Just a short log that I found adorable of a child frozen in time through undeath wishing to join Spinesreach. I struggled with the dissonance of Cala as a character, and probably could have handled Zun's shifting reactions smoother, but I absolutely relished the challenge and can't wait for further opportunities.
[spoiler]He is an undead powerful Human of thuggish figure, grown six by three from a pale slab of meat, cut and bound in musculature. Every inch of his cadaverous body is flawed. His nose is broken and poorly set. A ubiquitous, black and blue bruising paints his skin. Even his scalp, sheltered in a tightly cropped fuzz of dark hair, is a mess of puckered scars. His cataract-glazed eyes, white over gold, are set beneath wild eyebrows, like two holes violently punctured and from the sun poured. And underneath it all, his mouth spreads abnormally wide, cutting into cheeks. He is wearing:
a reversible longcoat of red-and-black
black suspenders with lily-crest clasps
crisp boots of polished black leather
bunched trousers of a thick-tartan weave
a crisp, long-sleeved white shirt
a formal black bow tie
a pair of diffusal goggles[/spoiler]
[spoiler]She is an undead muscular Atavian and is a bland little thing, with droopy, dusty white wings that seem miniscule in comparison with those of most of the Atavian race. Her hair is a pale sand-color, the thin, straight strands an unimpressive frame to a chubby, childish face of an unhealthy pallid color set off by oddly healthy-looking pouting pink lips. Almost colorless, her washed-out blue eyes stare with listless disinterest from behind the thin dark fringes of her eyelashes. The rest of her body is equally unremarkable, being short and underdeveloped and boasting babyfat rather than voluptuosity, giving her the look of a rather apathetic and untidy cherub. Grubby little fingers and toes give testimony to her predilection for playing in sand, earth and mud as well as illustrate her distinct aversion to water. She is wearing:
a lacy yellow and white dress[/spoiler]
Log from Cala's perspective
[spoiler]You tell Zun, "Um. Can you help me move to Spinesreach? I wanna move outta Bloodyloch, there's too much lava and me and Oogie don't like it no more."
Zun tells you, "Yeah, miss. I can, I can. Oogie wantin citizenship too, eh?"
You tell Zun, "Oogie's with me, he don't need to be a sit...sit... sitter."
Zun tells you, "Moment."
You sit yourself down.
Zun ripples into existence before you.
A man-sized shape in the air quivers to the side of you and then 'pops' with blue. Zun resolves with crossed-legs and a watching grin, slight and disarming; his hands are clasped in a ball of pale meat within his lap.
You have emoted: Cala splashes her feet in the water, giggling at the panic her limbs inspire in the fish swimming within it. She gasps as Zun appears suddenly, her eyes bulging in shock. "Where'd you come from, mister?!" she asks excitedly. From the corner of your eye you see a looming shape, roughly humanoid in appearance, suddenly drop into the ground, leaving no sign it was ever there as it vanishes from sight silently.
With a knee hovering over the water's edge, Zun continues to watch you, though his mouth twists further into a self-aware smirk. Amusement drips from his voice, thick with a street-grown accent as he replies, "I came from here and not here, miss. Ain't nothin to it but being and not being." His fingers writhe apart like a corpse of plump maggots to snap before you. "It's a trick, little miss. Just a trick." In an attempt to assuage your fear, the man grins unhelpfully wide, teeth and gums peeled into view.
You have emoted: Cala peers into Zun's face with the unabashed interest of the young, commenting, "You sure have a big smile, mister." She clambers to her feet, dirty water running down her calves and ankles to puddle around her equally dirty feet and sticks her small, chubby hand out at Zun. "'m Cala," she introduces abruptly, before cutting her faded eyes slyly toward the spot in the grass nearby where the other figure earlier present is no longer visible. Her voice lowers to a whisper and she adds, "Oogie's over there, hidin'... he's shy, yanno."
You stand up and stretch your arms out wide.
Zun treats the little creature with definitive aplomb, though uncertainty peaks through at the cracks- it is evident he has but brief experience with the childish inclined. "Brilliant name, miss. I'm Zun," he offers as your hand is gently grasped, shook then held. A sideways glance of his cataract-glazed eyes examines the much-referenced and corporeally-lacking 'Oogie'. "I don't suppose Oogie has any reason to be shy 'round me. I wouldn't hurt a fly." The brutish figure flicks his stare back to you- it sparkles with golden mirth below wild eyebrows.
You have emoted: "Oogie won't come out til I call him. He's a clayman, and he's my bestest friend," Cala states, her tone somehow both friendly and stubborn as she shakes hands with a striking amount of childish dignity, given her disheveled state. Her brows furrow while she studies Zun with more care, blinking at his appearance. "Wow, mister, you must be a fighter, you're all bashed up!" she exhales, her pale blue eyes gazing with a new measure of respect at him.
