Author Topic: Snark and Bark  (Read 2865 times)

Balmafula

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 10:28:14 PM »
Ah, Tara... not even you are safe. Have at you!



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Several days of traveling later, Flax was grudgingly beginning to accept that Ruta might be an asset after all. While he was only familiar with the mountain pass, Ruta seemed to know the mountains like the back of her digging claws, though, as she was constantly reminding them, “It be more familiar below ground.” Then she would invariably complain about the temperature above ground, and the vole would remind her that no one forced the moles to live in the mountains in the first place. Once he'd grown so tired of her complaining about the cold that he'd offered her some of his Hopfit's brandy to warm her up, but Pyracantha had soundly berated him like the old mother hen she had a tendency to be and snatched the bottle from his cold paws.

XD I like this whole bit, especially Ruta's attitude. Clearly, she should just blame Tara for forcing her to live in the mountains all along! Although without her she wouldn't even exist, so I guess it's best not to bother. Also, it looks like Pyracantha and Zevka would have gotten along swimmingly.



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“Oh, for the love of...Dewhurst!

Finally! I was wondering when he was going to admit it. True love like that just can't be hidden.



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“So...” Pyracantha said, turning away from them with drooping ears, “there might not be any survivors left now. First Gashrock and Risk and now...my little Poko.”

SPOILERS POKO ISN'T ACTUALLY DEAD



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She sobbed brokenly along with Ruta, leaving Flax standing there in the midst of it all, feeling rather awkward.

XD This is so cutely sad I can't help but laugh.



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As they ate a lunch of edible tubers that Ruta had found nearby and prepared themselves mentally and physically for the climb, Pyracantha took Flax aside.

“Listen, I...I'm sorry for the other day.”

"Oh, you mean all of them? :l"



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He felt Pyracantha's paw on his arm, and it was only then that he realized that his eyes were hot. He turned and hurriedly rubbed them, then cleared his throat and dared to look at the vixen. He had half expected to see her with some sort of triumphant look on her face. He didn't know why he expected that, but he was pleased that for once, her expression was hard to read.

“I, er...”

"I wasn't crying. That was just... sweat. Pre-climbing sweat. From my eyes."



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She shushed him. “Let's just get climbing.”

Flax had never respected her more than he did in that moment.

D'awwww! *wibbles*



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After what felt like several days, Flax saw the cliff's edge not a mouse's length from his reach.

Nice. We should really use stuff like that more for height/length measurements.



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“Aye,” said Flax. “Next stop, Carri...”

A wicked scimitar blade appeared at his throat. He was so tired, he hadn't noticed the half score of vermin now surrounding them.

“Well, bugger.”

XD Welp.



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The flat of the scimitar struck him again. Flax fought back a snarl. The vermin had taken them over to a sturdy pine tree on the side of the road and bound his paws to the lowest branch, where he had to stand on tip-paws to keep from hanging. Pyracantha and Ruta had been bound to the trunk in front of him and made to watch as a scarred, bony rat whipped him with his blade.

Kinky.



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“Well?” the rat repeated for the fourth time. “What's a Yew Guard doin' so close to Carrigul, eh?”

“Going to see your mother, like everyone else,” Flax spat.

XD Scorch. Pow.



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A scrawny pine marten giggled wickedly and skittered over.

Eeee bonus points for using skittered :D



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Flax moved as quickly as his stiff limbs would allow, snatching up Hazer's fallen scimitar. Plik squealed as the vole bore down on him, slashing sideways with the razor sharp blade. The marten's head rolled off into the snow, his body sinking down next to it. With another slash, Pyracantha and Ruta were free.

Noooooooo Pliiiiiiik ;O; *mourns*



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The vixen practically ripped the sword from his paws. Steam rose from her nostrils as she snorted for breath. “Ruta! You stay right here and do not move. Mummy and...Flax need to go take care of something.”

XD Nice save.



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“I didn't want to worry you,” the vixen said. “Plus, I wasn't sure if I was right. Zander's very good at tailing.”

Flax pulled a face. “Ew.”

“Other beasts,” Pyracantha clarified.

Really? Is that all you two know?



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“Well, this has been sufficiently awkward,” Zander said, rubbing the back of his neck.

You can say that again.



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The weasel produced a bag full of supplies. “I was just sleeping on a ledge one night and it started raining food on me. I think that other group threw it off the cliff for some reason. Usually not what you want to do in a survival situation. Here, help yourselves.”

XDD Pfft nice. I never thought I'd see a callback to that.



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After an overdue round of introductions, they packed up their remaining supplies.

Heeeey it's no fun if you get to make the judgment calls before I do! *sulks*



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Flax nearly cried when he discovered both bottles of brandy had been broken during the commotion, but Pyracantha assured him there would be alcohol aplenty in Carrigul.

Just as long as he likes his brandy with a shot of wolfsbane...



