Totoka River i'm on my tip toes
Private  January 05, 2019, 11:57 AM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf

The storm had barricaded her path back to the island.

Faeryn had crossed the land bridge to the mainland after returning home so that she could track the path of the river, eager to keep herself updated on the life outside of Undersea - with any hope, she'd prevent the fleeting ideas of wandering and travelling that frequently plagued her; it was the nightmares, the sylph had concluded. The nightmares. Ravenous fires, rivers of red and the stinging, charring of flesh: for some reason, every few nights the terrible dreams would sink into her skull and jolt her beneath the moon. Every few nights she acquired the to impusle to run. Trapped, trapped, trapped -- but she was not a coward, she was adamant not to allow herself to flee, so the Renoda attempted to conjure a plan:  on the occasional morning, when the tide was low, she would cross and explore.

Silvery fur glistened in the streaks of gold: the sun scarcely peeked through monochrome clouds but when the grey coat ripped, a stream would trickle out before it was looped back into the haze. The sea nymph had found herself without a trail home, and sought to busy herself in the frigid wind -- the river had been promising (it was also her reason for departure), snaking up the coast and dissolving into the distance; she had travelled this route before, and thought it comforting to walk on a path she knew so well. 

Soft steps took the elf girl forward, moving with untold grace - cerulean sparkled from the pools of her eyes, trailing the horizon with shifting tides. Soon, she told herself, soon you will return.

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
January 05, 2019, 12:28 PM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        the tundrian follows the snowmelt as it moves from the mountains once he reaches it's beginning at the swell of ravensblood forest and gyrfalcon keep. for a man that vehemently claims to hold the coast in a very low disregard he keeps finding himself here at different turning points of his life. the fight with mallaidh is not so easily forgotten — her words still, months after, leaving an echoing sting. and maybe that's why he does it. to reconcile with the memory.

        it sounded like a grand plan, to excuse his wandering and exploration and searching so far from where he was supposed to be ( though he would readily argue that he is not so far from moonspear now that he's came down after exploring the taiga ). his motives are driven by his own greed. his want to explore his fettered potentials. the dark woods is his home, it's wolves his family but the dark brother yearns for more. ...isn't that always the reason why, in the end?

        he is venturing closer to the ocean and his steps slow. the sea holds nothing for him and there is certainly nothing about it that he finds remotely appealing. he readies himself to turn around, hesitating on which direction. east or west. west would take him in the direction of more traffic and packs. more traffic and packs meant more potential recruits. west would also take him to moonspear and the redhawks ( his own reminder to himself of what he has promised to do, the original reason behind this trip is sharp lest he forget ). the taiga seems like a good spot to claim, he has a territory in consideration unencumbered by other packs. lots of hunting grounds, more herds without the choke of predators all around them and that is where he plans to settle, ultimately.

        west.

        just as he goes to alter his course, to find a way across the river where it thins and the meltwater slows enough that he is confident he can get across without issue he catches sight of another out of the corner of his eye. his head turns to study her and idly wonders as she heads in her own direction if she's as distracted by her thoughts as he. first glimpse tells him yes, even if his assessment is ultimately wrong.

        the tundrian lifts his chin and lets out a soft chuff to announce his presence as he draws nearer ...still searching for a safe place to cross without backtracking.
i'm not real sure where this falls in his chaotic timeline so i'm winging it. timelines?
[Image: tenor.gif]

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
January 05, 2019, 12:52 PM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
A voice brewed of storm clouds interrupted her thoughts, a low chuff to announce his presence - her nose tipped to the side, gaze slinking toward him as the silky ears cupped forward on her crown. His coat was conjured of shadows, but twinged with blue, just as her own was; a silvery mane rested over his nape and crossed his throat, like a lion of the night -- his eyes mirrored her own (but sharper). Faeryn studied him carefully (it was foolish to let down your guard at the first hello), but allowed her head to tilt with curiousity. 

The only mainland wolves she'd encountered over the past few moons were the judging stares of the Rosings wolves, and those were interactions she favoured to cast behind her.

