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Character Age: 28
Race: Elf
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Specialization: Berserker
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Illex Sulahn

Warrior

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Feb 20 2018, 05:28 PM
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<center><i>Thread Roulette AU</i></center><p>
Self-restraint was difficult when faced with such tantalizing temptation; all around him he could pick apart with a simple look which beings were perfect and which were not, faces passing him by on the street with little more than a second glance in his direction. In a city such as this an eccentric appearance was not out of place and often encouraged, and with diversity around every corner it was not hard to pinpoint the ones Illex found deserving. Not always was it a personal choice, something resonating within him when pale grey eyes would fall upon those who stood out. A divine calling, for a select few, though that did not apply to those who became ensnared so easily when interest was turned towards them. Eyes lifted to the rearview mirror, lights swimming across the windshield and flickering upon the dashboard, a few cars behind him at a distance though none followed too closely or appeared to be following at all. Paranoia was unbecoming of the elf, navigating through the streets of the city second nature as the vehicle was guided with ease. Pathways taken before, changed only when the part of the city differed yet it all converged into one way out. A one way trip for those precious few who were made to join him on the journey. Time would pass and their lives would fade so beautifully from their eyes, the last of what they saw the one who stole it from them. A fitting end, even if Illex did not wish it to end at all sometimes.<p>

City lights were replaced with the sickly yellow glow of the lamps along the highway, darkness looming around them until the light was consumed entirely and there remained only a stretch of road leading further away from the city. A commute traveled often, be it business or pleasure, but exhilaration was quick to wrap itself around the elf’s mind with each mile overtaken by the SUV. It was unknown how long the boy tucked behind the furthest seats would stay unconscious, alcohol having some say in the matter other than the forceful sleep Illex had induced. A calculated risk, given how much liquor the younger elf had consumed, but a sense of urgency had taken hold of him once he had begun to dress himself. So lost in a state of bliss he had not seen it coming, Illex having tried to hold his patience when the boy slipped the hoodie over his head but ultimately unable to. By all accounts the night was still young, but Illex was eager to return home and a mind addled with inebriation seemed not to desire to still the tongue that had kept wagging. Other than the low whir of the engine as the pedal was pressed further down silence settled within the interior, Illex preferring to sink into his own thoughts rather than have the distraction of the radio.<p>

Hills rose up, and the elf slowed the vehicle as a glance was given to his mirrors. It was not a challenge he was after like some of the others who had come into the city expecting to participate in their craft only to meet their demise, Illex holding his intentions close no matter how much the media seemed to go against it. They did not understand, and he found it only amusing at the straws they so desperately reached for as if it would give them some insight to catching him. A select few had noticed a religious pattern to the displays he set up to be found, tucked away in the corners of the city until some hapless soul found them as they were intended to do. The driveway was not as long as some of the others nestled within the trees, dirt and gravel kicking up beneath the tires as Illex guided the SUV over the stretch of unpaved terrain until it smoothed out. Ornate gates flashed in the cones of light, solid and obstructive of what lay beyond them as it stretches down into the trees before fading from view. Illex rolled the window down as he idled, decorated digits tapping the code onto the keypad and almost with disinterest he propped his head up as he waited for the telltale thud of the locking mechanism releasing. In the quiet of the early night the gates rolling open amplified, and once they had opened enough the vehicle lurched forward.<p>

With practiced ease it was guided into the large garage once the doors had been opened with a simple push of the button on the visor, no time wasted in pulling the keys from the ignition and swinging the door open. A hand pressed against his chest as the elf swung a leg out to brace on the ground and stand out, bringing the palm down to smooth the front of the vest when he straightened out. Tresses of long, black hair fell over a broad shoulder when his body came forward, let down when they had come loose from the braid he had worn when meeting the younger elf in his home. It was an opportunity he could not pass up, presenting itself so openly where normally a modicum of patience needed to be exhibited to ensure none would see him in his acts of treachery. To him it was normal, expected, but the reality of it boiled down to the misunderstanding of those around him. They would only hinder his plans and his desires, yet this time there had been none to worry about. Keys chimed as they hung from one of Illex’s fingers, other hand reaching across the driver’s seat to open the trunk.<p>

The sound echoed through the garage, the soles of his shoes clicking against the cement as he rounded the SUV and peered at the prone figure nestled against the back of the seats. Dark hair was disheveled, pale skin standing out in stark contrast to the black of the interior and Illex took a moment to allow his gaze to wander. There were no signs the young elf would wake anytime soon, weight shifting forward so fingers could press against that soft, bruised throat. Illex tilted his chin up to do so, feeling the warmth of his skin and a pulse made sluggish from the forced slumber throbbed gently against the pads of his fingers. A small, humming sigh climbed up the killer’s throat, pale gaze never wavering even as he slipped an arm beneath the legs bound together while the other pulled until it could curl around the captive’s back. With care Illex plucked the unsuspecting boy from the SUV, positioning so a hand could quickly rise and shut the back before returning to distribute the dead weight he took on. Fingers squeezed the remote lock on the keys still in his grasp, Illex moving around to the door that led into the house.<p>

