RP:Fell In Love With A Girl
Summary: Karasu, while keeping an eye on her sister, attends one of the Sound of Sirens concerts in Vailkrin. Afterward, she meets Khitti and eventually spills to her that she's not only the one that almost killed Quintessa, but is also dating her! Khitti deals with this in typical mama bear fashion.
Main Graveyard Area, Vailkrin
Obscenely loud rock music filtered throughout parts of the city, the origin coming from the main area of Vailkrin’s cemetery as it usually did, every other week during The Sound of Sirens concert. Tombstones rattled and the ground beneath shook with every beat of the drum and every chord of the guitars. The concert was nearly over, unfortunately. All fans, both alive and undead, screamed for more as Khitti took a brief break behind the stage’s curtains, alternating between shots of whiskey and large glasses of water--gotta keep hydrated, you know. Finally, she returned to the stage, greeted with more wailing for at least one more song. “You know, it’s like you like our music or something…” Khitti grinned at the crowd as she spoke into the microphone, to which the crowd answered with cheers, “It’s almost like… you -love- us.” A somewhat upbeat song began (it was certainly not quite as dark as some of the other SoS songs), Dayv starting it up with the drums, with Jon 3 and Spyder following suit with the lead guitar and bass respectively. “This one’s for -all of the dead girls-.”
♫ I'll always bleed, you'll never blush. Hear your heart? Well, that's asking too much. I'm ready to faint and you're not ready to touch, but all of the dead girls love me.
Stalking the beach, threaten the sun; whatever their tone, beyond moribund. Bathing in bleach and Rose 31, all of the dead girls love me.
All the dead girls love me, love me… Who? The gone boys too! So why can't you? All the dead girls love me, love me… Who? The gone boys too! So why can't you? ♫
Undead of all sorts bounced on their toes, arms outstretched to try to touch their much-beloved Red as the band’s lead singer leaned over the edge of the stage, mic stand in hand, her own fingers outstretched to them. Gorey Taelyr, accompanied by other spirits--mainly banshees--aided Khitti with the background singing, their hauntingly ethereal voices repeating parts of the chorus when necessary.
At the edge of the crowd, a figure bobbed her head in time to the beat beneath a deep indigo hood. Despite having two pairs of ears, none of them were an ear for music, given how the Mage's Tower had generally been silent so that people could study. The Sound of Sirens was very different to the nauseatingly romantic tunes she had forced herself to endure for nearly a year. It was passionate, it was exciting, and loud, and Karasu cursed herself as she realized she was wanting to come back to hear the next set of songs the next week coming. Rhodolite eyes that seem to gleam like lights of their own watch the singer and her banshees as the song plays out, then they drift to somewhere in the crowd where one undead patron in particular watched the show with awe. Well... at least -she- was having fun, Karasu thought. The spell-blade had told Quintessa that she trusted her enough to make sure Kanna was not in any immediate danger, but the habit she had built up seemed a little harder to kick than she anticipated. Content that the ghoul was not going to be venturing too far, the halfling looked back up at the stage, giving only the slightest tilt of her head as she considered the mechanics of the device held in Red’s hands and wondered whether the conduit for voice amplification was magic-based or not. A curious hum escapes her lips, drowned out by the music.
♫ Let's take a step back in the café, you caught me look before you faded away. I felt a chill colder than your sway, yet they say: all of the dead girls love me.
Compassion of cats, as caring as sin, you bat me off the rack. When my porcelain skin shattered, it revealed, that your inscription within read: "All of the dead girls love me"
All the dead girls love me, love me, who? The gone boys too. So why can't you? All the dead girls love me, love me, who? The gone boys too. So why can't you? ♫
As the chorus was sung again, Khitti pushed her mic stand over, and jumped. She looked like she was jumping right off the stage--that is, until she shadow-stepped further into the air, leaving a puff of black smoke and the spell’s ‘bamf’ sound in her wake. Somehow, the crowd caught her, despite her freefall from several feet above them, and burst into screams and cheers. Unburdened by pain, the undead ferried Khitti along, letting her crowdsurf all the way to the back. Surprisingly, no one took a chomp out of her! Maybe it was because she used to be amongst their kind… or maybe it was because she still wielded holy magic along with the shadows. Either way, no one dared to ruin the ending of the concert. All the while, the rest of the Sound of Sirens continued the song, and the banshees continued their parts.
