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Carved by a monster.

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by PoserPanda, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. PoserPanda

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    Yeti ruler of Lennith, your only prerogative is to protect your citizens from the ever-leeching caustic mire of Sprixie denizens. When power is not enough, only a sacrifice of life will satiate and destroy their collective stomach. A ritual carving is to be used only in this instance, as no intelligent creature should become an indentured companion.


    Bapheuftamist caught himself reading a very specific plaque on the right-hand side wall. It told of one particular law that caused him to feel guilty. All the time-wasted art in this room bothered him much less than the plaque did.

    “I will not be tempted to look your way again. Your words cannot sway me, Great Grandmother.”

    He swiveled moodily away from the offending article, facing instead the only window in the workshop. The breaching sun played with his new position upon his stool, throwing mid-afternoon shadows where he needed light.

    “Must I battle with a yellow dwarf, before I am allowed to continue?”

    He murmured, whilst creaking back and forth on his sitting stool. A few more shifts of his weight and he faced the only door that led to the breezeway.

    Good enough for now. The king thought, in a resigned manner.

    As it stood currently, Bapheuftamist had both a magnificent strength and a dispirited soul, the latter bringing about a choice to break the law.

    If I could just-

    Bapheuftamist arched his thick claws a little more firmly around the mold of timber in his paws.

    Concentrate on this blasted lump of coal!

    Contentment did not fill him at this moment, he needed more than just a hobby to arrest his unlawful wish of feeding himself to the Sprixie clan. With a slow slide of his claw another scrap of bark fell off of the hideous clump. Feeling as though he could work no further, Bapheuft looked up at the other figurines for a smatter of ingenuity. Steel shelves bolted to the right and left, crammed with statues, miniatures, or dioramas. But no desire to continue inspired him there. Even worthless yetis before his reign, had been able to carve whom they had wanted to appoint for sacrifice.

    Others gave into marriage.

    His queasy thoughts did not remind him of stability, but weakness. A true yeti’s divine endurance did not concede them to clutter the assigned workshop with objects of such frivolity. But if not for those artists, his adobe abode would have looked much different. Ugly even. He chuckled in a disturbingly cheerful way, reminded of his parent’s disgusting appreciation for research. They had both decided on Sprixies as candidates for their field of study, when Bapheuftamist grew heavier than their laps could hold. That idea lasted no longer than a meal served at time of twilight. The Sprixies could be fun to engage with, if they weren’t in the mood to be fed. Which, as was found out, is often.

    “Dullness or food?”

    King Bapheuftamist returned his gaze to the wooden work-in-progress. He wondered if he were to be so cunning as to make an interesting pad-mate. A snail figurine didn’t speak to him like the wondrous alabaster statues did. They that flushed amber at praise from streaks of sunlight, waving over trimmed ivy bushes separating the garden rows. There might be a new hybrid race that he could have his guards bring to his porch. He only had to remain resolute, and then the work would be finished.

    “I am not so lucky, to be that crTop of FormBottom of FormTop of Formeative.” Said the spoiled beast.

    He thumped his ugly work against the stool, un-crossing his legs and landing with scaled paws on the ground. It was time to get up and give up. With his tail now looped around his arm, the tidy beast made his way to the broom that was situated next to the door frame. Bapheuftamist dropped his figurine on the floor, sweeping up discarded wood chips along with it. Giving his art a sniff of resignation, he tossed the offending pile into the waste basket, followed by the broom which smacked brokenly against the wall nearest to the door.

    “I’ll start over. Make up something disgusting.” The bipedal figure looked nearly human, and was therefore certainly worth a do-over.

    “Humans are rather plain anyways.”

    Bapheuft opened the door before him, deciding that since the bog hadn’t shrunk entirely, to forgo sending out his guards to collect a new inhabitant. His attitude changed by the clawing stretch of hunger in his stomach, something he knew one of the chefs could take care of.

    “Head Chef Charlane mayhap, or Sous Chef Toole.” He mused, scratching his plated belly.

    It may be advantageous to see if any one of his servants could choose a design for the next sacrifice. Perhaps they had someone in mind, a being that happened to be both intriguing and a nihilist.

    My frail grandparent’s tradition is bland enough for me to find a mind better suited for my previous hobby.

