Clockwork Castle

For the birds with the brows.
Toshi
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Clockwork Castle

Postby Toshi Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:12 pm

Lewis did not have a ship of his own, but hitchhiked, and found himself now at this little world, a snowy planet full of woods and not much for trade or company. His ride had left without him, and after the one store had shut and the scattered houses closed their suspicious doors (his face was not like theirs), he was left outside.

Wood and wind were his friends, at least. The frozen wind didn't bluster around him, stilling so it was only himself and the crunch of snow, oddly quiet, and around him the snowflakes suspended, calmly and gently falling as if they were a globe. His crest, a cloud, hovered (also still) between his ears. Mystery was bundled into his great cloak, keeping warm while they walked. Worse came to worse, he could stay here. The inside of an old tree would be friendly and warm, although he longed for a bed.

By and by however, he found a path, and following the path...something that didn't belong to the far-off rustic village.

Lewis had been to a lot of abandoned castles, and he found them all terrifying.

They were cramped, and drafty, with long and winding staircases that trapped light as they went down and down and down, into cold dirt pits with the bones of creatures who had been forgotten and never given any kind of burial. They were filled with restless, murderous spirits who only understood blood.

And treasure, sometimes.

His brother had liked that about them.

Occupied the castles were even worse, with monsters whose heads were full of fangs, home to cursed objects and cruel tyrants. Lewis kept a diary of his encounters, and Castles had yet to have any pleasant entries.

This one was very much like all of these.

He looked warily back in the woods. But, still, if there was a chance of a bed...

With a shiver, and with Mystery peeking out from his cloak with two red, gleaming eyes, Lewis rapped on the castle gate.
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Baneful
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Baneful Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:54 pm

Inside a vast, vast hall, there was the clicking of claws on polished stone as a figure scurried down a huge spiral staircase set into the walls. There was a sound, all around, deep and resonant, a deep clunking tick as of a truly massive clock. Its source was impossible to locate though it felt like a heartbeat, deep within the building itself. To Tock it was music to his ears, a careful organised slicing of time into its component parts, but today for once it was not his focus.

Someone was at the gate. Someone hadn't been at the gate in years, not since Cog died. He didn't know what to do.

He could just ignore it, he could stay here for even longer. He had all the time he needed.

Instead he did something daring, something that struck out at the careful balance of his little world and threatened to shatter his meticulous peace.

He answered the knock.

The gate swung open and the world wavered. Inside the little arch of the gate itself there was a vision of a castle alternate to the one outside, rich ivory and white stone spiralling up into the sky, buildings clustered here and there. There was nothing dilapidated about it, hung with rich livery and with polished cobbles underfoot.

In the way of this truly grand sight there was a browbird, slender and handsome with sharp features and big golden eyes, his dark brows betraying his nervousness as his crest twitched and spun.

"C...can I help you?" he asked politely, determined to have manners regardless. "It's a little cold out here." And he bundled his brightly coloured fur trimmed cloak nearer to him. "T...Tock." he said, remembering that you were supposed to show hospitality.

He extended an elegant claw.
Toshi
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Toshi Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:05 am

Lewis's own blue eyes widened in surprise. From the open gate there was a rush of warmth, and a glimpse of not a haunted, spooky old castle, but a beautiful hall.

Its occupant, too, was not a hulking monster, but...

"You're a browbird!" He sputtered in surprise. "Y-yes, oh, it's good to see a friendly face. I got stranded out here..."

He looked over his shoulder, to where beyond the bubble around him, the wind was howling and blowing snow in wicked quantities through the dense trees.

Mystery was under one arm, and he extended his own (slightly grubby) claw.

"Lewis," he said.
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Baneful
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Baneful Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:18 am

Tock nodded. "Pleasure to meet you Lewis." he said, realising that his own voice sounded a little strange to him, a little deeper than he remembered. "And er. ..Er I quite think I am. An er. A browbird." He'd read books, books which told of a society which was as alien to him as that of dwarves, or drow or any other species that the library within the castle touched upon. It was all something he'd heard of but nothing he'd ever experienced.

"Do come in." he said, opening the front door, inside the castle was comfortable, something seeming to heat from below the polished stone, rugs leading the way into several far off wings. Everywhere glinted with stained glass, most of it merely hinted at by crystal lanterns like gems in a long darkened cavern.

However, he started back from Lewis when he spotted what he was carrying, looking alarmed. Several mice took this startle to leap from his cloak and scurried off into the corners of the room where they vanished. He pointed.

"That's a kitbull!" he said. "The books were very specific about those! Those are dangerous!"
Toshi
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Toshi Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:40 am

Lewis stepped inside, instantly feeling warmer. He left puddles behind him, shaking snow off his tail with another shiver.

"Th-thank you. I'm sorry to intrude. I don't run into...us, very often. A lot of my destinations tend to be remote."

