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The Ruins of Terran

Estate, The house and gardens.

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a part of The Ruins of Terran, by MercyKilling.

Central around the house.

RolePlayGateway holds sovereignty over Estate, The house and gardens., giving them the ability to make limited changes.

176 readers have been here.

Setting

This includes the house, smaller houses that belong to workers, gardens, tennis court, pool and stables.
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Estate, The house and gardens.

Central around the house.

Minimap

Estate, The house and gardens. is a part of The Ruins of Terran.


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Thomas smiled at Iris, nodding gently at her words, feeling little need to say much to them. He pointed softly, with tired wrinkled hands as to where she should stand and then sat back in his chair, waiting. The sun was pleasant against his old skin and he listened for a while to the sound of people in this place usually dominated by bird song and silence. To his left came the three guests, one of them looking as awkward in smart dress as him. He stood slowly, the music starting up and guided them quietly to their seats, where the waiters poured them drinks and gave them small plates of food, things that the had thought to be well suited to each.

“Right, welcome you three.” He said speaking after the first piece of music had finished. “ I think I will show you the forest and Ruin’s myself. The girls.” He nodded to his two odd maids “Will show the others around, they should be arriving shortly. I hope you don’t mind?” He asked looking over them. A welcome cold breeze shifted around him, cooling his face and moving his wiry grey hair slightly. He took slow ambling steps towards them, knowing they would have finished any light snacks they had wished to eat by now. His cane clicked across the stone paving around the sundial and he wondered if any of them, himself included, were prepared for what awaited them today. His knees were a little weak today, but as ever his cane kept him up. Suddenly to his left appeared one of the Twins, holding his elbow with her own strong grip, he had always wondered at the rational of keeping such young girls here, but they seemed happy. She smiled up at him, her swathe of yellow hair moving back from her features, showing her ever so slightly to sharp teeth. He watched her with warm eyes; they were like his grandchildren after all, having no family of his own any more.

“I will look after him, don’t you worry.” Rea spoke softly, her hand replacing the girls smoothly. “He’s in good hands with us.” She hooked her bag up on her shoulder and looked to see if the others were following them as the old man started to walk out along a path t the entrance of the forest. She smiled at the man, her eyes warm, she seemed to be a genuine hard worker and she appreciated such things. He was light on her arm, used to lifting almost anything that was asked of her, she was a working girl through and through and had never shrugged off any responsibility given to her. The world seemed to hush at the first step into the trees through a slight arch. The sounds of all the people dropping away and being taken over by the rustle of leaves gently tossed by the breeze and sweet songbirds shrills all about them. The light became muted, yet somehow clearer, sparkling through the gaps in the trees and falling in shafts to the green plants growing happily in the light they could get.

The path was long and winding, leading them from the newer trees, still taller than she could imagine, to the older trees, warped yet beautiful. Her eyes were wide and she could help but picture herself flying between the trees and practicing her tumbles or acrobats. As she walked, Thomas seemed to get stronger, standing straighter and straighter, soon no longer needing her help. She loved the feel of the ground beneath her feet, through soft-soled shoes, toes digging slightly into the yielding surface. She pulled her bag down from her back, she pulled some of her short poi, soft enough not to damage herself, anyone or anything around her. She swayed slightly as she swung them around her in an ease double twist, enjoying how it lengthened her arms. They hissed through the air with little sound and gave her hands something to do as they came closer to the ruins, letting the aura of the place soak into her.

Above them he caught a glimpse of a golden pelt and made sure not to look for too long as he did not want his friend to be caught. They could see the ruins now, just through the trees, they appeared differently to everyone, the only bit people could agree on was the totems, at the top of the low-sloped hill they were coming too. He knew the others would want to stop at the first part of the ruins and explore, but he shook his head, waving them on after them. Slowly they climbed the slight hill, coming at the top to a hill that barely surpassed the trees surrounding it. Atop the hill were three oddly shaped constructions, sitting oddly around the crown of the hill. He sat at the center where a small picnic had been set up with a ground sheet for them to all sit on, though he was aware they would likely not stay there.

“Well this is the center of the ruins, where the people here would come to pray to the gods and ask for favors. Later when people stopped using it for this reason people though it a fairy mound, stealing away their children, though there are no reports of imposter children being place in the family’s care like most other tales of this kind.” He paused looking up at the old things, bricks falling out of them. “You can feel free to explore wherever you want, I have myself been up through most of the old rooms and even atop one of these constructions. As long as you are careful they are sturdy, the surveyors we had to have look said despite their look of disrepair, these buildings could be new.” He sighed, looking around. As soon as the three had left, he expected Jinan to appear and ask him many questions about them and what he thought. He lay back easily knowing that if anyone needed him they could easily find him here, since the whole forest slowly went up to this point, so all you needed to do was head up hill.

“This is amazing, the structures, I’ve never seen anything like them. They seem like an impossible shape, impossible to be standing up.” She walked over to one, the wind whipping around them a little and reached to touch one. The stones seemed to thrum under her fingers, though she knew it was impossible and the wind seemed to still, allowing the suns heat to touch her skin once more. She walked around once, awe obvious from her expression. She slipped off her shoes, letting her toes dip once more into the grass, though it was tougher here and let out a content smile. She looked around at the other two, a huge smile on her large soft lips, which lit her eyes with a sparkling light. She walked back evenly, moving towards Ulva, someone she had already taken a liking too. She wished to climb the amazing structures, but did not yet feel comfortable enough to do so. So she decided exploring would be just as great fun and to see it with others, to experience the place would be even better.

“Do you guys want to come look with me?” She asked tilting her head.

******************************

The twins stood still while everyone left, their hearts beating rapidly with excitement, they had not been in the forest since they were five. To be chosen to show the guests around was a huge responsibility, but all they could think was to get back to the ruins, a place that had called to them both since birth. No one had ever been raised here, not in 200 years and the effects had been odd on them, though not quite shown yet. Both the ruins and the forest were hungry for life once more, it was a place to be lived in after all. The girls looked out, watching the others go and knowing they too soon would be following them. A few moments later as one they saw the form of Jinan, a creature they had never been allowed to meet, but had seen once or twice in their short time on earth. They blinked rapidly, fingers twining into one another’s. Only a few moments later they watched Nim shoot out of the forest, now Nim they knew well, the little creature had spoken with them many times and the Twins liked to think of her as a friend.

“Nim.” Called Sasha, her voice high and sweet. “Nim!” Called
(not finished, sorry guys)

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#, as written by lumikb

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When Seamus Callahan arrived near the White Wall the crowd reached its peak in numbers. There were news reporters, photographers, business men and fortune tellers, hot dog stands, men, women and children of all shapes, sizes and colors.
“I came to fucking Mecca!” the Irishman said putting out his cigarette using his tall leather boot. He was wearing a bedraggled pair of jeans and a pale blue square shirt – a clean one for once, his editor made sure of that before letting him go into society again. Seamus spent the last three days cooped up in his room, eating junk food and trying hard not to knock down the door to his apartment to go buy a drink. Apart from Johnnie, Jim, Cutty and Whessky ( Irish style whisky made in Hesse, which he tenderly called his “german”) Seamus had only one more friend that cared enough to lock him up until the official opening of the Ruins just to keep him away from drinking. Sean Reid was also the editor who landed him the job and miraculously enough, Seamus’ been accepted to record the journey.
Least to say, Callahan wasn’t as grateful as he should have been for getting another chance to put some order or meaning into his miserable life and brought along a whole pack of negativity. He was in a bad mood, his throat was dry and now he had to deal both with the heat of the day and the pressure of not messing up. The general noise gave him a headache.
“Hey Callahan!” someone called out to him stepping away from a group of journalists. “Heard you got in. Me and the boys here were wondering how many hours you and Reid spent riding the donkey together until he sent you off for acceptance.” A general chuckle came from the group.
Seamus grinned revealing his maxillary canines. “You know Molony, your girlfriend has the kinkiest pierce I’ve ever seen. Next time get her a tattoo as well, maybe a nice “S” to compliment her soft skin.” He emphasized the last word moving his lips in a provoking manner. The formentioned Monoly wiped his smile away and replied in a slightly decreasing tone : “Yeah, sure…just leg it before I knock you one in the nards”. Without bothering to reply the red haired man entered the tall gates after showing his ID to the guards.
On the estate ground a very tall, well-dressed man was waiting for him. His dark complexion and wide brown eyes reminded Seamus of an island dweller. With an animated smile he offered his large hand in greeting and invited his sanguinary guest to sit on the nearby bench. Seamus thought for a moment that he had done this just so he wouldn’t have to strain his neck when talking to him, being as tall as he was.

“Mr. Callahan, I’m here to remind you of your position on this journey and to inform you of the rules implied by it. Needless to say, breaking one of these rules means losing any right of continuing the journey, all of your recordings and any other material will be confiscated and you will deal with penal charges as soon as you exit the grounds. Failing to comply with a certain set of the ensuing rules can and will get you unconditionally imprisoned without the possibility of bail. Is everything clear until now?”

Seamus nodded withholding the urge to reply that “prison ain’t that much of a deal”, risking a one way trip back to Ireland before the whole thing even started.
“Maybe the old timer wasn’t that well informed about me”, he thought lighting a cigarette, eager to have all this done with. The young man continued politely:

“First and foremost, no other weapon except white weapons with no more than seven inches in height are allowed. Secondly, you may and are obliged to speak with each of the Lucky Draws and to the entertainment guests and disclose as much information on them as possible. Only accurate and adequate facts, of course. You are prohibited to interview Mr. Thatcher or any of the staff members. This is not debatable.
Thirdly, your main purpose for being here is to convey every aspect of the journey as precisely as possible. All of your material will be checked and will have to pass approval before being submitted. Clearly enough, your acceptance into this event was based on the veracity of your previous work and we are expecting no less from now on. Any false information or personal opinion are not permitted. If you submit anything that didn’t pass approval you will be held responsible in front of the law. That is all. Any questions, Mr. Callahan?”

“Yeah, where’s the closest po’ here, my bladder’s the size of a basketball.”

“Glad we understood each other” the man replied with a smile. “I’ll escort you to the waiting room.”

Seamus was already in the highest degree of irritation when he stepped into the waiting room, the tall man closely behind him. The heat was killing him and some physical urges were not exactly helping with the anger. His throat still ached for a drop of whisky, vodka..”anything damn” he let out a curse forcing a polite “excuse me?” from the other man.
Sitting in front of the entrance a red haired woman was enjoying her smoke. His eyes went from her face to her toes and up again, pausing at her cleavage, a grin lighting his face. Madelene’s lips were seeking the cigarette like a lover’s kiss and the pleased expression on her round face gave him a nice feeling making him forget about the heat. Then his eyes shifted at the left where the bar was. “Thank ya God of all mercy” he said rushing forward without giving another thought. Then something stirred in his groin living him dumbfounded halfway. Seamus frantically searched for the toilet, opened the door with a kick, pulling his pants down on the way and cursing gods and demons alike. Relief made its way down and after a couple of minutes the Irishman could think clearly once more. All he needed was a drink to make things normal again and when he reached the bar only the thought of making a spectacle out of himself gave some temperance to his movements.
“Gimme a pint of yer best and a naggin’, sugar!” he asked the young bartender on the other side with a smile as big as the Eiffel Tower on his smug face.
“Excuse me?” the girl asked impatiently as if he just made a dirty proposition.

“For Jayzizz Chris’, a glass of your best and a shot of vodka” he blurted making the other guests turn their heads in his direction. He swilled the vodka and took the champagne glass he was offered with a displeased look on his face. Anything less than 40% in Gay Lusac degrees was barely considered “good”.

Instead of leaving the glass on the bar he headed towards Madalene and offered her the drink. “Fancy meeting you here, Ms. D'Abenville” he said recognizing her traits form the info files he’s been given before departure. “Guess you’re as thrilled as anyone else of being here”.

She looked up at the red haired man thinking he was as loud as Harvey but with a funny accent.
“Not really , I didn’t get the chance to see anything that interesting yet. I am still waiting for the gremlins to pop up from somewhere.” She took a sip from her Jaggermeister refusing the champagne. Seamus wanted to continue the conversation hopeful it would turn into an interview and maybe a little bit of something else as well but they were interrupted by a member of the staff asking them to join him. He showed them the way to the Herb Garden were they found a half-empty buffet and maids cleaning out. “Go straight forward from here until you reach the Ruins” the man told him pointing his finger to the path leading to the forest.
They both went on walking slowly side by side, not talking but feeling the same. No matter how rough or rotten on the inside, no human could refrain from worshiping this place.

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Tucking her bookmark into her book, Elise stowed it in the bag she had slung over her shoulder. She brushed the hair from her eyes as she peered out of the window into the distance. After stowing the book she had been reading, The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans, because it made her feel sick on the bus, she realised that she was quite bored of the tediously long journey. It was a book that she had read many times before and the pages were bent and the spine worn, but it never failed to make her weep like a baby when she read it again. Wrinkling her nose, she rubbed at her eyes as trees and rolling fields whipped past the window Upon the huge bus was only one other person and he certainly wasn't very keen to talk to her. She sat three rows behind him and her attempts at being friendly had been shot down almost as soon as she entered the bus. And therefore she had stopped trying. He was now fast asleep, snoring very loudly. A smile flickered across Elise's lips as she rolled her eyes dramatically, settling further in her seat. Perhaps they would be at their desitination before long, or so she desperately hoped.

Outside, the sky was a brilliant blue, only tainted by a few wispy clouds which were barely in existance. The bright morning sun shone with a newfound brilliance. Everything appeared to be some kind of shade of green. Fields stretched into the horizon, bright and cheerful, dotted with white and black blobs that Elise assumed were sheep or cows. The thick hedgerow along the tarmac road was swarming with life, from birds to the bugs that hovered in groups, though she couldn't see these. To her left, a thick forest resided, keeping its hidden secrets from unwanted eyes. A fox darted for the cover of a bush, but Elise's keen eyes spotted it before it was lost to the shadows of the trees. The grey road seemed to stretch in a straight line for miles in front of her and upon the horizon in that direction was always the same thing. Road and more green fields. So far the journey had been a long one and it was looking to be even longer than she had imagined. Was there any chance that they would even arrive in time?

