Hideaway Strath in the old days, there was enough
Private  February 14, 2021, 09:57 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves


He freed himself from his own tangle of limbs that evening. Unsure what had prompted him to partake in slumber, but regardless he was awake now. The sun almost ready to dip below the horizon. Perhaps he would find someone else who had suffered the same fate as him 鈥 or perhaps someone who had not yet settled in for the night.

Slowly he patrolled away from his makeshift bed out towards the river that Kynareth had shown him. Surely he might find someone around a water feature. It was the source of life after all.

Oh, but what if not?

He felt sure he could find somewhere else to stick his nose.
February 15, 2021, 03:24 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
Lady luck must have favored him that night -- or perhaps she聽favored neither of them, depending upon one's outlook -- for the argentine hart also happened to be wandering the territory, restless and unable to sleep as had become the norm. Trees gave way to the sprawling valley at the heart of the plateau somewhere in the timeless merger between evening and twilight, pewter shadows clustering blue and grey in the crannies and crooks of the Strath as the sky lightened to a warm hue of peach that defied the frigid cold surrounding her. Ambling, aimless footsteps led her to follow alongside the banks of the river at random as it cut a dark path through the grasslands in the dimming light, absently admiring the earth as it cast aside a drapery of day and donned a wrap of nightfall.

It was only after she stopped somewhere along one of its bends, bending to take a quick drink, that she came across anyone else. She stilled halfway on her path to the water, straightening as she registered his umber form amongst the shadows聽some several yards away. Letting out a soft chuff of greeting, the halfling watched with piqued ears -- waiting to see if he desired company or wished to remain undisturbed.聽

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 15, 2021, 08:38 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

He noticed her quickly when she chuffed for him. Head pulled up as his eyes took in the view of her. Small and wispy. Scarred too. A woman with stories to tell, surely.

Yet, for the moment without words, all he could focus on was her petite size. Patroclus knew he was not a giant 鈥 especially compared to some here 鈥 but she made him feel as though he was.

Hello, He murmured softly to her. The last thing he wanted was to spook her off. Still he made a move to close some of the distance between them so they might converse without waking whatever was in the area.

Couldn't sleep?
February 15, 2021, 09:02 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
For a moment, she was hesitant -- recalling all too vividly Whrist's unexplained assault only days before, her wounds still raw and red. Kynareth had not lied moons ago, before she abandoned the Canyon in pursuit of her once-captor, when he said his band was home to those the outside world might consider monsters. Aerin wasn't sure where exactly that left her. Perhaps she was so damaged by other monsters that their ranks were all that remained to her, a darkly amusing if ironic thought. She watched him carefully as he drew near on similarly mindful steps, gunmetal gaze peering unreadably through the dying light in search of signs of aggression, but the cinderpelt seemed kind enough.聽

Like with so many other Saints before him, the halfling found that her head had to fall back some -- eyes lifting slightly upwards -- to meet the gold starshine of his gaze (their color prompting her to wonder idly聽with bemusement how many more golden-eyed wolves would find themselves amongst their ranks), even though he stopped a few feet away. "'ello," the medic lilted back raspily, porcelain diadem dipping in a formal manner -- an old, dying habit. "Nae, I'm afraid not," she admitted sheepishly shortly afterwards, lips quirking momentarily in an awkward little smile. "Ye?"

"I'm Aerin, by ze vay," the healer added after a moment, allowing a polite smile to find its way to her lips as she introduced herself.

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 15, 2021, 09:08 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

She seemed even smaller this close. He felt that he might break her simply by speaking too loudly or blowing a bit of air her way. Rude, perhaps. Surely she would not be here if she was so weak. Kynareth seemed clear about the strength of those here.

He found he was quickly charmed by her voice. Almost otherworldly in a way. Accented in a way that he had never heard.

Oh, afraid not. He offered back with a thin smile.

