The Kingdom - Born on the Bayou

Gatac 2017-06-22 12:27:18
Martin looks at Ozzy, and his whiskers droop.

"...I wish I was in the mood for jokes," he says. "But you're right. We've got no time to waste now. We must work swiftly to secure the other piece. Whether it holds a cure or not, it must be destroyed before it wreaks more havoc."
Gatac 2017-06-22 12:53:32
Martin sighs.

"Is it weird that I eat them?" he asks.
punkey 2017-07-10 23:40:17
It's not a short walk back to the Beaulieu manor, but it goes pretty fast when everyone you meet clears out of the way of the gore-covered band of armed men, woman, and rakasta. Before long, you're at the road leading towards the valley housing the Beaulieu farms and property.

"Not to harsh the whole 'rush in and kill shit' vibe you guys love so much, but what's the plan?" Q asks.
skullandscythe 2017-07-11 14:23:50
Red looks over from scanning the brush for tails.
"What? Oh, right. Yeah, I'd prefer we talk this out, if we can. We'll ask them about the tablet, and see how they react from there." He opens his mouth to add something, then shuts it with a grimace.

Red continues looking for any signs of pursuers from the Descoteaux manor.
Gatac 2017-07-17 12:32:15
Martin, who's been pretty quiet the whole walk, suddenly pipes up.

"What if they won't part with it?" he asks.
skullandscythe 2017-07-17 21:11:19
Red stares at the same spot in the brush for a while before replying.

"Then we'll have to take it from them."
CrazyIvan 2017-07-20 23:59:39
Ana looks meaningfully at Martin. "Brother Martin, perhaps this would be a good time to ask your god for a little bit of help seeing that it doesn't come to that."

It would do you some good to remember you weren't always red in tooth and claw. And I doubt I'm on speaking terms with any god inclined to help.
Gatac 2017-07-21 13:33:01
Martin turns his head to look at Ana and then nods.

"Datehl, walk with me," he begins, lowering his head. "Today, I have not waged peace in your name, but war in mine. Perhaps a wiser man could see another path; I can only see this one. The calm I once took for granted is gone from me, and I understand so little of what is happening to me and my friends, but I know we cannot yield in our quest. I ask not for an easier road, but that you walk with me on this road, too, and that your gentle hand may steady me and comfort me and lead me to the righteous path I seek. Thank you."

And Datehl, good guy god that he is, walks with Martin. The relieved smile on his face is proof enough.
e of pi 2017-07-25 23:06:20
Anton walks quietly alongside the others. His hand brushes against the Kneecapper on its strap. For a boy from the streets of the City, this has all the feelings of gang fight, the really ugly ones. He's had enough personal experience with those, and he remembers one thing Boss Horea always said: "Never get involved in anyone else's rumble if you don't have to." Red's folks were nice enough the first time, and he's hoping Kneecapper can just stay hanging there. If it doesn't, and they have to end up fighting both sides of this little swamp feud...focus on getting there and finding out. That's simpler than thinking about it.
Gatac 2017-07-29 12:14:35
Martin looks to the assembled group, nobody quite daring to take the first step into what could be another ugly situation.

"I think we should start by just asking for the tablet," he says, and then trots off through the valley, heading towards the front door of the Beaulieu manor.

If anyone has a better plan, they're welcome to it, but standing around here won't do any good.
e of pi 2017-08-03 22:44:36
Anton doesn't have a better plan, so he just grunts to himself and follows the priest. Tiger. Whatever.
Gatac 2017-08-17 15:38:01
The farmers on the Beaulieu farm might still be human, but they have that same head-down, "working their patch of land" attitude that Martin recognizes from the Descoteaux farm. They might not be literally half-prey, but after hearing that Pops Beaulieu was after the tablet as well, Martin can't help but look up at that white house overlooking the rice paddies and vegetable patches and notice who's on the apex here. Martin swallows his concerns and fixes his eyes forward. If something's happening here - no profit in delaying. Best get to the source before he can think better of it. He keeps his walk straight. The tablet. He will destroy it, and everything will settle down from there. That's the ticket. That's all that matters.

Water carriers and guards stand aside as Martin, Anata, Lucius, Q, (and to a greater extent) Anton and Ozzy make their way up the steps to the Beaulieu front door. Sitting on the porch underneath the long, wide awning are Pops and Beau, relaxing on rocking chairs.

"We didn't expect you back for a minute," Pops says, waving in the group's direction as they all file into formation in front of the Beaulieu patriarch. "I trust that by your relatively intact - if not exactly clean - status that those rotten Descoteaux scoundrels that have been taking my people are no more?"
"The problem's nearly solved," Martin says coolly. "It's just the matter of the second half of the tablet. I fear we'll have to impose on you, Sir, to help us find and destroy it."
Beau smirks. "You mean you can't find it? Red's losing his touch."
"I think we're pretty close," Martin says.
"Well hell, I ain't doing anything," Beau says, and stands up. "I'll grab my bow and show you how a real tracker gets things done."
"Sir," Martin says to Pops, "I think I have been unclear. There's exactly one parcel of this swamp that your rivals have not turned over in search of the second half. And we're standing on it. I would be grateful if you could all save us some time, then, before we indeed go searching."
"Pops?" Beau asks, turning to his father.

Pops shifts in his seat, saying nothing while glaring at Martin's yellow eyes.

