I love dps sometimes kappa.

So, some context. 3 am, gubal hard for my expert roulette, 2 BLMs, an AST, and me on WAR. At the pace we’ve been moving this is easily a 15-17 minute run.

So after red Pepsi man, I always like to ask my healers if they’re cool with me pulling all the toads plus the mammet train before apanda at once. I do this because I know not everyone is prepared for it (especially not at the ass crack of the morning) and those mammets can really hurt.

One BLM stays silent, the other BLM immediately jumps on me and cuts in with “any healer worth anything can heal through it.”

I respond with “i was talking to [AST] actually. Yknow the one who’s been healing me this entire run?”

The AST actually requests that I stop at the second set of toads which was fine by me. The BLM took exception to that of course and kept on running past my pull to grab the mammets. So I got to play a fun little game of catch me if you can to keep the other BLM from hitting the mammets with their aoe on the toads by running in circles until the mammets melted the first one and went back to their original places.

The healer then said, “any dps worth anything could have lived through that”


This is my favorite story this morning after waking up terribly. I wish more tanks were like you.

– Mod Mhi

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( Tani’s performance from tonight’s @keepers-kiss cabaret, with vocals by the gorgeous @cirtai to turn me on, by carmel paradise. )

The lights fall dim. The stringent blue glow from the stage remains the only source of illumination for a long, long moment; punctured by stray dust particles drifting aimlessly in the luminescent light as music permeates the orchestrion in idle, jarring notes. Something stirs in the dark; a silhouette brushes in to settle along the stage’s lengthy catwalk- a slender shadow, a shade; all but indistinguishable in the dark.

The lights drift back into their characteristic clandestine gleam.

They illuminate Tani’s opulent figure at once, catching off the golden accents to his chestwrap, off the dainty choker around the base of his throat, off the edges of the frayed feathers upon his skirts, off his bracelets, his rings, his hairpins, his earrings— he’s utterly, utterly lavish. Laid with gold like some dressage-ready show-kitten; accented with a flourish of golden glitter upon the crests of his cheeks, the curves of his shoulders, and the exposed expanse of his flat stomach.

It highlights his freckles, and the dark kohl around his eyes, the piercing nestled through his navel, and the pure white feather, thick with plumage, pinned into his hair to keep it from his face. It highlights the bared tops of his thighs barely visible through the swaying, frayed edges of his luxuriant skirts; splashed with faded freckles, with his palatial pure-white tattoos, and a pair of vibrant merlot ribbons tethered around his wrists; long enough to drag to the stage floor behind him.

His familiar star orb hovers over his open right hand, fingers spread as if to keep it in suspended animation above him. It glitters, it gleams, his purple-painted tarots orbit in a mindless gleam. The little courtesan lifts his free hand, folding down all fingers save for his index, which he draws to his lips in a muted, quieting gesture.

One clearwater-blue eye lowers into a sly wink, heavy lashes kissing the crest of his cheek as Cirhien’s voice drifts over his music; gentle, delicate, and every bit as characteristic as her stage presence. His gaze briefly lifts as her ‘-you pick me up and you’re oh-so-sad’- filters towards him, and his attention shifts, then, to his star globe.

That hand moves from the full bow of his lower lip to settle upon the back of one of his cards. He tilts his head, sandy hair spilling loosely over a slender shoulder as he gives the deck a -spin-, until it -twirls- around the rings of his globe. He stops it abruptly, thumb and forefinger catching one of his cards, and drawing it away from the rest of its deck. He angles it towards himself, smile broadening when the Balance winks up at him with its effervescent, cardinal glow.

He sweeps the card up, above him— pressing it into burning transience over his head until it gleams, until it glitters for the audience to -see- what he has cast. It evaporates, burning itself from the edges in until nought but a few flecks of glittering ash flutter down to the glass stage floor beneath them- and the card is, for all it appears, entirely -gone-.

Aether crackles in the air. Tani steps forwards. Cirhien’s voice carries him as the music swells, (‘I know it might be wrong, but you turn me on’), and he sweeps his globe aside, spinning it off the heart of his palm until it comes to rest by the edge of the stage, caught in a tangible, and suspended twirl as if in silent wait for her owner to return as his gaze briefly scours the audience, as if in search of something- as if in search of someone.

They arrive, somewhere between his slow breaths in. The presence of his aether hangs suspended, until his eyes almost seem to glow beneath his lashes, beneath his green eyeshadow. His head turns, as if watching the idle flutter of another figure come to rest behind him. The courtesan’s hands raise - poised like a ballerina, and his dance begins. His fingers extend, as if they’re resting within some invisible hand, as if he has some intangible but undeniably present partner to waltz with.