Tugging at the threads from a hole in the seat, she thought back to the moments that had led to her being there at that moment. The turning point had been five years ago when Joel had discovered her sorry ass in the gutter, drugged up and unable to even remember why she was there. But of course, now she remembered and it shamed her to think she had behaved that way. He had saved her at a time when she needed nothing more than a good friend to help her out of her drugged-up days. Caring for her hadn't been easy, but he'd taken a chance on a kid with a passion and talent for drawing and painting and had turned her life around. Paying him back was hard, but she was trying her hardest to do as much as she could for him, even though now they were extremely good friends and he wanted nothing from her. He loved her as much as his four sisters. Another smile pulled at her lips at the thought of when he'd told her that.

"I have to say you are the most gorgeous fake date I have ever seen," Joel told her, taking her hand and spinning her around so he could get a full view of her outfit. It was a tight red dress that he had personally picked out from her wardrobe. Grabbing her around the waist, he pulled her towards the door, leaving his arm there. Glancing in the reflection of the door, she had to admit that the dress was amazing.
"So this is going to make the love of your life so jealous that she's going to fall into your arms?" Elise asked, an eyebrow daintly arched.
"That's the plan." Grabbing his keys, he released her and held the door open for her. She gave him a mock bow, tottering out on her high heels.
"And if I don't like her? Does she still have a chance?" She teased, opening the car door and slipping in. He entered in the driver's seat, laughing his gorgeous laugh. But his face turned suddenly serious as he looked at her.
"Of course not. I could never date a girl that my little sister didn't approve of." He smiled seriously at her, tucking a strand hair behind her ear. "Because you are like a little sister to me Elise. And I will always love you."


Joel was her best friend and someone she loved with her whole heart and at that moment she wished he was beside her. Despite the thoughts of their other friends, they had never even considered dating, as both found it too weird to even think about. Their love wasn't that sort. They had kissed once, one rather drunken night. Both had felt so guilty that they agreed never to talk of it again and thus it was put behind them. Since then they had been all the more closer for it.

Looking up, she made eye contact with the driver who had been watching her via the mirror. "How long till we reach the house?" She asked, an eyebrow arched, curious to know why he had been watching her. Her hair fell across her cheeks and she brushed it back impatiently, grabbing it into a bunch and roughly securing it so it was out of the way. The driver grinned a toothy grin at her, his eyes flickering back to the desserted road.
"Almost there m'lovely. You just hold tigh' and we'll be righ' along." His rough accent made it almost impossible for her to understand what he had said to her, but she got most of it and peered out of the window once again.

It wasn't long before a large house loomed in the distance and once they were closer, Elise realised that it was more like a mansion with extremely large grounds. This would be her home for the next few days and she had to say that it was the most beautiful place she had ever seen in her whole life. It took her breath away, kept her eyes wide the whole time they travelled up the long gravel driveway. The many windows of the house glistened and winked at her teasingly and Elise didn't doubt that they held hundreds of secrets that they could never share. What a wonderous place. Already she felt the need to paint and get it onto paper, as though it would disappear before she could even get the chance. As the bus drew to a halt at the grand steps of the house, the other man woke with a start. But Elise had already walked down and was trotting down the steps, forgetting all about him. Her trainers crunched on the gravel as she jumped down.

Smiling, Elise took the handle of her suitcase from the driver, insisting upon taking it herself. She was more than capable to carry her luggage into the house and keen to get away from his stares. Plus she wanted to get into the house so that she could paint and explore. Although it seemed inviting enough, there was a haunted look about the place as well. Chewing her lip to hold back her smile, she started towards the steps...

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“Nim.” Called Sasha, her voice high and sweet. “Nim!” Called Zosia, her slightly deeper voice twining itself around her sisters words. Their heads snapped when the two reporters passed by the herb garden, the left twin nodding to the right as she dashed off after the two. Left standing there was Zosia, the more quite of the two, whose sharp eyes looked for the guard who sent them to the forest, he would have an immediate dismissal for not complying with the requests of Mr Thatcher. Her pale blue shoes made little or no sound on the grass, her mid length dress whirling about her knees, she was furious. Obviously a few of the guards had been compromised and bribed by the people here, that was to be expected, but if she caught a single one their would be hell to pay. Forgotten was little Nim who they had so looked forwards to seeing, she did not even glance over her shoulder to check if the creature was all right and their wasn’t a problem in the forest. She spotted the man, rushing forward to meet him.

“What do you think you are doing?” She asked, the small slender girl grabbing a hold of his sleeve and pulling him back with little effort. “I don’t know who has paid you and told you to give what information to those two, but I will find out. You are paid well by Mr Thatcher, at this point you are to go to the basement immediately, when Mr Thatcher is back he will come and question you and then dismiss you. You will be asked to leave the premises after your talk with Thomas and go without your pay for accepting a bribe. If you have a problem with this you can look at your contract.” She spoke softly, her voice barely raised above the garbled chatter of the reporters to her left. Though she spoke almost silently, her hands griped his slick suit with surprising strength and her eyes glowed an ever brighter blue. Her pale yellow hair moved around her in an unseen wind and she clenched her teeth, white tips showing.

“Would you like me to escort you?” She asked, smiling a broad, sharp-toothed grin, tilting her head like a bird watching a worm. Her fist tightened, small hands latching on to the top of his fore arm. The man whimpered, though he was cleaver enough not to let the reporters hear. He shook his head franticly before her, no she didn’t think so, no one would want her to escort them given the choice. She let go of his arm, shooing him. He knew better than to skip out, the other guards would be able to tell if something odd was going on. She shook her head sadly, at least he wasn’t one of the guards they had had for years. Moving to the front of the house, she went to receive the guests, taking them from the clutches of yet more reporters. Scum.

********************************************************************************

“Excuse me!” She called to the two walking towards the forest, her feet tapping rapidly across the grass. “Excuse me, Miss Madalene, you have to wait for the next tour.” She slowed down from her graceful run, not in the slights bit out of breath. Her yellow hair swung about her slender form. She looked at the man, eyes glancing over him analytically. Just as she’d though, he was not one of the lucky draw, though he seemed to be with one so she couldn’t say much. She wrinkled her nose, they stank of smoke and she hated it. She did not look forward to trying to get the stink out of the house and it would be her and her twin who did so most likely as their mother had too much to deal with at the moment. She shuffled her feet, trying to decide what to say with little success. She looked longingly at the forest, she would be in their soon, but till then it’s call would have to wait.

“Will you please come back to the front of the house, you will have to only wait a few moments more. We are waiting for a small number more of the lucky draw.” She paused then, looking at the Reporter with accusation in her eyes, the reporters did not belong here. “Then you and your… Friend can come in with them. I’m afraid none of the Reporters are allowed into the forest till then, though if you wish for him to come along, he will of course be given a special status for today.” Her teeth glittered angrily as she looked up at them both. Then leaving them no option but to follow her, she moved off to where she thought her twin would be. Her hair streamed out behind her as she walked, not attempting to walk slowly in her anger, they both knew they were not allowed to go alone in the forest till the had been given a tour and this was for good reason, it was far to easy to get lost in the 5 acres of trees that covered this area. She glanced up at the house, wondering if Nim was still there, would she get to have a word before they had to take the lucky draw to the ruins?

******************************************************************************

“Ahh Miss Elise, you are here.” Zosia spoke softly, all her anger dropping away when she saw the lovely looking woman. “It is a pleasure to meet you and I hope that your trip was safe?” She let her voice dip and dive as it usually did, melodic and relaxing, feeling no need to hide from this girl. She smiled sweetly, once more feeling that she was young in this world, only 16 years old. She reached out to take her bags, but swiftly withdrew her hand, seeing that Elise did not want it taken from her. She looked around, where was the man, Ezreal he was supposed to have come on the same bus. She shrugged, the coach was still here, so maybe he was taking his time? She bowed low, leading her to the steps of the house, her feet tapping away happily on the gravel pathway. She sat down; her narrow hips fitting into the gap between the fronts two tall pillars, giving a grand look to the house and sighed. It was the first person she had felt relaxed around and smiled warmly to her.

“There is another car coming after yours, I hope you don’t mind waiting. Would you like to leave your stuff here and go strait up to the ruins? Or do you think you will want to rest and get some food?” She asked, looking at the other woman’s face with keen interest. Her head twitched to one side, watching her identical twin come around the corner, not looking all to pleased. Zosia was glad she could show her sister someone new, someone who seemed genuinely nice. She swung her legs playfully, happy that they looked so good today, their new clothes sparkling and fresh. The stone beneath her fingertips was rough and she loved it, the twins spent many days out here reading together, Sasha leaning over her shoulder to read the same book most often, it was so rare to see the pair apart. She waved happily as the second car glided in, hoping that this man too would be bright and happy like Elise.
(I hope this makes up for my unfinished post yesterday, for those waiting for Rea's post, fret not I'm going to put it in the forest location.)

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Ezreal had passed out, yet again, before the buss had arrived to Thatcher’s Estate, a small trail of drool having made its way from his mouth and wishing for nothing more than to end up on the floor of the bus. ‘Damn it…’ he thought to himself, whipping his mouth off and sitting up straight, removing his earphones and sliding the device back into the cargo pocket of his pants. He cleared his throat and messed with his hair a little bit (for no real reason), pushing his feet to the back of his boots and rolling his neck. This was a normal routine he did for no known reason after waking up in a place other than a bed. The bus came to a stop at the front of a house that stirred something inside of Ezreal, something he couldn’t quite put a finger on though it wanted to be there… What-ever it was.

Ezreal waited for the few people on the bus to leave, standing up last as his eyes watching the floor as he made his way off as well. His final step off the bus brought his eyes back up to the house, paying little attention to the people around him, “Shit…” He mumbled to himself, putting his hands on his hips, his elbows pointing outward. Slowly, but surely, a grin formed on his face, the urge to just start laughing held back as he didn’t want to look like a freak in front of everyone this early on. He looked to see a man maybe his same age carrying his bag, though Ezreal was able to coax him out of carrying it for him. It seemed like he stayed there only for a moment though it was a tad bit longer than that. The architecture of the building, well, mansion, was par to perfect with Ezreal’s tastes. He had seen buildings similar to this, but none would be able to touch it for some reason.

He took a short step forward, the grin on his face growing even more. Being selected for this trip was just astronomical when you look at the chances… Out of all the people in the world he was one of the few selected to venture into the ruins, something previously done by no more than maybe one or two people before. Ezreal didn’t notice it, but his heart was beating quite fast. Faster than it normally would at least, quite possibly from the plethora of emotions he was feeling right now. He stopped for a moment and reached one hand into his bag, pulling out the old hunting knife from in between a pair of jeans. He flipped it in his hand, catching the sheath and staring at the handle for a second, reminiscing about when he received this from his mother.

“Ezreal, come here please.” His mother’s voice carried through the house into Ezreal’s room where he was working on a thesis paper for college. His feet pushed himself away from the desk as he stood from the chair, faintly hoping she needed him to do something so he’d be able to get away from school work. “Yes?” He said about halfway to the dining room, catching no response until he took a seat across from his mother. She held something wrapped up in a pelt of some sort. What-ever it was, he had seen that white fur a while ago… “Your grandfather put a marginal amount of consideration into this, and he finally made up his mind that this was the time.” She hadn’t glanced at Ezreal, her eyes focused on the object in her hand. “Mhm…?” Ezreal let out lightly, his face donning a confused look. His mothers left hand pulled on the pelt, it slipping off and revealing a knife in its sheath. Ezreal’s eyes narrowed a little, looking up at his mother for a second before looking back down, “Is that…” Ezreal’s voice trailed off, eyes locked on the blade. “Yes.” His mother said lightly, unclipping the sheath and sliding it down half way.

Ezreal popped back into the real world after staring at his knife, rather, his family’s knife. The belt given to him by his grandfather was loosened as he slid the sheath onto it, offsetting it to his back left as he was left handed. He readjusted the duffel bag on his shoulder and looked up, seeing the girl from the buss and two others... 'Don't see that everyday...' he thought to himself, looking at the twins. He approached them after taking in a breath, not one for initiating conversation, "Hi, I'm Ezreal Jaeger..." He had a warm smile on his face, though a faint feeling of awkwardness began pitting itself in the back of his stomach.

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#, as written by lumikb
Madalene felt relieved in some way, the energy surrounding this forest was making her feel uneasy, not exactly in a bad way but a feeling that she never encountered before or maybe she had. Something similar she went through back then, when she was recovered after a year, those ruins might hold some answers to what happened .She glanced back, you couldn't see the tall and proud walls anymore, and they were now hidden from sight by all the lush greenery. The pain in her shoulder was gone; they were back in the herb garden by now.

The young girl who scolded them for wandering off on their own was quite unique, the yellow hair made her look like a fairy in Madalenes vision. Before entering the house, she stopped and touched her back:
"About the reporter guy," she turned around and pointed to the angry red hair Irishman, she was surprised he didn't start swearing at the young maid “he is with me."
She didn't know why she just did that, that’s how she was, just helping out a fellow reporter.

Madalene winked to Callahan, continued following the young fairy that seemed a little angry and not very comfortable with their presence. Most people react like that, reporters aren't very popular. Apart from that, the smell of smoke was a problem too but she cared less, Harvey always said that the people who count can go past those small details.

Back inside of the house, they were walking through another way than the one they went last time. It was just as elegant and expensive as the rest of the rooms , nothing that she hadn't seen before. She felt a little sorry now that they were here instead of outside near the ruins , Madalene just realized how stuffy the air seemed in comparison with the clean and fresh scented one from the forest. Exhausted from the road and things that happened earlier ,all she really needed right now was a long bath and some sleep.