The sea nymph found herself having to peer up in order to meet his sharp gaze, and it settled like a stone in her stomach; no doubt she was a fighter, a survivor, but it felt almost degrading to be sunk so low -- though her legs were sleek and elegant (and muscles rippled beneath), she was far shorter than the tundrian, and his bulking form towered above her own. A soft breath slithered from black lips, creating a cloud of frost in the polar air. "Hello," came the mellifluous tune, delicate but sure despite her thoughts.

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
January 05, 2019, 01:17 PM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        hello.

        dark, velveteen ears cup forth as the sound of her voice finds him in the closing distance between them. wintersbane's steps slow another pace. leisurely, now. his chuff was an announcement meant simply to keep from startling her. it could have been vaguely acknowledged by a look, a twitch of ear; instead she spoke and while it's not necessarily an invitation for conversation, he knows. but she doesn't pass him by. she's pretty, he thinks absently, with a light pelage tinted in blue hues not unlike his own, shadowed palette and ignores the stabbing guilt as his thoughts flicker briefly to the dark priestess. he stamps them down. not because he doesn't enjoy thinking of relmyna ( he does ) but if he lets guilt govern him he'll never go through with the ideas forming in his mind ...and he's ready to pursue his own ambitions.

        hey. he replies in turn, tilting his head downwards a smidge to observe her. she is smaller than him, marginally so, but size has never had much bearing upon the tundrian. of course, his bulk affects him and he considers it in a fight but he knows from astara that small more oft than not tends to mean feisty.

        so what now?

        wintersbane's always hated small-talk. pleasantries often worked hand in hand with deception to him and, ironically considering his snitch title among the dark brotherhood, he's never been tolerant of deception. unless he's the one doing the deceiving ...which he's had no real cause for recently. should he ask if she's lost? if she's from around here? he settles for, d'you know if there's a place along the river that the meltwater thins enough to cross ...relatively safely? instead.

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
January 05, 2019, 05:45 PM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
His casual words were a stark contrast to the sound of his husky baritones, and the Renoda’s gaze wavered for a heartbeat - the moment she realised, cerulean eyes were drawn upward again, salmon tongue swiping hesitantly over black lips; it’s the rosings wolves, she thought with a hidden scowl. Men dominated the creek, and women were taught to be submissive, meek in their presence - a fact she despised, but in order to maintain any sort of place there (no matter how temporary) she’d had to adapt. That was a skill she’d had to learn over the years: adaptability.

But now she was not at rosings, and she could revert.

A flurry of snow gasped from the heavens, raining down as delicate snowflakes to dust over her pelt - she felt the lacings of ice seek through the smooth hairs of her coat, reaching pale tendrils over her spine, and she shook them off. "Um… yes, I do." The hesitation was foreign to her, and she disliked it already, invisibly sulking at the way it fell from her jaws - it would clear soon, as her thoughts did. "Do you want me to lead you there?" Faeryn had never been good at pointing directions - she found visuals far easier to learn, and not often did she share routes with others, usually keeping to herself and stargazing in luminous moonlight; things had changed. If not with her home, then with herself. At the very least the seawolf's time studying the waterways and relishing in the peace of nature had paid off, else she would have had to decline to the shadowed man, and a sliver of her mind was appreciative of the new face.

Besides, he was intruiging - to the eye, and to her thoughts... or perhaps she simply felt isolated, a concept she looked on with dismay (perhaps Faeryn had gone too soft?). She would seek to change it.

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
January 05, 2019, 06:14 PM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        her hesitation — brief as it was — did not go unnoticed. wintersbane prides himself on being vigilant and observant — a learned trait of being a warrior and a tactician ( though he does not yet have the second specialty ), he knows. mannerisms and body language spoke a lot of volumes that vocalization was often keen to let out. each wolf was different, had different tells. learning them took time — time that he certainly doesn't have now. her reasons behind the hesitation hardly matter to him and he chooses not to capitalize upon the fact that he noticed. playing oblivious was just as easy as feigned confidence.

        that'd be appreciated. he accepts her offer with a gracious tip of his head. i realize i could backtrack but that feels like a waste of time. he admits with an offhanded shrug of his broad shoulders. you from around here? he inquires, assuming that it's the case. having the knowledge of the area to be able to direct him safely across the totoka river meant she spent some amount of time in the general area.

