world.

Narrowing her eyes, Belca reached for the pen.

"I really should read the fine print, but it's not like I have a choice, right? Why delude myself?" she shrugged, speaking aloud mostly to her own self. For some reason the words sounded useless and fake to her own ears.

Trusting someone this easily, you really are a fool.

'Go away.' she sulkily told the voice in her head. It wasn't like she was trusting the Duchess or anything. WHat she had said was true, even if it rang false right now. She had no other choice than to sign or go wandering off all on her own in an unknown land - which would have been pretty fun if something like the Jabberwocky hadn't been running around.


♠ The 'Queen' of Spades ♠


Fiore nodded, looking a little absent minded as he stared at the rose bushes surrounding them but actually paying attention to the girl, smiling a little at her comment about long hair and unnatural eye colour - was this a contributing factor in the girl's readiness to form a Contract with him? - before he heard the surprise in her voice and looked sharply at her.

"I take it the last two sentences mean you just remembered a part of your memory?" he offered casually. To keep things smooth and casual was the best way to make the mind lower its guards. If their conversation was flowing naturally, bits and pieces of her past might come back to her - just like this one obviously had.

Thinking back, something else piqued his interest.

"An I-pod, you say? Would you mind telling me what exactly this I-Pod is, and what it does?"

From her words, it must have something to do with songs and though he liked silence the best, he was also somewhat fond of music. He couldn't remember such a device when he 'split', so to speak, from Reality. Even though he had the power to visit his real world at any time - just like his sister, Alice - he preferred to stay in his own little world - or to be more precise, his own little garden. It was comforting and familiar and it was everything he could ever want.


The setting changes from down-the-rabbit-hole to Wonderland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dormouse Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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#, as written by Grahf
Siege

Doormouse launched her strike- From the woods would come a hiss...then a rapid 'pop'ing- as hundreds of objects sail into the air...and down in an arc onto Duchess' home. Where they impacted the wood would crack, and splinter as the balls of black goo had been pressurized by the Spiderpots. The balls would then melt back into gel, and seek entry. There were those that missed, impacting in the surrounding yard- taking out pigs and lawn decoration in the process. The Spiderpots pause the strike, reloading. In the pause Doormouse calls from the thick woods-

"Duchess, it's time to come out and give up. If you do, no harm will come to you or those within- we only want to M̨̋̈́͊ͯ̑̀̍ͧ̏҉̵̹̙̖̳̘̠̲A̭͎̼̱̰͇͓͔̾ͦͩ̔̒͑ͧͦ̚͜K̝̜͈̜̑̄ͧͬ͢͝E̖̥͕̦̪͎̘͓̱͐͂͘ ̶̱̰̜̄̍Ư̸̤̱̗̭̬̼̑ͭ̿ͨͫͧͤS̪̩̲̝ͧ̈̀ ̩̼̩̼̗͕͙͈̂ͩẆ̡̻̠͐̃͊̆͛͌͂͡Ḣͫ҉̻͚̜̩̤̲Ȯ̶̻̳͔͚͔͖͖̜͙ͥ̀͞L̨̜̳͑̓̒͟Eͪ̊͊̅͂ͦ͏̴̛̣̹͕̖̞̺̳̘!" the voice ends with splitting laughter, the sound cracking into multiple voices. Jabberwocky was having fun.

The next salvo comes just as the first- slamming into the home, cracking and splintering the roof. The goo-balls would drip their way into the building quickly, or the roof would simply give out. Either way, should Duchess and her girl remain inside they were doomed.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Doormouse sneezed, due to her hyper sensitive senses she could not come any closer to the house- the pepper was too much. She was using the eyes of several mutated squirrels- perched on branches facing the besieged home. Through them she watched the rain of balls, and recalculated the aim for the Spiderpots. The weapons were Hatter's design- meant to fire tea into part guest's mouths as they made their way TO the party "So no one has to wait to be served."

She sighed, thinking of Hatter; alone with March...that loon. She hated March so much, thinking that the Hare was trying to make the moves on Hatter- of whom Doormouse was in love. The simple fact that Jabberwocky had paired the two of them up, while sending her to this terribly peppery place was just wrong. But the voice in her head sent such thoughts away- instead filling her with the idea that it was DUCHESS who wanted Hatter...that she had him locked in that house of hers right now!

"You let my man go now!" she screamed, signaling the next wave of the attack- the bears.

Monstrous in size, the bears had been mutating since Jabberwocky first took them- changing them into thick hided monsters of fury. The massive beasts were further aided by a Spiderpot clinging to each one's back- creating an organic tank. The fur was gone, as was the skin, replaced by a thick layer of chitin; like that of a bug. Massive claws stab out from the paws, while elongated jaws are tightly packed by several rows of teeth- all sharp and twisted.

Twenty of them ran from the forest...towards the home, while a third strike came overhead from the Spiderpots left in reserve.

But was Duchess even home?

The setting changes from wonderland to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Dormouse Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey looked at Absolem and Cheshire, blinking calmly. They were both angry or upset with him but he was sure that it was just because they were stressed out.

"I know it's a possibility," he said, "That's why it was so scary. The reason I freaked out is because you were all dead and I obviously hadn't been able to help any of you. Being unable to help has always been my worst nightmare."