Madalene remembered she left her suitcase; her purse was hanging on her arm, in the waiting room by the coffee table. She went next to the fairy girl, looking her in the eye, to inform her about it:
"My suitcase is in the waiting room, you might already know that but just in case." Madalene smiled to the fairy, it didn't have much effect.
Usually she would be pretty good at making a conversation, it was just not working right now.

In the end, they were back at the entrance, were surprisingly she saw a perfect clone of the young maid. She was smiling with all her mouth, this was really incredible, and it was strange enough to see one person with such yellow, not blonde, hair and constitution. Her hand went directly for the camera, but she stopped since the girls would probably be more upset then they were already with her. Harvey would have loved to see this, she could already see how the article would look like:
"Incredible Fairy Twins work as maids at the Terran Ruins!" she slowly said and then started laughing.

After snapping out of it, there were two more people by the maids, they weren't in Harveys list since they just arrived. They must have been one of the Lucky Drawn because they didn't really look like celebrities.
The girl was really pretty, with her dark brown hair and fringe that covered one eye but as innocent and angelic as she looked there was this strange heavy aura around her that freaked Madalene out. Her look went towards the man; he looked like he fell asleep on the bus since he still had some small drool lines on one side of his mouth. Brown hair, brown eyes, not very handsome in Madalenes opinion just your average guy.

They went closer to the group; the brown feather in her hair was swinging around, Madalene smiled.
"Hello, my name is Madalene D'Abenville , freelancer and one of the Lucky Drawn." she reached her arm to them to shake hands , things will get interesting soon.

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“Chilly me willy!” Seamus burst out when one of the twins came around. “ Who sent in the jailbait?”, he asked Madelene leaning slightly besides her acting as if the girl was not in their presence. He didn’t like the look the maid gave him nor the tone in her voice, so different from what anyone else would expect to come from such an angelic creature. The red haired reporter was used to all kinds of hostile behaviors when it came to his work (or so he liked to think, in reality this happened more often because of his difficult personality), but he would not take anything of the sort from a teenager. He opened his lips ready to let out another little piece of heaven but something in Madelene’s presence stopped him. He was never courteous, lady or no lady besides him, but this time he let it go, following the two back to the estate.

He looked down at his boots, all full of dirt. These old leather boots, a bit tattered on the sides but always shinny had seen a lot in the past couple of years: from the well-worked muscles or flappy bellies which belonged to all sorts of bodyguards to the soft bed in which Seamus often fell asleep without removing them first from his feet. Not all were pleasant experiences, some incidents in the life of a boot gave a whole new meaning to the southern expression “Don’t you piss on my leg and tell me it’s rainin’ ! ”, but they were cared for tenderly by their owner, mainly because they weren’t just his favorite pair, but the only one he possessed. And now they were dirty again giving Seamus another reason on top of the rest for being hotheaded again.
“Ain’t that bad if I get back to the bar” he said to himself, thinking that he might as well buy a bottle or two for later when the thirst would strike again. His metal bottle was also empty for some time and he needed his “energy” to survive the already tiring day. The drinks would have to wait, however, when the three of them arrived at the entrance another blonde teenager was there,greeting one of the Lucky Draws, a certain Elise.

“Blood’ mary’s toma~tho, I’m already seeing double” he joked in his rough voice, letting out a strange chuckle that frightened the guest.
Before saying anything more a young man entered the scene and introduced himself as Ezreal Jaeger and for a moment Seamus thought that there was a chance of good company amongst this “shower of savages” as he called them. The man seemed better built than him and even Seamus would think twice before landing him a punch in the nose if the occasion arrived.
“A’ right? “ he asked the man lending his hand in greeting as Madalene introduced herself to the two.
“And I’m Seamus, the red fairy that’ll show ya around” he continued her line smiling ironically, looking at Elise with interest.

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He hadn’t needed the book during the ride to the forest. This was his first time out of the U.S. And he enjoyed it. The sights, the sounds, while all of them felt familiar they also felt different. At least I can speak the language, or at least a mongrel version of it. That put a smile on his face, the first in a while. The driver had softened up a bit during the ride, and they had had a good conversation on the politics in both the U.S. and the U.K. He had studied the political scheme of Britain while he had been at school, but it certainly didn’t make him an expert. Their debate lasted for about the first leg of the trip, but it slowly died down. Nathan started to think about Mr. Fen again. That smile, and those eyes, they just made his blood freeze. Something about the man felt familiar though, and it aggravated him immensely. Its as if I have seen him before, its just……… He growled in the back seat. This was going to ruin his mood if he wasn’t careful. He closed his eyes for just a second and-

It was the car. The Chrysler Sebring 2001, silver, pretty good, and his first car. It would also be his last. He instantly knew this was a dream, or a nightmare, or something. His hands were on the steering wheel, and his father his mother and his sister were all animatedly talking to each other oblivious to the obvious danger they were about to be in. He had had this dream before. He started to yell, to scream, to beg at his parents to listen to him, to know of the danger. They ignored him, and continued driving. He tried to remove his hands from the wheel, but they wouldn’t budge. When he tried to hit the break it wasn’t there. They kept going on, merrily towards there own destruction. He stared onwards for what felt like an eternity, as light after light passed them. His parents talking had now become a background buzz, now being replaced by a deep bass rumble. And then he saw it, in the distance. It was a great, hulking metal monstrosity. And it was painted red. The semi, as it always had in his dreams, looked every part the monster he thought it was. It was far away now, but gaining, like it always did. But there was something different. He could feel it, taste it, and even smell it. The Truck was moving faster, and the Sebring was accelerating. This was new. They had never gone faster before. The Sebring now was fast approaching the intersection. He felt his hands begin to turn the wheel, and there was the semi, but the windows, which were normal shaded were no translucent. Behind the wheel of the semi was a smiling Mr. Fen, waving at him. Then it seemed as if time slowed down, and then completely stop. Then he felt a small hand gently touch his right shoulder. His hands still attached to the driving wheel, Nathan slowly turned around and found himself face to face with his sister. She was looking at him and silently she said two words.
“Wake. Up.”


He jolted himself awake. The first coherent thought he had was what the hell? That dream had just been weird, and scary. Weirdly scary. Damn, he thought, if this is how its going to be for the rest of my time in Britain, I should just head home. He was about to ask the driver were they where when the driver beat him to the punch. “Sir? We're here”
“We’re here……” He was about to make that a question but then he saw the Mansion. “Wow” It was an understatement but he felt like there were no words to properly explain how good, no, how beautiful it looked. The driver asked something but Nathan didn’t quite catch it. “What was that? Sorry I was distracted.”
“I said,” The driver repeated, “Do you want me to get the door”
“Nah, I got it.” Nathan opened his door and was about to get out when he stopped. “Oh and one more thing. Thanks for putting up with me during the trip. I know I can be quite….bothersome.” The driver smiled and replied “Not a problem sir, have a good day.” With that Nathan got out shut the door and walked towards the Mansion. There seemed to be a small group near the Mansion already, so he slowly walked over. As soon as one of them saw him he stopped and said, “Ah….hi. Names Nathan. Is this were the Lucky are suppose to be?” He couldn’t help being or sounding a bit nervous. This place was just……fantastic.

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Ezreal gave a smile to the brunette as she turned, giving her name as she shook his hand, "Yeah, I was one of the drawn and I know what you mean..." His eyes looked around the mansion for a split second, barely able to fathom what would be waiting for them behind the house. He grinned at her again though turned his head to another voice which showed up, A red head which, by her voice, wasn't from his neck of the woods, as the others in the area obviously weren't. More movement behind the red head caught his attention, his eyes changing positions and setting on another man. 'What in the hell does 'Chilly me willy' mean...?' he thought to himself, though a faint grin came to his face regardless, though that slipped away as he started calling the twins jailbait, this probably not being a great place for words of that nature. The man's hand came up to shake his, and Ezreal did the same, "Nice to meet you man." He said with a faint grin on his face, figuring there was a faint possibility this guy was a little off his rocker already after mentioning the bar. A more familiar accent soon showed up behind them, Ezreal turning to see yet another of the lucky drawn, "Nice to meet you man, I'm Ezreal." He held his hand out to Nathan, taking it back after shaking hands with him.

Ezreal turned around and looked to the twins as they began speaking, making his eyes widen a little as they began speaking in unison. 'Damn...' he thought to himself, 'this is the real deal.' His left arm found its way to his pocket, his thumb sitting outside to keep his hand from falling all the way down. His eyes were moving from person to person as the twins introduced each of them, a faint grin reappearing on his face as the twins spoke about the reporters. Ezreal gave a smile as they introduced him to the group, nodding a little at their explanation of his expertise. After giving Nathan's name, he noticed their hesitation, making his eyes narrow slightly. Something was up with this guy from the looks of it, though there was no way to tell without asking him, which may or may not be the best thing to do. He decided to forget about it, his attention going back to the final introduction of the girl Elise who had already given her name earlier.

Ezreal followed the group into the bar area (almost feeling bad about walking on the grass), following their instructions and dropping his bag next to theirs. His eyebrow came up slightly as she mentioned people already being out there… Seems like they were anxious to get as much time in the ruins as physically possible… Not that it was a problem, though. He tagged along with the group, both of his hands finding their ways into his pockets. He felt his heart start beating a little faster with each step they took, a goofy smile showing up on his face, like a kid getting presents on Christmas. “Ah, this is insane…” he said under his breath, looking down at the ground for a moment then back up as they came into the garden. He caught a odd motion from one the twin named Zosia, looking to where she had been looking but there was… nothing. He eyed her carefully for a second then back in the direction she had waved, an amused grin showing up on his face before shaking his head a little.

As they entered the forest, Ezreal’s brain kicked on and began naming each and every species of tree he could see, though there were some fauna he wasn’t entirely versed in. He smiled, knowing this was just going to be an experience getting to the place. He was one of the first to follow, though he was ninety-nine percent sure everyone had come. His steps slowed down a little for someone to catch up and maybe see what they thought about this whole thing. He could still feel his heart racing, only one other time that came close to this level of excitement, and that was when he was one slap from a bear away from dying. Grizzly bear cubs will forever be something not to observe at a close distance in Ezreal's book, at least while their mother is still in the area... That was an experience which you'd rather not have needless to say. The sleeve of his shirt was pulled up just enough to see the bottom half of the tattoo, something which he payed little to no attention to after becoming comfortable with it... After his parents got off his case about it at least.

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#, as written by echored
”Ulva, bring me home flowers.. and rocks, and um, snacks! A Souvenir!...”
”Of course I will.. the flowers might be dead though, but we can scrapbook with them,” Ulva had said to youngest sibling at age 7, Annesthasie, while she picked her up and spun her around. “You know it isn’t just about the treasure hunting, Annie, it will be a great place to rejuvenate and be inspired.”


This flashback of the conversation she had with her sister right before she left for the airport played in her mind. It was ironic now, for she didn’t feel rejuvenated but affected, changed. She wasn’t inspired but fearful, almost sick. Her blood was heating, but was it really internal or was it the sun? She didn’t know what to believe anymore. Trees could talk... and so far the only other living creature Ulva had stumbled upon was not even an animal at all, but some type of translucent spirit wolf. She shuddered under Rea’s arm. Thinking of what she just went to made her feel like a crazy person. She wondered if she would sound too crazy to tell Rea what exactly happened.

Ulva’s feet shuffled quietly below her vision, sometimes dragging to the floor when her muscles would tense and loosen, as if in battles with themselves, wanting to pull her body in a new direction. Her eyes peering upwards to watch the new group pass them. Ulva appreciated the fact Rea was carrying her swiftly so that no one seemed willing enough to stop them on their mission. She could see some entering the Ruins from the corner of her eyes. They all seemed so perky and excited, innocent in their movements as they took their daring steps forward to the gates and the paths around. Ulva sighed below her breath, wondering if they would face a similar event like she did, or if they could hear the trees whispering... The two were now within reach of the Herb Garden, the view of the mansion a pleasant sight for sore eyes. Ulva gave one last look over her shoulder, surprised she could see the group so far away. It occurred to her she was still having side effects of extreme eyesight-- yet another thing she could freak out over, not that it was something bad to have- it just wasn’t normal. Ulva could see Demetrius conversating on the path way, maybe he was on his way back to the house as well?

“Tell me what happened out there?” she asked, the golden question. It was bound to have come up. She turned her face to look up at Rea, a soft expression on her face despite the fear that lined her eyes. She looked down at the scrapes on her arms and focused on her right thumb in particular that seemed pale and white in color.

“I... I dont know if you would believe me or not,” she began, measuring the tone of her voice, the first few words in a whisper but gradually getting louder. “I must tell you though.” Ulva paused at the border of the Herb Garden, out of prying ears from reporters that were scattered about, and hidden from any eager staff waiting to wait on them. She managed to stand on her own, straightening her back despite her muscles wanting her to curl downwards for some reason. She placed both her hands on the sides of Rea’s toned upper arms. “I think I saw a ghost... of a wolf, but it seemed so alive and vivid. I followed it when I caught sight of it, I wasn’t even sure what it was. It led me to that place you found me... and it attacked me, sort of. It jumped at me, went through me.. I haven’t felt quite the same since. Do you believe in magic?” Ulva whispered, a passion in each word she spoke, a conviction that if anything would prove she wasn’t imaging these things.

“No, don’t answer that... I probably just need to lay down. I did fall and all, maybe I hit my head too hard,” she noted, letting her arms drop from Rea back to her sides. The corners of her lips raised in a half smile. She moved forward, officially back on house grounds. She hoped that being back here would settle her nerves. Waiters and maids moved to was from, not immediately noticing their return. As soon as they did, several came skipping out of the glass doors with fresh glasses of water.

