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Venus Sprite

Warm Hearts (relaxing RP IC)

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22 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

“Thank you,” she said to Ainsworth. “How did you do that? Was it magic, or just some trick?

“A little bit of both,” he replied.

————

52 minutes ago, Praetorian said:

Seems like you look but you don’t see.”

Ainsworth narrowed his eyes at Farkis, but  let the comment slide. That fight wasn’t worth it. Besides, there was a modicum of truth to the titan’s retort. This was not the first time that Ainsworth been metaphorically told to open his eyes. 

He listened quietly to everyone else’s stories. Torie’s and Dew’s made sense. A druid and a half-dryad explained much about their appearances. Kriegstad seemed like he left out a few details, but it was none of Ainsworth’s business. He seemed nice enough and his dog was adorable. Ainsworth wiggled his fingers by the ground while everyone was talking, trying to attract the attention of the pup. 

He nodded enthusiastically in response to Torie’s question. After a day of travel, he was famished. “I’ve never had much luck with hunting either, but I’ve got some wine that I can chip in instead.” He offered, ignoring Farkis.

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Food, yeah that wouldn't be a bad idea. Without speaking a word, Kriegstad stripped off his armour, slipped his bag off and removed his weapon sheathes. "Someone take the 'kul. I'm the only efficient hunter here." His fur started to show as his body went through the transformations of the werewolf blood. His beast was easy to control, an understanding between both man and wolf that they were noble creatures. It would take the man some time before he was fully engulfed in the fur. 

"Ainsworth, you don't strike me as the type to hunt, Dew, I would not ask that of you to do what beasts can, Torie you are...slow, and you" His eyes looking at the man who's name he still did not know, "are depressed. Having seen it first hand it simply means you are of no use to a hunt. Show me the grounds and I'll get started." Kreigstad shook a little, not being used to this feeling for four days now. "If we all want food allow me to hunt it down quickly and effectively." 

Even for a lycan, Kreig was tall, a whole 8 foot tall of mostly black fur and muscle, both his human body and his beast body were trained for war and the hardened by the labors of his physique. This was a simple task, hunting game, setting a trap for them using his own blend of magic for tactics. This was going to be nothing short of combat practice. The real trick was catching his prey without mauling them to death. His little pup was tail wagging and yipping, the sign all 'kul had been bred to understand that when the clan transformed it usually meant a battle, heavy lifting, or a hunt...and then a treat...at least the spoiled little 'kuls anyways. 

"If any of the dragons decide they want to play it wouldn't take me long to rip one open. Won't be the first time, clearly won't be the last. Torie, when you're ready, I'll get to work securing food." The wolf's eyes glaring at the fat tiger.

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Torie was still waiting for Dew’s answer when the burly blacksmith started to shift.

“Huh,” she said, watching he process intently, though she tilted her head when he called her ‘slow.’

“I can be quick when I want to be,” she said sulkily, “but fine.” She climbed to her feet – slowly, and self-conscious of it – then turned to waddle her way into the woods. “It’s this way. We’ll walk down the gulley then follow the creek downhill, then veer off left a little bit. And… thanks,” she said.

With one last look at Dew she wandered off into the woods, following the gentle slope down towards the stream of water in the middle.

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Dragons. Ah, must be flying too far up for Dew to see. And Farkis must have a very good eyesight.

He listens to Torie’s explanation. So that’s what druids are? Says who? Dew frowns a bit, confused. Maybe it’s because he has a…particular way to see the world, having been raised as he was, but he’s pretty sure that no matter how others see you, even if you don’t act like the majority of others like you, you are what you are. Letting others define whether you are a "good" you or a "bad" you based on some unspoken standards is…unthinkable. Wrong.

Before he can begin voicing this, however, Torie turns the conversation back to him. He blinks, taken a little aback, but she seems happy to leave the topic behind so Dew rolls with it.