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
January 05, 2019, 06:34 PM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
Faeryn felt a flicker of her confidence return as the offer was accepted, silk ears cupped in his direction to catch the words as they tipped onto the breeze - it was a welcome feeling, and she was grateful for the opportunity to feel useful. Assuming the tundrian would fall into step at her side, the sylph began to stroll down the path as she had been, lithe figure gliding over the frozen earth as a ghost would drift, free from any shackles that bound them to the ground; it was here she slipped back into her normality (at least from the outside) and masked any hesitance that might have plagued her feminine features.

It was a mistake that she had sought to correct, but perhaps it had been too late?

Balance was the focus of the seawolf’s motives - to study the earth and the sky and the water beneath, the fauna and flora. Fighting for Faeryn was not aimless violence, it was a dance of sorts. Rarely did she engage in a poisonous conflict, choosing instead to dabble in the equipoise of the two contrasting interests; fighting and forgiving, drawing strength and courage from the wonders of life, the energy of the earth. If her eyelids fluttered close, she could feel the snow beneath her paws, or the grass, even sand, but also further beneath, and the connection was what inspired the vigour in her veins.

"Yes," She replied, turning to glance at the isolated isle. "I’m from the island," her silvery muzzle inclined toward the island of undersea, gaze following the lap of the waves as they consumed the bridge that had once given her access. Until the ocean’s storm had settled and the path was freed, she would be unable to return. "Where are you from?" The Renoda enquired, focusing her attention back to the young man. Was he a fighter too, perhaps?

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
January 06, 2019, 07:14 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        wintersbane had determined long ago that how much of an asshole he was depended largely on the day, his mood, and the situation at hand. thus far, there's no reason to be anything less than amiable to her. especially since she's offering to show him a place to safely cross the river. she answers his inquiry with a yes, confirming his assumption. his gaze lifts from the path she takes him on towards where her gaze briefly travels. it looks small from afar — the island she mentions — and wintersbane finds himself being entirely perplexed by the idea that wolves could viably live on an island. perhaps it is his inherent hatred of the coast, beaches and sea in general that cause a cynical rise of his brow; but it rises, cynically, all the same.

        how in the hell do you survive on that thing? wasn't food scarce? or did they not eat meat? could a wolf survive off of vegetation alone? he doesn't know and he doesn't plan on ever finding out. what happens if there's a bad storm? he asks next. no; island living was never going to be for him.

        the question being turned to him does not come as entirely unexpected. if the dark brother learned anything during his time as a snitch it was that information is valuable and it should never be given freely. an answer for an answer. i've ran with this pack and that pack over the years, not a lie. from teaghlaigh to blackfeather woods to moonspear and back again. ultimately, i think it's time i try to build something of my own. it was always the endgame for him. he was too ambitious to reach a point and stop and though he cares for the wolves of blackfeather woods he realizes it's a ship quickly sinking.

        the vartija's a fresh start. for him and anyone who wants to follow their own ambitions.

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
January 06, 2019, 07:49 AM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
The corners of her mouth quirked in a half smile at the question, feeling a tingle of amusement - she’d been skeptical too, at first, but the sylph adored everything about life on the island; except, perhaps, the isolation from the rest of the world. "We hunt fish, but there’s other prey too. The island is bigger than it looks, and there’s plenty of space for a pack." It was more a sanctuary, and lost souls occasionally washed up on the shores - sometimes they stayed, sometimes they left, either way: the land could sustain life well enough. "We have dens we can shelter in during storms, and if the land bridge isn’t covered by seawater…" she gave a pointed roll of her eyes, knowing without looking that the sandy trail leading from the mainland to the isle was masked in deep blue. "...then we can cross over here."

