[ P ] Twisted Serpents

Ashes curdled into the air like a sick fog. Heavy, omnipresent and foul upon the curvature of her tongue, she could taste the death of the trees. The first time her serpentine frame had encroached upon the ashen ruins, she'd hated it. The foul scent burned her delicate nares and dulled her sense of smell to the point of being useless. Such a striking weakness in such an open arena had left her in a foul, black mood... so naturally she'd returned again and again to overcome it. Weakness, discomfort, fear none were tolerated, all were conquered with the same ruthless malice that she'd clawed her way out of hell to employ havoc upon the rest of the world. First and foremost, Loki was a survivor. She adapted, learned and bent the rules of the terrain to suite her purpose. While many sins became her... sloth and lethargy would never define her.

Today her skull hung low, testing the scents that lay beneath the ruination. She would find no greenery, no ghost of vegetation, but she would find charred roots and in those, Loki found purpose and use. Ginseng improved circulation, hemlock would send a poor soul into convulsions before they died. Chicory was packed with vitamins and improved the health of varying organs, snakeroot would leave its victims in abdominal agony before they died. Many of her old pack had written the study of herbs off as a wasted profession, Loki thought it ingenious, malicious and the easiest way to slaughter another soul in cold blood. Vengeance was difficult when no mark or wound coveted the deceased. Saliva pooled against her tongue as adrenaline pounded through her veins. She forced herself to swallow it back. Patience. There would be time to experiment once she had a fair stock of both good and vile vegetation.

Her unorthodox scavenger hunt was halted by the scent of the Underworld. Loki righted herself, bodice twisted in a curved shape to face the beast who approached her and recognition flashed in her toxic eyes as her gaze fell upon the spotted, patchwork frame of Rhychdir. “Rhychdir. What's brought you beyond the blackened labyrinth and into this cornucopia of ruination? Calm and low her voice still managed to command attention. Despite her higher rank, the serpent didn't posture or assert herself... such asinine gestures were not needed for a true conqueror.

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