“Travel…with you?” Green eyes grow wide. He’d dreamed about meeting and having his own little group of adventurers, like his father had in his youth before meeting his mother, but he hadn’t expected the opportunity to start one would come so soon! He grins, excited. “Sure!” Then he chuckles a bit, demures, “Ah, I think I’d prefer not—” Because no, he’s not at all a good hunter. He wouldn’t even know where to start.

“Who the hell dressed me like this?” Farkis asks, sounding rather angry. Dew is getting more and more confused by the strange man. Is he talking to himself? Then, Farkis suggests they go hunt the dragons. Dew stills. What?

No, really. What?

And then Kriegstad turns into—into something, a wolf? A man-wolf? It’s a mesmerizing change, a bit frightening in its intensity. He’s huge. The puppy yips, seemingly delighted, which makes Dew sure that there’s nothing to worry about. That and the man’s words. Though he was a little rude in his statements and demands, Dew thinks privately.

Just a bit.

Torie doesn’t seem too happy with Kriegstad’s assessment of her skills, either.

“Sorry, I’m really not a hunter,” he says to her before she leaves, Kriegstad following behind her. “You can show me how later, maybe.” They might be traveling together after this, after all! And really, he’d prefer to hunt a rabbit first or something like that. Not. Not a dragon.

He shakes his head, bemused, and turns to the others.

“So, any of you going with them? Or are we now in charge of the fire?” he asks, throwing a couple of sticks to orange flames.

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As Torie and Kriegstad walked away, Ainsworth nodded slowly a few times with wide eyes. “Right,” He said, “I guess we’re just not going to talk about that then.”

On 4/7/2020 at 11:12 AM, ReachForStars said:

“So, any of you going with them? Or are we now in charge of the fire?”

“Well. I’m staying here. I’d scare off all the game within a mile if I went with them.” He stood and winced as his joints popped. “I’ll be back with wine. The fire is yours.”

With that, Ainsworth strode back into the deepening shadows of the forest to where his horse was tethered. He ignored the wine first and pulled out the feed bag. If he was going to be here for a while, he might as well set the horse for the night. As he attached the nose bag to the animal, he paused. “Tug,” He whispered conspiratorially, “I’ve known you for a few weeks and even though you tried to eat my hat that one time, I feel like I can trust you. I need to know. Nod twice if you’re a shapeshifter too.”

The horse glared at him balefully.

“Good girl.” Ainsworth patted the horses neck. Distantly, he felt a little silly talking to it. “Extra feed for you.” He didn’t have anything against shapeshifters. It was just a rarity to have met so many at once away from civilization, each unaffiliated (from what he could tell) with the other. When he got into the next city, he was going to head straight for the nearest game of dice. He could use some luck like this more often.

Ainsworth grabbed two bottles from the the cargo packs and headed back to the campfire. In the light, the labels read Ashplum Mead and Draca Red. He held up the two and offered one to whoever wanted to take it first. “Pick your poison.”

Edited by AngryCacti

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The blue speckled golden saucers that orbit around his pupils begin to change hue. Streaks of crimson leak from unseen fissures, gradually overtaking his irises, until there isn’t the slightest hint or blue or gold. Rather, his gaze alights with interest and burns deep but vibrant red. With this physical change comes a noticeable increase in his wayward thoughts, now more violent than before. All of this fueled not by the words that carelessly slip from Kriegstad’s maw, but from the transformation itself. For the slightest of seconds it appears that there may be a sliver of hope that something exciting would happen. The faint ember of hope quickly snuff out when the werewolf proves to be just as dull as his first impressions brought Farkis to believe.

“Such a good boy.” The titan calls out as the werewolf and tiger wander off to poach whatever squirrel or hare they can find.

The roaring glow of his eyes dies into dulled embers that reflect his own waning passion. Within moments they’ve frozen over into a pale cold blue, and the steady flow of psionic energy that has radiated from his core seems to dry up.

With his left index finger he begins to gesture in the air a half dozen inches from his face, drawing or writing something into the aether. It only lasts for a few seconds and undoubtedly for the onlookers it will be chalked up as just another one of his oddities.

