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Mad Like A Magpie [Goody + Burdge]

The Goodman

A RIDICULOUS human being
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
633
Location
EDT
#1
The Eyrie. High above the tree tops of the deep, dark wood, massive stone towers reached high, like clawed fingers stroking the overcast sky. Crows and rooks flew in meandering arcs, creating constant movement between the spires, drawn to the home and roost of their master, the Lord of the forest, Master of Corvae, the mad Magpie King. They reigned over the inside of the castle, just as much as they dominated the exterior, cold, stone corridors echoing with the hisses and croaks of the clever, dark birds, a flutter of haunted wings always punctuating the silences beyond every corner.

The dining hall, for all its high vaulted ceilings and dozens of burning candles, was dominated by an oppressive darkness, light never seeming to get enough space or air to shine forth. Shadows played not just in the corners but in open areas, dancing like the Devil himself had been invited to the meal. A long table stretched in the center of the room, cluttered and piled high with platters of food, both rich and sumptuous and grotesque and mysterious, side by side. Ravens, crows, and the skull-faced rooks perched everywhere, on every surface a clawed foot could rest, especially the table, the only dinner guests currently in attendance. Other than the monstrous presence at the head, the Magpie King himself.

Dressed in black, his imposing figure was drenched in heavy, obsidian cloaks overrun by black feathers, their iridescence occasionally shivering with blue and purple color in what light dared to touch them. His face was mostly obscured by a large, beaked mask, styled to look like a simplified crow skull, the metal of it like a helm going over the crown of his head, the eye holes large and shadowed, giving glimpses of the sinister gaze within. Below the long dip of the curved beak, a man's chin could be seen, strong and bold, lightly dusted with dark scruff. For beneath the monstrous ceremonial garb, the Magpie King was a man, nothing more. Albeit, one who could command the legions of Corvae who lurked and flew all over his dark castle, calling them forth to do his bidding, but a man nonetheless.

Possibly, his base humanity made who he was that much worse, if only an actual monster could be excused for the things he had done. Morrow, the "mad" king, was known far and wide for his sadistic cruelty and black moods. The forest had grown sick and twisted under his 50 year rule, the trees corrupted and diseased by the malice in his spirit and heart. Dark creatures roamed free in the depths of the woods, terrorizing the villages of his people, the forest dwellers. Years past, Magpie Kings could be counted upon to lead the forest people, to protect them, their culture and homes hidden in the depths of the peaceful Dark Wood. But ever since Morrow had taken his father's helm, evil and despair had come with him, casting a shadow over the once thriving people.

Picking up a goblet in a black gloved hand, fingers tipped with obsidian claws, dark red liquid sloshed within the cold, silvery glass and the Magpie King suddenly flashed an unbalanced smile at the empty room. Crows and ravens on the tabletop momentarily swayed in mild disturbance, a couple of them boldly striding forth to peck at the feast on the table.

"Finally, we're all here," Morrow's smooth, deep voice echoed in the vaulted chamber, the two guards at the door shifting in discomfort as their king spoke to a table of birds. "Well...all those who matter. I'm grateful you answered my summons. It's an important time for the Corvae and for the forest. Our time to finally cast a shadow over all of the world. The Time of the Eye."

Often spoken about, in shouts and rambling mutters by the king, the nearing time of his grand ascent as ruler of the entire world. The Lionae in the desert to the east, the owls in the grasslands to the south, the wolves in the mountains to the north, and the snakes in the western marshlands had so far been left alone by the mad king of the forest. Terms and relations were strained, the other houses having difficulty contending with the growing delusions and discomfort of the Magpie King. But none of them suspected what he planned, his grand scheme of destruction and oppression, enslaving the other houses and their peoples until the entire planet resembled his castle, every hall, every room, every spire, infested with Corvae, until the sun was blotted out with a thousands of wings.

Chuckling, Morrow lifted a heel of bread from a nearby plate, tossing it to clatter across the table, forcing croaked growls from the couple ravens that were disturbed by its trajectory. "Don't talk back! Of course there will be a place for other creature houses. They shall simply be Corvae. They will become..." A smug grin slithered into being on his features as he took a sip from his goblet, red liquid staining his lips, a couple droplets curling down his chin, while avarice glittered in his gaze. "The recipe is in its final stages. As soon as I perfect the formula, all my people will be blessed by joining the Corvae family. And as an army they will march upon the other lands, blessing all who they come upon with the same kinship."

