[DND] people talk to me, and all the voices just burn holes
#1
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this post is unnecessarily fluffy, feel free to skip first paragraph lalala~ (+500)

The bird was nothing more than the briefest flicker of a shadow in the distance, but it brought Lyris to a winter afternoon many years in her past.

An auburn woman had stood many meters in front of her, then, with a vulture at her right hand. The simple terror of a bird was the center of Lyris's lesson. X'yrin had sent the creature on a considerably ruthless attack on the then-young, incompetent girl that the Stryder once was. Her arms stung with the memory of the creature's talons and their ravaging on her fur, and Lyris was suddenly reminded of the vigor that X'yrin's lessons actually presented, and considered how they shaped her into the teacher that, ironically, Lyris considered herself at the present moment. She was rough on her own children, that was certain, but X'yrin had taught her how roughening the student could only prove to strengthen them, and that the pale woman had taken to heart. As Lyris watched the dark stain of a bird vanish into the gray that hung between the sky's clouds, her thoughts flickered to her daughters and their recent endeavors. Unwilling to further consider the mess that was her firstborns' journey, the Cavallo flickered her eyes to the stables, though her initial thought was, for once, not of her horses. It was, instead, of the bird cage that she had built with Luca so many months ago, and the falcons that resided peacefully within. Curious and restless, Lyris vanished from the porch back into her house with determined intent.

A long swath of thick cloth gripped among her fingers, the Mani moved towards the bird sanctuary, her toes causing the grass to crackle with the frost crushed beneath her every step. When the mother arrived at the end of the stables that housed the winged things that she sought, Lyris took a long moment to silently consider, her jade sights fixated upon the squarish openings that served as entrances to the sanctuary's interior. After a time had passed, Lyris's thoughts unknown to any who may have looked upon her, the huntress pulled the cloth swath over her wrist and forearm, holding it in place with the assistance of a few fingers. And then she barked a single name. "Oonu." Her voice carried among the cold current of atmosphere she stood among, and was plenty strong enough to venture into the rafters of the nearby stable. Almost immediately, a flutter of feathers could be detected, and the dark figure of a peregrine falcon had suddenly apparated, wings wide, from the structure. Lyris deftly lifted her guarded arm, and the falcon swooped to curl his talons around the provided cloth, fluttering his wings several times before settling quietly to sit on his living perch. Lyris met the bird's eyes and then offered him the small body of a dead mouse, only one of many that sat within the base of her quiver slung around her back. Oonu claimed his reward and downed it without even hesitation, and Lyris lifted her fingers to stroke the falcon along his head and neck, his feathers soft against her touch. The Stryder had been spending so much time with the horses lately that the existence of the falcons had nearly slipped her mind. Yet, with one greeting, she was easily allured to the winged creatures and their curious power once more. She had never explored falconry much beyond basic training, but it could still hold her unwavering attention, despite.

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#2
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Teagan Stryder
Optime | NPC: Agrona

Sorry for the wait! Also, sorry if this post is all over the place @_____@


Note for me: Aviaria co-rank
WORD COUNT
541

Ever since she’d been released from “light duty,” Teagan had poured herself into her training. The events on the road trip had seared a lasting memory into her mind, and the Stryder refused to let herself be as weak as she once had. It meant distracting herself from her peers and spending her energy either strengthening her forms and techniques, or working with her animal companions to make sure they were as trained as she was.


Thus far, Teagan was confident to say that the trio’s training had come along fairly well.


For a stolen horse, Apollo had proven to be rather easy to handle. She was lucky in that, whoever had him, had trained him well as a riding horse. He also understood a few basic commands and signals, leaving all for Teagan to really do to be to solidify their bond. While his amiable personality had made him a good horse for her, she didn’t want to run the risk of him being to be easily stolen as he once had.