You have emoted: Cala continues her curious perusal of Zun silently, digging her toes into the mud beneath them and looking pleased at the resultant audible 'squish'.
Zun refuses to release your hand through incertitude. It clings to his furrowed brow, the tight set of his grin, and his muscles from scalp to feet. A hint of movement flicks beneath the cloudy depths of his doubtful stare. Apparently, he doesn't quite know what to make of you, and as he stirs into motion his demeanor becomes an affectation of indulgence- bordering on condescension. "Yeah miss, I know a thing or two about beatin heads together, won't tell a lie," his reply comes as the hand is released. "And you must be knowin a thing or two about the earth, then? A proper little uh... godshit, what's the word, Teradrim? Boy if that ain't a lot for one such as yourself to be knowin."
Zun's hand drops into his lap and there curls with its twin; the set of his shoulders rocks towards you until he hunches like a gargoyle of frozen flesh, with glassed horns perched on his head in the shape of goggles.
You have emoted: "I'm a mudmage, and it's my j... j... job! Job to know about the dirts and sands and stuff," Cala agrees with a nod, her narrow chest puffing with pride at Zun's deduction. She seems not to mind the slight change of demeanor, and her freed hand reflexively shoves her lank hair from her face, where it stubbornly hangs, partially obscuring her eyes from view. "C'n me'n'Oogie move to the castle city, Zun?" asks as he bends forward, though her eyes grow wide and covetous as they alight upon the goggles glinting upon Zun's head.
Zun attempts to find threat in the undead girl but finds only chubby cheeks and a sincere perversion of childish glee. A breath his inhaled through tight teeth for the express purpose of then behind hissed out again; the nostrils of his broken nose flare cavernously. "Fine," comes the curt reply, accompanied by a helpless grin as his tension ebbs. "I'll ask iffin there's known trouble you've caused- though I fuckin doubt it, truth to tell- and then we're set."
You have emoted: "When Oogie 'n I cause trouble, everybody knows about it," Cala declares proudly, her eyes drawn reluctantly from those shiny glasses nested on Zun's head to his nose, and they widen. She reaches toward it, politeness not a concern for the child, and, fingers floating in the air mere inches from the poor broken thing, she asks in awe, "Does it hurt, Zun? Your smashed nose?" Her other hand drifts to her own nose, fingers closing over it almost protectively as she waits in starstruck silence for the answer.
Zun's eyes both follow your finger inwards, then up the arm to your face as the position becomes uncomfortable to maintain. He sniffs but doesn't move. "No miss," he all but grunts in response, "It stopped hurting after a week and I ain't thought of it since. It happened before... you know, that-which-be-happenin to people such as ourselves." As the youthful bruiser recognizes his connection with you, his grin falls into a sincere smile.
You have emoted: Cala nods sagely, the look on her face wise for one of so few apparent years and the soft pudge of her fingers settles about Zun's nose gently, prodding and pushing it this way and that. "You got the best nose -ever-," she finally declares, nodding her agreement with herself and giggling briefly as she tweaks said nose and twitters, "BEEP!" before dropping her hand to her side.
A congealing takes on Zun's smile but he manages despite the bizarre contact with his facial features; it is obvious his appearance is considerably more than a game, though with supreme patience does he trudge forward. He politely drawls, "You have been accepted into the Republic of Spinesreach with little complaint miss- but I've been instructed to give this warnin: we don't take kindly to the fickle sort."
Zun has given you the option of joining the City of Spinesreach.
AGREE if you wish to accept the offer.
You accept citizenship, and are welcomed by Zun as the newest member of the City of Spinesreach.
You have emoted: "I'm not water, I don't trickle," Cala sniffs, clearly offended.
(Spinesreach): You say, "Thanks, me 'n Oogie will be good."
(Spinesreach): Aarbrok says, "Oh lovely, it has a name."
(Spinesreach): You say, "Don't you? Course he does. Thanks!"
Zun sniffs as well, both mirroring you and dispelling the contact as he thumbs its tip. "Fickle," he corrects idly, "I know you ain't water. I'm not a fuckin idiot." He seems to bristle at the assumed accusation.
You have emoted: "Course you're not, idiots can't fight at -all-," Cala agrees, oblivious to the possible insult of Zun. "Me 'n Oogie wanna fight like you, yanno," she vows, her small hands balling into smaller fists and planting themselves stubbornly upon her bony little hips.
Zun shoots another assessing glance at you before pushing to his feet. At full height, he towers above you, forced to stare past the barrel of a broken nose. His hands nestle warmly within pockets; today, his longcoat is worn black and clasped shut, with the hinted slashes of red merely an accent. In a cautious query he grunts, "You do, eh?"