Ulva took one of the cups, nodding with thanks as the glass was placed in her hand. It felt refreshing against her skin that pulsed with heated blood, her skin taking on a tanner shade from the temperature raise. She sipped the water slowly, enjoying each gulp.

The sight of their meal plates still on the table in the Herb Garden reminded Ulva of the shot of Vodka she had. “Mm,” she hummed, thinking that another one might be well appreciated, if anything just to relax in her thoughts. Maybe after she changed she could find out where the bar was in the house and pay it a stop.

Ulva looked back at Rea as she moved towards the door to the inside, still managing to maneuver herself around despite her decrepit clothing and limp in her steps. “Getting through these halls will be another adventure in itself,” she said in an attempt to me cheerful. Her humble ego didn’t want to come off too weak or pathetic. She was a strong woman after all, just not at the current time.

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Rea listened quietly, glad to be out of the forest for a time, though she would be back, nothing could keep her from seeing more of this place. From the estate house she could smell someone cooking, someone who knew what they were doing and how to please people. The zang of Lemon, was complimented by the waft of Lavender from the Herb Garden, making her mind float a little lighter. Here they were safe, safe with the obvious life of others, there were so many people around, guards, maids, waiters and someone for every job as far as she could tell. Inside the house she could hear raised voices, the voice of a woman who was obviously used to getting her way, not because she was spoilt, but because she worked darn hard for it. Shortly after they had been handed the water, a woman came down the hall, she was plump and squat, but had the kind of face you couldn’t help but love, especially if you’d had a stressful day like them. One of the waiters trailed behind her, looking a little lost and very angry. This woman obviously wasn’t what he thought the guests wanted to see.

“You stay here, you stupid little man or I’ll have Mister Thatcher fire you!” She turned to him a little way off, before existing into the garden via the arched French windows. Rea almost giggled seeing such a professional looking man be scolded by the scruffy little woman, how his face paled at her threat. He moved away, the sharp clatter of his scuttling feet all that was heard in his absence. “Yes, that is what I thought. Try and keep me from Thomas’s guests, he’d drop dead if I told him you’d tried to stop me. The Master knows I am the best and we all know these people need that right now. Stupid little man.” The woman talked away as she came closer to them, a platter balanced in her hands, looking precarious under the thick wobble of her hips. The cheery looking woman trotted over to them, pushing the almost invisible glass a push like it was made of steel and wouldn’t brake in 100 years, which she knew it wouldn’t. She paused just outside the doors, looking the two girls up and down, eyes calculating, this woman was clever. Then took the last few steps towards them, Rea wondered what they had fallen into now, this was obviously not a woman to mess with.

“Welcome there, my name is Azure, I’m the house keeper, cook and every other thing you might need about the house.” She looked over her shoulder, hoping the silly man had heard her words. “I work here full time, you have probably met my daughters, mischievous little things. They have hearts of gold though, so pay them no heed if they play tricks you don’t like.” The woman’s voice was soft and cheerful, reminding Rea of warm cookies and hot honey milk in the winter. The rose to her cheeks made Rea smile in turn, though the woman could talk away like nothing else, giving them little chance to get a word in edges. Rea watched her friend mulling over her words, not for a moment thinking her mad, this place had something about it, something she had never felt and she had been all over the world. She wanted to show her Stitch, show her the good side of things here, but did not want others to see her new little friend, it’s fine bones were fragile and she feared what world happen if one of the reporters caught sight of the little bird.

“Anyway, I knew you would be back soon, so I fixed you some things.” She pulled off the lid of the silver platter. “The forest gave me a few hints as to what you might be needing. I couldn’t come up before you all visited the ruins, Thomas knows I have a tendency to let my mouth get away with me, but you’ve been there now. You know a little of what it’s like.” She smiled, looking down at the large reflective disk. On there were three dishes and thee glasses, two dishes held flawless individual portions of food, what the cook had thought they would best like. They were hot and vapor rose from them, curling into their noses and enticing them to eat though she didn’t feel hungry really. The swirls of glaze were lazy around the edge, creating intricate patterns that criss crossed over their food, it looked so tantalizing that Rea couldn’t help but reach out and pick up her portion. Warm under her finger tips, her teeth broke the think outer crisp and her tongue was rewarded with a lemony dressing and a light prawn filling with potato and herbs. She looked to the next plate and took it in hand, this one held seeds and what looked like roasted bugs, she knew these were for stitch. Like wise she picked up her shot glass, taking the over sweet damson gin with a smile, licking her lips and picked up the shot filled with threads for Stitch.

“I think I’m going to go to my room and change and maybe think about what has gone on.” She spoke quietly, not wanting to draw attention. “I’d love it if you’d keep me company Ulva, maybe you could tell you a little more of what went on?” She asked tilting her head. She nodded a swift thanks to the little Chef, who bobbed her head in turn to the two and left once her job had been fulfilled. As she turned, the Chef gave them a massive smile, filling her heart with happiness. The people here seemed good and she wriggled her toes in her soft soled shoes, a small smile on her face, she just couldn’t wait to show Ulva Stictch. Come to that, she couldn’t wait to show Stitch Ulva, the little creature would be overjoyed to mend her clothes, giving Ulva time to calm down and tell her about what was going on. What wolf had taken her attention so and left her so bedraggled. She was glad that she herself was having an easier time, all she had done was swung through the trees and take it easy.

She looked back over shoulder as they entered the house, keeping a close watch on her friend, not wanting her to fall and further damage herself again. Through the trees she tried to catch a glimpse of the people, but they were too far away. The only ones she cared about in truth were Thomas and Demetrius as they both seemed to be good, kind people who had welcomed her, if very silently for one of them. They seemed to get along as a group and seeing how Ulva was, she was worried for them both. Tapping her toes on the floor, she hoped they would come back soon, come back to the house and talk with them. Hoped that Thomas would tell them what was really going on and that Demetrius would tell them what had kept him from joining them. What had he seen, she assumed he had seen something like they had. Hopefully he wasn’t as ruffled by the experience as Ulva though. Her warm eyes looked down at her new friend, heart kind and for a moment her eyes flickered like fire. If you hadn’t been looking you wouldn’t have seen, even if you had, you would say it was a trick of the eyes, but here, in this place, you never knew.

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#, as written by echored
Ulva dodged the door swinging open as a rather large woman came through with a tray of what seemed to be food in her arms. She moved with a sturdy amount of confidence, joy reddening her cheeks with an all around motherly comfort to her, which pleased Ulva despite having been caught off guard. Ulva set her glass of water down on the table next to her as she moved back over to Rea’s side, giving her a quick glance of bewilderment before looking back at the shorter woman before her. With all the surprises Ulva had just went through, the presence of this woman wasn’t nearly as nerving as the rest but it still made Ulva wish she was away from the hectic rumble of maids and housekeepers.

She woman introduced herself as Azure. It seemed she was wise beyond her years, the look in her eyes saying she probably knew every corner of these grounds and most likely the forest itself. Ulva wondered if this woman knew of the strange effects the forest had on people, and if she did.. well, something had to be said about why they all must be here. Ulva wasn’t the paranoid type but she was beginning to feel she had walked into a trap predestined for her to fall in to, without any warning. Thinking upon this made her almost resentful towards these people, even if they were waiting on them hand and foot. They knew something that they were keeping secret and Ulva hated secrets, especially when it involved her and potential danger. Figuring it was best to rest on these thoughts, she put them aside and continued to follow the movements of the woman and Rea.

The lid to the silver platter before her was lifted, a plethora of hearty smells filling the dense air around them from the sun’s heat. She herself couldn’t image putting something else in her stomach with fear that it might come back up, but she didn’t want to feel rude. The sight of a shot glass filled with more vodka on the other hand made Ulva’s mood perk up a bit. “Oh, thank you,” she said quietly, with a faint nod towards Azure. Her voice was muffled and not quite there, but she tried her best to seem appreciative at the gesture. Ulva reached down and picked up the shot glass, not waiting even a moment to think about what to do with it. The strong liquor met the back of her throat welcoming, a warm sensation tingling her throat and then her chest. Most might think taking a straight shot of vodka was overdoing it, but she had grown up around this alcohol for many years now, never abusing it, but indeed enjoying it. She could drink it straight just like it was water-- which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you looked at it. She placed the empty glass back on the platter and then picked up the small saucer plate that had what looked to be a small crepe covered in sugar and strawberries on it. There was another plate on the platter that had a small portion of steak that smelled delicious but a part of her rejected the thought of wanting to eat meat, afraid it might kick in some weird animal instinct and bring back the feelings she had earlier. Anyhow, the crepe looked gourmet, like a picture from a food magazine. They must have researched her background life well enough to know it was one of her favorite treats, but once again, she wasn’t sure if her stomach could handle it right now.

“I’ll hold on to this, maybe bring it to my room. I think I remember seeing a small fridge in there for sodas, I can place this inside of there if I don’t finish it,” she said, holding the small plate close to her body and giving her best smile in order to not offend the woman before her.

Then Rea began to speak, mentioning that she was going to go back up to her room and change. She was glad she said that because it was exactly what Ulva wanted to do as well. “‘ll join you... I want to shower though, change.... I can meet with you after that though in your room,” she answered in reply, swaying gently on her feet as she waited to go back inside the house. The Chef departed from the two with a bubble of joy on her face, a level of happiness Ulva couldn’t image being possible in the state she, herself was in. “Lets go,” she whispered carefully, eager to get back upstairs, and hoping they could avoid any press in the meantime.

She led the way, shaky but able to balance walking and the small plate of food in her hand. The entrance inside the building was indeed refreshing, the air condition a welcoming feeling on her skin that was trying to cool down from the heated blood boiling underneath. Several eyes landed on her as she and Rea came inside, but no one seemed too surprised by the rough appearance. Through her awkward limping Ulva walked swiftly, eyes peeled in all directions trying to make sure there wasn’t a reporter looming around a corner. All she needed now was a compromising picture of her looking like this for the Russian government to charge her with some sort of crime... Damn contract, she thought to herself, staying close to walls and shadows that danced in the halls. It was a few minutes later when Ulva and Rea finally made it to the stairwell that descended upwards back towards their bedrooms. One hand gripped the plate with the crepe, the other the railing up the stairs. A friendly hand of Rea she could feel being placed on her back, helping her up forward, faster. She was grateful to say the least, and would thank her repeatly later once she felt more like herself.

--

Ulva opened the door to her bedroom, waving at Rea before slipping inside completely and shutting the door.

“Finally... some silence,” she said to herself, placing the crepe down on a table and letting her torn body fall on the plush comforter on the bed. It was soft against her skin, nuzzling her face in it for a second before staring up at the tall ceiling. Her breath was finally becoming regular again and her senses still seemed... insanely better, each of the five amplified. It felt weird being so physically aware and yet so mentally confused at the same time. “The people here know about it... Thomas has to know about it... the wolf, the walking trees... it isn’t just me,” she said rather effortlessly. Little did she know what was happening to all the others in the forest or else she would feel a lot better with her own mental state. But for now, all she knew was that she was the only one that had such an experience. Rea had wanted to talk more about what exactly happened. Maybe she would tell her about it, about the hair that had began to grow off her body, about the aching in her back that was trying to force her on all fours.

“But I am human,” she stated simply, rolling herself off the bed and back on her two feet. She shed her sweated and shorts, as well as shoes and underwear. She torn, dirty clothes were thrown to a corner and she walked hesitantly to she shower as she peered down at the naked body. The skin wasn’t normal around her belly. In fact, it was several shades darker than her regular skin, and all around she could see the veins below her skin tensing bigger and bigger. “But not normal..” she added to her statement, shaking her head as if this was an illusion but yet something that was also happening, if that was even possible. She turned on the shower water and waited for the temperature to be lukewarm. As soon as she stepped in the water she felt comfort, the water soaking her long blond hair that was free from its braid. It clung to her back, along the feminine curves that gave her her gentle beauty. The dirt dripped from her forehead down to the floor, brown water falling down the drain until there was no more color to the water. The shower seemed like it lasted forever but once she was out it had only been a few minutes. Ulva made her way back into the main room, opening up her green backpack for a change of clothes. She pulled out a pair of black leggings that cut below her knee, and a white t-shirt that was oversized for her, falling above her mid-thigh. Her hair was still wet but she let it hand freely at her back, small droplets of water making a trail behind her as she walked over to the crepe, picking up a strawberry and popping it into her mouth. She placed the rest of the treat inside the fridge and then walked barefoot out of her room and down the hall to Rea’s.

A sturdy knock could be heard thumping on Rea’s door, Ulva behind waiting patiently. It opened slowly, Rea inside seeming to have already cleaned up herself. Ulva waved in a friendly manner, feeling her strength return to her even though her equilibrium still felt off. “I feel a lot better, the shower helped,” she said, moving further inside Rea’s room that was just as beautiful as her own.

A sigh then escaped through her lips, making eye contact with this new friend. The vodka shot from earlier was making Ulva feel more willing to share what happened to her now. “I left out some details.... I didn’t mention what the wolf did to me, what I heard.... the trees, see.. they spoke to me. In some sort of a riddle or poem. I don’t remember exactly what it said, but it mentioned a new life... like we would be starting something there, something eternal, immortal...” she paused, trying to gage the reactions on Rea’s face, but then continued, “I know it is crazy.. Trees don’t talk... but, what is even stranger is that.... well.... I grew hair.. White hair, all over my face for a brief moment. I remember it growing fast and it scared me, I passed out... But when I woke up it was gone.” Ulva sat down on Rea’s bed, looking down at the floor. “I.. I’m glad to be away from it.. but at the same time, I feel I need to go back. I still feel strange, and maybe these weird feelings might go away if I can find that wolf again.. though the possibilities of that seem nearly impossible. The thing itself was a ghost I believe. It was green when around bushes and brown when it ran in front of a tree...” Once she realized she was ranting, she smiled faintly up at Ulva and giggled. “Do you believe me?”

