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“Providence— never fails to amaze, hm?”


The voice came suddenly to Castiel’s flank, yet the words spoke gently in tone. There stood a woman at his side, her cascading ivory hair most notable of her fragile disposition, only contrasting with her dark skin.


“What?” he asked, distracted by the gaggle of children frolicking in the downpour, giggling and hollering to one another in their youth. He stood under the safety of the tavern’s overhang, much like the newcomer that approached him while he people-watched. 


The children, albeit rather harmlessly, had begun to heckle a poor blind woman with an onslaught of childish ramblings. The woman at Castiel’s flank cupped her hands over her mouth, hollering towards them, “Hey, hey! Leave the poor woman be, learn some manners, will ya’?” 


One of the children, a girl of striking red locks and a pink dress to match, sneered as a child typically would, before swiveling to return to her fun.


Castiel watched with near awe. It was such a simple interaction, yet held so much merit in the face of reality. He had often placed himself on a lower pedestal than the humans of Providence, even some of the noble children, who tend to walk with their own pompous zeal. Because of this, he avoided interaction with most of the populace, never speaking unless spoken to. 


And yet, it was so easy for this woman, an elf just as he, to holler with so little hesitance towards those who would consider her foreign. She looked back at him, the drizzle of rain misting her hair even from the shelter of the peristyle. 


“I said, never fails to amaze, huh?” she gestured towards the cobbled streets. “Always something happening. Always raining, too. Are you a citizen of this oh-so-holy Empire?”


She spoke with sincerity and optimism. It was refreshing. 


“May as well be,” Castiel replied, taking a long draw of the cigar pinched between his digits. 


She paused then, reddened gaze flicking to the side of his head. He knew what she was looking at. “Could be worse,” she said then. “Could be Renatus. Clipped ears are no fun, but it looks like you already know that.” 




“They were not kind to elves. A lot of us still have the scars to prove it.” 


“I did this to myself,” Castiel admitted, shame drawing his face to scrunch some. “Helps fit in around here, hide the scarring behind the hair.”


An elf in Providence blends in, but an elf with clipped ears blends even better. It sends a message— just leave me be.


“You… did it to yourself? Wow, that’s…” Castiel braced himself for the inevitable diatribe he was about to receive. Genius. It’s like a tattoo, but more interesting.” 


It caught him off guard, although he didn’t know what she meant by that. It was never something he considered to be interesting any more than degrading self-mutilation, even frowned upon in many cultures to do so. 


“Providence has its charm,” he moved on. “No idea why I stay here.”


“Most are scared off by the smell. Can’t say I blame them.” she paused, awkwardly lifting a hand to scratch behind her ear. “I’ve been debating whether or not to become a citizen proper. The library is lovely and easier to access than others.”


T̷̡̝̣̊̽̈́͜͝h̷̨͇̰̮͇͔̰̬͎̗͙͙͋̍̐̊͐̾̃̌͂̎̾͂͜ͅͅḛ̸̡̢̱̣͚͚̣̳͙̎͝ ̷̨͈̜͙͙̮̗̱͙̬̦̖̞̾̇̍͘Ḻ̴̨̧̭͚̭̘͕̌̿̂̉̃͛̐̆̓͑̃͝͝í̴̛̛̛̼͍̲̘̻̻̳͔̹̦͉̺̮̾̎͒̓̈́̔͊͘͜͝͝ͅb̴̞̖̟̥̰̥̭̤̏͛̊̾͛̀͘͘r̵̮̱͕͈̱̫̗͓͔͚͇̔̌̌̓̋̿͌̃́a̴̡͍͔̻̙̖͇̿̄̃̎̒͜r̵̢̨͖̰͓̿͑̓̀̀̈́͗͠y̶͓͗̌̅̉̆


He almost died there that night.


There was a decision made in that moment, one that went unspoken, one that came with a barrage of memories.


Biting his tongue and hesitation, he’d extend a meager hand — the one lacking the ring and index finger. 


“Castiel,” he introduced.


Before he could rescind the mistake, the woman shook it with little hesitance, which caught him off guard. Most people who saw his hand, let alone shook it, tried their best to hide their staring. He didn’t blame them, because it did look awkward and strange. Most digitless hands are missing the first two, or the last two. His looked more like the anatomy of some strange bird or reptile. 


“Thessalia Elverhilin. Thessa is fine.” 


The cigar pinched between his fingers swept aside with a wisp of smoke, snuffed out against the stone pillar at his flank. 


“Would you like to show me to the library? I’ve never been there.” 



The library was small compared to most. It had its books, but not as many as Castiel expected. Thessa guided him downstairs, periodically flicking the cap of a lighter on and off as they moved. 


Clink… Clunk… Clink… Clunk…


“What do you study?” she inquired then, opting to remain perched near the lift they had taken down. No doubt, she was untrusting of him.