It was the nicest, most beautiful castle he'd ever been in.

Maybe the nicest, most beautiful place he'd ever been.

However, at the start, Lewis started too, all of him going brushy tailed as he looked around wildly for a skeleton or some large monster to finally emerge from the shadows.

When Tock pointed at the depths of his cloak, however, a different kind of terror ran through him.

"To magical creatures, or artifacts, yes," Lewis admitted, clinging to Mystery with defensive desperation at the accusation. "But nothing a good lock can't fix. He's never hurt me. Kitbulls aren't dangerous to our kind. Please. He's my friend. His name is Mystery."

He backed up again, towards the door, and the warmth left as he did. He could feel winter putting its long claws around his tail.
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Baneful
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Baneful Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:53 pm

Tock didn't move closer to Lewis again right away, his long elaborate tail twitching anxiously at his feet. "Cog. My father told me about magical parasites. I've read about them too. They suck the life out of you." He looked at the other bird's crest and exhaled uncertainly. "But if you say they can't hurt us, I'll believe you. I don't know what we are resistant to and the books don't say much about our kind. I'm alone here. I've erm. I've never met, someone else like me."

He moved behind the other browbird, gently extending a hand to his shoulder to guide him in, away from the door which he closed to block out the chill breeze which blew in.

"If he is truly dangerous though, I would prefer that you kept me informed. I use a lot of magic, and this castle itself is very inherently magical itself. As long as it's just the one kitbull though I think that it is far too much for it to dent anyway." He seemed to compose himself a little more.

"Hello Mystery."

Lewis got an expectant sort of smile. "Now, how can I possibly help you?"
Toshi
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Toshi Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:50 pm

"Just a place to stay," Lewis said, "Not for long. I'll take the next ride out. ...Whoever would take me." He seemed less nervous now that there weren't any threats leveled at Mystery. He opened his coat a little more, and the ktibull popped right out onto the floor, tail straight out and humming eeriely.

"They eat magic, but our magic comes from..." Lewis for the first time seemed to take in the browbird in front of him, "our crests. It's locked away. He will um, try to eat anything left out," He watched the other's crest tick with impossible complexity and magnificence, strung between a beautiful set of tall, golden horns. He was richly colored, warm reds and golds and creams and browns, and it made Lewis feel a little shabby by comparison.

Leaves twirled gently around his little cloud. He wrapped his large, soft tail up around him, to hold.

"Is it alright? Your castle is very beautiful. It...suites you."
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Baneful
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Baneful Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:50 am

The uncertainty seemed to melt away in Tock as it was replaced by a glint of curiosity, an emotion which sat far more fiercely on the other browbird. There was something voracious in the way he eyed Lewis, reaching up to touch the button on his cloak as his crest turned this way and that. “Out?” he said. “Out of here? The /world/?” He had heard that browbirds were a travelling race but he’d never really understood what that meant. Instead he’d stayed put for years in the castle, dreaming of going somewhere new and enchantment by enchantment preparing the castle for the day when he would have the daring to finally do it.

He turned his back on Lewis and Mystery with a flourish that swept the floor with his long cloak, his tail twitching like a cat observing a mouse, looking up at the great windows between the two descending entry staircases thoughtfully. “You can stay here.” He said. “As long as you like, and perhaps I can offer you a lift, should you have a destination in mind. I have never really gone anywhere before, but I think I’m old enough now, I think I’d like to see the world.”

He looked over his shoulder and gave Lewis a brilliant smile, tossing his blonde hair. “And thank you, I love the castle, it is in many ways like part of me. You should see my rose garden!”

One of the larger and braver mice had in the meantime climbed from his coat and was moving closer to Mystery, eying him with curiosity.
Toshi
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Toshi Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:16 am

"Off-world," Lewis clarified, in case that was important. "You keep a garden?" he asked.

Mystery seemed completely bored by the mouse. Instead he seemed very interested in the large key strapped to Tock's back. He reached out a grabby claw for the shimmering metals and almost humming crystals... and was picked up again by Lewis.

If Mystery liked it, it was probably important.

The kitbull struggled awkwardly, and began vibrating in protest.

So far this had been going...really well, actually. Nothing terrifying had happened at all.

"I actually keep a record of...th-the different things I've seen. If you were interested."
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Baneful
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Re: Clockwork Castle

Postby Baneful Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:56 am

Off the world. It was something he'd thought about but nothing more than a theoretical exercise. It was something that was a very real need at this point though, he'd read every book in the library and needed more information to keep himself occupied. "Er. Yes. Sort of." he said. "Just the roses though." and tapped the rose in his hair with a claw.

He gave Mystery a slightly wary look and a tail flick for attempting to reach his key but didn't move away.

The mention of a journal though saw Lewis fixed with that same intense golden stare, actually moving closer to take hold of his hand. "I would be /very interested/." he said, and his crest stopped spinning.

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