    He thought to himself, shutting the door with aid of his tail. Bapheuftamist mentally collected all his foul emotions from a pool of awareness to a place of ignorance. A walk along twelve feet of stone had a soothing effect on the king. Hands that felt useless were dragged on the glass-paned walls, his tail reaching for and soon opening the western entrance.
     
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  2. PoserPanda

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    Three creatures were in the midst of a transaction that looked to be going fairly well. Bapheuftamist ruined a chance of joining in gracefully, by loosening his grip on the door handle. A hearty crash divulged the king’s position as the door shut firmly. It startled the group to the point where the conversation paused, one of the lizards pulling its robe more tightly around its face. As if to disguise any feelings of disgust around my unfortunate entrance.

    The other lizard remained focused on the chef who spoke to him. As their lone ruler, there weren’t many dwellers who would be willing to give him any unfortunate ideas about themselves. He did want to talk to the head chef as soon as possible, so he greeted the nomads.

    “Guests!” He bellowed, expecting both of them to turn to face him. Once more only one of them directed their gaze at Bapheuft, the other needing the chef to direct its gaze, before it too gave him the respect of its attention. Oddly enough it tapped its tail on the ground while doing so. Head Chef Charlane smiled at Bapheuftamist and spoke to the nomads, the erratic rhythm coming from her hooves as she snapped them to get the transaction back on track. Upon approaching them he could see that nomadic couple were handling a bag of considerable girth, while the head chef filled in orders on the notepad she held. Once beside the head chef, he noticed that the tail tapping had started up again, making Bapheuftamist to give his chef a puzzled look. She did not oblige him with an answer as the taller of the two nomads spoke up.

    “Just a fortnight shall do us well. We shan’t need more food than the provisioned amount to supply our way.”

    When the conversion of coins was handed back to the shorter nomad, it rhythmically thumped out each coin that fell into its claws. Once she finished, they were both directed to the kitchen.

    “Exit back through the same door that you entered, yet walk around the south side of the mansion this time. Give your order to…” The Head Chef started snapping her fingers erratically once more. This did not work out so well for the shorter nomad, from what Bapheuftamist could see. The female lizard shuddered, unable to understand the code, if any, that the head chef was conveying. Lloyd’s claws gripped Charlane’s hoof with alarming speed, keeping it there even while their king glared suspiciously, not realizing what the gesture truly meant. The tall nomad withdrew his be-robed claws, bowing to the yeti. Once the snapping stopped, the shorter nomad tugged on the other’s robe, following this with a gesture to leave. Bapheuftamist realized her disability from these actions and spoke to the one who could reply.

    “Forgive my Head Chef. She tends to snap when a word escapes her.”

    Charlane handed the order from her notepad to Kassin, deciding not to speak lest she forget something else.

    Think nary a thing of it, sire. We shall overcome.”

    Whispered Lloyd, who finally beat his tail to grant Kassin relief in leaving the king’s presence. They both walked back to the north entrance of the mansion, allowing the yeti to speak about his own request.

    “Chef, your King is hungry. I’d rather not frighten my guests again, so let us watch them from the balcony before we head to the kitchen.”

    Head Chef Charlane bowed, allowing her King to lead her through the southwards hallway. The entrance had a shredded tree-shaped pillar on the left, and a rope entwined tree pillar on the right. Ropes were wrapped or knotted all the way to the ceiling where they stopped at a rather large sized hole. It wasn’t often that she had time to see one of the few doorways built into his bedroom, though the walls themselves held her attention much better than odd holes. Taiga landscapes drew her eye, despite not having a dash of paint to color it all. She happily remained silent for the duration of their walk to the staircase. Bapheuftamist spoke first, keeping his mind off of food for a moment as they ascended the stairs.

    “Tell me about the Plated Nomads.” He said at the first bend in the staircase.

    “The taller nomad is named Lloyd, the deaf one is called Kassin. She is as skilled in exchange rates as Lloyd is with long lists.”

    Charlane didn’t snap her fingers this time around, too careful to forget someone whom she had just encountered.

    “So you weren’t being rude to our guests when you snapped your hooves earlier.”

    Charlane shook her head most violently at his teasing, causing the toque on her left horn to tumble onto her head.

    “No sire. There was a great deal of Morse code that I have had to learn, through Lloyd interpreting for Kassin.”

    The horned ewe fiddled with her hat until it was more snugly situated around the curve of the tip.

    “I mean only to tease you, Head Chef. I did not understand her code at first.”

