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 Winter Forage

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Kodiak

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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Thu May 11, 2017 8:50 pm

Ben followed her gaze over to Zhaki, an ear flicking dismissively as he decided he was mostly done talking. His sudden talk of honor in a kill made even himself a little sick with the cheesiness of it all, deciding to choose his words a little more carefully when it came to more opinionated thinking. "Hard to explain. More Zhaki's thing. Examples?"

"Don't kill children?" Zhaki hardly looked up from his task, too busy dumping out the bag in search of their flint and steel.

"But that's exactly what I would try to do first! Well- not human children anyways. Cubs and kits and calves and the like. Taste better and orphans are easier to catch."

“Oh! Thank the Skald! I thought you meant a human kid! I actually believed you would do it! Snatch one up!”

"Ah. Thank you for your faith in me." The larger man scowled.  "But I don't feel like getting decapitated by an angry mob."

"Yes, that would be dishonorable." Zhaki chuckled and gave up on their attempted explanation of honor, finding the flint and steel he had finally found to found a tiny flame into the dry bundles of kindling he had collected. The fire caught on quickly, aided by Zhaki's gentle blowing, growing larger gradually.

He held his hand out to Ben, expecting him to give him the rabbit.

Ben held his hand out to Zhaki, expecting something in return.

Zhaki gave an exaggerated sigh, tossing the larger man a bottle of juice before catching the rabbit the man threw back, wasting no time in snapping it's hind legs and starting to skin it with his bare hands. “Fine, but you're sharing. Faereni, would you like a juice as well?”

“I don't mind.” Black, claw-like nails made quick work of the cork sealing his treat, sinking into the soft material and twisting it out with a practiced move, a satisfying ‘pop’ sounding from it. “Take two, if you want. Plenty to go around and better than what Zhaki drinks.”

Zhaki ignored him and finished up the skinning, performing the more graphic parts with his back slightly turned to Faereni, as if she hadn't seen worse in the wild. When he was finished, he set it up on the spit, the flames beginning to lick at it with a crackle of fat and fire.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed May 17, 2017 8:00 pm

Her curiosity had her very interested in Zhaki and what he was doing with that bag. But the topic would draw her attention between the both of them as they exchanged words, unsuccessfully explaining the word of the hour. By their conversation, it was honorable to kill young of animals but not the young of hunters. She looked as confused as she was, questioning the duality of it, but it was possible she was frowning about Ben's tastes (though she had to agree that orphans were easier to catch).

When Zhaki located the flint she straightened, ears forward and eyes attentive to the creation of sparks as he struck the rock against the metal and the fire that came peeking as a result. Her eyes fluttered with awe; she had seen campfires and spits, but she had never seen it actually -made-. She kept her distance however, the heat and smell of burning wood was fine enough where it was.

"Mm." She could go for the juice of an apple. But that bottle would present new puzzles she would be ill prepared for, starting with the cork, lacking the claws they had to hook and pull it out. She unfolded herself smoothly and fairly quickly even in her relaxed state, to approach him or at least meet him part of the way for that bottle.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed May 17, 2017 8:25 pm

Though it certainly would have been useful to have, Zhaki lacked the claw-like nails his partner possessed, instead scratching at the short cork with his more human, yet still rather strong nails until they found purchase and could yank the stopper out. For a second, his mind was bent on handing the now open one to her before a much more interesting idea came to mind.

He would give her a sealed one instead, holding it out to her as she came. The corks were short and hard to pull out, her’s even shorter. She would either have to get creative in opening it or ask Ben for help, as he was already enjoying his while cutting his cork to tiny chunks with those black nails of his.

Ben took note of her interest in the fire, specifically how Zhaki had brought the tiny spark into greedy flame.

Truth be told, he thought the flint and steel was too easy a method, even going as far as to tease Zhaki for relying on it without bothering to learn how to do it without a tiny bit of metal or a specific rock. Those you could lose. Sticks and random grass was everywhere.

