Amongst the Rubble

p. Naenia

POSTED: Wed May 24, 2017 3:57 pm

ooc- Rowtag has been making his way to the heart of Sapient territory in hopes of coming across other Sapient members and has just stumbled on the edge of Bathurst

Rowtag

The golden-furred man traced his way through the worn down cobblestone path that cut through a mass of wooden skeletons and debris. The street itself was showing its age with its pockmarked surface and gaping holes that sporadically appeared in Rowtag’s path. Though Mother Nature had won the battle against human civilization, even she could not erase the mark that their species had left. Though quite evidently in disrepair, it was clear to the coydog that the town had once been a magnificent sight. While wooden structures were the most wasted away, brick and stone buildings still remained stoic enough to humble Rowtag of humanity’s existence. The fact that the things humanity created were still standing centuries after their excision awed him immensely.

His feline companion was long gone, off exploring the ruins of the once great town. Though Rowtag could not see her, he knew she would keep relatively close. Sitala always found her way back to him when she was ready. Most likely she was off chasing rats from the wooden ruins of the homes that remained.

Rowtag had not yet come to the heart of Sapient territory before this day, so he kept his eyes open and ears attentive. He was not sure, but he assumed that at least some pack members would claim a structure to repair and call home. Strangely, however, he had not come across another living soul.

The town was close enough to the water that Rowtag could taste the tang of salt in the air. Though spring was closing into summer, the air here remained on the cooler side, most likely due to its relative proximity to the sea. Still, the slight chill in the air did not dampen the coydog’s spirits as he eagerly explored the ruins.
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POSTED: Sat May 27, 2017 12:17 am

WC: 267

Naenia lead her mare, Tordilla, through the ruins, heading towards the stable. She intended to drop the mare off with Sylvestre so that he could deal with her tack and with grooming her. He was sometimes there caring for his own horse around this time of day, so she hoped that would be true today. She was glad her retainer had healed well from the winter's attacks. It made her realize just how much she relied on him, and how upset she would have been to lose him. Her daugher, Nieve, seemed to have grown from the experience as well, although Naenia sometimes wondered if she had been too tough on her, even if Nieve had been at fault.

A sound caught her attention as Naenia headed down what was once one of the main roads, and golden fur caught her attention. She stopped to look again, trying to get a better look at the other canine since she was not sure who it was. When she spotted him again, she realized that the reason she wasn't sure was because she didn't know him. Nivosus had told her he'd accepted a new member to the pack, as he usually did when that happened, so maybe this was the new pack member.

"Hello there!" Naenia called out with a wave, her Spanish accent obvious in her voice. "New to Sapient?" She asked, figuring that was a good place to start. If he wasn't this was pretty deep trespassing, and she'd definitely have to do something about that. But she also didn't want to just accuse him of it.
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POSTED: Sun May 28, 2017 12:26 am

Rowtag

Rowtag had stopped by one of the ruins and considered shifting through the rubble for treasures when a voice reached his ears. Rowtag paused his thoughts and turned around, slightly startled to see a wiry looking woman leading a dappled grey mare by a lead rope.

Hello there! New to Sapient?

Her voice, thick with a Spanish accent, wasn’t accusatory, although it had hidden questions behind it. The woman offered a wave in greeting, the friendly act on her part relieving tension in Rowtag’s shoulders. Rowtag squinted at the figure as she came closer, however her face nor her voice were familiar. Not that the fact came as any surprise to the coydog, as the only other Sapient member he interacted with to this day was Nivosus.

Considering how far past the border she was, Rowtag determined that it was fairly safe to assume that the light colored woman was a fellow Sapient member. With that in mind, Rowtag answered with a benign wave of his own and met her halfway.

”Well, you got me” Rowtag responded with a shy smile ”What told me off, my aimless wandering or my bewildered stare? I’ve got to admit, I have no clue where I am or what these ruins are even called.”

Rowtag chuckled, attempting to brush off his uncertainty with humor. The truth was, no one really gave him a handbook to how to find places in the pack territory. Hell, he didn’t even know where the living quarters were! This woman was the first member he had come across since Nivosus at the border. Hopefully she could offer some sense of direction to him. Or at least draw a map….

”You can call me Rowtag. Or new guy, whichever suits you.” Rowtag introduced himself hastily before he got too off topic ”What may I call you by?” He was known to babble when he felt nervous, such as in situations where new people were involved. Or horses for the matter.

”Is she...safe to be around?” Rowtag asked, his bicolored gaze darting quickly to the grey behemoth the woman led. The mare seemed placid enough, but horses always made Rowtag nervous. He privately wondered if horsemanship was a larger part of the Sapient culture than he originally thought, since Nivosus had been astride one when he met him at the border. Some day, maybe Rowtag would get over his fear, but today most likely would not be that day.
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POSTED: Mon May 29, 2017 11:20 pm

WC: 253

Naenia allowed a smile at the attempt at humor; he was polite at least.