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She waved quietly to Ulva, entering her own room and flopped out on the bed, looking up at the bright ceiling, covered with golden stars. The velvet blue was settling on her mind, as she thought about her day. From her discarded bag she heard a sweet cheeping, reminding her of the little creature she had been carrying. She reached down from her place on the bed, back casually arched in a position most people wouldn’t dream of, but here she did not need to care of others watching. She tugged on the strings of her backpack and out ran the little critter, chirping away at the top of its voice, obviously she had been a little to rough with it. She held out the little shot glass of colorful threads, a peace offering and the seeds and bugs on the tiny silver dish it had been placed on. It watched her warily for a moment, but as she had suspected, it could not resist the threads, its little hands pawing in the glass. However what she had not expected, was that it only pulled out a few thin threads, leaving the rest and hustled them back to its nest, now poking out of the top of her bag.

“You are an odd little thing, but I like you.” She smiled down at it, the intelligence in its eyes almost made her think it would talk. “Now you be good while mummy has a shower.” She told it, her eyes soft with affection. She `stood up slowly, movements languid and easy, enjoying the spring of the carpet under her toes. Out at the front of the house she could hear a musician warming up, the sweet yearning that came from the strings making her smile. She dropped clothes to her left and right, her muscles rippled as she walked, balanced perfectly and some what like a stalking cat. She opened the door to the shower, her head rambling on about the little odd things that had happened on their visit to the forest. She wondered about the ruins, its beauty and what it meant for all those visiting. She unlike the others had not experienced much in it, only a few things that any human mind could push to one side and they washed away just as easily as the dirt from her body under the flow of water from the shower.

Stepping from the shower, she grabbed the big fluffy white towel and wrapped, it all warm and comforting, around her athletic form. Plugging in her ears with music, she slipped the strap around her neck and danced gently about her room, going to the wardrobe to see what they had supplied there. Her eyes were caught by a daffodil yellow dress made of double layered silk that slithered over her form perfectly and the single straps curved elegantly to her shoulders. She turned to the mirror, her wet locks dripping on the flawless fabric, though it was cut low at the back, her hair fell long. It was stunning on her, unlike anything she had ever worn before, bringing out the warmth of her eyes and the tan of her skin to give her an more ethereal coloring. It flared out from her hips and she took a soft dancing step, watching it spin out at her hips and she spun like a child, laughter on her lips, eyes closed as her face turned to the ceiling, her arms reaching out to the hidden sky with abandon. On her back she felt Stitch’s little feet, climbing to her shoulders, his chirping piercing the sound of the music and his joy was obvious to her.

“Hello?” She called, stopping suddenly when she heard the knock, her eyes snapping open. “Oh it’s you Ulva, sorry I was off somewhere else there. Come in.” She said softly upon opening the door. She felt the little bird like creature at the base of her neck, its little claws snagging on her delicate skin, but not unpleasantly and she found its weight reassuring. She padded quietly across her floor, enjoying the rich colors of the beckoning bed, splashed in red and blue, but instead headed to one of the loungers, tucking her feet underneath herself. She listened to Ulva’s words, her long lashes shadowing her eyes, as she thought about what she was being told. Her hands rubbed across her arms, brushing away her goose pimples. If she had not found Stitch, had not been to the place, felt how it was out there, she would not have believed her, but as it was she did. At the back of her neck she could feel the little heart beat of Stitch, his light breath and small scaled feet. She shifted on her seat, turning towards Ulva a little more, wondering what she should now say.

“I believe you, I didn’t see or feel anything like you, but I found something.” She looked at the floor, arching her back slightly. “I’l show you, but try to be quiet, I don’t want to scare it.” She sat forward, reaching behind her to the sleeping bird, taking it softly in her palm. She felt it shudder and hoped that it wouldn’t mind being shown to anyone, it seemed shy of everyone but her. It shifted in her palm, small enough to fit under her clutched fingers, its tiny feathers. She pulled it out from beneath her hair, trailing strands behind, proffering out to her friend. Cautiously she opened her long fingers, worn beyond many her age, but kept soft through constant attention. The small bird fluffed itself, standing up sharply and turning towards Rea. It Chirped away at her for a moment, obviously not to keen on being picked up and ruffled as it had been. It preened its little feathers, its black eyes flashing her, but soon rubbed its head against her thumb settling down again. It nuzzled her and promptly fell back to sleep, its little head lolling to one side.

“I think there are things we weren’t told about coming here.” She whispered, unsure who was listening. “I also think that it seems right, I don’t think anyone will come back tonight and not to return.” She smiled, resting her hand in her lap and Stitch in turn and sighed. She thought judging from Ulva’s experience, it seemed like others would come back muttering things, she smiled at that thought, for Ulva wasn’t muttering at all. She wondered how the others were, there had seemed to be a few of them when they had passed on their way back, but they had not looked as hardy as her friend here. The one she was most concerned about was the other man who they had met before. He had been quiet, but polite, she feared that he would not take things to well, though she supposed better than others might. She shifted in her seat, looking out of the window, would they all come back soon? It was getting dark outside, the sun was setting in a beautiful glow, lighting up the sky with the last of the sun they would see for another 9 hours. What would happen tonight? She ran her fingertips over the little bird, feeling all four of its little legs and the fine bones that were within.

She looked around quickly when the door creaked, her hand moving without thought at a speed no human should have. Quickly the bird was stowed silently behind her head, pulling her hair over the little creature and letting her hands fall back into her lap soundlessly before the head even appeared around the corner. She had rather hoped to see Demetrius, but instead she saw long red locks, causing her to frown. This was someone she didn’t know, coming into her room without even knocking. Living somewhere with so little privet life, personal space is jealously guarded and she almost growled at the man coming in uninvited into her room at such and important point of the conversation. Her show smile snapped onto her face, eyes glazing over, teeth clenched. She stood slowly, her dress once pooled around her, flowing down to just below her knees. She stalked across the room, all to aware of her bare arms and shoulders, revealing her muscles, often thought of as ugly outside of her own circles. Her feet slapped down almost silently as she crossed the space, her damp hair sliding across her partially bare back.

“I’m sorry, did your mother not teach you any form of social skills?” She asked, her eyes sharp. “I’m sure it would be a pleasure to meet you at some other point, but I do not appreciate people bursting into my room where I could be doing anything.” Her eyes flickered with flame for a moment, shoulders tense. She waited for the man to say anything, not really caring of his reply. Usually she would have only been mildly annoyed at the man bursting into her room, feeling more need to chastise herself for not locking the door. However these people were strangers and he had come in at a bad point, so though she may have over reacted, she was not best pleased. Still she blushed, she hated to be rude.

“I’m sorry, I know I over reacted.” She paused “But please, next time try not to be so rude. Are you looking for someone? I’m sure I can point you in the right direction, unless your looking for us?” She tilted her head, smile plastered across her features, eyes still tight with. “Are you?” She stepped back from the door, allowing him space to come into the room if he wished. If he did, she would drop the tension, but if he left as she suspected he would, then she would keep her eye out from him at a later point. She glanced back at Ulva, hoping that her friend did not think to badly of her, she was all to aware that she was being rude. She smiled back at her, shrugging her shoulders in apology and inviting Ulva her to say something if she thought that she was wrong. Her ears twitched to hear if there were other people around, she was surprised that one of the maids had not pointed this man to the right room. At the base of her neck, Stitch moved and she preyed that he wouldn’t wake up and wouldn’t start to talk. She realized that was what he was doing now, the noises he made were not random, but precise and thoughtful. She moved from one foot to the other, tilting her hips to move his attention away from the rest of the room and letting the thick swathe of her hair continue to hide her little friend.

(Unedited, hope it’s ok, say if not!)

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#, as written by echored
It took a few minutes for Ulva to get up the spunk to tell Rea the straight truth about what happened in the forest. But it was a necessary talk Ulva needed to get out before the experience drove her completely crazy. She was a reliable woman back home, always honest and dependable.. it was just in her nature. She would admit if she was going crazy if it were true, but she felt otherwise, and this should would be honest about. The wolf spirit that jumped through her body made her begin to adapt traits of a wolf while she was in the forest. White fur had began to grow on her skin for a brief moment before Ulva collapsed. So here she was now, in the room of Rea, hoping to god this woman would not call up an institution to send her off for a room with all white walls. Once Ulva was finished relaying her experience, Rea’s reaction that preceded was anything but judgmental.



“So you believe me? Oh you don’t know how relieved I feel,” she began with a burst of energy that seemed to come out of no where, almost unnatural. Her eyes locked in with Rea’s when she began to move something from behind her hair. What followed was the cutest, strangest creature Ulva had ever seen. Normally Ulva would be worried around such an alien type of creature but it felt right. If this could exist, so could the wolf she saw that seemed to be only made of reflected light. “It is...” she whispered, reaching forward to pet it but it quickly fell asleep so Ulva reached back to her side. “Friendly, it appears. Name?” she asked, watching as it nuzzled, its tiny chest beating slowly without a care in the world it seemed. “And of course... I believe you are right on the whole..not telling us things.. Who knows what kind of things are out there. And why were we chosen to be here?” Before the pair could give any more thought into the question, the door to Rea’s room began to open. Ulva held her breath for a moment, thinking at this point that it could be anything coming through that door. But instead, it was a red haired man that was unfamiliar... was he a Lucky Draw? Why was he here? Rea got up off the bed swiftly. Ulva watched as the muscles in her body seemed to tense, taking a defensive step forward towards the man. Ulva herself stood up off the bed, feeling the urge, no, the need to protect and stand by her friend for aid. It was the wolf nature influencing her already loyal spirit that was glowing inside her chest, drawing her to be on guard if a friend were to be threatened. In the situation now, it was with this man entering unwelcome and possibly dangerous... even in just a towel.

Ulva walked forward, her long legs taking brisk speed to reach Rea’s side, about 2 feet away. Her long blond hair, still wet from her own shower, was a beautiful, mirroring image of Rea’s long brownish red hair.

“Answer her question quickly,” Ulva muttered under her breath, definitely not going to trust this man with the knowledge the two women knew of the forest. He probably had no clue what was going on. The weird thing was he seemed to know them, well sort of. He had been wanting to meet them? Where did he see them?

The man further entered the room, closing the door behind him. This made Ulva take a step back, reaching her hand out to pull Rea back a little with her upon the man advancing in. Her expression was colder than usual, her bright blue eyes fading slightly darker by the minute the more she focused on being still and watching his movements. If she was going to be honest, she definitely felt uncomfortable with these nearly naked man in front of them. With only a towel on, and wet hair dripping to the floor, it was clear it must have just got out of the shower and decided not to put clothes on.

He looked at her with his eyes for a moment, making Ulva feel violated in a way, and slightly more angry. He had an accident in the forest... The chance that what he was saying was true was slightly comforting. This made her shoulders relax slightly, not as threatened by him anymore but yet she still held her ground, not wanting him any further into the room. He needed to put clothes on. He then moved close to Rea, violating her private space as if she had none. Ulva gently pulled on Rea’s arm some more, getting her to come closer to her and away from the man that was growing creepier by the minute.

The moment he said he was a reporter, Ulva held her breath. She refused to talk to any reporter, it was too dangerous to risk the chance of never being able to go home if something negative was published and found its way in the hands of crazy government officials. They would arrest her for who knows what crazy excuse... She shifted the weight on her feet, feeling her strength start to pour back in her body, feeling almost back to normal which was in fit condition as her heart beat rose. His final statement was the last straw, Ulva leaning forward and pushing the man’s chest back with her hand. Not too rough, but with enough force that would get him back from Rea. Help him dress? Who did he think he was? “You’ve outstayed your time here, if there will be any interviews it won’t be now,” she muttered, a confident smirk now beginning to grow on her face, glad she was holding her ground. With her free arm she opened up the door and at the moment she was about to push Seamus out, there stood Demetrius with his fist in a knocking position. His appearance threw Ulva off, letting go of the red haired man and stepping back to Rea’s side, letting the door swing open. Her hardened expression settled back to a normal gaze, dark blue eyes returning back to the normal bright blue. Demetrius was a nice guy, the only other person she really knew besides Thomas and Rea.. She felt more comfortable now that he was here and could assist them in getting this half nude man out of their room, and therefore she could let her guard down a bit.

“Demetrius,,” Ulva nodded in a welcoming gesture. “Glad to see you are okay. We all seemed to get split up upon reaching the Ruins. Were you.. alright?” she asked, her question vague and yet not at the same time, for if something did happen to him he would understand where she was coming from.

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Rea’s eyes opened wide as the other man moved closer to her, his bare chest mere inches from her own. Her teeth ached in her jaw, the first hint of change taking her body, her jaw locked together, leaving her unable to talk. Her muscles rippled, never had someone been so rude to her, she was proud and well aware of that, but she was respected in her home and here it seemed like it would be forgotten. She was glad to feel her friend pull her back and took a few short steps back, placing herself a little too close to Ulva and hoped the other girl wouldn’t mind. She watched carefully as her friend moved around her, frozen still her eyes moving but all else still. She thought for that the feeling she was having was anger, but had she paid attention, she would have felt her bones move, muscles becoming slightly larger as started to shift a little. Of course she had no reason to think that she was changing into a dog, the thought had never crossed her mind, nor had the flaming in her eyes caused her to think she could cause anyone harm. A growl threatened to escape her throat, though she thought it was the urge to shout at the stupid man, give him a piece of her mind and make sure he never came close to her again.

