Late at Night (Open)

What do you choose? A poisoned rose, or a knife in the shadows?
Jakondite
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Late at Night (Open)

Postby Jakondite » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:30 am

A Recap...

So much had happened in the time that they had escaped.

They've learned by now not to trust their own memories, when it comes to the time before they were taken. More often than not, the stories they have of their capture, of their durance... often contradict each other in ways that are peculiar, even by fae standards. Maybe that was normal, and most people simply couldn't compare their memories to the memories of other people because of how rare escapes were - they could not truly be sure.

Each of them had been taken when they were very young - between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, while attending Stillriver High School. Each of them had known the White King, known as Thomas, before being taken - though a precious few of them could ever claim to have known him well prior to the durance. But they were taken by the Keeper - a being with as many titles as the club had contradictions between one another. He who will not be remembered. The Man in the Broken Mirror. The Prince of Pawns. Ultimately, they have a name that they all agree on because it - at the very least - doesn't contradict their knowledge: The Black King of Checkered Fields.

Each of them had been taken in, and forged into a piece that suited their role. Thomas, the White King, had chosen them himself, and defined their roles based on what he knew of them. Pawn. Pawn. Pawn. Rook. Bishop. And he was their master, they were his slaves - with the only master before him the Black King themselves. They were made to play a game of war on a checkered field, looking up to a checkered sky where others were played, where each was bound by the rules that in turn were bound in promises they had no choice but to accept. They call it a game, but it was real. It was war. They were afforded no rest.

They were made and played with as toys by both Kings - the "human" and the "keeper" - though that's one of the things that gets contradicted quite often, at least when it came to Thomas. Especially now, when it's easier to try to think that maybe the abuse, maybe the rapes, maybe the tortures as he twisted their bodies into forms to suit his needs were all an illusion, than to think that a whole freehold accepted him as king and called him hero.

If you are told often enough that you are wrong about your abuse, you begin to doubt it yourself. Especially when some of the people saying you are wrong were the people who suffered - by your recollection - more than you ever had. Especially when the white queen, Lily, has a smile that seems so honest. As though those wicked hands had never plucked that flower.

They changed their color more often than not. A lot of them remember being white, being black, being blue and shifting all too often - but they all remember the group that came out as the primary group that they were connected with, even when they remembered other armies that had not escaped. Max posited that their colors had had some kind of correlation to their classes, and they were all in the same homeroom, but when they switched colors and teams it was to be matched up with others who were in that team. It seems logical, but it's never really been something they've pushed seeing.

They have memories of castles, of kingdoms, of a box they were kept in when they were put away where they became... close. They have memories of battles that existed even without the kings. A Red Queen? Tom had called their world a "wonderland" and there were times they remembered things reminescent of the looking glass, but it was like their world was vast, and they were kept in a cage.

And then they remember escaping. Some vast explosion, someone screaming to run, and they were all running. Black was facing white, but when the opportunity struck white was out of that board so fast that you could see streaks. And they escaped, pursued by the Black King and his hounds... rescued by Leone and Anavel. Given a place to call their own, to try to make sense of this world. They knew a lot of people were still trapped and there was nothing they could do, but the white pieces had escaped... well, the white pieces, a trophy, and the Black Queen who - despite being a changeling herself - was also remembered as by far one of the largest threats any of them had ever faced.

She'd probably slaughtered them all, more than once, before they were repaired and renewed by all the King's Horses and all the King's men. Few could say the same the other way around.

And they'd acclimated. They'd started making a life for themselves, while trying to get to know this world they'd returned to - which was far, far different from what they remembered. Technology had changed. The world had changed. People had changed. It was almost like taking a step into the future, and at once the world seemed both small and infinitely larger. They'd needed time to adjust. To figure out what had changed in the seven to eleven years. How people had changed. So many of their friends had gotten jobs, gotten married - failed and succeeded. Vanished and been forgotten.

