forum “Children of the Dark” (OxO, Mature, Closed)
tune

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@Serpentess health_and_safety language

(Not really, to be honest. Though, I’m trying to figure out how to start. I tend to introduce De’Tearion where he’s hunting or just wandering in a forest, but I’m debating if I want to do that again or try something different)

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

(Alrighty. Brain is blanking on other ideas, so I might just stick to my previous routes lol. Hm… I’ll probably figure it out while I’m typing. That’s usually how it happens anyway lmao)

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion eyed the village from a distance. He was perched high in a tree, scouting the dark buildings. There were a few guards about, holding their bright lanterns high. It made them so easy to spot in the moonlit night.

Patiently, he watched the routines, learning the routes of the guards. He then chose a house at the edge of the village, an easy target. Would it be too easy though? No. He couldn’t think of it as too easy. It was still a challenge, still a challenge.

With a quiet sigh, De’Tearion steeled himself for the hunt and teleported, disappearing in a cloud of smoke. He appeared in front of the house, walking silently up to a window. Looking inside, he made sure no one was moving around before teleporting into the building.

De’Tearion closed his softly glowing blue eyes as he stalked toward the sounds of three sleeping heartbeats. His long, clawed feet barely made a sound as he moved like a shadow toward his prey.

His long fingers carefully grabbed the doorknob to the bedroom and turned it. It opened easily, and within moments, he stood at the end of the bed. He briefly opened his eyes to see what his prize was, unable to stop himself from peeking.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The house was quiet, as it should have been at this hour. The occupants were asleep peacefully, knowing their little village was safe because of the diligent guards patrolling.

The interior of the house was simple, bordering on plain, except for small nicknacks that dotted the few shelves and mantle. If there had been a fire in there, it had long burned out.

The bedroom seemed even darker than the rest of the house but no one else would have noticed. Or notice the increase of seemingly pointless odds and ends scattered around.

However, the apparent “prey” was nothing more than a 6-year-old boy curled into a tight little ball under the small blanket. His messy reddish-brown hair was even messier from sleep. He barely moved even as he breathed, seemingly deeply asleep.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

When De’Tearion opened his eyes, he stared at the boy for a long moment. It took him a second to realize that he was only staring at one boy. He’d heard three heartbeats. Were his ears playing tricks on him? Was he just that disoriented by hunger to hear in triple? Or were the other two in different rooms?

De’Tearion glanced at the door, tempted to go check if there actually were other occupants. However, he was drawn back to the boy. He took a step closer to him, pausing as his fingers started to tingle. Was there magic in the air? Also, why was the moonlight so dim in the bedroom?

Something was off. Something was definitely off. This boy… He radiated with something other. How? He had never encountered a child that so quickly put him on edge. Only other Forestfolk, like himself, could unsettle him like this. Were there other Forestfolk in this land, the Mainland? Was this boy one of them?

De’Tearion took a step back, the floor creaking under his weight. He froze, preparing to teleport away if necessary.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The boy moaned softly at the deep sound, rubbing his eyes before sitting up. He didn't yawn or make any noise as he opened his brown eyes, though there was a spot of blue on the lower side of his right eye. He was smaller than his curled sleeping form had initially suggested as his nightshirt hung off his shoulder, revealing a bony collarbone.

The darkness seemed to lessen as the boy woke up and looked at the intruder. He didn't scream. The boy only gasped softly and pulled back against the wall. His hand reached under his flat pillow as he grasped for something.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion watched warily as the boy woke. Instinct told him to close his eyes and make the kill, but something made him pause again. Then, his gaze locked onto the boy’s exposed collarbone. All thoughts of eating the kid immediately vanished.

He was far too skinny to be a worthwhile meal. But, it also reminded De’Tearion of himself. Though he didn’t seem like it at first glance, mostly because of the exoskeletal armor covering his entire body from the breastbone down, he was emaciated. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a steady diet. And, to see a young boy, odd or not, seemingly in a similar situation… It almost brought tears to his eyes.