I always enjoy these little interludes. I especially like that even though they're 'behind' the main story, they aren't retracing their pawsteps exactly. I was wondering if they were going to go through past the bone pillars and find the ermines and whatnot, but they go their own way (go their own way) and end up having their own (mis)adventures. Flax and Pyracantha always work really well off of each other, and now with Ruta and Zander, they've got quite an entertaining and efficient group going on. Although the latter is almost entirely thanks to Zander. But will they thank him? Probably not.

I really hope they meet up with the rest of the survivors.

Balmafula

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 03:02:51 PM »
...Is this really happening? Posts coming early in the week?! Awesome :D Let's start off Week Six with a bang, shall we?



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"Well, it comes with the part, sometimes. The first rule of a seer is to get the beast to believe you."

"Is that right…"

Noooo Nyika! Don't give her any ideas!



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Poko was playing with a tankard set before her, every so often leaning in to sniff at the contents and wrinkling her nose in a frown.

"I don't care what they said... this is definitely DIET Strawberry Fizz."



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Zevka scowled. "Istvan and I got a few names, but that's all

Gee, if only SOMEbeast hadn't killed off one of their leads...



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The pine marten cursed, slamming her paw against the table. Nyika jumped at the noise, breaking her reverie of Zevka breaking into houses, chatting with strangers as though they were old friends, smashing their pots and stealing their treasures, and leaving, never to return again.

XD It HAS been a while since the last Zelda reference, hasn't it? Silly kitty.



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"Not quite," she answered the old owl.

"Vell, den, it must be—"

"It's because she let Istvan tattoo herself in his religion!" Zevka burst out. Her tail was thrashing, her ears pinned back, and there was a scowl on her muzzle.

Haha wow Zevka, way to be a wet blanket.



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Here she was playing games with Noonahootin and Zevka was sick with worry, not only about Nessa, but Mekad as well—Zevka's best friend, and quite possibly her own brother.

Mekad was Zevka's best friend?! I didn't etc etc.



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"That was my next guess," Noonahootin said quietly, dropping his accent. The owl was still smiling, but there was no more amusement in his eyes.

XD aww... I loved that whole exchange though. I need to actually come up with a word for 'cutely sad' but that explains it so well.



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"No, I'm the one who should apologize. I didn't mean to snap like that. I'm just getting so frustrated. First Mekad, now Nessa, and nobeast knows where either of them are.

This is almost exactly what Nyika thought she was feeling. In a way it's nice to see that she was correct about her assumptions, but it's a repeat of what we've already heard just a few lines earlier.



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Nyika played with the tankard's handle. Alcohol was a sin, and to poison the body would be blasphemous against the All-Mother. As much as she wanted to, if she truly wished to be Istvan's Mistress of Spirits, she had to start taking her role seriously. "No," she said. "I think not." She sighed. Maybe just a sip.

Aww, she's trying so hard.



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"I hope you're not taking this too seriously," Zevka said, taking a small draught of her own. "You were drunk when you agreed to this arrangement in the first place, weren't you? Istvan's a good enough beast when you get to know him, but that doesn't mean you should just abandon all fun for somebeast who might not even exist.

I like how hypocritical Zevka is. "Don't listen to and follow Istvan. Listen to and follow me instead!"  She is always right, in her eyes. I do have to wonder, though, about where her distaste of religion came from. Or is it just Istvan's religion? Does it just come from her practical academic upbringing, or is there something else behind it?



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"Whether or not she's real isn't the point," Nyika said, still playing with her mug. Her ears perked up. "Where is Istvan? He knows to meet back here, aye?"

Nyika's clearly been following our discussion about this.



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The tapered feathers of Noonahootin's former moustache twitched. There was concern in his great, owl eyes.

Huh, and here I thought Noonahootin had been a canary this whole time...



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"Some fox made some insults to 'our glorious High Priestess Tikora'," Zevka said, her voice adopting a mocking lilt, "and was executed for it in the middle of public."

The single quotes - and the fact that it's Zevka speaking - clue us in that she's being mocking. "Zevka lilted" would have been fine on its own. Lilt is a great word, too... well, at least I like it.



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"The Cutter's Mark?" Noonahootin said. "You mean Risk's?"

"Poko," Nyika whispered. Noonahootin couldn't know. "Poko, stop."

The ferret continued, her voice lower but dripping with contempt. "No, a big gruesome 'N'. N for Nyika."

Ahahaha poetic justice. Or should I say POKO-etic justice?



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The wildcat was shaking, moaning as her claws dug deeper into her flesh. It was a nightmare. She had thought it was over, that all her repercussions had caught up with her. She was wrong. Everything she had built with Poko, all the reparations they had made, shattered. Noonahootin would never look at her the same way.