Compared to some the younger man in his arms weighed next to nothing, an indulgence the killer allowed himself for the temptation had been too strong when the naive delinquent had messaged him. Pictures both revealing and not had displayed themselves on his profile, drawing in the attention of the prosthetist immediately, among other things. It did not take much to garner an invitation into his home, a place that had been thought of as safe from those of the taller elf’s ilk. How wrong he had been, though remorse was far from the feeling Illex had felt when seeing him in person. Adjustment needed to be made once again when the alarm chimed and such a device needed calmed with another calculated motion of fingers pressing against the soft keys. A reassurance that no intruder had forced their way into the large, elaborate estate, footsteps creaking gently upon the lacquered wood in the walkway as Illex cradled the boy and stalked through a sitting room towards the kitchen.<p>

Eirik, he had told the older elf his name was, a confidence behind the telling of the calling that left no room for doubt that it was his true name. Normally Illex would research, stalk, and make sure precious time and attention was not wasted on the undeserving. This one had looked far too perfect, in his mind, to pass up such an opportunity and patience could not be had in acquiring him. His head hung back loosely, bobbing with the sway of the killer's predatory gait and it was not long before the two stood before the steel door leading into the basement. A slight coaxing of the door swung it open, foot guiding it further as it had been left open with this situation in mind. The two who currently dwelled in the depths held no soul in their bodies, no spirit to force resistance and necessitate locking the soundproof door and so Illex did not bother with it. Excitement spiked as he tilted the half-dressed boy to avoid his head being knocked against the sides of the stairwell as they began their descent. Footfalls echoed off the walls, the door sitting open providing the acoustics that normally would not be there had it been shut to barricade the perfectly designed room away from whatever noises his victims made.<p>

Illex crossed the room once they reached the bottom, eagerness quickening his pace and he had felt Eirik stir against him with the jarring steps taken to bring them where they were now. A chill crept over the decorated elf’s body, temperatures lowered and the fluorescent lights whirred to life as motion forced them to awaken. The room looked much like a morgue, several autopsy tables situated on the flooring that dipped in spots to allow for liquid to drain, and it was to one of these tables that Illex carefully deposited the other elf. He did not care to speak to him now where it would not be heard, and instead busied himself with the padded straps secured to the edges of the table. Illex guided Eirik's head down, watching as it lolled to the side and his delicate features twitched. The arms and legs were strapped in, long hair tickling against the prone form when he reached up and debated if he should pull the band across his forehead. After some deliberation he pulled his hands back, deciding to wait and see what Eirik might do upon awakening.<p>

For now his words were not desired, nor were his screams and cries for help as so many often turned to, and so Illex plucked a strip of cloth from the long counter along the wall and fed it around the back of the elf’s head. Lips were parted when it situated between them, cheeks pushing up around it as it was tied firmly and a hand lingered to trace a palm against those angled features. His lips twitched with a small smile, torso hovering over the other and a thumb ran along the boy's lower lip slowly. A free hand peeled back some of the hair that stuck to the blood long since dried on Eirik's temple, a curl to the soft locks that fell back upon the table with the action. A groan rolled up his throat, Illex drawing in a slow breath as he watched eyebrows come together in pain and confusion, eyes rolling beneath lids still closed. More passion had been behind the strike to the boy's head than there needed to be, and it is with conscious effort that Illex did not find a blade to carve into his flesh. He wanted to see him squirm and watch him bleed, delve into preparing his corporeal body for the afterlife he now was destined to enter in just two week's time.<p>

But he would wait, and he would bide his time. This lamb would not be going anywhere anytime soon, and Illex had plans already set into place for the evening. That did not stop a hand from being placed on the boy's thigh as he struggled to find awareness, a caressing touch sliding to the interior of his leg and pushing the bottom of the oversized sweatshirt upwards to reveal his nudity. Jaws clenched and nostrils flared, Illex stifling his urges and respectfully tugged the hem down to cover him after a beat of consideration. His hand still wandered, trailing down a pale leg made even paler in the lighting overhead before lifting up at the ankle so Illex could move around the table. Eirik would pull himself from the dregs of sleep soon enough, focus shifting away from the one who stirred yet again only to fall upon the freezers on the other wall. He could feel the cold when a finger touched against the glass, a haze of coiling frost wrapping around the two figures propped up within it. Once dark skin had taken a bluish tint, blood drained through the gashes that decorated their bodies with precision, vibrant eyes made distant and clouded with lifelessness. An exploratory digit followed the line of the corpse’s body on the other side of the glass, the one he had meant to get having far more tattoos on his body than Illex had expected.<p>

Briefly his gaze switched to the other, shorter and hardly much on his body at all in the way of muscling, collateral damage caused by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunate for them both, although garnering their compliance became easier with the other present. A fond smile tugged at his lips, hand coming away so arms could cross over his chest and a step taken backwards to put the two in full display. That was when pointed ears twitched at the muffled sound of a voice attempting to speak. The chains rattled against the edges of the table as limbs jerked against their binds, Illex turning to see that Eirik had awakened. Such a pleasant smile split into a grin, the man watching as brows pulled together in discomfort and confusion, blue eyes blinking groggily as the boy turned his head to look around him in hopes of making sense of where he was. His chin rose, reflex pulling at the straps once again until realization settled into place and it became a frantic tugging. The noise exploded into the room, Illex stalking towards him as Eirik looked towards him.<p>