    Charlane blathered in slight remorse, hoping he wouldn’t continue. Thankfully he asked no more questions as they had reached the top where a landing opened out to the balcony. Stepping towards the railing surrounding the edge, he paused to rest his tail on top. Bapheuftamist saw to counting how many tents were staked into his land beneath their vantage point. When he finished, he took a deep breath of the air. It smelled of raspberry cake and fried locust, one of which Bapheuftamist favored. This particular cake gave him a mischievously pleasant idea. But first he must put his head chef in a position to be distracted.

    With a wave of his paw, he motioned for her to join him at the banister. The question he posed reeked of genuine concern.

    “Chef, what do these plated lizards celebrate? Why my kitchen?”

    Charlane wagged her fluffy tail nervously. The answer she knew would not please him.

    “They celebrate not being chosen. They figured to pay my kitchen, instead of another. As a tribute to your kindness, sire.”

    In her effort to defuse his attitude, she had referred to the kitchen as belonging to herself. While technically true and a matter of habit, it was not the best decision she made this morning. Bapheuftamist let his tail drop with a snap, communicating resentment towards her hasty wording.

    My kindness is giving their clans another peaceful century to live!” He stomped away from the railing, glaring at his Head Chef. He stopped at a wall that sectioned off the opening to the staircase. Charlane bowed once more, groveling to try and appease him. Bapheuftamist seemed to allow this gesture to cool his flare of anger. He crouched low as if to sit down, though he remained in a squatted position for longer than necessary. Charlane kept her wooly head down, wondering how many others would pay to keep their likeness off of the sacrificial figurines. As the yeti became calm, he spoke softly to her.

    “The fact that I didn’t carve one of their kind, is simply because I lack the skill to do so.”

    With a rattle of her short, yet thick horns, the adult ewe tried to negate his response. She succeeded only in causing her toque to flutter.

    “Nonsense milord! Your skill is not only to carve, for you certainly have other talents. Grand things that may keep you happy – busy even!”

    With a grin, Bapheuftamist arched his back, glancing at Charlane before bringing his attention towards the railing.

    “My dear Head Chef. You are absolutely correct. Please excuse me, as I take your advice.” Charlane looked up in happiness that lasted but a moment. It was not a skill that her king desired, but the raspberry cake. She knew this with certainty, as Charlane would sometimes see him from the garden, sailing over the railing on the balcony, to land nearby when hunger became too much for him. A horrid thought entered her mind.

    A bit like the Sprixies. Always needing to feed.

    This time however, there were guests visiting that did not know of this occurrence. The nomads might mistake his dangerous acrobatics for a surprise attack.

    “Bapheuf- Sire! The kitchen isn’t ready for you!” In vain she yelled at the king, who dodged her attempts to stop him from executing a most delightful leap. He being much too agile for her head-butting, merely skidded to the side and continued his dash over the edge. Charlane did not pursue him, instead she galloped back the way they had come earlier. Hopping onto the staircase and performing her own bound off the first rounded corner, Charlane landed hastily on the next curve. Though still retaining some grace as she internally thanked the architect for not adding a banister to the stairs. Bounding to the bottom and not quite out of breath, she bleated for help. “GUARDS! King Bapheuftamist has run off!”

    She continued calling for assistance until two guards gathered in the hallway. It had taken a good deal longer than what she believed to be commendable for guards supposedly protecting the inside of the mansion. Surely the ones stationed outside would be better at answering her call.

    “Quickly now, I need you to help restrain and clean up after Bapheuftamist!”

    The two snapping turtles followed the head chef back down the beautifully decorated hallway, though she only ran halfway before stopping at a set of doors. With nothing else but haste in her mind, she left the doors wide open. The guards stopped for a moment to look at each other.

    “We should shut the door and bar it, just in case the nomads think to pillage the manor.” Randy said with such surety in his voice that Irwan thought it best to agree with him. Charlane had other ideas, and a more powerful position as she yelled at them, “Stop fiddling with the door – move it!”

    Startled into obedience, Randy along with Irwan left the doorway partly ajar to join her in the direction of the guard’s barracks. She did not charge toward the kitchen beyond the hills, as the brothers expected. In vain they tried to herd her up, but the ewe kicked at them, refusing to go their way.

    The barracks are closer!” She explained, running on all four hooves to her desired destination.

    Charlane looked frustrated as she knocked on the door to the barracks, scowling at Randy and his brother when they caught up with her.