Ugh, Nyika, why didn't you just tell them the truth to begin with? If you want to get favor with your friends, surely trusting in them enough to confide in them, even when you've done wrong, is better than skulking around and hoping that nobody will ever mention it.

This isn't like Noonahootin's trouble with the feather where there was really no reason at all for anybeast to be mad, though, so I can't say it's something that shouldn't have happened; a fear of confrontation is definitely true to Nyika's character so I can see why she would have wanted to wait before bringing it up. Both hers and Noonahootin's feelings and worries were very real, though, so perhaps I was being overly harsh on Noonahootin as well. I really feel for Nyika here, too, especially after all she's been through in finally making up with Poko. It's just painful to read, which I guess is the whole point. So... I guess that's really a good thing after all.



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Zevka glanced between the three of them, realizing the sudden rift that had dug itself between the remainder of their group. She tried to bridge it.

"Well, it wasn't as if he didn't have it coming! The rat's a bigger legend than Goragula! Well, in Carrigul, at least."

Look at Zevka being so sweet! I guess its in her nature to play the mediator, but still. Regardless of anything, she always keeps friendship first.



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"Yes, but Nyika cut him! With a knife!

Thank you, Captain Obvious.



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"No!" she said, her paw pressing the garment against her body, hearing the crinkle of parchment and feeling her fur settle as she knew it was still there. "It's my story."

Nooo Nyika is turning into Tidus.



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"So you left him with something to remember you by. Smart." Poko paused, lifting her tankard for a drink, ignoring the tongue Nyika had stuck out at her. She took a sniff and put the tankard back down. "Why did you go there in the first place?"

XD Good job being the adult in this argument, Nyika.
Poko's high-and-mighty attitude does kind of put me off, though. It's very easy to say that Nyika could have left Ruark unpunished when she wasn't even there herself. Would she have been this calm and thoughtful? But it's an argument and Poko's very obviously not keen on considering the other side.



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Nyika didn't answer, opting instead to draw imaginary runes on the table with a claw.

"Ever since I Iearned there were higher forces at work," she said,

Hey, you just said she didn't answer!



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"If I can get on Tikora's side, I can find out how Carrigul holds Aster in the pad of their paw."

Ooh, nice phrase!



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"No! I won't let you throw yourself in the wearet's den. There has to be another way."

Also nice.



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"You want to know where Beechton Valash is, aye? Mekad, and Nessa? You can't keep unraveling threads the way you are.

Haha have you already forgotten how highly everybody thinks of YOUR methods of finding information?



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Zevka shook her head, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath.

"You're right, and we're running out of options. But if you die," she said, pointing at the wildcat with a threatening claw, "I'll kill you."

XD awww.



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"I don't think so," Nyika murmured. "Otherwise I wouldn't be so afraid."

"Courage is not measured by the absence of fear, my dear, but by the strength one has to overcome it. You are, perhaps, one of the most courageous beasts I have ever had the privilege of meeting."

For once, Nyika smiled at his words. Perhaps she was brave. If she pulled it off, it could even make her a hero; otherwise, she was no more than a fool. It was a funny thing, how blurred the line gets when one approached it. But Nyika was sure with her friends and the All-Mother behind her, she could do it.

If not, at least Death would be by her side.

Even more awwww! This contest is just rife with amazing post endings.



Oh, and one more thing because I'm a jerk: "eyes" is mentioned fifteen times throughout the whole post. Nyika's writer really likes to show emotions through the eyes.



This post is relatively short but absolutely packed with emotion. I really feel for Nyika and like I said, it was hard to see her put in that situation and I was fired up through the whole argument with Poko. I wanted to see her fight back and defend herself. Although I'm also already looking forward to seeing Poko's side of the story in her post, now.

Even though they stay in the tavern for the whole post a lot was accomplished. I like the differences between Nyika's plan to speak with Ruark and her plan now; she is thinking things through more and actually discussing it with the group. She's convinced the others that she can do this and handle herself. That's a lot of progress for her as a character, as well as setting up a lot of ground-breaking material. Nyika is definitely a key player now, and may very well end up with a lot of power in her paws. I can't wait to see how that plays out.

Oh, and I love the title. It is absolutely adorable.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 03:21:59 PM by Balmafula »

Zevka

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 07:10:21 PM »
Hey, Zevka can't help it! She's just watched too many 1980s police movies!
"Never underestimate the power of a mustelid."

Balmafula

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2013, 06:29:41 PM »
Pokomon getto daze!



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The street was part of a shady maze of walkways and alleys with cobblestones turned up like teeth and stinking mud oozing out between them.

Yum. What a starting sentence XD



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A weasel was tossing trash over his back as he dug through a dump pile, searching for anything useful, or perhaps trace drips of alcohol. He did have that familiar rheumy-eyed, unfocused stare.

Interesting! Nice glimpse of her history.



