Phoenix Maplewood maybe I can drown
Private  February 18, 2021, 02:32 PM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier

By the time the willow's poisonous聽effects had faded, leaving聽the buttered shepherd shaking and weak, Imaq would find herself far removed from the reaches of the Woods -- from the steppes of the Flatlands in general. Unfamiliar with the terrain, and not entirely able to recount the journey that led her here, the piebald took to wandering the Taiga aimlessly. A weary sort of acceptance settled itself into the marrow of her bones, accustomed to the life of a gypsy by this age. At the very least, the landscape was something like the north's though still milder than Nunaat聽-- particularly beautiful in winter, if harsh and unforgiving.聽

The straight stands of white cedars, speckled with black splotches not unlike the halfbreed's own blotchy skin, stood as neat sentinels -- interspersed with the broader and gnarled trunks of maples and oaks. One such tree drew forth the medicine woman with an excited wiggle of her tailless stump, the fluffy wolfdog rising up on her hindlegs to balance her ivory paws against the tree of her choosing.聽

Her incisors scraped carefully at the ice for a moment and then聽 she took to rasping at the bark with her spotty tongue -- licking up the sap-like syrup that flowed out of the bark in sticky rivulets. It was not the most nutritional thing in the world but it was sweet and it would tide her over until the tiny huntress managed to catch something more fufilling.聽
February 18, 2021, 07:11 PM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
tag for reference!

wintersbane does not stray too far from the glacier, now that he's decided to call it home ...not that he could even if he wished to. his wound, though kept clean by @Iana's diligent efforts. still, wintersbane keeps in mind that he'd be no good to anyone if he got an infection or collapsed somewhere where no one would find him. he had not survived so much and worse to die by a cut to his leg.聽

the throb of pain from the give and pull of torn sinew is dull; an ache that he feels with each step he takes and while he's putting an effort towards being mindful, he also knows there's much work to be done. while the glacier from the check-over he'd given seemed fairly self sufficient he wanted to check out herds hanging around in neighboring territories.

it is during such that he comes across the piebald; a wolfdog, wintersbane thinks, reminded of quellcrists' mother elixir briefly... but strangely she more resembled a girl of wintersbane's past with a similar appearance. he lets out a low chuff upon his approach, brow furrowing as he studies her licking the tree; and unable to put together that she was licking sap ( because he's never tasted it himself ) he cannot help but give a small tilt of his head in confusion.
February 18, 2021, 08:27 PM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
Imaq jumps just a little bit when he calls her attention to him, not expecting company in the wood scarred by the memory of flames -- especially in the midst of this winter. But the weather has been fairer in the past day or so and some wolves have the wanderlust, even if suffering from a sizeable wound apparently. The shepherd drops back onto all fours, turning to face the man -- whom she found as curious looking as he did her.聽

Imaq was far more familiar with her father's kind -- having never before seen any other dogs or wolfdogs like herself -- but even so, the shaman had likewise never seen a wolf of his exact coloring in times聽past. The man was of a scale to the others she had met in the Wilds, though he was taller than her yearling friend and broader聽than Taikon. But it was his fevercoat聽pelt that she found most fascinating, its shading like a clash of silver lilacs and the abyssal navy of oceanic depths -- or the night sky perhaps with the stardust聽spackling that dashed his spine.聽

Seelie dipped her head lower instinctively, in spite of the fact that he was already much taller than the halfbreed, as a soft chirrup of greeting escaped her in return -- hind quarters tremoring occasionally in what might've been a wag had the aureate cur possessed a tail. She hoped he was friendly to dogs, ears pressing slightly as his brow furrowed but the expression was confounded -- not aggressive.聽

"Food," the northron explained, glancing back at the tree for a moment. Her articulation聽had improved during her stint in Blackfeather Woods but her accent was heavy, her grace with the language still lacking in finesse. "Is good."