I'm Patroclus. It is a pleasure to meet you, Aerin, even if the circumstances seem unkind to us. Light laughter filtered through the end of his words.
February 15, 2021, 09:20 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
An impish sort of grin graced her lips, feeling a sort of affinity or kinship with the male -- Patroclus -- for she had said something similar to Lovecraft once as they braved the blizzard聽together through the dark. "Aye, it's nice to meet ye," the combat medic agreed simply, softly, and meant it. He was rather amiable -- kind even; as most Saints had been. Whrist truly was the only one that had done her any harm, and perhaps there was more to the torment she'd seen swirling in the black pearl's gaze than Aerin originally guessed. Her fellow Specialist did seem to regret the incident, even if she was too proud to admit it. Perhaps it was up to Fen to be the bigger person (wolf?) and seek her attacker聽out first. The girl of countless names knew all too much about such agony.聽

The sighthound pulled herself from her internal musings over the trustworthiness of her pack mates, silently resolving herself to keep a more open mind in the future as she refocused her attention on the earthy man before her. Not every wolf was a Whrist, most were akin to Patroclus -- as the druids had once taught her.

"Ye are new, I'm guessing?" she asked curiously, not having seen him amongst the other Saints that she was slowly becoming familiar with.

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 15, 2021, 09:29 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

He settled down into a sphinx-like pose, comfortable and at ease around her already. Perhaps lulled into a sense of security merely from her petite size.

Indeed I am. He admitted in a warm rumble. Patroclus felt...soft here. Gentle compared to how he taunted Kynareth. Kindly swept up by Kynareth and Nyra just outside of the Strath. Offered my services as a sort of...supportive counseling type.

This would be the first time he discussed it with someone who was not the leading pair. Perhaps it would be good for him. Make his social talents known, an open offer for those who needed it.
February 15, 2021, 09:54 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
"Ah," the sylph soughed quietly in understanding. "Zey 'ave a 'abit of doing zat -- taking in strays," Aerin murmured, smiling kindly so he would know it was only a jest. She had been one such stray herself once -- even if it had been a more dire situation, and it was Kynareth and Derg who saved her in place of Nyra. At his next words, the silver of her gaze wavered, dropping to the earth as a pit of anxiety began to form in her stomach -- one of her small paws scuffing lightly at the dirt.聽

She had spoken to no one about her past aside from Reiko and Kynareth, keeping all the sordid details well wrapped up and stashed out of sight and out of mind -- mostly. She knew this was unhealthy, knew well that she should speak to someone about the things her life had seen -- a professional, like Patroclus -- but it suddenly felt extremely difficult when presented with the opportunity. Try as she might to begin, her lips wouldn't separate聽and the words wouldn't come, the timid fae finding it almost impossible to speak of such things, especially with a man -- even one as nice as the compassionate Underling聽before her.

"I suppose I might be a good subject fer such a thing," the halfling finally managed after a moment, a quiver of repressed nerves causing her hushed tones to hitch halfway through. The midwife's throat bobbed in a swallow as she tried to maintain a steady composure, offering him a single wag of her tail accompanied by a vaguely anxious smile to reassure the Counselor -- trying to put on a brave face and not look utterly terrified.

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 15, 2021, 10:13 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

He settled into the silence of her anxieties. Unaware of the thoughts that swirled within the will-o-wisp. Patroclus had dealt in matters of the mind and heart for some time, but he was no mind reader. He worked with communication.

Which she finally supplied him with. Even if it was only a little shred to start with. He could work with this.

The first thing he'd offer would be a warm smile, golden eyes fixed on her paws for a moment. I see. A slow start as he hummed in thought. Wondered the best way to approach this with her.

Is this something you would like? I will always be honored to listen and help, but you must want it too. He did not run a business of sinking teeth into fresh wounds, so to speak.
February 16, 2021, 03:52 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
She manages to keep a tight rein on her sudden flare of anxiety, despite the fact that she is clearly nervous. She gives him an apologetic smile, "I vant to get better. I do nae know 'ow exactly I should do zat though." So far, the ashen seelie had been winging it -- surviving off the 'fake it 'til you make it' theology. "I'm sorry, it is just 'ard to speak of such things."