The midnight stranger’s answer was vague, but she understood - information could be dangerous, and she would not pry for his backstory. What did intrigue her, though, was his following statement. "Oh?" aquamarine eyes danced back toward him, curiosity lighting her vision in silent question. Given his apparent dislike of the island, the blue nymph wondered briefly if he would consider settling along the coast (as other packs had done in recent times) or if he disliked the beaches in general.

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
January 06, 2019, 08:43 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        she appeared to be amused by his questions and the skepticism he makes no effort to hide from her. she explains that they hunt fish — it takes all of his self control not to shiver at thought of hunting fish and then eating it. yuck. according to her, there's other prey too and that it's bigger than it appears at a distance and they can weather storms in their dens. he believes her, of course. he has no reason not to and she should know because she was on of their's ...but he's still skeptical about the whole idea. beach property has never been on his top list of places he wants to live. she speaks of a land bridge and the roll of her eyes — caught by him as his gaze rests back upon her — tells him that it's currently inaccessible ...which would explain what she was doing when she first came into his view. ah. he rumbles in understanding.

        the pitfall of almost complete isolation. he draws. they're isolated on their island and you're stuck here until the water recedes. not that she actually needed the obvious pointed out to her. how long until that happens? hours? days? weeks? he knows nothing about the ebb and flow of the tides other than it's constantly moving and mostly it's because wintersbane doesn't much care. he'd taken bonesplitter ravine despite that it's far from homely before he settled on the coast.

        oh? her warmer blue gaze meets his glacial stare and he sees the curiosity there, despite that she packed plenty of it in her simply inquiry. he takes a moment to weigh it. she's curious but is she interested? perhaps she wasn't ...but she had friends, right? word travelled and that could be a useful asset for a recruiter. not to mention, how did he expect to recruit if he kept information close to his chest? being tight-lipped would only ensure his own failure. the vartija wasn't secretive, after all.

        i'm going to call it the vartija; in my native tongue it loosely translates to 'the wardens'. it's going to be a war clan where regular spars are encouraged to keep skills sharp ...but wolves don't have to be warriors or rogues to join. i just feel that it's beneficial to know how to fight even if it's to defend one's self. pretty much what i've seen of the packs i've ran with ranks are unchallengeable. you claw your way up and hope that if you're ambitious you reach as high as you want to go. there's nothing wrong with that but i like the idea of ranks being decided by contribution, yes, but also by one's own ambition. all ranks in the regular hierarchy should be challengeable but the pack should get it's say, should be allowed to interfere if they don't agree especially if it comes to leadership.

        wintersbane realizes that by opening up his own rank for challenges down the road when and if it all comes to fruition might mean that one day he could lose it or be deemed unfit. and that was ok. there would be no rules saying that he couldn't challenge for his rank back. sometimes, that was just the natural order of things.

        he falls silent after his monologue, taking in her expressions to gauge her reaction to his ideas. she is the first to hear of them, after all and constructive criticism was always helpful.

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
January 07, 2019, 01:26 PM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
"Exactly," she nodded, smooth tail flicking at her rear and dusting off a light layer of snow that had fallen to lace over her pelt. The sylph’s shoulders rolled lightly in a shrug to his enquiry: "it usually takes around six hours for the tide to go out again, but with the storm unfortunately I don’t know. Even if the tide went out and it looked safe enough to cross, the water is very violent during storms," came her response, vision darkening as the images of her first sea storm flooded in front of her eyes with a bitter slap of imagined spray - storms were deadly, and she had no intention of getting dragged into the depths once more.

For a moment they watched each other, blue gazes meeting; similar, but different. The silence ended almost as soon as it had been conjured - the tundrian began to give details on his desired pack, and her silvery ears still cupped forward intently to listen. Even when he finished, Faeryn left a moment of quietude for the description to soak into her mind, but found herself agreeing with his words, nodding to his statements. At last her lips parted: "What tongue is it you speak?" came her first question, a single ivory brow raising with curiousity; she’d had scarce encounters with those who could communicate in other languages, but it intrigued her greatly.

