[P] Walking In A Spider Web
OOC: Takes place in Arachnea's Revenge. :) Whee, spiders! X3

IC: The mid-day sun shone brightly above in the blue winter sky. Although it was unimpeded by clouds, the sun's warmth didn't quite reach through to Adari's fur. The days were still utterly frigid and snow still remained in thick patches all around. Although she knew it was part of the natural cycle of seasons, the gruff wolfess found herself disliking winter more and more through each one she had to endure. Spring was her favorite time of the year and she hoped its welcome relief from the cold would come quickly this time around. Traveling any distance was hard on one's paws but add the icy snow, it pretty much became an outright struggle. This was why the orange-hued female preferred to move about the lands on horseback. Vespasian, big as he was had quite a large tolerance to the cold. His hooves could take the frozen earth better than Adari's sensitive pads. Directing the stallion casually through the white scenery, Adari kept her senses on alert for any danger.

Call her paranoid, but the woman had experienced too many bad encounters in her lifetime to just wander about in a state of oblivion to her surroundings. She had extra reason to be cautious on this day as she had recently acquired some new valuable artifacts she intended to use in trade. Hidden carefully away in the various packs upon her mount's saddle were a a few small items that she hoped would be worth something. A bottle of french perfume, a wooden pan flute, a strange, extendable spyglass (though she didn't know that's what it was called), and a a couple crystals she'd broken off the ceiling of a cavern she'd spent a night in in her travels. Other than these new acquisitions, the woman also had meat, pelts and some pot leaf to bargain with. She was very careful to keep the things she intended to keep buried deep in her belongings so as not to become victim to some thief. With her knives strapped to her belt and her bow and quiver within easy reach Adari and her companions made their way through the landscape in silence. Qeyta the falcon flew high above scouting the upcoming landscape for any obstacles that would be best avoided by the traveling company.

After a while though, Adari's mind went off on it's own tangent as she rode along, allowing the Gypsy horse to pick his own path through the wilderness. She hadn't slept well the night before and so she was becoming victim to afternoon tiredness. It was quite beautiful where they were at the moment, but the woman wasn't truly paying much mind to the natural landscape. Due to this, the wolfess failed to realize when she had brushed into a spider's web as she ducked under a low hanging branch. Suddenly, right in her face sitting on her muzzle she found a penny sized bright green spider. Tugging back on Vespasian's reins a little harder than she had intended, Adari froze in the saddle. Holding her breath she stared cross eyed down her muzzle at the little arachnid, utterly terrified of it's tiny figure. If there was one thing about nature she hated it was spiders. She tried to keep calm and debated simply trying to brush the creature away, but then she risked being bitten or it dangling off her paw by a web. Swallowing hard, the woman slowly, very gingerly dismounted from her horse and stiffly started towards a nearby tree where she could grab a stick to use to remove the spider from her face. Fighting panic and hating herself for it, Adari snapped off a small stick and hesitantly prodded the spider, hardly daring to look directly at it. Without any warning the spider jumped at the offending stick and with a high pitched, uncharacteristic yelp Adari jolted backwards, stumbling in the snow and landing deep in the snow back. At the same time as the yelp, Vespasian spooked and reared onto his hind legs, dislodging all of Adari's packs from his saddle and scampered to the side away form the unexpected sound his companion had made before she disappeared into the white.

Growling, Adari scrambled to get to her feet and dust herself free of the snow. She needed to get her things secured on Vespasian's back and quick. She and her things were now vulnerable to any attack. Huffing she glanced down her muzzle one last time ensuring the eight legged menace was indeed gone. She had dropped the stick he'd jumped onto in her flailing. "I hope it freezes to death..." She thought bitterly with a scowl. Finding her muzzle clear of arachnids, the woman rushed to gather up her things, checking each pack for any damaged goods. In her rush, she forgot to keep her senses alert for trouble or any approaching pawsteps. Grumbling to herself as she repacked one the the bags from which a few candles and homey items had fallen out of, she started to haul the packs into her shoulders and bring them back to Vespasian, all the while unaware of her surroundings, too focused on her valuables.

Wanderlust, for her, was an acquired trait. For the first year and a half of her life, she lived in the same pack never straying more than twenty miles or so from the tribe and never thinking she ever would. Chloe had loved her home and convinced herself if she looked harder every day, she could still find beauty in the same rocks and trees. Though, she had to admit, weeks before she left, she felt her inspiration draining. She blamed it on her parents' disapproval and their pushing for her to become a weapons maker but it may have been something else like boredom and an itching to see a different landscape. But it wasn't until doomed love forced her to leave that she discovered what she had been missing. During her six month travel to AniWaya, every day brought a new place with new sights and Chloe discovered how wonderful it felt to explore. That was her first taste.

This was her second. Since joining AniWaya, she pushed her boundaries often, going further and further from her new pack, logging all the scents and borders of surrounding territories. Not all were marked as plainly as her home with its barbed wire fence and she had to tread slowly. But she took her time anyway as she worked her way back north, the direction she'd come months ago. She wanted to fully experience each trek, to savor it and let it feed her imagination later as she worked in her den, painting and sculpting. Lately, her muse treated her well; she made several things, some too special not to carry with her wherever she went in case she met someone willing to trade. Since this was an overnight trip, she traveled light. Her leather bag held only three arrowheads, a spear tip, flint for starting fires, an empty clay water jug painted with an interlacing black and white pattern, and a deer effigy pipe, unused since she made it the day before. Full quiver over her shoulder and a simple bow across her back completed her belongings.