So many emotions swam within those glazed eyes as they focused, and anger was one of the first to leap to the forefront when Eirik finally saw him. Illex leaned against the table with one hand, shoulder bunching as he tilted his head to look at the boy as he thrashed in futile attempts to get free. Teeth worried at the gag, lips peeling back like a rabid animal, and the older elf lifted a brow. <strong style=color:#732525>”You will only waste your energy if you keep that up,”</strong> he said, cupping the other elf’s face in his free hand. Eirik tugged away from it, Illex pressing his lips together before letting out a sigh. The boy looked past him then, and seemed to stiffen at the sight of the freezer and what lay within it. Illex looked back towards it as if he did not know what Eirik was looking at, turning his body sideways. Protests rose behind the gag, far less fire burning within them now, and Illex could see a glimmer of apprehension amongst the desperation the boy felt to speak. No doubt it would be to dissuade the killer from his intentions, and where once Illex enjoyed the pleading it had become tedious and tiring. They all said the same thing, and so he left the strip of cloth exactly where it had been put in the first place.<p>

<strong style=color:#732525>”Do not worry about them, dear,”</strong> he said once attention returned to Eirik, <strong style=color:#732525>”they have long since left this world, as you can see. Off to a better place, I can assure you.”</strong> Fingers found the rounded chin of the other, ignoring the urgent pull as he attempted to get free and leaned to bring his face to hover closer. Long hair fell forward, Illex pulling some of it back behind his ear as he searched the boy’s soft features. <strong style=color:#732525>”You will join them soon, Eirik. Not before I’ve had my fun, though.”</strong> A gentle kiss was planted to his forehead, Illex shoving his head back down unceremoniously until it thudded against the table. Another displeased noise sounded from the prone elf, though as the killer looked at his watch he straightened himself out. A test was given to each strap to ensure the energetic elf would not break free while he was away, Illex ignoring the way he lunged against them and continued to strain himself as well as his voice. Wasted efforts in the end, but the illusion of the killer heeding them kept them spirited and so he could allow them that small favor. Such cries followed him all the way up the steps, abruptly cut off when the door was shut and promptly locked. Left alone to his own devices, as nonexistent as they were, and the other two elves Illex was prepared to let the world see.<p>

He did not bother to undress himself, at least not yet, for any moment the one he had invited several days ago would surely arrive. Unknown to him as he found his way into the living room and over to the bar in the corner that it would take him longer, Illex filling a tumbler with some of the brandy from beneath the counter and situating himself on one of the stools. From his previous mulling earlier in the morning the laptop had not been removed, hands now setting the glass down to pull it closer and open the lid. Starting it up and logging in he began to sift through various articles using himself as a keyword. Some other articles popped up with them, as per usual, though these were not ones Illex found interest in this time. It was unknown how much time passed at this point, Illex’s leg beginning to rise and fall in a slow motion that betrayed his rising irritation when a glance at the time told him too much of it had passed after all. Leaning back in the chair he took a drink, savoring the flavor and ears perked up when the front entrance door was approached by footsteps muffled by the door.<p>

Illex was already standing even as the one on the other side fumbled with their keys, frustration still present no matter the relatively calm demeanor he held, and he was crossing the living room when the elf he had invited over finally got the door open. <strong style=color:#732525>”You are late, Emil,”</strong> he snapped, not missing the sideways glare nor the way his chin snapped up and curls swayed. Any number of things could have held him up, especially when he had no vehicle of his own to get anywhere, but such facts were buried as Illex grabbed the newcomer and guided his body to the nearest wall with a forceful shove. Emil began to protest but Illex would not have it, hand slapping over his soft lips as he leaned against him and tilted his chin. Crowding him now, the other elf grew lax and sagged against the wall, dark eyes peering at him with a note of defiance and curiosity. <strong style=color:#732525>”I hate when people are late.”</strong> His hand slid down Emil’s front, snaking around to his lower back and pulling him forward until his hips were flattened against his body.<p>

<strong style=color:#732525>”What kept you?”</strong> he murmured, moving his hand from Emil's mouth to slide up into his hair, digits curling to grab a fistful and yank his head to the side. Lips pressed delicately to the exposed stretch of scarred skin, no urgency behind the action despite the way a mind hummed. Eirik had been satisfying, yet not satisfying enough and Illex attempted to be patient as he awaited the one still trapped against his body to answer his question. Time had already been wasted by whatever devices had kept the other away, and it was becoming difficult even as he distracted himself with the taste of the elf’s skin.<p>

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Feb 5 2018, 01:47 AM
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<center><i>25 Firstfall, 9:41</i></center><p>
It was anger that drove the elf to slip through the trees, a betrayal felt when one who had been decided to stay was taken without warning. No, but he was not stolen away by the unknown Dalish that had set foot in their homeland. That boy wanted to leave, any indecisiveness stricken away at the words of the foreign mage. It left a bitter taste in the warrior's mouth, sunlight glaring overhead as it flickered with his hurried steps. Bare feet moved over the ground with careful precision, gaze dropping to assess the terrain and find the easiest pathways. It helped him more more silently, all the while allowing for pointed ears to listen for any signs of those that had been lost. The perpetrator had been punctured with one of Cetus’ arrows, one that Illex would have protested against using on such a lowly creature had he been there. It was just another irritation to be felt, infected elf pursing his lips as his features twisted into a scowl. Pause was given then, a sound to his flank halting him and a towering frame ceased running so that he could listen. Ducking down he shifted towards one of the trees, head pulled back to hover lest the horn upon them grind against the trunk. The two could not have gotten very far, and it was a surprise that they had not been found yet. Of course, if they had been found since Cetus had insisted they split up Illex would be none the wiser until he returned.<p>