The last few words brought a frown to his face. Was that true? He didn't remember for sure but he was positive that this was true.

"You're probably right," sighed Grey as Absolem taunted him about his weight, "I guess I'm too puny to subdue you."

Absolem seemed to be acting a little colder than before but at least he had taken the bait and was making witty remarks again and he had said that he'd rest too so that was good, that had been the point all along.

"I don't think Rhia or Cheshire are going anywhere," said Grey when Absolem brought up bedrooms, "The couches are really comfortable so I'm quite happy to have a girly sleep over."

Rubbing his eyes he grabbed a cushion and curled up around it, staring at Absolem. He didn't have any intention of going to sleep untill he saw Absolem lie down and rest first.


Destra/Tweedle Dum

"Um...trouble," said Destra when Moonlight asked about the note, "Big trouble."

Perhaps the best thing to do would be to go see the Duchess and find out how much she knew, at the very least it would give Moonlight someone to meet and he was sure that the Duchess would love a visitor.

"Lets go for a walk, you can meet our...friend," he said with an uncertain glance towards Sinistra, "The Duchess, I bet she'd love to meet you."

Signalling to follow him he set off for the Duchess's house.


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

Taking Moonlight's hand he began to follow his brother. Having to find out about the Jabberwocky in a note from the Duchess was disturbing, how had they not been able to sense that something that dangerous was once again free. The simple fact was, as usually both he and his brother had been too wrapped up in their quarrel to notice much of anything, it was amazing that he still noticed Moonlight was there.

"You'll have to remember to be very polite when around the Duchess," he said to Moonlight, "But I'm sure that won't be a problem for you. I warn you now, the Duchess is very..."

His voice cut off as the drew within sight of the Duchess's home. The were splinters and black goo everywhere, lying around the yard were the bodies of seceral pigs and momeraths.

"Oh no," he whispered fearfully as a new volley of black blobs were launched at the house, "It's here."

He could only hope that the Duchess had gotten away.


Duchess Sophie

She smiled at Belca as the girl signed the book before it vanished with a bell like sound.

"Thank you very much Belca," she said, "I promise you can rely on me."

The next moment she was running to the window as a group of pigs and momeraths rushed inside squealing. There could only be one reason for it. Danger. She sighed as the first volley struck. As was to be expected it was the jabberwocky...or it's minions anyway.

"I beg your pardon?" questioned the Duchess as a voice requested she let their man go, "Oh dear, with that voice it could only be Dormouse. What has that disgusting disease done to you?"

On the outside she appeared calm but inside she was falling apart. She knew what she had to do in order to escape but she didn't want to, the thought was just too sad to even properly think through. Gazing out the window pensively she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was the Cook, his eyes full of sorrow.

"I can't ask you to do that," she said, taking hold of his hand, "I don't want to do it."

The Cook said nothing, he just continued to stare at her with his sorrow filled gaze. She knew that he wasn't going to back down. Reluctantly she knelt on the ground and gathered all the pigs and momeraths around her in a tight circle where she closed her eyes and began to focus. A glow surrounded the group and when it faded she was surrounded by a group of boys and girls with green or pink hair, each was armed with a weapon of some sort.

"You all know what you have to do," she said, looking at the Cook, "I'm sorry that it has to be this way. Give it your all."

Silently nodding, the boys and girls rushed out the front door towards the infected army.

"Come with me Belca," she said, grabbing the girl's hand and dragging her son along, "We have to leave."

As she left she turned to look at the Cook one last time, he was setting the house on fire. It wouldn't do to let the Jabberwocky ransack the place. With a weak smile she hurried out the conservatory door, heading for one of the forest covered hills that surrounded her home. Soon she saw the red hair of the twins, they were standing on the hill with someone else. She didn't greet the twins as she walked up to them, instead turning to look at the scene before her silently with tears cascading from her eyes. Her home was burning, all the stories she had spent so long writing were going up in flames, the pigs and momeraths she had raised and nursed back to health were probably all going to die but at least they wouldn't get tainted like the Cook would, as soon as they were killed or her projection wore off then they would fade away, it was just the way things had always been. She watched them as they fought fiercely to give her enough time to run away. As the Cook ran into the fray shouting pepper she turned away with an audible cry and began to run, trying to put as much distance between herself and her burning home as possible.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ariana Storm Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Queen of Spades [Millace Fiore Liddell]
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♠ The 'Queen' of Spades ♠


He hid a smile. Typical youth ... always with the rebelling, non-conformity ... but wasn't non conformity a way of conforming, and rebellion a mere way to fit in too, just like not believing in anything was a kind of belief in itself? However, he let it be. It wasn't really any of his business what the girl did, as long as she served her purpose to him. The rest was her own choice, and he wouldn't interfere as long as it wasn't causing him any inconvenience.

"Yes, that's where you are. How and why you found your way here and were actually allowed in are things we shall leave for further contemplation in the future." Although he had a strong suspicion his sister had something to do with it he didn't voice it. No one knew Alice was his sister - or rather, no one in Wonderland knew there was an Alice at all, save Jabberwocky, but that .... thing was completely another matter.