So many of -them- had done the same, replaced by a false them that lived their lives better than they could, especially now.

For you see, all that was before even adding the faerie elements - the pieces of the world they knew now. Before learning of the hedge, the way that dreams worked, the courts and freeholds, and the knowledge that they would be hunted by their keepers for as long as they lived. To call it chaos would be to call the ocean a puddle - but they had each other to anchor them. To keep them... as sane as they could be. They had other lost too, who were different yet still understood them.

And then they went to Homecoming - and there they found Thomas, and learned that he was King to one of the four courts... and suddenly it was all back again. They'd learned he'd not only escaped, but escaped first before them and made a life for himself here. They called him king - just like they did there. People obeyed him. Just like they did there. Only now...

Now no one but them could see him as a monster. He was a hero, someone who'd collected hundreds of lost from the fae, like the mastermind of some faerie underground railroad. The cognitive dissonance was jarring. And this knowledge, coupled with a revelation that the trophy was actually a black rook that had been thought dead, had crumbled the ground beneath their feet and shattered the trust that many members had with the freehold. It didn't help that some members not only didn't actively cry out at the injustice of his position, but legitimately didn't remember him being horrible. And then there was Richie, who had the audacity to actually -join his court-, making him a pariah among those who did not support the Spring Court and it's Monster King.

That was months ago, and people still had not gotten over it. Had not come to terms with it. It was easy to try to focus on different things. Expanding the Hollow and it's defenses. Looking into your lives and figuring out who you were and what happened to everyone you cared about. Trying to figure out how to get a means of income and help support twenty nine other people, or to branch out and isolate yourself from the group, while someone else had your identity (or you were dead, as was the case for some club members). Even months past, and people were still figuring things out. Some people thought they would be for the rest of their lives.


The Hallow was, and had been since they were given it by Anavel, massive. By this point in their lives, a few of them had had the pleasure of getting to go and see other hallows, and they were... well, they were different. They had been blessed that they were given this gift, which they only used about maybe... what, a tenth of it? If that? To it's full utilization. It could house an entire freehold, and right now only housed thirty scared lost - but that vastness came with it's own kind of price, in that it didn't technically fully belong to the motley - it belonged, for the most part, to the Freehold.

Still, they made it their own. Each motley member had their own room, which was always connected to another room by a door that could not be locked - so the only way to TRULY lock your room was to lock your door, go into your neighbors room and lock -their- door. Those rooms were tailored to their owner, and fitted with things that made it feel like it's own home. The freehold also had a common room with several couches, no televisions yet, but a payphone which could be used to contact the outside world. There was a kitchen that was stocked with an ever fluxuating storage of goblin fruit and dried foods, because they lacked a fridge to store meats and wet products. By this point, a room had been built for the members to spar and train in, and while most rooms had their own private restroom, the actual bathrooms were massive shower rooms designed for multiple people.

The girls looked better than the boys. It was flat out better stocked, which ultimately showed the various sexes 'crafting' capability when it came to the hedge-building.

There was also a music room with no instruments, a library with no books, and a series of tunnels with no purpose. A massive and vast work in progress that was ever growing. There was, however, an art gallery - see, Shelby never seemed to stop moving, and was always painting so you could very easily find all of her works there. Some of the works were more disturbing than others for different reasons - a picture of the Goddess of Desire, Amber, who had charmed every soul who'd ever laid eyes on her was one such thing - beauty like that was hard to capture, but Shelby had, and that image had to be avoided because you'd watch it and find that hours had passed as you stared.

The night time was likely when the hallow was the most active these days, truth be told. Almost every member had trouble sleeping, and while a lot tried to keep normal hours they were usually out of the building in that time with their designated 'buddy'. Night time was when you had a good number of members fluttering quietly trying to be sneaky in the building to get food, late night activities, and ... well, night time activities.

