'Souls RPG

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Set in the Mirmachi Valley. Bat is in her Lupus form. :)

This was what she had dreamed it could be like to be free from the band of traders that had mostly raised her. Here in a valley with her head tipped back staring at the stars. No one else around to berate her into doing something useful, no laughter by the campfire to which she was neither wanted nor invited, just peace and solitude. Though the solitude itself remained double-edged and bothered her daily. Wolves were not meant to live alone.

She flicked her overlong ears and sighed. The world was too complicated. Sometimes she missed the simplicity of the pack where she had been born. Everything made more sense there, with firm categories and rules. Then again, that was surely colored with some rosy nostalgia. They considered her an abomination to nature, following their belief system wouldn't work in her life anymore anyway. Perhaps joining a pack might give her more guidelines and rules to live by, but she wasn't sure she was ready for that yet. Though she knew before winter struck she would need to be. When the prey became scarce, she'd need to be in a group where there were resources and shelter to share.

Slowly settling onto her stomach, Battalion took a deep breath and stared at the stars. They seemed plentiful tonight. The heat of the day was fading away slowly as the sun's influence faded. It was good to just rest for a bit. Earlier in the day she had successfully trapped a pair of hares and after she had processed them, she had felt she deserved a moment to just relax. Though undoubtedly it would be a short rest. Either it would be disrupted - she was, after all, on neutral land - or she would feel that itch to be productive again. For now, though, she was just letting herself be at peace.
I want to believe - No, I choose to believe - That I was made to become - A sanctuary

OOC: Hello! Hope it's okay to join :)

The two sets of footsteps walked slowly through the valley, echoed by the clicked of hooves as Euphorus was guided just behind them, thinking of finding a place to settle down for the night. Freddy's eyes and ears were vigilant and forwards, looking for any signs around them that they were being followed, checking for tracks or anything suspicious. Odds are even when they fonud somewhere to camp out, Freddy wouldn't sleep, he was far too alert these days to allow himself to fully relax. They'd come out to find the burnt village, the place of Freddy's torment and Deonach's capture, looking for clues to something. Just a small rumour Freddy had picked up on; the mention of a name that had him desperate to check on everything he could. Deonach had hardly believed him, but the man also refused to let Freddy go out on his own just in case it was all true. 

But the husk of a village was empty, Freddy feeling one part foolish for believing rumour and one part nervous for wondering if this was all some elaborate trap. "You need to calm down." Deonach muttered as they entered the stooped valley that Freddy knew somewhat well from his frequent travels. The El Diente glanced up to the man, seeing concern in his amber eyes. "Being tired is not good for the health. All the stress and worry will not make you a good El Diente." The healer was always like this; comfortable with giving Freddy his opinion straight, making the young man honest and aware of his faults. But also making it clear how much the older man cared. 

"We just... n-need to find somewhere t-to stop." Freddy rasped back with a sigh. Finally relaxing his hyper-vigilant scanning just as they approached someone. Alone, lying out in the open of the valley and clearly just tending to themselves, but it still had Freddy tensing up a little. A nudge from Deonach however made him lose the edge, and Freddy passed the reins of Euph over to get a bit closer to the lone wolf. 

"Hello..." Freddy began, trying to push his voice to be as clear as it could be. "It's a-a bright night... w-with the stars."

YAYYY absolutely I am delighted you joined! ^_^

As she had expected, she wasn't alone for too long. Hoofbeats warned her first. The population here really did seem to have an obsession with the hooved beasts. Although to be fair, they were rather common as a domesticated animal. The trading band she was raised by had a few. They were a valuable asset, no matter her personal dislike for them. Battalion looked in the direction of the sound, which was also accompanied by two canines talking though she couldn't hear what they said.