Dismissing thoughts of the dark, tainting beast, he smiled at her over the rim of his teacup, having finished his tea and seeing she had, too.
"Would you like to follow me to my home? Its not grand like the other Chains' homes or anything, just a little cottage ...."
He looked at her, waiting for an answer, a little smile playing on his lips at the thought of his haven without him being aware of it.



Belca ... ? That sounds about right ....

Belca let out a strangled little cry that died in the back of her throat when she saw the ... the ... really, she had no idea how to put the sight that greeted her eyes when she went to the window on hearing the ... voice.

At first there was the stench, slowly growing over-powering as seconds ticked by, then there was a squealing ruckus as all the pigs and momeraths ran inside, and then there was a voice that was just wrong.

And then there was this sight.

Belca could say with some pride that while she might not be the bravest person in the world, she would definitely count as being braver than normal. However, this horror that presented itself in front of her eyes....

She was broken from her stupor by the Duchess pulling on her arms. She could see the Duchess cry as they ran out, dooming the others and leaving a burning house behind them. If it were under other circumstances, she would have berated the Duchess for sending them to their deaths, but somehow, after seeing that, she just understood.

"Don't cry." she muttered, for once embarrassed at herself and her lack of feminine comforting words, "It would be even worse if you fell in their hands. I mean, you are obviously powerful enough to be a damaging tool, and since there's no way for you to stop ... stop it, then ... I mean, there's nothing else you could do, so... And I'm sure." She went on with a sudden surge of conviction that was only half-faked, "I'm sure there must be some way to help them ... return, you know? Because even if they have been tainted, they're still who they are deep down."

I hope, she added mentally to the end of her sentence.

It probably wouldn't help the Duchess - after all, she knew far more than her about the Jabberwocky and possibly would have known if there was a hope of recovery, but Belca felt she had to say something to the other woman.

The setting changes from down-the-rabbit-hole to Wonderland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Dormouse Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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Clash

The forces met with a roar of savagery- the bears easily shredding the children, weapons or not..they were just no threat. Within moments of bursting from the door the yard would be littered with shredded limbs and gore. During the battle a continuous bombardment from the Spiderpots would rain gobs of the black ooze down- smashing into and through the pigchildren, while pelting the house..breaking through the roof. While the Cook was busy setting fires the ooze would be smothering out the flames. Doormouse simply watched the battle, her minions acting as eyes. A single squirrel caught sight of the Duchess and others fleeing, "After them!" she shrieked...only to notice the Cook emerge from the building bellowing 'pepper'.

The Jabberwocky thought the Cook would make a fine addition- and sent the bears. Doormouse was ordered to give chase, not to let the Duchess escape. He had plans for her. Taking half the forces with her she tears off, after the fleeing group.

The bears would attack in groups, Jabberwocky knowing that the Cook would tire long before the massive beasts did. A shelling from the Spiderpots would help speed things up as well- as six gobs of ooze are launched at the Cook from atop the bear's backs. One beast strikes while the blobs sail through the air- moving to swipe at the Cook from the side; long claws flashing. All it would take is one good cut to end the brawl- just deep enough to let the essence into Cook's body. The talons on the bears acted as hypodermic needles, both penetrating the flesh of their victims and injecting the plague.

Cook had to react fast to avoid both strikes, while making sure to keep guarded- lest a dodge turn into an opening. Soon the dance would tire out Cook, the bears taking turns swiping and shooting at the Chain. A mistake would come, sooner or later...then Jabberwocky would have a new toy.

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Spiderpots fired in busts at the fleeing figures, as the horde of smaller creatures dashes after- Doormouse mixed into the pack with her sword held high, screeching into the sky with rage. The mass of creatures would not tire, driven as they were by the Jabberwocky's essence..they would just keep chasing the Duchess and her group until they caught them, or were stopped. Doormouse felt in her mind a driving force, something screaming for blood..

Mr.Tibbs was on his way as well.. Jabberwocky had unleashed the dog-creature shortly after learning of the fleeing Duchess- though far away...the monster would close quickly. Soon Duchess would be running from something far worse than a mouse. Tibbs was a growing boy.

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Jabberwocky itself was moving towards the domain of Caterpillar; the location of the mushroom patch known by the Chains he had taken- but not the exact locale of the worm's home. 'No matter, I will simply B̹̞͖̣͕̥̩͎̔ͫ̑̑̍ͬ͘̕Ų͉̣̩͙͕ͭ͐͘ͅR̰̪̟̝͗̽ͬNͥ̿͋ͪ̒҉̫͙̼̬̀͞ them out.' the beast thought, clutching it's bone-spear. The pace was slower with the lack of it's mount, but the being would manage- Duchess' capture was more important than moving swiftly. Plus, it was nice to feel the ground below it's feet again- feel it corrupt with every touch, spreading in waves from Jabberwocky's passing; like a boat passing though water will trail a wake..so too did Jabberwocky. Only this wave was one of filth and rot. Soon the mushroom zone would be tainted like the forest. Soon the beast would arrive and unleash it's pent fury on that cat.

The setting changes from wonderland to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Dormouse Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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Isaiah "Grey" Gris

"The cards are stacked against me are they?" thought Grey to himself as he watched Absolem settle down.

