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 Post subject: Open Season [IC]
View Likes PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:30 am 

the best strategy is to be dead already

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Ơ̫͎̞̳̹p̶̼̕e̺̗̤͢͞n̶͔͈̪͍̮͜͢ ͖͙̝͝S͈̭̙̫͓̪͜e̷̴̗͕̝͘a͕̲͓̼̭̖̬̣͠s̪̩͉̲͓̹͙̩o̘̘͕͖͙̺͟͞ͅͅͅn̵̡̰̗͠

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Keira Grauwald

The noise from the town square was impossible for her to miss from inside the 'Chicken & Axe', where she was serving beer to Justus, an old man that had been the same age since the dawn of time, as far as she knew. He never seemed to age, and no one had any real recollection of him looking any younger than he did now, with his long, gray beard and bushy brows under the black, wide-brimmed hat he always wore. Justus glanced outside the windows behind him - the source of the hubbub was apparent right away.

"Another hanging," he muttered - he always muttered - and took a long drink from the clay tankard he'd been given. Keira sighed.

"Can you see who it is?" She prompted, but did not need to wait for an answer before the culprit was hustled right by outside. It felt like Keira's stomach plummeted to the ground. Eliza. The talented tailor was the last person Keira would suspect of any crime, and yet there she was, positively frothing at the mouth with anger; her hair had come loose from its elegant bun, her face sported an impressive black eye, and her hands were tied behind her back. Along with the hooded executioner, Eliza went up the thirteen steps of the gallows to face the judge, Edwin Earle. Seeing Edwin there, his eyes cold with rightful anger, made Keira's insides turn. Over the furious crowd, she couldn't clearly hear what he yelled but it didn't matter. She knew the words well enough.

Eliza spat at Edwin's face, and he nodded to the executioner. Keira pointedly averted her gaze from the window, but the cheers outside could not drown out the thwack and Eliza's screams as her left hand was cut off. The left hand was the hand of witchcraft, everyone knew that, and though all would be forgiven by the Mother in the afterlife, it wouldn't do to bring Evil so indiscriminately into her garden. Thus, before being hanged, all witches had their left hand cut off, and it was burned and the ashes buried with them.

"I can't believe it," said Keira to Justus, as she stared, transfixed, at Eliza's swinging body. "She always helped me with my dresses. Even patched up my Sunday dress for me, free of charge, after I'd tripped outside her door on a basket of yarn she'd forgotten to bring in."

"She was sweet," Justus agreed. "Just goes to show you can't rightly trust anyone."

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Simon Hamswick
Simon stood transfixed at the outer rim of the town square. The chestnut mare beside him tossed her head in response to the seething crowd.

"... of witchcraft, leading to the untimely and tragic deaths of seamstress Mattie Hayres and her unborn child, you are to be hanged from your neck until dead. Do you deny these accusations?" Echoed the deep voice of judge Edwin Earle over the square, as he read from a roll of parchment. It was hard to tell who looked more furious, him or the tailor with the noose around her neck. But where Edwin's face expressed a cold sort of anger, Eliza made no such effort to conceal her feelings. She spat him in the face, and the crowd oooo'ed in horror.

"You'll rot for this!" She screamed. "They all will, you and her and the baby, too! I didn't have anything to do with that whore's death, but I wish I did! Too bad the Mother gave her feet big enough to fall into the well over right from the start!"

Simon patted his mare absentmindedly. His mother had her hand clapped over her mouth, and shook her head sadly.

"She fixed my mother's wedding dress for me to wear, y'know," Emma told her son. "Made some more little flowers on it and all. Never would've thought she'd kill someone in cold blood."

"Didn't that Hayres girl **** her husband?" Grumbled Thomas, Simon's father, who was standing with two more horses in tow. Emma looked appalled.

"That's no reason to kill a baby!"

"I would've done the same, had I been Eliza," replied Thomas quietly, and his wife shook her head.

Simon found it hard to correlate a woman who'd make more flowers on a dress with the body now swinging in the near distance. He really did not want to think that she had really done it. But what did he know? The judge didn't just go around hanging people; that made no sense. Surely, everyone including the judge had good reason to believe that Eliza was a witch, and should only celebrate the demise of yet another one. Evidently, several other people thought so, too, because a substantial part of them headed into the tavern. Simon looked after them longingly, but his father pinched his ear.

"We need to get some shoes on these. Let's go."