“That's a child’s way of making it.” Why pass up of chance to bother his sensitive friend in front of others? It was all fun and games, anyways. “It's easier, yes. But what happens when you lose those little things? You get cold and I enjoy my stick-made fire.”
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed May 17, 2017 9:17 pm

Her first instinct was to fiddle about with it, finding it unsual and nothing like the fruit that had created it. The glass was too hard for her to just bite through, she figured that out pretty quickly, her attention going to the men as she watched them work on theirs, Ben by far the most successful at it.

So she would try with her teeth. Grazers were pretty good with their mouths, after all, with most of them built with prenhensile lips. She was not, of course. Her talent could only go so far and corks were certainly beyond that capacity as she gripped the sliver of edge she could get and started to twist and pull. Quietly and determined at first, then a little more desperately.

Faereni paused once as Ben scoffed at how the fire had been created. Not much of a reaction from her, as she really didn't know. Fire wasn't a luxury she and the wild ones enjoyed. They huddled together, built hovels on instinct, and so on. When fire came, it usually meant a part of their home would be destroyed for a time. She looked to Zhaki, expecting some sort of snap back to happen as was common between the two.

And overall she ignored the gutted rabbit on the spit; it blending into the background as all the other times people had 'cooked' in the woods. The creature was dead, there was little she could do about that.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed May 17, 2017 9:44 pm

Ben looked rather amused as Zhaki chose to ignore his taunting, likely trying to appear the mature one when in all reality we was far more sensitive. Had Zhaki been obnoxious or prideful, critical or holier-than-thou Ben might have gone as far as to get vehement, but he thoroughly enjoyed this man's mild attempts at leadership or dominance.

Zhaki turned the rabbit around on the spit, parts of it's raw little body almost ready (by his standards) for consumption. He knew making Ben wait for food to cook drove him wild, especially towards the end when the smell of burnt flesh became tempting, but curiously enough, he found his partner’s attention elsewhere. Funny. He’d thought he valued food above all else.

“Don't put your mouth on that. You'll hurt your teeth and push the cork further.” The wolfman held his hand out, palm up, still spotted here and there with dirt and little smears of blood from trotting about on bare paws all morning. “Give it here, I’ll do it for you.”

He didn't lean forward to close the distance at all, not even to make her more comfortable. He simply held his hand out, claws glinting by the fire and arm not even fully extended. Though his reach was far by an average man’s standards, she would have to get close enough to risk a sudden pounce in order to hand it over safely.

Not that he showed any sign of wanting to do so, and Zhaki didn't look nervous about his offer to her at all. He knew if Ben was interested in attacking, he would always give some subtle sign. His mouth would stay closed, but his jaw would part ever so slightly, as if he was more comfortable that way. Nothing anyone would ever notice. Why Zhaki did? He wasn't sure. It wasn't as if he was especially good at reading people, he just happened to be especially good at reading Ben, as if they had known each other for some years rather than some weeks.

They both waited curiously, their attentions on Faereni despite trying to appear mostly uninterested.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Thu May 18, 2017 9:22 am

They would find themselves at a stand still, the deer heavily considering or talking it out in her mind the risks and rewards of such an action. The iron and earth on his body rich in her nose. Those claws effective. The prey was very aware of how easily he could hold her down, tear her open. Her panic fueled adrenaline would only let her carry him a few feet at best, maybe enough to bang him against a tree before she'd subcumb.

That same sensitivity didn't see any tense muscles, none of that twitching as they stayed warm and ready to snap into motion. In the corner of her pink gaze Zhaki didn't seem part of a plan either... too relaxed, doing his own thing. But his ease wasn't enough for her to go on purely. He was packmate with Ben. Packs work together to take down prey. In the back of her mind, this whole escapade had been a lure leading up to this moment, or the next. Her ankles danced slowly in place, shifting with her unease as she readied to bolt under pressure.

She handed the jar over as quickly as she could, barely registering that it had even successfully landed in his hand. She had worked herself up, certainly, heaving a great exhale that was perhaps too noticeable when she retreated, assuming she was capable of retreating.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Sat May 20, 2017 2:06 pm

Her exhale as she backed up caught both of their attentions, Zhaki looking a little concerned and Ben just having to show a tiny grin in response. He tossed the bottle in his hand, catching it quickly and stabbing into the cork just as he had done to his own.

