Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Lady_Rhea » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:25 pm

A sudden flash of light and crash of thunder sent the horse Genny rode into a fit, several skewed steps and her balance was gone. Her feet wriggled free and the reins were dropped as the spooked horse’s body contorted and threw her. With a fall imminent she attempted to ball up as the horse fled. She was never a good rider, but had subsequently become excellent at falling. Another rider, still mounted, calmed their horse quickly and gave chase, while the third set his to trotting in a circle, pulling the reins to one side. He didn’t dismount, still trying to control his own horse. From where she lay, Genny groaned, touching her fingers to a cut on her head, the true red seeping out and clumping together the strands of fiery orange hair.

And then it began to rain. The onset of the storm was sudden and without much other warning. Within minutes the forest became drenched and now, even more than they had over the last several days of their search, the woods looked uniform; the gray misty backdrop only made every tree nearly indistinguishable from the last.

Genny, her companion, and his horse eventually made their way to a nearby cave, unable to wait any longer unsheltered for their third companion. It took a while, as most of the wood and their belongings were soaked, but eventually a fire was started. They stripped down to their knickers, wringing out their clothes and laying them to dry near the flames.

“Henrie’a mus’a found shel’er elsewhere,” he man offered, laying out his pants and plopping himself beside Genny, closer than was truly comfortable.

“She’ll find us when the storm passes,” she offered, her eyes peering out as if to gauge the storm, her arms wrapping awkwardly around her legs trying to minimize the indecency caused by her clinging, white shift.

“No’very likely,” he laughed, taking a swig from an over large flask before offering it to his travel companion. “Morning comes, we go back, she’ll mee’ us a’ ‘he Dagger no more ‘an a couple days.”

It would serve to warm her, so she took the flask and a sip. And then she coughed, it burned down and up; some powerful moonshine that might make you blind. “Gah… No.”

The flask was passed back to the man at her side. The sky only seemed to grow darker, despite that it was still midday. Heavy gray, swollen clouds moved slowly with a torrential downpour in their wake. Even now they were unrelenting.

“No?!” he spit, incredulously. “Has i’ no’ occurred on you, your friend Kals doesn’ wish ‘o be found?”

“We’re close,” she pulled away, as if it might take her out of the splash zone.

He seemed to take offense to her movement and yanked her arm, causing her to turn, pulling away the cover from her legs and breast. “Mind me, woman,” he growled.

And she punched. Her free hand came whipping from the other side with incredible speed, of course physical attacks weren’t really anything she had trained for and there wasn’t much force behind her bony fist.
At least he seemed surprised before he seemed angry.

“Mind me, I hired you,” she offered a little less confident than she had intended, pushing herself further away.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Lady_Rhea » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:44 pm

Genny and her guides had come across several promising structures along their foray into the forest. Unfortunately, the term ‘promising’ was about as optimistic as calling some upright sticks and abandoned one-room huts ‘structures,’ and none had lead them any closer to finding Kals.

In town, before the journey began, the merchants hadn’t been particularly willing to help either. Perhaps it was a guild code or even friendship that kept them from wanting to give such private information to a stranger. Especially the likes of Genny, once Inquisitor to Glenn Burnie and possible mindwitch, though the rumors didn’t seem too pervasive these days. But enough coin, and much less than she had expected, managed to get her instructions and a crudely drawn map.

Now though, sitting on the leaner side of half naked, in the middle of the forest during a torrential downpour she was wondering, and not for the first time, if a few more coins or a more reputable source would have been better. She was also beginning to dislike the hired muscle, her present company.

Who, after being punched for being so grabby was angry and now made another swipe at her. He had to lean forward now to even come close to reaching, but the movement made him lose balance despite that he was sitting, sending him rocking backwards. Having put distance between them she was out of reach, and with the new advance Genny stumbled her way to standing, commanding with more tremor in her voice than she intended, “desist!”

Using the momentum he rocked forward again, it sent him to hands and knees, lunging towards her with a broad swipe that firmly caught her ankle. He was no small man either, imposing in almost every way.

Still, she balanced herself, recovering from the grasp and with her free foot kicked him square in the face. It wasn’t without force, his nose starting to bleed, but he had clearly been the recipient of worse blows.