♫ Take me, take me, take me, take me, take me, take me, take me, take me, take me, take me, take me, take me… Take me to your grave. ♫
Two more bouts of the chorus were offered up to the crowd before the song ended, around the same time as Khitti made it to the very back and was deposited on the ground. The screaming fans ebbed away from the stage and flowed toward the band’s lead singer, everyone in range stretching out their hands again to touch her. She obliged and when the redhead and the song was finished, the lights in the area were snuffed out. The concertgoers chose to either scurry on out and head to their homes or went to the merchandise tables, where they only had so long before those were closed too. As the lights went out, another ‘bamf’ was heard and Khitti was no longer where she’d been standing before. Quickly, behind the stage’s curtain, she changed into one of her more comfortable sleeveless, knee-length dresses, with a pair of leggings and her well worn boots to accompany it, and made her way to the area of the cemetery further east from the stage. Her fans knew full well she needed a break, however, considering the fact that she was no longer undead, and unlike most celebrities, they didn’t bother coming after her, despite the fact that she could clearly be seen. The redhead found the short staircase on the nearest mausoleum and sunk down onto it, her head leaning up against the door. Oi… maybe she was getting too old for this gig. It’s a wonder Brand hadn’t made it a point to mention it yet.
Karasu watched the end of the show with mild interest. In the back of her mind, she wondered idly if her guildmate was also somewhere in the crowd. When the lights snuffed out, some undead turned their attention to the very living woman at the edge of the cemetery. A raise of her finger was given, and a cantrip. “Occultatio.” Their heads turn in different directions as if looking for something else. Unable to refocus on Karasu, the undead concert-goers make their way out of the cemetery. There is a moment of peace in the eerily still night now as the feline watches the crew clean up the stage. Well, there was no use hanging around here now. Kanna was likely back at House Dragana, and she should be there as well. As her boots tread silently across the dry grass, her eyes fall on the figure resting on the steps. A tilt of her head is given. Even from the distance away, the spell-blade could see the rise and fall of Khitti’s breaths. The singer was not undead, yet the flesh-hungry audience had not touched her? Curiosity gets the better of her and she tentatively approaches the singer. From beneath her cloak, a small glass jar of a shimmering violet liquid is produced. It glows in the bit of moonlight seeping through the clouds, clearly magical in nature. “You look like you need this more than I do.” She offers.
As the stranger approached and offered her a drink, Khitti squinted at whatever sort of concoction it was. “Mmm, I’m not sure if I do. What is it?” She looked from the jar, to the person that held it, studying the younger girl carefully. “Not much in the way of cures for getting old besides dying and I’ve already travelled down that road twice.” Khitti said this so nonchalantly, like people come back from the dead all the time--and -not- as an undead. The redhead scooted over a bit, giving Karasu the option to sit if she wished. And if she didn’t? She wouldn’t be too heartbroken about it. Khitti very much valued her space and privacy and knew there were plenty of others that did too, some even moreso than she did. “Alcohol is definitely a close second though, when it comes to cures,” she said with a smirk. With the crowd dissipated finally, the rest of the Sound of Sirens decided to take off. Several portals opened briefly, swallowing the other bandmembers, their instruments, the entire stage, and whatever else was theirs. Once the portals closed, Khitti and this strange girl distributing small jars in a cemetery were quite alone.
