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 Two for the Road, Allen, Red
Red Riding-Hood
Posted: Dec 21 2011, 03:22 AM


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Joined: 18-June 11



It was a relief to be out of Silvermoor. While King Richard had yet to reach Belle levels of bloodlust when it came to Riding-Hoods, the man had none-the-less managed to make daily life annoying. The common folk were now even more skittish about dealing with the monster hunters. Not everyone though, some brave folk had actually started to help. No doubt they were smart enough to figure out that the only thing worse than having Riding-Hoods around was not having Riding-Hoods around.

Red Riding-Hood had managed to cross the border into Springbarrow easily enough, it was the border with Westmarsh that was tricky. The extra pair of eyes hadn't hurt either. Allen Adale, a bard with whom she had met only recently, had asked to tag along for the trip back to Shadowcoast. The thought of company had been nice, the thought that the man's absence might annoy a certain green clad idiot was nicer. She'd accepted his offer without hesitation.

"Whose idea was it to name it Shadowcoast?" Red wondered out loud, not even bothering to turn in her saddle to face Allen. "A name like that is sure to attract nasty-ness. No wonder the royal family has had such shit luck."

It was a poor conversation starter, but then, the Riding-Hoods were exactly known for being skilled conversationalists. It was a valid point though, names were important. The right name could ward off bad spirits, or strengthen bloodlines. The power of names was the only reason why such a terrible one had been passed down from mother to daughter for so long. It was only and strong, binding them to the oldest of their kin.

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Allen Adale
Posted: Dec 21 2011, 04:20 AM


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Allen couldn't exactly say why he'd come all the way out here with Red. Perhaps he was starting to feel caged in back in Sherwood. Not that the place was much of a cage, but after spending most of his life (the second one) wandering, he wasn't exactly used to sticking in one place for too long. He'd have some explaining to do for Robin, that was to be sure, and he had to consider himself lucky that Selene wasn't the jealous sort. Really lucky. Running off somewhere with a woman you've just met, no matter who that woman was, usually wouldn't look too impressive to one's fiance.

"I don't know." Allen mused, "A name like that could mean several things if one interprets it the right way. It could mean 'Shadowed' like a fell shadow of bad luck, but perhaps it was meant as something else at the time? 'Shadowed' as in hidden perhaps?" He shrugged, "Besides, that's probably only the current rendering of the name. Names have a way of twisting and reshaping themselves as the language changes."

Allen knew a thing or two about that, that was for sure. He hesitated for a moment, looking like he was about to say something more, but instead fell silent. There were some things that, if you were smart, you didn't talk about. For Allen Adale, formerly known as Taliesin, formerly known as Gwion Bach, that pretty much amounted to his entire lifetime up until he came to Silvermoor
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Red Riding-Hood
Posted: Jan 4 2012, 03:35 AM


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Shadowed things didn't sound much better than shadowed luck to Red. Ambushes had a nasty habit of making one just as dead as a curse. Maybe there was some sort of romantic interpretation or origin? There might be some sort of poetical nonsense logic that made Shadowcoast an attractive name. Nothing came to mind, but she could never be accused of romanticism.

"No good twist, but perhaps I am overly sensitive to such matters." Or just biased against the royal family. The queen and her brother-in-law had hardly endeared themselves to the Riding-Hood. Not that people usually endeared themselves to her, the Charming family had simply been more spectacular about not doing it.

"Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting Queen Aurora?" Red asked, with a tone that clearly indicated how pleasurable she considered such a meeting. Maybe she should just send the woman a letter regarding her still missing husband? Considering the she had no news beyond 'alive, hidden by powerful magic' it might be wise.
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Allen Adale
Posted: Jan 4 2012, 08:42 PM


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As he listened to Red, Allen turned towards the road ahead. "Perhaps." He muttered. "Names are funny things though. A name..." He shrugged, "Well a name is who a person is." He blinked, surprised at the gave tone his own voice had taken on.

"Careful now, letting things get a little personal here, aren't we Gwion?" Wisdom piped up from somewhere in the back of Allen's mind.