“You know I wouldn't try for you again, don't you?” Another loud pop as he worked the cork out, flicking it off his nail and sending it rolling across the ground. “But I suppose you have a right to be wary, what with our last meeting.”

He held onto the bottle, shaking it lightly and holding it out again, same position, same relaxed arm. “Besides, Zhaki would stab me in the back if I tried. ‘Nothing sentient’, he always tells me. I can't have anything that might talk.”

“He won't do it.” Zhaki turned his attention from Ben's attempt at teasing their guest and to the rabbit on the spit, pulling out his small blade and slicing off a leg not-so-cleanly. “He's just trying to scare you with big talk. No need to be alarmed. Ben, how much do you want?”

“Serve her first! Will you do it?” Ben lost interest in getting her to take the juice almost immediately, setting it down and taking the leg from Zhaki, now on a plate, and placed it next to the bottle.

He pushed both over to her, even moving a few steps back near the fire and waiting curiously, the smell of burnt flesh and melted fat filling the air around them.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed May 24, 2017 5:34 pm

Her ears twitched as Ben explained that because she spoke, or sentient, she couldn't be feasted upon. They could keep repeating it but she still found herself wary watching that claw yank the cork free far too easily, as if that could have been her heart from her chest though she hadn't come across a predator that simply did that. It was possible, nature had a variety of reasons for kills. Stallions killing unwell foals, leaving their bodies for the scavengers. Certain storks killing and leaving the bodies of many flamingo chicks, both examples of which were not something she had encountered or known in her forest, of course.

She took the bottle back with about the same nervous quickness as she had dropped it off with, this time from the ground as he abandoned it, shrinking up with it as she sniffed the golden liquid within. Obtaining the drink from its holder was still a task. She had seen them do it, but to mimic it felt... strange. Faereni made an attempt anyway, sticking her tongue into the opening to little success until she rightfully tilted it bottom-up to allow the liquid to flow forward and down to her, as though it were a strain of water sliding down a leaf above her. The leg of rabbit ignored for the most part, favoring something recognizable rather than this fire-roasted meat that assaulted her nose.

The deer girl had not realized how quiet she had been just then, had not realized that her expressions had not answered them.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed May 24, 2017 6:01 pm

Zhaki, expecting Ben to voice his disappointment, glanced over at him to make sure he wasn't about to get too aggressive with his goal of getting the deer girl to eat meat. Sure, he found it somewhat unnerving, closer to sick, but as long as he wasn't hurting anyone, why make him stop? Besides, Ben had spoke of average deer eating small creatures, despite her disgust, maybe it would do her good if Ben swayed her into trying it.

Surprisingly, the larger man only tipped his head slightly, eyeing her drink with amused curiosity. “Don't slosh the drink around too much when you tip it, it'll spill right onto you. And it's sticky.”

He rubbed whatever small bits of cork that had been severed and stuck to his nail off, flicking an ear and thinking it was about time to sink his teeth into the cooked rabbit before getting an idea.

“Your teeth!” He looked back at the deer, likely startling her with his sudden attention. “Show them? Do you have cutting teeth at all?” He bared his own, not enough to look threatening, but enough to show off his formidable fangs. “See, we have both. You?”
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Sat May 27, 2017 11:45 pm

She was aware of how sticky it would be if it got all over her, but not as aware of how fast the juice would come out of that bottle. Right when he warned her she'd suddenly snort and shake her head, lowering the bottle as she dealt with the repercussions of it having gone up her nose. Embarrassed, her hand covered the lower part of her face, peering at Ben with a wide-eyed gaze. While it was no secret, the liquid revealed that she was fur covered. Unlike the pelt worn by most animals the hairs were more akin to peach fuzz, suede, or velvet.