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Permission to briefly use Edwin Earle granted by @Muse.
[OOC] // [Int. Check]


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 Post subject: Re: Open Season [IC]
View Likes PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:00 pm 

that's not very punk rock of you

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James Avery


Eliza’s body swung rhythmically behind him from his place at the front of the gallows, known only to James by the creaking of the rope behind him; he kept his back to her as he stared over the face of the crowd. Expressions varied between disbelief and relief - those who knew Eliza could not believe she was a heretic, but there was a dangerous gleam of comfort in those probing stares that there was one less witch in their home. Father Avery’s own expression remained somber.

“I wish I could bid you all good day,” James began. The swinging noose creaked slowly under his voice as Eliza’s body began to still. “If it were a good day, I would not be standing before you now. Today is a day of justice, yes - justice for the deaths of Mattie Hayres and her precious unborn child. I was very honored to have known Mattie and to have seen her often at congregation. While she did not live to see the birth of her child, Mattie was a wonderful mother, and she and her child will receive a heavenly afterlife together.”
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Edwin Earle


Hands clasped behind his back, Edwin stood at the left of Father Avery - the hack - and looked onward as the sermon was recited. “The one who needs our prayers today is Eliza,” Father Avery continued. Sheer determination kept Edwin silent in spite of his own objections. “I ask each of you: mourn Eliza as though you would Mattie. Remember her not as the heretic that she became. Rather, remember her as the talented seamstress and dear friend that all of us knew. All will be forgiven in the eyes of the Mother, and so, too, should we follow in Her example. I now ask you to join me in prayer.”

Heads bobbed downward and eyes closed as those who thought Eliza worthy of prayer did so. Edwin himself abstained and silently asked the Mother for forgiveness. He was sure that She would understand.

“Gracious and heavenly Mother, may my words be your words, and may you be present in each of us today. Today we have been reminded of both our own mortality and our own vulnerability. We have borne witness to how easily swayed and inherently fragile our human morals are. Likewise, we have seen where this fragility can lead. Mother, lead us away from temptations and heresy, and guide us so that we may live our lives in your image. May your presence come to each person here in the form of comfort and healing as we all move forward.”

...and may she eternally rot for her heresy, Edwin added to the sermon.

“In your name, we pray. Amen.”

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 Post subject: Re: Open Season [IC]
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:20 pm 
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A 6ft 5 man wearing a trench coat, black cotton shirt, cuffed pants, jackboots, and a sword walked into the tavern. His name was Absalon Myers, resident gambler and behind closed doors, the townsfolk referred to him as a drunk. Absalon knew that carrying a sword was strange but he had a few enemies who would love to see him dead or at least arrested. He had crossed a lot of people in his life and he would rather be stared at and whispered about than meet his end at the end of someone’s blade. Not to mention, it gave Absalon a reassurance of a kind to have his sword by his side. Absalon looked around the tavern expressionless as he walked to the counter " give me the usual" he said reaching for his money. He looked around, looking for some sucker to play cards with and earn himself a nice dinner. When he heard the subject about the hanging he shrugged " just shows you can only truly trust yourself in this world. For all any of you know, the person closest to you is practicing witchcraft right now while you're here in the tavern. If you believe in such a thing" he said taking a deep drink from his tankard. He reached for a cigar and sighed " hey you" he said looking at the person serving drinks " Hey so real quick barmaid. Does this sort of thing happen in this town often? People get hanged because people accuse them of being witches? I thought they got burned at the stake. At least that’s how they do it where I’m from. Not that it’s any of my business how the inquisitors do their job. Anyway, do me a favor and keep the pints coming, I’m good for it promise” Absalon leaned back and closed his eyes as he gathered his thoughts. He had been living here only for a short amount of time. He still remembered his earlier life, and secretly longed for it. This whole laying low business was starting to grind on his nerves. He hadn't known the person who had just gotten hung just like it was for the person supposedly being a witch. Absalon had his fair share of experiences with witches and didn't see the need to hang them. Didn't quite make sense to him, just drive them out of town. However, he was smart enough not to say these things, having an inquisitor talking to him didn't really appeal to Absalon. He knew he was more or less an outcast in this tiny town as he didn't go to church or participate in any form of religion. He reached into his pocket and brought out a deck of cards and began to shuffle them. He continued to eye everyone down in the tavern, daring anyone to try and play him. Absalon wasn't the smartest man nor the most educated but he'd willing to bet he could bet anyone in a game of cards, which wasn't going to score points with religious people who constantly told him he was either going to hell or trying to convert him with their hocus pocus. Witchcraft, religion, same thing to me he thought as he continued to shuffle his deck of cards. Both rely on the same kind of tactics, both are things that I don't particularly care for. When you really look at it, there is really no difference. " Hey can I get another pint?" he asked pushing his tankard forward. His stomach growled and he grinned sheepishly " also, you got anything to eat here?" He reached into his pocket and pulled out more money. He smirked to himself. This town is odd, but I'm pretty sure I can blend in here. What lunger is going to look for me here? Maybe I can reconnect with my brothers and we can rebuild. One can only dream. Heck maybe, we'll run into that one witch again, have some fun. This place needs to liven up, realize life ain't about sermons and work. And I'm just the man to teach them that. Absalon smiled as he took another drink. I'll need to find those boys again, this could be our ticket

