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Venus Sprite

Warm Hearts (relaxing RP IC)

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On 6/8/2020 at 2:21 AM, Venus Sprite said:

“Anyway, I suppose we should head back to civilisation tomorrow,” she said. Behind her the lights of Vdara lit the land in a dull glow. “Shall we travel back together? Safety in numbers, and all that. There’s a decent inn where I’ve been staying and if I get a good price on these truffles then I can afford to set you all up for an evening or two.”

"Mnph?" Ainsworth looked up with a mouth full of food as Torie posed a question to the group and Dew grabbed his attention. He wasn't prepared and spent the time it took him to finish chewing to think about his response. "Back to Vdara, you mean?" He scrunched up his face as his face as he did the math in his head. The city was out of his path of travel, but at the rate the weather was changing, he doubted he could make it down to Kethlerin before the roads got snowed over. Snowy roads weren't the worst to travel by, but they were more likely to cause damages to the horse and supplies. Plus, he wasn't carrying enough cold-weather equipment. His gear could keep off the chill, but it wouldn't stand up to a snowstorm. "I don't know... I guess I could," he conceded. "It would be nice to sleep in a bed for a little while and I can technically sell Tug and the rest of my cargo anywhere. Would you be offended if I thought it over tonight and gave you my answer in the morning?'

On 6/17/2020 at 2:18 PM, ReachForStars said:

“Thanks,” he says, then turns to Ainsworth. “You can have it. Maybe you can share it with Torie?” He tilts his head. He’s noticed how she moved closer and closer to the fire as the night closed on them. “I’m taking my tree form for the night,” he explains. “And the cold doesn’t really bother me.”

The magician's eyes widened as Kriegstad presented Dew and himself with a fresh deer pelt for warmth. He shot a look of poorly disguised panic at Dew as the dryad foisted the pelt to him. It was a look that said 'Come back! Don't leave this to me, please!' Ainsworth forced a smile on to his face. "Thank you, uh, very much for your... generosity," he said quickly, "but between blankets and a tent, I am very, um, toasty. So as you can see here, I am also not bothered by the cold and therefore Torie, you are welcome to take it." He nodded unconvincingly. 

Once he was done eating, Ainsworth scraped his plate into the fire and left the circle for a few minutes to pitch his tent and finish the any tasks left to do before the day was over. The "tent" was a waterproof canvas hung on a light a-frame. It was more to keep the snow off than to provide warmth. He set it up far enough away from the fire that it was out of the space of the others, but close enough that some of the light still made its way over. It was a shame. He had hoped to have a few more nights underneath the stars. 

Once everything was set, he returned to the fire with one of the blankets from his bedroll slung over his shoulder.

"I'll be up for a little while," He said. "Let me know if I'm bothering any of you or if you want me to take a shift. Though, from the sound of it, Dew has that covered." He grabbed his cup and enjoyed the warmth of the campfire. The cold night air was starting to nip at his skin. He watched as a few more snowflakes drifted down and shivered. "Hopefully that snow will be light... I guess we'll see what the morning brings."

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Torie looked at the doeskin like a cat does an unsavoury treat. “No thanks. I’ve got plenty.” Afterwards she added, “Though, if there’s space for my head beneath your tent, it’d be nice to keep the snow off my nose.

Depending on Ainsworth’s response, she positioned herself so her posterior was near the fire but her sensitive nose was well protected from falling snowflakes. Or just stayed by the fire.

Come morning Torie woke herself with her own snoring. She’d only woken up once overnight to relieve herself and felt mightily refreshed. Withdrawing slowly from Ainsworth’s tent, she shook the thick layer of snow off her back.

The countryside had turned into a winter wonderland. Knee-deep drifts covered the ground and the boughs of trees, still bearing autumn leaves, sagged under the weight of freshly fallen snow. Even the campfire had vanished, as well as Kreigstad, whose spot was naught but a shallow depression in the snow. Tracks left the camp heading south, away from Vdara city. She supposed he had decided not to go with them.

It was both a relief and a disappointment.

Torie sniffed about for a moment, then pulled the remaining half-frozen deer carcass out of the snow, which she proceeded munching down with enthusiasm. Her tail flicked in the snow behind her and she looked around with pale green eyes, wondering which tree was Dew.

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It snows during the night, making Dew’s trance-like state feel more lethargic than normal. He still doesn’t sleep—it’s not a thing he does unless he’s in his human form, and he doesn’t particularly like it—but the low temperature and the piling snow distract him enough to not notice immediately that something is happening in the camp itself.

His companions had gone to sleep one after another, except for Kreig, who kept the fire going for a while before lying down. However, it’s sometime in the middle of the night, when a cool breeze shakes Dew’s branches and brings forth a fresh wave of snow, that he realizes the wolf-man is moving. Fast.

Before Dew realizes it, Kreigstad is gone. He only takes his pack and the discarded deer pelt, the wolf cub following his steps as he disappears into the night.

He must have his reasons, Dew thinks, feeling a bit sad that their party has gone down another member.

In the morning, Torie is the first to wake up. Dew has been busy luxuriating in the early morning sun, and he decides to take a few more minutes of it before changing back and greeting her.

“Good morning,” he says, once bark has turned skin and his roots are free from the frozen ground. “Kreig left a while ago. He seemed…worried.”

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On 7/1/2020 at 3:02 AM, Venus Sprite said:

“Though, if there’s space for my head beneath your tent, it’d be nice to keep the snow off my nose.

"Of course. There should be room if I scoot over a bit," he replied. 

Ainsworth stayed awake by the fire for another hour before he crawled into his bedroll and fell asleep. He was a restless sleeper, so he tried to find an angle where he wouldn't accidentally kick Torie in the middle of the night. 

He woke up to the cold morning sunlight and the sound of Torie loudly crunching the leftover frozen deer carcass. The breeze nipped at his nose and cheeks as he stuck his head out from under the warm haven of his blankets. A layer of snow had accumulated on top of the tent and the middle was beginning to sag. It wasn't made to handle snowstorms-- certainly not the snowstorm that had blown through overnight. He blinked in surprise at the foot of fresh powder that had appeared overnight. Their campfire was completely buried and the snow formed a bank around his tent. 

Ainsworth briefly debated with himself whether to get up or to stay inside his pocket of warmth. With a reluctant sigh, he gave in to reason and sat up. He pulled on his boots and jacket in record time and left the tent through the gap in the snow that Torie left behind. 

As he emerged, he caught the end of Dew's explanation of Kriegstad's absence. He wasn't surprised. Kriegstad seemed like he was happy with the loner lifestyle.

"Mornin'." His voice was still rough from sleep as he greeted the group. His hair was loose around his shoulders and a night of rest didn't seem to have had any effect on the perpetual dark circles under his eyes. Still, he seemed cheerful as he walked over. He caught a glimpse of the snow mounds where his cargo was and winced, He'd have to dig that out eventually. The horse glared at him balefully from under its tree. "Well, it looks like this is where we part ways. I'm going to try to get as far south as I can. Thank you for dinner and the fire." He smiled and ducked his head a little. "The company was nice. If the road is kind, we might see each other again."

Ainsworth stuck around long enough to pack away the tent and load his cargo. He'd done it so many times before that it was second nature by now. The air had barely started to warm when he left the campsite. He turned one last time and waved to Torie and Dew if they were still there. "Safe travels, you two!" He called. With that, he set off down the road and soon disappeared from view, obscured by the tress and fresh snowbanks. There was a long journey home ahead of him.


Edited by AngryCacti

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