"Imaq," she introduced herself then as she turned back to the silvered tundrian, neptunian gaze meeting聽verglas for a heartbeat before she dipped her head towards her聽small paws. "You?" she asked, stepping toward him on two slow steps to sniff at the scent of him -- not wanting to offend him by encroaching聽on his personal space. Smelling the rust-salt聽of his wound, she frowned with a hint of concern.聽

"Hurt?" she murmured with a cock of her head, floppy ears perking just a tad as she waited for his answer.聽

explanation cause I thought this was rlly cool:聽'fever coat' is the term given when a cat or other animal gives birth to silver young that go through various coat transitions during their life, whether they lighten or darken. I found that out when searching for a name for Winterbanes' coat color and thought it was pretty neat.
February 21, 2021, 07:05 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
ooh yeah, i've seen cats with fevercoat and they're so beautiful! it's the perfect way to describe his coat! <3

she explains that it is food and continues on with 'is good', giving wintersbane the impression that common might not be her mother tongue. it sparks curiosity within him, thinking of how it has been so long since he spoke tundrian; hoarding the words of his the nightingale queen's native tongue to him like they were a secret. his glacial gaze rises from the woman to the tree, ghosting forth a step 鈥 though careful not to invade her personal space 鈥 to inspect the sap. the smell was alluring enough; sweet in a way that bordered sickeningly so.

she introduces herself as 'imaq' and wintersbane pairs it with her face in his mind; noting the softer plains of her face and the flop of her ears聽that give her away as not full wolf ( and true enough, neither was he ). wintersbane. he offers in return; smoky rasp breaking his silence that in the wake of the moonspear disaster seemed too loud to him. i'm fine. it would not kill him, at least; and wintersbane sure as the sun rose and set wasn't going to let it slow him down.

are you hungry? wintersbane asks her then. i can hunt for you. as if in protest of the offer, a stabbing throb resonates through his leg but he ignores it. he's had worse injuries and survived those ( though not without help, he knew ); he had to recruit, he had a pack to form. he did not have time to lounge about while his leg healed. it would scar, yes; but what was one more scar to the map already on his flesh?
February 21, 2021, 06:00 PM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
She restrains her seaglass gaze, not allowing it to flick down to the wound that sears across his hindleg -- not unlike the singe-scarred woods around them -- for already, he seems a proud man. Somewhat like Aakkuluk in that way, not wanting her to 'waste time' on what he deemed inconsequential injuries. Determined, like the tundrian before her draped in midnight blues, that he would forge on without even missing a beat. "No," the gilded piebald denies, giving a firm shake of her head even though she can't remember the last time she ate, such basic needs forgotten under the influence of the psychedelics聽that carried her so far from home, "Imaq not h-"

The embarrassingly聽loud gurgle of her stomach rioting against this lie cuts her off mid-protest, warmth spilling across her cheeks beneath her fur as her ears pin lightly at having been caught.聽The cur gives a sheepish quirk of her lips. Sorry.聽

The aureate shepherd heaves a little sigh and squares her shoulders a tiny bit, knowing he may fight her on this next part -- especially if he truly is anything like her stefar.聽

"Imaq not hurt. Imaq hunt," the wolfdog tells him, punctuating the stern words with a firm little nod. As firm as any Kalaallit woman can be.聽She can hunt as good as any man of Nunaat and believes herself to be capable of rustling them up a meal -- hoping that the inua don't decide to withhold the game of these strange lands from her. It'd be like the spirits to get amusement out of making her look like a fool in front of Wintersbane.
February 22, 2021, 12:31 PM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
she responds to his question with a 'no' that wintersbane immediately doesn't believe but not for any other initial reason than the fact that she was licking a tree; despite her assurance that it was good wintersbane cannot fathom ever licking a tree himself. then again, there was only one time he'd been that hungry ...and by now he was too old to remember it. his lips tug into terse skepticism that he makes no grand gesture to hide; proved right by the loud gurgle of her stomach.

he watches as she squares her shoulders and tells him that she's not hurt and that she'll hunt; giving him a firm nod. my wound is not so bad that i am incapable of hunting, he protests; but does so gently, rasping timbre a whisky soaked lullaby. sure, it made him a mediocre hunter presently but mediocre was ...enough.