Zun stands up and stretches his arms out wide.
You have emoted: Cala nods her head even as her neck cranes back so she can look up... up... up at Zun. "Yep, we sure do," she reaffirms with the blithe assurance of her youth, and the mud squishes beneath her again as she rocks backward upon her heels before taking a step in that direction, easing the strain on her neck. "Y'didn't seem so big sittin' down," she points out, looking even more impressed than before.
Zun coughs a surprised chuckle at your statement of the obvious and cants his head to the side. His polished boots sink into the mud. "Yeah well... I mean that's sort of what sittin does little miss. You sure fightin's a good idea? What about school or somethin?" He cocks an eyebrow questioningly.
You have emoted: "Fightin' school," Cala agrees with bland aplomb. "Oogie's gotta learn how to help me and stuff, and I guess Mister Lord Ivoln changed things around when I was sleepin', but I'll learn and I'll mash noses myself soon!" she explains in a childish babble fueled by interest in the subject at hand.
Bemused, Zun pushes on with the subject, offering idle nods at your words. "Yeah but what about words, numbers, history little miss? You're... well, I mean. You ain't forced to fight. If you need a roof or food or..." He appears to speak the concerns before recognizing them, and with a weighted brow they dawn. He straightens and stares down at you, adding with a mite touch of gravitas, "You don't need to fight to live, miss. Not at your age."
You have emoted: "I got words, I'm talkin' t'you, ain't I?" Cala huffs, her gaze going from mild hero worship to annoyed in a split second of childish moodiness. She pulls herself up as tall as she can without tiptoeing, and asserts in her most adult voice, "I've fed myself for a long time, and I don't need no house. I lived in under Bloodloch for... for... forever!" Her brows knit with a stubborn frown and her jaw clenches, as if bracing for a fight.
You have emoted: Cala scowls and states, "I don't have no parents and never did. It's just me'n'Oogie against the world."
Your warcry will now be, 'Get 'em, Oogie!'
Zun appears entirely certain your claims are built on the fictitious imaginings of a childish mind; he smiles ruefully, and with a slight shake of the head, dismisses your anger. "Alright little miss," he chirps tactfully, "I ain't goin to question- you're a proper strong girl, all living alone. But Mr. Zun is a fuckin git and he can't -not- offer so here it is: you or maybe Oogie ever need gold, or shelter, it ain't hard to find. Just speak up. OK?"
Zun sniffs at his own display of compassion and a quick glance is flicked around his surroundings before returning down to your scrunched face.
You have emoted: Cala looks taken aback by the offer, and the affronted tension runs slowly from her form, leaving a surprised, undead little girl staring up at Zun. "Wow, thanks, Zun," she exclaims, her smile returning as quickly as it vanished. In two muck-smeared little hands, she holds up a fortune in golden sovereigns, the sunlight glinting off her pile of riches and she exclaims proudly, "I woke up with a hundred thousand of these, even though I didn't have nothin' else!"
Zun's fear of being duped returns in full force after a slight 'oh' of understanding. Glancing up, relatively, from the golden coins to you he grunts, "Well." He appears incapable of mustering articulation through an irate scowl that seeps across his stocky features.
You have emoted: "You can help us learn how to fight, and show me where to eat and stuff," Cala decides, her expression remaining unchanged despite the clouding of Zun's. She glances at the heavy pile of coins in her hands, and adds, "And I think I need something to put this in. How'm I gonna fight with my hands full of... godshit?" she exclaims, stealing the last word from her host and trying it out for flavour.
"N-" Zun he begins instantly as you muddles your way into a swear and then groans with exasperation. The dark expression sticks to his face obstinately, but he grunts advice despite himself- finding contentment in dealing with you as an unruly child, despite hints to the contrary. "You can find shops west. I won't help you fight. And don't unicorns swear."
You have emoted: "Okay, I won't unicorns swear, but you're gonna teach me to fight, you just watch," Cala chirps agreeably, and the ground ripples beneath her feet as if nudging her along. "I've gotta go eat something and then sleep, mister. Thanks a ton for all your help," she adds, and drops into a clumsy curtsey, her polite gesture charming despite the smears on her hands and face and the mud crusting over her feet and ankles.
Zun continues to scowl down at you with a brow sculpted like a cliff and etched with a grubby caterpillar. A crack of smile tips the side of his mouth and despite better judgment he replies down at you, "You be safe, little monster."
You have emoted: With that, Cala darts off out of the water garden, visible and gentle ripples in the earth following her as if some shy but loyal subterranean dweller follows protectively in her wake.[/spoiler]