He was pretty sure that there was a card called Strength in his deck but then again, he had know way of knowing how that would manifest itself or if he'd even be able to do the same thing as with the staff.

"Goodnight Absolem," he whispered, wathcing the man fall asleep.

It was odd, Absolem's face seemed so much softer when he was asleep, it was almost like he wore a mask when he was awake but didn't have to hide his true self from his dreams.

"How very enigmatic of you," thought Grey, "I guess you're a puzzle that doesn't want to be solved."

Patiently he listened to the soud of everyone around him breathing, lost in the worlds inside their dreams. He knew he should sleep too but he had an uneasy feeling, the same one he'd felt before the Jabberwocky had attacked earlier. Quietly he began to hum to himself, shuffling his tarot cards, he had almost completed shuffling when two cards fell out. He fell silent as he looked on them, their meanings slowly coming back to him. The first one was the Devil, it seemed to fit in with his feeling of unease because he remembered it as a sign of violence and ruin among other things, of course that was probably because he would soon be fighting for his life against Rhia and others like her. The second card he found a little more confusing though. It was the Lovers, gazing upon the picture its mean rose to the front of his thoughts, the Lovers could symbolize a close partner but also betrayal. Looking over at Aboslem's sleeping form with sad eyes and then back to the card he hastilly put it away. Absolem would never betray him, the card had been pure coincidence and he'd let it feed his paranoia, that was all. With a final glance at the deck of cards he curled up around his cushion again before shuffling closer to Absolem where he fell asleep.


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

Sinistra glanced appologetically at Moonlight before leading her after the Duchess. Introductions and explainations could wait until later but right now they had to move. As it was they were probably going to have to fight to get away.

"Looks like we might have a fight on our hands," he said to Moonlight, "Just remember to keep a strong will about you, stay back from the combat if you can and if you see an opportunity to run, take it."

Running to catch up to the Duchess he drew up beside the silver haired girl next to her.

"Not exactly the best time to make your aquaintence but we might not have another chance," he said, tipping his hat to her, "I'm Sinistra and he's Destra."

With a quick look behind him he saw a swarm of infected animals in the distance giving chase, they were going to catch up soon and then they would be in real trouble.


Destra/Tweedle Dum

"Contrarywise I'm Destra and he's Sinistra," he said, coming up on the girl's other side, "And this is Moonlight, who might you be."

Sinistra had hold of Moonlight's hand and the silver haired girl was being pulled along by the Duchess so he grabbed the hand of the Duchess's son, giving him a quick smile.

"I hate to rain on the parade but we're going to have some unwanted company very soon," said Destra, looking at the Duchess.

The woman who was usually so loud and dramatic was being oddly silent, she seemed broken.

"Sophie, we need to do something," he said squeezing her free hand.

But there was no response, the only thing that she seemed to have on her mind was moving forward. Glancing back at the advancing army and then at his brother he nodded grimly. They would have to face their greatest fear to buy them all some more time to get away.

"Moonlight, we need you to stay with the Duchess ok?" he said quickly, "Sinistra and I are going to stay behind for a moment and then we'll come after you."

With that he stopped running and turned hand in hand with Sinistra to face their distant followers. In synchronity they closed their eyes took a deep breath and raised their hands, focusing. Seconds later, glowing birds began to pour from their hands, all kinds of birds, sparrows, eagles, owls, crows took wing into the air, some were blue and some were red and very soon there was a huge cloud of them flying towards the diseased army. The birds were all made from some kind of energy, had his sister been there then Destra knew she would have been able to tell him what type but in any case they made a beautiful sight, except to the twins.

"L-L-Let's..." began Destra, his face pale, but he didn't need to finish.

Silently they turned and began to run as fast as they could after the Duchess. With luck the birds would take out most of the smaller infected beings but no matter what, they were bound to buy the escapees some time.


Duchess Sophie

The Duchess looked at Belca, stunned, was the girl actually trying to comfort her? Destra's words had been lost on her but somehow Belca had managed to snap her out of the numb daze she'd been stuck in. She mannaged to smile weakly at her before returning her attention to the matter at hand. It appeared that Sinistra and Destra had decided to try buy them some more time and had left her with their contractor, the girl seemed to be very nervous but who was better to look after a lost child than herself, the Duchess Sophie Vespre?

"It's a pleasure to meet you," she said brightly, "But I think I'll save greeting you properly untill we're all together somewhere safer. YOur young friends will be back shortly."

Leaping over a fallen log she ran into a clearing of trees where she stopped dead in her tracks, the skirts of her dress swirling about her.

"All of you stop," said the Duchess urgently.

She was sure she'd heard something in the distance. Something big and growling. Something she couldn't outrun. It would be here soon and the only option would be to fight.

"I hope you know how to use that rapier," she said to the Twins contractor, preparing to take on the new threat, "I fear that you're going to need it."

She hoped that the twins would catch up before the thing arrived, she wasn't sure if she'd be able to fight whatever it was while protecting Belca, her son and the new girl. A desperate plan was begining to form in her mind, if she could just get rid of this thing then she could take the others to Absolem's mushroom patch, then they might be able to form some kind of resistance against the plague.