Agrona had grown into a fine bird, and had proven her worth time and time again, particularly, during the sisters’ journey across the countryside. She had learned a good range of words in High Speech, and could navigate the land well enough to always find home. Her knowledge and skills with hunting and basic commands and signals improved with every passing day. She was still young though, and had a lot of training to do before she could be on par with her mother or her uncle.


The Stryder and her falcon had been out on an easy patrol together, and had been returning to the sanctuary to get started on hunting exercises when the tall figure of Teagan’s mother came into view. On the Labor Head’s arm perched one of Casa di Cavalieri’s other falcons, Agrona’s uncle, Oonu.


Teagan had slowed her clipped pace at the sight of Lyris. With her younger siblings to take care of and with Alistair no longer sharing the work load that had been placed on her father’s shoulders, the Cavallo had been busy enough that the mother and daughter pair had not been able to have much interaction with one another since the sisters’ return. It was not to say that their relationship had been strained, but, rather, they had merely been busy.


Despite having Oonu on her arm, the older Stryder didn’t look to be particularly occupied, however. And, though Teagan wasn’t much for going out of her way for companionship, she did miss doing things with her mother, and the opportunity seemed as good as any.


Teagan whistled, and her falcon eagerly obeyed by alighting down onto the girl’s waiting arm. Having been out on a patrol, the girl hadn’t thought to don a glove, so, the raptor’s sharp claws offered a familiar prick against the Bracciante’s bare arm. Teagan paced the rest of the way, a small smile on her lips as she approached Lyris and Oonu. “Hey, Mom.”

“Lyris.” Agrona greeted roughly, bobbing her head. A clacked beak of recognition was given to the falcon’s uncle.


“What are you up to today?”






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[size=150]Teagan Stryder[/size]

#3
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HELLA RAMBLY (+700)

Despite the year and many days that had been passed since Lyris had become a mother, she still was uncertain how to go about it often times.

Her daughters had gone traveling, up to the north to see what was outside of Casa's reach. She hadn't wanted them to go; it had taken an obscene amount of convincing and practical begging before Lyris had consented, only on the condition that she could not baby them for the rest of their lives. She thought that a good mother would not let her daughters go into the wild, still so young, with little more than the self-defense she herself had bestowed upon them. But she wasn't sure, and there were benefits to letting them experience something so raw as the neutral lands. It needed to happen at some point or another. So she had let them go.

But they had come back much more worse for wear than she had hoped. Both were injured- surprisingly Teagan more severely of them two. An unfamiliar horse in tow, Lyris had many questions and many concerns. Overall, she felt guilt. It tainted the marrow of her bones and stained her peace of mind; oh, God, they could have died. Of course they could have died, it was oh so obvious, so why did she let them go? Stupid, stupid stupid. Not a good motherly thing to allow. But while maternal instinct screamed at Lyris never to let the girls out of her sight again, common sense knew the impossibility of it. Stuck between a rock and a hard place of her fear for Teagan and Indi's well being and her desire to watch them mature independently, she really hadn't the slightest idea how to approach the situation. So silence had been her mask.

She wanted them to talk to her about it, because should she try to initiate the conversation, the Stryder was certain that her emotionally-charged fear would overcome her common sense and she would bestow some unfair guideline upon their heads. Indi had been avoiding Lyris, that much was clear. And it did not hurt her, per say; the mother could understand her daughter's unease. But something else had been pricking at the back of her mind, something uncomfortable. The koi-colored girl's avoidance of her matriarch ran deeper than a simple fear to bring to light the obvious topic. Something had happened.

But Lyris could not chase her, it would only worsen matters. And oh, did it take every fiber of her being to stand down and resist pinning the girl against the wall and demanding her speak. But the Mani had learned self-control in her years, however weak it may stand, and such did not come to pass. Instead, when she saw Indi vanish again early that morning, her thoughts had turned grudgingly to something to distract herself. A memory of X'yrin's vultures, and an alluring interest directed at the falcons in the stables. So she moved to indulge in the distraction.