Her eyes locked onto those canines and if she could go a little white, she did, swallowing another taste of the apple juice that lingered and mingled with her spit. Her teeth? He wanted to know what her teeth were like? She was a deer, she would not possess ones like his!  Her tongue ran over them, still guarded by her hand until she was done experiencing it herself. The forest didn't possess mirrors, or the same concept of vanity and appearance as people. Sure they advertised their looks for potential mates, for the most part... but it wasn't as though on a given day she acknowledged the finer knots or mats in her hair, or the burr that occasionally found itself on her ear. She didn't find anything of interest in her mouth and timid as they were expecting by now, she peeled away her lips in the most awkward 'smile' she mustered on accident.

There revealed almost human fare of teeth, two rows vertically set of square pieces of ivory that were small and fit in comfortably. They were, however mostly mountainous molars, sharp enough to tear apart bark and strip branches (and meat, really), a quality that was mostly due to uneven wear-and-tear, but she lacked any of the longer knife like incisors or canines common in more predatory animals. They could loosely determine her age by those teeth, though getting a more detailed look at them to do so would be comical at best.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Sun May 28, 2017 12:25 am

All Zhaki could do was hold back a chuckle and grab a clean handkerchief from the bag, catching both Faereni’s wide-eyed look and Ben's, who had actually froze up with his hand reaching towards her slightly, his warning of “You're spilling it!” having been cut off halfway as the mistake had already been made.

“Here, hand her that.” He gave Ben the cloth, having tucked a chunk of bread and cheese in it as well. “Wipe your face with the ‘chief, and the other things you can eat. If your face is still sticky, I can give you a bit of water too, to clean your fur there.”

Ben took the cloth from Zhaki and placed it by the plate he had given her earlier, but he was more focused on the teeth she had decided to show him. Something about teeth intrigued him. He liked their differences in different animals, carnivores, herbivores, both. (Although the teeth of some herbivores like moose gave him the shivers.) He studied them carefully, then made a small, “Ahh.” sound, touching his own molars with a finger.

His fangs grew shorter as his molars grew taller and sharper at their peaks, running a finger over them to guide them and make sure they were somewhat even. He tried to copy her teeth best he could with the little he could see, even adjusting his entire jaw so he could close his mouth comfortably.

“Like that? How easy can you eat stuff like this?” He kept running his touch over his now short canines, still feeling their absent overlap. Curiously, he picked up his share of rabbit and brought it to his mouth, finding it odd to bite into it without his fangs digging in or his scissoring back teeth slicing it cleanly.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed May 31, 2017 11:10 pm

Her attention shifted quickly to the new offering, vaguely figuring out what he meant by using it. Cleanliness was social grooming, with tongues instead of rags. Of a quick swim in the river, or the rub of her body against a tree. The bread and cheese rolled out, catching her attention as equally unusual items to investigate as they were also not items nature-given.

She was sheepish still, her tongue circling her lips to continue cleaning herself, forgoing the rag as she played with the bread and cheese, poking them and squishing them with her fingers as she studied their textures and looked up when Ben wanted to show off his copying of her teeth. He tried eating rabbit with them, and while it wasn't so difficult that it was impossible, it certainly wasn't the go-to method to enjoy a meal. Deer that came across unfortunate birds would nearly swallow them whole, awkwardly chomping away as they scarfed it down. Her mouth was not as deep as theirs, it would be far stranger for her.

Her ears lowered timidly as she ignored him to try the food Zhaki had added to the handkerchief, trying the bread first with a curious nibble at the crust, fuchsia eyes drifting to the one who had been quiet as he cooked and refereed.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:39 am

Zhaki’s gaze flicked away self-consciously as Faereni turned to look at him, having been watching her inspect the food he had given the whole time. He felt embarrassed for staring, but soon enough looked back to speak again. “Good? A little weird, I know. You might like the bread better with your drink, make it a little less dry.”

It was fun, showing her all these things, especially the way the fire was made. He hadn't missed the bright look in her eyes as the flames flickered to life, and he gave a quick search around for anything else she might like to see. Nothing else looked that interesting, his knife, the rolled up kindling and Ben's snacks, or any of the other miscellaneous items they had in their possession. He supposed he could try and teach her to start a fire, or at least let her play with the flint and steel.

