[P] Demon's night - no way out
It was from a passerby that she had heard of the pack nearby, merely by coincidence that she had decided that sometime soon, she would join in a bid to learn more about the area before she made a decision whether or not to join the pack her mother and father had originated in. The day had brought with it a nice breeze and beyond her and the water had churned against the shore as sun-clad grass waved gently around her footing, some of it too long for her to see in all directions, other patches short enough that she only needed to push passed them in her venture toward the water's edge. In her grasp was a woven basket of plant fiber and vine, a knife at her thigh in that leg band of hers and her dress covering up most of her legs, keeping her hidden weapon from sight.

She had started by bending down, sniffing at the water itself. It hadn't been salty, though the water itself had been murky and she could see bugs and all sorts of critters that squirmed just beneath the surface of the old pond water.

She had thought about having a drink but didn't quite want to end up sick from drinking something sour. Instead, she had neither put her hands in it or made the bid to stagger to her knees. She had turned from the water's edge, making her way back to the tree line with that basket of hers only moments later.

In the dark, she thought she saw what could have been mushroom caps from a distance. It hadn't taken long to get there and upon shifting in place, she had bent down to pluck them from the ground, digging at the roots instead of the stalks themselves so she could carry the majority of them back with her. She wasn't sure on the specific name of the mushrooms themselves but she knew they were often used in cooking, that their name started with a pha sound. Or maybe that was something else altogether..
Summer would soon be coming to an end, so now was a good time to be able to gather as many herbs as possible. That wasn't to say that Eden wouldn't be able to find any when the fall came around, but the sooner the better. He would have plenty of time to use them to turn into healing items, or maybe he could pass some along to his Dad to turn them into potions. That was his kind of thing right? Either way, there was no harm in having extra.

A basket rested at the young male's side, plants on the inside along with a few flowers that had been dug up with some dirt and their roots. He would have to be much more careful with these ones if he was going to take them back home. It wasn't often that he strayed this far from home, but since he had learned about some of the herbs growing in the area, he was not one to pass up the opportunity to bring such items back to Salsola. Anything they might need to prepare for the days ahead.

It was getting dark out when the Apprentice turned his gaze up to the sky. He must have really lost track of time since he had come out here. Still, he would have to get back home at some point, as he was not equipped for spending time out in the neutral lands on his own. One arm reached down, taking the basket to rest along it before he began to pad along back towards Salsola.

Something stopped him on his journey. Truthfully, at this time of night, he expected that he would be out here by himself. Guess there was always the potential for loners, but a lot of them seemed to be heading south to check out the new establishment like he had done twice now. A head tilted to the side as he followed the small sounds. He found her looking over some mushrooms, a strange thing to be doing in the dark. She didn't look like anyone he had seen before, but part of that could have been due to the darkness. Still, he waved over to her, "Evening."
(+300) | NPCs: N/A
Thank you for starting Dread.
Eden de le Ulrich
[Image: yfguJcT.png]

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
She had a habit of getting lost in herself when she was picking herbs, mushrooms, and flowers. Most of them were not useful, of course, unless you were concocting a poison or just trying to find herbs and stuff for food, neither of which things she wanted to do. Instead, there was a small majority of herbs that could be used for healing purposes, one or another. Lost in her habit, she hadn't realized she was nearly out of time. Before she knew it, dusk had fallen all around her and her basket had gotten as full as it was going to get.

While remnant light hang in the air in a myriad of oranges, pinks, purples, and reds, the breeze that carried through pulling and tugging against her curly hair, had drawn it over her face and head so that she could barely see what it was she was had been doing. The breeze had carried with it the scent of another canine, their scent stained with flowers and the earth. Her head had lifted, her hands having let go of the basket's handle so that it settled on the ground near her feet. Despite having quickly drawn blue eyes in their path, had explored the treeline for any approaching parties, she had only fallen prey to the sight of the red-eyed Eden.

She should have been cautious, though that had been sort of thrown to the wind with how defenseless she appeared. The knife at her thigh wasn't necessarily for quick use which left her simply with her hand upon it, focused on the stranger who had spoken to her. "Evening," she had repeated, her arms folded over her chest nonchalantly. After looking Eden over, she couldn't help but to have sighed, her body dropping all pretenses shortly thereafter. There was no reason she shouldn't have put up that act her mother had trained her in so vehemently. "I'm sorry, I just didn't expect to see anyone out here. I'm new to the area." As a show of friendliness, she had held out a hand toward Eden, whether they decided to take it or not. 

"Maephis Valekoi."
Eden couldn't help but catch the sight of the basket that the female had along with her. So he wasn't the only one that was out here looking for plants like he was? He couldn't help but feel excitement well inside of him, eyes beaming at this stranger. This was a good chance to see if maybe they were able to exchange some herbs with one another. It would do well for him to bring some more uncommon items back home, so maybe they could see to helping one another out since they had managed to find one another.

The young male stepped out of where he was among the foilage. He brushed out his tank top and shorts before moving to the vines along his arm. Some stray branches off some of the bushes had managed to get themselves tangled in his accessory. He plucked them out before brushing any dirt off the side of his pants. Tail flicked happily behind him as she mentioned that she new to the area. All the better for the two of them. He felt a smile move over his lips, "It's alright. I am not usually up this far, but I wanted to gather some herbs up this way. Not everything is found in one spot you know?"