iana might not be happy with him if he upset her careful ministrations to the wound but he would deal with it if and when the time came. he was nothing if not an unruly patient and he surely deserved a tongue lashing or two ( and who knew, it might be good for him ). a soft sigh follows his words; an acceptance. wintersbane is many things but he is not the kind of man to take independence from a woman. there's a rabbit warren not far from here, he gestures east with his muzzle. we'll both hunt and split our spoils 鈥 he gives a small pause before asking, sound fair?
February 22, 2021, 09:14 PM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
The cur has to fight back the beginnings of a smile, striving to remain serious and steadfast as her protests are met with his own. He offers a compromise, which Imaq considers thoughtfully for a moment -- as if weighing聽whether this is a fight she could win. In the end, her upbringing wins out and the shepherd defers to him. "Jah," she murmured in agreement, muzzle dipping with her聽consent to his terms.聽

"Where going?" she asks quietly after a moment, after falling into聽step beside Wintersbane -- assuming he began to lead the way back to the rabbit burrows -- with care to keep pace alongside the canid, not wanting to move too fast and strain his injuries聽. "Before?" she clarifies, meaning before he stopped to speak to her. She聽noted聽then the strange smell of him in their close proximity, something like brimstone but also like nothing else she'd smelled in this world.聽

For a moment her mind wanders after who he might be, where he might have been so far, to smell of another realm but even she knows not to ask after the past聽 -- cursed as her own is. She hasn't got the words to yet anyways. For now, she is limited to communicating with the titan through simple concepts and phrases.聽

"I speak Kalaallit better if you know it," she confides in her native tongue after a moment, the words offered like some small token of gratitude for accepting her help. Her ears pin lightly for a moment, shy of her mother tongue for it has not always been accepted gracefully on southern ears.
February 25, 2021, 09:48 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
he does not understand the word she uses in and of itself but the dip of her muzzle and context of her voice makes him think it was a word of agreement. she falls into step with him and inquires where he was going, adding 'before'; giving the tundrian enough to assume that she meant before he'd came across her licking the tree sap. a small smile plays at the edges of his lips for a moment. i was recruiting, he tells her simply, peeking at her from the corner of his eye as he limps forth, determined not to let it slow him down ( too much ).

i am claiming the glacier, he gestures in it's direction with his muzzle ( because viz is too lazy to look up what direction it is on the map ). looking for wayward souls who might be interested in joining. he informs her, quietly and discreetly gauging her expression for any reaction.

she speaks to him in that language again; tickling his ears in a way that deceptively sounded familiar but was certainly not the tundrian his mother'd taught him. there are similar sounds but not, he thinks, similar enough. it is your native tongue? wintersbane inquires; and offers only after she answers. it sounds similar to my mother's, to the tundrian my ancestors speak. he, too, spoke it but hasn't in quite some time ( since andraste's death, he thinks with a painful draw of cold breath ).
February 26, 2021, 02:42 AM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
The wolfdog's ears half-rise in curiosity as her gaze of lagoon waters flickers over to him, flitting away when it meets his own of winter sky. The word itself was not one she knew as of yet but she understood when Wintersbane explained聽further, sweeping his inky muzzle in gesture towards a place unseen -- to his own Kalaallit, where they were colonizing upon an聽iluliaq. The golden piebald considered a moment, wondering as she had with Rowan if the man beside her was trustworthy enough to follow to an unknown location -- a bit ironic considering that was what she was doing at that very moment.聽

In the end, the cur reasoned that if the silvered leviathan was inclined to hurt her, we would have done so already. And Imaq reckoned she could outrun him pretty quickly given his bum leg -- try as he might to seem nonchalant, she could see that it bothered him a bit. Ever polite, the gilded dove refrained from showing any inclination that she noticed him favoring his scorched leg, allowing him to save face if he felt the need to do so. "Imaq help?" She asked simply, ears pricking alertly in wait of his response. The chances of her finding her way back to the Daedric woods was highly unlikely and it wasn't like she had anywhere else to go -- besides, Wintersbane seemed nice enough.聽

"Jah," she answered again, dipping her head in affirmation, knowing already that it was longshot that he spoke the tongue of a people from across the sea.聽