Oonu was quick to follow her command, alighting on her cloth-swathed arm without hesitation. The familiar thrill of a bird of prey at her command alighted Lyris's eyes. After stroking the peregrine's feathers and offering him a reward, a familiar set of footsteps twitched the woman's ears. The Cavallo turned to face Teagan's familiar canary eyes, now practically eye-level with her own. The thought made Lyris pause. She remembered the girl being smaller. Such a simple memory twinged the mother's gut, but was quickly pushed away. "Teagan." She smiled, a rare thing but nevertheless genuine. Agrona spoke, and Lyris nodded her head back at the young bird. "Agrona." Oonu squawked on her arm, nodding to his neice and making certain that the Luperci had not forgotten his presence. Lyris shushed him.

"I have some leisure time, strange enough. I figured I hadn't visited the birds for a while." She paused. "You've been doing very well with Agrona." And it was true; that the hawk already had some proficiency in broken high speech was impressive enough. Lyris figured the topic of their avian training was a safer route than entering uncharted mentions of a journey gone awry. While the mother had a burning want to know - certainly not so she could seek revenge for whomever dared to lay a finger on her offspring, oh no- she would hold back and keep to her promise. They would speak when ready. "Have you trained her in scouting yet?"

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#4
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Teagan Stryder

Sorry for the wait and this crappy reply >____<
WORD COUNT
381

The older pair greeted the younger, and Teagan smirked softly at Oonu’s squawk at her mother’s subsequent correction. The Stryder matriarch went on to reveal that she, indeed, had some free time for the time being. It was enough to make Teagan’s heart lighten a bit at the prospect of being able to spend time with the woman, particularly, dealing with something that Teagan had been working on just about as often as she did training with her sword.


The compliment was unexpected, and one that earned Lyris raised brows in surprise. Inwardly, Teagan admonished herself for having not expected as much though. This was her mother after all, and, as seemed apparent since she and her sister’s youth, some way or another, Lyris always knew and noticed things. It must have been a parent thing.


Modest, Teagan’s canary eyes fell from her mother and shifted down to the young falcon on her arm. “Thanks, I think she teaches me more than I teach her though,” she admitted with a small smile. Agrona’s head turned to look up at her, tilting slightly so that she could look at her partner better. It was true though. In their time together, it felt more like Agrona was the teacher and Teagan was the one trying to learn to be a bird than be the falconer.


Her mismatched ears flickered as her attention was drawn back to the Mani. Teagan offered a shallow nod in reply. “A little. Indi and I used her to help us find landmarks during our trip outside the pack.” It was less “scouting” as it was, “find this” if she was completely honest though.


Not wanting to give her mother a false impression, Teagan quickly added, “Mostly, Agrona and I have been focusing on her speech and hunting as a pair. She’s defended me a few times too.” She smirked at this, holding her arm a bit higher in her pride at how far the little chick her father and she had rescued had come.


“Are you going to be working with Oonu today?” There was a small hint of hopefulness in her voice. It’d been a few months since the mother and daughter had done any sort of training together.





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[size=150]Teagan Stryder[/size]

#5
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slow slow slow, also sorry this post is sooo messy and confusing hahah (+500)

It indeed was a parent thing, to take special note of a child's activites. Lyris had done this even though she had not seen very much of Indi or Teagan in the recent weeks. This was undoubtedly due to their avoidance of encountering an awkward situation wherein they would have to talk about their eventful journey they had only just returned from. As much as it frustrated Lyris, she could understand. Indi was being particularly slippery to catch a word with, whereas Teagan was more willing to approach Lyris, despite the still-remaining lack of conversation about their time away from home. As much as she may have wanted to know every detail and perhaps find out exactly who had dared to hurt her children, she would digress. For now, training with Teagan was the current task at hand.

She had indeed noticed her daughter's work with her raptor, and Lyris was pleased. In fact, it was very useful that the Stryder had arrived with her mother because Agrona's skills could be a useful guide tool for training Oonu. Lyris had thought of this but was distracted when the Bracciante mentioned using the peregrine during their trip. Lyris nodded. Locating landmarks was a useful skill for a winged companion to assist with.