Cook

He raced towards the bears, he knew he stood no chance against them in close combat, he'd seen what they'd done to the pigs and momeraths. But he had a secret, one of the best kept secrets in all of wonderland which was surprising because it was the only word he'd ever been able to say for as long as he could remember.

He could control pepper.

While this didn't seem like much at first it was not an ability to be underestimated. The Duchess had been the only one who knew about his ability and had realised its potential.

As the bears drew near he danced out of the way of its swiping paw. He wasn't powerful enough to take out all the infected beings around him but maybe, with luck he'd be able to take out most, if not all of the bears. That would at least make things easier for the Duchess later on.

Soon he was surround by the gruesome beasts, this was it, no way out now.

"Pepper!" he bellowed, stomping his foot and raising his hands.

As his foot reached the ground a shockwave of dust rippled out, hovering in the air as a black cloud. It was everywhere, the build up of countless years of peppery meals. The cloud began to spin around like a tornado, quickly reaching a speed where it was like a sandstorm, the cracked pepper coarse enough to tear though flesh. In the center of the storm stood the cook, his eyes streaming, there was no air inside the storm of pepper, it was like a vacuum, very soon he would suffocate and the pepper storm would subside revealing the aftermath. Whether or not he had destroyed the bears not longer mattered, he had given everything he could. As his world began to fade he tried to speak one last time.

"Sophie," he whispered, tear rolling down his cheeks, surprised that he'd finally been able to say anything but pepper.

The pepercloud cleared minutes later to reveal the lifeless body of the cook and anything that had died with him. There was a smile upon his lips as if he had died for something he loved or perhaps he was glad he hadn't fallen at the hands of the mutilated army. Nobody would ever know for sure.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ariana Storm Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Queen of Spades [Millace Fiore Liddell]
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#, as written by Bani
Belca ... ? That sounds about right ....

Belca nodded at both Destra and Sinistra, though she couldn't help but be a little confused and a tad irritated at their strange way of speaking. But she figured she would have time to both satisfy her curiosity and be blunt later on, when they weren't being chased by, you know, random things that were potentially injurious to their health - mental as well as physical. Honestly, she would rather kill herself than be tainted by . . by that . . . that thing.

"Belca." she breathed out, keeping an wary eye on the Duchess.

She flushed a little at the Duchess' weak smile, before scowling and turning away - it was so obvious the woman was still trying to cover up with a smile. She hated people like that the most - people who always had to be strong, had to protect others no matter what the cost was to themselves. People who sacrificed themselves for others. It was just plain wrong and unfair. Like Sinistra and Destra, who now offered to go back to buy them time. Really, what was up with these people? Hadn't they heard of the word 'comradeship' or the proverb 'United we stand'? Fuming under her breath, she followed the Duchess and the other girl - Moonlight, was it?

She almost slammed into the Duchess' back as they came to a sudden halt, stopping herself just in time. Eyeing the Duchess suspiciously, Belca wondered what had made the other change her mind. Whatever, something told her it was better to keep that particular piece of knowledge till absolutely necessary, mostly because she had the strongest hunch that her weird day was just going to get a whole lot weirder, and more life-threatening.

Holding her own katana at ready, Belca eyed the Moonlight girl. She didn't want to sound vain, but she felt herself hoping that she could hold her own against the other girl ( though she shouldn't probably be thinking like that - she wasn't her opponent, they were allies right now ). She would really hate it if the Duchess regretted having chosen her over the other, politer and easier to work with Contractors.

There was nothing as bad in the world as being unwanted.



♠ The 'Queen' of Spades ♠


"It's just outside, behind the hedge on the northern side." he pointed it out to her, "You might find it a little difficult to bathe though - you see, it's a spring, although I doubt you would have cared much about heating the water anyway." He added, remembering the always pleasant temperature and weather of the Chess Board and especially his own Garden. He liked his bath water with a tad bit of tinge of chill, too warm weather always gave rise to dust and sweat.

The bathhouse was segregated from the main cottage by some ten yards of a small stone path, covered with wisteria vines. Made of stone, it's roof cut off directly on top of the little pond formed by the water gushing up from the spring. Like the rest of his home, it too had a comfortable, dreamy feel, even if it wasn't very grand.

"If you want to bathe in hot water though, there's a hot spring on the other side of the stream." he tagged on, referring to the stream running through the Northern side of his house. "If you walk up the stream for a little while, you will get to a bridge. Cross the bridge and you'll find the hot spring on your right. I could show you if you wanted...?" he left it as a casual offer, not wanting to embarrass the girl.


The setting changes from down-the-rabbit-hole to Wonderland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Dormouse Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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#, as written by Grahf
Rage

The bear's swipe was dodged- but not the blasts from it's mounted Spiderpots. As the Cook would stomp down, preparing to unleash the pepper wave...the gobs would make contact.

It was a costly mistake, one that would seal the Cook's fate. The blobs, six of them, would slam into Cook's body: One on each arm, one on each leg. The final two slammed in to his torso and head. The end result is the being ends up covered from head to two in the Jabberwocky's essence. Bones snap, crunching loudly from within the human-shaped cocoon- Something was happening inside. Mass flowed over the ground, gathering more and more onto the Cook's body, oozing out of the ground and the Spiderpots's spouts. More and more of the black slime gathered onto the form of Cook. From within came a sound, first softly from under the layers...then louder, growing in volume: a bellow. Cook was releasing an explosion of sound, pure pain and rage. Jabberwocky's symphony.

