Among the Bones

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Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:26 am

The Evening of December 10th

Located outside the bustling business and busyness of Manehatten at large, the ancient grounds of Grimwood Mortuary had been known and used for centuries. Sprawling across multiple acres and dotted with mausoleums, Keeper's cottages, and aging wood the place had a haunting beauty. 

During the invasion however its previous owners found themselves slain and the grounds abandoned. The bodies of Manehatten were left to rot where they lay.

At least until a year prior.

It was on that day that a mysterious newcomer came to into Manehatten. A gryphon that slowly began to trickle his influence among the social circles of the warring streets. His talon was one of service in fields both medical and mortuary. His name was Kestrel and he was a Shaman of the north.

Upon settling in he had maneuvered about the fields and in time acquired the deed to Grimwood. He had taken the estate into his name without question. It took quite a bit of coin and time but he had managed to rebuild the grounds and the home there. Business opened soon after repairs were done and the war outside assured that the gryphon had much work to do. He took it all in stride. Both gryphon and pony alike passed through his talons and each was given the utmost respect and care such delicate things require. 

This night of December the gryphon found himself wandering among the shadowed stones on another nightly patrol. His body was hidden by his signature cloak and mask. His steps silent and keen upon the trails. In his beak he carried a lone lantern. Its ancient iron and glass casting a cold pale light out onto the earth around him; lighting his way. 

It was a soothing thing for him, walking among the bones, and a sadly necessary task. Some of the less morally bound individuals in this war sometimes sought to dig up those that lay in the hallowed earth here. Seeking riches or to defile those that lay sleeping in the earth.

None had succeeded yet since the gryphon began his vigil so many months ago. None would yet succeed if he could help it. These ones had earned their rest. To disturb it was as rude as it was wrong.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:54 am

Star shed a few tears on her way to the graveyard where her dear, departed mother and sister lay at rest, until the end of time. She had with her a bouquet of roses, fresh picked an hour ago, to give to both of her relatives. As she arrived to the gates of the truly dreadful place, she solemnly started her trek to the far end of the graveyard, in the furthest of the left direction. Currently, she had cast over herself into the form of Io, to protect herself from the prejudicial streets she had to cross to come here. Why couldn't I save you two... she thought to herself as she reached the resting area of her mother and sister, after flying over some gates that would have otherwise blocked her path.

Her mother was buried in a neat little mausoleum, adorned with various paintings and pictures of her various travels, for she was a somewhat famous artist and singer in various foreign lands she had visited. The mausoleum was about the size of two average-sized ponies, and was very cozy inside. The second grave was a ramshackle poor thing that held her sister, who wasn't well known, and as such, wasn't buried with much care or thought put into her, so her grave was just a pile of dirt with a tombstone, lined with flowers that Star had, over the years, planted there. 

She curled up in her full-body black cloak, and started weeping softly in front of the two graves, her flowers hidden underneath her body.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:21 pm

Slowly but surely the shadowy gryphon continued his nightly patrol. It was always so silent here among the dead. The few animals that did find their home here in the yards never dared make a sound. Indeed one had to go back to the main house for that, or the large sprawling wood behind it.

Imagine then the grim gryphon's surprise when he found the silence of the world shattered by a soft, almost unheard sobbing. Stopping his patrol Kestrel closed his eyes and honed his senses. Where did this sobbing come from? His ears twitched and flicked beneath his hood.

There.

A flash of gold and the Kestrel's gaze locked on the chosen locale. A small mausoleum not to far from his current location. Silently as he could he began to make his way towards it. Weaving between the headstones along the way. Offering silent apology to those that slept below.

As he got closer he began to notice other things about his destination. The first was that the door was indeed open. The sound of tears and sorrow trickling out the door like a meandering stream into the night. 

Normally this would put the issue off as a family matter but as of late the ponies in this town had been honing their skill in picking locks. Only the richest of those buried here could afford arcane locks to protect them from such unruly and disrespectful folk.

Reaching up the gryphon turned down the glow of his lantern, the ghastly blue fading to a pale and chilling glow that barely reached around the gryphon's massive form. No matter. He could see just fine without it now. Kestrel would be sure to hang it gently upon the hook just outside the door.

A moment later and he'd stepped forward and pushed the door open.