"We call it Bathurst," Naenia said, providing the name for the ruins they were standing in. Tordilla bobbed her head a little, apparently anxious to get back to the stable. Naenia supposed she couldn't blame her; the mare would probably go roll in the dirt once her saddle was off.

"I am Naenia Ortega, Primor Designo," Naenia said. Then, knowing her rank name would probably mean little or nothing to a newcomer, she explained, "I am in charge of the pack's defenses." She then glanced at her horse when Rowtag asked about her, who other than the brief display of impatience, was calmly looking on. "She is," Naenia confirmed. "Well, as safe as any horse, I suppose. She can get frightened like any others, but if you do not make really quick movements or run behind her, she will be fine. I will hold her reins." She held up the leathers to confirm.

"Are you looking for anything in particular here?" Naenia asked. "I can probably help if you are." There was a lot of territory to learn, even if a lot of is was uninhabited. She was used to it by now, but she remembered feeling lost quite often upon first joining. Her retainer, Sylvestre, had a head start on her in that regard because she was injured when she arrived, and he helped out where he could in the pack in return for Nivosus letting them stay.
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POSTED: Wed May 31, 2017 10:13 am

Rowtag

”Bathurst….” Rowtag murmured, trying the name out on his tongue. It had a nice name, suiting for what was most likely once a quaint town.

”It’s my pleasure to meet you, Ms. Ortega.” Rowtag responded to her introduction ”Or do you prefer Naenia?”

As Rowtag indulged in pleasantries with the higher-ranking woman, her horse gave a sudden toss of her head. Though the movement was small, it was sudden and it caused Rowtag to jump back in alarm. Once the coydog realized that Tordilla posed no immediate danger, he sheepishly approached the duo once more.

The woman’s response to Rowtag’s anxiety around her mare was honest, though it wasn’t exactly comforting. Still, it was somewhat reassuring that Naenia had a firm grip on the beast’s reins, and she seemed like a woman capable of matching a horse in tactics. Nether less, it couldn’t hurt to be cautious around an animal with a kick that could shatter bones.

Rowtag’s ears perked in interest as the woman offered her services. She definitely acted as if she knew her way around the pack territory, and her body language and rank title suggested a place of importance in the hierarchy. As long as she was offering, it couldn’t hurt to pick her brain a little…

”Actually, I was curious if those in the Pack fixed up these run down buildings and made them living quarters,” Rowtag admitted ”Though as far as I can see, I appear to be wrong. Is there another place where pack members find shelter?”

”Of course, please don’t be bothered to go out of your way to lead me to the living quarters” Rowtag continued hurriedly ”I would be more than happy to accompany you to wherever it is that you were going. Seeing any of this unfamiliar territory would be more than helpful to me”
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POSTED: Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:44 pm

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"Naenia is fine," she replied. If she knew Rowtag, and if he had been in the pack longer, she might have made up some title to go with her name. But she didn't, and so she didn't want him to think she was lying to him.

She glanced at Tordilla when the mare tossed her head; it was a normal movement to Naenia. Maybe a fly had landed on one of her ears, or maybe the bridle was pushing her fur in a strange way. Either way, Naenia didn't react with any sort of alarm and was glad to see Rowtag move closer to them once more. She preferred that pack members could at least be somewhat comfortable around the horses for safety's sake. They didn't need to learn to ride, or even to take care of them if they didn't want to, but being nervous around more skittish horses could be dangerous for everyone.

"It would be no problem. I am going to drop Tordilla off at the stable first, but then I can show you were most of us live." She gestured for Rowtag to come with her. "Many of these buildings are not ones that could be fixed up to live in, although if you think you found one that is safe, you can live in it." Tordilla's ears turned forward and back as she listened to their surroundings. There were birds chirping, as well as some rustling sounds from inside the rundown buildings.

"Most of us live in the Government Estate. You can choose one of the open rooms there to claim as your own. I believe there are several free for you to pick from." Naenia explained further. "It is a large house with a library and a bar as well. There is also some storage there for pack goods."
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POSTED: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:12 pm

Rowtag

Yeah, I have to admit that many of these houses are beyond repair, and I’m certainly no master carpenter” Rowtag admitted. While it was a shame that many of the houses in Bathurst were unfit for inhabitants, if many of the pack members resided in the Government Estate, it was decided that he would as well. Rowtag had made the mistake of isolating himself in Midnight Shores, and it became all too easy to disappear without anyone tying him to the pack. Of course, the pack had disbanded soon after his departure, but that was besides the point.

He wouldn’t make the same mistake this time. He would lay down roots in Sapient, and be quicker to make connections. Never mind the fact that he was self conscious of himself, and a little more than a bit awkward when interacting with others, he would force himself to come out of his shell in this community.

”I wouldn’t mind seeing the stables first” Rowtag responded, through his stomach did a little flip. But all the horses would be contained, right? ”Is it in Bathurst?”