The beast had it's champion- a Titan.

Standing over twelve feet tall, massive in bulk yet built for combat- the layers of essence forming thick plates of black armor. Spiked pauldrons adorn the wide shoulders of the Titan, each one easily a foot long, dribbling a stream of ooze from their tips. The Cook was now simply a rage-filled monster; the emotion displayed at the time of consecration. Jabberwocky now had it's Avatar of Rage, and soon it would unveil it's Avatar of Despair. Plans were coming together. Once the rest of it's hosts allowed their pent up feelings to vent- they too would morph into it's generals. The Avatars of Discord. Then there would be war. Total war.

It's steps cracked the ground, leaving shattered stone and flattened earth, one foot clipping the corner of the house as it turns to face the fleeing group. As the building's wall collapses the beast arches it's back and roars "P̷̷̶͓̘̘͉̗͓̣̖̺̲̤̱͑̄̆ͦ͐̇̊ͭ̆͑ͦ̇̚̚͟ͅͅͅȆ̸̢̤̙͓̥͒͌̋ͮͨ̊̀ͦ̉̈ͬ͊̃̍͋ͩ̀P̶̩͔͔̹̝̓̃̄̌̌̏̆̔͒̍̓̎̀ͥ͊̇͐͐ͦ͟ͅP̅͗̑̒҉͓͇̭̝̺͡ͅEͨ͗͂ͮ҉̷̵̘̱̻͞͝Ȓ̸̶̥̩̥̰̹͆ͮ̀̕!" unleashing a dense cloud of blackness into the air- not pepper, not anymore. This was powdered Essence. Jabberwocky's mass mixed into a fine ground grit- inhaled..it would corrupt. After exhaling the cloud..the beast launches itself off, moving suprisingly fast for something it's size- taking off after Duchess and her group.
---------------------------------------------------------

As if things had gotten bad enough..that was when the howl split the air.

Mr. Tibbs had arrived.

Bursting from the forest like a freight train, not losing a step as it smashes through the Duchess' abandoned home, comes what could only be described as a rhino mixed with a sabertooth tiger. Massive, Tibbs had been feeding out in the forest, devouring anything in it's path- and growing with all the added mass. The once-dog now stands about shoulder height to the Titan-Cook, with a long thick body. Still quadruped in nature, the beast's paws now razor sharp tricorn hooves, it's head no longer even resembling a dog- long fangs extending down past it's chin, while a thick horn juts from it's nose. Rows of quills and spikes extend down it's back in random patches.

Pausing in it's stride it lifts it's snout into the air to release a burst of sound- a howl of such volume that human ears cannot filter it into anything but an explosive detonation. With that, it launches itself at the group, it's speed far faster than Titan-Cook's. Should the Tweedles stand and fight they will be facing two massive monsters, as well as a small army of beasts and Doormouse herself.

The birds released would be unable to stop the tide of small creatures- it was not an issue of power, the birds had enough to kill the creatures...there was just so many of them. It was like trying to kill the water in a wave of the ocean. As a candle's flame they were snuffed out as the monsters rolled over them- losses simply absorbed by other animal beasts. In moments the air was clear, the death toll had been severe..but Jabberwocky cared not for it's subjects. They would be thrown at a target wholesale until either they ran out or the target was in ruins.