Another flicker of a smile, rare as they were, shadowed Lyris's face when Teagan mentioned Agrona protecting her. Good. Came the mother's thought. The Labor Head indeed had a special respect for birds, and could appreciate the comfort of one defending her daughter. "Those are important skills to continue training. Good start." She approved, and then flickered her eyes back to the bird on her arm at Teagan's question. "Yes. He knows a little high speech, but not as much as Marahute, and could use some additional training. I was going to work on teaching him more speech and then maybe some search-and-find as a prelude to scouting." She explained. "How much can you talk, Oonu?" Lyris suddenly asked, and the bird ruffled his feathers before replying. "Little." The Mani nodded in response to the bird's word.

"Perhaps having Agrona nearby will help him with some of the skills or words. Shall we?" And together, Lyris led them to the nearest training ring. Walking with a falcon on the end of one's arm was not particularly easy, but the more time spent on her arm, the better accustomed Oonu would become to such a situation.

When they arrived at the ring, Lyris had Oonu practice a circle skill a series of times, where he left her arm, circled in flight for a wide arc, and then returned to be tossed a tidbit reward. Lyris abandoned using the makeshift cloth on her arm about halfway through, and instead went bare. "Where should we start?" Lyris asked Teagan upon Oonu's return, undoubtedly surprising her daughter. She was interested to see what the girl thought would be the best course of action for stimulating Oonu or Agrona's progress, and had no doubt it would be a sufficient plan. Lyris was not even sure she knew more than Teagan on the subject anymore; she had become quite proficient. Here, they were equals.

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#6
[html]
Teagan Stryder

This post: I don’t know a damn thing about falconry xD Basically, it’s the Look Around game.
WORD COUNT
724

Her mother voiced her approval of Agrona’s progress, and Teagan felt a small swell of pride at the compliment. Lyris had never been one to be very vocal about her children’s accomplishments, at least, not to Teagan. Though, to be honest, Teagan had never been one that had needed a lot of pep talks or remarks of praise growing up either. She’d carved her own path with her own paws, and, like her mother, was rather reluctant to ask for help or support otherwise.


The Bracciante nodded in acknowledgement of her mother’s words regarding Oonu. She was too embarrassed to admit that she’d fallen behind on keeping up with her grandmother’s bird since returning to the Fort. Though she had interacted with Oonu plenty of times before, once she’d taken on the full responsibility of training Agrona, her interactions with Oonu—and even Marahute—had significantly lessened as the younger falcon grew older and didn’t need to be partnered with one of the older and more experienced birds.


To her mother’s suggestion that they—Agrona and Teagan—help with Oonu’s training, the younger Stryder glanced at her feathered partner. Agrona bobbed her head, and, then, so too did Teagan. Following after her mother, Teagan agreed, “Yeah, he helped teach her how to hunt when she was little. It’ll be returning the favor.” In a way, at least.


Having grown used to one another, Agrona was much more stable on her perch in the trek to the training ring than her uncle. A few times, she’d let her wings spread out to maintain her balance, but, other than that, it was obvious that Teagan and Agrona had come a long way from their younger days together. Upon arriving at the ring side, Agrona left Teagan’s arm to perch on something nearby so that the wolfdog wouldn’t have to hold her the whole time. They watched as Oonu did a few practice circles before Lyris suddenly questioned her daughter.


Teagan blinked, taken off-guard by the question. In their past trainings, Lyris had always been the one to mark out what they would do. Occasionally, she ask for Teagan’s input, but, that was more towards what kind of content she’d be teaching rather than…well, this. For a split-second, she combed her mind for a place to start. Her mother wanted to work with Oonu on speech and introducing scouting, right?