There’s something behind him; a figure made up of fleeting golden-red sparks, a figure barely visible in the brightness of the stage lights. The Balance turns her charge into a twirl, she tips the delicate courtesan in her grasp into a sweeping arch, back curving under the weight of this invisible palm in a brief display of immense flexibility. He is dancing with the Balance.

Tani draws back, breath caught in his throat, as he’s ushered into another twirl, thick braid sweeping after him- feather billowing, beads swaying, click-clicking together as his bare feet glide along the blue-lit stage beneath him with the flourish of his ribbons as he’s stopped. It’s barely visible, marked by the outline of a dozen-and-one red-hued constellations that flutter over his flesh in a possessive ripple.

A touch of red stardust sweeps down towards the hollow of his throat. Tani’s head tilts back, lips parting for a barely-audible sigh to escape past as a domineering kiss is granted to his pulse point, as fleeting hands sweep up the length of his thighs, drawing the edges of his skirts up, and up, until they tug the fastenings loose, and discard them entirely until they pool at the little courtesan’s feet.

It leaves him clad only in his little black briefs, and the ornate cropped tunic cast across his chest, heavy with golden embellishments that sway each time he so much as moves. He lifts a hand to his parted lips, feigning a look of complete and utterly scandalised surprise. That look dwindles into a grin as he turns. A tethered hand closes around his ribbon-wound wrist, it ushers him into another sharp turn, and sweeps him towards the edge of the stage.

Together, they drift off; into the long aisle between couches as Tani turns, twisting from the Balance’s hold with a thin spray of silver stars. He turns away, into a ballet-like pirouette. His hand sweeps up again; the Balance reaches for him, only for her grasp to be glanced aside by the courtesan’s stars. She reaches for his ankle, Tani draws it towards his opposing knee into a gentle sway, hands extending on either side of himself.

The Balance chases him, like a coeurl pursuing a swan. She snatches at his waist; Tani sweeps aside with a fresh bout of silver sparks. She reaches for his hair, catching the very ends, pulling Tani’s green ribbon free until his hair comes cascading in a sandy curtain from its tether. He sweeps it aside again, twisting sharply past, breath harsh and fast— his flush creeps down from the crests of his cheeks towards the gentle sweep of his chest, and he makes it back to the end of the stage.

It’s almost like a mating dance, almost like some kind of ritual, some odd back-and-forth edged with the sway of his wavy hair cast after him in a flurry; dotted with pearlescent charms that litter the gentle waves like the Mist’s shoreline after a storm, riddled with broken shells.

Intangible arms encircle his waist, and hoist him up, and onto the stage once more. The darting cardinal stars flit after him, as if they can’t bare to part from him; for then those hands are -on- him. They sweep down the curve of his chest, pulling at his necklaces and his pendants as they go - until invisible thumbs dive past the lips of his little black briefs. They pull down, exposing the gentle incline of his hips, the pink-flushed base of his length, before they withdraw.

Tani’s head tips back, as if to rest on the Balance’s shoulder, as if all of this is simply so good that he can’t hope to remain standing on his own. His thick tail lashes behind him in a sway of pealing bells tethered into his sandy, downy fur as those hands lift, as they sweep over the curve of his chest anew; and as they unfasten his tunic with ease.It’s stripped from him, his arms sweep forwards, and he tries to escape the Balance’s hold. His wrists are caught, he’s turned into a sharp twirl; red-etched hands drifting over his paper-white flesh, grasping, kneading, sweeping over the swell of his backside, pulling at his little black tights, sweeping over the pebbled pink -flush- of his nipples in fleeting transience.

Cirhien trails into pleading Huntspeak over the Orchestrion, the familiarity has Tani’s ears tipping down as his hands curl, catching the Balance’s barely-visible wrists as he’s drawn up, off his feet. It’s a ballet. It’s some twisted, misshapen duet; and Cirhien’s open -‘lovin’ hurts, but baby it’s worth it’- sweeps up one of his thighs as a greedy red palm glides towards the swell of his backside.

He glances it aside again, open palm coming down as if in a -strike- chased by his fluttering ribbons as he twists his hands to catch the gilded fabric against his palms. He gives them a flick; his left foot lifts from the stage to sweep towards the inside of his thigh as he turns, as his ribbons intertwine around the effeminate sway of his waist, drawing in with the gilded ruby pendants sewn into the ends until they cling to him like a second skin, like a corset.