The transformation stopped immediately when Ulva opened the door to push out the creepy man, eyes falling on her other friend. She reached out, taking Ulva’s arm, wanting to be close to someone as to not do something stupid. Her jaw unclenched, teeth once more their normal human size. She gave Demetrius a small smile, nodding her head in welcome to him. Due to the three of them starting off together, she counted him among those he trusted and had worried about leaving him in the ruins by himself, especially seeing what had happened to Ulva when she had done the same. Her eyes glanced quickly over him, he seemed to be ok, standing strait and looking as clean as the rest of them and clothed she was glad to say. She motioned for him to come in with her spare hand, her brown hair slipping over her shoulder, starting to look a little dryer. She was glad that no one could see her back, as she was not to sure whether Stitch was covered, though she was sure the little thing would hide if it felt exposed.

“You need no saving from us.” She hissed at Seamus “You are not welcome, after bursting into the room so rudely, undressed, then move to ask us to dress you, make statements for you and then to come as close as you could to touching me… Invading my room and my personal space… I can’t begin to say how rude…” She couldn’t even finish her sentences, shaking her head slightly in anger.

“Then to turn to our friend and say we had been causing you problems.” She shifted back and forth on her feet, her eyes flashing ever more orange, taking away from her brown for a few moments and took on the roiling tongues of flame. “Did you even think to look in your cupboard, we have all been fully catered to for clothes as well as every other thing we might need. If you had looked as I had, you would have found something to your liking I’m sure and in your size. After all this is from there.” She tugged at her beautiful dress, the hem swaying about her knees, a smile once more falling upon her face, eyes returning to normal. She was sure she had said too much, but in the mood she was now in, she did not care, everyone else was tense too, she could smell it in the air. She glanced out of one of her windows, to see that it was dark, soon it would be time for them all to dine in the hall and see the rest of the guests, she wondered if this man would be there. She fiddled with her hair, moving it back from her face, eyes lowered, letting her long lashes cast shadows over her elegant cheeks. She hoped her two friends would not think less of her for her outburst, but she would not apologies again, the man had pushed his luck too far.

************************************************

At the edge of the forest a shadow moved in the dark, if you could see it, you wouldn’t know how the shadow managed to be darker than even the pitch black forest. Like smoke it slithered across the floor, no shape could be seen from it, but it raised a cold feeling from the earth, colder than any winter frost, though it left no mark upon the things around it. It passed easily around the edge, it was clear to see that it was searching for something and it was relentless about it. Around it the forest grew quiet, not so much as a leaf falling to the ground, time seemed to have slowed around the shadow, the night birds silenced in mid song, all sound swallowed by its presence. Suddenly the air changed, like it had been holding it’s own breath and out of the shadow stepped a creature of darkness. It of course had not always been so, it had not always held such hate in the air around it, such evil it’s small glassy eyes. It’s body had once been covered in light brown hairs, soft long and flowing, framing its once large eyes, clear and full of curiosity. It had been in the dark too long, twisted in envy, it’s curiosity over the gate had overwhelmed it, after being deemed unworthy of entry over 300 years before, it had joined the Shadow skins. It’s now fort fur was no more than bristles, bursting black and sleek, flush to it’s muscled hide. It rippled with power and strength, one of the foot soldiers of an army, searching for it’s own way in.

This on though, was old, far older than any others who had come across with him, they had all tried to pass when they were younger, most dying at the hand of one of the guardians. Muscles rippled up and down it’s sides, blunt head reaching to sniff the floor, letting out deep huffing breaths. It did not howl or give any sign to the others who were with him, leaving them locked into looking for the gaps. He wanted these few hours to find what he was looking for and did not want his prize taken away from him. 300 years since he had stood before this forest, so different now to then, taller, older and empty. He looked out, his stubby ears flicking to listen for the guardians, they would be watching for him and the others, but he knew they could not leave the forest, not by far, till they relinquished their vows, they were part of the soul of the place and it left him safe. 12 ft from him he could see the glittering eyes of Jinan, though he was sure the others were around, they were never far from any disturbance. His heavy muzzle snapped closed, wishing to go after the dirty creature, which had not let him or his family pass, despite the fact that they were untainted. He ached to grip the creature’s neck, his mouth dribbling thick strings of saliva as he thought of the blood rushing down his throat, how the cat would beg.

Turning away he showed the glittering eyes his tailless hind, moving further out of the creatures realm and into open pastures. He looked out over the glittering gardens, rolling smoothly down to the house, it was deserted, all the preparations had been made and now all the hands were getting ready for dinner. He smiled at the humans small attempt to cut through the darkness, for they were blind without these things, but how long would that all last once they destroyed their source of comfort, how would they see in the dark? Drool dripped from his heavily toothed muzzle, his ugly legs topped by clawed paws, were a sight to see, so muscled it seemed almost impossible. He slide between the patches of darkness amid the sparkling hung candles, wanting to stay unnoticed. Unlike his enemy, his motions were sharp, seemed to strip away everything that took grace into the world, but he was deadly quiet. His undulating hide blended into the slightest shadow as he crossed the garden, crouched low, stalking the estate house. Stopping in the last shadow, it watched the windows, noticing the pass of the humans, scurrying away their short lives. He grinned to himself, they would be shorter now.

The humans he watched however held no interest, he was looking for the enemy, the chosen ones. He had seen them many times; before he had crossed to the dark, how gold light glowed around them in twining ropes, that slipped over their forms, ever moving. These one did not hold the mark and so he moved on, looking for the golden glow, that all held that had been in the forest, that had been accepted and would one day cross. He slipped closer to the house; his short pelt brushing against the bricks, so close was he to the house now. He took in scents on the air, they had a smell too, this was the thing that would help him most, his eyes were poor, for he did not need to see in the dark, though better than most humans and he lifted his muzzle to the sky. Yes their they were, he could almost taste them.

***********************************

She all but pushed the reporter out of the door, tugging Demetrius through in turn and shutting the door firmly behind her. She rested her back against it, stress falling from her shoulder as soon as the other man was gone, though she stayed there to listen for his footsteps leaving. She eyed both her friends, listening to the previously silent writer speak. She tilted her head, their seemed to be something different about him now, though she could not place her finger on it, he wasn’t that different to how he was before. She frowned, reaching up to touch her little friend behind her neck, taking comfort in it’s soft feathers and unwavering loyalty to her. She smiled softly, sliding down to the floor, grateful for the thick soft carpet that cushioned her decent. She could feel Stitch stretching into wakefulness at the base of her neck, it’s little feel scratching her fine tanned skin. Her eyes fell to the window, watching the darkness and waited for Ulva to decide as to whether or not they should tell him. She felt already had complete and utter faith in the other woman and knew that no matter what happened here, they would always remain friends.

On the balcony something moved in the dark, possibly no more than a reflection of one of her new friends, but she stiffened. Tottering on light feet out came Stitch, silent, though sure of himself. She still did not move, not even to look at the little creature, her nose sniffing the air though she had no muzzle, ears flexing unnaturally to catch a sound from outside. Little Stitch glanced at Rea and she could feel it’s kind little eyes, wondering what was wrong with her, she seemed almost like a statue she was so still. It turned to look as she did, his little claws tugging at her hair as he struggled to climb atop her head and see as she did. Finally gripping tightly to her hair, it lent over the crown of her head looking out to the French windows, opening out to the balcony. It lent first one way, then the other, four feet, digging in, unable to see as she did. She did not move, completely still apart from the subtle twitching of her nose. Her eyes had turned pale as ice, straining to better see the shifting shadow. Atop her head she felt her little friend to go still, it’s form becoming utterly rigid, feet fisted tightly around strand of her dark hair.

A shrill sound came from the little bird, almost deafening, but not only did it echo in her ears, but her head screamed at the noise that had been placed so easily in her skull. The noise ranging in the heads of all those chosen and even those who held to much of the ruins in the next village, they heard a soft echo in their head. Rea covered her ears, not wanting any more of the noise, the yell of help so clear that it shattered her mind for a second, so close to her. The little bird shot up into the air, rocketing full speed towards the ceiling. No sooner had the bird taken wing, than the dark creature burst through the large window, sending glittering shards of glass high. Rea sat there for a second in utter shock, that was until she saw where the creature was heading. No it had not gone for one of the humans in the room, but the biggest threat to it’s hunt, the little bird. Her eyes went wide, the creature came up past her hips at it’s shoulder, darker than a starless sky and stronger than anything she had ever sat with in circus, among the caged lions and horses, where she was most at home.

She shot to her feet, not thinking, nothing would hurt her little friend, she would save it. The massive creature took a giant leap and she knew all to well it could reach little Stitch, she did the only thing she could think. Taking a leap, she reached high and grabbed onto the beasts rising hind leg. No sooner than her fingers had closed around it’s ankle, did she realize just what she had done. Her eyes went wide, she was going to be killed. Seconds slowed as the beast turned its heavy head down, falling with her, preparing as they fell. They hit the floor hard, the creature atop her, her breath crushed from her lungs, its weight crushing her. Fear shot through her and her mind went blank.

(unedited, will do so later, sorry if it makes no sense.)

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#, as written by echored
Ulva grew silent as Rea’s temper seemed to flare at Seamus, though rightly so. He didn’t have any common sense in his choice of first impression, coming in naked and all. He could quite possibly be a decent man, but for the brief moment Ulva got to see of him, it seemed he was a slush reporter missing bits of his mind. Ulva watched as Demetrius stepped all the way into the room. She couldn’t help but smirk at his expression, trying so hard not to look at Rea’s vent as she continued to lashed out at Seamus, looking as awkward as ever. Ulva fell back a little further from Rea as Rea moved towards the door, shutting it completely and then sliding down against the wall. The speech seemed to take a lot out of her, and Ulva couldn’t help but get the feeling here was still something different happening in Rea. She could sense it, just like she could sense something changing inside herself. The heightened emotions, contrasting mood swings. Very primal, animalistic type of characteristics.

The room was silent for a while after the door shut, Ulva relaxing her shoulders and looking down at the carpet before making eye contact with Demetrius again. He finally spoke up, being the first to break the stream of silence that crept along the corners of the room. He had the same question she would have asked him eventually: did something happen out there in the forest? Being able to get the story out to Rea made her feel more confident and less crazy about what happened, so it would be easier to get out now with Demetrius.

“Yes, actually..” she began, glancing at Rea on the floor who was glancing towards the window, staring out at the darkness. “A wolf, ghost-like.. I followed it through the woods, it seemed to call to me. It led me to a clearing where we sat for some time just gazing back at one another. I know, crazy that I got so close, huh?” She said, giggling at herself and twisting her right hand in the air in a gesture to go along with how silly it might have sounded. “But I didn’t feel in danger, well until it jumped through me and, what happened after that, I’m not sure if you will believe. I began to change, physically.. Fur grew from my face, around my eyes.. At least I think, it could have been a dream. I passed out and when I woke I was back to normal. It was very strange, that was when Rea found me and.,” she motioned back to her quiet friend on the floor who looked burdened by something. Ulva was about to continue when the tiny mouse-like bird crawled out behind Ulva’s neck, chirping and planting itself on the top of her head, it’s gaze at the window as well. Ulva shot a quick glance at Demetrius to see his reaction to the creature. He looked fascinated, but not flabbergasted out shocked at the existence of the alien creature.. that was good.

Ulva smiled, walking to get closer to the bird so that she could pet the top of its head. As her arm stretched forward, a loud, shrilling noise escaped from the bird. It didn’t seem possible that such a small creature could create such an enormous sound. It was deafening, verging on blinding, as Ulva retracted back towards the opposite side of the room closer to where Demestrius was standing, covering her ears in futile aid. In the few brief moments she feared the noise would never leave her, plagued to hear this sound the rest of her living days. Ulva could see Rea’s mouth wide, as if yelling, but not even her scream could be heard over the birds noise. It shot up off the top of her head, flying as best it could further in the air, reaching for the high ceilings. As the noise of the bird dissipated, there wasn’t a moment to spare before yet another crashing noise rumbled through the room, shaking the very floor beneath her. This time it sounded like the breaking of a window, and Ulva’s eyes reluctantly shifted in that direction, only to see shards of glass raining as projectiles throughout the room. Immediately she used her arms as a shield to protect her face. Being close to the window, glass found its way into her body. Pieces stuck in her legs like porcupine needles, her pants only a thin piece of cloth leggings which were defenses in lessing the blow. Luckily none of the shards hit her arms or face or head. What broke the glass, and distracted Ulva from taking out the pieces of glass from her legs, was what appeared to be a black monster leaping from the window in one long stride, aiming upwards for the tiny bird. Ulva felt immobilized for a moment, holding her breath in pure, untainted shock and fear at the creature. But whatever it was, it was real. Just like the wolf she saw. Just like this tiny strange bird. Everything was real.

“Rea, NO!” Ulva yelled, arms waving passionately to get her friend’s attention as Rea seemed to have the very rash, crazy idea to save the bird. She felt herself mind-frame enter a place of protector mode, what was beginning to become a common reaction when around Rea and now Demetrius. Her friends, her responsibility. It was foolish of Rea to risk her life, dangerous, and Ulva wished in this moment that she knew how to pause time. But that wasn’t possible. What was happening was her vision moving in slow motion, watching as the creature and Rea fell to the ground in synchronized patterns. Unfortunately Rea drew the short straw, the monster having the upper hand being on top. Ulva held her breath, inching forward while she let her mind go distant. Her body shivered, muscles tensing, similar to how it was in the forest. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Demetrius run to the window and call for help, or Jinan, whatever that meant, coming back into the middle of the room with a shard piece of glass held tightly in his palm. He lunged for the black animal but he didn’t have a chance. Its skin, hide, whatever it was, seemed impenetrable.

Ulva couldn’t stand around any longer watching, waiting for a slaughter. She was going to die fighting rather than cowering until her last breath.

It was that final spurt of confidence that lit a fire in Ulva’s body. A transformation erupted over her body, fur growing from pores and her bones cracking in new positions. The pain caused her to roar, but her cords were deeper, not the usual perky voice that characterized herself. She fell to her fours and in a bright flash she morphed into a white wolf. It was disorienting. In fact, Ulva’s human mind wasn’t there at all, but in a hazy sleep. This animalistic blood created its own conscious, thoughts.

