Missed Post / Ask Box Event? / OC Dolls (2017-10-26)

… I need a push to do some writing! Let’s reprise one of the ask box events, shall we?

What do we think: a softer ask box OR ask box fake fic titles?

(And so it’s not a complete missed post, dollmaker pics of OCs under the cut)

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Konran (from Counterpoise), Tetsuki (from Externality), and Kiyoshi (from (In)Difference)–aka, my three kunoichi OCs.

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Lark, Oleander, and Vinn from various RPG campaigns

Her dreams are sepia toned.
Gently aged,
memories muted and soft.
Nostalgic.

She dreams of bright sunshine,
trees and flowers,
fluffy clouds in blue skies.
Laughter.

Dreams of love, joy, and hope.
Hoarded, preserved,
doled out in hard times.
Treasured.

Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming.
Life passes her by,
the beeping of monitors.
Constant.

Let me go, let me go,
says the lark to the elm.
No, says the elm,
for you do not know yet how to fly.

Let me try, let me try,
says the lark to the elm.
No, says the elm,
for you will surely fall to the ground.

Let me fall, let me fall,
says the lark to the elm,
At least I will have had
the wind under my wings just once.

No, says the elm,
Fly or fall, you will leave,
to where I cannot follow.
And I could not bear to lose you.

I will return, I will,
says the lark to the elm,
To your branches or to your roots,
I will always return to you.

jacksgreyson, Untitled (2016-11-14)

Lark and Elm (2016-09-30)

Tag and Duchess–who is giant armor, but giant armor that can talk?–are part of a group that camped not too far away from where Lark and Elm were originally.

“We saw those mutts chasing after you and decided to help out,” Tag says, walking beside them after having sent Duchess ahead. Lark is walking, too, to give the already tired Elm a break. “Those critters already set one of my friends on fire.”

Lark glances at him in alarm.

“Nah, he’s fine. Actually, he’s a bit of a nutjob, so he might have enjoyed it.”

Elm also sends a thought-feeling of bewilderment her way.

“I’m just joking,” Tag says, which would be believable if it didn’t follow a long moment of silence. “About the enjoying it part. He is actually a little bit nuts, though, but that’s ‘cause he’s seem some shit.”

‘Battle fatigue,’ Elm says to Lark. She nods in understanding: her master had nightmares sometimes, of missions long passed.

“Don’t let that scare you off,” Tag says, interpreting her silence as fear. “He’s not a bad guy.”

“I’m not scared,” she says, chin held high, “You just talk too much.”

Tag stops, and after a pause–in which Lark realizes what she said and slaps a hand over her mouth, and Elm gives a whicker of secondhand embarrassment–so do they.

“I, uh, I,” she stammers. It was a rude thing to say and she shouldn’t have said it, but she’s not going to apologize for telling the truth.

Tag starts laughing. “You’ll fit in just fine,” he says, “the others say the same thing at least twice a day.”

The others of Tag and Duchess’ camp are as odd and, somehow, odder that she expected.

Geoffrey, the one that Tag called a nutjob, had greeted Lark with a polite handshake and Elm with an affectionate kiss. On the mouth. Elm, irritated at Lark’s response of uncontrollable laughter, went to a far corner and sulkily grazed.

There was also Doc who wasn’t really named Doc but actually named Lina and not actually a healer. When Lark asked why she was called Doc, the others of the camp glanced at each other and distracted her by introducing the last member of their group.

“Why is he tied up like that?” Lark asks, eyeing the sleeping body hanging upside down from another giant armor. According to Duchess, this one doesn’t talk, and thus is inferior to her.

The group shares another glance, before Doc speaks up, uncertainly, “He’s more comfortable this way?”

“Speaking of hitting the hay,” Tag says, even though no one spoke of such a thing, “It’s late, and we just fought off a pack of those hot doggies, so we should all get some rest.”

Not a very good distraction, but Lark is very tired and lets it slide.