Eyes rimmed with red and purple, excitedly, the Magpie King began to laugh manically, his voice cracking with the force of his amusement. As his laughter dwindled and the king settled back into his large chair, he seemed to forget the threads of his solitary conversation, brooding mildly while watching his birds feast on the opulent meal. Finally, he was restored somewhat as he sat up straight, looking around as he became conscious of something missing.

"It is dinner. Where is my snowdrop?"

The Time of the Eye strategy meeting was over, his madness shifting mood again as he realized why he was really here. Not a secret meeting of invisible generals and advisors, but in fact time for the evening meal. During the daytime, the Magpie King tormented his subjects, especially those who lived within the castle walls, antagonizing and hurting his servants and advisors. The nights he reserved for one person only: the owl princess. With a bark of abrupt disgust, Morrow stood to throw his goblet, several crows and rooks fleeing the table and the errant cup, wings flapping heavily as they retreated to perch on sconces and door archways.

"It is dinner time!" he bellowed in a sing-song voice. "I am missing crucial faces! Is someone being naughty and thinking to starve herself again?"

Full of malice, his grin sinister beneath the dark curve of his mask, the Magpie King turned to look at the guards by the door, hissing sardonically, "Bring me my wife."
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
A Hobbit Hole
#2
Within the corner of a massive bed chamber, a petite, lone figure sat curled up against the plush cushioned window seat. Small tendrils of mist exited from parted pink lips and fogged up the pristine glass as the figure examined the outside world with longing and desperation. Aurora couldn’t help but admit that she found the Eyrie intriguing upon first laying eyes on it. Despite its grim architecture, there was a cunning playfulness about it. As if it’s twisting hallways beckoned her forward in a game. Now....well, it was now her personal hell on Earth. She had been promised to the Magpie king since she was a small child and, he, a young teenager.

The princess had grown up with tales of his ethereal appearance and overwhelming charisma. That he was a good king in the making. They had obviously been lies to keep her from scurrying away like a frightened mouse. The fact that her own father wove such lies just to keep the strong alliance between their houses put a sour taste in Aurora’s mouth. She could never forgive him for that. For forcing his daughter into an abusive and manipulative relationship all for the sake of wealth and prosperity for his family. She wanted nothing more than to become queen alongside Morrow, which she eventually did. However, more than that, she wanted to be loved by him unconditionally. To have her be his first thought when he awoke in the morning as well as the last thing he thought about before going to bed. It was never to be.

His true nature was revealed to her the moment she stepped through the towering gates of the Eyrie. Every night thereafter had been torture. He had a way of slithering into her mind and whispering dark thoughts that left her terrified to sleep at night. How his touches were harsh and cold upon her pale flesh, causing goosebumps to break out along her arms and a shiver to travel down her spine. Aurora had thought about ending her life many times to escape his clutches. From plunging a dining knife through her ribs and into her heart during dinner or by flinging herself from the tallest tower of her prison. There were so many different ways to go about it.

And yet, the owl princess never went through with it for fear that her mad husband would travel to the underworld to retrieve her. It was evident that his abuse had a physical affect on her, as well. She was far thinner than she had been upon her arrival, losing her healthy and curvaceous figure for one much more dainty and fragile. Dark circles were evident under her protuberant, blue-violet eyes and she was far paler than the natural shade of her skin. And yet, despite it all, Aurora was beauty incarnate. It was no wonder that she had many suitors before eventually being married off to Morrow.

She was pulled from her thoughts as rapid knocking was heard against the door of her bedroom. She flinched, instantly knowing who it was and what they had came for. She had long since stopped entertaining her husband’s idea of meeting him in the dining hall before dinner rolled around. She tried to avoid him at all costs whenever she could. But he always sent his guards to retrieve her. This time was no different, it seemed. “You should make this easier on yourself and just come with us, my lady. Don’t make me force you down the halls.”