And so he yanked hard, pulling all of her to the ground and dragging her to him. The wet dirt smeared on her white shift and the bony bits of her limbs became red and scraped. Perhaps it was too much of that moonshine, but he was laughing as if they were just playfully horsing around or there was some mutually shared joke. “I see, you wanna’ spend a nigh' alone wi’me?”

Still kicking she managed to slam into some of his tender bits, which sent her attacker wincing and gave her the opening she needed to grab a sizable log from the fire. It hadn’t caught yet and no part of it was red, but this time there was a solid crack as it slammed into the side of his head.

He stared at her for a heartbeat or two and then dropped. His eyes rolled back a little and for a moment, part of her was trapped under him. She wriggled free and scrambled backward two or three steps.

Before her lay the disturbed sand, her drying clothes, a merrily dancing fire, and the unconscious body of a man who was probably just shy of 300 lbs. She dropped her weapon, and the log thudded into the sand. Her arms wrapped around until she was hugging herself, a few hot tears bubbled to the surface and she let them roll down her cheeks for a solid minute before she let her arms free and wiped them away.

“Kals!” she yelled, frustration fueling the outburst - because hell, she had tried everything else. It should not have been so difficult. “Damnit,” she cursed with a softer voice, wiping the last of the tears away and getting to work. The former guide would be tied up in case he woke before the rain ended. At which point she had every intention of taking his horse.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:40 am

He didn't mind the rain. Not that he was particularly fond of it, but more that he had given into temptation to dress for it. Since he'd started living out in the wilderness he'd begun to forgo the more flamboyant attire he'd been known for, both due to the value and to separate himself more from Rhaena's insane rampage of culture. But he'd pulled out a set of flowing clothes from his collection tonight for their ability to utterly rebuff the entire lake the sky had decided to deliver them. He wasn't comfortable walking through it, but he wasn't wet either.

The side effect to this was he appeared more like a small rain cloud drifting about rather than a burly man trudging through the storm. It could easily be a disconcerting thing to notice at the entrance to a cave for a half-naked woman tying up the man she'd beaten silly. He took in the scene from behind one of his old veils that hid everything but the faint, bronze glow of his eyes. He sighed heavily. "Damnit, Genny. Would you stop shouting at me? You've been giving me a headache for hours, and now you're trying to make me deaf as well."

He was abrasive as always, not the most comforting person to have around after what just happened, but he was very large. He towered over the pair as he began to shake free droplets of water from his sleeves, one purposefully over her guide. "I'm not sure if I want to ask why you're looking for me, or what the hell is going on."

It was hard to tell what his mood was, his voice was just gruff and there was no face to judge. But it was late and he liked to be at home asleep... where it was dry and warm. He was probably grumpy, as was his general state of being.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Lady_Rhea » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:55 pm

Disconcerting was generous. The sudden voice from the mist, emanating from the flowing form, like an apparition appearing at the cave entrance; it was enough to send her back a step. It wasn’t really a gasp of surprise that followed the movement, but a sharp inhale as if preparing to defend herself. She almost squinted to be sure of the eyes and as recognition sunk in her breath was released in a slow, measured sigh.

Patiently she watched, even letting him finish chiding her before she spoke, “A headache? Just how long were you watching?!?”

As he came to loom over her and her incapacitated ‘friend’ she crossed her arms, perhaps some unconscious attempt to stand her ground despite the utter mess of things. Until this moment she had given about as much regard to her appearance as Kals had for cordial greetings. Her arms at least covered her chest, but the mess of damp, red hair tumbled over her back and shoulders in a frizzy and knotted mess.

Intimidated into submission or just because she generally avoided confrontation, she sighed heavily before replying. “They were supposed to help me find you. Days ago,” she offered with an almost defeated earnestness. “On my honor, this was defense,” she glanced at the poor, drunken, sod that laid tied up at their feet, under Kals drippings.

“I just…” She shivered and hugged her arms tighter around her chest, pausing as if about to ask something embarrassing. “I need to… talk to you.”

The unspoken topic seemed obvious, and perhaps even painful to speak aloud. Or maybe it was that to speak Her name aloud was the final, most challenging step after she had finally mustered the courage and sanity to find him.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:13 am

He stood still as a statue, processing the suggestion in her words. After several breaths he would finally grunt and pull the veiled hood back from his head. She could now see his scaled face, and how it was scrunched at the eyes in a mixture of frustration and concern. "I wasn't. Your thoughts are just loud, it's how I found you. It's also one of the benefits of living in a forest where there aren't a lot of people. It's quieter." A small suggestion as to how wandering around thinking about him for days had been irritating him.