That knowledge caused him to pout, the sound he had heard pulled apart and rendered useless in his mind. Metal claws pressed against the tree, palm against it as he used it as leverage to stand once more in a fluid motion. <strong style=color:#732525>”Split up, he says,”</strong> a petulant voice slipped forth, tones laced with bitter mockery directed at the one who had suggested the idea. <strong style=color:#732525>”We can cover more ground.”</strong> He continued to berate as he walked through the trees now scanning the ground but finding no fresh tracks that belonged to anything other than the wildlife out here. Drawing in a breath the warrior huffed, crossing his arms and causing the leather to creak as it banded around it to hold his weapons in place. <strong style=color:#732525>”He just wanted all of the fun, sending me down here where they aren't going,”</strong> he muttered, split tongue pressing at the inside of sharpened teeth. It had been quite near a day now, and whatever headway they had gotten would have placed them even further since the two had sprinted away on their steeds. He was swift, graced with the bolstering touch of the red lyrium he cherished so dearly, but he was still only on his feet.<p>

He was beginning to hunger, though such feelings could be quelled for as long as possible before it became too much even for the elf’s determination and endurance. It was all odds stacked against him in this forceful excursion despite the nagging desire to give chase to the two who had fled. Dwelling on it caused the warrior to become lost in his own thoughts, surroundings falling to his subconscious when it gave him little tell of the two specific beings he hunted. The trail of blood they had first followed had stopped abruptly, and the large deer seemed to know where to place their weight when the ground had become slick with collected moisture. A lip twitched with the frustration, pointed metal scraping against his chin when it finally settled. Trees began to thin around him, dispersing as the environment changed and the sun came to fall across bare shoulders when Illex stepped into the open. It was a vague hope that if the quarry changed direction they would have gone towards the highway, but it was one he allowed himself if only for a couple more hours before he turned to go back and see if his kin had been more successful in their search.<p>

Warmth cascaded upon him, pulled into pale and scarred skin to add to the heat already coiled in his body, and the warrior aligned himself away from the highway as best as he could. Despite his size he found it to be easy enough, stealing to the outskirts and creeping along the uneven terrain littered with rocky formations to shield himself from any who might be watching. Wind brushed up against him, bringing with it a curious collection of scents that caused nostrils to flare and his legs to change course. Illex slipped himself in the space between two larger boulders, tucked against a jagged construction with hands lifting to pull him higher up. Fingers were placed with care, pulled back so the sharp tips of the metal claws would deliver no sound from their contact with the stone. In the shadows he nestled himself, careful to tilt his body so that the long weapon at his back did not scrape or get stuck. It put him at an advantage over the one who approached, footsteps heard over the ground in a rhythm that caused pointed ears to twitch with a growing curiosity. A beast made lame, judging by the consistent shuffling, though it was not a creature belonging to the wildlife that came into view.<p>

Illex stilled his breath at the close proximity, despite the slender figure having their back turned towards him. Charcoal colored cloth spanned over the man’s back, and as he turned his head Illex could see the pointed ears when lengthy black hair was pushed back. Faintly the warrior could pick up a voice murmuring, and saw the other elf’s lips moving before they became veiled behind the uncooperative tresses. A language Illex did not recognize, brows knitting together as he leaned forwards and a clawed hand slid across the stone to peer upon the strange newcomer. So closely Illex had been watching the portion of his revealed face that he hadn’t noticed the metal contraption attached to one of his arms. Pale grey eyes tracked the movement as it lowered to his side, head tilting as he eyed the extension to an arm that had been severed. He nearly clicked his tongue is disapproval, a scowl pulling at his angled features, yet instead remained content to watch the elf struggle. In search of something only the petite elf would know, although Illex could not find himself caring much in what it was. His own mind had its fixation, and slowly he began to unravel himself from the perch he had temporarily claimed.<p>

So lost was he, this wounded creature, that he did not pick up on Illex’s presence until he had already touched upon the same ground the mangled elf stood upon. Idle musings ceased when a spine grew rigid and the shorter elf turned to face him with a quickness not thought possible with a lame leg. Openly Illex studied him, gaze narrowing as it trailed up and down the unknown elf’s body. So many pieces missing, leg bent out of shape, and with such difficulty navigating the terrain it left the warrior to wonder if he was out here all alone. Bands of gold encircled slender biceps, hardly any meat on the boy to be of use in such a fashion. More golden flecks trimmed the black, pulling across the gap that exposed an expanse of dark skin. Lips tugged in a small smile, chin tilting upwards as the warrior sauntered towards the one frozen in place. He did not notice the apprehension in those amber eyes, nor did he see the way the other elf begin to grow nervous with his approach. Fabric of a deep scarlet pressed against his legs from where it hung at his hips, the warrior taking in a breath only to expel it slowly. The other did not speak, and hardly moved, Illex stepping to the side with a considering hum rising in his throat. <strong style=color:#732525>”Dear boy,”</strong> he began, voice a gentle crooning as eyes raked across the other elf’s alluring features, <strong style=color:#732525>”I have a question for you that I hope you can answer.”</strong><p>