A noise of discontent at Khitti's suspicion is barely audible between the feline's lips as she uncorks the bottle to take a sip herself. She could understand why the woman would be wary of a stranger offering a strange glowing drink in the middle of a cemetery, but something about it still managed to annoy the feline. "Zorata tea. Keeps you from passing out, which for a second, it seemed like you were ready to do." Karasu quips, taking a second sip. The bottle stayed in her hand for the singer to take if she so wishes, but she does not hold it out again. When Khitti moves to offer her a place to sit, her eyes pointedly dart to the right, towards the portals that begin opening for band members. "No alcohol on me, sorry. You're not going to the afterparty?"
“Oh, uh, sure,” Khitti said, taking the container from the girl. “Sorry. Studied up on potions and whatnot in the Necromancer’s Guild but I’ve just never been the type to use them.” She wasn’t going to mention the fact that she didn’t trust ninety percent of the people that made that sort of thing--most of them mages. Khitti did finally drink from it, however, and almost instantly felt better and the look on her face showed as much. The whole jar wasn’t downed however, but just as she was about to give it back, she took another sip before doing so. “It’s probably for the better that I don’t… I don’t think I need another addiction in my life.” The things she could do if she had vials full of that concoction on her… It reminded her of her time in Frostmaw, towards the end of the war with the frost giants. She’d been a vampire then and had had a boost to her power thanks to an unnamed bard that’d been among Hildegarde’s army. -That- had been really bad. It had been enough to almost turn her into Larewen. Khitti pushed away the thought and fixed her attention again on the half-feline. “No, I don’t go to the afterparties. They’re not really my thing, to be honest. The rest of the band likes it though, especially here in Vailkrin, so they just go on without me once they’ve got the stage stuff taken care of.” She nodded her head in the direction of the portals briefly, then tilted her head at Karasu, “Are -you- not going to the afterparty?”
The feline gives a half-smile that reveals one of her canines peeking over her bottom lip as Khitti discovers the joys of potions. “Yeah, I’ve gotten kind of hooked on these. Kind of need the boost when you get your ass kicked every other day.” When the bottle is handed back, Karasu finishes off the contents with a satisfied sigh. The empty bottle disappears into a pocket of her jaguar pelt and she crosses her arms, though her stance relaxes somewhat. “Hm. That’s understandable. Afterparties aren’t really my thing either. I only came out to make sure one of your fans didn’t try to eat you. One of your biggest fans has come down with a terrible appetite for humans.” From between the tombstones, a tarantula darts out, scurrying along the long grass until it bumps into Khitti’s foot. The feline’s eyes light up at the sight of it. “Oh, don’t move!” The arachnid raises its front legs defensively for a moment in response to the roadblock before reclining back, seeming to be content with the protection from predators that being around the pair provides. Karasu gives a half smile and kneels, clicking her tongue at it. It rears up again and tentatively prods the feline’s fingers as if trying to determine whether she is food or foe. “Quintessa is going to love this.” Unaware of the relation between the student and teacher, she waves her other hand dismissively as if Khitti wouldn't know of the famous changeling. “My friend. Loves critters like this. Especially if she thinks their fur spells out a rune symbol.” Her hand is trembling as the tarantula, as if entranced, climbs up onto her palm. “Please don’t bite me…” Karasu coos, unable to keep the nervousness from her voice as she brushes the dirt from its fur to reveal the runic symbol for earth, a grey mark against its deep brown hide.
As Karasu spoke of her own problems with the potions, Khitti took a moment to push open the door to the mausoleum a little, reached inside, and pulled out her black satchel, a katana, and a gladius. It wasn’t done in a threatening manner, however; the items were merely retrieved now that Khitti had the strength to and set it off to the side. “I’m sure most of my fans do. A lot of them, however, know that I used to be one of them and lived here for a time--and I work here as well, though not just with the band. So, they know I’m off limits.” The magics radiated from both Tenbatsu Kaji and Embershard, respectively, were very much the opposite. A faint holy aura, kept at a low power level simply because of the fact that it could hurt her fans, enveloped the katana, while the shadows around the two women crept ever closer to the blade that’d been made in the Shadow Plane. “I don’t let just anyone nibble on me,” she said with a smirk. The smirk is soon wiped away as Karasu attempted to rescue Khitti from the tarantula, a brow raised at it and the half-feline. “I’m well aware that Quintessa does. She loves my pet Francis--runes and all.” Khitti narrowed her eyes a little, watching Karasu as she tried to tame the eight-legged beast enough to keep hold of it, “Who -are- you?” There was a sort of overprotective tone to Khitti’s question, like a mother ever-so-nicely interrogating one of her child’s friends.