"Greetings." Kestrel said calmly. His voice rumbling from deep within his chest. Bubbling up and flowing slow and smooth across his tongue. It still bore with it the strange chilling curiosities of his Northr accent even after a year in this city. With how the light shone behind him most of his form was still hidden from view. Not that that did anything to truly hide his identity. There was only one gryphon that size, with that accent, that wandered these fields of the dead so late at night.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:54 pm

Star perked her ears up, sensing a disturbance in the eerie quiet of the graveyard. however, as she did so, she heard what she thought to be the disturbance, although her first reaction was to flip out in fright, although she found the voice to be soothing and attractive. With wide eyes, she turned her head around to face the the source of the voice, and gazed up at the figure, her eyes glowing a little to discern the form, and found it to be a griffon. In absolute terror at that point, she said in a quavering voice, "H-hello, uhh... H-h-how are you today, um...M-m-mr...?" I'm so deaaad. I'm so deaaaad. He's gonna use my spine as a toothpick... she thought to herself in complete dread, as she started to shake violently.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:09 pm

The gryphon's hooded head cocked to the side curiously as he looked down at the now quivering pony. He was used to such reactions even from those not of pony decent. His instinct told him to prey on this opportunity to strike down that which had violated the privacy of his territory.

He, luckily, did not obey his instinct in this moment.

"Kestrel. Keeper of the Dead." the gryphon offered. Beneath his hood cold golden eyes flickered around the space before him. It was such a small thing, barely large enough for a family of four judging by the size. Only one though seemed to be buried properly. There was another grave here. Ramshackle and flimsy. 

The gryphon narrowed his gaze and clicked his beak. A shame to see such disrespect. All creatures deserve a proper burial be they prey or predator.

"Speak. What bring you here, pony?" he said. Equuish, the Tongue of the Ponies, was still something he was learning still. It showed in situations like this however rare they were.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:23 pm

Star squeaked a little as the griffon spoke again. "A-e-i-o-uhh... I'm uhh... Hmm...." Trying not to blow her cover of her true race to somepony who would probably know everything about the deceased, she came up with a scanty and lackluster excuse. "I'm.... Visiting a...Dearoldfriendofmine!" she finished, rushing the end of the sentence due to her frightened state, hindering her abilities to lie. Plan B. scream like a little filly. Will it work? Probably not, and he'll just overpower me. uhh.. What else... she thought frantically, trying to think of ways to not die.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:36 pm

Kestrels gaze remained narrowed at the hastily given excuse. "I care not for lies, pony." the gryphon assured the trespasser before him. His voice not once wavering from its infallible calm. Why, where was the anger, the hate, the Rage, the bloodlust? It...it just wasn't there. Only that cold, seething calm that sunk right to the bone.  

"The tears I heard were not for friends." he continued motioning with his left hand to the grave before him. "You know these ones, yes?"
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:47 pm

Star finally realized that it was hopeless to keep lying, and drew her cloak around herself as she reverted to her normal form, only slight smidgens of her body visible. Sighing, she figured out a crucial tool she remembered, and said, throwing her voice to sound far away, "Hey! What's that commotion over there!?" in a gruff, masculine voice. Hoping to distract him long enough to escape, she started to tip-hoof past Kestrel.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:22 pm

The half-ling's plan might have been more successful if not for one simple detail. Tihar was the only one that patrolled the grounds this late at night. What few employee's he had were no doubt sleeping soundly with their families at home now. 

With a low rumbling growl the gryphon turned, a massive taloned hand coming out and stopping the mare where she stood. The talons felt sharp even through the fabric of the cloak. "A keen trick but foolish." the gryphon said. His massive bulk shifting powerfully so as to block a majority of the door now. 

"Explain. Now." The chill in Kestrel's tone would have been enough to freeze a Windigo. A calm and assured promise that if he wasn't answered bad things awaited.

With his change in position a bit more of his appearance became apparent. His cloak was well worn and cared for. Decorated carefully with a careful knotwork arranged in esoteric patterns. His flesh of his hind legs caught the lantern's glow. What could be seen of it was taught and firm. The muscle beneath steely and tense and ready to move him should the time come. His face remained hidden for now beneath his cloak, as did his forebody. 

Behind him somewhere in the Graveyard a lone raven barked.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:32 pm

Starlight squeaked as Kestrel caught on faster than she expected, and accidentally knocked back her cloak, revealing her true self to the gargantuan griffon. "I-I'm Starlight Charmer, the uhm. Savior of lost relics and the like. I came here to pay my respect to my mother and sister, Nerubia Filwatch and Daisy Diadem." As she said this, she gestured to the party trampled roses behind her, next to her cloak. "I come here once a year, every year, to give her these." As she glanced back at the two resting places of her relatives, a horridly vivid nightmare set upon her, and she was again reminded of their deaths, and how she couldn't save either, giving her the appearance of absolute vile and horror across her face. A single tear rolled down her cheek, and fell to the floor.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:44 pm

The gryphon was silent for a while as he observed the scene. His gaze filled with a supernatural sort of smoke and his grip on the mare flexed and twitched. Talons almost pulsing along her cloak-hidden skin. He watched as she relieved the memory and he saw the gifts she'd brought. 

He then turned his gaze to her taking in each and every detail. Unlike some in this world he seemed to simply register her appearance. He did not fear or judge it despite all the evidence that he should have done so. Such was not his way.