Among the mass was Doormouse, a white-hot fury in a storm of bodies- the dead were fed into her mass, her wails of depression and anger swelling in volume. She was changing...arms lengthening, mouth widening..her eye-sockets growing larger and spilling tears of corruption. She was the Avatar of Despair. "Y͔̎̒͗͛̃ͨ̅͘ơ̖̮̺̤̓͑̑̔̓̑ͦȗ͓̹̜͍̰̲ͣ̍ͬ̀́.̐̕.̶͍̞̩̻̲ͥ.͏̪wͭͨ͗͘͝h̵̽̎ͨ̄̽ͭy̷̨͗͂̾ ̸̔hͩ̿̀̓ă̴̾͋ͭ̽̚v̽͛͛̔͡e̶͂̓ͥ̂̈ͮ͌̿ͫ͞͝ ͭͩ̋̑ͫ͗ͦ͌́yͧͩ̄̍̑̈ͥ҉o͗͑̄̀͆ͦ̈̊͢͜u̅̇͛͑̿̂̏̍̚ T̸̷̴̘̘̘̱̮͖̜̳̙̳̱̜̯̫̞̰̭̆͋ͦͯ̈̈̈́̌ͫͭ̚͠A̍ͯ̓ͪͬ̊ͮ̍̋̈ͥ̿ͬ͟҉̠͎͉͉̳̗̘̞̟̙ͅK̶̢̳̝̗͓̣̝̳͉̯̺̳̪̮̥̠ͣͫ̆̃́̿ͦ͠ͅE̢̨̝̬̟̝̦̫̳̞̗̹͔̮̿͗͑ͣͬͧͧ͒͗ͦͭ̑͋̅ͫ̌̈́͡͞Ņ̝̻̟̤̣͎̠̘̬͑̆̿͋̈ͦ͊ͣ̏ͮ̕͢͜ ̷̠̦̞͓̟̣̳̞̘͓̪̱̟̻ͨ͗ͬͮ̾ͣ͜ͅW͔̞̦̱̹̥̤̺̭ͯ͂̔̂̍͂́̉͊̈ͥ̕͜H̆ͬͪ͗̾͡͏͏̤̜̻͔̮͖̰̯͕̯̮̭̙̗͇̩͙ͅẢ̛̪̦͚̮͍͔̗̜̦̼̺̹͍̮̠̫̳͔ͬ̍̔̀͢͢͠ͅT̴̸̴̨͎̫̫̠͖̣̟͇̠͉̪̠͈̏ͤͭ́ͧͭ͗ͬͥ͝ ̷̵̘͈͍̬̤͚͓̯̹͓̭͚͓̩͖ͩ́̿̃́̉̇ͥ̒̆̊̆ͦ̿͑ͯͫ̚͜͜ͅͅI̸̛̺͚͔̺̻̻͎̟͌̈́̒̍̒ͫ̇͗́̈́ͩ̊ͣͫȘ̖͚̯͈̩̳͕̪͕͓ͫͪͩ́̓̓͢ ̬̳̻͔͉͕̳͖̹͙̲͛͗̋̌͛̀́̕͡M̨̛̹͍͉͔̜̪̺͕̳̠ͫ̾ͨͬ͆͗ͩͮͪ̒̉̐̅̏̂̈̍̚͠I̙͎̝̳̟ͧ̄͂͌̉ͣͩͨ̑̑̏̚͟͝N̴̻̜̲̫͔̲̪̱̤̮͊̏̏͑͋͂ͫ̓͐̔̓̕͢ͅE̵̵̢̛̳̬̘̣̮̟͔ͥ͑̊͊̏ͭ̍ͪ̇ͨ͌ͦ͆͆͌̽͟ͅ?!" she was still convinced that Duchess somehow had taken away Hatter. Outstretching her growing talented hands in the direction of the twins she shrieks...sending the army charging.

The setting changes from wonderland to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Dormouse Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey shifted in his sleep at the sound of glass breaking but didn't wake. He was in a deeper sleep now, he supposed that the way he'd suddenly woken up before had left him exhausted, not to mention all the things he'd gone through that day. Somehow the sound of the breaking glass made its way into his dream.

He was in some sort of old fashioned living room looking at a photo. He was in the center of the picture with people all around him but he was the only one that could be seen clearly. Every other person in the photo had their face blurred out by some sort of fog, like someone had breathed on the glass. Gently he tried to wipe it away but wherever he touch the glass it crack untill finally it shattered. Silently he stared at the frame, it no longer held the picture, instead there was more of the strange mist inside, he was sure that he could see strange shapes within the fog. Slowly the frame began to grow larger and larger, desperately he looked around the room to find an exit which was when he realised he wasn't alone. In the corner stood Absolem, no, it wasn't Absolem but it looked almost identical to him, he was just lacking the mint green hair. The man who was not Absolem opened his mouth and began to speak but no words came out. The man looked at Grey sadly and then his form began to flicker, he was changing. Soon the Absolem look-a-like was gone and in his place was a tall figure dressed in black, eerily it began to float towards Grey, its feet only just brushing the the ground. The figure had a frightening aura about it, without looking back Grey jumped through the frame and into the fog. There were mushrooms everywhere and the fog wasn't fog or mist, it was smoke, everything was hard to see as things often were in dreams but one thing wasn't certain, this dream didn't belong to him. It felt...lonely. Cautiously he began to wander through the mushrooms, looking for anyone or anything. Was this Absolem's dream? Somehow he was sure of it, he could almost feel that the man was somewhere in the dream, the warmth he felt when he was close to him and the certainty that he would be safe and secure that made him want to be close to him but there wasalso the lonelyness which seemed to move through the air of the dream. Soon enough he saw a figure in the distance sitting on top of a mushroom. Was it Absolem this time? "The caterpillar on top of a mushroom surrounded by smoke, how ironic," he said to himself, "Next he'll be asking me 'Who are you?'" That was a thought, would Absolem recognise him in the dream, did Grey even look like himself, was he actually a part of the dream or was he just an observer. Curiousity was beginning to overwhelm him, he had to find out now. Carefully he made his way towards the lonely figure, "So are you going to tell me that one side will make me taller while the other side will make me shorter?" he asked, kicking at the ground shyly. He wasn't entirely sure that he liked being in another person's dream, it felt like he was invading their privacy.


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee & Destra/Tweedle Dum

The twins ran as fast as they could, hoping to catch up to the Duchess. Neither wanted to be caught by the army but they also didn't want to stick around for the birds. Every so often Sinistra would scoop up a stone from the ground while he ran and then launch it from his catapault at the distant mob, each stone hitting downing a target but it would never be enough to take down the whole army.

"That can't be the Dormouse can it?" said Sinistra, holding on to his hat as he ducked under a branch,
"Contrarywise, if it was it might be but it's not," said Destra, glancing back at what had once been the Dormouse, "Not anymore, nohow."

Finally they caught up to the Duchess who was standing in the middle of a clearing with Belca and Moonlight on either side and her son behind her.