A growl escaped the wolf’s throat as it’s teeth snarled. It recognized Demestrius as a friend, guarding his side with eyes black, hollow and deadly. It leaped forward on its hide haunches, digging his sharp teeth in the left hind leg of the monster. Her teeth sunk in to soft muscle, a lucky hit, the one place that might be a weakness to this creature, or at least distract it with pain. Her white fur glistened in the light against the black of the other creature. Red blood stained her fur on her legs from the glass. The wolf let the bite go, drawling back and preparing for another attack, beauty and grace in such a large creature, shoulders reaching Demetrius' waist.

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Rea closed her eyes, the mighty stink of the creature maw made her want to retch. Fear shot bright sparkles into her eyes, the white stars making it hard to see. She could however feel, the weight of the creature was immense, pressing down on her chest with one of it’s mighty paws, larger by far than her own hands. She felt a brief moment of thanks that only part of it’s weight lay on her, the other forepaw resting besides her shoulder, one hind between her legs and the other at her hip. Had all it’s weight been on her, surely she would have been crushed, though she supposed at least she would have passed out then, she really didn’t want to feel being ripped apart. It’s muzzle dripped long strings of saliva, falling on her face and besides her, pooling in a thick clear mucus. She shivered lightly in fear; the small shakes hurting her back where she had landed so badly, the force of the creature’s fall crushing her. It was hard to breath; she didn’t have much room as it was to take in a single lungful of air. The fouling smell of its body and breath made it even harder, holding down the urge to vomit. She thought very little, only feeling, one thought occupied her mind, I’m going to die here.

She could hear people shouting, where they shouting at her, for her, for help? She silently prayed it was for help, feeling the creature shift it’s weight, giving her another inch of breathing room. Slowly she opened her eyes, properly this time, not just squinting quickly for fear it might realize she was still alive. It’s small dark eyes watched her, only a hand span away from her face, it’s mouth slowly opening. The smell almost made her pass out, but she pushed through, if these were to be the last few moments of her life, she wanted to remember them. She was horrified to see its mouth open ever wider, till it was big enough to take her head in its long teeth and rip it right off her shoulders. She shuddered, a whimpering noise coming from her mouth, she knew better than to scream, screaming made lions attack, horse stampede and hyenas laugh rise as they toyed with a weakling of the herd. She couldn’t make no noise however, she was terrified, this was not her idea of a dignified death, but it was too far from anything she had ever expected. Tilting her head up she looked at her friend Ulva, probably the last sight she would ever see and felt for a moment glad that she had come, glad she had made new friends.

It’s weight came down on her chest again, blowing what little breath out of her lungs and its mouth snapped shut mere millimeters from her face. She felt the beasts rumbling growl reverberate down its leg, what was going on why had it stopped? She looked around, the black face moving swiftly away from hers and saw Demetrius come at it, blood dripping down the glass he grasped, lunging at it, but failing to do little more than scratch it. She silently thanked him for his help, but knew all to well if he’d gripped any harder to the glass, it would have sliced right through his hand. She blinked, maybe their was a chance she would survive, maybe she would live. She struggled underneath its weight, bringing up her legs to give her extra support. She was glad to have come away from the broken glace unharmed, a little to far away from it to have been touched. This meant that other than being crushed, she was in full working order. The bones of her spine cracked, ears moving up her face, elongating to a point. A blunt skin covered tail came from her spine, snaking down the inside of her dress and protruding in an ugly manner.

A flash of light to her left distracted her from her hope and she turner her head swiftly to see where Ulva had once been, stood a proud white wolf. She blinked, fighting the urge to answer the roar her friend, unsure of what was happening. As quick as a flash she saw her move over, darting past the writer and strait at the beast. Its, no Ulva’s, for it must have been Ulva, teeth sunk into the beasts hind leg. She watched deep red blood pour form the wound, dripping on her leg in a heat so intense that a scream ripped from her lips. It felt like fire had been poured over her bare skin, like she should be blistered, like if she had looked down, she would have seen it eating away at her leg. Something roared up inside her and her body temperature spiked, though she suddenly felt cold. Her scared pallor left, skin returning to a healthy tan, eyes wide and filled with flame. Where the blood touched her, scorching hot on her skin, flames began to burn, but not her, no she was completely untouched by the flames licking across her bare legs.

The monster looked down, shocked by the small flames licking his skin and shifted away. The flames of course did nothing to harm him, but they were bright, glittering flames of yellow and red, they hurt his eyes. In a flash Rea was moving, her body attempting to both change her and get her as far away as possible all at once. The change won over moving away, slowing her passage, gaining her the first lick of pain, claws scraping across her rump. Thrown into the air, her form shrank dramatically and out of her bedraggled yellow dress she appeared, half human half dog, covered in snow white fur, half her normal size. Upon hitting the floor the change finished, the last of her bones clicking into place, muzzle elongating and eyes flicking to an ice white. The cut she had received was smaller on this body, shallow, but seeping blood nonetheless as she slammed into the wall. She whined at the pain, but did not stay put for long, she could hear the creature moving behind her. Despite the fact that she was small , no more than knee high at the shoulder, she was fast.

Skittering around the edge of the room, she came to stand behind her friends, a slight limp in her stride from her wound. She looked at her friends, gratitude shining from her silver blue eyes and reached to lick each of their wounds, quickly moving from Demetrius to Ulva, more comfortable with the other woman. Her tongue licked over the wound, making it clean so it would heal faster. She shivered, she was about half the size of the great wolf at her side and looked more akin to a cub that a fellow adult. Her attention did not dwell on this for long though as she heard the creature, her ears pivoting to capture the noise. Behind her she heard the door bang, of course she had locked it behind the other man, what a stupid thing to do, no way would anyone get through that old door. Turning her white muzzle to look at the creature again, she felt fear, it was like something out of a nightmare, even bleeding it looked to deadly for her to comprehend, what had she been thinking to grab it. She glanced up, noticing the little thing was nestled above a beam.

The door burst open, the two twins pushing through the door, their combined strength far out stretching the previous man slamming against their door. They stepped into the room unafraid their blue eyes glowing as bright as the summer sky and hair shining almost gold. They were fast and eerie in the way they did not talk, did not question and most of all did not stop. They ran through the room, their slight bodies looked frail, though they should have not moved so quickly, it was all to clear how little human they had left in them. Zosia pulled a short blade from her pocket, not blinking as she moved to the left around the three friends. Sasha pulled out a small torch, no bigger than her palm and stepped out before the great creature, flicking it on. The creature blinked, dissuaded by the light and backed away, to where Sasha was already standing. Both twins knew they stood no chance, but if they could get it out of the window, their would be more space. With so many of them it might work in a larger space. Sasha slashed a at its hind ligs, making it rear up, she smiled, dashing out of the way, thinking it would teter over, falling out.

Rea watched as the creature began to regain its balance, much to the horror of all those in the room. Zosia let out a yell, dashing forward, her little feet tapping on the ground almost soundless. With a last effort she rush strait into its waiting grasp, using all her might to push the giant creature, easily three times her size. Rea’s ears rung as the other twin screamed, watching the person she cherished most disappear in the grasp of the black creature. Air ripped around the room, her scream almost to high to hear, though her young dog ears could capture every note of the sorrow. She yelped as she watched the Sasha fly across the room, talking a diving leap into the courtyard below. Poor Rea stood their in amazement at the speed things had gone. She glanced at her friends for a few short moments, nodding to them both, she could not speak, but she meant for them to know she was going to follow. She turned tail and limped out into the hall as fast as she could, wanting to follow the action and take care of the twins as they had for them.
(unedited, bet your thinking I never do :P )

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Ezreal slowed down slightly as Elise darted towards him, bracing himself before she threw her arms around him, he paused for a second looking down at her for but a second before a faint grin showed up on his face, his right arm coming around her back and returning the hug. A grin made its way to his face as she stopped and moved her camera, a faint laugh following that as she hugged him again. "Like wise." He said with a smile on his face, letting go of her as she took a step or two backwards. Ezreal nodded to her as she spoke again, his mouth opening just barely as he was about to say something as well, though something made its way into his mind before he could even start. His teeth gritted together as a loud noise equivalent to a bird entered his ears, making his body lock for a split second. "What the hell...?" He let out through closed teeth, his head turning on a swivel to see what was going on. The sound of shattering glass came from the side of the building, Ezreal's head turning rather quickly to where he imagined it came from, his eyes coming back around as Elise grabbed his hand, pulling him into the mansion. Ezreal kept pace with her, his mind taking a jolt as his body seemed to recover from its former state of soreness, if not just having the mental capacity to ignore it.

Ezreal nodded to Elise as she led him to the grand staircase, both working their ways through the crowd as they ascended the steps. Ezreal could hear people behind them speaking to each other, though he didn't take the time to turn around and see just who had followed behind. Ezreal could hear the door to a room being ripped from the frame, slamming against the ground as who he figured were the servants entered the room, not aware it was in fact the twins. Ezreal found himself now pulling on Elise's hand, moving past people on the stairs as a crowd seemed to start forming around the door a little down the hall, "You might want to wait here..." He said to Elise, feeling the muscle in his chest give a deep thud as he began pushing his way through the crowd up to the room. After what had happened he doubted seriously that Elise would stay back, his hand still holding onto hers, hopefully signaling that idea. A burst of light shot through the room and about as quickly a loud scream or yell erupted, making him cringe slightly. A man he knew as one of the lucky chosen, likely from the first group which had entered before they had. His eyes darted back from the man to the room, barreling his way through the entrance and into the room. What he saw should have been mind blowing, but after all that had happened today... This wasn't too different. Ezreal set eyes on two different canines, one looking quite more domestic than the other, though the flames which seemed tot be emanating from its body set that idea aside rather quickly.

Ezreal turned his head to the door, noting the blood on the ground as well as the glass which had shattered to the inside of the room, signalling a entry. Ezreal let go of Elise's hand as he heard a commotion outside, his feet moving to the balcony as he looked out to see the twins, the man from before, and something which took him off guard. Ezreal hadn't noticed the changes beginning, though they had. Joints in his body began to pop rather sporadically, growing slowly but surely. His adrenaline had been spiked yet again, though this time, this could wreck his body for sure. His hands were wrapped around the railing of the balcony, shaking slightly as their grip tightened on the metallic surface. A rumble slowly made its way out of the pits of his chest from behind his teeth, his body tensing for a moment before his heart let out another deep thud, the switch in his brain clicking finally. Ezreal's massive hands twitched and the welded joints in the railing snapped, Ezreal's arms acting on their own and ripping it from the mansion, a trickle of blood slowly showing up around his fingers where the metal had cut his skin. His hand loosened on the railing and dropped it to the ground directly below him, a thud sounding from below as it slammed against earth. Heaving breathing was signaled by the movement of his body, moving up and then back down as he exhaled, a rough almost calloused sound to it. His hands grabbed one of the few bars which still sat in the frame of the balcony, his hand tightened as he reared back, ripping the rod upwards. To his perception, everything was moving in something similar to slow motion, though that was not how it really was. Ezreal's feet carried him off the balcony, his body weightless as it dropped to the ground bellow him. A deep thud came from outside as his entire being slammed against the ground, slowly standing up and walking towards the animal, his left shoulder rolling around, letting loose a sickening number of pops, the rod still held tightly in his left hand. The light outside was quite dim aside from what the light from Rae's room and the rest of the mansion assisted with, though it was as light as day outside to Ezreal.

His feet started at a walk, though quickly turned into an all out sprint of Olympic caliber, closing on on the creature and the others already outside. Ezreal broke his run and turned it into a crow hop, arcing the rod around like a golf club as he directed a devastating blow to the creatures mid section, though his approach would have given it ample warning to dodge if it could.

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#, as written by echored
What is this, this feeling? Ulva’s mind fleeted in and out of consciousness, looking through the eyes of the body she found herself in. The perspective didn’t feel right, vision lower to the ground. In a sleepy haze she felt as if she held no form, particles floating in a constrained dark space, like a voice without matter, volume.

The wolf’s head was tilted down, black eyes narrowed and ever focused on the creature in the center of the room. Blood dripped from the white wolf’s mouth, teeth stained red at the moment, fresh from biting down on the hind leg of the monster. The wound seemed to distract the animal just enough to give Rea some wiggle room from underneath, the wolf watching as she got out. The girl herself didn’t appear natural anymore though, her body shifting to a shape all too familiar to that of it’s own. What was left of Rea was now a white dog, smaller than Ulva’s new body but matching in the same color white. The wolf, Ulva in some aspects but in others a new entity, took a few steps back, watching as the smaller dog rounded the corners of the room and made its way over to Demetrius and herself.

The wolf glanced up at Demetrius. His eyes read crazy, but overall he seemed to take the unbelievable transformation of the two girls fairly well, as best one could in a moment of already impossible situation. The wolf, ready for another pounce at the creature, flexed its hind legs and let its teeth snarl. What held her in place and caused the wolf to freeze in action was the abrupt bursting of the old door to the room. The twin girls came shoveling in, though how they were able to break down the door held no explanation. They were too tiny, too delicate looking to have such strength. Meanwhile the white wolf felt something on its back legs, a glance showing that indeed Rea was licking her wounds, possibly in a thanks. It was appreciated, head bowing in a downward gesture for a brief moment before directing eyes focused on the scene playing out. One of the twins managed to slice at the side of the black monster while the other, in what rightly appeared to be an act of suicide, ran straight into the creature, causing the girl and the monster to tumble out of the window and fall several stories to the ground below. The other twin yelled in a deafening blow, throwing herself out of the window seconds after in order to follow her sister. What was left in the room was Rea, as a small dog, Demetrius, who was bleeding from several locations on his body but eyes as passionate as any warriors, and Ulva herself, who knew somewhat of what was going on, but lent most of her consciousness to the wolf that moved with cautious grace unearthly known.