Slowly his talons fell back to rest on the cold stone steps of the mausoleum with a soft series of clicks. "Truth. Is all I needed." He said nodding back at the flowers. His talons vanished beneath his cloak and pulled free some strange flask of some kind. "Here. Is rude to leave a gift ungiven, no?" Kes offered nodding to the flowers again.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:52 pm

"Aheheh. Sorry about that whole fiasco. Here, lemme recompense..." Star said, and flew up to so that she was at eye-level with him, and kissed him on the cheek. As she fluttered down, she used her magic to pick up the flowers and place them into the flask she was given. Afterwards, she set them between the two graves, and brushed a few hairs out from her face. "Thank you for the flask. Those flowers never last very long, and it makes me a little sad."
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:16 pm

The little mare would feel instead of the warmth of feather and flesh a cold and hardened shell when she placed a kiss upon the gryphon's forehead. Such was the illusion painted by his mask. 

He still reacted though, his feathers flaring oh so slightly beneath the warmth and protection of the cloaks surface. It was rare to receive such an attention, especially from a pony. Hugs he was used to giving and receiving. Chatting and counseling he also gave. But kissing was a strictly pony idea that he was still unused too.

"A rose's beauty is fleeting. Is why it is precious." Kestrel offered backing away from the door now and waiting silently outside of the mausoleum. He'd give the mare the time she needed to finish her task. He still had a few more yards to patrol before he settled in for the night.

This new position had him revealed in full now. His massive form was still hidden for the most part. Now though the lower parts of his forelegs could be seen. One was simply thick with muscle and power, the other though glimmered. The light of the lantern and the moon so far above catching the strange metal of the strange seemingly tailor fitted, limb-encompassing gauntlet that he had been gifted so very long ago. 

Few had seen it in entirety. Fewer still had seen its truly horrifying effect on the battlefield. It was a weapon best saved only for those who deserved such fate. Even now, as it was peacefully at rest, the weapon exuded and aura of cold and dread that stirred some whispering horror buried in the back of the mind. It was...wrong. Something about it was simply wrong. 

Above this was the gryphon's mask. Much like his Cloak it too was decorated with carefully inlaid material in swirling and flowing esoteric patterns. It was a hauntingly beautiful example of maskwork. One the gryphon who owned it wore with pride.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:26 pm

Star snapped back to reality, and noticed the gauntlet on Kes's forearm. She felt a small tugging sense in the back of her mind, telling her to get away from the device. But her curiosity got a hold of her, and she reached a hoof out to touch it, and felt a freezing cold jolt of horrid energy flow through her, she tried pulling her hoof off of it, tugging as dread filled her lungs, and she felt it hard to breathe. For what felt like an eternity, she kept pulling, until she finally got herself away from it, and feeling a little too light-headed. "Oohf.... I don't feel so well..." As she wavered a bit, she finally fell to the ground with a thud , and said, "Curiosity killed the cat, as they say..." as she drifted off into sleep.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:10 pm

Kestrel saw what the half-ling was doing a second too late. "Wait-" He started, trying to pull the gauntlet away from her. He never got to finish the sentence. She was gone well before he could have hoped to save her the displeasure of experiencing the Claw's kiss.

Silently he watched as the effects of the weapon took hold on her. Sapping her strength and causing her body to fail her. Luckily it had only been a touch. If she'd pricked herself on the talons there, or held onto him fully... 

The thought was set aside.

Looking around the gryphon pondered his options. He could leave the mare here but on a night like this that would be both rude and cruel. Such was not how Kestrel operated. Instead he decided on something else. Carefully so as to not touch her again with his gauntlet, the gryphon maneuvered himself around and carefully got the pony up and onto his back. 

His sheer size allowed her to ride there comfortably and still afford him a decent range of motion. A few moments later and he had sealed the mausoleum again and was walking back towards the main path of the Graveyard. He needed to deal with his unannounced guest here before he could finish his patrol.

Looking up to a nearby oak the gryphon gave a bark. A moment later and a Raven landed itself before him. Beady eyes curious and keen as they gazed upon the massive gryphon. A silent conversation shot between them for a few moments and then the bird was off. Flying high above the ground and seeking out another to fulfill the gryphon's request.

"Thank you. My friend." Kestrel thought to himself as he moved to make his way back towards the main mortuary. Part of it was reserved for himself and guests as a home. The rest was dedicated to the business he ran.

It was here that a warm bed awaited his guest.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:31 pm

((Time Skip seven hours))
Star yawned wholeheartedly as she woke up, having a most interesting dream about a kind undertaker, a gauntlet of magical powers, and the dead. Stretching, she said, "Ooooh, Lance. You cannot BELIEVE the dream I just had. There was this handsome undertaker, and this graaave, and this magical gauntlet. It was so cool." As her eyes adjusted to being open, she perceived herself to be in an unfamiliar area. As she looked around, she felt a sharp, ebbing pain in her head. Blinking a little, she stood up, and immediately fell over, wincing from the pain she felt. "Did I bloody break my legs or something?" she asked to no one in particular.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:52 pm

"I am sure your legs are fine. Is side effect of the Claw." came a eerily familiar voice from the front of the room. Should the mare look up she would catch site of that 'Nice Undertaker' from her dream.