His chest lowered, a clawed hand dropping to slip fingers around the wrist of the metal arm. Illex reluctantly pulled his attention from the freckled and scarred face that had garnered his interest, smile faltering as he saw the craftsmanship up close. It was a firm pull, resistance felt yet ignored and a free hand touched against the smooth surface. Sliding up the length of the forearm a wandering hand found warm, bare skin. <strong style=color:#732525>”I am in search of two elves that might have come this way,”</strong> he continued, watching as the claws curled ever so slightly to drag the sharpened tips faintly upwards and relishing in the feeling of the upraised scar tissue that littered the severed appendage. It pulled a slight shiver down his spine, Illex turning his body until it aligned behind the smaller elf. The hand never left his body, coming to alight upon his narrow shoulders while the other reached to pull back the long, dark locks. Claw tips touched against a slender throat, and Illex finally allowed the same hand to find the other shoulder before him. Horned head tilted, braided leather brushing against the bare-faced elf, and he considered him as he turned to eye him. <strong style=color:#732525>”Perhaps in your travels you have seen them?”</strong> An inquiry uttered absently, focus drifting to the one he asked such things as he continued to study him.<p>
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Jan 8 2018, 02:40 PM
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<center><i>13 Drakonis, 9:34</i></center><p>
It was difficult for sleep to cling to a mind abuzz with energy, thoughts swarming like flies that the elf allowed his consciousness to sift through. Despite the erratic ideas his body had been deprived of restfulness, shutting down from the days spent poring over the forge with a determination set into place to finish what he had started. Moments were stolen into unconsciousness, Illex unable to keep his eyes open and finally he allowed himself to succumb to the quiet of sleep. It was anything but silent, however, images flickering within his mind that would be forgotten upon waking. That did not stop him from recalling the feelings he felt during those dreams that had become so settled in a ominous red haze that it was the only color he could see. There is a belief that the Iron Clawed Lady plucked those encounters from him with steely claws, a nourishment to a mind gone mad for Illex <i>knew</i> it was she he dreamed of. He did not lament the loss of the dreams, more than willing to offer them up if they would add kindling to the flames of passion he held so close to his heart for the Forgotten One. Pale gray eyes rolled open, consciousness achieved once again only this time he felt far more energized. With vigor he sat up, hands curled along the edges of the swinging cloth supporting his body to prevent it from swinging over.<p>

The elf twisted, bare feet planted upon the grass as he stood with arms raising above his head to stretch out. Air was expelled from his joints audibly, Illex favoring the relief it gave him before relaxing his body and casting a curious gaze across the camp. Night had fallen, darkness doing little to impede the elf’s scrutiny of his clanmates as they tucked themselves away for much desired rest. He strode over to where the forge sat beneath its constructed roof, drifting closer to one of the walls where the tools hung so that he could touch them briefly before gliding steps set him in front of one of the tables. Without the light of the moon overhead darkness wrapped tightly around him in the corner, beat back only by a faint scarlet glow that seemed to twist and turn even as he stood in place. The garden sang to him in the near distance, far more lively than it had been the previous week though the clan had managed to find a rather bountiful deposit. Bountiful only in the bodies that were provided to feed the mineral, a delicate touch rendered in choosing the most suitable ones. Illex found some of them questionable, though it was not his place to question the Keeper’s decisions and thus he kept his opinions to himself.<p>

Pale eyes blinked, Illex unaware of when he had sunken into his thoughts. Pulling himself away from them focus fell upon the crafted metal that laid upon the table. So perfectly aligned they rested parallel to one another, Illex plucking one up to turn it over in his hand. The other stretched out so he could consider it, wiggling his fingers only to rotate his wrist to peer at the other side. They were barren and flawed in his eyes, and the time had come to finally take another leap of faith for the Iron Clawed Lady. The warrior had been deemed worthy of such a feat, and excitement burst through his mind that drove him to pull the rest of the claws and deposit them into one of the smaller bags hanging from the wall. With that he turned on his heel with vigor, long hair swaying with the energized motion as the forge was placed to his back. Silently he stalked, a familiar path taken that took him further into the trees until reflective eyes fell upon the elf he sought. Dark curls pressed against the hammock’s cloth as the small creature curled within it, a gentle breeze pulling it where it was secured between two trees and Illex took a moment to take in their peaceful visage.<p>

Beautiful red glow sifted through the air, coiled about that frame lacking in physical strength but more than making up for it with magical prowess. Illex had seen it firsthand, and even if they were still learning the practices fascinated the warrior. Knees bent, bringing Illex into a crouch as he tilted his head to watch Tahnarel sleep. He could not say he was loathe to steal away unconsciousness, far more interested in his current plans to let them continue sleeping. Reaching out Illex allowed a hand to touch against their flat stomach, a deep breath taken from the other when they stirred. Mismatched eyes did not open however, Illex watching his hand make a lazy trail up over the ribs that jutted against their darkened skin. Fingers applied the faintest pressure in the dips between the bone, pleasure spiking at the way Tahnarel’s spine bowed into the touch and Illex let out a gentle breath. Up their chest the hand went, following the slope of the throat to caress their face and shake lightly. <strong style=color:#732525>”Wake up, Tahnarel,”</strong> he murmured, lifting the bag to bounce it in the mage’s face. The metal clinked together within it, Illex unable to contain the wide smile that tugged at his lips. <strong style=color:#732525>”I have need of you.”</strong><p>