A scowl briefly crossed Allen's features, Mind your own business...bloody annoying voices...never know when to shut up... Realizing he'd fallen silent he forced his voice back into a more conversational tone and added in, "Same could be said to apply to a place I suppose."

Allen laughed when Red asked him if he'd ever met Queen Aurora. "Do I look like the sort who goes around having tea with Royalty?" He asked gesturing towards his scruffy-looking self. "Actually, to be perfectly honest, wanderer that I am, Silvermoor's the farthest south I've been." He smirked, "From the tone of your voice though, I'll take it you have. Unpleasant experience, was it?"
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Faolain Teir
Posted: Jan 22 2012, 11:19 PM


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Hunger, his oldest friend.
Faolain Teir wore the shape and name of a man when it suited him, but under the flimsy disguise of skin there was a wolf... and that wolf ever hungered. It had never bothered him that he fed on all he came across before he’d drunk the wizard’s lifeblood, but with the death of that cursed magician had come the thoughts of a man. Useless, mostly, atrocious little things like guilt and grief and regret – anger, though, he had kept. Kept and carefully nurtured season after season as humans spread like a blight on the world, cutting and burning and raping the very ground that had spawned their miserable lives. They blackened everything they touched and put leashes on the beasts that had once prowled the grounds of a younger world. Times were changing, the Big Bad Wolf could feel it deep in his bones, but change did not come easily to creatures like him. If the fleshlings wanted to usher in their age of madness, so be it – but he would let them not build their world of stone and iron without pause. If Silvermoor wanted to burn the forests his brethren had once hunted in, they were welcome to bring their guns and hounds and torches. I will wait for you in the dark, men of Silvermoor, and remind you that these grounds do not belong to your kind yet. There is only one ruler when night falls, and it is not the man that sits on your throne of stone.


But these were the thoughts of a man, and Faolain had discarded that face for the moment. Blood ran down his jaws in thick rivulets, shining crimson in the afternoon light, tasting of terror and exhaustion – he had toyed with the deer for hours before snatching the back of the creature’s neck and tearing through it in a single bite. The corpse was still hot and the Wolf feasted on the flesh with all the candid savagery of his kind. Cruelty and pity were the troubles of men. For beasts the only morality was that hunter and hunted, of predator and prey. And what beast could possibly hope to hunt the Big Bad Wolf? After all these ages of appeasing his unending hunger, he had grown into the kind of monster that even other monsters tread lightly around. The Wolf suddenly paused in its meal, raising his nose from the bloodied carcass and taking a whiff of the wind. It was a scent he recognized, he realized with a growl. Not because he had smelled it before, but because he recognized that sharp, acrid taste it left in the back of his throat. No beast hunted him, true, but there were other creatures in the dark... Fae-hunters, shadow-walkers, silver-blood – the ones they called the Riding Hoods. The deer was not interest to him, now. Not when there was much better quarry to be found, wandering in the woods.


Abandoning the carcass without a second thought, the Wolf ran through the quiet woods like a wraith, his gait uncannily silent for a creature his size. He could smell them, two travellers alone on the road. One female, the other male – the female was the Hood, the taste of Fae to her was unmistakeable. The other one’s scent changed like a leaf in the wind, as if he was one man then two, then more and then one again. Magic, old and deep: the Wolf bared his teeth in hatred. A Hood and a Wizard, alone in the woods? The Storytellers had not served him a feast so extravagant in ages – it would not do to disappoint. Wind brought words to his ears as he neared the pair, lurking right beyond their sight and weaving through the trees.


“Unpleasant experience, was it?"


The Big Bad Wolf’s form rippled and in a blink of an eye he was Faolain Teir again, his mouth still drenched in blood and his longcoat spattered with gore. Lazily, he walked out of the woods and studied the pair with amber eyes.


“My my,” he murmured in a voice like velvet, “What have we here?”
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Red Riding-Hood
Posted: Jan 23 2012, 01:11 AM


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"Unpleasant? A bit. Queen Aurora is what you would expect from royalty. She expects the world to work in her favor and anyone who disagrees with that is obviously in the wrong." Red shook her head, remembering her encounter with the Queen. She had a low opinion of royalty in general, conversation hadn't changed that.