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Perhaps she could find them before Nyika had a chance to act on her lunatic strategy. Fates knew her last plan did not go the way she assumed it would, and those twisted forces were probably still laughing about it.

Hey, that's what I said. Also great phrasing there. Poko's writer always has nice little bits like that throughout her posts.



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After a minute, a pasty, wrinkled paw reached out of the gloom and wrapped itself around one of the bars, knuckles bulging grotesquely. Poko gasped at the nearly naked paw with its long, dirty, yellowed claws. Definitely not Nessa.

XD That's what YOU think! They just gave her a new zombie paw to replace her old one.



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“Whose sweet musical voice calls me from my sleep? A siren? A Dream? A spirit come at last to fly me home?” The voice was hoarse and raspy, full of phlegm.

Wow, this is the most poetic hobo I've ever seen.



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His nose was pink and spotted with brown age spots.

Wouldn't most of their noses be pink? I guess some of them might be black or spotted.



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Poko perked at the mention of “stoat.” She shifted her paws carefully to a more comfortable position underneath her and leaned forward again. “You’re an ermine?”

XD Awww. What are the odds?



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“You’re a ferret.” The stoat showed his yellowed fangs in amusement. Poko experienced a brief moment of deja vu.

Ahaha, nice callback.



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The old stoat laughed at her, though she was not sure why.

No no, he's just laughing WITH you.



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Poko gaped at him. “Wow. You must be really old!”

Tactful as always, Poko.



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“We were no more priests than these ‘All-Mother’ snakes who own this city.

Whoa whoa whoa... nobody told me the All-Mother worship involved snakes! Where do I sign up?!



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“They built this city…they built this city on

rock-and-roll?" Poko could hardly believe her ears.



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“It is not the explosive type. With our help they learned to channel the heat and installed vents to prevent unpredictable flows and pressure build-up. You’ve seen the steam and felt the heat indoors, I presume?”

Steampunk ermine priests building a city on a volcano. This just gets better and better.



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Poko whistled at the imagined accumulation. “I’ve heard they’re preparing for war. Gates…they could take over…like…all of Mossflower, huh?”

I noticed that Poko doesn't add the ' in Gates. Honestly, I kind of like that; it makes more sense, really.



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The ermine stuck his nose through the bars so Poko could see his missing eye and scarred face. His remaining eye smoldered in the reflected firelight of the streetlamp as he held Poko’s gaze from behind iron-wrought bars.

Ahhh, I thought he'd been blind this whole time just based on his sniffing about.



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"Carrigul is built on a thousand corpses, its mortar mixed with their blood. May justice speed you on your way, young ferret."

And again, an excellent ending.



Well, talk about another short post bursting with new information. Poko is always enjoyable to read, and it was nice to see her thinking about Nyika; they're not quite back at square one. She is still a little worried about her, worried enough to think about her even if she won't admit to herself that she's concerned. Nice. Not too much else to say... Carrigul being built on a volcano is pretty sweet. Hey - Salamandastron couldn't be the ONLY one.

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2013, 06:39:19 PM »

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“They built this city…they built this city on

rock-and-roll?" Poko could hardly believe her ears.


I am so glad you caught that...  8)

Balmafula

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2013, 06:41:08 PM »
XD haha, I had a feeling that worked too perfectly to be a coincidence!

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2013, 11:39:08 PM »
Isty Wisty Puddin Pie
Kiss the martens and make them cry~



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The otter raised his paw to his face, closing his mouth around a soft area. Sharp teeth, designed by the Mother to slice flesh, pricked his skin. He tightened his jaw and pulled back. A patch of fur and skin remained in his mouth, which filled with the salty, copper taste of blood. Spitting, Istvan held the dripping appendage over the floor and waited while the precious crimson drained onto the stone.

Uh... duder. Wasn't the whole point of Nyika's post to show that all that ISN'T necessary for sacrifice? All you had to do was just nibble a bit, not tear a whole chunk out.



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The tattooed otter saw genuine fear in the guard’s eyes, and the fact that the mark of the All-Mother inspired such horror here made his heart boil with rage.

Nice. Well, not for him but you know. I feel like I should explain myself more for why I like this so much. Istvan is such a passionate character, its hard not to get caught up in his emotions.



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The stone walls were elaborately carved, expensive-looking ornaments and woodwork were much in evidence, couches adorned with pillows were liberally placed throughout, and the whole scene was well lit by an abundance of candelabras and chandeliers.

There was also a little stereo playing This in the background.



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After another flight of stairs, the group arrived at a door, this one less intimidating than the last. The first guard knocked, and a feminine voice from inside replied, "Enter."

The added "feminine" isn't really necessary; I think we could assume that was Tikora's voice. It would only be worth mentioning if she was a baritone. 



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here I am. High Priestess of the biggest vermin city in Mossflower, with hundreds of beasts who will do my bidding utterly without question. Tell me, otter, have you ever managed to achieve anything so great in your own ministry?”

