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Ivythorn's Guide to Building a Better Business (NSFW Themes)

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((The following posts should be taken with caution. While very few will be out-right explicit, many deal with mature themes, and will be flagged for content, no explicit images will be contained within, text only))

Entry 1: Why We Use Red Ink
((Violence, unnecessary cruelty, torture))

It was a wonderful sound...

...that rhythmic thudding of a golden coin rolling back and forth back and forth. Grinding over an aged, wooden desktop with a sound that somehow magically drags out each otherwise silent second. One could slow it down to a crawl, letting the ears pick up each and every little grove as the two surfaces met... or speed it up so the myriad of drumming little bumps ran together in a chorus of beautiful cacophony. Pinched loosely between thumb and forefinger, back and forth, back and forth, slow and fast, slow and fast... the coin, perfectly balanced, required no pressure to stay put... oh how WONDERFUL money could be, magnificent music that enriched life to the fullest.

It made him so happy that he didn't even mind that the furniture in the room was old and shabby wood... he didn't cut the trees down, he was just making sure they weren't going to waste! He was being thoughtful.. a very thoughtful Bosmer indeed, as he spent most hours in the day thinking, after all, a head filled with thoughts... though mostly about money.

Some said money didn't buy happiness, but those people were wrong, and also poor... two things the giddy Bosmer behind the desk never wanted to be. Joy always swelled within him, chest filled to almost bursting when gold was a-foot... or... a-hand, such as it was in that moment. The thought made him giggle, and the nervous looking man sitting across from him twitched anxiously as the elf flew into hysterics.

He held up the gold coin “Afoot! Counting coins with your toes!" Sylure nearly fell backwards in his chair as it balanced on two back legs, his own toes pointing towards the ceiling as feet were kicked in the air. "Could you IMAGINE trying to count coins with your toes?" The human, unable to discern the strange Mer’s internal dialogue, looked to be equal parts ill and confused. Leather clad feet swung back down, a swift swooshing motion that brought all four legs of the elf's chair back to the ground. A blur, a flash of light, as an intricate knife sung sweetly through the air and bit into the back of the man's hand, pinning his palm to the desktop as the point sank deeply into the wood. It must have slid into the elf’s hand at some point when he came back down to earth from his fit of laughter. Now he clutched the bone hilt, holding it in place firmly, that same sickeningly sweet smile plastered on his face as he watched his guest react.

A scream filled the room and the bubbly, laughing elf was no more. Green eyes that had, moments ago, been watery with joy and life were now cold and frosted over, and the playful smirk faded into a thin, hard line. His voice had been honeyed and warm as he laughed, but was now cold and distant. "Why did you make me do that?" He sat forward, leaning over the desk, placing his hands flat on the wood surface, spaced evenly on either side of the slowly expanding blood pool spreading out from the man’s pinned hand. "There's a knife in your hand now. Look at it!" Eyes darted back and forth between the injury and the face of the man who, now grasping at his wrist, was failing to pull himself free as tears streamed down his face.

Sylure bounced to his feet, a bit of the jolly elf returning to the surface as he nearly skipped around to the other side of the table. The nameless man stood, knocking over his own chair and putting full weight into freeing himself. He tried pleading next, shaking his head and asking forgiveness, but that too got him nowhere. His voice was muffled as the Bosmer's golden-bronze skin covered his mouth, a hand silencing him, "Shhhh.... shhhh.... now now now..." once more the voice was energized, as if constantly on the verge of telling the punchline of a joke. "...we'll make this all better, but you have to let ME speak first. I'm the offended party here... I'm the one who's been wronged. I let you borrow money, you signed a contract to pay me back... but what did my generosity get me?" He slammed a fist on the desk, jarring the blade and sending jolts of pain up the man's arm. "Blood on my new desk... that's how I've been repaid... that's not coins... look at it!" He pointed an accusatory finger at the spreading pool of offending blood.