She was absolutely fascinated by the appearance of the one that stepped forward to talk to her. He was small and angular in ways she wasn't accustomed to seeing. Battalion didn't stare, but she wanted to stare. There was just something so interesting about the way he looked. Not wolflike at all. Of course she had seen coyote and dog mixes when she was trading; they had become something of a staple in the areas where she had visited. Mostly, though, she had still seen wolf-mixes of some sort. If she had an eye for recognizing mixed breed heritages at all (and to be honest she probably didn't), she doubted he had a speck of wolf blood in him.

The other canine with him was interesting, too, actually. His fur was a pattern she hadn't seen before either. He looked stockier, less like an absolutely-not-wolf than his companion. He hadn't spoken to her, though, so she didn't focus on him as much. Though she was listening, in case the one in front of her was a distraction for the second one to attack her. For the moment, she felt fairly lucky to be in the Lupus form. At least she didn't have anything to steal on her, other than her life. Which she admittedly did value highly. That was the one thing she always had with her to risk.

The way the not-wolf stranger talked was tentative and she wagged her tail in a friendly, encouraging way. Her ears swayed back once briefly, too, to indicate good intention. Her eyes remained averted to his shoulder in a polite, inoffensive way. Though she knew such body language was often lost on those who spent all their time on two legs. They tended to use their faces for so many more expressions, which sometimes annoyed her. There was so much more that could be said if you used your whole body to say it. And her body language was saying hello, I'm friendly, I mean no harm. Of course, she should be worried they intended harm, but they had made no indications of meaning her any.

"I've always enjoyed the way that, together, the stars make so much light. If they were separated, though, you could barely see them." she replied, looking up briefly at the sky before returning her gaze to the canine who had spoken. "I'm Bat." it was generally polite to introduce oneself, she figured, and seeing as he had started a conversation she assumed he wasn't trying to just walk past. At least not right away. If he did, though, she wouldn't be insulted either. She was in a rather relaxed mood. At least, as relaxed as she ever got.
I want to believe - No, I choose to believe - That I was made to become - A sanctuary

OOC: stuff here

The El Diente detected immediately that the stranger was facinated by him and Deonach. Her eyes moved with a sharp focus across his main features and then to the mosiac-coloured dog as if cateloguing them to think more about when she had the chance. Freddy knew it well since it was how he acted around anyone new that he met; needing to detail as much about them as possible so to try and predict what they might do. Decide on friend or foe, be prepared for any surprises. 

Bat, Freddy concluded, wasn't going to be a threat. Even if she decided to try and attack him now, Freddy had long enough to check her over to see what she might do, plus the weapon weighing down on his belt would prove a battle easily won. With his need to predict all threats done, the man focused on her words and hummed quietly. 

"Th-they f...form shapes too... when c-close together." He replied. "I'm Freddy, th-that is Deonach." At mention of his name, the dog man bowed his head politely to the woman before returning to find somewhere to tie up Euphorus. "We a-are j-just l...looking for somewhere to stop for the n-night."

"Would you accept our company?" Deonach then asked, hand to his silky chest, "We have some food to share and there is safety in more numbers."

The interesting looking male said that they made shapes if you looked close enough. Battalion knew of this. It was one thing that was useful that her traveling band had taught her, how to navigate by the stars. They were always the same everywhere you went, so they were the most steadfast map a wolf could own. Especially when actual maps could change over time as areas became less populated, more populated, dilapidated, developed... "I use them to navigate by, sometimes, the shapes. Although I don't know what their names are or what they're supposed to be. Just what direction they are." she replied.

Her tail waved in greeting at the names he gave. Freddy, Deonach. They were interesting names. Though she wondered why the one that seemed to have more trouble speaking was doing a larger percentage of the talking. She tipped her head slightly. They wanted to stay with her? Sure, there was safety in numbers, but also risk since they didn't know her. She was a stranger to them as they were to her. They could want to stab her in her sleep. It wasn't like they could trust one another to keep watch. Well, presumably the two males could trust one another. She couldn't trust them and they couldn't trust her. Still. She had no ill intent and was comfortable where she was. So for now, at least, their proposition was fair.

