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Balancing On The Tip Of The Knife

 
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Issy
Tough As Nails
Great Wyrm
Great Wyrm


Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1311
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Can Be Found: Toujours le Vert or Batten Tower
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:25 am    Post subject: Balancing On The Tip Of The Knife Reply with quote

She could hear the wind outside, whistling its cruel intentions. The frigidity of midwinter was passed, though her icy touch was ever present. Isuelt's long fingers coyly stroked at the blade she was toying with, bidding it to twirl slowly along her knuckles' line. Her deep espresso gaze was hazily locked on the target roughly sixteen feet in front of her. Several divot marks marred its middle, denoting that its bulls-eye was well plucked. As Isuelt let the pads of her fingers press over the cool steel of the knife, her head slowly tilted to the right, letting the two loose tendrils of chocolate-hued hair caress her shoulder. All the while, her sharp eyes never left the middle of that target.

Without another flinch of movement, the muscles of her forearm worked in perfect union to send that knife sailing with uncanny strength. The thick thud it created when it struck its target, lodging itself two inches deep, resonated with triumph. Another divot was carved out of the center bulls-eye.

The right side of her smirk crept up her cheek with a satisfied shrug. The back of her hand came up to wipe at her nose, though there was nothing there. More of a gesture of victory than anything else. Even with no audience watching her, Isuelt always felt that she was performing for someone. Perhaps for herself. Perhaps for her goddess. Perhaps for the ghosts of her past. Whatever the case, she took a swaggering gait toward the target and yanked free her weapon. As she swaggered back to her position, her tongue tugged along her lips, those dark eyes were trained on the blade she turned over in her hand. Such a deadly thing to be able to manipulate so effortlessly. The musing Scathachian grinned, feeling a rush of self-approval and satisfaction pulse through her body. Her legs stopped in mid-stride and, as if she were feeling the need to push herself further, turned in a flash and fired the blade back at the target. Without time to think, without time to aim, without time to set herself...

...and it struck perfection's envy: an uncompromising bulls-eye.

The small puff of exhale pushed past her amazed open 'o' of a mouth. As of late, since her infection from Renna's virus to be honest, Isuelt had noted that her physical abilities, constitutions and athletic skills had deepened and strengthened in dramatic proportions. What started to be recorded and witnessed in Batten's home had only picked up speed since she'd left; encompassing even the embittered priestess in a perpetual state of awe. She'd not only come to appreciate the way her body had been healed of its maladies, most notably the tumor that Batten found, but in the way that her scars had come to vanish. And her constitution had strengthened with remarkable note, especially in this harsh winter. She did not feel cold as she used to, nor did her usual alcoholic libations effect her as they were wont to do. All of these changed, subtle and not so subtle, were mentally cataloged by the warrior.

She sniffed as she could hear the wind pick up once again outside, biting itself ragged, trying to force its way in. Isuelt's lips leaned into a smirk as she moved to the small counter where she had some of her varied throwing blades arranged. Her long, tanned fingers moved over several smaller blades, four of them in fact. They were Scorpion Wraitharan's and he had always had an affinity for them; the spine was rounded, the front bolster nearly non-existent, while the rear bolster and handle were curved to fit within a palm. Perfectly concealable blades.

Isuelt decided to test herself once more, for her hands were big enough to palm all four of them and she wondered if she'd be able to throw them at once, each with accuracy. "All right, Scorp...How about this?" She licked her lips as she took her stance, nearly fondling each blade as she balanced her weight on her heels. Deep espresso eyes staring down the target almost nineteen feet in front of her. A deep breath was inhaled and slowly blown through tightened lips as chin dipped, locking her gaze. Only the wind could be heard, blowing steadily...angrily.

Her muscles rippled as she lifted her arm and let her fingers fling the four blades, sending them screaming toward their target. >Thik, thik, thik, thik!< The vibrations of the four small blades nearly clattered against the wall like teeth in the cold. The blades, halfway to the spine deep, surrounded the center bulls-eye as if they were cornering a criminal in a back alley. A mild swear escaped her lips as Isuelt stood there in absolute astonishment. Breathlessly, she gazed at her work, "Wow..."

It was then that she noticed a small movement on the wall, just off the mark of her focus. Blinking, she honed in on the disturbance. It was a spider. In fact, it was a large spider. Isuelt's stance shifted, thinking that the creature had sought refuge indoors. As she canted her head, watching the arachnid make its way slowly across the far wall, she estimated it was roughly the size of an apricot. Quite large for this time of year, and even larger still for this area of Rhydin. She sniffed and shrugged to herself, her gaze soon moving over the knives nearby.

Perhaps it was the sadistic nature that we all shelter and secretly relish, perhaps it was the challenge of a moving target. Perhaps it was boredom. Isuelt's fingers reached for the nearest blade, a serrated dagger, and aimed it at the abdomen of the creature. As the blade coasted through the air, the spider went along its formulated path...until the tip of the sharpened knife ran it through with authority. It was a kill that had Isuelt smiling...but for a moment.

Before her very eyes the spider began to....enlarge? No...expand. She blinked and began to walk toward the wall where smaller spiders, hundreds of them were erupting from the severed abdomen of the larger arachnid. Another swear pushed through Isuelt's lips. More and more, the spiders now seeming to number in the thousands were crawling all over each other, spreading out along the wall. It was almost more than the priestess could take in and she stepped back, back, back. The spiders almost seemed to make the wall shiver, shimmer. They skittered and scurried, all seemed to have a purpose. From some hidden nest, these now tens of thousands of slick, black spiders were chittering in front of Isuelt, mapping out an image on the wall. What before looked like a massive nest that had been disturbed, now was painting a picture: a skeletal ram's head, pulsating with eight-legged vermin. The symbol for Bhaal, the god of murder, seemed almost to laughing at her as it throbbed with arachnid bodies. Was that the wind? Thunder? It was laughter; his laughter. The maw yawned open against the wall, spiders falling by the wayside, scampering in every direction. As the laughter became louder, a breeze filled the small room, blowing the critters toward her. Little legs all clicking toward the priestess. Spiders were at her boots...her ankles...she could feel them along her fingertips...at her neck... It was as if she couldn't breathe, they were battling with each other for position, skittering into her mouth and down her throat. Isuelt grabbed at her chin and throat, trying to keep the spiders away, keep from swallowing them. But she simply couldn't breathe. No matter how she gasped and choked, she only gulped down more of the foul black venomous creatures and air seemed lost. She was drowning... One final heave for air...

Her screeching gasp echoed in her ears as she sat bolt upright in her bed, clawing at her throat. Coughing and sputtering, Isuelt looked about her surroundings as they quickly changed. And before she fully realized where she was and what had happened, she had swatted at the sheets that were tangled about her body, kicking her long legs out of the bed until she was standing, panting, in the middle of her bedroom. The morning's first rays were poking out from behind her curtains and she could nearly smell breakfast being made further down the hallway. Her breaths were still coming in heaving gulps as she pushed the dark hair from her face and scratched at her hips, thinking she still felt the chittering clawing of the spiders. But there was nothing there. No spiders, no skeletal ram's head, no Bhaal. Only the crisp whistle of the cold winter wind behind her window.

Isuelt hung her head as she sat down on the edge of her bed and placed her head in her hands. With nights of sleep like this, who needed an alarm clock?
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