~

A/N: working on a Walking Around thing but won’t finish it soon enough so here’s another Lark and Elm thing. wooooh.

Lark and Elm (2016-09-24)

The thing that lands in front of them is large, intimidating, and entirely metal. Like a wyvern, maybe, if wyverns were made of iron and steel.

It doesn’t move, though, and Elm settles down on all fours.

“Hello?” Lark calls out, in the strange twisting tongue of dragons. Human languages are easier, obviously, but the Order teaches each of its prospective knights all the languages of the land.

It doesn’t answer.

“Hello?” she tries again, in the dark language of monsters.

Again, it doesn’t answer.

“What do we do?” Lark asks Elm who is shifting nervously around, perfectly ready to run if necessary. Knights of the Order are capable of taking on powerful creatures–skilled knights can even take on a dragon, if need be–but Lark is only no longer a squire out of technicality, and Elm is more than capable of figuring out their odds.

Before Elm can respond, a hiss comes out from the metal creature as what looks to be a large maw begins to open.

Lark summons her sword and her best attempt at a shield, the lavender glow a comforting contrast to the red light coming from the creature’s mouth. Lark is impervious to fire–but only normal fire, not magical fire–Elm has less than that.

The metal creature continues to hiss, the mouth opening wider and wider. But instead of a view into the bellows of a magical fire-breathing creature, Lark and Elm are treated with the sight of… a person inside the metal creature… just sitting.

‘It’s not a creature,’ Elm says to her, though the bravado shines through, ‘It’s… giant magical armor?’

Well, neither she nor Elm are unfamiliar with the idea of magical armor, though their armor is to scale with their size.

“Howdy,” the person inside the giant armor says, lifting an odd looking hat in greeting. It’s no formal bow, but it’s also not a magical fireball to the face so Lark will take it.

“How dee?” Lark responds, in confusion.

“Come on now,” the person says, almost cajoling, “You can speak Standard. I heard you talking to your horse.”

Elm snorts, affronted. ‘I’m not your horse. If anything, you’re my knight.’

“I don’t know what standard is,” Lark says, instead of responding to Elm, “But I can understand what you’re saying.”

A mental nudge from Elm prompts her to add, “And so can Elm. And he doesn’t appreciate you calling him my horse. I’m his knight.”

The person hops out of his giant armor and walks over to them, slow and obvious and hands out placatingly.

“Alright,” he says, easy enough with a shrug. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen a horse, but that sounds about right.”

Elm lets the person pet him for a brief moment before snorting and pulling away, professional.

“I’m Tag,” the person says, “Short for Taggart, and that’s Duchess,” he adds with a wave over at the giant armor.

For a second, Lark and Elm share a flare of confusion–is it not giant armor after all?–before the person, Tag, continues.

“And if this is Elm, who are you?”

Lark hesitates, but he did help them with the hellhounds, and he’s not doing anything threatening. And besides,

“I’m Lark, a Knight of the Order of Dawn”

Knights are not afraid of anything.

~

A/N: Still working on my godson’s gift, but didn’t want to have two missed posts in a row.

Lark and Elm (2016-09-19)

Elm lips angrily at her hair, now unbound when one of the hellhounds singed off her tie. Also, significantly shorter.

‘I could have handled that one,’ Elm snorts, the burst of air warm against the sweat cooling on her skin.

“It was in your blindspot,” Lark argues, rubbing pointedly but fondly at his forelock.

‘Still could have handled it,’ Elm refutes, giving one last ticklish lipping, before coming around in front of her and urging her on his back.

They look in the direction of where the three other hellhounds had been–before they were scooped up and taken away in some giant flying creature’s talons.

“Should… should we follow?” Lark asks, still so uncertain at being in control. For all that Elm has more experience in this lifestyle, he himself is not a knight.

‘Do we have to?’ Elm asks back, because they were going to set up camp before the hellhounds appeared, and now that the adrenaline is fading, he’s more tired not less.