February 27, 2021, 03:59 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
rolled a 1 in tabletop so wintersbane does not get any rabbits ...which is realistic given his injury. :P

speaking to strangers of foundling packs, wintersbane came to learn over his experience of failed attempts to settle his own places in the past, was either a hit or a miss. still, if nothing else, getting the word of mouth passed around was a good start. the tundrian is nevertheless surprised to hear her ask if she could help, if she could join. glacial gaze flickers to her for a moment 鈥 not wanting to stray from the path for too long 鈥 as he considers. if that is what you wish, you are welcome to join us. wintersbane rumbles with a small smile tugging at the edges of his scarred lips.

as the scent of criss-crossing rabbit trails grows stronger his limping pace subsides to a stop; breath quieting as he motions to the rabbit warren just in the distance. there were a few rabbits he can see over the hedge of winterworn bushes; three ...maybe four rooting up what they can find to eat.

he gestures with his muzzle that he'll go right, eyeing the two lingering a bit away and with no need to communicate vocally ( at least, wintersbane thinks so ) he focuses on the thrill of the hint slithering down his spine. he weighs his chances and lunges for the nearest rabbit to him. his injured leg gives him away and forces him to toss his weight so that his jaws clasp around little more than air. he chases one of the two rabbits he'd had his eye set on but they both manage to evade him; the fail of the hunt stinging at his pride as he limps back to imaq hoping she's faired better than he.
February 27, 2021, 04:56 PM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
rolled an 8 so no rabbits for Imaq either
There's a flicker of something in his winter-frosted gaze, as if shocked by her forwardness. A faint tinge of heat scorches the northron's cheeks but she can't truly find it in herself to be embarrassed. It seemed the wolves here were more tolerant -- many of them anyways, she amended聽as Taikon came to mind聽-- but she still wasn't willing to risk the chance of bypassing the opportunity to settle amongst a Kalaallit, uncertain as she was that another would present itself. Perhaps Rowan and Wintersbane were just outliers, as her own聽Taatax虃 had been.聽

She allowed a faint smile of her own to tug at the corners of her lips in response to his acceptance, beaming at him before allowing her cracked gaze to return to the path before them. "Thank you," she utters, and perhaps if she'd had a tail it would have wagged with joy.

Her flopped ears pricked and she crouched lower ever so lightly as Wintersbane came to a hitching stop to gesture at the warren through the withered foliage. From where she peeks out around the聽blue bunting's shoulder, the aureate shepherd can make out the small white shapes of a paw's count of snowshoe hares. Her seaglass gaze rises momentarily, to the flicker of movement as her newfound chief indicated which way they were to split and divide their targets. With a nod, the gilded cur hunkered and trotted on low steps to take up a position that would enable her to spring towards the rabbits on the left -- keeping a watch on his navy silhouette from her peripherals for sign of his attack, lest she leap forward too early.聽

When the argentine tundrian lunges, so too would Imaq but her paw would sink through the drifts of snow, cracking through an unseen sheet of ice below. Her body lurched suddenly as her paw was snagged in the frozen hole of a half-dug burrow entrance, apparently abandoned for the winter and hidden by the layers of recent snows. The shepherd is sent sprawling, landing on her side with a small oof as the hares bound away. Pain dashes through her聽 skull and the light stings at her eyes as she lifts her head with a wince, shifting to stand on unsteady legs and tug her paw from where it remains trapped in the rabbit hole.

So much for the spirits not making her look like a fool.
February 28, 2021, 07:11 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
you get my 1,200 post w/wintersbane!

with his hunt already a failure; the commotion of his companion's making draws wintersbane's attention. fortune does not smile upon her either, it seems as his glacial gaze takes in her situation: sprawled upon the snows, paw being tugged free from it's temporary prison. for a moment, wintersbane fights the urge to laugh, for what a pair they were! the injured soldier bested by rabbits and the piebald woman temporarily stuck in a trap of mother nature's own making.

he does not laugh.