He carried with him a large tray on his back which he carefully deposited on one of the bedside table. Upon it was a various assortment of simple breakfast foods; all of which were prepared for ponies in particular. No meats.

"Please, eat. Will help with pain."
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:16 pm

Star gazed upwards at Kes, blushing a little. oh my Celestia he was actually REAL ohmygoshohmygoshohmygooosh "Guess I hit my head a little too hard, Griffons can't be that tall and masculine, at least according to Lance...." Star said in a barely audible voice to herself. Composing herself, she looked at the assortments of the traditional pony diet, and sighed in boredom. "I feel bad for asking this, but no meat? C'mon, can't be doin' this to me, I haven't had flesh in like a daaaaaay." she said, her stomach growling with her. Shaking her head, she grabbed some of the various foods and shoveled them down, realizing she was extremely hungry.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:30 pm

Beneath the unfeeling emotionless ceramic of his mask the gryphon perked a brow. Not at the comment about his size. Even among his kind Kestrel was a giant. No it was the mares other comment. That about meat.

There were of course a few ponies out there who tried and could tolerate the flesh of other things. Very very few however did. His breakfast had been chosen in honor of that. Still if the mare wanted meat he did have a steady supply of it. In fact he had some cooking right now for his own breakfast.

"Curious. Not many of your kind ask for such." The gryphon stated. "If you do desire meat I can provide. Will take time though as is cooking." He found himself a place to sit and quietly made himself comfortable. His cloak was off now. Replaced instead by a well tailored suit. His mask, as ever, was situated upon him. One would noticed that the mysterious gauntlet was also missing at the moment leaving his other hand bare. 

The food the mare consumed was surprisingly delicious. The various spices were layered carefully and the food was still nice and warm from the stove. It seemed that unlike some gryphon's this undertaker actually knew something about cooking with vegetables. Moreover the dishes all seemed to help sooth the aches and pains that currently ailed the mare on the bed. Sore joints began to warm and then settle. The pain in her head easing back bit by bit.

Should she choose to sample the tea offered with the meal that too would help soothe her aching head. It was a light tea. Fruity in a way, its various notes and flavors complimenting those used in the dishes being so voraciously consumed.

"Is good, yes?"
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:50 pm



Star took note of his reaction to her asking of meat, and explained, "Yeah, I get that a lot. I once ate a live bird in front of one of my friends and made him puke.  It was really funny." she finished with a chuckle.  Star then noticed that there was still food left, and quickly gobbled it down, trying extremely hard not to make a mess. Noticing the tea, she drank it down heartily, feeling better afterwards. "Yeah, you're right I feel much better.And um... Hey, um... Where did you learn to cook?"
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:04 am

"Depends on the dish. Some are from home others I find in my travels." Kestrel said. "Am glad you enjoy it." he said. Even beneath the mask on his face one could see the soft smile on his face. He was about to speak up again when his ears perked and he glanced towards the door. If one focused hard enough you could barely make out the faint sound of a timer ringing. 

He excused himself and quickly made his way downstairs where he gathered up the assorted dishes of his own breakfast and the mares own request before he returned. A plate was set upon the tray near the mare loaded with a few pieces of what looked like fish.

To a meat lover the smell was heavenly. A rich herbal aroma that filled the senses and made the stomach growl. The flavor was just as carefully tuned as the veggies before had been. Though this was much more savory and tender than that. Kestrel had even had the politeness to debone the fish before cooking it!

Before he dug into his meal he closed  his eyes and bowed his head offering a silent prayer of thanks to the Spirits. T'was an old tradition and one he refused to lax himself on. He then began to eat. 

The size of his beak allowed him to snap the food up quickly. He seemed to take his time though. Savoring the flavors of his cooking before swallowing it down without much effort at all. Every so often he'd pause and take a long drag of his tea. Inhaling and exhaling slowly so as to fully enjoy its aroma and flavor.

Mmm delicious~
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:19 am

Starlight eyed what she identified to be fish hungrily, and levitated a piece of fish from the plate and to her lips, and took a bite from it, her eyes literally lighting up as she ate it. She cried tears of joy as she slowly chewed the meat, trying to make it last. Until she realized that there was more fish, and happily dug in, finishing after about ten minutes.  As she finished, a cascade of tears had flowed down her cheeks, sad that there was no more, and that she was absolutely stuffed. "T-that was the most beautiful thing to have ever brushed against my lips. T-thank you so much...." Star said, her voice quavering a little.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:44 am

Cocking his head curiously at the strange phrase Kestrel offered a nod. "Am glad you enjoyed it. Is the least I could do after last night" He said and turned back to his own food. 