Pfft. He doesn't need that. He's got all the femmes in the story after him! XD



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Why had he come? He had no reason to be; he had no knowledge of the blasphemy of the city before arriving, and could be fulfilling his duty to the Mother in Yew now but for his decision to head down the road to Carrigul. The only answer could be Risk, Gashrock, Goragula, Vanessa, Noonahootin, Poko, Zevka, and Nyika. The beasts with whom he had shared the past week of horrors, and for whom he had sacrificed so much.

Aww, that is really nice...  remembering all the fallen.



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"Ha! Why else do you think I would have let that muscle-brained fool Zander into my bed? He will give my offspring strength. The last midwife told me the child would be due soon. Of course, she also told me that I should be taking it easy, which is why I killed her.

Tch! That got a snicker out of me.



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“Heh. So, it is the will of the Mother, as you would say, that you pay in blood. Now hold still; it’ll hurt less if you squirm.”

That... makes no sense. Wouldn't it hurt MORE if he squirmed and-
o_o
Goodness...
Well he'll get even more girls with an eyepatch, I bet.


I can't seem to say this enough: Istvan has come a long way. He is always true to his beliefs but they now means more than blood and sacrifice. He has grown throughout the story from a simple guard to a paladin. He has gone from thinking only of himself and his righteousness to worrying about and wanting to protect others; his friends and the souls of the dead.

...but did he really have to chew his own skin off? Ewwwww.

And hey, Istvan was nice enough to introduce Tikora too! How sweet. She seems very canonically vermin, but I'm actually rather pleased with that. Purely base and vile villains like this are actually kind of fun, and it's nice to have a big bad to rally against.

Now I'm just waiting for some kind of twist with her, though.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 11:50:49 PM by Balmafula »

Balmafula

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2013, 01:11:22 AM »
Nooners!



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They needed answers, and were so close yet still empty-pawed for all their efforts. Sending Nyika into the pike pond required immense planning and tactical precision.

Nice phrase there, pike pond.



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Noonahootin gave the marten a very serious look, tapping a talon against the wooden chair. “I will do whatever it takes to bring Guard-Miss Fern, and Reverend Istvan home. Mister Mayvery must be found, and I sincerely hope he is safe, Zevka. All of them.”

This is so very sweet.



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Three beasts raised a glass collectively, although Nyika tossed the contents of hers over her shoulder. When no strawberry-fizz was raised, the owl blinked heavy lids and looked to the empty chair at the table, a plate of half-eaten breaded bat wings and potato wedges abandoned before it. Swivelling his head about his neck to look throughout the entire room, he failed to spot the sprite and delicately asked, “Where's Miss Poko? Did she run off?”

Nice attention to detail. You can tell right away its Poko just by the mention of strawberry fiz. Also, I think I could get behind Carrigulan diner food.



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She probably got upset and buried her head in her pillow. Young girls, haha. Such thespians, just like my Wyoot used to be at that age.

Ghost of Gashrock: Ha, would take some doing to make proper thespians out of those two.



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“One last round then before we head off to honour and duty, ladies?” Noonahootin offered. The marteness and molly smiled with sharp teeth as Noonahootin snapped his head around so fast it caused his chair to wobble unsteadily beneath him.

XD Silly Noonahootin.

Hmm... I didn't mention this earlier but I find it odd that the only one to get the 'ess' to denote female of the species is Zevka. It's never a ratess or feretess or wildcat..ess (thankfully). I know that a while back this was done much more regularly and with nearly every species, but it just seems odd that its ONLY used for pine martens and specifically Zevka. I guess in that way it's kind of uniquely hers.



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The bartender, a skinny rat with a row of warts beneath his eyes, shrieked and dove beneath the counter top. Poor fellow had a crippling fear of birds, as it turned out.

That last line seems odd to me. How would he know that? It seems like something from a detached narrator, but the 'poor fellow' makes it seem like an observation from Nooahootin. The 'as it turned out' makes it seem like it's going to be further explained, but it's never mentioned again. Besides, that reaction isn't so out of line to need an explanation of being afraid of birds. ALL birds, not big birds of prey making loud noises out of nowhere.

Yes I am definitely overthinking a silly line that was meant as a throwaway joke. Well, now I'm not. Carry on. 



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While Zevka intentionally took her time with her drink, striving for one last drop of cunning to leak from her spongy mind and save the wildcat from her elected fate,

Wonderful. That is so perfect for Zevka.



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He sighed in an immensely satisfied manner before slamming the glass down onto the table and clapped Nyika on the back.

The mixed tenses here reads somewhat awkwardly.