Elf fingers snagged the scalp of the man and slammed him face-first into the desk with a sickening crunch, it mixed wickedly with the cackling laughter of the elf. "Oh-ho-ho-ho! Broken nose!" He rocked the man's face back and forth on the old wood, smearing him around in his own pool of spreading blood. "Does that look like coins to you? Do you see any of the coins you owe me sitting on my desk? No? You Don't? Neither do I" He stepped away as the human crumpled to the floor, sobbing, and still tugging at his trapped hand… the

Bosmer began to sing an upbeat tune from deep in his throat, shuffling around the broken human as he did a little jig, and improvised a song about a man who didn’t pay him money owed. Dusty floorboards under their feet began to creak and shudder, splitting open just enough for snakelike vines to slither across the floor. Thick, old vines, heavily thorned, moved to the merry little tune the Bosmer hummed, swishing back and forth as the song shifted like a breeze through tall grass.

They wrapped around the human's feet, slowly tightening at a pace he didn't notice. "I'll make a deal with you! Yes! That is what we shall do, my friend." He bounced back to his side of the desk and sat down, pulled out a quill dipped it in ink, and started scribbling across a fresh animal hide parchment. "I'll extend your payment date another cycle, but at the end of this season you better pay up.... there will be interest, of course, I'm a business man and I have to be paid after all....but...." Sylure paused as he tickled the tip of his nose with the feather, head listing to the side before scratching at the base of one stubby little horn.

"Collateral... collateral... OH! YES! That's it! I never stop surprising myself, I tell you what, myfriend..." He was scratching at the parchment once more, faster now, scrawling his hand across the new contract. "You have a beautiful wife, I'll hold onto her.... your son too... until you've paid.That way you have nooooooo distractions. Yes yes... perfect." He paused in his writing to look over at the man who already looked crushed in mind and body. "Especially perfect because I've already had them collected." His eyes narrowed as he signed his name at the bottom, his voice dropped, barely above a hushed whisper, raspy, as he repeated himself in a tone ominous enough to give the phrase ulterior meaning. "You have a -very- beautiful wife."

The man looked back with a sudden fire in his eyes, and stood to confront the elf who had just, in a not so subtle fashion, threatened his family. Only a scream came as the vines tightened, yanking him to the opposite side of the room, the desk with knife anchored within remained in place… as did some of the man’s hand. Sylure let out a laugh and dipped the edge of the parchment in the pooled blood and mushy remains of the human’s hand. "Aaaand thank you for the signature, we can just call that close enough, it would be cruel if I made a man sign paperwork in your condition!" He hummed a goodbye and the constricting plants yanked the man from the room, tossed him out onto the street, and slammed the door behind him.

Sylure was left alone, a new contract to sign... he suddenly started to laugh again. "Oh... oh ho hoho... he's going to have a hard time paying this back... a one-handed blacksmith... who's heard of a one handed blacksmith? That's as conventional as counting your coins with your toes!" He fell back into an uproar, finding a great deal of enjoyment in his coins and the funny habits of people.
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Posted Jun 4, 18 · OP
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The bosmer sat in a high back, red cushioned chair, one leg crossed over another with a large, leather-bound tome propped open on his lap. It was a calm evening in the study, warm red-orange firelight flickered across each surface, muting colors and spreading a disarming warmth and coziness. “Ah….” He spoke, looking up from timeworn pages, “Welcome, I didn’t see you come in. Please, have a seat by the fire, let me reminisce about one of the old fables told to me as a child.” He seemed almost serene as past and present began to melt together. “Fables and stories of youth oft give insight, and if you pay close enough attention, you may learn something about yourself, as much as you learn about the character or your’s truly, the humble narrator.” The bearskin rug shifted, not being a rug at all, but an actual bear snoozing and snoring by the fire. “From the beginning? Let us start...”

Spoiler: WARNINGShow

“Chapter One: Once Upon a Time”

There was a young Elf who lived deep in the enchanted woods. His little village was happy but small, a place where everyone knew everyone and no one was outside the circle of gossip. His family were known for being skilled mages and builders, having long ago helped found this little hamlet generations past. Had the boy been born in a big city, his family might have been well known and well off, but as he was born in a small village among the trees, the only thing he got from his family history was the demand for more work, more chores, and painfully high expectations for one so young as he.

The young boy often spent his precious few free moments dreaming of another life, one where he wasn’t just destined to be a builder and shaper of the town. Daydreaming always earned him a beating. Just about anything that didn’t specifically have to do with one of his chores or his jobs managed to get him a beating. He didn’t like beatings, but what boy his age would? All in all, his future had been determined by his family at his birth. Being the only child, he would take up the family trade of growing homes. It was an important role in the village, after all, one that required sacrifice and service… two things the boy enjoyed about as much as he enjoyed beatings.