Her canary eyes moved to the training ring. They had plenty of space for beginner stuff, she supposed. “Scouting is a lot like hunting,” she began, her thoughts still trying to form a lesson plan. Lyris had always made it look so easy. “Search for prey, find prey, attack prey if the falconer lets out the call or return to them if given a return call. I first taught Agrona by getting her to associate certain words with objects or individuals and having her look at them.”


She returned her attention to her mother. “Indi helped me with a few of them, like ‘Luperci.’ She already knew I was ‘Teagan’ and Indi was ‘Indi,’ ‘sister,’ or ‘family’. To get her to understand that we were both ‘Luperci,’ I set her on one side of the arena and had Indi and I stand in different locations. I’d tell her ‘Luperci,’ and would let her look around. When her eyes moved to Indi or I, I’d reward her.”


Teagan frowned a bit as she continued with the next part. “With a little…coercion from Indi, we were able to get a few others to help us so she wouldn’t think it was just a plural word for Indi and I. That evolved into trying to ‘hunt’ for them while they were moving, and, eventually, it got to the point that Agrona would search or look for any Luperci in a particular area.”


The Stryder shifted her weight, unsure if her explanation made any sense to her mother. She had been grateful that her falcon had been rather young when she’d first started training her. As well, having constant access to her every day also helped. She was unsure how much training her grandmother had given Marahute and Oonu before leaving them behind in Casa di Cavalieri.





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[size=150]Teagan Stryder[/size]

#7
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Ann emerged from the depths of death with a post, against all odds! :> uh excuse me you sounded like an expert falconer wow A+ I think after maybe one more post you'd have enough info here to have it count as a co-rank thread, so we can go ahead and wrap up soon b/c this is ultra crusty (+500)

Lyris also felt as though she had fallen behind in her sufficient caring for the birds. While the small family of peregrines was really the only one that needed looking after, the mother did little beyond up keeping the bird sanctuary and occasionally checking in on Oonu, Marahute, and sometimes even Murdock. Teagan was more than sufficient in caring for and training Agrona on her own- her daughter appeared to have a natural affinity towards the winged creatures and her companion in particular. But among the other winged creatures, a whisper of guilt often alighted upon Lyris whenever she walked by the sanctuary. She did not have the time to practice and improve the little falconry skills that she had developed- Casa now had simply too many horses and other livestock that the Cavallo was occupied with. Today, however, the cobweb guilt would be washed away. As they walked to the training ring, Lyris noted that the first order of business in future sessions would be to further familiarize Oonu with his comfort on a Luperci arm and presence.

The mother expected the spark of surprise that alighted in the young Bracciante's eyes at Lyris's request for the canary-eyed Stryder to lead the lesson. Lyris had always disciplined and taught her children with authority, and Indi and Teagan had never questioned their mother's final say. Undoubtedly, Teagan was accustomed and expecting of Lyris's leadership in their sessions. But the scarred Stryder also valued her children's own sense of confidence, and they were far too old to be stripped of any responsibilities and freedom. Lyris had been raised as an alpha's daughter in a feral setting where hierarchy was unimaginably strict and valuable, so perhaps the wild blood of her younger years fueled her style now. Teagan would need to practice leadership if she were to be any daughter of a Stryder. She had clearly already excelled in that aspect, but to stand in front of her blunt mother and do the same was a different ballgame.

The pale woman listened with an attentive green gaze, Oonu spreading his wings once throughout the explanation to retain his balance on Lyris's wrist. Teagan's words flowed with adequate description and a note of intelligence, and the mother could not deny the fact that she was impressed and pleased. "Very good. That's a valuable skill to have taught her. Have you had her practice scouting for Luperci in the neutrals with any success? " Lyris inquired with genuine interest. She had no doubt that Agrona would have success with the skill if Teagan's description of their training were true, but she was curious to hear all the same.

In the following moments, Lyris adjusted the grip of the peregrine on her arm and then nodded at her daughter again. "It would be a good skill for Oonu to learn. Why don't you give Agrona the command to locate Luperci and perhaps Oonu watching will help him pick it up quicker? As you know, working with older birds can be difficult. " A flicker of a smile passed Lyris's face, directed at Teagan as she waited for the Bracciante to demonstrate with her own companion.