"Sophie, what are you doing?" asked Destra, waving his arms fearfully, "You should be running from the things, not waiting for them to come get you, that's logic."

Running over to Moonlight the twins stood on either side of her and then turned to look at the Duchess.

"What's the problem? We need to leave," exclaimed Sinistra.


Duchess Sophie

She had been preparing to fight whatever was coming but that had all changed right before the twins had caught up to them. There was no longer the one big powerful thing coming towards them, now there were three. One she might have been able to handle but even with Sinistra and Destra here there was no way she could take on all three and be sure of victory, not with the level of power she was feeling from them. Now the only hope would be to run, even if escape wasn't possible they might at least make it to Absolem's mushroom patch before the amry caught up with them, then the man could help, if not then they'd just have to hope that the three big things had spread out enough that they could be taken down one by one.
"You're right, things changed and we need to go, now," said the Duchess, grabbing Belca's hand and taking off.

Sinistra and Destra wouldn't be able to find Absolem's house so it all depended on her leading them there.

"By the way Destra," she said as she ran, "I'd like to remind you that I'm a Duchess and you should address me as such, using my name is far too informal of you."

Very soon the trees gave way to giant mushrooms but that said nothing, Absolem's house was still a fair distance away, the Duchess just hoped they could make it in time, all she cared about was getting Belca and the others to safety.

The setting changes from down-the-rabbit-hole to Wonderland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Dormouse Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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#, as written by Grahf
I spy with my little eye...

Jabberwocky had come to the mushroom domain, while it sent it's minions to deal with Duchess, meaning to locate the hidden refuge of the rebels on it's own. With the incoming reports from it's generals however..it seemed soon it would have backup. Or..

A plan formed, and we sent to it's minions. They would capture the Duchess and her entourage..in a vice grip. The army chased them from behind, while Jabberwocky itself would close from the front. They would have no where to go, as the Spiderpots and other minor-minions harassed from the sides. A grin splits the skeletal features of the monster, as it turns from the Mushroom area. Unknown to the beast however..right then is when the Caterpillar's home looses it's stealth. The Cat and others are spared for the moment.

Reaching the plain that Duchess and her group flee across takes seconds, as the monster readies itself for some fun.

Arms raise high into the air, as Jabberwocky releases it's gathered force, having been preparing this trick to use on that Cat...but seeing it's need here. As the fingers spread and claw at the air the ground rocks and shakes...splitting as objects rip free. Black bones, made from the essence of Jabberwocky itself rip free, forming a wall; a fence of bone. Sealing off any way past it's position for about half a mile in both directions from it's position. On signal the Spiderpots would unleash hell, raining globs of goo down amongst the fleeing group..harassing and trying to infect them. This was just a feint however...meant to drive the group towards Jabberwocky.

Tibbs, Titan-Cook and Doormouse all follow Duchess' group, Tibbs keeping close to their heels, releasing growls and roars to drive them. Titan and Doormouse spread to the sides, meaning to herd the group- should they try breaking off or splitting up to escape they would be attacked by either dominated-Chain. It was a slaughter-house chute. Baying hounds to drive the sheep towards the waiting blade.

Jabberwocky itself took the time left to gather it's power once more- forming an array of bone-blades and spears, causing them to hover about it's frame. It would be ready to welcome the Duchess, the Twins and their Chains to it's ranks soon.

The setting changes from wonderland to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Jabberwocky Discordia
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Moonlight gestured wildly as the twins raced over. "What's the problem? We need to leave!" Sinistra yelled. Moonlight didn't care, she only worried about the twins. "Are you okay?" she asked them both. They ignored her. Oh well. They seemed okay, if a little shaken.

Suddenly, the Duchess grabbed the other girl's hand and ran off. Moonlight raced after them, behind Destra. "Wait up!" she called.

As they ran, their surroundings turned to mushrooms. The sight was curious, but Moonlight didn't stop to admire the view.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ariana Storm Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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#, as written by Bani
♠ The 'Queen' of Spades ♠

Fiore suppressed a frown at Aria's sudden, impulsive words.

Human beings ... always saying things they didn't mean ... making promises they couldn't keep
....


Everyone said they would be there, and everyone left him alone at the end. His own parents, siblings, friends ... everyone faded away with time.

Fiore was not about to make the same mistake of believing in a hollow promise again.

Outside, though, he showed no signs of his inner storm, smiling at the girl and using his gentlest tone.

"Thank you."

How old was he...? The question was, again, too closely related to the life he had chosen to leave behind. He couldn't answer it. He wasn't fully ready to remember the heartache his past seemed to be made up of yet.

Not now, not ever.

"Wonderland does not really have the conventional sense of time as in your world." he replied, "We Chains don't age, and neither do we die of natural causes. The only reason a Chain ages is if there is some change of the flow of energy inside Wonderland that inspires, requires or otherwise forces them to change."




Belca ... ? That sounds about right ....

As the Duchess grabbed her hand and began running, Belca elicited a low growl in the back of her throat. She knew the other woman was doing it for their own good but really, being dragged around like this, like a rag doll was simply humiliating. However, she didn't try to protest. After all, the Duchess' house had just been razed to the ground, she felt like the other deserved a break.