'Souls RPG

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The Lighthouse had proven to be ample shelter for them as the spring storms rolled across the little bay. It remained damp and dark, but they had managed to break open the old windows to fill the dusty floorboards with puddles of daylight. Ness had made a bed for herself behind a stack of old crates, and as she lay sprawled against the floorboard, she tickled a strand of sunlight with the tips of her fingers. The sharp contrast made motes of dust spin and swirl, her pupils wide in the shadows of her bed.

Hershel had made them a hunter’s stew the night before, and the scent of it still wafted through the interior of the lighthouse. They owed him some kindness – but all Ness could think about when she saw him was the way he had tried to drag her back to his Estate. She growled softly to herself and rolled to her feet, picking her nails and ignoring the way her joints ached from the cold. She pulled on her clothes and silently crept through the scattered sleeping forms to slide through the open door.

She liked to imagine what the sunrise looked like at the top of the tower, but they hadn’t figured out how to reach the top.

Outside she was met with territorial seabirds that glared and swooped in her direction as she took off down the sandy beach.

She left a trail of footprints in her wake that wove and danced just beyond where the waves could reach. Notes of seafoam and salty spray caught the hems of her trousers, and she laughed loudly as she danced through the incoming tide. Ness slipped out of her clothes and piled them sloppily before placing her scarf on top. Reese would have teased her for being so careful with it, but she knew that her brother had a wreckless side too.

With a cry she launched herself into the cold water, ducking her head under the waves. She only went as far as her short legs would allow before falling back to float on her back.

It was only when she caught sight of a morose looking man, his hands shoved deeply in his pockets, that she grinned wickedly.

She began to splash, "LANDON!"

(///) | NPCs: Hershel (albeit briefly lolol)

From his pockets, he fished out one of the cigarettes that girl had given him. The supplies were dwindling, ever dwindling, and soon they would have to make their way somewhere properly lucrative. The peninsula had been a good reprieve from the aches of winter, but now the snow had fully melted. They could not linger here.

Lighting the stick with the smoldering remains of last night's campfire, he breathed the smoke deep, let it flit away like one of the many little birds in his path.

"Having fun?" He called, finding a seat on a nearby rock. The waves crashed around his ankles, would eventually come for his knees where his trousers had been rolled up. Given enough time, the tide would get higher than that here, swallow everything they could see up to the very base of the Lighthouse. It was a lesson they had all learned early on.

The day was a good one, even for the nip of that lingering northern cold; forgoing the bulk of his attire, Landon wore only his sweater, had bunched the sleeves up to his elbows to let the sun warm the thin fur. The salt air had made his choppy hair soft and stringy, and it fluttered over his gaunt face with none of the same bounce and body as his siblings' own locks. In spite of everything, he was his father's son.

He puffed at the cigarette and watched Ness' dark face bob between the clear blue waves. Landon knew what a drowning person looked like. They didn't make half as much noise.

Affecting an attitude of disinterest, he swept of his gaze along the sparkling breakers; here, he noticed the water drawing up high. His gaze flicked back to Ness, curious to see if she would notice this amidst her flailing.
(—) | NPCs:

He perched on the edge of what would have been a tidepool, the cuffs of his pants rolled up far enough to stay dry. She could see the trail his smoke left in the wind whipped air, a tangle of greys that hung around his head like thread. The water lapped on all sides, and she could taste the salty brine against her tongue as she called out again, ”You should come in!” She patted her palms against the waves, ”The water’s fine-“

A sudden wave caught her unawares and bowled her over, forcing her dark head beneath the water before it popped up again. Her ears flopped madly as she coughed, snorting water from her nostrils as she caught her breath and glared out at the wind whipped ripples that now made their way towards her. Her feet kicked out and caught her so that she bobbed just above the surface.

… but Landon didn’t need to know that.

Another wave came, and this time she timed her breath and sank beneath the water. Bubbles popped along the surface as more waves slung their way over her, and she treaded with her hands to stay just out of sight.

(///) | NPCs: Hershel (albeit briefly lolol)

Landon didn't respond to her teasing—he didn't need to. The ocean was quick to cut her off, and under Ness went, all bubbles and (probably) injured pride. Mosie would've hollered with laughter, but she also would've jumped right in. She would've loved every moment out here.

He pulled on the smoke as he waited for her to pop back up. The day was bright enough that the water along the shoreline was a glassy blue, and he could see her dark shape bubbling under the surface.