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 Post subject: Re: Open Season [IC]
View Likes PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:48 am 

the best strategy is to be dead already

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Keira Grauwald

The patrons streamed in, and the Inn was soon buzzing with chatter - about the hanging, about whose daughter was finally set to be married, about tonight's dinner. In the back of her mind, Keira was disturbed by how normal murder was. Because that was what it had been, in her eyes; the cold blooded murder of Eliza. She still couldn't wrap her head around the thought that the kind young woman should have dabbled in witchcraft. Justus seemed to read the look on her face. He touched the brim of his hat to her, and took another drink from his beer.

"Quick, before Simon notices I've left him with his mother," said a voice, and Keira looked up to meet the slyly grinning face of Thomas Hamswick. He laid out a few coins on the counter and glanced over his shoulder, just in time to see Absalon Myers make his entrance. He hadn't lived here for that long, yet he had already managed to make himself a reputation of unreliability and an excessive fondness for alcohol.

Keira topped off Absalon's proffered tankard and raised an eyebrow. "All right, all right, I heard you the first time. Here you go," she replied, handing him back his beer. She scraped the coins off the counter; they landed in the little box she used to collect them in every day with a satisfying clink. "Today's fresh bread, fetched it right from the Sterling's just this morning, and some nice oxtail soup. That good enough for you?" It would have to be, she wasn't about to cook a special dinner for anyone, unless the Lord should decide one day to stop by her inn. It could never hurt to be on good terms with that family.

"Burning seems to me a cruel way to get rid of someone, witch or not," she said as she placed a bowl of soup and a wooden spoon in front of Absalon. Thomas Hamswick nodded in agreement as he kept his eyes focused on the window, probably scouting for any appearance of his wife and son.

"They're still people, after all," he said, "and while she might've murdered, Eliza was still a sweetheart."

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Simon Hamswick

Faced with the threat of an earful, Simon had unquestioningly accompanied his mother to the smithy, and it wasn't until they got there and he put two and two together that he realized his father had slipped off. Emma tutted angrily.

"It's just like him, you know? Ugh, go find your father, Simon. I will just wait here with all six horses and get everything done, like always. Probably sitting at the Chicken, pouring ale all over his beard, like always..."

Simon hastily left his mother and her muttering behind - when she was in that mood, it was either stay and eventually become the target of her annoyance, or escape to find someone else to fill that space. The latter option was always preferable. He did go back to the town square, but not because he wanted to find Thomas right away. The swinging body was of much more interest to him. Now that the deed had been done and the spectators had gone their separate ways, you could get much closer to the gallows. Simon stared blankly at Eliza's body. Flies had already begun swarming around her left arm stump. Her neck looked too long, somehow. Feeling sick, he hastily turned away, just in time to spot the back of father Avery moving away.

Simon didn't quite understand why he started to follow the man.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Season [IC]
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Absalon tipped his tankard to Keira " thanks mate" he said taking a long drink and slamming it on the counter. Truth be told he had a twinge of sympathy for the hanging victims. He too knew what it was like to have the hangman's noose around his neck, except he had always managed to get out of trouble at the very last moment. He allowed himself to think about the good old days, back when he was able to live how he wanted however he wanted. When he and his brothers and sisters caused anarchy everywhere they went. Starting from a simple band of misfits who managed to steal a ship someplace far away and used it to raid pillage and plunder wherever they made port. After they had gained attracted the wrong kind of attention they had moved inland and had continued their fun by going town to town and doing whatever they saw fit. Ah man those were the days Absalon thought taking a bit of soup. " Not bad there" he told Keira. He looked around and saw someone eyeing him down " and what can I do you for?" he asked. The man tossed him a cup and held out some dice " I hear you're one of the best". Absalon waved him over " Oi! Get this poor soul a drink. It's the least I could do considering I'm about to take some of his money" he said putting the dice in the cup " You never challenge the devil and you never challenge a liar to Liar's Dice" Absalon said to his challenger slamming his cup on the counter. He noticed a few people were watching the game. He smirked " You're clearly not thinking straight lad so I'll go easy on you. On second thought, that ain't me at all. So" he said grabbing a fistful of coins from his pocket " tell you what mate. If you can beat me I'll gladly give you all this plus I'll tell you where you can find more. If I win, you give me your best horse." " Done". In just a few short moments Absalon was sitting back having a victory drink while the man who had challenged him just sat there. "Good game" he said extending a hand. " Aye" Absalon said shaking it. The man stood up " I'll go get that horse for you, can't miss it. Pure white mare" he said walking out. Absalon waited until no eyes were on him before he reached into his sleeve to read the note he had felt his opponent place there we know

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 Post subject: Re: Open Season [IC]
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:36 pm 

that's not very punk rock of you

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Edwin Earle


“Seems a shame to lose three souls in such a short time.”