"I vas born a slave," she admitted, "an'聽I remained a slave for many years." The admonission comes easily enough -- no more than a simple fact. Detached. Devoid. But she scuffs a paw a little awkwardly again as the next string of words comes: "As ye can probably imagine, such a life is not one filled vith kindness. I 'ave seen an' suffered too many traumas to count."聽

"Do ye know 'ow...vhat I should do about...vell, about any of it?" She had not given him much to work with, this was true. But honestly, the once-druid didn't know where to start. She would openly answer any questions he had but even she was at a loss of how to start working through all the fucked-up things in her past.聽

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 16, 2021, 06:29 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

His heart grew heavy in his chest, liable to burst right through and sink into the earth. Patroclus had not met a woman of her kind in many ways. A slave. He could only imagine what such a history detailed for someone who held such a status. He had seen his fair share of men and women who held lower positions, but never something so...boldly degrading.

There is no instant cure, I am sure you are aware. He hummed softly with a careful thoughtfulness in his tone. If there had been such a thing he liked to think others would have marketed it sooner.

We can...talk. Discover where your heaviest burdens are and how you conquer them. Reassurance in his tone as he offered a warm smile. We do not have to start deepest. This may very well be a long process.
February 17, 2021, 07:39 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
There is a touch of something in his golden gaze -- she has shaken him. Her own optics fall from his earthen features, unable to bear the thought of his pity or anything akin to it. "If only zere vere one," she answered in a sardonically amused lilt, lips quirking faintly with dark humor. "Zat does nae sound so bad.." Aerin agreed slowly to his terms, shifting on her paws lightly.聽

Assuming they started now, she allowed her gaze to trail back up to his as she asked: "Vhere should I begin?" He had mentioned her heaviest burdens. "I think perhaps...ze dreams are ze vorst," come her soft words, an offering -- an olive branch of where he might begin to pick at her brain.聽

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 18, 2021, 09:48 AM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

He motioned softly, if she would like to settle near him. It was easy to felt as though they were no longer strangers. She was keen to open up to him and he was keen to help lift her burdens.

Is that why you could not sleep? Do they keep you up at night? A tentative set of questions before he tried to pry into the contents of what her dreams might hold. He did not know what waited for him on the other side of such a question.
February 18, 2021, 12:22 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
For some reason, she hesitates. Not because she is afraid of the soft-spoken therapist, but more like she is reluctant to embrace the vulnerability such a move will inspire. Nonetheless, the brumal nymph pattered forward after a moment and stretched out in a similar position across from him. "Aye," she admits in a soughing tone after settling, pale diadem dipping once in affirmation. "I do nae sleep very often. Usually during ze day fer a few 'ours at a time."

Then, she hesitated again before tacking on: "An' I find it impossible to sleep in caves...or enter zem at all really. I usually sleep out 'ere, in ze voods somewhere." Her ivory muzzle gestures vaguely to the forests surrounding them.聽He seems reluctant to ask after details for the time being, the healer deferring to him naturally. This is the first time she's had a counseling session after all, and she's not entirely sure how these things typically go.

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 19, 2021, 04:10 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

He made mental note of the things she said. Only in the day for a few hours, never in caves, in the woods. It was useful information. Truly. Good things for him to pick apart or to leave be. While he had his hesitations about ripping into the meat of things so early, she did not seem inclined to pull back yet.

Why not caves? Patroclus asked in hushed tones, warm and soft. He wished to tread all of this with a fine feather-light weight for the time being.
February 20, 2021, 12:00 AM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
Had she been able, Aerin would have swung her insubstantial weight between prancing paws but such an option had been removed in this position. Regardless, she shifts the tiniest bit -- an echo of this skittish mannerism perhaps. She did not want to offend his unprepared sensibilities with the ruin of her and yet, what other way was there than to give him a few more revealing tidbits?聽

"Caves are 'ell to me," she waxes, the words a tragic sort of poetry as they leave her lips. "Ze first of my volf masters commanded zat I be 'caved' for ze turn of a moon's phases. An'聽later, my...'usband thought zis fear to be a favorable method of controlling me. I 'ave been 'eld an' tortured in zem on more zan one occasion."聽

"Most of ze dreams are of those instances," she withheld a slight shrug, an urge to make this issue seem lighter. Reluctant to admit聽weakness,聽聽even now.

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 21, 2021, 09:49 AM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

A husband, someone who was supposed to protect and love had used her vulnerability against her. He could not imagine such a man. Such an anyone. If there ever had been a tragedy, it seemed to be here within the petite battle-worn woman.

I am sorry to hear this. He answered honestly, softly. Now he was not a medic but. . .