“Well… it’s not tyranny,” Lark reasons absurdly, because she, too, is exhausted, “I mean… we’re not really at our best to take on whatever that was. Maybe tomorrow. In the morning. After some rest,” she says, uncertain.

Just as well: the decision is taken out of her hands when a massive shape–a somewhat familiar massive shape, for all that they had only seen it for a moment–descends in front of them.

Elm rears up on his hind legs, whinnies in warning, as Lark desperately tries to stay on.

‘What the hell is this?’ Elm shrieks in her mind, forelegs kicking at the air in protection of his rider.

“Language!” Lark shrieks back because the only other thing that comes to mind is: I have no idea.

~

A/N: Tiny thing and fifteen minutes late to boot–had a spontaneous outing with my cousins, only got back at 11:30. Have some more Lark and Elm stuff?

The series (if it becomes a series) will probably not actually be called Lark and Elm, but for now that will be my placeholder tag until I come up with a cooler title.

Word Prompts (L25): Lost and Found

Lark takes a deep breath, eyes falling closed and shoulders straightening back. The weight of her armor has never felt heavier–a part of her wishes she could just take it off, dig into her own skin and muscles and nerves and be free of it–but this is something that will always be a part of her.

She shakily exhales, can feel the burn of tears behind her eyelids but wills them not to fall. Elm trots over to her–his own armor clanking with every step.

‘Time to leave now,’ Elm says to her through the new bond that has flared to life only hours ago.

“I can’t, Elm, I can’t,” Lark says, every word keeping her feet rooted to the ground. She doesn’t know why this is so much more difficult than pulling her master’s body off of Elm’s back and burying him in the ground, but actually leaving him behind?

It feels like a betrayal.

‘Yes,’ Elm says, stepping in front of her to bodily block her view of the newly dug grave. ‘Yes, you can.’

He nudges her. And maybe for anyone else, a nudge from a two ton mass of magical horse and armor would knock them on their ass, but for all that her training is incomplete, she’s a magical knight with armor of her own, too. This is as gentle as Elm gets.

“What do I do now, Elm?” she asks, hauling herself onto his back when his nudging becomes pointed and accompanied by the thought-feeling of impatience.

He turns them around, away, but doesn’t begrudge her one last look back.

‘We do what we’ve always done,“ Elm says to her, flashes of images from missions she’s been on and those she hasn’t, the ones Elm had with her master before she became his squire. ‘We rid the world of evil and tyranny…’

”… and bring peace to those in need and honor to the Order.“ she finishes by rote.

She pauses, runs her hand down his neck. "I think I’m going to need help with this, Elm.”

Night falls, they set up camp. Well, they try to set up camp, but they can’t agree on a good spot–Elm’s criteria mainly consists of the quantity of grass he can graze on, while Lark tries to fall back on her training and find a defensible spot.

They’re interrupted.

Howls, multiple, coming in fast.

“Oh shit,” Lark spits out, leaping onto Elm’s back once more.

‘Language,’ Elm chides, for all that he’s already begun galloping away.

Elm is fast–all mounts chosen the Order have to meet basic requirements and are trained to be even more impressive–but he’s mostly built for battle, not racing, and the wolves do not have panicking riders slowing them down.

Lark risks a glance backwards, sees the wolves gaining. Correction, they’re not wolves–they’re hellhounds.

Three flanking Elm’s left, two on his right.

“I don’t think we can outrun them!”

‘Well, you’re a knight, aren’t you?’ Elm snipes back, and he doesn’t need to sound so pissy about it.

Lark summons her swords–she’s not very good with her shield yet, but swords are easy enough. They appear: glowing and lavender and the last things these hellhounds will ever see.

Which is true enough; but she only kills two of them.

The other three fall at someone else’s hand.

~

A/N: Don’t want to burnout on DoS stuff so here’s some original fic so I don’t end up with a missed post!