A better idea came to mind as he held a straight face, pretending to just notice their canteen running low. “Forgot to fill this up earlier.” He stood and dusted himself off, picking up the bucket and looking at Faereni. “I'm going to go fill this up, will you be okay with Ben? Well- I should really be asking-”

“Leave the comment, eh? I'm not going to do anything.” As always, Ben had caught onto Zhaki's plan and- as always- wasn't amused. He busied himself by shifting his teeth in various ways and attempting to eat with them. First, back to normal, then with an extra set of fangs on the bottom like Zhaki's, and so on, avoiding eye contact with either of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:13 am

His embarrassment would have gone unnoticed despite being in full sight of her. After all, it was the majority of her actions, to stare, to watch and study. To learn the shape of their sillouhette. She was staring when he checked the canteen and announced that he had a task to do. One that would leave her with the repentant brute currently gnawing on food with different styles of orthodontia.

She was still sitting, so that was something, her legs shifting in the cold dirt and the mix of dead soppy or dry leaves. She shifted her shoulders and blinked. Ben wasn't even looking at her now, that was far from aggressive. "Yes."

Faereni continued to play with the texture of the bread innards, poking at any holes left behind by air bubbles, exploring flakes if there were any... or perhaps just enjoying the hollow sound of a more stiff bake. Then she'd take a nibble at it, her jaw working a circular grind similar to that of a cow's.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:41 am

Ben didn't look up as Zhaki left their tiny group, appearing to focus on his food, which he finished off quickly with his usual teeth, bored already with the shifting game. Content, fed and warm, he gave a long sigh through his nose and rested his head on his fist, his right elbow propped up on his leg.

His face was tilted towards Faereni now, and after a short once-over of her expression and features, he found himself scanning over the world around them. The frosty white grass where he had failed to touch it, the bare trees and contrast in the snow-and-earth environment. It reminded him of a story, one that he hadn't heard in this world but rather, faintly recalled from another.

Now, whether or not it was a simple fairy tale, universal or worldly truth escaped him, but it didn't matter much to him anyways. Recordings of higher powers than himself always interested him, but in the end, he chose not to think too deeply into the subject.

A fairy tale, or a truth? The corners of his mouth turned up as he recalled a common gripe between him and Zhaki. While Zhaki remembered next to nothing about himself or anything else relating to another world before he had appeared in this one, Ben did. The only problem (to Zhaki) was that absolutely everything Ben could re-tell with such detail was absolutely useless. Odd tales of smoky dragons wed to cat-eared maidens too far-fetched to be true, the reasoning behind his own name, which was terribly insignificant and a little ridiculous. Nothing important, nothing about his old world, or the way he had lived in it.

His smile faded off as his pondering ceased, eyes to the barren treeline again. “The White Wolf is leaving, but he’ll be back next year.”

Why not mess with his company a little bit? No harm would come from it, and he needed a little entertainment.
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:48 pm

Few actually did, and in some cases thinking too deeply had the same effect, where different versions are created and the real one mixed somewhere between them all. She was unaware of the White Wolf, but attributed it to her cherished Prince of the Forest, the white stag and the moon she swore he became. He didn't exactly govern the snowy season. Maybe he spoke of a different creature...

Her ears flicked carefully assessing the world behind her. She could hear Zhaki wandering off, or did for a little bit. Now she wasn't so sure if that was him or not. Her concern was clear, though. If he was trying to rile her up about a potential threat, he was succeeding to some extent. She hadn't openly run yet, unsure which direction to do so.

She just couldn't hear anything that would give her a hint about it. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Then she realized, for the upteenth time, she hadn't responded. "Why next year?"
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:20 pm

Taking note of her lingering attention to Zhaki despite him being gone, Ben looked over as well, ears pricked up as he listened for anything concerning or odd. Nothing much, it seemed. Zhaki would be fine either way, Ben recalling the time he had decided to sneak up on Zhaki as a joke and received a panicked blow to the face as a result.