(ST Note: I'd like to take this opportunity to allow Colibri to write in her character; The recap is to catch her up to what has been going on and the goal is to get her up to speed and active with everyone else. Her character's name is Shane, and as I recall he is another one of the knights (there are now three named). He's an elemental runnerswift, and I will leave the rest up to Colibri as far as details you should know about him (... probably. I might add important bits as I feel are necessary). When you post in, please feel free to reintroduce your character and give a small bio of things that - having been a part of the motley - Shane would know about your character. :D)

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QuicksilverFox85
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby QuicksilverFox85 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:54 am

Damien Wetherford
Darkling Hunterheart | Wyrd 1 | Presence 3 | Eidetic Memory | Fast Reflexes 1 | Iron Stamina | Lethal Mien | Trained Observer 1
As one of the knights that had made it back from the board, Damien had fallen into a somewhat natural role as defender since their return. He put himself between the others and sources of danger, including trying to stop arguments between the others as they arose, although in some cases that had proven to be less successful than others. He also had taken point when it came to the motley's meals, working with whatever the patrols brought in and becoming rather adept at knowing how to best prepare the fruits they gathered from the Hedge around them. When not in the kitchen he often had his nose in a book, the subject matter ranging widely from day to day.

Since the Homecoming gathering and the revelations that had come from it he had withdrawn somewhat from the others, putting more of his focus on cementing a place for himself outside of the hollow: more frequent trips to the library to catch up ensued, along with getting an under-the-table job at one of the mom and pop restaurants that brought in some much-needed income for the motley along with extra food to help augment what was foraged by the others. The kitchen area of the hollow was slowly becoming his primary domain, with the Darkling adding his own touches to the layout and working out ways to patch in other outside equipment that would broaden their options as far as preparation was concerned. There was still no fridge or freezer yet, but they were getting there.

On this particular evening Damien had laid claim to one of the couches in the common room, a book on baking from the library in his lap and a notepad resting in easy reach. He idly twirled a pencil across the fingers of one hand as he read, occasionally pausing to make a note before continuing on.
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Colibri
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby Colibri » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:52 pm

Shane was a resident of the Hollow, it was true, and for the most part he kept to himself unless he was told specifically to do something. His room, his nest, his territory, no one was invited there and the few who had actually made it so far as to knock on the door of Shane’s “haven” would find themselves greeted with a hiss or a silent shake of his head.

It wasn’t that he went out of his way to be antisocial, but comfortable spaces were few and far between for him and had been much of his life. Such a thing was to be protected, kept and held close. He had attended Homecoming (after some debate) and true to form he had claimed a spot and fell out of the spotlight. What he did remember from that event, because he had put the experience in a mental file system, was a lot of people and confusion. If he was asked “Did you get to talk to any of the Court leadership” he would shrug. He was pretty sure that everything was just another form of clique no matter the label attached to it, and if anything he had always been that outsider kid, the juvenile delinquent, the one who held to his own crowd and knew well enough that there were some groups he would never quite fit in.

Every time he looked in the mirror and the creature he had been forged into looked back, he was reminded of this. If anything he looked like something that should be dicking around in OZ than someone who would ever feel at ease without wondering are they staring at me.

Ever since he had been forced onto the Board and crammed into the Box with the others, he had found himself having to revise that opinion. Which was okay. He had been working his way in, from outer orbit to feeling better about the people who surrounded him. A work in progress, but if anyone was to take notice, he was spending more time moving through the common area than holing up in his room.

Maybe he wanted to talk. Maybe he wanted to practice social skills. Maybe it was a Shane thing and the Wyrd only knew what motivated the Elemental to venture into the Common Area at that particular moment and pause as he studied Damien as the other Lost went about his reading. He pulled down the hem of his rumpled shirt (which he had slept in) and worked up a conversation opener. He lifted up a foot and stamped lightly at the floor as he concentrated.