Casually he finished it up and set his dishes aside with all the others. He could carry them down in a bit. First he needed to be sure his guest was okay. 

"Speaking of, feeling better now?"
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:58 am

"Nonono. It is my fault for touching that.... thing ..." Star replied, shivering. She stood up again, and this time succeeded, albeit she was a bit wobbly. D-did he? Oh nevermind that's silly. It's the gauntlet, i'm sure. she thought, a little bit worried. "A-huh. I'm walking, at least, that's for sure." she said, masking her worry and replacing it with an expressionless veneer.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:15 am

"It was my fault for being slow" Kestrel offered in correction. "Luckily was only touch." The gryphon watched as the mare wobbled about before him. A contemplative haze filled his gaze. 

The mare needed more time to recover. Why she was so eager to move? Perhaps he unsettled her as he did so many others. Perhaps there was something else bothering her. Moving to stand to his full massive height the gryphon bowed his head, crossed a massive forelimb across his chest and pressed it against his shoulder. It was the traditional offering of greeting, passing, and understanding among his tribe.

"Rest, should you need it. My home is yours."
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:39 am

"Hey! I know! I can entertain you! I've learned a couple things from my mother, bless her soul, and I can do some other neat tricks. How about that?" Star said with a grin, her eyes beginning to sparkle. Alighting her horn with yellow magic, she cast her duplication spell, and ordered it to start singing, along with jumping and dancing around Kestrel, while she sat and chanted with her.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:47 am

Kestrel's gaze locked on the duplication as it jumped and danced about her. His calm gaze admiring the illusion in all its intricacy and a slowly growing smile on his masked beak. His ears twitched at the song, directing the words into his mind wherein he sought to identify the tune. 

It would be both rude and a like to say the mare did not have skill. Her voice was sweet and crisp; refreshing even. In time the gryphon began to bob his head and hum along. Song was never his strong point but it was an interesting little break from the norm here. One he felt it important to join in on. He was still learning pony tradition and he didn't want to offend his guest.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:15 pm

Star finished a couple minutes later, having sung herself hoarse. Her duplicate exploded into a fine yellow dust afterwards, and she winced a little, feeling the pain from it. "Everypony I know thinks I'm strange, because I always keep a cheerful attitude about everything that's going on, and between you and me, I honestly don't care who rules Equestria, I just want to live happily." Star said, voicing her opinions about the griffon occupation towards the end. "Lance said I was weird, because I was singing the other day. SINGING! Why is everyone so downcast? We just need to put a skip in our step and smile at everything." she finished, yawning afterwards.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:42 pm

Kestrel had smiled and hummed along through the entirety of the little impromptu concert. His wings twitched bit as the illusion was broken and he was left in the room with only the mare who had been kind enough to sing her song.

He listened wordlessly as she spoke about how others looked down on such behavior and a brow silently perked. In a way he could understand it. This was a dark time for both gryphon and pony alike to live in this world. There were, what did the ponies call them...saints and sinners? Yes. There were saints and sinners on both sides and unless the two could learn to work together this world would not last for long.

"The times are dark, some allow that to stain their minds." Kestrel said. Offering  Among my kind song is important. "If your spirit wants to sing. Let it sing."
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:48 am

"Exactly! Except my voice is still sore. 'The mind is willing, the body is not.' Can't remember who said that, but I remember that they were brilliant." Star said, yawning and started stretching on the floor. She then curled up into a little ball and began rolling around."WoooOoooOOOo! This is fun! Why haven't I tried this sooner?" she exclaimed, laughing while she rolled.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:06 am

Offering a low and deep chested chuckle at the mares antics. Few who came to see him were so jovial. So very few indeed. He was about to ask the mare to be cautious of where she rolled when he suddenly stopped and looked up. 

If one focused hard enough you could hear the light ringing of a bell. A visitor was here. Turning and gathering up the dishes the gryphon offered a smile and a bow of his head so as to excuse himself. "Excuse me. Business calls." he said before he exited the room leaving the mare alone. Quickly as he could he moved down the halls and to the lower floor. He set the dishes aside in the kitchen silently and then steeled his mind for the job to come.

T'was a hard task but one he knew he should do. Anyone else might get it wrong.

A few moments beyond that and he was at the front desk. The foyer was one of the more carefully decorated rooms here in the main home. Its woodwork, plant choice, and color selection offering a cold sort of comfort to any who visited here. Enough to put ones soul at ease while maintaining that this was a place not many should spend long periods in.

Across the massive desk that stood there a small family of ponies were gathered; a mother, father, and two young ones. Their mood somber overall. Their dress more so. Barely enough fabric to cover their thin and overly bony forms.

To his merit Kes did not comment on their status or even seem phased by it. He had seen this sort all to much. Instead he offered his traditional respectful bow to them and repeated the line he had practiced so many times before. 