"I'm always open for good company and can't really turn down food. Although I fear I have less to offer than you." company, though, she could offer. Even if she was a bit wary of how friendly they seemed. So far, they seemed of good intent, but she had learned long ago that the best of visages could hide the most hideous of hearts.

"Are you traveling through, then, or locals?" she was always looking to gather more information about groups in the area. There was a lot to learn in a short period of time if she was to find a place to call home.

I want to believe - No, I choose to believe - That I was made to become - A sanctuary

OOC: stuff here

Although it had been Deonach to suggest they remain together, Freddy had no issue with the idea. He wasn't as anti-wolf as others in the Gang, and even then a lot of the Ashen's opinions were shifting with their alliance to Casa now anyway. Freddy doubted Battalion would cause them any issues; odds are the El Diente wouldn't be sleeping much through the night so there would be no risk of a surprise attack, so in the best circumstances sticking together worked out for the best. 

"No offer is needed signora." Deonach replied, taking the bag from Euph's side to begin sorting out their food rations into decent amounts for each of them. Whilst the older man got the food sorted, Freddy pulled down one of the travel beds to roll out and sit on, taking a deep breath to try and relax some of his limitless tension. 

"L-Locals." Freddy replied. "Our p-pack isn't f...far from here. Del C-Cenere." There wasn't much point going into too much detail about the place, from a visitor standpoint, Battalion would only be allowed there for a short period of time. "It i-is open f...for visitors b-but... only for a-a day."

Deonach approached with the food, crouching to give Battalion her share of the dried meats first, then joining Freddy on the rolled out bed. "It is a place of trade. Visitors come to sell goods or see goods. They can rest but must offer something in return."

They were polite and kind, more than she would've expected from strangers. Battalion was silently a bit suspicious of just how generous they were being. To give and ask nothing in return was a rare trait in her experience, so what could they want of her? The wolf would sleep lightly that night, because she wouldn't be easy prey. Though her lack of fighting training was probably what made her most at risk there. She'd run, if it came to that. Maybe even swim out into the water and hope they couldn't swim. It wasn't like she slept well when she was alone either, though. Even when she wasn't directly with others, there was always the chance of someone coming upon her and deciding to attack her. If anything, this was a more apparent potential threat. At least she'd sleep knowing they were nearby. And if their intentions were true, then she was safer with them than alone anyway.

She thought she could see the lines of tension in Freddy's posture, something with which she greatly empathized. Her body seemed to always be taut with anxiety. Though she wouldn't assume his tension was the same as hers. Perhaps he was merely tense because she was a wolf and - as she was coming to learn from her time in the area - he was a coyote-mix. Or a not-wolf mix anyway. Which made them... enemies? It actually seemed more like just unfriendly, less enemies. There was certainly no open war between the coyotes and wolves of the area that she knew of. Currently.

Del Cenere was the name of their pack; she wondered if it was the place with the backstabbing coyotes that Elhaz had warned her about. Her heart lurched at the thought. Smile in your face before they stab you in the back was what he had said. Perhaps her initial suspicions that this politeness was just a farce was true. Certainly she'd not let her guard completely down around them. Though she thought it best to temper what Elhaz had said with what she learned on her own. After all, the mountain-dwelling wolf certainly had his own biases and experiences that had created his opinion.

"Ah, well, I'm a trader, but haven't settled in here enough to have anything worthy to trade. I'll remember the name, though, for when I do have goods to trade." she tipped her head thoughtfully. "I haven't found a place to settle yet but, I think I heard that your home is specifically not for my kind, right? As far as considering becoming a member, I mean." she had pretty much crossed it off her list of places to check out if it was indeed the Gang she had heard about. Del Cenere Gang sounded right. Hopefully the question wasn't offensive to them. She assumed it wouldn't be; if their rule was no wolves, it was hardly rude to confirm if that was the rule.