“You know, they need some graphic novels or comics or even some magazines.” He reached up with one of his oddly modified hands and scratched his ear. “Like what, “Letters to Penthouse” or even “Soldier of Fortune”. Shit like my dad and brothers kept around.”

And that was probably the longest sentence that the Elemental had uttered in recent memory.

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Elsaa
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby Elsaa » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:40 am



*Diamond... Diamond... if things had been odd for her before, going around in a haze of blankness, not having a memory to cling off the fear, of the horror, of the pain, no having a memory to hold on of her life before, of who she had been of where she had wanted to go to....she had been a blank slate, unused to speaking, yet she spoke, with a few, but she did, she had been isolated, because she had been a trophy, not part of them, unused to them... But now, not it turned out she was not who she was, she was one of them, yet not one of them, one of them from the other side of the board, like Victoria, one of them but backward... and still not a single memory to cling onto... but fleeting images of things... if fights, of blood, of pain, of faces that were not there anymore, or that were, but were twisted....

She had been so tempted to just cocoon herself and never come out, yet they had not let her, nor Victoria, nor Destiny, nor Damien or Mindy... She had not been let to close up and fade in the night...

So she had begun to fight to be more her... whoever she was, she did volunteer out if Richie, Mindy, Destiny, Damien, Victoria or Lily were involved, less Lily than the others, but she did feel at ease with them... She still felt scared, and she felt.... less... for what they spoke, she had been this bad ass-kick you to hell and back rook, yet she was just her, scared, quiet, fragile... nevertheless no one could deny that in the few occasions she had gotten angry... well things had happened.

So now she was trying, to stand more straight, yet it was trying, she sill only felt at ease with a very few bunches, and she still preferred to cocoon herself in blankets under her bed, and she still stammered, she just tried to... be out.. mostly... also if you paid attention she had been more indoors out of the need to ... create, it seems she was actually trying to make dresses or clothes, and she would ask those she volunteer with to help her go to this or that place, to bargain for clothes, she would use whatever she could that would not harm the motley storages, little trinkets and only if what they got back was enough, but she had to try, to know if that was for her... she was still not ready, or not even thinking on her past, or her 'other' self, not yet... even if at least she didn't just hide when Victoria brought it up.

And right now... right now she had been in her room trying to make something, which is how she'll come out, with a twist of a piece of embroidering she was toying with as she made a distracted path to the kitchen*
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby Jakondite » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:05 am

There were a lot of members of the chess club. Some were easily intimidated - the pawns, mostly. Artie, Mindy, Diamond, Penny, and some others. Most though had been a part of the group long enough that intimidating them was... difficult. For the most part, they left Shane alone out of respect rather than fear - some people needed space, even from those who were now the closest people to them. It didn't absolve him from the hunts, the need to go outside and support people, or the buddy system they always had opened - but it did make him one of the last people bothered when things were needed.

Usually.

There is a small cast of people who are known to be awake at this time of night, but they were all the quiet, keep to yourself kind of people. Shelby was one of those faces - an Artist Wizened who had been a pawn on the board and had been one of the pieces who painted the designs for a lot of pieces on Chess World. The Gallery had been made with her in mind - and she was always seeming to work on some piece or another. She was one of the fastest to adapt, joining the Court of Madness and turning that Madness to vision. Passing, you could probably catch a glimpse of her through the open doorway to that room.

Another face was Anthony. Now Anthony was one of the quieter members of the higher valued pieces - a rook who didn't always stick out in the way that Ross, Lily, or Victoria did - he wasn't the vision of fear that Victoria was, nor was he the warm heart that people could turn to that Lily was. He rarely yelled, but had been one of the top basketball players back when everyone was in High School. Not 'the top' but everyone remembered he was one of the big players - a fact that sometimes seemed to annoy him. At this immediate moment, he's taken up residence on one of the couches and is reading a book that they took out of the library. He's a big guy -- all the rooks were, especially now -- so he ends up taking up the entirety of the couch by himself.