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Jan 6 2018, 09:56 PM
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<center><i>3 Wintermarch, 9:37</i></center><p>
Through the trees snaking, winding fingers of bitter cold reached, poor attempts made to dig a biting touch against any exposed flesh of the figure that crept low to the ground. Heat wrapped around the one blessed with the lyrium’s presence, the furs set in place across broad shoulders shifting with each calculated step if only to ensure that a body unfeeling of the cold would not perish because of it. Even though the winter did little to sway the desire to remain untangled within clothing the elf knew better than to think pale flesh would not become frostbitten if he trekked out long enough unprotected. The snow brushed away against the sweeping of the cloth that wrapped around his hips, those of which undulated as knees drew up only to extend and bring the creeping creature across the untouched terrain. It helped to cover his own tracks, pale gray eyes fixated on the ones set out before him that belonged to one who clearly did not hold such fears of being found. A simple wandering had turned to a curious hunt for the being that had left them in their wake, Illex tucking his body into the underbrush as much as was possible. Only three weapons had been brought with him, for he had not anticipated seeing someone venturing so close to the forests, though now all that remained were two when one of the spears had been broken and discarded earlier in the day.<p>

Patterns of trees began to break up into thin clusters, the expanse beyond the Tirashan able to be seen through the gaps but that is not what held Illex’s focus. A similar hunt had proved rather fruitful in the morning, the elf becoming sidetracked from returning to the clan when the unknown footprints drew his gaze. Beside one he crouched now, tilting his head as he considered it. The shape was small, clearly from the boots his newfound quarry wore, though the only other elves who would match the impression had been back at camp. Perhaps they were uncovered intentionally, or whoever walked where they shouldn't did not have enough intelligence to be wary of their surroundings. That thought brought about a small smile, cold metal brushing against his chin as lips twitched and Illex straightened out to continue his path. Several paces down the footprints diverged from the straight direction and gave the tall elf pause. There was hesitation in the way the telltale marks rested in the snow, indecision that Illex decided to exploit. He knew the area well, and he could only assume it was a shem that trailed along the forests for an elf would have been able to pick up on the way the ground began to dip and give way to a crevasse carved into it. Small in length yet wide, but it would put a hindrance in anyone's travels lest they backtrack and go around.<p>

Illex stalked to a larger tree at his flank, palms pressed against the rough bark only to move upwards and grab one of the lower branches. Metal claws gouged into the wood, adding leverage that was unneeded for strength along was enough to hoist himself up until he could perch on one of the higher branches. The branches were barren, offering little in the way of obstruction save for the way they clustered together so he inched along the side of the trunk and settled back carefully to wait for his prey to come to him. Dark tresses fell over his shoulders as his chin dipped down and eyes remained watchful even as he prepared himself. The longer weapon was removed from his back, Illex balancing it precariously on the branch beside him so that he could free his arm for his remaining spear. Fingers twisted around it in growing anticipation, a confidence placed in the one he now awaited with hope that it was not misplaced.<p>

Indeed it wasn't, the wait cut short by the sound of snow crunching beneath the weight of the nearing shem. Through the skeletal branches Illex took in the sight of the man as he came into view, gaze narrowing ever so slightly at his small stature. The snow pushed out where he walked, leaving a fresh trail behind him and with his approach came an odd sensation. Across the distance it stretched, a caressing touch that settled low in his gut and the elf leaned against the trunk of the tree, free hand braced against it and body pushing forward until the brush of the horns atop his head stopped him. Confusion found him next, for the creature that walked leisurely around the open space looked every bit a vile human yet Illex caught himself <i>admiring</i> him. Slowly it crossed his mind until it became a fixation, the elf almost feeling giddy with it even with angled features turning into a scowl. Lips tugged down with a frown, scrutinizing stare sizing up the dark-haired being. More of it fell along his jawline, wrapping around his lips and Illex had to stop himself from calling out. He didn't want to give away his position, not yet, despite the way a voice inside of him protested the silence.<p>

The shem stiffened, ever so slightly, head turning away as if hearing something in the distance but Illex heard nothing. Ears twitched as if he might be able to, wondering if he had missed something. Maybe this human could smell the blood that had dried across the warrior’s body, or maybe it was the small bag tied to the belt across his hips saturated with the liquid from the spoils of his hunt that sat inside of it. Humans did not have a good sense of smell, Illex knew, so it couldn't be that. Nostrils flared and he lifted the spear before the shem began to turn, positioning it carefully and waiting for his torso to turn. Much to his glee he did, taking several steps until he was nearly beneath him. Muscles flexed, and the elf threw the spear with as much strength as he could gather from his current position. He delighted in the noise it made, face instantly brightening and pale gaze meeting the human’s when he looked up. Only he couldn't be a human, not with the way his face remained passive. Illex didn't see much of it, already having begun to make his way down the tree and ducking beneath a branch with his glaive in hand. If anything the human looked annoyed, the smell of blood filtering towards the warrior as he dropped down.<p>