"Greetings. Welcome to Grimwood Mortuary. How may I be of service?"
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:13 pm

Star watched Kestrel as he went downstairs, curious as to what sort of "buisness" he was dealing with right now. Buzzing herself down the corridors and downstairs, she peeked around the corner and caught a glimpse of the haggard family. She herself, being too squeamish, held her stomach as her face turned green, gagging. She immediately turned around and flew back to where she came from, wanting to keep the food in her stomach. eeew...Actually, let's leave him to that. I'd rath-eeugh... Star thought to herself, her cheeks inflating with bile, that she fortunately swallowed back down, tears coming to her eyes. Gently, she flew back into the room from whence she came from, and curled up on the bed, buzzing her wings a little.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:38 pm

At the edge of his perception Kestrel made out the buzz of his guests wings. As always he said nothing of it however and kept his mind focused solely on the family before him. They sought to arrange a burial for the stallion's brother. He'd been slain in some manner of accident. The body was still in the custody of the Gryphons and had yet to be released. 

The family looked nervous as Kestrel took down the details. Asking what sort of burial they prefered or if cremation was desired. The family desired the latter of the two options with a small service if possible. Then came the part Tihar rather disliked; Payment. The family before him grew silent and awkward at the mention of that. 

Imagine their surprise when Tihar simply smiled knowingly and offered a variety of alternatives. Were they willing to help him transport the form and prepare the service he would count their service as half paid. If they agreed further to help do some other minor tasks about the grounds he would further reduce the costs. 

Kindness begets kindness. Service begets service.

The ponies were suspicious at that. Gryphons were not supposed to be kind. Yet here this one was offering to let them work so that they did not have to pay what little they had that their kin might get the respect he deserved. Without fail the gryphon explained in his best Equuish that he would not ask for anything beyond the families ability. Help patrolling, cleaning, and general upkeep would be work enough. To sweeten the deal he offered to feed and shelter them here on the Estate while they were serving out the cost.

It was the child that responded first. "Food momma food!" she said tugging on her mothers mane. More than a few hairs fell loose from their hold at that. The mare's body to weak to hold it. She hid the pain as best she could but Kestrel saw it clear as day. Nothing escaped his predators gaze.

"You'll do that? No tricks?" The stallion asked carefully; after settling the child down. "No tricks. You work, I provide. Is promise." Kestrel said bowing his head. A gryphon's word was golden among his people. You did not offer what you were not willing to provide. Not all were like him though and so the distrust was not unfounded.

Seeing no other option the family agreed. Bowing his head once more the gryphon behind the desk quickly wrote up a requisition of release and handed it over. "Take this to guards they will release your kin. Come back in one day. Will have room and meal waiting." 

The paper was taken carefully and the ponies said their goodbyes. Kestrel made sure they passed safely to the gate before he turned and once more made his way upstairs.

"My apologies. Did not mean to make wait."
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:16 pm

Star suddenly got a most devious idea into her head, and quickly got to work executing it, quickly scribbling down a 'running away' letter. The letter read, 
' Dear Kestrel the Undertaker,
   I am sorry, I must depart so urgently, as my friends are requiring me to help them out, and i'm sure Lance got himself into trouble somehow. I am with heavy hearts, leaving, and I will see you in the not too distant future. One of my friends may come by soon, and, between you and me, she totally digs you. 
                                                        Sincerely, Starlight Charmer

Starlight finished her signature, and placed it neatly on a tabletop. Part 1 of her plan complete, she made the sound of buzzing with her wings, and opened and slammed down a window, to give the illusion of her leaving. Afterwards, she transformed into a rather curvaceous grey-feathered griffon,with a most seducing smile on her face, as she laid down on the bed suggestively, and let her hoof/claw rest on her hip, her tail flicking this way and that.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:37 pm

Kestrel heard the slam well before he managed to return to his room properly. Curious as to her condition he quickened his pace. To his merit he didn't seem all that concerned externally as he walked into his room to find the form of a young, and if the look was anything to go buy eager, gryphoness sprawled across his sheets.

A brow perked itself beneath his mask and wordlessly he walked in and closed the door behind him. Keen predatory eyes began to look her over. Taking in each and every curve, watching her every move. He was no stranger to the pleasures of the flesh nor one to turn down opportunity. This little 'gift' confused him though. How had she known what room was his? Had this so called 'friend' of the half-ling told her? 

He did not trust it to be so simple.