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The sun had faded beyond the horizon of the mountains two hours ago, the dark winter sky cold and infinite above them. Ignorant of time, the city did not sleep; pubs and social halls remained open, lanterns lighting up a happy invitation to those walking the streets while a fiddler pandered to passing pockets. Restaurants catered to their evening dinner guests and an evening prayer was taking place in the orbicular granite church attached to a great bell tower. Situated across the busy square, the tower stood as the tallest building in the city next to the great temple in the richer southern quarter.

Lovely description.



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It was deep and rolling, and Noonahootin felt his very bones shake with the steady moans of the bell.

I like how despite all the brilliant scenery and the magnificence of the bell tower, there is always something wrong hovering around everything in Carrigul. The bell doesn't chime here, it moans. Nice.



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“GUA-oh, never mind.” Zevka smiled as brightly as she could, her paws still in her new second-paw jacket's warm pockets.

The guards were already there, surrounding the owl, marten, and wildcat. Their paws were on their swords and spears, and they were all looking at Noonahootin. The square had gone silent, the tavern doors suddenly closing and the fiddler long gone.

XDD Zevka's reaction is priceless. All according to plan!



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“Very vell.” The owl grandiosely gestured to Nyika then, startling the wildcat who had remained positively frozen beside him, confused and waiting for the older beast to take the lead. “But mein cultural adviser und translator must accompany me.” A beat. Noonahootin quickly pointed a talon at Zevka in her modest, well-worn clothes, the gesture a distinct afterthought. “Und my valet.”

XD Owch.



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She casually lowered her hood and Noonahootin watched with satisfaction as the cravat-wearing jack cringed before doing a double-take.





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“Forgive me, Priestess. I did not see you were a missionary.” Rikkareed's stiff posture relaxed a little bit, and he offered Nyika his arm respectfully. “Of course. Please, allow me to escort you to the Palace of the All-Mother.”

When Nyika took his wing and openly snubbed Rikkareed with her nose in the air, Noonahootin couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and tilted his beak skyward as he strutted after the scowling weasel.

My problem here is the 'his' in the second paragraph. Yes, we can assume that it's Noonahootin because you see wing and then a bit later it's affirmed that yes, it's his wing. But the thing is that before the 'his', all you see is Rikkareed talking and offering his arm. So when I read the next bit I went: Nyika took his (Rikkareed's)... wing? Oh. That was Noonahootin. Okay.



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“I apologize you simply could not fly here, Your Grace,” Rikkareed mentioned as the guards heaved the doors open.

Hmm... unless it was unintentional, I think it should be "I apologize that you simply could not fly here."



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Nyika let her paw trail down Noonahootin's wing slowly as he let her go, and her fingertips lingered longer than what would have been considered appropriate. The beguiling touch left the grey owl with a pleasant shiver down the length of his spine.

It was only a matter of time before Noonahootin had a proper ship-worthy moment.



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Zevka coughed without covering her mouth, grinning toothily as she leaned close to Rikkareed and told him, “She's very traditional. Likes to pray by herself.”

Haha, I like how eagerly Zevka slips into her new role.



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Rikkareed lead Noonahootin up a curved, grand staircase adorned with red carpet, the balusters decorated and carved to look like the figures of dancing mustelids. As they passed through yet another arching hallway, its chandeliers aglow with tall, coloured candlesticks, Noonahootin's gaze was drawn to the dozens of paintings hung upon every inch of wall space. The place was almost gaudy, crammed with so much art, ebony and golden baubles that the beauty of the architecture was almost lost.

Noonahootin does description so well, adding in enough detail to make it seem real without rambling on. I can picture this room perfectly.



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Black glass coiled and snaked throughout the entire room, decorating even the baseboards and all in same wavy patterns the priests bore their ink.

Yeee bonus snake points!  :snake:



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Her head kept turning around on her neck as she addressed a round-faced grey male, who laughed as one of the children slipped through his mate's manicured talons to hide in her rose coloured shawl.

Wouldn't talons be pedicured Nice detail here.



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“Oh my,” Noonahootin wheezed.

“Indeed,” the long eared owl across the room murmured, cocking a brow.

XD Awwww



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“I'm sorry, they're just so sweet at that age! Allow me to introduce myself,” the red tod smiled, his pointed teeth just poking over his black lips.

Tod! That makes me so happy.



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“Mister Beechton Valash, business beast, at your service.”

WHOA! I wasn't expecting that.



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As the boy peeked out from beneath his mother's shawl with enormously wide eyes, his wee sister eagerly clambered onto the table headless of her mother's protests.

"For the last time, put your head back on before you speak to your elders!"



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“My name is Aislin,” the young owl proclaimed, hopping right up to her grandfather and sticking her face close to his. “It means 'dream'!” She was so proud of herself that she beamed too hard and fell over, not used to thrusting her chest out and chin up quite so much.

“Oh, my,” Noonahootin cooed softly and chuckled as he helped her up. “You haff no idea.”