Aurora sighed, her nimble fingers balling up to form a tight fist before she stood and glided across the room to open the door. She straightened her back and narrowed her eyes to look more imposing. “Very well. Take me to him.” She muttered bitterly as the guards positioned themselves on either side of her as they made their descent down towards the dining hall.

With each step that she took, the princess’s strong facade slowly began to crumble until her shoulders were shaking and her eyebrows were furrowed in terror. Morrow’s presence always seemed to suck any courage from within her. The long skirts of her elegant, silk, lavender dress trailed behind them like a gentle river as they walked. Her waist length, silvery-White hair was kept down for the most part, except for a few strands that had been pulled into an intricate, braided bun along the back of her head.

The temperature seemed to drop the closer they got to their destination and, by the time they reached the grand hall’s entrance, it was practically freezing. One of the guards looked down at Aurora sympathetically before opening the enormous, oak door and bowing to his king. “Your wife, my lord.” She spoke curtly before giving her a gentle push along the small of her back. Soon she was alone with her husband. Her worst fear.
 

The Goodman

A RIDICULOUS human being
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
633
Location
EDT
#3
For several moments, the king didn't look at the woman who had entered the room. Slouched and brooding in the tall-backed chair at the head of the long table, the Magpie King stared menacingly at the crows and ravens that had returned to perch in crowded clusters all over the table. He didn't seem to see them, lost in the maze of his disturbed and morbid thoughts, purple-rimmed eyes glazed beyond the physical reality, even as his clawed glove scratched at the arm of his chair. Eventually, his black crow helm adding a sinister quality to his appearance, he turned his head to look at the pale, lavender clad princess.

"There she is. My snowdrop."

Deceptive satisfaction lilted in the hushed purr of his voice, his clawed glove creaking loudly as it continued to score idly into the wooden arm of the chair. Motioning with a vague wave of his other hand, Morrow indicated the length of the table where the multitude of Corvae picked and pecked at the feast.

"The children and I were just enjoying dinner when we noticed your absence. Like a hollow feeling in our hearts. We missed you."

The sweetly uttered words were at odds with his sudden, violent lurch from the table. With ethereal grace and supernatural speed, a shadow sliding like oil across the floor, the Magpie King in all his feather and cloaked menace, loomed over Aurora, nary a foot separating them. Much closer now, his eyes beneath the crow-skull helm were bloodshot to the point of losing the whites entirely, his caramel-amber irises almost black in the suffocated light of the room. Cocking his head at her, there was an almost bestial and soulless lack of recognition in his penetrating stare, as if he not only had no idea who she was, but couldn't recognize her as a human being with value. Grabbing her by the face, palm cradling her chin as thumb and fingers pinched either side of her cheeks, Morrow hissed balefully at his beloved princess,

"You naughty, filthy thing. Were you seeking to harm yourself? You would betray me like that, would you? Or is it simply that you cannot stand to be close to me?"

Another quick lurch forward, Morrow invaded her space threateningly, his cold, black metal mask touching her cheek, the sharp, long beak pointed over her shoulder and occasionally catching at her hair. The stubble on his chin scratched at the delicate skin of her neck, his breath freezing cold and reeking of gore as he hovered close. So close. She smelled of light and sunshine, pretty things, crushable things, things that tore and bled, so easy, so vulnerable, so soft. A shuddering breath entered his lungs as Morrow resisted the urge to bite her slender neck, knowing that if he started, he wouldn't be able to stop himself. This time. He'd bitten her in a fit of passion once before and ever since then, had grown a taste for digging his teeth into flesh and gristle. The urge to bite and chew had come first; the eating of human flesh had come later.

They stayed like that for several moments, Morrow seemingly calmed and soothed by her close proximity, even as his dark thoughts spun wildly and every moment was a raging internal battle not to fiercely kill the woman in his arms. Pulling back to look into her face, his lips formed a dour line, his eyes tracing her features with expectant hate and suspicion. Whatever sickness plagued his mind, the only ones safe from his paranoia seemed to be the black birds that crowded his castle halls. The only ones who truly obeyed his will.

"Tell me that you love me," he said, his deep voice cutting and cruel, even as his hand came forward to stroke her cheek with the back of his gloved fingers. "Tell me you'll never leave me."
 
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