It only filled him with more curiosity, brows pulling together as the smaller body collapsed beneath his weight with ease. His frame jarred with the impact and it drove the spear in further, Illex tilting his head once the human was prone and trapped. His hair fell forward, the braided leather bands of his headdress following suit as he peered at the supposed shem. His weapon was planted against the ground with a fist clenched around it to brace himself, the other finding the rough face to touch his cheek. He didn't like the way hair prickled against him, Illex forcing the man's head back when he attempted to rise as hips drove down against him to keep him in place. The elf’s chest touched the blunt end of the spear, sinking down even as it ground in harshly to the breastplate. His furs had fallen off with the movement that set him upon the man, and lips twitched as claws curled to press none to gently into the human's face so he could turn his head. Their chests almost touched now, spear digging into the ground beneath the body that writhed. It stirred a sense of lust, one Illex was unsure of for he had never viewed human’s in such a way. It was frustrating. <strong style=color:#732525>”What are you supposed to be?”</strong> he murmured, an inquiry almost meant for himself but he looked expectantly upon the other. Blood welled from the pressure of the metal claws, skin puckered around them but Illex did not relent. <p>



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Jan 5 2018, 12:54 AM
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<center><i>21 Solace, 9:40</i></center><p>
The garden was dwindling, a greed placed within each action to pluck the precious stone contained within its cage of ice and death that took faster than it could grow. Insistence had been ushered to the Keeper to still those forever unsatisfied hands as those they belonged to clamored for more. That is how it always was, desperate pleas for <i>more</i> even if it did not display itself outwardly and Illex was determined to let the growths flourish where others did not. The warrior was content to sit along the edges, adorned ears twitching gently at the low hum as the song wrapped its caressing fingers around his mind. It washes everything away, not a trouble to be felt should there ever be any to plague an already plagued mind. The comforting call was quiet, however, dulled beneath the weight of absence and it is this reason that Illex found himself trailing away from the Tirashan. Reassuring weight fell across his back, the harness holding in place the tools of which he would use sparingly for the task at hand for he intended to make quick work of the information he had been provided.<p>

It was easy for his clan to keep their ears to the ground, plucking at their ties to the world outside of the forests where they resided in order to keep a relatively steady supply of the corrupted lyrium. It was no surprise that the garden would wane, as it often would be mined for whatever the clan desired, but this time was different. Some had taken just a little too much, and Illex would leave it to the Keeper to find those that indulged beyond what was necessary. Punishment would be enacted, and it was a small disappointment that the warrior would not be present to have a hand in dealing such reprimand. Sights were set on the trails laid out before him, carefully taken to avoid leaving one of his own as he weaved through the trees and crossed over the plains towards the expansive highway where many utilized it under the false safety it supposedly supplied the outsiders. Long, black hair had been braided back, brushing gently across the skin of his back not covered by the weapons he ached to use as he moved swiftly. A mount would have been simpler, cut the time in half, but he did not care to have another living creature to look after. Determination was set, and several days passed before he arrived at the edge of the crumbling stone.<p>

Archways towered high, the walls difficult to scale and so Illex kept parallel to it, pointed ears shifting as his head turned to hear any telltale sounds of what he was looking for. Red lyrium had been noted as passing by the highway, though the elf did not mistake the majority of the Templars to be fool enough to use the paved roads so openly. Several steps were taken before a shout was heard behind him, up upon the highway and Illex lowered his body to duck behind a grouping of fallen debris. Hooves clattered against the stone, Illex relying on hearing more than sight as the riders began to pass. Wheels churned, snorts heard from the beasts of burden as something large was carted along. When it sounded directly behind him the elf twisted to peer over the crumbled stone only to see a dark caravan wobbling almost precariously before the driver corrected the horses. Pale gaze shifted down the way to where another could be seen as a blotch of color slowly, ever so slowly, growing in size with its approach. Lips twitched, muscles flexing as a palm slid over the rough edge of the broken masonry. The points of metal claws scraped delicately against the surface with the motion, the elf pining for an opening to set against what appeared to be humans.<p>

No signs could be seen of any infection, nor could he hear the beautiful hum from within the caravan. Just as he was about to retract his attentions a foreign language was spat into the shuffling noises of the travelers, an arrow flying overhead and planting itself within one of the caravan guards’ skull. Illex’s stomach flipped, eyes widening and a grin splitting his lips as his head whipped around to find the source of the well-aimed arrow. The archer perched on a rock, a glance sent in the direction of the elf when he moved just enough to see over the edge and even from this distance the warrior could see the confusion. Another joined him, oddly shaped clothing wrapped about their figures and it took a moment for recognition to spark. <i>Venatori.</i> Excitement flooded through him then, and he pushed away from the rock as the bow was leveled towards him. The wood splintered upon impact, arrowhead clattering to the dirt and Illex reached behind him to free one of the stunted spears. An arm drew back, and returning to his previous spot he threw it with precision, delighting in the startled cry as the human was stricken in the chest. Such a satisfying <i>thud</i>, the elf already moving to retrieve the spear when another charged towards him with a sword swinging in a vigorous swipe.<p>