*melts into a little puddle*



This post had its highs and lows. Noonahootin's descriptions are very well done and he tends to add these little details here and there that add so much color and character to the world and its creatures. He and all the other owls are so very 'owly' at all times; it never turns off or comes on at random. On the other paw, I think that Noonahootin's writer has a lot of his mind sometimes and it doesn't always come out clearly. This could be one problem caused by working in the mindset of a character who is grandiose and wordy.

Interesting development. To be honest, I never would have guessed to see Noonahootin's family or Beechton Valash there. I'm really curious to see where this goes.

Also, I like that their original plans fails pretty hard. Noonahootin's doing a good job of adapting, at least. I'm looking forward to see what's going on with Nyika and Zevka.

Balmafula

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2013, 10:46:20 PM »
Zevkular. Zevkulous. Zevka Zevka Zevka.



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"Thanks, Thetsa," Nyika replied, using Zevka's assumed name. Using it had brought a twinge to Zevka's heart, but the more she had thought about it, the more sure she was that the saucy Bayguard stoat jill wouldn't have minded.

I get that Zevka would have probably told Nyika to use this name for her while we were focused on Noonahootin. At the same time it kind of comes out of nowhere and made me wonder if I missed something earlier on.



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However, Beechton made no attempt to either raise an alarm or accost her, continuing instead to hold a side conversation with one of the owls instead.

Oops, one instead too many.



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The fox caught Rikkareed's eye. He gestured at himself and Zevka, then jerked his head to the side. Rikkareed stared at him incredulously. Beechton returned this look of disbelief with one that could only be termed "fox kit eyes." Rikareed rolled his eyes in exasperation, and Beechton grinned.

XD Nice.



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"So...I take it the purpose of this meeting isn't to raise my pay?" Zevka's effort to keep her voice light wasn't terribly successful. This was not how she had imagined the encounter with Beechton starting. Her version of it had involved a lot more punching Beechton in the face repeatedly and a lot less feeling like she was being taken to her execution.

This is so Zevka. That's a good thing. Snarky even when she knows she's in mortal peril.



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The room behind the door was occupied by several large crates, a table, and two chairs. Inside, sitting with her footpaws on the table like she owned the place, was Poko. The ferret gave a cocky smile.

"See, didn't I tell ye the treeweasel was looking for ye, Beech?"

... And here I was thinking Poko was in trouble for going off on her own and not being involved with the other three's plot. I have a feeling she's just putting on an act but seriously, if Poko had been a spy for Carrigul this whole time I would be amazed and delighted.



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Poko just shrugged, the smirk still on her muzzle." Hey, sorry, Zevka, but when yer parents die in a flood when yer seven, ye quickly learn that ye've gotta look out for just one beast."

Poko, you magnificent beast!

Ahhh.. can't say I'm a little disappointed that backstabbing Poko is not a thing, but this is really nice all the same.



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Poko leaned back perilously far, then leaned forward. "Ye weren't suppose to come up here in the first place, ye bushy tailed idjit. Right, Beech?"

Hee, evil Poko is so cute.



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The fox leaned towards Zevka, his smile fading. "But you just had to come charging up here, didn't you?  Just had to go barging around the city, punching information out of beasts, killing poor Corporal Tobley, and generally making a nuisance of yourself."

I know it was rather sad... but at least you've still got Lieutenant Reeses!



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"Who told you about Tobley?"

"You just did," Valash replied.

Haha, nice.



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"Scat!"

Poko finished unlocking Zevka's manacles before the fox could do anything else.

"Pretty much," the ferret quipped.

Crowning moment of awesome.



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"Don't just stand there!" Beechton shouted as the stoat drew his sword and tried to move towards Zevka.

Oh yeah, I forgot he was there. Good job, guy! What were you doing all this time?



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The stoat drew a knife and attempted to stab Zevka, but the marteness managed to grab his paw and guide it away from herself, before striking the knife away.

Thank you, Nessa...

That is so sweet. Nice that she's actually learned some things from Vanessa. And I'm glad she's still thinking of her.



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Valash had Poko on the ground, and his paws were around her throat. He didn't have her paws pinned, though, and a knife appeared in one of them much faster than Zevka would have thought possible. Poko buried the knife in Beechton's stomach. The fox gave a cry and released Poko, falling back with the knife still in him.

Wait, that's it? After all this build up he's taken down just like that?



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"Beechton was right about only one thing: you are a gem, Poko," the marteness said with a smile that faded as she turned back towards Valash.

D'awww.



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You think that just because you're probably going to die means I can't make you suffer? I can, Beechton -- those old books of mine told me all about things the body doesn't like but can still live through."

"There's this one called 50 Shades of Grey..."



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The fox whimpered for a second, and closed his eyes, but then regained his composure, eyes opening and gaze hardening.

"Mekad's been dead for weeks."

o_o
...This is probably not true also, isn't it.