De’Tearion didn’t move as the kid locked eyes with him. Though, as he reached under his pillow, likely for a weapon, De’Tearion vanished in another plume of dark smoke.

He reappeared next to the bed, towering over it as he moved quickly to snatch the boy’s arm and cover his mouth. His glowing gaze was gentle as he carefully watched the kid’s reactions.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The boy had just managed to grab what he had been looking for when the intruder suddenly vanished and just as quickly reappeared in front of him. A muffled squeak was the only sound that came from him as his arm was grabbed and his mouth covered. But the boy kept eye contact with him the whole time. The shadows darkened again but not as much as before.

His eyes were big, obviously, afraid of having a complete stranger in his room and his heart was racing but he kept the item in a careful fist, not wanting to lose it. A simple piece of wood just bigger than his hand that had been carved into the shape of a mouse. Despite being grabbed by this stranger and everything about the intruder, he had grabbed a toy. A harmless toy. And was holding it as if it were his only lifeline.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

The boy’s fast heartbeat echoed in De’Tearion’s ears, reminding him of his aching hunger. He quickly pushed it down though. There was more to this kid than it seemed, and he wanted to figure out what it was.

So, after a breif moment of watching the boy stare at him in terror, De’Tearion glanced at his hand. It was tricky to make out what the kid held, due to its size, but it was clearly wood, and definitely not a weapon. It actually more resembled a rodent of some sort. Was it a carving? A talisman? Or just a simple keepsake?

De’Tearion gently let go of the boy, doubtful that he was going to use the rodent carving as a weapon. He then simply crouched low, nearly sitting on the floor, and watched. A soft clicking chirp echoed from his throat, like an indecisive hum.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The boy took a deep breath as the intruder let him go and moved away, but didn't move beyond holding his toy closer to his chest. It clearly meant a lot to him for some reason. He tilted his head curiously at the sound the stranger made.

Once again the shadows receded to a more normal level… the boy lowered his head and brought his legs up to his chest. “ ‘m sorry.” he mumbled almost too softly for anyone else to hear.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion watched the boy hold the wood rodent closer, recognizing the sentimentality of it. He didn’t know the meaning of the rodent, but he knew well the need to keep it close. He felt the same way with the amulet that he wore.

He then noticed the boy’s curiosity after his chirp. Not many responded to his insectile noises with curiosity. It was… refreshing. However, as the boy coiled and apologized, De’Tearion grew concerned.

“For what?”he whispered, though it was almost unintelligible. His voice was hoarse from lack of use and his thick accent of chirps and clicks nearly overwhelmed his words. He also burst into a brief coughing fit.

De’Tearion shook his head and sighed once he stopped coughing, then stretched his jaw and readjusted the feelers in his mouth. After that, he cleared his throat and tried again.

“Sorry for what?”

His voice was still hoarse and his accent still thick, but at least he could be understood.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The boy refused to look up at the garbled words. He just pulled his legs closer and shook his head quickly. He didn't understand what he was trying to say but he knew he had done wrong. He couldn't always help it but he knew it was wrong. They always told him so.

He shuddered at the question, hearing the words this time and slowly looked back up. His eyes starting to shine with tears as he held the toy a bit tighter. "The dark." he whispered, knowing he had to answer. "I'm sorry. Didn't mean to." he tried to defend as a different kind of fear seeped into his small voice.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion had expected some kind of reaction to the slightly eerie appearance of his mouth, but instead he saw the kid curling up even more. Why?

The boy’s reaction to his question unsettled De’Tearion for some reason he couldn’t quite place. Then, when he looked up and answered, De’Tearion froze. The boy’s tiny frame, his deep attachment to a simple wooden rodent, the tears, the fear… The memories…

De’Tearion immediately suspected that he knew what the boy feared. Being different in a place that demanded conformity always led to situations like this. And, often to the youngest ones with no idea how to fix the problem.

It took a second for him to register what the boy had said, and when it did, it only convinced De’Tearion further. And, if what he suspected was true, he couldn’t leave this boy. Not to such a fate like he had known.

“You need not apologize to me, young one. We are similar,”he said softly.