“I… used to read a lot of poetry. High elven literature.” he’d gently drawl, fingers drumming the spines of assorted books. He had hoped she would follow as he ventured deeper, but she didn’t. His gaze fixated on a book titled, ‘Good and Evil’. Instead, he’d loop back around at a gentle pace along as they spoke.


“My father was obsessed with my studies,” she replied. “He wouldn’t let me read anything else. So, every night, I’d sneak into the library and read some of the sappiest romance novels, no matter how bad they were.”


“Reminds me of when I’d sneak out to go hunting with my brother when we were young.” 


“I used to go hunting with my sister. She loathed taking me along, but mother always made me.” 


“Siblings,” he’d let out a weak, airy chuckle. “They’re as much of a burden as a blessing, aren’t they?” 


“I had twelve. Granted, they were adopted, but why take that many in?” 


“I could never handle twelve. I can barely handle one.” 


Throughout their rambling, Castiel brought himself across from her, yet distant from the lift. He took note of a particular series of books written by Reed, and after plucking one of the books from the shelf, began to scroll its contents. 


“I’ve never heard of Reed. He’s a seasoned author from what I can tell so far, just.. Skimming along. Care to take a read?”


Finally, the woman strolled over, standing on her toes to match Castiel’s stature. A hand raised to his shoulder, and if he had not braced himself, he may very well have lost his balance in his thin countenance. 


“Llun,” Thessa quickly apologized in her native tongue upon realizing her intrusion of space. “What’cha got?” she’d ask, looking down to the open book in Castiel’s hands as she stood on her toes.


“Here,” he replied, and offered such out with subtle hope that she’d take so that she may be her own distraction.


“When you were speaking earlier,” she continued as she accepted the book. Head craned down, she continued, but her eyes dotted the pages. “You implied that you no longer read or write. Why is that?”


The question caught him off guard.


“Lucky men and women live simple lives, untethered by misfortune and grief,” he began.


Thd… Thd… Thd… His footsteps carried his thin frame to her flank, and he’d stare at the assortment of books nearby. His hands raised to his chest, clasping together in a fashion that mirrored a prayer as he continued.


“... I lost passion for many of the things I loved a long time ago.”


“Bad men live on when the good die young, but Goodness is subjective. One person’s hero is another person’s villain.” 


“Do you truly believe that? Even for the bandits who assault the elderly, women, and children? They are not disposable beneath the heel of dirt?”


“Consider this: A young man has fallen upon difficult times. His father's debt was passed onto him, and his wife perished whilst giving birth to their child. Now unable to provide for his family, he is forced to make a choice. Allow his family to starve, or commit heinous acts to prevent that. Are his actions inexcusable? No. But to his child? He is no villain.” 


It was something to consider, certainly, but Castiel struggled to wrap his head around it for a reason he himself could barely understand, and his mind raced with the idea. An individual, no matter how maimed with taint and plague, could still be more than their barebone choices in the eyes of another, and in the eyes of themself. 


“Tell me, Castiel, do you consider yourself a good or bad man?” 


“There’s a lot more to consider than a ‘yes-or-no’ question.” 


Normally, Cass would never have replied with such a contradicting answer. Though he had lost much of his scholarly talent, even he acknowledged that his mind had fallen to sloth and gluttony in recent years — something he swears he’ll repair in due time.


“My sister was a monster.” Thessa continued. “To the world, she was, but in truth, it did not stop her from being my idol. I do not think you are bad.” 


He stared at her back. Through the eloquence of her words, her head remained lowered to the contents of the book she ever held, yet it was obvious that she was no longer paying attention to the pages. His hands remained clasped to his chest, and the words brought an ache to his throat as his mind raced between those final moments of hesitance. 


A step taken forth, Castiel raised his hands to set at her shoulders, digits adorned with the primeval, yellowish talons of beasts. They curled in, gripping tight through her attire. He stared down just as she dropped the book, which landed on the floor with a resounding thud, and in a moment of thoughtlessness, he’d feast.


Two ivory incisors dug deep into the flesh of the woman, lodged just below the jaw as vibrant red spilled loose. A hoarse yelp left Thessa just as a snarl tugged just shy of Castiel’s features, primeval hunger taking hold as he dined on that insatiable craving of his. 


Weak did the woman grow after but a few moments, unable to do little more than writhe and squirm, hoping to pry away his desperate clutch upon her form.


Thessa’s ragdoll body soon collapsed, a string of bloody saliva hanging from Castiel’s lower lip as he reeled his head back, staring down.


Sympathy. It was a feeling that swept over him quickly as he stared at his own regret, the pale thing sprawled amid a mess of ichor and hair. And yet, only a few moments ago did he act with such ambition, such violence, that it rendered him perplexed amid his emotions. With a clamoring thud did he fall upon his rear, knees bent slightly to the chest.


Thessa insisted on goodness in him, but could there be goodness in parasitic nature? This consequence of simple survival? His mind bounced back to what was spoken only moments prior — the blurred lines between goodness and malice, and he considered every facet. The actions, the consequences, the victims, the choices, and through all of his wordless rambling, through all of his vices, something clicked.


