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Author Topic: Battle of The Bards  (Read 109 times)

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Offline Billiam

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Battle of The Bards
« on: June 14, 2019, 05:46:12 AM »
Reserved for Johnny <3
Rural Louisiana, 1976

The traveler moved along the dusty road, his boots crunching the gravel and dirt beneath him. There was a motel not far from here that he planned to settle into before the day broke. He had a few more hours of walking to get there and so he looked up at the stars to see what shapes they held tonight. It was a beautiful summer evening in Louisiana, and Tyler took in the swamp like sounds and scanned eagerly for alligators. He’d always wanted to wrestle one, and so he kept himself on high alert for the opportunity. He’d been offered a ride, but turned it down. It was too easy to travel these days, and he honestly wanted to enjoy the simple delights of walking. In one hand was a slightly used suitcase, the kind door to door salesman had used since the 1920’s. In the other hand was a brand new guitar case. It was black with a silver handle and had a soft felt covering. Tyler gripped it warmly.

The road took him by a few gas stations, the people of which had stared at the pretty young man wearing a large beige coat, and carrying a guitar. Where is his car, he heard one woman whisper to her husband. He just smiled and kept on walking. Most of the humans in New Orleans had been sweet to him, with the exception of a few aggressive dudes with something to prove. He’d whipped them around and showed ‘em what’s what. The women they’d been with were most appreciative. The vampires were a mixed bag. The Camarilla held an iron grip on the Kindred, and the Anarchs were confined to a small turf near the French Quarter. The mission had been a success though, and one less Camarilla prince lived. That’s what he’d been called in to do, with the hope it would change things for the better. Tyler had to hope. Otherwise, what was the point of any of it?

It was close to midnight now, and the traveler came to a crossroads. As he stood in the center of the four way split he tried to remember which direction led to the motel. He’d left his map of the area back in New Orleans - since he’d had to flee to avoid being murdered - and so he finally realized he was unsure where he was going. For the first time it occurred to the Brujah that he should’ve taken the ride and walking was overrated. He placed his suitcase on the ground and stared at each path for several minutes, his mind utterly abandoning him in his time of need. “Fuck,” he cursed loudly, not sensing anyone nearby.

Since Tyler didn’t believe in futility, he decided to try something else. He moved to the side of the road and took off his coat, folding it neatly and placing it on top of his suitcase. Underneath it was a polo shirt, jeans and western boots. He reached into his coat pocket and retrieved a stack of matches and a pack of cigarettes. After striking the fire stick off the side of his suitcase and lighting his cancer stick, he took a deep first inhale. He trapped the smoke in the back of his throat and blew two beautiful smoke rings. The traveler smile proudly, and unsnapped the latches on the guitar case.

Inside was a gently used  twelve string guitar, acoustic in sound and made from Yamaha. It shined thanks to the moonlight and the wood polish interacting, and he pulled it out and placed in his lap. He'd play some music to relax his mind, and trusted the answer would reveal itself. The other path was just anger and frustration. Music calmed his soul, and he hoped his memory too. Tyler tuned the ax for a few minutes, until everything was exactly where it was supposed to be. Then, he took a guitar pick and started strumming. The sound started out as a simple blues riff, but quickly took on a faster and more experimental direction. Tyler had heard Jimmy Hendrix recently, and was amazed by the new kinds of sounds he was making. The traveler did his best to combine his folk and blues roots with the new sounds of rock, and  started to come with a sound that fused it all together. Tyler laughed out loud and started humming out a melody, and within a few minutes lyrics started to appear.

I don’t know nothing about you baby,
But I know I want you by my side.
I don’t know nothing, and I’m crazy.
But at least I can say that I tried


The clock struck midnight, and the noises of animals, bugs and the wind all vanished. Only Tyler’s playing continued. He noticed the end of other noises eventually, and stopped strumming to look around.

“Hello,” he called out. “Is anyone there?”

Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Dragon(Jake)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lamb(Freddy)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Majesty(Mithras)~ Comrade(Benny)~

Offline sully

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Re: Battle of The Bards
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 02:06:20 AM »
The soft sound of jingling metal and boots grinding into dirt materialized from behind the Traveler as he played. The creator of the sounds was clad in large black cowboy boots, tight miner's blue jeans, a red flannel shirt unbuttoned half way, and a long dark brown overcoat. In his hands were a large cigar, smoke lazily drifting off to the sky, and a glass filled to the brim with golden colored whiskey. He stumbled a bit as he walked, but the man still carried himself gracefully, never truly in danger of falling over. Strung across his back is a small wooden case with a handle that repeatedly raps against the wood as the man sways and stumbles. His long ginger hair was tied back in a bun, leaving his freckled skin and grey eyes on full display.

Trying ain't good enough baby
A million men have tried for less
And all it got them was the heel of my boot
You gotta do more baby if you really wanna impress


The man sung in reply, his voice somehow also producing the melody played from the guitar. He raised the glass towards the Traveler and took a deep drink, consuming most of the whiskey and let out a loud hiss of pain and enjoyment. "Now what brings a pretty thing like you out to an old place like this? Can't be too smart if you're playing music at a Devil's crossroad I'd say." The man asked before letting out a deep baritone laugh that rippled across the field.
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Party Boy ~ Royce - The Viper ~ Eva - The Watch Maker ~ Archie

Offline Billiam

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Re: Battle of The Bards
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2019, 06:09:16 AM »
Tyler eyed the new stranger warily, and recognized as whatever fulled his music as magic. He liked the look of the other man, hi ginger hair and piercing eyes forcing a smile out of the Brujah. The vampire stood, resting his instrument against a bush and walked closer to the other man. Was he really the devil? More likely, he was a devil, as she'd heard demons often claimed to be the high lord of evil himself. His posture was open and inviting for the moment, but the others words weren't exactly friendly ones, and so Tyler proceeded with caution.