    “No thanks to your late arrival, I desire more help. The kitchens will need a disturbing amount of cleaning done to satisfy me.” She grunted, trying to return her breathing to normal.

    “I don’t think the captain will enjoy hearing that.”

    Irwan muttered to Randy, who did not reply as a mossy-brown spotted gator greeted them formally. It took the brothers a moment to realize that second-in-command Hamilton, was not Granite. Charlane did not have time for their gaping, and told them so.

    “Go back to being useless in the hall.”

    She faced the tall gator, stating her business rapidly.

    “Bapheuftamist is causing trouble, I need to speak to your leader.”
     
  3. PoserPanda

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    Chapter 2

    Hamilton saluted her, leaving at once to inform Granite. Neither Irwan nor Randy wished to return to their posts, should the nomads need their assistance.

    “We have duties to other creatures besides Bapheuftamist. Let’s leave and go be more useful elsewhere.”

    Randy agreed with his brother, watching the head chef as she made her way beyond Hamilton’s reception desk. She would be distracted enough to not notice them walking in the wrong direction. They may have wanted to help, but the longer they dithered kept them away from a yeti confrontation. Hamilton on the other hand, wasted no time in directing Charlane to Granite. It being a Thursday, Granite would be testing some of the guards on their proficiency with different weapons. This did not stop Charlane from interrupting the test by sliding open the tall screen door which covered up the weapon room’s entrance. Hamilton had wanted to ring the warning bell for duty’s sake, yet he did not stop her from acting as she pleased. Had there been no emergency, he would have acted more respectfully. Fortunately, the sound of rolling wheels was enough for Granite to stop his demonstration. The crocodilian platoon leader twirled forward, his halberd dipped low in reverence to the head chef. His weapon rested but a moment before he flicked it back up to his side.

    “Madam Chef, state your-“

    He was cut off urgently by the head chef, who informed him of her business in the barracks. Turning back to command his fifteen soldiers, Granite relayed the plan with Halberd in hand.

    “Five of my most perceptive guards will search the workshop to the north-west, for any clues to what King Bapheuftamist is working on-”

    “He prefers wood and small chunks at that.”

    The ewe spoke out of turn again, standing closer to Granite in an effort to make sure what she said wasn’t missed. She was certainly in a desperate hurry, even going as far as trying to command the Scales and Tails regiment herself.

    “I need half a score to follow me to the kitchen for cleanup duty. The rest of you must accompany the group of five after they have reported what carvings they have found. If any.”

    Although Granite did not appreciate his authority being usurped, he allowed her orders to be followed.

    “Upon retrieval of the crafted block, we will find the species and bring it back within Aibel’s carriage.”

    Charlane rattled her horns impatiently as he spoke, tossing her toque to the floor. The ewe gave her approval of the plan, adding in her own details when needed. After being assured that the species would not be harmed during transport, she escorted her group of ten towards the kitchens. Marching swiftly after them were Granite’s highest ranked scouts, who returned their blunted weapons back to the practice rack before leaving. With no one to teach but Hamilton, Granite put his own weapon away as well. He moved unmistakably in the specialist’s direction until Hamilton thought the corporal would march right over him. Instead he abruptly detoured to the left, where the equipment closet held life-size models of certain creatures. The mannequin he took out looked intimidating despite its shoddy condition. Through this yeti look-alike, Granite taught his guards how to subdue their master. While it wouldn’t try to defend itself, the hefty size and weight of it gave a pretty good idea of what some of them would have to struggle against. Hamilton watched him grunt through his workout, wondering what he hoped to gain from teaching a specialist-ranked desk clerk how to fight. Interested and not yet dismissed, the taller gator awaited instructions. Granite finished exercising painful restraints on Sir Stuffed, saying, “Do you want to fight the dummy? Or are you going to stand there and act as if you’re dumb?”

    Hamilton saluted his vertically challenged leader, but did not reply. Once the mannequin had been knocked over, Granite spoke in a more relaxed manner.

    “Report our situation to me, I need to think for a moment.”

    Grateful with his easy tone, Hamilton relayed what he felt to be important.

    “Reporting two wayward turtles who escorted our head chef to the barracks. Their freedom from an assigned post caused them to delay a return to it.”

    Though Granite did not come up to his specialist’s eyes, he commanded the platoon’s respect through a powerfully built body. In this instance he used it to lift the mannequin back onto its base, shuffling the monstrosity to a corner where it would be out of the way. He pointed at it, going over details that many cadets had heard more than once in their lifetime.