The toe of his boot tapped at the side of the unconscious man to see if he was likely to wake anytime soon. Satisfied with the lack of response he'd focus his attention back on Genny. "Kacela scented you out anyways, I was waiting for you to go away." He had inklings as to what she wanted and had been hoping she'd just grow bored after a day or two. "You just got louder... so here I am because your stubborn enough to stay out despite the weather. Good timing on my part to get here when you screamed my named, it was dramatic." And he wasn't completely heartless.

She confirmed his suspicion about what she wanted. Kals turned his attention away from her and glanced around the cave before coming to a decision. He pulled a satchel off his shoulder to reach inside and take out a cloak very much like the clothes he was wearing. With a snap of his arm he tossed it her way. "Fine, but not here. Cover up and we'll go somewhere nicer, and with better decoration."
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Lady_Rhea » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:18 pm

Four or five years ago the unveiled face might have startled her. Still she studied him. Although she had never seen his face with her own eyes, it was not unfamiliar. The lingering stare, that compared the face of the man before her to the memory she carried, might have verged on rude if her eyes hadn’t darted to the ground when he spoke. As if with his words he had created a vacuum, her mind went quiet. The last trace of anything heard or felt from her, in that regard, might be akin to the sensation of smelling some faint aroma, like the tinge of jasmine on a summer night’s breeze; except that it was just a hint of embarrassment. Obviously, she knew better and had trained well.

A slight frown followed, and she offered as if in defense, “I didn’t know you were near.” The expression faded as her train of thought, unreadable as it might be due to her raised guard, changed. Either the change was out of relief or in hopes that she could avoid offending him further.

“Most people are not so… receptive,” even if her words weren’t direct, her tone was apologetic. They implied her understanding of exactly how irritating listening to the world’s thoughts could be.

With her eyes still down she watched Kals kick the unconscious fellow, after which she met his eyes as well. That she’d left a scent wasn’t exactly a surprise, at least not from what she knew of Kacela. And if he thought she’d simply leave, then he’d really just learned the most important thing about her. She may be apologetic, but she was stubborn, and certainly had no intention of giving up.

Her fumbling hands barely caught the thrown cloak, she eyed it curiously, recognition setting in when he explained what he intended for her to do with it. There was no question of why or where, at least not yet. She shook the garment out and gave it a once-over, admiring look, before sliding it around her shoulders.

“I suppose I ought to cut him free,” she mused almost to herself with a tinge of sympathy in her voice, stepping away and gathering up the clothes she’d laid out by the fire. Instead she pulled at an end of the rope, the knot visibly loosening but not untying. He deserved the bruise he’d have by morning and untangling himself while hungover, but not being entirely defenseless and alone in the, notoriously dangerous woods.

Her clothes were shoved into a pack and then she nodded, as if to say, ‘lead on.’
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:57 pm

The rain wilder had drifted back towards the entrance of the cave as she gathered her things, covered herself, and did what she would with the man. He wasn't particularly paying attention to if she wanted to even rough him up a bit more, and likely would have done so if he was in her shoes. When she gave him the go ahead he gave her one more vague grin before pulling his veil and hood back into place. It took him a moment to adjust them to lay just how he wanted. It was a stalling technique perhaps, for he'd never taken anyone back to the cabin he called his home now.

Kals stepped out into the downpour without the hesitation people often had before stepping out into rough weather. Either because he trusted his clothing or was simply familiar with regular rain would be the easiest assumption. But there was also something in the way he moved into it, simply accepting and welcoming of it that seemed a touch more animalistic in nature. He stalked along the path towards the thicker woods easily, his long strides only measured by a conscious consideration to slow himself so the smaller woman could keep pace. No effort was made for small talk, the rain was heavy enough to drown out any polite conversation. It gave him a chance to collect himself and decide just how much he'd say depending on what was asked.

It was a long walk to be quiet, and the time that passed was hard to measure through the storm clouds. There would be a faint glow in the rain, more of a haze fighting to be seem against the damp air that the trader was moving unerringly towards. It marked the end of their walk as the light slowly resolved into a window, and then the shadow of a small log cabin would loom up as a shadow around the light. It was barely enough to see by, but he dodged easily around several tree stumps, a fire pit, several racks, and other signs of a living to take them to the door.