There were more of course, but they were not immediately visible. Anthony is the one who remarks to Shane, "They?"

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QuicksilverFox85
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby QuicksilverFox85 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:14 pm

Damien Wetherford
Darkling Hunterheart | Wyrd 1 | Presence 3 | Eidetic Memory | Fast Reflexes 1 | Iron Stamina | Lethal Mien | Trained Observer 1
Damien looked up from his book at Shane's comment, somewhat surprised that the other knight had ventured out of his room. It was a good change to see, though, and he gave a little nod as Anthony asked his question. "If you're talking the library in here, it's not a bad idea. Could start getting stuff together for it easily enough."

He glanced over to Diamond as she headed towards the kitchen, giving her a quick up-nod before looking back to Shane. "Good seeing you out. Doing alright?"
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Colibri
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby Colibri » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:30 am

“They…oh yeah.” Shane frowned slightly as he worked out his mental syntax, then, “…whoever brings in books. There isn’t that much that I want to actually read as, say, have to read. I think that makes sense.”

He watched Diamond as she made her way to the kitchen, his ears twitching slightly as he did so. “Not that I have anything against reading, but, sometimes…? It’s like what I see on the page doesn’t want to sink in. I mean, the letters are all right, the words are there, but I can’t see the meaning or purpose behind them. I want to fix that. Just don’t know how. Maybe I don’t remember how something like that works…the small stuff that makes the basic more attractive.”

The Elemental sat down on the floor, dog-fashion, with an audible thump.

“I used to think that reading was okay, it got you jobs and stuff. Now, I just want to find out what makes it more than a function, the draw for….I guess, doing it because I want to. Just like you guys, right? I can read, but I want to know where the special part of it went...what makes it fun for people. I’m not sure if I’m making any sense with that.”

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Elsaa
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby Elsaa » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:46 am



*she did smile softly to Damien as he nodded to her, and skittered a bit, then stopped, pressing her lips, she should not hide from the others, she should not, she... hummm! she fidgets with the embroidery lace for a moment, before chiming in with a soft* i... I.. I think i.. is all about... letting them ... you know just show you what they've got... b.. books, I mean
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Jakondite
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby Jakondite » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:00 am

"We bring in the books. If there is a book you want to read, you'll need to go and get it and bring it here," Anthony said calmly. "What we have now is a library built of stolen words, bizarre reflections, and shadow written texts that are drawn from contracts that Artie, Sabrina, and the Queens worked out. Reading the reflection of a book is always interesting - you tend to need a mirror."

He thought a moment, and said, "Artie would be the best, I think, to ask about books. He's a Notary, after all, so while he's geared towards computers he is literally built around words. Victoria is also a valid person to talk to if you want to recover the spark for books."

Victoria was the Black Queen, and the only piece among them who wasn't a part of the white side - besides Diamond, but that was a recent revelation. What that had meant was that when they had escaped, she was the only one on the other side who made it out. It also meant that despite being being acknowledged - even obeyed - as the highest ranking individual there, she was something of an outcast, and the most terrifying member of the Club. It made sense - she was powerful, and only Lily, the White Queen, actually had the power to equal her. At least, when they were on the Board.

Who could say if that was true now, but old habits died hard.

"As for me, books are just a means to learn. People pass their knowledge through these words, and I absorb it."

Colibri
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Re: Late at Night (Open)

Postby Colibri » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:05 pm

"Oh. Maybe...okay...let me get this straight. The books in the library you need to have a Contract that works with them. That's...okay. I'll ask about if there are Contracts for reading and maybe learn one. Most of what I can do is run like hell and...I want to see what else is out there than, well, this." He raised up a damaged hand for emphasis. "Speed, running, pursuit and getting in someone's face is pretty much the skill set I bought into. "I'm at the top of my game, but...it feels limiting."

His ears perked forward slightly as he shifted focus to the Trophy, then, "What kind of books do you like to read?"


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