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What was left of Beechton Valash's face formed itself into that trademark smirk. "Knew...knew you would kill me anyways. Least I made you really, truly scared. You're not going to forget that. And proved...I was right about you. You really do need somebeast else to be your conscience for you..."

I was just about to ask why in the world he would say that to her in the position he's in.



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"What about Vanessa Fern, from you."

From you? I'm not sure what this means.



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"No idea...oooh, was she important, too? I guess you'll just have to settle for one out of two..."

Beechton Valash died smirking.

Hmm. What an odd guy... I kind of wish we could have seen him for more than two posts.



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"Zevka?" Poko walked over and put her arm on the marten's shoulder. "It's over." There was no mistaking the shock and horror in the ferret's voice.

Silly Poko, there's still one more week left!



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"Zevka..." Poko waited a beat before continuing. "What I found out last night...about Carrigul...and what they have planned and what they're capable of -- Zevka, NOWHERE is safe." The young ferret's voice was dead serious, and mature beyond her years.

I really wish Zevka wouldn't spend so much time and thought on convincing Poko to leave... Obviously Poko is there because she wants to be. If she wasn't invested in the group and making things right, would she have risked her life to go along with Beechton? Would she have left Takis and the safety of his clan? It makes sense that Zevka would be concerned for her, but it should be apparent by now that Poko is capable of making decisions on her own and that if she wanted to leave, she would have.



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"Do you want the knife back?" Zevka asked. The look on Poko's face was all the answer she needed.

"I...I'd rather not think about..." The sprite couldn't even finish her sentence.

"First time stabbing somebeast?"

"Yes." Poko looked away for a moment.

It's nice to see that this is addressed. Poko really is a very good creature. I like that she's so against killing and violence. It's rare you see that in contest characters.



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The Green Campfire isn't safe any more. I'll try to find us somewhere else to stay."

Why? Beechton is dead, so shouldn't it be okay now?



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Zevka gave him a smile that didn't reach her eyes.

Nice.



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"Hey! I have to go help them fight the beasts at the dinner party. Are you going to be --"Istvan punched the weasel in the face, and Zevka gave him a solid kick just for good measure.

XDD Zevka and Istvan make such a great team.



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I'm sorry, Mekad. I'm sorry, Nessa. Oh, Fates, I'm so sorry.

"We surrender," Zevka said, defeated.

And as usual the ending leaves me all excited about what happens next.



As I mentioned before, I was so happy that Poko not only showed up again, but made a big difference and had some great moments. Zevka is an entertaining and action-oriented character; no matter what she's doing it, she's doing it with her distinct style and that's always kind of refreshing and fun to read. Plus it was nice to see her out of her element too. The start of the post when she's following Beechton up the stairs and convinced that she's on the way to her grave and yet still snarking and trying to think her way out of the situation was gripping.

Beechton himself was also entertaining in his own quirky way, but I have to say the confrontation was anticlimactic. All the delightful dread Zeka feels at the beginning of the post builds up to a lot of nothing. Zevka realizes the game Poko's playing almost immediately and then Beechton is easily dispatched and she's right back on top again. I wish he had stuck around to be a match for her; a foil. Somebeast she can't overpower or outsmart, which is what it was looking like at the start.

Also I don't really get his motivation. Why did he expect Zevka to NOT go after her lifelong friend? I am also just a little disappointed that Poko wasn't actually a turncoat. Think of how amazing that would be. Maybe not for Poko, she would probably have to die considering she would be a bad guy now, but it would be worth it surely.

Another thing that's been bugging me - and this is not directed at just Zevka. At the start of the contest, Carrigul was just this distant looming reclusive presence. Now, though, it's this bustling, lavish city engaging political guests from all over the world. And building a super weapon. at this point, it's no longer a budding threat. It's too advanced for Yew to not have ever noticed, unless they're just... really slow. I guess Aster could be covering it up, but that's kind of stretching it when so many other kingdoms know all about it. Word would get around I'd imagine. Plus, Tikora's plot of wanting to take over Woodlander civilization by being as advanced as they are doesn't really work when Carrigul is already MORE advanced then Yew, it seem.

Well, sorry Zevka, that's not all pointed at you. This post was entertaining and tense and although it was the longest post of the week so far, it flowed nicely. Poko really got a chance to shine, too. I just wish that we had seen more desperation and vulnerability out of Zevka. But at the same time, it ended with the two powerhouses of the group defenseless and forced to surrender, which was very nice. Can't wait to see what happens next!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 11:33:24 PM by Balmafula »

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Re: Snark and Bark
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2013, 11:45:38 PM »
Quote
She casually lowered her hood and Noonahootin watched with satisfaction as the cravat-wearing jack cringed before doing a double-take.


Haha, I just read that as "jerk" instead of "jack" and it made me think of Desmo. XP
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