He rose his hand slowly, showing that he was no threat, then called to his magic. Black mist started to swirl around his fingers and he used it to form a ball of darkness. Though De’Tearion could easily turn the ball into a deadly weapon, he didn’t do that. It was just a harmless ball of shadow, a sibling to the darkness caused by the boy.

“I will harm you not,”he cooed reassuringly, dismissing his magic and lowering his hand.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The boy continued to blink back his tears. He couldn't cry. Not right now. But when the stranger spoke again, so gently… it wasn't what he had expected. It was… nice? He thought it was but why? Why was it? He sniffed quietly and rubbed his sleeve under his nose, watching curiously as the stranger stood and wondered what he was going to do to him.

He squeaked again as the shadows gathered in his hand and leaned forward slightly in awe that he wasn't the only one. His mostly brown eyes widened, this time without fear before looking over his shoulder for a brief moment. No one else was awake. No one else would know, right? The boy took a deep breath and turned back to the other before mimicking his gesture. His hand raised with the palm up, the shadows in the room writhed and waned against the walls before a small pebble formed in his hand, pitch black and cool to the touch, somewhere between solid and shadowy liquid. "Same?" he asked almost hopefully.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

The temptation to hold and comfort the boy nagged at him as he watched the kid fight his tears. De’Tearion had done that countless times, both recently and in the past. It broke his heart to such a young child in so much pain.

A small smile lifted De’Tearion’s lips as the boy stared. Then, when the boy started using his magic, it was De’Tearion’s turn to watch in awe. He had never seen shadow magic used in such a way. Long ago, he had mastered its defensive and offensive capabilities, at least those that he knew of, but he had never realized it could be used… artistically.

De’Tearion formed another ball of shadow in his hand, then proceeded to crush it, condensing the shadow into as small a space as he could. A teardrop-shaped stone was left, tiny strings of mist swirling around it.

“Maybe. ‘Tis very similar, at the least,”De’Tearion replied, intrigued.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The boy squirmed a little, unfamiliar with having someone be interested in what he could do. But it was nice to not have to hide it for once. He watched as the stranger remade his ball and shrank it down to match the one in his own palm and giggled quietly. His eyes narrowed in concentration as he tried to make the shadowy dot bigger. Whether it was from inexperience, his young age, or trying so hard to not do anything with the shadows that caused his first attempt to look the way it did, it was hard to tell.

He smiled at the stranger’s words and crawled forward on the bed until he could sit on the edge with his feet hanging off the edge. “How? How do you… the shadows listen to you too?” he asked, still barely bringing his voice above a whisper.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion noticed the boy’s squirm, but easily figured that he was just unused to the positive attention. That was made even more clear when the boy tried to make his stone bigger, and probably more like De’Tearion’s stone.

When the boy moved forward, De’Tearion shifted back just a little, so that they weren’t accidentally crowding each other. He then pondered how best to answer the kid’s question.

“The shadows are part of me, in a way. I am a creature of the dark, thus ‘tis in my nature to call to the shadows,”De’Tearion explained softly.

@FanfictionFanatic-The-Elder group

The boy blinked owlishly at the answer, lowering his hand slightly but keeping the shadow in his hand. “Are they part of me too?” he asked curiously as the moonlight filtered through the window.

He looked at the stranger’s appearance and took in all that was different between them. The boy was obviously human with the only physical oddity being the spot of pale blue in the lower right side of his right eye near his pupil. It wasn't very big, nearly oval in shape, and only half his iris in width but it was still another oddity that the boy had to live with.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion hummed in thought at the question, eyeing the boy at the same time he was inspecting De’Tearion. Though the boy looked completely human, apart from a couple oddities, De’Tearion was clearly not.

His legs and feet were long and insectile. His torso and upper arms were covered by a white and black shell, though it was barely visible because of his robe. His skin was eerily pale. Then, there was his softly glowing blue eyes and the insectile mouthparts hiding in his mouth.

“In a way, I believe they are. ‘Tis rare for humans to connect to the dark and shadows like you can, yet ‘tis impossible not,”De’Tearion answered.