He let the thought go, however, in favor of his next little game. “Next year, because his sister will come soon to claim this part of the land. Until she herself is chased off for the next season, that is.”

He decided to take it a bit further, using any ‘dead air’ in the conversation she might leave as she mulled things over as an excuse to push the game, pretending that silence was confusion. “You've never heard of the White Wolf?” He spoke with utmost sincerity, his face appearing genuinely curious as to why she didn't know of what he made out to be common knowledge despite his internal smugness. He gave a wide gesture to the white around them.

“Vur! The White Wolf of Starvation, who arrives every year to shed his coat and strip the land of its bounty? To roam the region ‘till he’s chased off by the mother-wolf Sprigga? Son of…” Drat! He had just gotten going too! The longer he went on, the more determined he looked to spread this uncertain message, having even spoken a bit more grandiose than usual. “Son of...Void, I suppose, who plays with the world like it's a little ball? You've never heard of him?!”

Still, no matter how hard he tried to serve it as a truth, the air of folklore remained on it. Though snow and fur could be two symbolically comparable things, one clearly wasn't the other, and the idea of a pantheon of higher beings that just so happened to be wolves seemed odd at best.

Then again, the idea of a greater being that brought chosen people by the bundle to live out in its own world was wonderfully strange as well.
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Faereni

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Job/hobbies : Star-gazing, People watching
Posts : 57
Join date : 2016-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:37 pm

Her seat shifted so that she was sat less as a mermaid and more as a child at a campfire, with her knees up to her chest as she rocked up onto the balls of her feet and her arms wrapped around her knees. Her eyes were firmly upon him, wide and ears large and forward. Story time had her pretty interested, and momentarily forgetful of the dangers around her.  Wrapping her head around the genealogy of the white wolf. Deer didn't keep track of their family ties. She quite honestly didn't know her father, and her mother is probably easier to say was dead and gone for her lack of presence in Faereni's memory. To even think about the parents of her parents was like trying to predict the weather in six month's time.

She looked extremely lost mapping it out in her head, about as lost as Ben was making himself trying to make it sound extremely real, or at least heavily elaborated upon. What she was stuck on?

"His fur?"

It made little real sense. Snow had none of the texture of any fur of any animal she had ever encountered. Fur was warm, usually, too.
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Kodiak

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Job/hobbies : Sellswords, beasts of burden.
Posts : 64
Join date : 2016-12-02

Character Sheet
Attributes:
AttributesScoreDice
Level/ class
Agility/Fortitude/Might
Deception/Presence/Persuasion
Learning/Logic/Perception/Will
Alteration/Creation/Energy
Entropy/Influence/Movement
Prescience/Protection
Guard/Toughness/Resolve

Gear:
GearNamePropertiesBanesDefense bonus
Weapon
Armour
Weapon 2
Armour 2

Magic/Skills:

PostSubject: Re: Winter Forage   Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:39 am

Her question was enough to stop him for a good three seconds, the time passing with a simple blink from him- a crack in his act- before his toothy grin returned and he attempted to stride back into his tale as if he hadn't been thrown off. “Aye. These aren't your everyday wolves! They're more like…”

He paused again, wondering how best to describe the varied pantheon in one general phrase. He may had been able to quickly change the name of the creature he claimed played with the world into something he thought would have a similar meaning, (Though for storytelling's sake, he had called it Void rather than Nothingness, which didn't roll off the tongue quite as well as its less accurate replacement.) the name of their kind or a good example escaped him.

“Well, they're all different, you see. Think of them like...no no, sort of like lesser gods- Vur anyways. Void is something much more.”

His grin turned sheepish as the game fell apart, the key detail gone for good. Would she even understand the concept of a god, much less a lesser one? Perhaps she had her own stories, but for now, he was at loss of where to continue. A quick wrap up, maybe, to at least answer her question.

“Anyways, I'm not really sure how it works, just like I don't know why the sky is blue or why cats eat mice and mice eat grain, but that's still just how it is, isn't it, lass?”
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