Flaring his plumage ever so slightly the gryphon voiced his curiosity. His tone was low and smooth; never once wavering from that infallible calm of his. "Greetings and who are you?"
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:01 pm

Star looked up and down at the griffon from behind her facade. Is he anything BUT calm? Oh my Celestia. Rubbing her butt with a disguised hoof, she said, "Hello, my lady-killer~. Star told me ALL about you~. My name is Cherchez la Deviluke. I would ask how I could service you, but I think we both know the answer to that one, my handsome hulk of a griffon~." Star said, winking as she licked her illusory beak.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:08 pm

"Oh? And what she say Ms. Deviluke?" Kestrel asked continuing his facade. He had never seen the mare before the previous night to his memory. Had he been watched perhaps? Or was it simply more rumor about him being spread. He knew the townsfolk of Manehatten both gryphon and pony alike had many a tale and tally passing around their inner circles about him.

The crude compliments rolled off his flared plumage like water in a storm or so it seemed. It would take more than honeyed words and a fine specimen for him to become truly interested it seemed.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:17 pm

Star didn't miss a beat with her response, replying with, "Oh, my good sir, she told me of how handsomely tall, comfortably serene, and your pleasant way of treating others~! What more could I want out of such a sexy beast as yourself~?" giving the appearance of a blush onto her facial features, setting off her golden eyes quite well. If I pull this off, Shade will totally let me into shadowsun, but not without a couple of crude comments. But, that's totally worth it. she thought to herself, her blush growing bigger with each thought. She made herself appear to be looking at the Undertaker's muscular physique with hungry eyes. "And besides, who could it hurt to have a little enjoyment?" she said, her tail cracking as she flicked it back and forth.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:51 pm

The gryphon that stood before the conjured gryphoness was not fooled by the words that teased across him. Unlike some of the young and hormonal guards he did know how to control his instincts. In fact he'd spent his whole life doing just that and right now his instincts were telling him something was up. Gryphoness did not just simply appear, and ponies did not simply vanish. This girl also seemed to know quite a lot more than she was letting on. 

"Who indeed. Only just met. Where did she hear such things?" Kestrel said taking a few steps forward and coming to rest nearby one of the windows. He gazed out of it at the dark and murky wood beyond.

On the one talon it had indeed been a long while since he'd had the company of another. Among his tribe intimacy was a rather common thing; assuming one was not part of a mated pair. It was a way to show trust, relax, and rejoice at the splendor of life. Of course there were always precautions taken. Potions to prevent any unwanted additions to the Tribe and such. 

Here in this world intimacy was so much more private; moreover it was a way to get ones name into certain circles. Since his arrival he had used such a tool rarely but more than once. Sometimes for relief other times for more...personal reasons. His little 'network' had grown quite well because of such actions.

His gaze flickered to the side catching one of the bottles of such a potion he kept in his quarters. Such a thing sold well to those that asked for it, and it did come in handy every so often. Such as now, should he indulge this little bird perched atop his bed. His senses told him it wasn't a lie. That she was simply interested in him for something minor and quick. The scent rolling off into the room around, her body language, her words. All that of one simply seeking to sate an instinctual drive.

No harm in sating that. No gain but his own. He weighed the options silently his gaze drifting back to the illusion. Time to test the waters.

"Many not as forward as yourself, Ms. Deviluke. Normally I have to ask for company." he said, plumage flaring ever so slightly more. Like the waters of a stream he allowed himself to easily walk forward. Taking care to let his muscles flex and flow beneath the fabric of his well maintained suit. 

Wordlessly he started moving towards the dresser and with a hidden motion he snagged a bottle of a certian special something. He turned slowly after that and began to walk, no...not walk, prowl his way back towards the bed; bottle hidden away from view. He made no further motion upon reaching the edge of the bed.

What reaction would she have he wondered?
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:09 pm

Star rolled onto her back, sprawling herself across the bed. Looking to the side at Kes, she answered calmly, with a touch of lust in her voice. "She said she figured it all out by how you were so calm and gentle with her. She also told me of your amazing cooking skills. Now please, it's not nice to leave a griffoness waiting, babe~." she said, patting her thigh gently. "And I promise you, not a word of this goes out. Unless you want me to tell everyone. That's up to you." she articulated, the hunger in her eyes growing by the second. Carefully she eyed the bottle, but chose to make no comment about it. Instead, she said, "Indeed, I am forward. But I'm curious and quite hungry. If you'd please sate my hunger?" smiling her sauciest grin she could think of.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:19 pm

The gryphoness lines were more humorous than truly compelling but Kestrel didn't let that stop him. Not to mention they only seemed to confirm that this whole thing was either a set up or a lie. He said nothing to give even the slightest hint that he knew however. Instead he simply held out the bottle and uttered a single, final phrase.

"For you. Drink." 

He waited silently as she drank, should she do it. The potion had a warming, syrupy taste to it. Not bad considering just how useful a little potion it was. Once it was downed he carefully pulled himself up atop the bed and positioned himself above the strange guest. He had questions still but they could wait till later.