Rea ran out of the room in a flash, no hesitation in the dogs motions. It was heading for the action, back to the creature that almost ended its life. Demetrius followed moments after, exiting the room in a vibrant flurry of anger and protection. What was left in the room now was the wolf itself and the source of all their problems it seemed: the mouse-like bird above, which was peering down at Ulva from one of the beams at the ceiling. This wolf knew of protection, knew that its mission was not over yet. But it also knew of patience, of calculation, and of the right move. Running right back to fight such a monster would find them in the same situation. This wolf knew it had to do something different. It's head turned as yet more people arrived in the door way. A man entered, walked to the balcony... and then dropped himself down below. The wolf blinked in confusion, not sure what the meaning was behind the man letting himself fall down to the ground below. But what happened did happen, and the details would need to be shared later but not now. There was a woman in the doorway. The wolf growled at her, walking cautiously forward and then used its nose to pull the door from the wall and shut it, blocked the girl out of the door.

In a deep, powerful howl, the wolf called up towards the tiny bird creature that was the figure the monster wanted. It called for it to come down, but not being able to speak a common language to the bird seemed to be futile. It stayed where it was, and for this the wolf knew what it had to do: give back full energy to Ulva, the woman whose body harbored the same soul as the wolf’s now. The wolf began to shake, fur standing on all ends, as the same light that appeared earlier reappeared again. This time when it finally dimmed, the human body of Ulva lay on the floor, naked and her legs still bleeding with remnants of glass. It took a few seconds for Ulva to gain her vision back clearly, unsure what had happened. The disaster of the room around sent flashbacks into her memory, and within seconds Ulva realized what had happened... she had turned into a wolf. It wasn’t a dream, it was real. Ulva crawled to the broken window, looking down at what was going on below, her palms pressed against the seal until she realized part of the railing was missing. She could see the twin’s yellow hair glistening under a dim light, she could see a white dog bursting through a door and Demetrius running with full determination forward at the creature, and another man.

Realizing that she was naked, Ulva gulped and backed away from the open window that seemed to be a major source of light for everyone down below. No one saw her luckily. She crawled back to the center, then scrambled to find her clothes in the mess on the floor but when she found them they were town to shreds, a second pair of clothes now deemed useless. She remembered Rea saying they stocked the closets with clothes, Ulva immediately running to Rea’s closet to see what was in there. Without thinking, Ulva grabbed the clothes closest to her that would be the quickest to put on: a white pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt. Ulva threw these on in dire speed, not even looking down to notice the shirt was on backwards, tag sticking out under her chin like a bow.

“Here, birdie, birdie,” Ulva yelled upwards to the ceiling, waving her arms for it to come down, “the thing is outside, you’re safe. Come to me, let me get you out of here where that monster won’t find you,” she panted again, her energy level weak but enough for her to stay focused on this mission. The tiny creature popped its head out, looking at her with eyes of curiosity. Ulva’s right foot tapped the floor, getting anxious. It was taking too much time to decide whether it would come to her or not. Ulva tried to remember what Rea called the thing, maybe it would come if she gave it something familiar. “Stich!” she yelled, and this time the bird-type animal fully exposed itself from the beam, fluttering down hesitantly into her open, cupped hands. “Shh, shh,” Ulva hummed, cupping the creature close to her chest. She opened the door once more, dodging the crowd that had circled around the hall, bursting through the group into a run for the hall's opening. Ulva looked left and then right, debating if they should hide somewhere in the house or go outside somewhere. Outside felt dangerous, but at the same time staying inside left them to be caged in.

“Why does that thing want you?” Ulva whispered in short breaths, and took off towards the grand stairwell only to slow upon seeing some of the same people she saw walking into the forest earlier.. the rest of the lucky draw.

“No time to explain!” she yelled, flying past the group and down the stairs. Instead of going out the doors that would lead to where the black monster was, Ulva ran to the other end of the mansion, finding exit doors. She, accompanied by this tiny bird, burst through the doors, the garden gates, and made their way on to a path faintly lit by ground markers. Ulva was barefoot but it didn’t hurt to run on this dirt path, pain not an option at a time like this. The cool wind danced around her form, breeze splashing at her face, hair whipping behind her neck like a horse’s mane. Nothing but the moonlight gave them direction as Ulva’s blue eyes caught the light off in the distant clearing, the same location of the three ancient structures Thomas has shown them earlier. “Back to the forest, little creature,” she hushed to it as she panted in heavy breaths. Something inside of her told her it would be safe there, that the creature of death and destruction could not enter. She couldn’t explain where she knew this from, it was just her intuition. Ulva’s long legs stretched in the wind, toes kicking up dirt each leap she took, never running so fast before in her life. And though her legs took such speed, her arms pressed close to her body softly, making sure her grip on this tiny bird was strong but not strong enough to squish it.

Somewhere along the lines it appeared as though Ulva was on the same path now as earlier, the one that led to the Herb Garden all the way to the clearing-- the clearing that was now decorated with elaborate lights and tented structures. They were blurry and still to far off for Ulva to make out what all was there, but with each running foot she could feel they were getting safer. ”Just don’t turn around” she told herself, afraid another one of those black monsters might be following her. To look would only take away their time to get to safety.

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Rea skittered through the crowd, taking note that their were quite a few people who were not staff, undoubtedly reporters as well as the others of the lucky draw. She however did not stop, her feet slipping between people and those unfortunate enough, between legs. She had not for a moment thought of her new form, fitting her so perfectly, it was like she had never been human, like that part of her was a dream. Her tongue lolled from her mouth over small sharp teeth, she had to be human to have these thoughts though, she didn’t remember being a dog before. Her hind leg hurt as she ran along, but not enough to stop her in her mission, she had to help the twins. Around her people passed without thinking, they thought nothing of such a small creature, utterly normal apart from her bleeding side. The wind whipped through her fine white pelt, blue eyes squinting as to not let the wind damage them. She huffed, why was this place so big, had she not followed her nose, she would have surely been lost at the first turn. Still she bounded down long gilded halls, small sharp nails clicking as she ran, announcing her presence to all those around her.

She burst out through the Herb Gardens french windows, getting into her stride as fire burnt slowly in her wound, closing it to any more bleeding. She did not blink at the burning, for indeed though she was cold, she did not feel any change to being burnt. She sniffed unhappily, burnt hair stank, wrinkling her nuzzle in disgust, it would take forever to clean the smell out. She jumped off the steps, her form a light in the dark, white pelt glimmering. She hoped that the twins were ok, that the one who had fallen with the creature wasn’t too hurt or caught. She had faith in them, they seemed to be so much of the other world, the magical world in them and they barely were human any more. She paused, looking about for where the creature had landed, now what could she see from her windows, she should head there. Turning right she slipped along the dark green grass, a streak of white against the darkness. She could feel the tickle of the grass between the pads on her feet and wondered how she had ever thought herself aware before. Sure now all she could really see were muted shades in black and white, but everything was so sharp it almost cut.

Rounding the corner she spotted the twins, the creature was on its back, at least a little vulnerable, but at the same time, it also had the first twin in its grasp. She moved more slowly across the grass now, all to aware of the fact that she needed to be careful. Sasha circled the creature, watching her grasped twin with an unmovable intensity and the little white dog felt a great sorrow for her. The creature was trying to shift to its feet and Rea feared the girl would be crushed and shredded accidentally, which was almost worse than if the creature had meant it. Her paws dug into the floor, speeding to the side of the strange man, he smelled odd, but he seemed to be going for the creature, so she held him no grudge. She made sure to touch his leg briefly, letting him know she was there before darting off, not wanting to get in the way. She moved to the other side of the creature, her back to the forest, just a little way off the second twin who was making an almost continuous noise. The noise grated on Rea’s ears, making them twitch, the low keen of sorrow unable to be kept inside by the young girl. She watched the creature, finally deciding on how to get up, clasping one taloned paw around Zosia, making her scream as the long claws pierced the surface of her skin. It rolled, pressing his full body pressure against the girls slender form and got up on three legs.

Rea let out a bark, unable to keep quiet as she feared for the girl, but as the beast came up, she saw that the girl had passed out, but was otherwise unharmed by the roll. From her chest soaked red blood, staining the matching uniform. The dog flinched as the Sasha ran at the beast, her step back followed closely by a pounce forward, shooting into movement. Sure she couldn’t do a thing to harm the creature, but that by no means meant she could not and would not help in any way she could. Sasha flashed the ever brighter flashlight at the creatures eyes, making it back up a little, moving towards the forest. Rea’s ears perked up, yes, if they chased it in there, it would have less movement than them, its form so much larger than their own. Putting on a burst of speed, she started yapping, her little voice high and loud, running back and forth before the creature as Sasha did, encouraging it to go back, she was careful to stay out of its grasp. The sweet smell of blood had filled the air and she feared for how long the other girl would last without medical attention. To her left stood Demetrius, though she paid no heed to him, her continuous yapping echoing out across the garden. She hoped that someone would take the opportunity to attack it, since it was more than a little distracted by the Sasha and herself.

“We need to get it into the forest, it has to much space to move here.” Shouted Sasha, her voice high with anxiety. “We need the help of the guardians.” She spoke then covered her mouth; Rea knew it was something that she should not have said. What guardians, she had seen not one single guard go into the forest so the twin could not possibly mean them. The little dog did not pause in her noise attack on the creature, staying in from f it, where it could not attack her, not unless it wanted to lose its prize. The thing twisted and turned, its had shuddering back and forth, as to not be surprised by an attack by its now many opponents. She darted forward, nipping at one of its hind legs, though not to much effect, she was less than a eighth of its size and she did not want to gain any further damage off it than she already had. Her teeth barely sank into its flesh, so hard was its skin, despite the fact her teeth were as sharp as glass. She moved away, watching as it raised a big paw, stepping back from the humans and towards the forest. She let out a triumphant yip and dodged out of the way of the oncoming paw. Her feet sunk into the soft earth, making her skid and grass hunks flew up into the air. She slid on to her side, coming up slightly mudding, she cursed the earlier rain, she would have been had it not fallen.

Flame flickered over her form as it had before, burning off the dirt, she squealed seeing this, fear shooting through her. What ever happening was powerful and she wasn’t all to sure she liked it. However almost as soon as the fire had come, it was gone, leaving her fur once more perfectly white. She sniffed herself, glancing at the creature , which could not bring its eyes to her bright flame. Her tongue lolled from her mouth, she was pleased, this thing really didn’t like light and she would be more than happy to blind it a little, sure she couldn’t do much. At least now she could do something.

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When Demetrius rushed out of the room and ran past the two of them, Iris felt joy overflowing her, but it was in that moment that she saw the blood soaked knife in his hands and her heart tightened. He was obviously trying to get help or help someone himself and when Eillot pulled her to follow him she didn’t resist, eager to see what exactly was going on. They soon entered another room and when they looked down the window to see where Demetrius had disappeared to, the sight in front of their eyes was unbelievable. A huge black dog that looked like the Cerberus with just one of his heads was on top of one of the twins trying to get a good bite out of her. There was also a white dog yapping at the beast while the other twin was screaming in panick for her sister. Then Demetrius did something incredible. He raised his knife and charged at the creature – or rather, he tried to – when one of the dog’s large paws went for his body in a failing attempt to strike the man. Demetrius was no longer the bookish fragile looking man Iris thought he was and everything in him from his stance to his martial arts-like actions proved her right.

Eillot was obviously better prepared than her, at least mentally, for she didn’t stand there just looking at them and grabbed one of the curtains along with its pole. She asked Iris to help and after the two settled the pole in what seemed to be a good position, Eillot climbet out the window and headed for the fight. After quite a few moments of hesitation Iris decided to do the same, but just as she was halfway trough, the pole lost its balance and the girl ended up falling on her back with the pole on top of her. Fortunately for her, it wasn’t that heavy.

As soon as she got up she saw the beast opening four slashes with its hellish claws in the trapped twin’s body as the white dog managed to scare him with the flames coming from his fur. Flames?! Iris looked bewildered how the little dog –wolf- whatever it was – fired up. Spontaneous combustion? Of course the beast didn’t look normal as well with his huge fangs and black pelt that seemed made of shadow and darkness, but Iris failed to comprehend all of that when she had her eyes focused on the girl beneath it. Now she was seeing everything clear and fear started to creep inside her. This wasn’t a fairy tale anymore. When the golden sparks poured down along with the blood from the twin’s wounds, Iris knew it wouldn’t take long until the end. She ignored her urge to go over to Demetrius and rushed at the twin’s side taking the silk rope that hanged from her sack in her hands. She used her blue dance outfit as a bandage and wrapped the rope tightly around the twin’s body, getting it halfway up gently.
„Shhh..it’s gonna be alright” she whispered pressing down on the wounds and trying to stop the blood’s flow.

Seamus wasn’t feeling as good as he thought he would after his long awaited drink. His legs were shaking and his head was spinning so there wasn’t much left for him to do except to try to remember how to walk properly. There was still commotion upstairs and some of the people rushed back down after a couple of minutes as he was making his way to the stairs. The Irishman changed his mind when he saw the crowd and headed towards the exit of the house to avoid meeting anyone else. Outside he took a left corner asking himself what would be best to do in this case when he needed a good sleep more than anything else. Little he knew that he was about to meet some of the Lucky Draws and the twins just a couple of steps away.
At first he only saw Demetrius’ backside and he raised his hand in a feeble attempt to call him over.
„Hey…Dam…Dimitriuzzz” his weak voice didn’t reach the man so Seamus had to walk over to him but what he saw in front of him was nothing he would have expected. On the neatly trimmed grass stood Iris holding one of the twins like a child close to her chest and she looked like she was about to burst into tears at any given time. The other sister looked half crazed with sorrow. Eillot was there as well.
„Wha’ …wha’ happen’d?” he managed to ask weakly, like he was surrounded by mist.