Ravensblood Forest the seas did not forgive, and they did not welcome their wayward children home
All Welcome  April 05, 2019, 03:06 PM
Smokestep
Approved Members

Breathlessly, he made his way inland until he could see the swatch of dark forestry ahead of him and could hear the sound of the wild things that lived within it. His haggard frame seemed to slip through past the barrier that separated sea and wood without wavering. It was as though his feet did not actually touch the ground – that he had glided his way through as a specter instead of a corporeal beast. He did not feel as though he was tethered to the earth, though. There was nothing left on it for him.
 
With a wet and raspy cough, the lifeless figure of the pallid sea wolf moved further into the forest. His mismatched sights were not focused on anything in particular. Rather, they seemed to dart in the exact same pattern; from top left, swinging downward until they rolled into the upper right, and then repeated again and again… The ragged breathing that escaped from his dark lips was like something caught in the depths of a sink drain, something that couldn’t be washed away.
April 06, 2019, 01:11 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
cry’s stare followed kukutux longer than the girl thought possible, and she found herself itching beneath the weight of it, checking back along her narrow shoulder to ensure he had not come after his possession.

she had traveled all of that night and into the next morning, resting on the moors. kuktutux hunted nothing, eating instead what she had brought. with no true destination in mind, the girl would not settle.

being in such proximity to the sea soothed the duck; soon the feeling of the shaman’s gaze lightened and she began to sing quietly. afternoon was turning to dusk; kukutux kept the ocean within view as she turned her steps toward a great expanse of forest and took timid steps into its shadow.

if this place reminded the girl of the keep, it was not a fierce memory; the scent of the sea rose proudly here, and soon the little duck moved with more confidence, the light dappling her narrow hips and slim shoulders, shapes that had become more apparent now that her winter coat had been shed. 

breathing; kukutux froze like a doe, ears swiveling as wide eyes tried to pinpoint the direction of the laboured sound.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 06, 2019, 01:33 PM
Smokestep
Approved Members

Someone’s here, Sandpiper appeared at his hip and gurgled this through a mouthful of sea water. The pallid creature turned his head toward her, tongue lolling lazily from the side of his mouth. When he turned to where she was, his sister had already vanished from his sights. He thought nothing of how peculiar this would be to a rational mind. He already knew that she had beat death and the remnants were simply how he was to expect her.
 
Drawing his muzzle up into the air, Smokestep drank in the scent of the forest and found that Sandpiper had been right. With a few ragged breaths, he began to trek toward the origin of the scent. His rickety limbs caused him to move stiffly. Still, he found the figure of a pale stranger beneath the dark boughs that stretched overhead. She carried the aroma of a pack on her moon-colored cloak.
 
“Ahoy…” the ghost called to her in a choked rasp of a voice. His mismatched gaze rested on her features for far too long to be comfortable. His sides moved in and out in labored breaths that seemed to protrude his ribcage even more than it had before. The gaunt features of his face were twisted into an expression that did not match anything on the standard array of emotions.
April 06, 2019, 02:06 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
as ghostly as heloise had been, she was loam compared to the massive spirit that confronted kukutux now. taking two steps backward, fear leaping into her belly, the girl trembled somewhat as she looked over the haunted pallor of his features, the way that his sides strained for breath.

sickly was not the word; the man was out of place in this world, some dying spectre flung into the forest. and kukutux sensed the rot in him even with distance between the pair.

not understanding why he spoke, or that it was a greeting, the duck’s watchful stare lingered on the man for a handful of moments. ”what has happened to you?” kukutux asked quietly, drawn to the answering tragedy of him more than she was compelled to flee.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 06, 2019, 02:19 PM
Smokestep
Approved Members

“Why is she staring at me?” he snapped suddenly and threw his head to the left, talking to a figure that was no there. Of course, he saw Sandpiper beside him, and he believed she would give him whatever answers he might need. His sister remained silent, though, and peered back at the pale stranger with a lightless look in her eyes. Smokestep snarled, his lip curling over the rotted yellow of his teeth. He did not want to hear whatever answer his golden sibling would provide, anyway.
 
’What has happened to you?’
 
Sharply, the ghost turned his head back to the stranger and latched his sights on her soft features. She had backed away from him a step or two. Smokestep did not like this and shuddered as he took several steps closer to her. Did she know him? What right did she have to ask him such things? When she never knew him before… never knew what he used to be.
 
“She’s claimed me soul… the beast of the trench,” his raspy voice replied to her, but it seemed then that his gaze was staring beyond her – into the forest.
April 06, 2019, 02:29 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
every instinct screamed at the girl to run as he stalked toward her, muttering to spirits she could not see. and when he loomed before her, over her, kukutux dropped her gaze less for the fact that he was male, and more that she had seen brimstone in his stare.

his soul — so he lived with one foot in this realm, half in another. there had been a woman like this in her village; she screamed from time to time that her spirit was gone, did not bathe, and roamed the dangerous recesses of the island. as a girl, kukutux recalled going with her mother as they carried food to the woman, hoping to sustain her body even if her mind was no longer present.

after a momentary pause, kukutux pulled the skin from her shoulders and spread it upon the ground, gingerly dipping her delicate nape beneath his heavy jaw. ”here,” the girl murmured up at him, pushing a stick of dried meat toward the spirit-walker. ”eat.”