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#8
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Teagan Stryder

Alrighty! And, thanks for the thread<33 Feel free to archive with my post or yours!
WORD COUNT
742


Her mother complimented her, and Teagan was quietly proud that her work with Agrona had impressed her. She herself was proud of her falcon’s progress, and was content to see that others took note of it as well. It had been hard training, and with a lot of trial and error. So, hearing the Cavallo’s approval made it worthwhile. Teagan and Agrona might be able to follow her grandmother’s and her falcon’s footsteps yet.


When questioned about the raptor’s success rate, Teagan offered a noncommittal shrug, wanting to be honest with her mother. “Indi and I used her when we went on our trip. She more or less found any that were in the area. She had a little bit of trouble associating a four-legged individual as a Luperci as well though. I’ve since been trying to fix that, and she appears to have grasped the understanding.” Argona had a one-hundred percent success rate with those in their two-legged form, as they stood apart from any other creature in the area. With those traveling in one of the lesser ones, the falcon had mis-categorized them as something other than a Luperci. It was a simple and easy mistake, as Optime looked vastly different from Lupus or Secui. A bit of retraining had fixed that.


Teagan nodded to her mother’s suggestion of a paired training exercise. “They can be particular, yes,” the daughter agreed on Lyris’ last comment. She turned to her feathered companion and held out her arm. Instantly, Agrona returned to it.


“Lyris,” she stated.


Agrona looked at the white-furred woman beside them. “Lyris, there.” She confirmed.


“Good.” Teagan nodded, watching Oonu out of the corner of her eye to see if he was grasping what they were doing. “Teagan.”


The falcon looked directly at her now. “Teagan, you.”


Once more, Teagan nodded in approval. “Good. With Oonu, find Luperci.” She pointed back towards the shops, where she knew Isaac would be out tending to the batch of jerky he had been working on that morning. She wanted Agrona to search in a particular direction and find anyone that was a Luperci. She also wanted her to take Oonu with her.


Agrona looked to her uncle, letting out a few chirps and clacking her beak. Whatever was spoken between them, Teagan could only guess. Suddenly, her falcon leapt from her arm, and, so too did Oonu from her mother’s. The pair quickly climbed into the sky, heading into the direction that Teagan had previously commanded.


With the birds away, the Bracciante let her arm rest at her side once more. “And, now we wait.”


Her bird circled overhead, her head turning as she searched the requested portion of the Fort. When she spotted movement, she angled her wings so that she banked towards it. It was the butcher, the blue-coated coydog. He was tending to the strips of meat that he had hung to dry outside in the winter sun.


“Luperci,” she spoke. She circled over the butcher’s location once, twice, tallying him in her head before she moved on, searching for any others that could be seen out in the open. Agrona kept to the high sky, never once dipping down to a height that would call attention to herself or put her in danger of being snatched from the sky.


When her search was complete, and making sure Oonu was still in tow, she returned to the Stryders.


She let out a soft cry to alert her falconer to her return, and Teagan’s arm was supplied for a perch once more. Agrona alighted upon it, shaking out her feathers as she got comfortable. It was only once Oonu had done the same for Lyris that Teagan continued the impromptu demonstration.


“Luperci?”


Agrona bobbed her head. “Luperci, yes. One. Butcher.” There were a few more descriptors than what would be necessary for a beginner like Oonu, but, the concept was the same. Find Luperci. Report if there were Luperci found.


Having partnered and worked with Teagan as often as they had, Agrona didn’t need a piece of scrap for the mundane exercise. If anything, it was more of a warm-up to the bird. Teagan looked back to her mother, waiting for her approval or dismissal of any continued training. If it was to her satisfaction, Teagan would send the pair out again.





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[size=150]Teagan Stryder[/size]



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