Have you tried perhaps a bundle of chamomile or lavender in the evenings? To help you sleep through the night more. Thin lipped as he considered his suggestion. Sometimes the...stress of things is worse when you are not getting the basics we all need.
February 21, 2021, 05:42 PM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
Aerin nodded, the movements a little jerky. She's done well -- or so she assumes anyways given that she's mostly maintained her composure -- but her heart still thrums a little quickly in her chest like the frightened staccato聽of a mouse scurrying across hardwood, fleeing the housecat on its trail. She knows too that if she were to stand her limbs would shake like a newborn fawn taking its first steps. "That's..." Should she聽say that it's alright? Obviously, it isn't really, but what should she say? "That's just life, I suppose."

"Aye, I am a 'ealer. I 'ave tried different 'erbal concoctions in ze past but zey just make me feel 'eavy. I don't see things as clearly in my dreams but ze panic is still zere. It is just 'arder to vake up," Aerin shrugged her shoulders lightly as she explained. Then an idea came to her and her gilded gaze of mercury lit up momentarily. "But Vein, another 'ealer 'ere, 'as spoken of a revolutionary medicine zat 'e calls tea. Ze possibilities聽are endless vith 'is methods. 'e 'as spoken of using many different plants to make 'erbal drinks for patients -- perhaps I could try speaking to 'im about teas to make one sleep better."聽

She was eager and excited now that she had come up with some sort of solution that might remedy her issues -- rather than just feeling damaged beyond repair, doomed to a perpetual聽exhaustion聽and plagued by night terrors. She contained her elation to the gentle sway of her tail, thinking that if anyone were to know of such a brew it would be the medicine man.

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 23, 2021, 07:43 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

Tea.

He had never heard such a thing. Admittedly it sounded...untrustworthy to him. A new concoction by some medicine man he did not know. Patroclus could not, in good faith, suggest such a thing right away.

Yet she lit up with the words she spoke and perhaps he did not have it in his soft heart to crush her hopes so suddenly with his concern.

We could go together, He suggested softly. Speak to him. Me as your...council of sorts and you with your own knowledge. The man did his best to keep any worried tones hidden under warmth. I have not heard of this practice he advertises and I am keen to hear more from him.
February 26, 2021, 01:32 AM
Aerin
Saints Of The Dying Light
The Priestess
He did well at hiding his doubt, and so Aerin only nodded obligingly. The pale swath of her throat bobbed ever so slightly in trepidation -- thinking that perhaps Vein would inquire as to why she needed the tea, or maybe that he would ask after the reason as to her having counseling sessions with Patroclus in the first place. She was growing rather fond of the shaman and found herself drawn to him but their budding relationship was fairly new. She didn't think it would effect how Vein felt about her but a small shred of insecurity niggled at the back of her mind, making her doubt herself.聽

"Of course," she told Patroclus anyways, understanding herself how frustrating it could be when patients sought treatment and then refused to listen to your advice. "If ye think zat is best," the halfling murmured, dipping her diadem of hoarfrost concedingly. "I think 'e may be asleep now. Perhaps we could seek 'im out together tomorrow or ze next day if ye 'ave no other plans zat need seeing to?"聽

"I could keep ye company if ye like -- if ye too are 'aving issues sleeping. If'n ye'd like to be alone though, I vould not be offended," the brumal sprite would offer after a moment, after he'd answered and silence had swelled between them. If he had no other questions for her on this night that was. If he wanted her to stay then she would, certain that they could find other, more pleasant things to talk of. And if not, if the umber male was tired perhaps, the sylph would leave him behind with a soft thanks and goodnight, slipping away to patrol the Strath's borders.

we can wrap up after your next post and start another thread with @Vein (reference) if you'd like?

"You see, I got a bullet for a tooth and
I'm gonna use it to shoot you."
February 27, 2021, 04:38 PM
Patroclus
Lone Wolves

Sounds good! :)

That will work very well. No need to waste time on this. She required help and he was here to help provide that.

Stay with me. He offered with a little motion of his head. They could find something to do. Perhaps a simple patrol with lighter conversations or an exploration of the river.

If she would like, he could easily fill the time with talk of himself. Tales of his valley empire back home. The kindness, the handsomeness, the drama. Anything to keep her mind away from the darker things.