 

 

Farkis_Grumbler.jpg
Farkis
@SoulEater8 • 1 minutes ago
I know people give werewolves a lot of shit, but they really are such good boys. They just need their snoots booped and a good belly rub! #AllDoggosRGoodBois
REPLY GRUMBLE LIKE SHARE

 

 

Satisfied with his own petty humor, Farkis’ lips part into an unnatural wide Cheshire smile that reveals three sets of elongated canines surrounded by otherwise impeccably average teeth. Admittedly, he is feeling uncharacteristically not murderous but otherwise mischievous. Something that is only fueled by Ainsworth’s offer of wine.

Leveling his gaze upon Dew, his smile shrinks into a normally proportioned grin. “No, I have little interest in the game they hunt. Although…. A game does sound fun, don’t you think?”

He pauses, waiting not only for the plant boy to answer but also for Ainsworth to return. “So, how about we play a game?” Even as the question is posed, Farkis’ thoughts are divided. Half roam freely, the other half devising a sinister plot. The half unburdened by his plotting work through the ground until a suitable rock is found. They crash into it with all the force of a tsunami, fracturing it. The pieces are bound within his mental essence and pulled to the surface. Thought permeates through them, chiseling away, grinding, and polishing, so that by the time they are at surface level, there are four small chalices floating toward Ainsworth, ready to facilitate drinking.

“Would you prefer a game of luck or a game of skill?” The question is presented to both.

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Dew bites at the soft skin of his inner cheek, eyes still on the flickering flames but his other senses stretched wide. Farkis had been almost vibrating there, for a second, but now he’s back to slumping. Except that he’s…drawing on air?

Ainsworth leaves in search for wine, leaving Dew alone with Farkis, whose everything continues registering as just slightly off in Dew's hindbrain. And that grin is downright scary, even if he’s only looking at empty air. Or perhaps because of it.

Luckily, the creepy grin is gone when he turns back to Dew, replaced by a more reasonable-sized one.

“Game they… oh, so they’re not hunting the dragons, then,” Dew mumbles to himself, with a small hint of relief. He isn’t particularly interested in trying dragon meat. It must be very chewy. Then he tilts his head, brows faintly furrowed, and tentatively smiles. “Uh, sure. What kind of game?”

Four chalices are created from rock in front of his eyes, and Dew looks on curiously as they float towards Ainsworth, who’s back with two bottles of wine.

“Whichever is the sweetest, for me,” he answers the man, not caring overly much. Differently from human food, Dew has grown with the taste of wine on his tongue. His mother has always enjoyed it, and his father indulges her even though he doesn’t drink as much himself. Human tolerance has nothing on the alcohol tolerance of a dryad, or even a hybrid’s. Dew should have to drink a truly ridiculous amount of wine in one sitting to get even a little buzzed. He does have a preference for the fruity ones, though, and the sweeter the better.

Farkis’ last question draws his attention and Dew hums, considering.

“Luck,” he says. He’s always been lucky. Or at least he likes to think so. Because of that reason, he shrugs off the chill that runs down his spine. “What did you have in mind?”

His eyes flicker then to Ainsworth. “If Ainsworth agrees, that is.”

Edited by ReachForStars

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“A game?” Asked Ainsworth. He uncorked the bottle of mead- the sweeter of the two choices- as they talked and poured it into two of the stone chalices. He passed one to Dew as he responded. The other went to the conniving titan. “Why not? I’m feeling lucky tonight.” 

As he waited for Farkis to elaborate upon the details of his proposed game, Ainsworth dug out a small, tin cup from the dusty bag by his side and poured himself some wine. Call him paranoid, but Ainsworth was hesitant to drink from the offered chalices. After a specific incident that happened a few months ago, he was extra wary of proffered drinks from strangers. He knew it was a ridiculous fear (the chances of such a thing happening twice were next to none), but he would rather be called rude than dead. He knew better than most that not all magic was what it seemed to be. Besides, this was his lucky cup. From the sounds of the current conversation, he’d need all the luck he could get.