"And judging from the look on your son's face," Martin says, "you have done a very good job of keeping it safe from the grasp of evil, Sir. But now that the other half has been destroyed, it is time to dispose of this ancient evil, once and for all."
Pops keeps his stare at Martin up for a little while longer. "Nothing so wasteful as a good tool left unused," he finally says.
"A sword cares not what blood it spills," Martin counters. "We could recount the horrors we've seen on our journey, but I'd like to spare you - all of you - those thoughts. I ask you again - please trust us to end this now."
"You leave any of them alive, boy?" Pops asks.
"I won't lie to you, there's a rather larger crocodile-beast, the size of a house, that purports to have been Narcisse. We didn't press the issue, but we remain sanguine that shattering the tablet will reverse the magicks that twisted him thusly." Martin chuffs. "Other than that, no, circumstances did not favor it. Asenath's evil corrupts deeply, and none saw the wisdom in surrender."
"So they're still out there, then," Pops says. "They're still big and mean, and you all are gonna fuck right off and leave us to our own devices." Pops shifts in his seat but makes no attempt to stand. "Well, thank you for the offer, but we're fine."

That doesn't seem to sit too well with Beau, but he turns back to face the group rather than his father.

"I'm afraid we're going to have to insist," Martin says. "You can still be the hero here. But if you prefer the company of Asenath, well, you might want to ask the last guys we met how that worked out for them. 'course, you might have trouble finding them."
"Descoteaux wouldn't know how to strike a match without settin' their clothes on fire," Pops scoffs. "I've seen the ways of their folly, we won't be making the same mistakes."
"You think the Descoteaux are the first people messing with Asenath's tablets we had to take care of?" Martin snaps. "It always goes the same. People mess with things they don't understand. Evil is unleashed. We go in and cut its head off. That is the story. I've seen it played out once tonight. I think we would all prefer to stop there. I'm certainly sick of it. But one way or another, that tablet is getting destroyed. So, no, I sincerely do hope you don't make the same mistakes as the Descoteaux did - and settle for knowing that you helped defeat an ancient evil, instead of dying in her name."
"Awfully appropriate that your fur is as black and white as your words," Pops says. "Must be nice back there in the City. Why don't you head on back there."
"Because a fool is standing in my way," Martin growls. "Hand over the tablet so we can destroy it. I won't say it again."
"Hey, hey," Beau says, stepping in between Martin and Pops. "Let's just calm things down."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-08-18 20:07:22
"There ain't much left o' the City left," Ozzy interjects. "Weren't nice before and it's good and proper fooked now. Same as'll happen here if you give into wot Asenath's sellin' yer." He takes a step forward, backing up Martin. "Give us the tablet, we break the curses, and then you can go and finish off the Descoteaux while they're weak from transformin' if that shite gets yer hard. Or you can give us the tablet, we break the curses, and you and the Descoteax can come together over this shared fookin' experience and fookin' circle jerk and sing campfire songs. I don't fookin' care as long we get that tablet and we break the curses."
skullandscythe 2017-08-19 07:26:34
"Thank you, Ozzy," Red replies in that 'you're not helping' tone. He steps up, past Ozzy and Martin, near Beau.

"Pops, maybe the tool's greatest use is to be destroyed. Everyone's been living in fear of this curse, of the Descoteaux's foul magic. You can tell them that you've freed them from that.

"As for the Descoteaux, they're hardly big and mean out there. Narcisse is pretty much all that's left. Break the tablet, and he'll go from being a house-sized crocodile to a two-chair sized naked man. I think you can handle that." Red looks over at Beau for a moment, then back at Pops. "Or Beau and I can, if you prefer."
punkey 2017-08-19 17:19:35
Pops gives Red a hard but curious look. "Guarantee that he'll go back to being a dumb fat bastard, can you? You became some expert in things that never happened while you've been away?" Pops scoffs. "Barely even look like my boy anymore. Gone back to the city and forgot where you came from."
Gatac 2017-08-20 03:14:43
"That's a funny thing to say," Martin cuts in. "Your son is fighting to preserve his home and his kin and all the people around, while you have gazed upon the horrors of Asenath's magicks and decided that you wanted yet more of her wicked power run amuck. You disdain the experience of the only band of people who have stood up to this ancient evil and lived to carry the day, but what do you know? Where is your library of arcane grimoires, your correspondence with learned mages, your own notes on what you have observed and discovered? I saw none of it in your home and I should think your family would long have known your plan if you approached it with the kind of effort and diligence that handling such power requires. I ask once more, Sir: what do you know about this tablet? I think you only spout what it has whispered to you in the dark, filling your head with lies and your heart with malice. Your protests against our warnings are that of a child caught in mischief. If you can't see it, then it is not on Renard to follow you into this madness; it is you who has forgotten himself, and your son's duty to uphold the love for justice and good you once taught him."
skullandscythe 2017-08-20 12:27:03
"Dumb and fat or crafty and skinny, he won't be a house-sized croc anymore," Red responds calmly. "Be easier to deal with, either way."

Red is NOT, however, calm when Martin speaks up.

"MARTIN! STEP OFF!" Red takes a quick shuddering breath, forces his frightful face back into something more composed. But his voice continues, low and growling, "You don't know what you're talking about."

Red turns back to his father, quivering. "Martin thinks I am a good person, it seems.

I am not. And you are right, that the city has changed me. Helped me remember...and made me a worse person for it. But this," And he waves his hand over the house, over the hill, "this is still my home. And you, and Ma, and Mari, and Flora and Marcie-and even Beau," Red chuckles, "however much we couldn't stand each other-are all my family.

"Is it wrong for me to be concerned-to be afraid for you? Is it wrong for me to want to help you if you're in trouble?" Renard gulps. "Is it wrong, then, to turn that help away?"

(OOC: Persuade, if at all possible please.)