    “See that eight foot, two-hundred and twenty-six pound dummy? I can lay him flat, have him fall at my discretion.”

    “It is impressive sir, nobody doubts you.” Hamilton said, with respect in his tone.

    Another pointing gesture, this time Granite pointed at himself.

    “Then why would a pair of turtles under my command, not return to their duty station.” He hissed in a danger-laden whisper.

    “An excellent point sir, perhaps we should question them. Though we would have to find out where they went, assuming they didn’t run back to the mansion.” Hamilton said, most casually.

    Hisss. Grrrummph. The Corporal deflated and became genial with this advice, though he still retained some form of anger in the way of his tail cracking against the floor.

    “Agreed. Speak to Aibel first about harnessing her carriage. She will bring it to the barracks’ front door. I want her ready for capture and delivery, when my scouts return.”

    The specialist saluted him once more, turning about neatly and then stopping with a queasy lurch as a thought occurred to him.

    “Corporal, you sent only ten guards to subdue our King. Is that…enough?”

    Hamilton waited for either a reprimand for questioning his superior or a command to join up with Charlane’s group. Granite gave him neither, choosing instead to stand next to Hamilton.

    “King Bapheuftamist is in no way a mindless fool. He may be stressed but he will not cause a skirmish to happen.”

    These words proved to soothe the specialist’s fears, for he needed no extra guidance to leave the room, though he could not stop himself from ending the conversation as politely as possible.

    “Thank you for the reassurance sir, I’ll inform Aibel with haste.”
     
  4. PoserPanda

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    A pair of fools proudly marched southwards over a rather large hill. The prickled grass snatched at their webbed feet, as if in an effort to slow their progress. It worked long enough for them to check their surroundings.

    “Do you think Kingie Bapheuft would mind if we weeded his lawn? We don’t know exactly what is going on with him.”

    Irwan poked at the ground with his spear, dislodging an especially spikey weed. His brother joined him, clearly entertained by this diversion.

    “We will do him some varied services. A good deed done in a short amount of time will put us in the right mood for more.”

    Their weed piercing did not abate for more than a few minutes, though the sweaty work kept them from paying attention to much else. Unfortunately, this gave Charlane and her group the opportunity of charging into the gardening party’s path. She became more agitated upon seeing them picking at the ground like bored children with newly acquired sticks. Charlane lead the guards past them, not stopping to admonish their silly ways. Randy paused in his digging, wondering but for a moment why he would be hearing the sound of steel armor clinking against tramping feet. The snapping turtle gazed fearfully behind him as he soon became acquainted with a hat-less, scowling ewe. Despite his fear Charlane, along with her group of guards, did not attack him or his brother for leaving their post. Neutral sets of reptilian faces jangled past the AWOL twins. The group skidded and rolled down steep hills beyond either turtle’s pinched eye-sight. Irwan relaxed his own composure to parade rest, avoiding a clump of fern that slid down the shaft of the spear in his left claw. He wiggled it until dirt stopped falling from the top, giving his brother a filthy showering. Turtle faced turtle as they both came to the resolution of returning to the mansion.

    “Now that we are both a bit messy, I think it to be a fine idea makin’ our own set o’ tracks.”

    Irwan snapped his down-turned beak, snip clip! When he finished.

    “West it be, bro. Stand still a bit.” snip snip.

    Irwan the older brother advanced on his younger sibling, one claw gripping something unknown as he reached for Randy.

    “I’m wise to your tricky self, Ir-waning of wisdom.”

    Said the younger sibling, backtracking while keeping an eye on the mysterious, clenched claw. Still Irwan progressed, trying to place doubt in his twin’s mind.

    “Shame-names from our childhood?” Snap. “All I had in mind for you, is a claw-shake.”

    Opening his empty claw, Randy saw the truth for himself.

    “Humph. Thought you were goin’ to throw dirt at me. My bad.”

    They shook claws, with Irwan holding on just a bit longer than necessary. He then pulled his brother close, as if to hug him.

    “A hug as weeeeemph?!”

    Randy shrieked from a betrayal that left him snapper first in the ground. It did not keep him down for long, with a practiced move using his spear; he both pushed himself upright and then vaulted into the air to land before his brother. The latter’s expression flipped from amusement to admiration.

    “I swear to never, never use your shame-name again, if you show me how to do that!”