After all it was rude to keep a lady waiting.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:30 pm

[Fade to Black]
((Timeskip five hours))
Star slowly regained feeling in her body, however, she was unable to feel or move the bottom half of her body. Looking Kestrel straight in the eye, she laughed as she tore off the disguise. "Thank you for showing me one good time for my ah, first. I guess you weren't tall for nothin', Eeeehh? Sorry for lying to you, but hey, I got what I wanted and more, and*Burp* you got what you wanted, too!" She explained, however, still unable to really move. "And now I can't leave for probably the next week. Dangit." she said, sighing as she chuckled softly. " At least Shade will actually look at me with somewhat good esteem..." she whispered to herself, yawning as she started to fall asleep after the long exercise.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:44 pm

Despite the events of the previous hours Kestrel found himself relaxing calmly beside the gryphoness turned mare. His muscles were sore but it had been worth it. 

And what was this? Ah, so his little suspicions were true after all. Not surprising. He offered a smile as she whispered to herself and lamented her current situation, taking down the information in his mind for later use.

Those questions from earlier now bubbled up again and with a erm...captive audience he took his opportunity to sate that the curious itching of his mind. 

"Shade, mm?" he asked casually glancing over at the mare from the corner of his vision.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:15 am

Star had turned a little wide-eye and silent when Kestrel overheard her and said that name. Trying to explain who 'Shade' was, she began with, "Weell... She's a stick in the mud leader of this group my cousin, Lance the Prude, is in, and she's not accepting me because she feels i'm worthless and a hindrance to the team, but I wanna join so I can feel actually useful and actually help ponies and so I can feel a part of something. N' stuff." After she was finished talking, Star curled up into a slightly larger ball, unable to ball up as well as she could've five hours ago.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:35 pm

Kestrel nodded silently at the ponies words. Watching as she tried to curl into a ball. Defensive? Hmmm she knew something and didn't want to say it. 

"And what does group do?" he asked gaze still locked upon her. He was going to figure things out here. Depending on their make up and goals this little 'group' could prove to be something he would be interested in keeping an eye on, and this little half-ling could be his eyes and ears on the inside.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:44 pm

Star thought about the proposal for a moment. "I don't honestly know anything about them, actually, except that Scrapper's a drunken jerk, Lance is a lightbulb and my cousin, and Shade dislikes me with every fiber in her core. So yeah. I can spy on them and find out more, if you'd like me to." She said with a grin. "It's just. You'd better pay me if you want me to. Because they'll have my hide and I won't have a job anymore if that's the case." she said, finishing with a sigh.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:04 pm

Kestrel was surprised with how open and honest this pony was being with him. Was it because of the intimacy they'd shared before? If so that could be a risk. Offer the ling a romp and she'd just start talking.

She was offering him information though. Information was worth more than any bit or bauble. Despite his already extensive network Kestrel did not have Eyes or ears everywhere in this city yet...he could do with having more.

"Is your choice. What kind of payment do you desire? Also am confused. What do you mean lightbulb?" Kestrel said.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:25 pm

Star licked her lips, and looked to the side for a moment. Fluttering her wings, she whispered something to the griffon. Afterwards, she said, "And a tiny amount of money." she said, matter-of-factly. oh my Celestia did I really just ask for that oh my goodness what's wrong with me.... she thought,And with that, her mind starting to trouble her and the like, causing her blush to grow and grow. Slowly she lifted a hoof to her face, and sobbed. "What's wrooong with me. I'd probably betray the few ponies that have shown me a whiff of kindness for some....Stuff and money. Actually...Nothing's wrong with me. I'm perfectly alright, That's perfectly reasonable for one such as myself, actually..." Star said, clearing her eyes and appearing much happier after clearing that doubt from her mind.
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Kestrel on Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:35 pm

The gryphons feathers flared slightly at the request but he seemed to take it in stride. As always never letting the world phase him. "It can be arranged." he said with smile and bowed his head. His way of agreeing it seemed.

As all good things however the moment soon came to an end as the mare began sobbing. Kestrel simply offered a purr and his presence not knowing WHY it was happening. It seemed to work for soon enough the mare stopped.

Such violent changes of emotion she had. Perhaps a result of her changeling side? They were such sensitive creatures when it came to emotion. Kestrel had only ever seen a very select few of them even before this war. They had all shared a special sort of empathy however.

"For now, we've another problem. You have a home, friends? They will come looking for you soon, yes?"
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Re: Among the Bones

Post by Starlight Charmer on Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:20 pm

Star tilted her head, having not thought about the gang in a while. "Well, I'm sure Lance cares, but I can't really give an exact address. or anything. And they'd probably kill you because you're a griffon and they're racist like most ponies. But they might have respect for you being the undertaker. So mixed opinions. Honestly, I have no idea what to do here. Any ideas? OH, OH, There's this particular tree in the Park where they first picked me up, I can show you the way, if you're willing to carry me." she said, giggling at the thought of how sexy it'd look, To see a massive griffon carry a tiny disguised griffon.
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