The halfling watches with curiosity as the artifacts are withdrawn one by one. Her eyes seem to sparkle at the sight of the holy sword, not with greed, but with the eyes of a child seeing the spirit of Yuletide descend from the skies. Many replicas had been made of the holy sword from those looking to profit off its sale in the time since the Redskull debacle, one of which she had seen confiscated by the Mage’s Guild to be handed over to the Chapel of Cyris for destruction, but it was her first time seeing a version that looked or gave off an aura that made it seem so… real. Her attention is drawn back to the woman, still not piercing together that Red was Khitti. “Ah, you know Quintessa too? Well, I suppose everyone has heard of her, given how much she’s done. Oh, I hope she likes this, then.” A tender smile graces the halfling’s face, her posture relaxing even with the tiny terror in her hand. Her finger finds a nice spot on the creature’s thorax that makes it relax in her hand. At the question, the spell-blade gives a slight bow of her head respectfully, her deep violet curls spilling over her shoulders as she does so. “Karasu Swiftclaw. Arcane Stewardess of the Mage’s Guild, girlfriend of Quintessa Dragana. Its very nice to meet you, Red.”
The woman known as ‘Red’ to her fans watched Karasu as she spoke fondly of Khitti’s student. The half-feline must’ve said something absolutely hilarious but Khitti broke out into laughter. There’s plenty of tears because of it and if she didn’t stop, she was sure to wake the dead. “She’s… dating you? The person that almost killed her. The person that cut Quintessa to pieces and left her to drag her almost-corpse to my home to be healed. Gods, if I didn’t know Quintessa, I wouldn’t believe you. I wouldn’t believe you even if she showed up and you two started hardcore making out.” Khitti wiped at her eyes, still chuckling to herself. “But no, that sounds exactly like something she’d do. And you’re lucky she cares so much for you, because that night, I would’ve come after you. Quintessa has become like a daughter to me… and you almost killed her.” The amusement had wiped itself from her features almost as quickly as it had appeared. The redhead stood, olive-green eyes fixed on Karasu. “I’m Khitti Herzegler, keeper of too many titles to speak of.” Tenbatsu Kaji’s chosen one wasn’t much taller than Karasu--it was only a mere six inches!--and yet, the redhead seemed rather imposing. She hadn’t had that ominous air that came with the vampirism she’d cast off in quite awhile, but where she was lacking in that department, her tendency to be quite the mama bear and her penchant for manipulating shadows made up for it. “It is -very- nice to meet you, Karasu.” After all of that, there was no attack made, though it had seemed like there would be. No, Khitti merely fixed the katana to her back and the gladius to her right hip and said nothing more for the moment.