He threw it aside without pause, stepping into the warmly lit and dry interior as water ran free of his clothing in rivulets. The moment Genny entered he'd close the door behind her with a firm thud and a grunt of approval at the change in atmosphere. The interior wasn't large, a modest sized room enough to serve several purposes. One side was dedicated to the fire, several counters, and cabinets for cooking. The other half held a large bed made sturdy enough to hold several people, a wooden closet and trunks that were storage. Several chairs and a multitude of furs from a menagerie of local wildlife were scattered across the floor for places to sit and carpeting. The remainder of the room's decor fit the two who lived there; maps, books, quills, magical knick-knacks, and various little projects that could occupy someone's time mixed with hunting gear, tanning tools, shaped stones, and the remaining pieces of the animals scattered about to be used for fashioning tools and clothing. As much as was possible in the room had been crafted by hand. In particular the furniture was far from artwork, but very functional.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Dulcie » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:29 pm

She was easy to miss, considering the furs that were a part of the general decor of the place, but there she was, curled up in front of the fire. Her deep reddish brown fur gave her somewhat of a grizzly appearance, but her size was masked by the fact that she was tucked in, muzzle to tail.

She didn't need the heat of the fire of course. She didn't feel the cold as werewolves tend to run hot, but she did enjoy the cozy feeling and the crackling of the fire. Her tail twitched slightly back and forth as her eyes opened lazily and looked towards the door. She had known that Kals had someone with him long before they had ever reached the cabin of course, but she had to sniff lightly at the air to try to determine if she had met Genny before. It had been a long time since she had been around any humans and her memory of who was who happened to be fading slightly.

A little grumble in her throat was what was offered to the pair in greetings. She didn't bother to get up, she was comfortable after all.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Lady_Rhea » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:57 pm

One last shrug into the unfamiliar cloak before leaving the shelter and she reluctantly stepped back out into the rain. Another kick to the gut of her former companion was probably warranted, but she hadn't done it. Neither did she look back with any sort of regret. She'd done what she had to do. She might have even been confident about it if it hadn't been for the ridiculousness of the entire situation.

An uneasy glance from her and she caught Kals' grin before falling in line behind him, to let him lead the way. Being out here, finding him, it all made her a bit nervous. But then, it had taken some measure of courage to come out so far, with companions she, obviously, didn't entirely trust. And it had taken a long time, too. The business with Rhaena, while still a healing scar upon the entire township, was hardly fresh. People had begun to accept and to move on; more or less they had adapted as Myrkeners always do. Still, however awkward, the silence seemed preferable.

He welcomed the rain and traversed the sopping landscape with ease, Genny not so much. She followed as carefully as she could, stepping in his steps so long as she was able; her limbs were long enough to travel quickly but being predisposed to clumsiness made her err on the side of caution. Where Kals easily dodged the sundries that evidenced an encampment, Genny tripped and stumbled. The last few steps were taken more cautiously to avoid snagging on something, knocking things down, or a full-on collision.

Upon entering the home she shivered and released a relieved sigh. Even as the door closed behind her she visibly relaxed in the, thankfully, dry room where it was warm, and presumably safe. It felt safe at least, it was cozier than any of the soulless but lavish quarters Kals' sister had established in town. Not that her tables and tea sets had been made with any less love for the craft, they simply hadn't been made by her. The sheer ambiance made her smile as only a true home can, even though it wasn't hers. Or perhaps she was just delighted to be in from the rain, out of the damp cave, and away from the handsy-help.

“Thank you again for the cloak,” she offered but didn’t move to remove it immediately, her eyes dissected the room's nick-knacks for the brief moment before she heard the slight grumble and realized Kacela was, well, present and alive. Genny stood still, dripping near the door, and hugged the damp bag that held her proper clothes as she stared.

“Kacela,” she stated vaguely, but absolutely as if she recognized her, balanced with just a hint of awe. “Her size was not exaggerated,” she whispered quietly, to herself, as if annotating some internal encyclopedia. As for familiar scents, their meeting was likely only in passing, in another form, and would have been years ago. Further more, though Genny had been close friends with Catch who most certainly knew the wolf, she generally remained in town. Once an employee at the Dagger, it's perimeter was about as far off the road as she cared to venture. The forest here was still dangerous, and she had only passed through it on rare occasion and usually with the guidance of Zilliah. Or purely in memory, through the eyes of someone else.
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