    Randy usually wasn’t separated from his twin brother when they were on duty, so he couldn’t be sure of when Irwan would have learned such a neat skill. Being the younger brother, he obliged him with oral instructions while they marched dutifully for the mansion as several horns signaled the lunch hour. They were not bothered by another, smaller group which could be seen dashing in a south-western direction. Five of the most reputable reptilian guards, were careful not to make much of a spectacle in their hurry to the workshop. Though the group slunk quietly behind the twins, it made sense to march less quickly while in the vicinity of lesser ranked guards. Not many creatures had been given the right to the knowledge of a hidden back door. Even fewer were those who wanted to say, “King Bapheuftamist invited me inside his workshop.”

    Beings granted an audience inside the workshop often left in the back of Aibel’s carriage.
     
  5. PoserPanda

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    Chapter 3

    Kassin reverted back to her normal means of speaking to Lloyd, by use of sign language. Morse code tended to be easier on other creatures when she stood still. Walking to the campgrounds made her claw signs accessible to anyone who attended their class on ‘speaking without sound.’ Currently she signed about her annoyance at not being able to get past Charlane’s snapping habit on her own. Drawn out gestures captured contempt for how she had reacted. By doing nothing, Kassin put all the effort on Lloyd’s tongue. Her claws shook as they had before, though this time she did so purposely, to make fun of herself. Lloyd did not share her feelings of regret, smiling while signing and speaking aloud.

    “You do realize that I’m around for that very reason? I am your interpreter. Here to be your voice should something unfortunate happen.”

    Kassin gave an exhale of air as loudly as possible, one of the few sounds she could manage to briefly hear. She mouthed, “I know.” And drew out the syllable of ‘know’ by tapping a claw firmly to her head several times. Lloyd repeated the sign himself, adding a few others in reply.

    “I know, that you know. But you forget to allow yourself mistakes.”

    Here Kassin made many misspellings of words that Lloyd couldn’t hope to keep up with. They hadn’t stopped walking among their fellow nomads, so no Morse code could be taken into consideration. Indeed the deaf lizard merely signed faster when entreated to stop or slow down. Eyebrows and claws raised in confusion, Lloyd wondered what she wanted from him. He focused on Kassin’s face, jogging to pass her so that he could stand in front to block the way to the clan leader’s tent. She did not try to side-step him, though her claws remained upraised and rambled through several more phrases that mystified Lloyd. He waited for a pause, watching her countenance shed annoyance to offer a delighted grin. At once he knew what made her so happy. He signed briefly, his own skin mottled to a hue of dismay.

    “Last time I remind you to make mistakes.”

    Clearly satisfied with her success, Kassin patted his rose spotted cheek. He allowed her affection to brighten him up before he spoke again. It also gave them time to see how far into the encampment they had moved. The worry of being lost didn’t occur to either of them, for nomads in orange robes had been charged with care of the grounds. Directions came naturally to these tangerine lizards, for they decided where the tents were laid. Lloyd signed his plan to Kassin, who nodded in assent as she stepped off the temporarily installed rug pathway. He stayed on the comfy rugs, watching the paths for a patrol of map-bearers who would be able to take them to the clan’s monetary monitor. Mealtimes made the map skinks jobs a bit more difficult, as more nomads crowded the paths than usual. Especially now, since lunchtime started soon, thanks to the reminder of a dinner horn being played loud enough for all within a two mile radius to hear it. From the way it reverberated off the hills behind the encampment, made it sound as if several horns played simultaneously. Alarmed at the sudden surge of hungry reptiles, Kassin looked to Lloyd for interpretation of the situation. He mimed playing a horn, adding the signs for food being the reason behind their stampeding kin. She stepped further backwards in reply, not wishing to be in the way. Lloyd thought he might lose her if she fell back any further and began asking for directions instead of waiting for a skink to meet him by chance. A rather large shadow shaded the path for but a moment before a terrifying WHAM! Exploded around the corner of a square bottomed tent down the rug path to his right. Unfortunately all the nomads who wanted to go that way suddenly changed their minds as a collective yell alerted Lloyd to more than what he thought was a cloud passing over his head. On the other claw, a few guide skinks ran unsurprisingly in their direction as well! In a dramatic fashion, Lloyd hailed the skinks, who ignored him save for yelling, “The king lands amidst us again for battle! Make ready to depart!”