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Torie walked through the woods feeling alone, wishing that someone had chosen to come with her. Someone other than the warewolf that had glared at her like its next meal. She walked ahead of it, slowly but trying not to be slow, leaves crunching underfoot, eyes adjusting quickly to the light of the moon. It was true she was unfit, and slow, but she was also strong. It was a small consolation but one she took pride in nonetheless. But she did her best to seem like this little trek wasn’t wearing her out only a minute or two in.

“So, you’re a blacksmith, you said? Odd profession for a warewolf. Not that I know that for sure. Do you live with other warewolves? Do they know you’re a warewolf?”

She was trying to ease the tension with friendly questions, but then it occurred to her that questions might be more annoying than silence, and could decrease her chances of walking away from this unscathed. Her ears swivelled in her doughy neck and she tried to turn to look at Kreigstad, and make sure he wasn’t rearing for a pounce, but that rotund body got in the way of looking over her shoulder like a regular cat could.

Instead, she listened to the rustling of his footfalls, hoping he couldn't smell her fear and trigger some sort of predator response.

@Fennis Ursai

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The trek itself was nice. The smell of game was faint and traveling with the tiger want bad either. Kreigstad was silent for the most part, until Torie broke the silence.

"I'm a smith and a commander. I work directly under my Lord as second in command of the house of Ardese. The rest of my clan are lycans as well, save for two. I understand it's a strange predicament, however I don't mind the questions. I get them a lot." 

Kreig remained quiet as they moved forward more. Only breaking silence after something struck him, "Why are you hard on yourself? Surely there is no pressure on you to preform as a druid."

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21 hours ago, Fennis Ursai said:

"I'm a smith and a commander. I work directly under my Lord as second in command of the house of Ardese. The rest of my clan are lycans as well, save for two. I understand it's a strange predicament, however I don't mind the questions. I get them a lot." 

Torie relaxed a little. Despite the eyeballing she had got earlier it didn’t seem like she would become the warewolf’s next meal. Perhaps he just had a thing against dragons.

 

21 hours ago, Fennis Ursai said:

"Why are you hard on yourself? Surely there is no pressure on you to preform as a druid."

 

“Oh, there’s plenty of pressure on me,” Torie said, slapping a stick aside as she waddled along. “I’m expected to return to my clan with new knowledge. Hopefully useful knowledge. But anyway, I’m just aware of my weaknesses.”

She stopped then, turning around to look at him.

“You said it yourself: I’m slllow.” She gave her body a wiggle, grinning wryly. “This wasn’t really what I expected when I took a tiger form. I figured I would be fast, agile, deadly. Like a werewolf. Instead I find my appetite has multiplied, and just like my regular form, I’ve no self-control when food is put in front of me. You’ll see soon enough. My mother will be horrified, but I think everyone else will just nod in weary expectation.

“But, it’s kind of you to say.” With that she stopped, ears picking up movement ahead – a breaking stick, the rustling of leaves. Something was moving about in a stand of trees up ahead.

She pointed emphatically, meeting the warewolf’s eye.

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Farkis had picked the number four because he hadn’t intended to drink. Not because the stoneware was tainted; nor because he had issues with drinking in principle. It was simply a meaningless and wasted gesture. He quite literally can’t metabolize the alcohol or liquid. Although, in retrospect, that’s never stopped him from drinking tea. Maybe it’s his lack of appreciation for the flavors and aromas of wine that keep him from indulging? To that extent, he doesn’t care for beer, mead, or most other alcoholic beverages, they all taste pretty bad. Although, gin’s fragrance is appealing.

Reaching out, he snags the chalice and brings it to his nose. It lingers there for a few seconds as his senses separate the smells and begin to detect the more subtle notes that are masked by the bolder ones. Nothing about it is pleasant, if anything it is nauseatingly sweet smelling. The natural disposition for high calorie items makes the attraction to sweet things understandable, but sweet without an appropriate pairing to balance it…. Is disgusting. None-the-less the titan relents and takes a sip, if only to be polite.

“Well then, a game of chance it is.” There is a certain bemusement present in his voice, a near singsong quality. The chalice is set on the ground next to him and then both hands, now tight fists, are held up into the air.