"Well I never claimed to be smart or pretty," Tyler replied. "And I'm traveling between towns obviously."

He gestured to his suitcase, and traveling clothes. "So do you just wait here for unsuspecting musicians," Tyler asked, remembering that crossroads often involved deals with devils. Could this guy be the real deal? Tyler had never met a true demon in all his years on this earth. 
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Dragon(Jake)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lamb(Freddy)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Majesty(Mithras)~ Comrade(Benny)~

Offline sully

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Re: Battle of The Bards
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 02:35:46 AM »
Johnny swirled the glass in his hand, watching the liquid swirl and reflect the soft moonlight above. Taking another gulp, finishing off the last of the whiskey, he turned back to the Traveler and simply shrugged. "Eh sometimes. Although not as many remember the power of the crossroads. At least not those who feel the call of music like we do." He smiled warmly, but faint traces of mischievous glee could be seen, hiding at the corners of his mouth. "Been awhile since I've heard anyone play so beautiful. Most who come to find me ain't got more than a single bone of talent in their whole body. But you... I sense in you the talent of a true musician." His words sound kind and truthful at first, but as with his smile, a darker, more malicious tone can be heard just under the surface.

Striding closer to the Traveler, so that the distance between them was no wider than a foot, Johnny looked intently into the man's eyes. They stood in silence for a few moments as the two beings assessed the other until he broke the silence with a simple question; "Any chance I could try my hand at your guitar?"
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Party Boy ~ Royce - The Viper ~ Eva - The Watch Maker ~ Archie

Offline Billiam

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Re: Battle of The Bards
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 01:02:08 PM »
Tyler looked at this man with skepticism, arching a brow in protest to his smooth talking, and hard drinking. His flattery felt good though, and he had nice looking eyes. Tyler couldn't help but let out a small chuckle at the compliments, feeling they weren't really all that deserved. He didn't understand what the demon meant by "the power of the crossroads" but assumed he'd find out soon. Was it the music that this slick looking fox brought with him? Tyler looked at his guitar with reverence as it was requested. He didn't want to risk this guy damaging it, but Tyler did wonder what he could play and so extended it slowly.

"What kind of tunes you play," Tyler asked, unsure if his own taste level was as high as the apparent demon's.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Dragon(Jake)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lamb(Freddy)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Majesty(Mithras)~ Comrade(Benny)~

Offline sully

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Re: Battle of The Bards
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 10:26:11 AM »
Johnny waved his hands lazily in the air, gesturing one way or another; "Oh a little of this, a little of that. I believe all genres having something to provide to the grand symphony." Moving his right hand behind his back, he grabbed the wooden case strapped to him and lifted it off himself. He placed the case gingerly on the ground, raising his head to meet Tyler's eyes. Johnny shot the man a cheeky wink as he unclasped the silver buckles on the case; "But if I had to choose, I'd say I'm partial to a good old fashioned fiddle..." As the case swung open, a soft musical creak emanating from the hinges, the moonlight danced across the bright gold surface of the revealed fiddle. Every inch appeared sculpted from the purest of gold, the strings glinted like finely crafted diamonds, and the bow appeared to be chiseled from dark black marble. He lifted the fiddle and bow as if it weighed no more than it's common counterpart and placed it underneath his chin. Holding the bow loosely in his right hand, he smoothly twisted the tuning pegs one by one. Eventually he took the bow firmly in his hand and gently ran the bow across the diamond strings.

From the fiddle came an eerie, hellish sound that seemed to darken the moon itself, plunging the crossroads into a moment of terrifying blackness. Far off, wolves and hounds let out mournful howls echoing across the field and the sounds of animals running in fear could be heard faintly in the nearby forest. Despite all the terror the note inspired, there could be no denying the beauty that it carried as it pierced the previously quiet night. The note seemed to have an effect on the player as well. His skin now seemed flushed and his eyes seemed to catch the glint of the fiddle, appearing golden themselves. Smiling at his newfound companion with bright white, sharp teeth, Johnny raised a cocky eyebrow and asked "What did you think my friend?"
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Party Boy ~ Royce - The Viper ~ Eva - The Watch Maker ~ Archie

Offline Billiam

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Re: Battle of The Bards
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 07:46:26 AM »
This had to be a practical joke. He had a literal golden fiddle. Next this guy was going to tell Tyler his name was Johnny. The vampire listened as he strummed that awful and terrible note. Not only dogs responded to its sharpness. Tyler's own beast growled beneath the human exterior that contained it, and the pretty face temporarily looked angry. He softened though, and relaxed into numb curiosity. The more he learned about this pretty man, with his pretty voice and golden fiddle the more Tyler felt like they should run. Still, something held him place, and despite the warning signs, the traveler wanted more. He walked up to examine the fiddle, still holding out his guitar for the demon to take.

"Haunting," Tyler answered honestly, staring at the strings. "You the devil," he asked, tone pretty matter of fact for meeting Lucifer, or Johnny if the fiddle clue was to be followed. It was then they noticed the more demonic elements to his appearance, the sharp teeth sticking out in particular. The traveler beamed a wide smile of his own, showing two sharp fangs, and his eyes seemed to glow black. IT wasn't likely enough to fear anything that had just plunged the crossroads into black, but the traveler hoped it let the demon know he wasn't just some unsuspecting human. He was a vampire and a powerful one.

"Want to trade looks at our instruments," he offered, letting the double entendre become an inviting lyric.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Dragon(Jake)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lamb(Freddy)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Majesty(Mithras)~ Comrade(Benny)~