are you alright? wintersbane inquires as he limps near her; wishing he had his witchdoctor father's mind for the medical. we have a healer that can look at you, if you feel she should. at least, wintersbane has enough faith in iana's abilities to treat minor injuries given the good job she's done with his leg thus far.
February 28, 2021, 10:58 AM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
The confection of buttercream glances up as he approaches, stilled in her efforts of yanking her appendage free by his nearness and the question he poses to her in concern -- or maybe just well intentions. He does not laugh but she does, seeing the repressed mirth in the winter snap of his frozen optics -- too warm to be completely brumal. A smile, equal parts embarrassment聽and humor curls her lips as a few chuckles leave her. "Imaq not hurt.聽Uimm芒lappuk," she gestured to the way she had fallen in such an ungainly matter with a chortle, not having a word for her sheepishness in the kulliak-pelted male's tongue.聽

With a last, harsh tug -- wanting to free herself before the wounded man felt a need to assist and hurt himself further -- she wrenched her paw free and gave it a small flex before testing her weight on it. There were a few droplets of blood where the ice had cut her but she had suffered much worse before, a few small scratches wouldn't stop her.聽

Her gaze moved to him then, lips curling聽in a wry grin. Then they slid past him to a nearby maple shining with an abundance of sticky sap. "Food," Imaq laughed, padding past him -- hoping the stygian male would follow. We try it my way now, the medicine woman's lacking prose seemed to imply impishly as she led him over to the tree. It wasn't like they could catch anything to fill their bellies now.聽

The woman reared back on her hindlegs and made short work of prying away a sticky chunk of congealed syrup before laying it on the ground between them -- waiting to see if he would actually sample her meager offerings. It was not much but it made her feel slightly better, satiating the training her聽An芒naks had instilled to provide food and comfort -- even if Wintersbane was not hers to provide for. She felt she owed him something for what he had聽given, a place amongst his own people.聽
March 03, 2021, 04:28 AM
Wintersbane
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
with their efforts of hunting dashed, for the time being anyway, wintersbane lets out a small sigh of resignation; and has to remind himself almost forcefully for he's terrifyingly used to the type of traumatic incidents that plagued moonspear, that at least he's alive. at least he survived. a scarred leg compared to ...being crushed to death? it was a small price to pay for the incredible struck of luck that had ultimately spared him ( or was it a curse? he was beginning to not know the difference ).

still, he cannot help but guilt that gnaws at his belly as he follows imaq, knowing that he could not provide her with a simple, scrawny rabbit to fill her own belly. he wasn't hungry but he had the good fortune of having company to look after him. a struck of luck that always happened to find him when he was injured it would seem.

he is still apprehensive about the sap being any kind of sufficient food source but the tundrian humors his lovely companion all the same and samples the chunk of sap she lays before them. to wintersbane, it is almost sickeningly sweet but despite that not unpleasant. unusual, he thinks. it's different. he offers, still debating how he ultimately felt about the sweet taste that cloys upon his tongue.
March 03, 2021, 02:04 PM
Imaq
Pledged
Duskfire Glacier
Her smile is tempered somewhat by the tenebrous male's stifled frustration -- wishing, somewhat guiltily, that she had managed to catch something but somehow thinks that might have wounded his pride all the more. An urge niggles in the back of her mind to move towards him, offer a nudge or bump of her blotchy nose in a display of friendly comfort but she remains rooted to her place, stopped by the reminder she clings to. This is the south and聽as reminiscent聽as he is of the northerners she's known and loved, the medicine woman does not think the daunting man would appreciate her familiarity. "Jah," the merle's soft, indistinct murmur comes, lips quirking faintly as she recognizes that he did not say that it was good.聽

After the man had eaten what he would, Imaq took a few bites for herself -- cleaning the sticky substance from her whiskers with a rasp of her liver-splotched tongue. But even she, who had eaten the sap and even the bark of trees when hungry enough, could not eat much of the sugary treat. It would only turn her empty stomach to eat too much she knew.聽

Her seafoam orbs moved to the sky, which looked liable to break with snow soon, and then to the distant direction in which the glacier was supposed to lie. Feeling suddenly, inexplicably, timid, the northron pinned her creamy ears -- fearful聽that he might've changed his mind with the huntress' failure. "Wintersbane..?" his name was slow and heavy on her unskilled tongue. "We go home?" she asked, tones as soft as snowfall.