Then she moved on to the other things he had spoken of, humming to herself quietly in thought. "I do like the sound of it, actually. It doesn’t make much sense to have a pack with no voice for itself - i’ve seen plenty of those." The Renoda thought it bold of him, but appreciated such a characteristic - he was not afraid to lose his own rank for the good of the pack, and he intended to listen to the ideas of those he led. It was a wonderful trait to claim, and she took note of it silently.

"Are you a warrior, then?"

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
January 08, 2019, 04:43 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        six hours. under normal circumstances it would take six hours for the water to recede over the land bridge enough for her to safely make the cross she tells him. wintersbane is no sea wolf and he'd be the first to admit he's not very knowledgable about it ( of his own choice, mind ) but he does know that storms make the sea violent but that's mostly out of common sense than it is actual experience. sounds like a headache. he drawls gruffly, giving voice to his opinion despite that it wasn't asked for.

        she's attentive as he gives the run down of his idea for the vartija and then she's quiet. he understands that his ideas aren't going to be for everyone. perhaps they're even bold. leaving all ranks challengeable? accepting that he might lose his rank to whatever big bad hotshot that marched into his borders and challenged him? it was risky...but the pack had the ability to interfere. subconsciously, he drew on the idea borrowed from teaghlaigh that the family decided as a whole; except where arturo wanted absolute control, wintersbane had the idea of giving it to the pack as a whole.

        my mother called it tundrian. if it has any names beyond that wintersbane doesn't know. maybe it wasn't fair to call it his native tongue ...unlike lotte, he hadn't been born in the enok tundra. but she'd spoken it to the lotturos frequently enough that it might as well have been.

        wintersbane shifts his weight as she gives her opinion upon it, giving a soft nod of his head. mhm, he rumbles in simple agreement to her 'i've seen plenty of those' comments. being able to give up, or accordingly not give up a position of power says a lot about a wolf. maybe someone would see the opening of his own rank for challenge was weak but he'd respectfully — or disrespectfully depending on day — disagree. a warrior born and raised. he answers her with a grin tugging at the edges of his lips.

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
January 09, 2019, 12:58 PM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
"Sounds like a headache," came the man's words, and her blue crown dipped in a quick nod, affirming his comment - there was plenty of truth to that. "That is one of the downfalls of living on an island," Faeryn replied, smooth voice dancing out from black lips. Of course, she'd thought about leaving, about testing her luck in the mainland and seeing where the path might lead her, but where had her last escapade trailed her paws? Right back to the gull isle, huddling with Seelie and Stockholm, the friends of the sea. If she hadn't been savouring her seconds there, then she wouldn't remain - there was no obligation, but her mind was terribly conflicted. The Renoda's nights were filled not with the peaceful quietude it once was, but the hissing, spitting venom of fires and the putrid smell of smoking flesh--

--your flames
consumed by unstoppable rage
stole from me


"-Tundrian," she murmured, feeling the word with her tongue as it pooled into the air around them. It was curious, and she carefully tucked the name away in case she might hear more of it around in future moons to come.

But then! A warrior born and raised. Her gaze trailed the edges of his lips as they twitched in a small grin, and her own followed, lighting her features with a sparkle of contentment. "Ah," she whispered, feeling the sway of a thought as it toppled from her head, hesitating before her mouth parted and it fled into the wind. "You wouldn't have time for a small spar, would youu?" Her head inclined a fraction to the side, desiring to feel the short rush of adrenline it would gift her. "I'm so rusty."