“One in retribution for two,” Edwin offered in rebuttal to Father Avery’s banter. “That aside, the woman was a heathen and a murderess.”

The good reverend made a noise in the back of his throat that rested somewhere between defeat and distaste. “Still, killing the one doesn’t make the two any less dead.”

Edwin turned on his heel and watched Eliza’s limp body, moving ever so slightly in a rhythmic sway. Avery followed suit. “I’m sure I fail to see your point.”

Father Avery shrugged. “Just seems a shame.”

A small, furry something pressed its head against Edwin’s leg, and he didn’t have to even look down before he slowly pushed it away with his foot. The long-haired cream and brown cat mreow? at him and circled to the other leg instead. Avery bent down to pick her up and she set about to climbing around his shoulders.

“Did she ever visit your congregation?”

“Mattie?” he asked, idly reaching up to scratch Gwyndolin behind the ears. “Many times over the years.”

Edwin shook his head, removing his spectacles and examining them for a spot that he knew didn’t exist. “Eliza.”

“Aye, she did.” The reverend paused. “Why do you ask?”

Spectacles replaced, Edwin took a moment to look at Father Avery. Whatever he was looking for in that inviting-yet-detached expression wasn’t there. He looked away. “Curiosity, I suppose. It’s interesting to see a witch pretend to live a life of piety.”

“Must the two be mutually exclusive?” Avery mused, more to himself than to Edwin. The judge hummed in acknowledgement, urging the reverend to go on. “Some of the most pious men I’ve met have been little more than deceitful reprobates. So why must it be, then, that the inverse cannot be true of the heretics?”

That earned little more than a scoff of disdain. “Practicing apostasy in the name of the Mother?” The judge’s tone was flat and without humor. “I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a father of the church preach the holiness of heresy.”

“If I had to make an astute guess based on the amount of time you’ve spent in my congregation, I would assume that’s because you’ve not met many fathers of the church.” Before Edwin could rebut, Avery turned and made to descend the stairs from the gallows. Gwyndolin moved about his shoulders with her usual graceful ease, staring back at the judge as the two moved further and further away. She stretched one brown paw out at him before immediately losing interest and turning her attention forward. “You should make it a point to visit more often, Edwin. You may very well learn something about these people before you hang them.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


James Avery


He was thankful for solid ground and the excuse to leave. Height wasn’t normally much of a bother to James, but something about being in such close proximity to an active death made him vastly uncomfortable. When he was far enough out of earshot, he scooped Gwyndolin from his shoulders and held her at arm’s length in front of him. Her back feet dangled in the air, but she didn’t seem particularly bothered.

“Why do you like him?” he whispered to her, making eye contact and holding it for a single, significant second before he decided that cats couldn’t talk and he wasn’t like to get an answer out of her even if she could speak. Gwyndolin gladly retook her perch upon his shoulders, body swaying slightly from side to side in time with his steps.

Dealing with Edwin was always on the bottom of his list of things he’d rather not be doing. It wasn’t that he disliked the man - quite the opposite, in fact, in spite of their typically egregious interactions. Their roles as judge and reverend were inherently not meant to co-mingle, and so, too, were their professional opinions vastly different. As a holy man, James held tight to the belief of hating the sin and loving the sinner. As a judicial authority, Edwin cut out the middleman and just killed the sinner. He had his moments, though.

Gwyndolin crossed from shoulder to shoulder while they were in motion, using her claws to balance herself, much to James’ disdain. She purred at something behind him and wrapped her long, voluminous tail around his head. He tolerated it for a moment because she was so lovely, but it almost immediately became annoying and he went to move it out of his face. It came a fraction of a second too late though, and he only managed to brush her tail with his fingertips before she clawed her way down his back and left. She did so often; cats were untameable and were going to do as they pleased, and James envied them this. Nevertheless, he still felt a small twinge of concern every time she strayed too far from him.

She hadn’t wandered too far, though, James realized as he turned around to follow her with his eyes. He smiled. “Hello, Simon.”

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