    Scabies take my hide! He cursed himself for taking too long in returning. If the banker had their money by now, the king could be eating lunch with the rest of his subjects. Though how the king chose to enter his courtyard…did not concern him at the moment. Being pushed further away from Kassin without being able to warn her, did. As more bumped or shouldered him aside, his back pouch jangled with the sound of coins. He tried to think of a way to calm the masses before they altered the pact by leaving too early or fighting. Yet again he felt his pouch jostled, and then removed by swift claws.
     
  6. PoserPanda

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    “Thief! Mongrel, -Kassin!”

    For once, she didn’t say anything back to him. Money pouch in claw, his friend ran with it to a hilltop where King Bapheuftamist had apparently landed and then leapt off again.

    Thanks to that very helpful skink, I know a bit more than the rest of my kind.

    He did not waste time ruminating further, joining Kassin to help her…help her hold up the bag of money?

    But few stopped to ask her why she seemed to be offering gold to the skies. Her plan failing, she urged Lloyd to interpret her words. His voice calmed the nerves of those who decided to stop to watch their show.

    “Plated kin! Kassin bears the coin of King Bapheuftamist. He is not here to war with us!”

    Klink, clink.

    The hefty bag of coin jangled to show its weighty truth in gold. Hunters bearing purple robes argued quietly over his claim, though their boss spoke up for them.

    “Then why does the king seek to terrify his guests by pouncing amongst our tents?”

    Kassin brought the pouch down, a look of confusion on her face as she could not follow the conversation they were having. Embarrassed at not sharing the hunter’s opinion immediately, Lloyd began translating a shortened version of what the chief asked.

    Her claws pinched together twice, before her smallest claw tapped at her forehead.

    “No idea.” She signed.

    In annoyance he growled, which soon became covered up by the roaring of his empty stomach. A sudden idea came to him then, which he spoke and signed to all the lizards before him.

    “Perhaps King Bapheuftamist is hungry!”

    The hunters laughed at this statement, though none could deny hearing the lunch horns that had gone off earlier. Lloyd continued his speech, hoping it would end any rumors from spreading.

    “We are all famished, let us join our king at the dining hall. We’ve certainly paid for it.”

    True to their peaceful nature, the lizards who crowded the depression beneath their position departed for the dining hall. His friend nudged him, reminding Lloyd of their task by swinging the coin bag gently. He nodded, signing to her that he would follow once directions were attained. Plus, he still wished to say one more thing before everyone left.

    “Alas I have but a single question for any skinks who remain.”

    Six Skinks looked at each other, came to an agreement and five went off with a proclamation of, “The king is here to feast among us! Do not fight, do not flee!”

    They chanted this as one, spreading truth throughout the camp. Only a blue-tongued navigator remained at their convenience, who made himself useful by recognizing whom he spoke to. Knowing the sign for hello, he made use of it for Kassin’s sake. She had taught him “money”, “coin”, along with “This way, please.” A sign he used now to assure them that he knew just where they needed to go. Both of the apprentices eagerly slid down the hill to be brought to their master’s tent so leg-achingly fast, it felt like they teleported there. Quirth marveled at his kin’s ability to get lost in so simple a setup. At the tent flapped entrance, He accosted them.

    “From the northern hills, forward. Pass one row, turn left.”

    “Thanks much, we’ll get it eventually. “

    Kassin started to move past Quirth, who put his arm out to stop them. For politeness’ sake it worked, though she became grumpy.

    “You were lost.” They nodded, his arm went up as a playful smirk creased Quirth’s face.

    “Glad to help you keep your job.” Kassin signed.

    Like a magic trick his smirk disappeared, blue tongue fully extended. Quirth didn’t need Lloyd to interpret it. He did want lunch, so he took off.
     
  7. PoserPanda

    carbink
    (Diancie Egg)
    Level 15
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Posts:
    138
    PokéPoints:
    ₽69.3
    Trainer Card - Cave Theme
    Chapter 4

