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Apr 19, 2019 5:06 AM
a new character is test-driven
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Nuzzle.

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"Anyway, you're one to talk, you started it with the cuteness."

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"Did I?"

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"Yes. --Although I suppose I can't blame you for failing to notice how cute you were when asleep."

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Snort.

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"I promise you, you're very cute when you're snuggled up and napping."

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Nuzzle. "Well, I have no reason not to believe you. Really, though?"

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He chuckles.

—and then the walls of the castle begin humming a deep note, not especially loud but very omnipresent, and he frowns slightly. "Nobody's rung that bell in a century, what the fuck could possibly have happened...? I'd better go find out."

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"It's the emergency bell; it's for when something is happening so urgently that someone not only needs my attention but needs it faster than they could send someone up the mountain to ask."

He kisses her forehead.

"I'll be back soon, I hope. Feel free to wander the castle in my absence."

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"...Okay. Good luck." She presses a quick kiss to his cheek.

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He smiles distractedly and ruffles her hair and walks out of the room.

The magic behind the bell tells him where to look: southeast, not too far from the tail end of the mountain range. He stops the sound now that it's alerted him, and takes off and flies.

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This quiet little town is on rather more fire than it was when he saw it last!

The main square is littered with broken, bleeding bodies, some of them still moving. A literal trail of blood leads up the steps of the town hall and through its splintered doors.

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With an increasingly deep frown, he lands and heals a few people in passing. One of the survivors is badly-off enough that he picks her up and carries her with him; healing is easier at close range, and she needs more than a quarter second of his attention.

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She doesn't seem to notice who he is, whimpering and curling up into him.

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Up the steps and into the town hall they go.

The blood trail continues through the wreckage of the front hall, past several more bodies in such a state of disrepair that it's not fully clear exactly how many people make up the mess.

As they approach the mayor's office, which still has a mostly-intact door hanging crookedly from its hinges, some... sounds... begin to be audible. Flesh tearing, muffled whimpers. Not all that unfamiliar to Tazirae, really.

He opens the door and steps through, still carrying his rescued girl in one arm.

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The room has been converted from an administrative office to some sort of dimly lit torture boudoir. Improbable instruments lie scattered across the floor. A woman with golden talons, cherry-red skin, and large batlike wings reclines on a couch under a former window that has been sealed with conjured stone; meanwhile, on a sort of low oval bed in the middle of the room, a man of a similar kind is raping one of the townsfolk to death.

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Tazirae's rescued girl flinches and whimpers and shrinks into Tazirae some more. 

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Well. That's - really hot, first of all, but also pretty inconvenient. He heals the woman on the floor, and raises his eyebrows at the woman by the window.

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"You must be the Emperor," she says. "I've heard such interesting things about you."

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"I'd say 'pleased to meet you' but I'm really not," says the Emperor. "Who are you, where did you come from, and what the fuck do you think you're doing?"

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"Nesifra, Queen of Shadow Mountain; my brother Sovarith, the King; and since we appeared here abruptly with no idea of how we arrived or even particularly of where 'here' is, we thought we'd make ourselves at home while we awaited more information. I don't suppose you have anything to say on the subject?"

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"I didn't bring you here, if that's what you mean."

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(Meanwhile, now that she is no longer actively dying, the woman on the floor seems... really into this?)

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