Karasu took one step back when Khitti gave a laugh, then another when the woman rose to her feet. As if sensing her anxiety, the runic spider gave an almost inaudible hiss before biting down on the feline’s long fingernail, causing some of the deep red paint to chip off. It slid off and back into the grass below where it then disappeared .“But I--” Karasu started, before cutting herself off. Her mind’s eye rushed back to the fight in Cenril, where the healers had to perform extensive spellwork to reverse the nerve damage done by Quintessa’s lightning strike. Krice’s words echo, 'Quintessa was fighting you, but she asked me to ensure your safety. Know why she'd have a change of heart?’ Her expression darkened with dejection in contrast to the mirth of the bard. “I have yet to fully repent for what I did to Quintessa. Had I known she wasn’t--” The feline bit her tongue so hard at that moment that she could swear for a moment she tasted blood. Despite the eerie silence of the cemetery, she still kept a lingering paranoia of those who would eavesdrop to harm Quintessa. The hexblade’s ‘condition’ was better left unspoken. “Had I known about her condition,” she corrected herself, “then I would not have aimed my blades where I did. Even with my own condition, I only intended to immobilize her.” She tried her best to keep her tone confident, but with the shadow mage looming over her, she could not help but let the small leopard ears flatten against her head. Her own spinel eyes broke the gaze that the singer held to examine what was apparently a very interesting patch of grass. “I’ll never make it up to her. I know that.” The fingers of her left hand fidgeted with a loose string on her trousers, like a child who understood she was in trouble. Though Khitti did not yet know Karasu well enough to know it, Karasu only ever became like this with mention of Quintessa or the other people she considered family. Despite Khitti’s many titles, there was one title that Karasu would always default to: their position in her home Guild. “Apologies for disturbing you, Veneficus Herzegler.” Her cowardice takes hold of her, and another step is taken away from the shadow mage as if to flee. “I am deeply sorry that my paranoia towards her at the time made you worry. Thank you for saving her.”
The girl was watched in silence as she spoke, stumbling over her words as she tried to explain her side of things. Khitti would not keep eye contact with her, instead looking elsewhere for something to fixate on, but finding nothing. When Karasu would more or less announce her immediate departure of the conversation and likely the graveyard as well, Khitti reached out to grab her wrist to stop her, but didn’t actually touch her, hoping that the act of moving her arm was enough to get her attention, “Wait!” The redhead let out a heavy sigh, her arm returning to its usual spot, only for it to then join its twin in crossing themselves over Khitti’s chest. “You are not the only one that has hurt people you care about, whether directly or indirectly… and you will not be the last,” her words implying that she too might have done something similar and unfortunately to too many people. “I’m not going to kill you. I just want you to realize that there -are- people that -do- have her back and would not hesitate to help Quintessa, whether you know them or not. And please… for the sake of my sanity, don’t refer to me as Veneficus or any of these other titles of mine, if you end up finding them out. Khitti will do just fine.” It’s entirely possible that Khitti hated titles more than her brother Lionel does. “I get the whole need for ranks and titles and whatnot--my own guild has them too unfortunately--but please, just don’t.”
Flattened ears slowly resumed their upright position as the singer appealed to her to keep her from fleeing. Inwardly, Karasu was already chastising herself for the cowardly display. "I know Quintessa is well cared for. I got to see it firsthand when she gathered the attention of the entire Mage's Guild just being herself." She gave a half-smile at the memories that once made her bitter. “I want to be someone who can help her too.” Her mouth opened to say more when a rumbling voice echoed in her mind, ‘yet you cannot help yourself.’ Unnerved, the feline whipped her head around to see the source of the voice, only to find the cemetery still empty save for the pair and the occasional critters perching on tombstones to bask in the moonlight. The feline cleared her throat as if trying to play off the movement as itching a scratch in her throat. “I can oblige that request, Khitti.” She answers simply with a smile. “Ah, I lost the tarantula. Shame, I figured that would make a good gift.”
“I’m sure you will be, Karasu,” Khitti said. Crimson brows knitted together when Karasu turned her head like she’d heard something, but alas, even if there had been, Khitti couldn’t see it. She no longer had that lovely enhanced vampiric sight after all. She sighed and shook her head, “I’m sorry. I really -should- get used to the titles I guess. I’m just so used to not having them and not wanting them. Quintessa is insistent on it usually and I think I should just give in. Especially considering some of the students at the Mage Tower completely disregard my tiny bit of authority over them just because they’re fans of the band.” Khitti shrugged, then looked to where Karasu had been holding the spider and then to where it’d gone to. “Oh. Um.” Khitti thought about it for a second, then nodded her head in the direction of the town. “Come with me. I know where you can get a replacement.” And with that, Khitti was off, headed towards the shop named Something Wicked to show Karasu a lovely little unmanned show that was crawling with semi-tame black widows that were ripe for the taking. Khitti may or may not have stolen one for herself a few years ago.