    Thick steaming tendrils of hot air wrapped ghostly fingers around their lungs, reminding them of home. Humidity caressed their cooled scales, luring them closer to bank master Vaughn. Here he spent all of his time whenever Clan Tumbleweed traveled outside of the desert. Among familiar scents and a pleasant temperature, the apprenticed duo bowed to him, throwing in words and signs of apologies for being late. Vaughn accepted neither of their excuses, dipping his tail into a downward crescent motion. Kassin stopped trying to explain, instead she allowed the bag to sag in between her claws so as to not touch the poisonous tip of his tail. Nobody rushed a scorpion, no matter what matters pressed their minds for later plans. A quick sting stabbed the bag, yet Kassin remained still- her eyes being the only things that dared move. She didn’t breathe out until Vaughn hefted the bag a foot above her head, a gesture for movement to be permissible once more. Lloyd watched him reel in the tribute carefully, before Vaughn cast out his tail behind him to an open chest. He dropped it with a flourish, nicking barb from bag to clatter just the coins into the bare coffer. The ripped draw-string bag shuddered like a captured animal’s skin, fluttering into ash as it burned among the hot coals that lay in an iron bucket. Vaughn clipped out their dismissal in Morse code.

    “Faster next time. Duty fulfilled.”

    If a scorpion could smile, he did. His apprentices gave him queasy grins in return, leaving as quickly as they should have arrived. He would have to teach them about punctuality when they left King Bapheuftamist’s land. Though for now, he decided that sweating in his tent didn’t hold the same charm as eating and sweating.

    Most of the clan members are busy dining, whom do I call on for servitude?

    Vaughn spat upon the coals heaped next to him, enjoying their brief flare up in heat. He didn’t want to leave the tent, but his legs weren’t broken. Atrophied perhaps, which could be easily remedied. What good is counting coin unless you reap other benefits from it?

    The elder scorpion rose up on his six legs, sidling past the offering chest which clicked shut with a well-placed back claw. Somber emotions tainted Vaughn’s heart as he searched for the lid to his precious coal bucket. Despite knowing exactly where it lay, he lingered in the warmth of his spacious tent until he felt as if sand were covering him. Grasping the lid with a thick claw, Vaughn placed it reverently on top of the coal bucket. Waving farewell to his treasures, Vaughn clattered backwards out of the tent and onto a rug that tickled a few spines on his legs. Afternoon sun-shade spoiled some of the heat he tried to retain while taking a shortcut to the kitchen.

    Brrr, methinks a Skink could navigate my person through brighter passageways.

    Scuttling steadily around tent poles kept him away from clan members who returned from their breaks earlier than the reptiles without jobs or whelps. Feelings of kindness and respect graced Vaughn’s heart frequently, to show that his clan mates desired to be around him. Assuming he stayed within his fine smelling sauna. Normally a skink would bring him food at the appointed mealtimes, but everyone he might have depended on today, stopped showing up after breakfast.

    Makes a fellow feel disliked, ignored even.

    Vaughn click-clacked past the base of a crumbled hill, wondering whom had torn up the turf in such an odd manner.

    Perhaps this is the reason of their negligence.

    He inspected grass-crushed tracks which lead to the dining hall, making note of their width and shape as he lifted barbed tail in preparation for a defensive strike. No venom dribbled from the tip, for he held back reflexively until his last leg crossed the border between their encampment and the king’s front lawn. Though the scent of honey-roasted insects teased him to be less than stealthy in his approach to one of the southern windows, he remained focused on keeping his large body low. Except for his tail, a dangerous reminder that someone had the clan’s protection in mind. Vaughn inclined himself slowly upwards to peek in the window, startled at how clean everything looked. If the bearer of the large paw-prints wasn’t around, he did not need to be so cautious. He might have continued his walk into the kitchen if a rather aggressive looking group, headed by a lamb, hadn’t rushed for the front doors of the kitchen. From their armor he assumed they were the king’s guards. Though why a lamb without armor would be leading the group, puzzled him enough to join them. Perhaps Vaughn had been correct to think about enemies tramping through the encampment. Though another scenario formed in his mind while he walked over to them.

    What if they were hungry, and just upset about it?
     
  8. PoserPanda

    carbink
    (Diancie Egg)
    Level 15
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Posts:
    138
    PokéPoints:
    ₽69.3
    Trainer Card - Cave Theme
    Chapter 5

    “Peaceful greetings to you all, excited for lunch?” The lamb stared with widened eyes at Vaughn, the guards forming a tight square around her in retaliation for his sudden appearance. He became highly aware of another small bead of venom that filled up, yet wavered above his head. Flicking the death drop casually to the side, Vaughn tipped his tail reverently. One of the guards spoke to him, choosing to keep her spear low.

    “You look plated. Are you of the clan?”

    -To be continued. Please type all concerns in the appropriate thread.-
     

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