A chill shot through the Riding-Hood's spine as she registered another presence nearby. A malevolent presence, stalking them. Without needing to think about it, her hand dropped to the hilt of her rapier.

“My my,” an unfamiliar voice murmured, “What have we here?”

Red turned towards the voice, and saw a man who was clearly not a man. Also he was covered in blood. Not a good sign. If she were alone, the woman would engage the beat in a heartbeat, but she didn't know how well Allen would do in a fight. "We are travelers, armed and able. Seek your meal elsewhere."

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Allen Adale
Posted: Jan 23 2012, 04:00 AM


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Allen smirked at Red's response to his question. He found that most people, in his experience, were like that to some extent and was about to say as much when something stopped him.

A shadow of movement in the edge of his vision, the absence of sound in his surroundings, a certain kind of tenseness in the air. Allen noticed these kinds of things, even if only at the back of his mind. It was survival instinct, he himself had been hunted long enough to know when there was a predator in his midst.

He reached for his bow, not to shoot anything of course. Not yet anyway. Just to have it in his hands. As he did so he noticed Red's hand resting on her rapier. So he wasn't being paranoid or crazy. Damn.

He turned when he heard an unfamiliar voice speak up. “My my, What have we here?”

A man- well judging by Red's reaction not a man exactly- stood before them, covered in blood.

Allen shifted his grip on his bow slightly, but said nothing. There was no more the Bard felt he needed to say. Red's words summed it up perfectly "We are travelers, armed and able. Seek your meal elsewhere." If it were a ballad he couldn't have come up with better words for the hero to say.

Instead, he just stared back at the man with what he hoped was a dispassionate expression, trying to conceal the fact that every rational part of his mind (and several irrational parts involving the half-remembered instincts of a rabbit) were telling him to get out of there NOW.
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Faolain Teir
Posted: Jan 27 2012, 11:41 PM


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"We are travelers, armed and able. Seek your meal elsewhere."


“Travelers?” the Wolf laughed in a voice of velvet. “What a humble little Hood you make. No simple traveler you, or your Wizard cohort.”


She’d felt him before he’d come out of the shade; the sudden stiffening of her spine has told him that as clearly as if she’d screamed it. He knew better than to mistake that sudden stillness for fear, though – it was not the first time he had hunter her kind, and he had learned much from the blood spilled. She was not unmoving like a doe before a wolf; she was a snake waiting for the right moment to strike. There was no hint of fear in her stance, but she smelled of... indecision. There were only so many reasons possible for such a scent the animal in human skinned reflected as his amber eyes turned to the weaker prey of the pair. The Wizard’s fleshy hairless face looked calm but he reeked of fear to the Big Bad Wolf’s nose. The bow in his hand did not seem enchanted at first look, nor did his travelling bags. Not much of a threat, the man. Or so he looked, at least: wizards were a tricky breed on the best of days, and for most of this wood’s beasts stalking these two would have been a hazardous enterprise. It was a good thing, then, that Faolain was not most beasts.


“I haven’t had bled a wizard in nearly ten times ten seasons,” the Wolf continued conversationally. “He squealed like a pig when he died, all his tricky little magicks failing to buy him another moment no matter how much he begged.”


With a last look of contempt, he returned his attention to the Hood, the greater threat of the two.


“Now your kind is an entirely different breed,” he smiled while baring great white teeth. “You don’t scream when the monsters come, do you? You have more dignity than that. The difference between the hunter and the prey.”


Faolain’s back straightened as his body shifted unnaturally, his canines lengthening like ivory knives as his gore-covered hands grew raking claws. He was a heartbeat away from letting loose the animal under the human disguise, straddling the line between man and beast. Laughing huskily, he eyes the two travellers and licked his chops.


“I am Faolain Teir,” he laughed, “but that was not my first name.”


And with that he let go of the manflesh, his dark fur rippling out as his face turned into an enormous snout and the largest wolf to ever walk the grounds of Faymoor inhaled the delicious scent of the two wanderers.


Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” he asked, his voice strange and savage when coming out of a wolf’s mouth.