One day, the boy was sent out to gather seeds in the enchanted forest. This was a task he enjoyed. He enjoyed the task because he had gotten very good at telling lies, lies that allowed him to take extra time to himself out in the woods, letting him spend the greater part of the day in his dreams as he wandered, gathering seeds here and there in his folded over cloak.

This particular day was particularly sunny, the bright rays of the sun piercing the high canopy of the woods, speckling the otherwise dim forest floor with shafts of gold. He wandered for what felt like ages, not going in any particular direction, his mind wandering high above the treetops while his bare feet drew him to parts of the wood he was unfamiliar with.

His daydreaming was interrupted by the sound of a young girl crying. Curious as to who else from the village might be this far out into the woods, the boy followed the sound to its source, only to dismiss what he thought was crying as nothing more than a slow trickle of a waterfall into a pond. The rocky outcropping slowly dumped a light drizzle into the crystal clear pond, barely able to be called a waterfall, the drop being little more than ten feet in height.

The pond was in a clearing, the bright sun reflecting off the wet rocks, casting long shadows under the waterfall, making it almost appear is if the flow of water hid a cave. His youthful mind took over once more, he imagined hearing the crying again, some fair maiden trapped in the evil cave, guarded by a dragon and in need of a valiant knight to come rescue her. He summoned his imaginary courage and moved to her rescue, wading through the cool, shin high water to the edge of the waterfall.

To his surprise, his imagination ran away from him. Confused, the boy became suddenly aware that he had been hearing crying all along, and it wasn’t a cave tucked back behind the dark edges of the rocky outcropping, but something moving in the shadows. A dark figure, smaller than even his small frame. The crying stopped with the realization of his presence, two bright violet eyes peering back at him from the darkness, quivering in fear from this intruder.

He spoke, calming the creature hiding in the shadows. It was a young girl, or it sounded like a young girl. For all he knew it was a disembodied pair of purple eyes… but they were lovely purple eyes. He told her of his imaginary adventures, and how he would give anything to be able to make them real. To experience the wider world, to have things turn out his way, to be someone, accomplish something, anything.

The girl told him that there might be a way, that she might know of someone who could help him. However, she was stuck under the waterfall. She needed to get home to her mother, but she couldn’t leave her spot, she couldn’t touch the sunlight, if she could only get to the safety of the forest, she could get home, but she had fallen asleep in the cool shade of the rocks, and was now stuck, unable to traverse the bright clearing that surrounded them.

The boy, moved by the girl’s plight, and chance to finally be a hero like he had always wanted to be, offered her aid. He shook out his cloak and held it up above himself, creating shade next to him, offering to ferry her across the ocean of light. Timid and scared, she finally accepted his help, but not without a fair amount of coaxing.

The girl was in fact little more than shadow, her shape formless yet shifting to match that of a nubile country lass, though it was one made of shadow. She shivered next to him as if caught out in the rain and catching cold. He smiled as she clung to him, her touch cool and soothing in a way he didn’t expect. With one last reassurance of her safety, he took off towards the treeline.

One foot in front of the other, he moved slowly across the clearing, unsure how fast a creature such as her, whatever she truly was, could move. At several points her fear took control of her, and she bolted back towards the safety of the rocks. He had to chide her, reprimand her after she hurt herself on the light several times. He did not enjoy seeing her suffer in such a manner, but he knew that she was learning to trust him more and more after each time she lost control and was painfully reminded of the safety he represented.

It took them nearly an hour to reach the treeline, but they did so, and the girl was ecstatic to be able to stretch her legs under the protection of the forest canopy. They laughed and played, enjoying each other’s company. She rewarded his chivalrous honor by swooning over him, and applying affections that made him blush.

She made him promise to return the next day to this very spot. She would lead him to a relic older than time that would grant him what he desired. It was something she had heard her mother speak of, something distant that would require a great deal of adventure and sacrifice on his part.

He didn’t like sacrifice, but she sweetly promised him so many different things, even offering her aid on his journey to repay him for saving her that day. His heart racing, the young lad agreed. With great reluctance, he let her return to her home, and he did the same.
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Posted Sep 27, 18 · OP
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