A red-laced hand sweeps behind him, it presses him forwards, folding him -down- until he lowers upon his hands and his knees, tail arching behind him as too-sharp-nails that remain traced by a thin outline of fading red sweep back to loosen his ribbons. The fabric snakes from around him, thinning, sagging around the delicate sway of his spine as those wandering hands slither towards the lip of his underthings once more.

Phantom fingers thread beneath the waistband and gently, gently— they urge them down. Tani leans forwards, his hands extend to press flat to the stage floor. To lower onto his elbows, forearms laid before him as his tail sweeps with his hips, back, and forth, back, and forth- like some wanting kitten as his little black briefs are drawn down to rest beneath the swell of his backside.

He remains there, on his elbows and his knees, with his spine arched into a delicate sway, draped in velveteen red fabric, painted by his white-ink tattoos with blonde hair spilling over his narrow, freckle-dotted shoulders like a gilded -veil-. His cheeks are flushed red, kiss-bitten lips parted in a wanton display in blind wait of his partner. His knees spread, thighs parting upon the cold stage floor, and his tail flutters between.

The courtesan turns his head, cheek pressing to the glass stage floor as a broad grin sweeps across his features. He crosses his ankles, feet en-pointe, gilded anklets chiming ardently against Cirhien’s ‘The devil in your smile, you drive me wild, you drive me wild‘ and he reaches back, impatient— to peel his underthings down to his knees, to fold them towards his chest enough to conceal his modesty, until the pale swell of his backside comes dotted with his characteristic glitter.

It’s gilded by the curve of a jewelled, white-ink crescent moon, sweeping over him as if to accentuate his curves; as opulent, and as lavish as the rest of him as his free hand comes up to tug his feather, quickly, from his hair. Blonde locks come spilling over his features, he draws back, onto his knees; breathless— surrounded by reverberating red sparks - as if, although she may not be touching nor tangible any longer, the Balance is unable to part from her doll.

He slinks forwards to sit upon the edge of the stage, knees huddled towards his chest as he tucks his underthings off from around his ankles, as he casts an errant wink, and tosses the silken fabric aside. Pale thighs -slowly- part, his plumed feather lowers between, and he straddles the edge of the stage; length concealed, pink, flushed, and veiled by white feathers curled protectively around him, too thick, and too rich to hope to see through, even with the light of the stage cast upon them.

The little courtesan reaches for his star globe— red flushed, hair stringy and loose— and entirely, entirely -naked- as he rolls the globe back towards himself. His fingers extend, and tether to catch his blank card from the orbiting deck- he draws it forwards; close to his sternum. He turns it for the audience to see- complete by a missing artwork absent from its lavish front. The hanging constellation above him shudders, it sparks- reluctant to return.

Tani lifts the card. It raises from his fingertips. The edges of the constellation burn, they sizzle.. and then they fade. Bit by bit, like particles evaporating, they return to the front of his card until the Balance becomes whole again, standing with her sword and her shield, turned away; corded muscles tense, and prepared to strike; stagnant, and frozen just as Cirhien’s muted, delicate vocals taper off.

The card returns to his clawed hand. Tani brings it towards himself, caught between his index and middle fingers until he catches it in his parted lips, teeth snagging hold of its pointed corner as his gaze lifts, over-bright, aether-fading, for his audience. Spread thighs lift, and sweep back from the edge of the stage as his free hand lowers to push himself to his feet again, orb following a moment behind.

His ribbons ripple after him, slowly unwinding from his lithe form as he steps back, as he lifts his orb and releases the Balance to allow her return to his deck. She flutters obediently back into place, returning into orbit around the dome of his globe as his attention returns to his audience, as he gives that little modest feather a gentle shake to tease.

Holding it in place, the little courtesan sweeps into a graceful bow; tail lifting, and coiling close around the bare, glitter-dotted sway of his waist to offer a little more modesty than his feather as he straightens, as he lifts the orb as if hoping to garner applause for his obedient spell as well as himself.

With a wide smile, he offers a gentle, touched little nod as thanks. The courtesan hesitates for a moment. Peach lips parting as if he’s on the verge go saying something— strawberries and cream before the dive of a curved silver spoon, before he seems to think better of it. Still, never, never has he uttered a word on stage, and today isn’t the time to break that habit.

With another short partial bow-curtsey, he steps back, grinning ear to ear, and coquettishly framed by dimples. He turns his back, and he makes his way off the stage, ribbons folding low enough to conceal the curve of his backside behind him as his ears flick-flick with a gilded sway of his earrings. 

He vanishes from view, off stage.


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