Perhaps, something good could come from this. Perhaps, he could do something good for himself, and perhaps someone would understand. Not her, not now, but someone, one day, will understand why. 


Castiel flicked his gaze back towards the woman. Click! The cap of her lighter flipped open, revealing the gentlest of flame within, which she held out towards him.


“Put- put that away,” he hissed as he moved closer to her, a hand thrashing out to swat the lighter from her weakened hand. 


“... 'fraid of a little fire?” she’d rasp in gallows humor, the weakest of smiles tugging at her round face.


Hovering over her, Castiel raised two hands, the edge of his thumb-nail drawing across the opposite wrist. Blood spilled in contrast to his considerably pale skin, and he stared down. 


“There— there is purpose in this,” he assured, one hand striking forth to take firm hold of her jaw, so that her mouth may be pried open. He frowned as he spoke. “And you— you might not understand now, but you will. You will be thankful, you will be glad… that I did this.”


As he spoke his monologue, anticipation and ichor dripped from his wrist and past the woman’s lips, who squirmed and tugged as tears squeezed from her eyes. In that moment, humanity had been sacrificed for purpose. In that moment, goodness had been sacrificed for belonging. 


In that moment, a curse had taken hold.

Without fail. 



This is something I wrote between today and last night, and I'm pretty proud of how it turned out. It's a more narrative-friendly interpretation of an RP interaction I had with @S1nnerVsSa1ntsthe other night. Of course, I still consider myself to be a pretty novice writer, so feedback is always welcome. 

Please do not metagame the contents of this post, this is by no means public knowledge, but rather something written purely for OOC reading


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Phenomenal writing as always, Jade.


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S͏̴͇̺̼͎̟͕̹̯̪̞̰e̷̖̞̜̬̪̱̦̪̰̜̠̲̘̰̲̞͉̗̙͡͝e̸̛͕͙̪͓̯͉̠̫̤͙̦̠̗̗̺͈ ̷̸̵̩̭̙͖̪͕̜̰͚͙̼̤̮̯ẃ̶̧̘̖̲̰͇͍̣̰͔̘̼͉͇̘̣h̵̨҉̛̥̟̱̝̜͍̻̯̮̥͖̠̠̝͓a̧̰͈̯̦̖̹̹͍͞ṯ̵̶̠̪̯͇̞̞̹̻͓̩̞͈̮͓̟͘ ̵̨̩̼̟͓͙͎͍̼̞̳͍͔̪͔̫͘͢͝t͞҉͇̭̩̲͉͉̮̦͙͡r̵̼̗̞̖̣̻̯̱̠͍͍̟ų̡̰̫͔̙̯͓͢s̛̥̞̬̺̹͙̤̝̹̬̠͓̠͖̲͍̟͢t͕̗͚͉͓̦͖̯̞̰̘͔͎̼̘͞ ̧̛̳͙̺̻̺͙̙̦͇͈̭̗̼̩̰͈̣̙̀͜g̸̺̲̹̟͈̰̤̹̰̙̻̥̬̥͓̠͍ͅͅe͏͏͏̵̯̠̲̼͔͙͜ţ̴̯̺͎̜͉̺̖̻ͅs̡̘̰͔̣̪̤̲̺͍͈̯͇͝ ̨̨̰̲̳̱̹̙͔̤͍̠̳͙͡͠y̶̹̖̯͖̺̱̠̠̹̻͕̩̖͍͈̫͝ǫ̸̨̘̜̦̫͉̹̻͍̥̼̭̝͓̀́u̶̢̗͉̞͔̻̩̤͔̫͔͘͢?͏̪͚̞͖͓̤͉̗͔͍̙̟̬͙͉̖




In truth, Thessalia did not know why she had taken such obvious bait.


That was a lie. She knew exactly why. Long now did she crave for the sweet silence of the grave, of meeting again with her dearest sisters and mother-


Surprise did not come when she was attacked. Nor was it summoned when the creature man before her took her jaw in hand, forcing his accursed ichor to flow through her veins. The darkness that overtook her vison brought nothing but a thundering heart, a whispered farewell. In another life, perhaps she would have put up more of a fight. Would she have begged with him? Perhaps attempt to barter?


She did not know. That scared her worse than the impending doom that began to overtake her vision. 






To say she was surprised would be an understatement.


Breathing felt wrong. Her lungs ached within her ribcage, crying out with every breath. She was sore in a way thought unimaginable. Every joint set aflame, screaming their protests as she shakily tried to rise.


It took three attempts before she was able to stand. The pain begun to fade into the furthest parts of her mind, replaced by confusion and an unsettling hunger.


Shock did not last long enough.. and anger soon took it's place.


How dare he fail? Who was he to dangle what she desired the most before her, only to then rip it away?


She had an Elf to catch. 

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