Taking an idle step forward, he kept his eyes on the pair and savoured the anticipation of violence to come.
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Red Riding-Hood
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 02:21 AM


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“Travelers? What a humble little Hood you make. No simple traveler you, or your Wizard cohort.”

Damn. This one had a good sense of smell, which probably meant he wasn't some fae-creature. Her silver off-handed blade probably would not hurt him more than any other weapon. Now if only she could figure out what he was, and more importantly, the fastest way to kill him. "I never claimed simple."

“I haven’t had bled a wizard in nearly ten times ten seasons, He squealed like a pig when he died, all his tricky little magicks failing to buy him another moment no matter how much he begged.”

Red shift her horse towards Allen slightly, ready to jump between him and the not-man if he decided to attack. Her companion was not helpless, but he probably would be at a disadvantage if it came to close combat. Besides, his fiance would never forgive her if the man went home maimed. It was never a good idea to rouse the wrath of a house wife, especially one who was so fine a cook.

“Now your kind is an entirely different breed, you don’t scream when the monsters come, do you? You have more dignity than that. The difference between the hunter and the prey.”

Oh please let that be second hand information. Red did not need to fight something strong enough to have survived a fight with a riding-hood. Not without reliable backup anyway. Allen was a wizard and an archer, sure, but they didn't know how to fight as a team. They could end up in each other's way.

The stranger seemed to change before their eyes, becoming even more inhuman as whatever the man-flesh concealed pushed its way to the surface. “I am Faolain Teir,” he laughed, “but that was not my first name.”

Then a wolf stood before them, and it would be a wolf wouldn't it? Felines might get a bad reputation for their supposed connection to witches, but Red would almost swear that every third wolf she encountered was some sort of unnatural monster just waiting to eat her face off. “Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

"This is why I'm a cat person!" Red shouted as she drew her blade.
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Allen Adale
Posted: Feb 1 2012, 05:04 PM


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“Travelers? What a humble little Hood you make. No simple traveler you, or your Wizard cohort.”

"Not a Wizard." Allen mumbled. The words came to his mouth automatically. To be perfectly honest he was only giving the exchange between Red and the Not-a-Man half of his attention. The rest of the thoughts spinning rapidly through his mind were devoted to finding a way out of what was sure to be a bloodbath.

He knew he was useless when it came to close combat. Really he'd only be getting in Red's way if he stuck around...If he could only slip away far enough...his eyes darted to the trees that surrounded them. Yes, he should be able to get a decent shot from there...

“I haven’t had bled a wizard in nearly ten times ten seasons, He squealed like a pig when he died, all his tricky little magicks failing to buy him another moment no matter how much he begged.”

Allen glanced back at the stranger, realizing he was speaking to him. "If he was begging I doubt his mind was clear enough to do anything that could have saved him anyway." Allen shrugged, "He didn't know how to handle his own fear. Certainly doesn't sound like a kill I'd brag about."

"Since when was teasing the blood covered killer standing in front of you considered 'smart?'" Wisdom muttered in the back of Allen's mind.

It's a defense mechanism, I get snarky when I'm afraid. Or would you prefer blind panic? Was the bard's reply.

The Not-a-Man turned to Red then and began speaking. So he'd encountered Riding Hoods before. And survived. Oh, lovely. Allen cursed under his breath. As if he wasn't in Red's way enough already!

Before their eyes the stranger began to shift forms. “I am Faolain Teir,” he laughed, “but that was not my first name.”

He talks too much. Allen thought

"Indeed. Rather like a cat playing with it's prey." Wisdom replied

"We can use that to our advantage..." Inspiration said.

And then, a wolf stood before them. An ironic smile crept across Allen's face. Alright so it was a wolf this time, not a hunting hound, either way this was beginning to feel all to familer to him.

“Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

"Dammit, you know I used to like dogs once..." Allen grumbled under his breath.

"This is why I'm a cat person!" He heard Red shout. She drew her blade.

If I survive this to write a song about it I'm going to have to fix that into a decent battle cry... Allen thought as he surreptitiously took a few steps back out of the way. He'd only have to wait until the opportune moment and then...well, the wolf was right about one thing. Allen was tricky.
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