“Within one hand is a prize. In the other a punishment.” There is an abrupt shift in his tone, something deadpan, maybe even a little sardonic.

“You must both agree on which hand to pick. If you pick the wrong one, I’ll eat your souls.” His stone-esque face is unrelenting in its apathy. However, the pause of silence that he offers up for dramatic effect is interrupted by a chortle. His features melt into a smirk.

“I jest. If you pick wrong, you have to finish off your glass and then accept a lighthearted dare. The dares, of course, will get more challenging, but I promise you the prizes will be even better.” He affords them a moment to contemplate their options, his hands still presented to them.

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Ainsworth laughed nervously as Farkis explained the rules. What did he just get himself into? The game itself (the version where no one’s souls got eaten) seemed innocent enough, though. Surely nothing too terrible could come from a modified drinking game. If he was going to have good luck, this might as well be the time for it. He had never been one to resist a game.

He leaned forward to look at the Titan’s hands. His face scrunched up in concentration. Despite it efforts, the correct answer eluded him. Knowing some of the magic that the other possessed, he doubted he would be able to discern any advance from outward appearances. An old story about a Sicilian and a pirate king came to mind. A 50/50 chance would have to do for now.

“I say it’s the right hand. What do you think?” He asked Dew.

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Dew accepts the stone chalice with a quiet thank you, and takes a sip of the mead. It’s sweet and rather thick, but nice enough. Curious, he watches as Ainsworth fills his own cup instead of using one of Farkis’ chalices. Oh. A second of alarm, but he calms down when Farkis himself drinks.

A game of chance, huh? Dew eyes both fists, takes another sip of the mead, then almost spits it out at the ‘eat your souls' comment. He manages to gulp it down, and he takes it as a sign of good luck that he doesn’t actually choke.

Your sense of humor is terrible, he thinks, deadpan, when Farkis chortles after saying it was all a joke. Dew ignores the slight unease in his belly and takes the titan at his word.

What to pick, what to pick. He looks at Ainsworth when he asks him for his opinion, lips pursed, then looks back at the hands. There’s absolutely nothing different between them, and Farkis’ expression is back to unreadable.

Dew shrugs. “Sure, right sounds good,” he agrees, and waits for Farkis’ response.

Edited by ReachForStars

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Kreigstad listened to the tiger speak. Her biggest draw back was speed, that's what was tearing her up? He chuckled for a moment, recalling the number of recruits he'd trained into good hardened warriors. She was no different. Before he could speak in response, however, the branches up ahead snapped, the scent of game was in his nostrils now. A paw came up to signal to Torie to stop moving. His voice lowered down to a more pleasant tone so as to not be picked up by the game. "Speed isn't everything, watch carefully." Kreig smiled his toothy smile showing his large canines.

With what could only be described to as a 'convulsion of the body' Kreigstad had begun a process of forcing out energy from his body to create illusory copies of himself. Forged from a tether to the shadows, the copies were silhouettes of his image, however they projected a biting cold aura around them. There were three of these images of the wolf, lining themselves up with the original copy. Each one knew their path by memory at this point, encircle the game, push them directly to Kreig so he could snatch them as they ran. 

Ahead of them, a small clearing, a few game littered about, a small flock of deer and even a few smaller game, hare mostly. The shadows would begin to move around the group of game, cutting off and gaps and forcing the flock to flee towards their origin. Kreigstad lowered his body, concentrating his body weight on his back paws for a strong pounce. He'd have to move quickly to catch plenty of game. "Torie," He looked over to the tiger, his gaze intense, mind focuses primarily on the hunt and his next moments once it started, "you can cast magic yes? If you can cast any type of ensnaring magic, I'd suggest laying a patch of it not far in front of us. If you can't, well get ready to use your weight and pounce one down." 

The wolf let his claws dig into the earth for a stronger grip, the first jump would be the deciding factor of how many he'd come back with, at least one, he was hoping for three. One to crush in his jaw, the other two to crush in his paws.

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