Freeing the spear Illex dipped low, one leg extended to brace himself and the sword missed his head by mere inches. He could feel the breeze in its wake, hear the singing of the metal as it hissed through the air, and with a forceful thrust upwards the spear was embedded into his skull beneath his chin. Rising with the strike it drove the Venatori back, blood falling freely in a pleasurable wave of warmth down his hands and arms. A shudder pulled down his spine, sharpened teeth flashing as he yanked the weapon free in a spray of blood. A low groan erupted from his throat, eyes alight and his free hand lifted to glide across his chest and smear the liquid across his skin. He could feel the upraised flesh of his scars, eyes fluttering but he pulled himself away when commotion from the road drew his focus. The guards were clashing with other Venatori, not very many of them, and Illex replaced the spear in favor of drawing his glaive.<p>

They did not expect him from either side, most of the shems doing the work for him as blood splattered the ground and pained shouts gurgled into silence. Bodies fell, curses yelled in that atrocious language and Illex pulled himself closer. The curved blade rested against the stone, scraping with his approach and turning the head of one of the caravan guards dressed in black armor. Silver flashed, and the other warrior charged towards him yet hesitation slowed his steps when he fully took in this unknown adversary. <strong style=color:#732525>”Please, come closer,”</strong> he murmured longingly, near breathless with the anticipation of what was to come. He did not know what the human said, nor did he care. All he cared about was the way his feet moved, the warrior clearly trained but Illex could not find a single shred of fear within himself. Indeed the shem moved closer, the elven warrior knocking the blade aside and allowing his own to slip through his grip until he grabbed it again, closer to the blade, and pushed it forward. Right into the softened core it dug, pushing past whatever useless armor he wore until it caught on bone. Illex yanked the man towards him, the other side of the blade hooked and catching further. The guard dropped his sword and the elf lifted a hand to his face, blood coughed from stained lips as the wounded balked.<p>

Claw tips grazed softly, Illex tilting his head and taking in the way the human’s face contorted in agony before a crushing grip was placed against his face. Fingers curled, and a scream tore from the afflicted one’s throat as the metal dug into flesh and bone, puncturing an eye only to press further until the prey ceased its struggles and fell limp. With little consideration muscles coiled, Illex pulling the glaive free and gaze honing in on the remaining two that dueled on the other side of the caravan. He could hear their labored breaths and struggling, shifting to the corner of the structure as the horses began to panic. For a moment he simply watched, humored by the view of the Venatori and what he could only assume to be a Tevene pushing against one another in a poor attempt to gain leverage. <strong style=color:#732525>”So wrong, so <i>graceless,</i>”</strong> he chided, chin tipping as the Venatori gained the upper hand and with a guttural cry the guard fell beneath his blade. The stench of blood was pungent, a split tongue prodding at some that had dotted against his cheek.<p>

Nostrils flared, and the Venatori lunged towards him. Space was limited, and so the elf used the long handle of the glaive to swipe the bloodstained sword and trap it against the side of the caravan. It lurched with the impact, clawed hand lifting quickly before the man could recover and counter the shove set against his throat. This one did not scream, voice seized with his very hand and Illex moved closer as the pinned hand began to tremble and the sword fell away with a resounding clang of metal against stone. Illex stood taller than the shem, crafted claws still dug into his throat even as his wrist rotated and fingers began to spread. Taking in a deep breath the elf removed his hand, satisfaction wrapping around him as he slid none too carefully until he leaned against the wheel clutching at the gaping wound in his throat. Air was expelled slowly, Illex planting his glaive against the stone after pulling it away. A side compartment began to fall open, and with a jolt of trepidation the elf scrambled to keep it closed lest the contents inside spill out.<p>

How close it had come to doing just that until Illex secured the latch and placed a hand over his chest as if to still a rapidly beating heart. Gray eyes fell to the motionless Venatori, a small laugh given. <strong style=color:#732525>”This is not mine, not yet,”</strong> he explained to nobody in particular, a shake of his head accompanying the steps that brought the elf closer to the deceased. <strong style=color:#732525>”It would not do to break it.”</strong> Careful consideration was placed upon the lifeless corpse, Illex kneeling down beside him as his gaze narrowed. The braid fell across his shoulder as he turned his head to eye the wound that trickled with excess blood even if the heart had ceased its beating. Bloodied claws pulled at the mangled flesh, a grimace taking hold of the elf’s angled features. <strong style=color:#732525>”That does not look good,”</strong> he commented gravely, yet despite the concerned tone no regret could be found within his mind. Eyebrows lifted and Illex shrugged, standing with a quickened motion so that he could reach and find purchase against the metal holding the wood together and hoist himself up. A foot planted against the Venatori, giving him a boost to his desired perch. He heard the wet <i>plop</i> as the man fell over but Illex paid it no mind.<p>

Sitting upon the top of the wagon as the horses shuffled nervously behind him the elf glanced down the highway to where the other vessel began to make itself know. A rider on a large, ebony horse surged forward ahead of the other, donned in black robes and with his approach Illex let out a disgruntled sigh. Not a single trace of red lyrium upon his body, the carnage around him all but forgotten as he laid his weapon down beside him and leaned forward against his crossed knees. <strong style=color:#732525>”You are not who I was hoping to see, you know,”</strong> he called down irritably as the horse and rider stopped a few feet away, a frown pulling at the corners of his mouth. Just another <i>human</i>, by the looks of it. A small hope had been placed in seeing the Venatori, for the elf had assumed that the Templars would have come in the place of the shems that seemed to surround him. How revolting.<p>


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