His brows lowered as the seconds ticked past. Another wave crashed over her, and yet she still didn't emerge.

Landon stood to get a better look. He sucked on the cigarette as far as he could, coughing with all the excess. "Fuck," he said, giving one last puff before casting the half-burnt stick aside. It hurt to waste it.

There was only enough time to throw off the sweater and empty some of his belongings from his pockets. Free of those things, he dove into the water. The sheer cold of it was always an unpleasant shock, and he emerged with a curse in his mouth. Landon wasn't half as strong a swimmer as his sister, who had been born mostly fish, but he managed against the easy currents of that low tide. The ocean had a different cadence than the river, forcing him to duck his head beneath the breaking waves or follow the pull over the white caps. For a moment he lost track of where she went, and plunged underwater to look from there.

Squinting through the murk, he saw her. Dark hair flowing like leaves around her head, her fur brown and sun-warm, floating in a look of quiet peace. Landon launched forward, wrapped his arm around her waist and dragged her up.

A wave knocked into them as they emerged, pushing them in towards the shore. Landon could stand from here. Tucking another arm beneath her knees, he brought her out of the rocking sea with a serious urgency, utterly oblivious to her treachery.
(—) | NPCs:
It was easy to forget that they lived in a world that was filled with the sort of excess that was easy to overlook. There were sounds, smells, feelings, travellers who never knew when to stop telling their rambling stories.

… from under the water the world was silent.

She had forgotten what it felt like to be buoyed by the current, to float and let the mind settle into silence like a stubborn oyster in the sand. It was comfortable to let the ocean do the work for her, to allow the endless sky to flicker above as if seen through a pane of stained glass.

When Landon came for her, a part of her was surprised. He dove and a stream of bubbles trailed after him, catching in his fur and sticking in his whiskers. For a moment he was dappled in diamonds, shimmering like a seal as he worked his arms and made his way toward her. She watched with a sort of empty understanding – hollow and silent beneath the muffled weight of the water.

When he caught her she finally came back to herself, kicking and wriggling alongside him as he pushed them both to a welcoming shoreline.

The sand anchored them, scratching grittily at the pads of their feet. She was cradled against his chest now, the seawater dripping from her fur to catch in the folds of his clothes.

She couldn’t help but grin widely, her teeth full of sand and adventure.

”You do care.” She batted at him and laughed, "Made you feel something, right?"

(///) | NPCs: nada

The sun bore down overhead, and singing terns wheeled with the updraft. Under other circumstances, he might've appreciated the swim.

Ness miraculously revived in his arms the moment they surfaced; she didn't even have the decency to wait until they were on the shore before revealing her deception. He stopped then and there, hip-deep and shoulders heaving with his labored breaths. Waves tugged playfully at his drenched trousers.

"Yeah," Landon said, turning them around. "I do feel something. I feel kinda heavy, y'know?" Emphasizing her verbal tick the way she usually did, he shared her grin. He rocked her once, twice, and on the third tossed her back into the water. He wasn't Owen, so she didn't get much lift on the toss, but there was enough momentum to make it fun.

Back when they were very young, Owen would let Mosie use his hands like a springboard and launch her into a high dive. She was the only one of them who could do it, that graceful arc. In those days it would rile Griffin up - 'It's not safe, the river's not deep enough!' - he'd wade in all in a huff, and Mosie would grab his tail underwater. That old geezer pretended to fall for it every time. He'd yowl and run out, yelling that a fish bit him.

His breath caught up now, Landon realized he'd been laughing.
(—) | NPCs:
the joys of yeetin'

She hadn’t expected him to throw her. She had been pawing at the collar of his shirt, chuckling at the amount of water that dripped from his lapels. Ness laughed, the twinkle in her eyes accentuated by the rippling salt water that extended all around them.

”No! Don’t you-“

But it was too late. She was launched through the air and landed with a splash, her laughter echoing even after she found her feet. It was nice to forget that they were struggling, that there was barely food on their plates, that despite the summer heat they were often cold. Like this should remember the nostalgia of childhood, the gentle warmth in her cheeks that came from the exertion of a good game.

Reese had been good at games. He had always known what to say to convince her to join in.

She rose sputtering, her ears pricking at the sound of Landons laughter.

”Heavy?!” She huffed and began to splash him, ”How rude!”

(///) | NPCs: nada
love a good yeet