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
January 11, 2019, 04:04 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        wintersbane offers her a solemn nod to her reply to his observation, mirroring what he's thought several times about the whole idea of living on an island ...even if his thoughts are unapologetically and thoroughly colored by his own bias. sounds like there might be a few of those. he ruminates on the subject before he lets it drop, reminding himself firmly: to each their own. if she was willing to make the sacrifices that living on an island sometimes required than that was her business; but she has a choice not to if she decides it's too much.

        she repeats the word back to him and it's a strange moment to him. typically, repeating a name of something is usually only when it's a person's name. but 'tundrian' is his ancestry running so deeply in his veins and genetics that is all but cancels arturo's own coywolf heritage out; and while wintersbane thinks there is nothing of the fearghal monarch in him he's wrong. there is plenty of arturo intricately laced within his personality, combined as it was with the personalities of those whose guardianship he'd flitted between as a runaway.

        ah gee, y'know i'm running pretty late... he teases before he barks out a low laugh. i'm kidding. i'm kidding, he adds quickly in case she misinterprets his ( sometimes sardonic ) sense of humor for sincerity. i'll never say no to a spar. he tells her with a flash of a grin and a stretch to loosen his muscles, despite that the tension that he usually feels distinctly between the junction of his shoulders during a first meeting of any kind has already been eased.

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
January 16, 2019, 02:30 PM
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
The blue sylph raised a single brow to his words, but it soon dissolved into a half grin, tall ears twitching to listen to the gruff voice. Would it sound weird to say that nobody had joked with her for essentially as long as she could remember - would it be weird if she told him that? "Well, good," she laughed, "it would have been a shame if you said no."

Faeryn’s paws slowed in the snow, then, as the warrior began to stretch, and she found herself entirely at a loss for what to do; a heartbeat or so passed, and she mirrored his actions slowly and casually, as though she completely knew what she was doing, and then felt herself slip into normality again. Sometimes it was almost as though her mind and body failed to connect, but when she heard the gentle swish of water, and briefly blinked shut her eyes to listen, the nymph felt at ease again. "You better go at least a little easy on me, it’s been so long since I sparred with someone," the words fell from her tongue, but were followed with another grin - of course, he didn’t have to go easy on her, but she did intend to try and scrounge a few tips from him; by words or observation alone.

She allowed him to take the lead first, but her eyes traced his movements carefully, waiting, preparing.

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice
Yesterday, 04:44 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
The Vartija
        wintersbane, lately, had been favoring a more diplomatic route than his childhood preference of fight every-fucking-thing. that troubled teen looking for and picking fight after fight because he needed it to remind him he was alive, thought that it was the only way to prove himself has long since grown into a matured man that understands there's a reckless disregard for life in living like that; but he remembers clearly his last fight because it'd been ugly and there'd been nothing remotely friendly about it ...and would it not've been for the knowledge that his mother would have been upset and disappointed in him for it he would've very possibly killed his sister that day. he could've. a part of him'd desperately wanted to.

        wintersbane tucks that unwelcome memory hastily away and studies faeryn, assessing that her size would be an advantage against him; she would no doubt be faster than him. don't worry, he assures her in a murmur. it'd be a real shame if you never talked to me again because i got a little too rough. though he spoke it lightly in the teasing tone they'd been carrying with one another there was an underlying sincerity to his words.

        wintersbane liked her; was charmed by her.

        he prowls closer to her, eyes focused on her left shoulder only to surge forward and feign to her right and aim a nip at her right shoulder.

The Vartija「 green lit 」
「 15/∞ threads 」
available for sprees on the weekends
@wintersbane for a thread

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
7 hours ago
Faeryn
Undersea
Seawolf
The sea nymph felt his careful gaze watching one shoulder - if she had been more careless, perhaps she would have fallen for the trick, but she thought it would have been far too easy for him to stare and then aim where his vision had focused (surely he’d not stare so intently and reveal his plans); the renoda had told him not to go too rough on her, but she would be startled if he did end up going the way it had looked he would go.

A gamble, but one that rewarded her.

Wintersbane surged forward but swerved to try and land a nip at her right shoulder - with the swiftness and grace of a seabird above the water’s roar, she darted to the side and slunk around to aim a small blow to his side. Whether or not she succeeded was another matter, but it was an attempt, and if it worked, she’d dart around to the other side and aim a blow there, too. If her speed could overwhelm him, she might have a shot at winning - if not, well, it’d help her improve regardless.

Besides, a small part of Faeryn was determined to impress the warrior, at least a little.

I see quiet nights,
poured over ice