Responding to Naenia’s beckon, Rowtag kept and even pace with the duo, though he kept a fair distance from Tordilla. As they strolled through the ruins, Rowtag heard some movement by one of the houses. A quick second later, a brown blur burst from the entrance, closely pursued by a larger, black shape. The smaller creature darted out of sight, however the larger one had gained momentum. The small black feline skidded to a halt in front of the trio, gazing at them with unblinking eyes.

”Sitala!” Rowtag scolded as he recognized the feline. He was so invested in the cat that he didn’t immediately observe the reaction of Naenia and Tordilla.
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POSTED: Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:36 am

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"It is, yes, right by the Government Estate, actually," Naenia said. "There are several enclosed paddocks near the stable, and we have other livestock as well as the horses." Like goats. Naenia disliked goats, except when they were driving Nivosus nuts. Then they were entertaining.

The sudden movements in front of them caused Tordilla to stop and take a few steps backwards with her head high in the air. Her head bobbed up and down a few times as she tried to figure out what was in front of them. Naenia tightened her grip on the mare's reins, knowing she was only reacting like this because the blur - which turned out to be a cat - was running right at them. Tordilla snorted once when the cat stopped, and then she settled. There were enough felines around that she wasn't afraid of them, unless, apparently, they were moving very fast.

"Your cat?" Naenia asked Rowtag as she patted her mare's neck. Naenia wasn't one to enjoy having 'pets' like other canines did, but she accepted that they had them. Tordilla was useful, and back in her homeland in Onuba, a status symbol among her family. Not many had personal horses because their area made it difficult to keep many of them. She had won the right to own Tordilla in a sword fighting tournament. It was different here; plenty of canines owned horses. Even Sylvestre, her manservant, had gotten one when they arrived.

"There are a few cats here, so yours will fit right in." Naenia didn't think many of the members had their own cats, but there were a few feral ones. More would probably have been useful with the rodent problem they had in the Estate for a while.

Naenia tugged gently on Tordilla's reins again to get them all moving towards the stables. She assumed that Rowtag's cat would know to keep out from under the horse.
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POSTED: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:55 pm

Rowtag

Rowtag’s attention flickered back to the duo as the mare gave a start, her head tossing. As Naenia tightened her grip on the mare’s reins, Rowtag took a few steps backwards himself, wary of the equine’s jerky movements. Sitala crouched back with a silent hiss, blue eyes wide and ears flat back before scurrying once again amongst the ruins of the buildings, spooked at the larger creature’s movements. Rowtag most likely wouldn’t see more of her for a while until she would be comfortable enough to appear in the open again in this new and unfamiliar territory.

Once it was clear that Naenia had regained control of the beast, Rowtag approached her once again with a meek position. ”Yes, she is my cat,” Rowtag confirmed, an apology bubbling from his lips ”I’m quite sorry if her sudden appearance spooked your mare.”

Rowtag was thankful that the mare had already been exposed to the cats in this territory, for if she wasn’t, the results of Sitala’s appearance could have been much more tragic. As Naenia had mentioned, there appeared to be a few feral cats that hung around the Government Estate, although there was no mention of anyone else owning a feline companion themselves.

”Is it not common for members to own a companion animal that doesn’t really…” Rowtag struggled to find the right phrase ”Have a purpose?” Rowtag winced slightly as he said it. He was quite fond of his black feline, although he had the head to recognize that she served no function overall for his well-being. Some, like Naenia, had horses to carry them to distant places. Others owned birds of prey that were used to hunt small game. As for Sitala, well, she simply remained by Rowtag’s side. If anything, she was more of a hinderance than a help for the golden coydog. But that didn’t lessen his affection for her.

The scent of manure and other livestock washed over Rowtag as the trio resumed their tour, and it was clear that they were getting closer. Rowtag had been brought to the Estate previously by Nivosus, however at the time the Novus had just been accepted at the borders. He had been so overwhelmed by the novelty of it all that very few details of the location stuck to his memory. Save the smell, however.
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POSTED: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:20 pm

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"A few do have companions," Naenia told him as they walked. "Most of them have a purpose, such as birds for hunting. I would say that cats are useful, though. They can hunt mice that live in the house." Maybe Rowtag's cat didn't hunt too much, but it would have to unless he provided for it all the time. She supposed that was possible.

When they neared the stables, Naenia let out a short, doggish howl, meant to see if her retainer was there. She heard Sylvestre's reply from inside the stable and Tordilla's ears flicked forwards since she recognized it as well. The mare bobbed her head eagerly.

"Just because he spoils you with treats..." Naenia muttered. Sylvestre appeared in the doorway as they neared it. "This is Sylvestre," Naenia said to Rowtag. "He helps with a lot of things around the pack, so if you need to know where something is, he can help you." Then she looked at Sylvestre. "This is Rowtag, a new pack member."

"It is nice to meet you," Sylvestre said with the same Spanish accent Naenia had. Tordilla was already snuffling at one of his pockets and pulling at the fabric of his pants with her lips, searching for the treats he usually carried while in the stable. Sylvestre took the reins from Naenia, who then looked over at Rowtag.

"Did you want to know where everything is in the stable, or would you like to move on to the Estate?"
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