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 06, 2019, 07:01 PM
Smokestep
Approved Members

Her gaze dropped away from his. This was fine; it only meant that she was not staring at him anymore. He was tired of their eyes – always on him, always watching – and he wished that he could avert the gaze of every beast that followed him. The trepidation that she displayed was not enough for him to really feel anything for her. If she feared him, all the better. She should not have remained to talk to him.
 
It was not words that she followed his statement with, though. The pale woman pulled something from her back and displayed a stored piece of meat from within. Just as soon as the first few words were leaving her mouth, Smokestep was already diving for the scraps. His gaunt features twisted into a macabre expression of feral hunger. He did not even chew but swallowed the piece whole and then turned his attention sharply toward the moon-cloaked stranger.
 
“Do you know me?” the pallid specter asked. Sandpiper hissed at his side, nipping his haunch in a warning. He was not supposed to ask. He was not supposed to reconnect with those he had left behind. Smokestep knew better, but he had been a servant of the trench keeper for long enough. This woman had treated him with a kindness that was unknown, but why?
April 06, 2019, 07:17 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
like the woman had been, this man was starving, and swiftly finished her offering. kukutux pulled the third and last stick of meat from the skin, lying it upon the ground. she would have to hunt now, but it would be worthwhile. to feed the body before the mind was a creed of her kith; in anyone's ulax, a wanderer or member of the clan would be offered food upon entry. it was a way to keep close, to ensure that children were always fed no matter to whose dwelling they clambered.

"no," the duck murmured softly. she had never seen him before, nor a man like him in her days. the fear was ebbing; at any moment, this man could have struck behind her small skull with his teeth, ended her life. but he had not, only stood close and eaten what she had given him. he was still dangerous, yes, but kukutux did not think he would hurt her in this moment.

his breath was close enough to be smelled, thick and hot with a mossy reek. was some spirit trying to choke him even now? she feared that more than anything. could the pallid aIJatkugnak be healed by a mere woman? or would she anger the ghosts that followed him even more, and put both of them in danger? he needed a shaman and medicine chants, but there was no such person here, only kukutux.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 08, 2019, 05:25 PM
Smokestep
Approved Members

I am really trying not to give you garbage posts <3 Kukutux is a fkin angel and I love her.

'No.'

The ragged breath that fell from his lips was riddled with disappointment he could not mask. Something inside of him had hoped that she would have confirmed that she had known him – that she had cared for him at some point in his life – and that she could return him to his former self. It was a foolish hope, but the only one that kept his rickety frame from withering away to nothing. That desperate trust would not carry on for long. The remnants of who he had once been were slipping away.

“Why then, have ye offered me yer kindness?” the pirate drawled in his breathless tone, wispy and almost forgotten in its sound. It was as though his voice was nothing more than a faded memory; it was something that he wished to hold onto, but also something that he knew would not last. Nothing good ever did. Sandpiper breathed a quiet, water-logged breath before she disappeared from his side. Smokestep felt colder without her there. The fears that plagued him started to creep back into his mind.
April 08, 2019, 08:24 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
nothing you’ve ever written has been shit okay thanks ♥️ and ive always loved smokestep

the man was disappointed; kukutux watched his countenance fall into dismay. perhaps he though he had known her at one time, and the duck almost wished it could be so; anything to drive that melancholy from his features. 

why? she was not sure what to say, and pulled her gaze away to demurely contemplate the ground beneath their paws. what did this man want to hear? but the little duck did not only want to tell him this, and so the truth alone would do, nothing else.

”it is the way of my people to show kindness to all we meet,” kukutux found herself murmuring aloud, springjade eyes flickering up to the ferocity of his own. ”sometimes those who commune with spirits do not feed their mortal selves.”

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 15, 2019, 09:06 AM
Smokestep
Approved Members

The woman’s kindness was wasted on someone like him. She should not have shared her food or offered him any form of companionship – no matter how temporary it might have seemed. There were far greater things at play. The keeper of the trench had requested that he collect souls for her. Smokestep could not refuse, of course. He had been made into one of her very best dredges. He had already claimed the lives of so many others for the keeper. Still, she sought more. Something within him recognized that this green-eyed woman would have made an ideal addition to the crew, but something deeper prevented him from luring her to the waters.
 
The response that she offered him was peculiar for a number of reasons. Sandpiper scoffed at his side, having reappeared for a brief moment to dwell on the foolishness of communing with spirits. Even Smokestep was not certain that he understood what the stranger meant with her word. “Spirits…” he echoed back to her in a sullen tone. His head tilted to the left ever so slightly as confusion etched across his features.
April 19, 2019, 03:33 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
how could he not know of what she spoke? the unsurety of his expression suggested that the spirit-walker was in the darkness. perhaps he did not see the ones to whom he spoke as dead; perhaps to him, they were alive, as flesh-and-blood as the pair of them. the girl realized she had misstepped.  not wanting to offend the man, or anger him, she proffered a brief smile. "maybe there are things i can learn from you."

dipping her head, kukutux refixed the skin over her shoulders and faced the man again. "do you have a place to sleep?" she inquired, curious despite her own exhaustion. did he merely wander, sleep outside in the dew? or was there an ulaq of sorts to which he retired, and more pressingly, would he allow her to stay for the evening?

[Image: kukufoot.png]