The previous evening, she reached the edge of the forest surrounding AniWaya. The oak trees and rocky, snow covered hills gave way to a coastal region. The woods began again on the other side, she recalled from her last trip, but the sharp stone and sandy expanse stretched on for a good, long ways before that. Chloe wasn't a cautious wolf by nature but she at least had the common sense to know not to be walking across open territory alone in the dark. So she spent the night nestled in a hollow place among the gnarled roots of an ancient oak, unafraid of what may sneak up on her. The next morning, she crossed the beach for the second time in her life, pausing once to collect a shiny, pink pebble almost perfectly round and later to appreciatively watch a bird of prey swoop and soar in the distance ahead.

With the sun high, warming the cold earth beneath, she reached forest again. This one a little different than the other, having its own unique mix of trees, some bare deciduous and some evergreen. The air smelled sweetly of maple and fresh water. She stood amongst a thicket, debating whether or not to take a break and try to hunt when distant cry of alarm rang out. Instantly concerned, Chloe started toward the sound. It never entered her mind to brandish a weapon such as the spear tip only a few inches from her fingers. The only purpose on her mind was helping, and weapons were more related to hurting by her standards.

When she emerged swiftly onto the scene, Chloe first noticed the horse and halted in mid-step. While a wolfess tried to gather items scattered about the ground, the large hoofed beast seemed upset by whatever caused this disarray. Not wanting to frighten it further, she tentatively walked only a little closer, still giving the woman and the horse a wide berth and asked, "Is everything okay?"

Glancing back and forth, yellow-green eyes wide and alert, Chloe wondered what could have been behind this mess. She wouldn't have guessed a spider. Chloe loved spiders and their sparkling, delicate webs, even the way their eight tiny feet felt on her skin. They were a creation of mother earth, just like herself and everyone else.

[734 words]

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OOC:// Short post. v.v WC: 418

Adari worked quickly to regather her items. She hated, absolutely hated that a creature so small had caused her so much trouble. 'Damn spiders...' She cursed silently, carefully rewraping some lose candles. As she lifted her fallen packs and started towards Vespasian, suddenly the Blaise woman became aware that she was not alone. Stopping dead midstep her head whipped around as a voice rose into the cool winter air. "Is everything okay?" Startled by the sudden proximity of the stranger to her and her valuables, Adari reacted without thinking, drawing her knife swiftly from her belt and growling. Swaying slightly under the weight of her things she knew she was in a sticky position. She wasn't about to set anything down, but all of it was a threat to her balance and a quick reaction should she be attacked. "Stay back!" With ears pinned, teeth bared and tail lashing Adari brandished the knife and took a single menicing step towards the other female. Bi-colored eyes darted from the unknown woman's face and to the remaining scattered items in the snow. "If you know what's good for you you'll not move an inch. I'm not about to let anyone just freely run off with any of my stuff!" She growled at the woman. In all her frustrations, Adari had not truly registered the wolfess' innocent question. She was too strung out now at her little incident to think clearly. She had no idea of knowing the golden girl's intentions. She couldn't take any chances. Instead of answering the offered query, she barked one of her own. "Why are you here? Spying on me?" She snapped suspiciously, still standing protectively over her belongings teeth bared fiercely.

When the stranger had appeared, Vespasian's ears had pinned and he'd given a snort of alarm at the concerned wolfess, but he didn't react in a way that indicated danger for his rider. Normally this would have been an indicator for Adari to calm down, but she didn't notice her horse or the shadow of her falcon as she swooped overhead and landed on Vespasian's back with a soft chirrup. All she cared about was that she didn't get looted. It had happened far too many times in the past and it was one thing that the flame pelted woman hated with a passion, being stolen from. She could not and would not risk it happening. She'd worked to hard to get the things she had. She wouldn't let them go without a fight.
coding and image by westy
words, wars, and symphonies

What Chloe thought was a respectful distance was probably far too close for most, having such an outgoing nature and never having experienced anything to change that. She wasn't stupid (smart enough to survive on her own for six months) and she caught on quick when a situation wasn't safe but she tended to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Each person she met was a good person until proven absolutely otherwise, and then she considered all reasons behind their actions. But she had the sense to obey the woman when she produced a knife. Chloe froze, slowly raising her open hands to show she had nothing in them. She wanted to back away. The other woman surpassed her in size and, despite Chloe's agility, could be on her in a couple large strides. Combat wasn't her forte. She might make weapons but she rarely used them for any purpose but hunting.

Calmly, she stated, "I heard a yell, so I came to see if I could help," She should have been afraid and indeed her senses were hyper-alert, her ears swiveling and nose intently searching the air, but more for a potential unseen danger – whatever caused her to cry out in the first place – than the woman whose threats seemed mostly driven by fear. The horse did not react much further to her presence, which was a relief. She didn't need the two of them panicking at the same time. "I'm not spying. And I'm not going to steal from you. I was in the area, from a southern pack come up here to trade. I come by all I have honestly or I do without." She explained, gentle but firm, her tail tucked and head dipped low, trying to give off the least imposing vibes possible.

She wasn't good with confrontation because she usually fled when faced with it. Not out of cowardice as she would instantly come to a stranger's aid if they were in danger but she knew how some resorted so quickly to violence. Most out of necessity, she realized. These were lessons recently learned from living alone. Important lessons she hoped she never had to employ after she found her home in AniWaya. This was a sign than her old life of complete pacifism was gone and this place was not like Takoda, sheltered and safe, whose biggest concern was the weather and upholding tradition. This place called 'Souls called for adaptation because it was not going to change for her. But just maybe she could be a peaceful influence on some of its residents.

[434 words]

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