Pink gaze moved down to the hand that was out-stretched. He happily took it into his own, giving it a shake, "It's nice to meet you Maephis. My name is Haven."

One his hand was released, Eden moved one hand to point to her basket, "I see you are collecting things like I am. Maybe we can see what each of us has been able to find. I could offer you some extras I have picked up." He paused for a moment, finding a bundle wrapped up in his hand to offer them out to her to take a look at. He wondered what she might have been doing so far north.

Might as well see about making some small talk while they were looking over each other's plants, "Was there some place you were looking to head to? Maybe I can help you out. I know of a few places around here."
(+300) | NPCs: N/A
Eden de le Ulrich
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Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
She hadn't felt the general excitement of having found someone else who was looking for herbs or even just having found someone who had the same interests as hers. If he were a trader, she might have felt differently. Instead, she had thanked her gods, of course, that she hadn't had to worry about potential danger since the other did not seem like the type to just attack. "Spread all about," she had answered with something of an awkward, somewhat forced grin. When he took her hand, quickly replying with his own name, she found herself a little less wary of his presence. Names had power, even fake names, though she hadn't known one way or another whether he was telling the truth in regards to that.

Her blue gaze had roamed to her basket when he pointed in its direction. Ordinarily, she would have been more protective of what she had to offer but for some reason, she hadn't necessarily felt odd about allowing him to poke and prod through the plants and herbs she had collected. The heavens knew that she had collected more than a variety in there, some good, some not so good, all separated in bundles by type and individual plant.

"You'll have to forgive me. I know a few of the common plants here but the ones native to the area, I haven't really had the chance to learn. If you could explain while you're going through them, I don't mind giving a bit extra for each trade."

When offered the bundle in Haven's hand, she had instinctively taken it mostly out of mutual respect to look through what he's collected already. During those few brief moments, his question as to if she had been heading anywhere had clouded her judgement. Instinct had sort of pushed her to lie, though she wasn't sure that it had even been necessary considering he was mostly a stranger. "I was told there was a pack nearby. I figured it might be easy to just... join?" she stated as if it had been half a question, as if she were still unsure if it's a good idea or not. "Mom said it would be easier for me if I joined a pack quickly. There would be more opportunities to gather riches and belongings as well as knowledge. Are you in a pack?"
Eden couldn't help but turn his head a bit at her words. She seemed to be one of those people that was either awkward or just didn't say a whole lot in general. He had to grow used to some of those, especially in a place like Salsola, but it didn't bother him none. It certainly didn't stop him from giving the gray woman a smile along his muzzle, and it certainly didn't do anything to dampen the mood he was in.

Pink gaze had remained on the basket, though they moved back up when Maephis spoke again. She apologized, something she really didn't need to do, but had followed up with explaining her lack of knowledge. She had been open to learning about some of the native plants, and offered a chance to trade as an open invitation to agree to her terms. He gave a nod, happy that she had taken the bundle that was offered to her. As her hand opened, he began to point at a couple of the plants, "See these two that look a lot alike? That's mint and lemon balm. You'll have to smell and taste them to tell the difference. And this one, the one with the white flowers? That's called Meadowsweet. In terms of medicine, they are good for fevers, pain relief, and inflammations."

He had paused for a moment, looking over the other plants that he had given her to remember what some of the other ones did.

The young male turned his attention back to her when she asked about if there was a pack around here. It sounded like her mother had a pretty good idea that joining a pack was a good choice, though he had to be careful about what kind of information he gave out. Salsola was a secretive pack for a reason, and he had only just met this person. Something told him Salsola was not the place she was looking for.

Good thing he knew of another place, one that his sister had been to.

Turning around in the direction further north, his hand moved out, "Yes, there's a place to the north of here called New Caledonia. I haven't been there myself, but my sister has. Seems very promising from what she has said, and to answer your question, I am not. I like to roam around helping others, but I live with my family further south." Half-truths. They were always the best go to for these situations.
(+400) | NPCs: N/A
Eden de le Ulrich
[Image: yfguJcT.png]

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
She spoke when she had to, usually when she was spoken to. If it were put to modern speech, one could even say she had an abundance of NPC energy, despite being something of a main character in her own story. Talking got easier the longer she got to know someone else but usually, at first, and as long as she could remember, she had always been the softer spoken of her particular litter. Both Kalani and Naum were persistent in their conversations and they had always walked circles around her when it came to social situations. She had always done better in one-on-one conversations, simply because she didn't have to focus intently on the small talk that was usually involved.

Despite her silence, the other canine had given her a smile that had earned one from her nonetheless. She had quickly made note of the herbs pointed out to her. Many of them were not familiar to her and she hadn't known the half of what they were used for. She knew the smell of mint, the taste of it, since her mom had often used it in her many teas and occasionally, as a way to freshen up the house but lemon? She neither knew the term, the smell, or the taste of such things. "Thank you," she had murmured in quiet contemplation. "I'm not good at this yet, though I can be if I learn more. I appreciate your help."

She had given a nod to her own bundle by the time he pointed out the rest of the herbs he had given her and she had been earnest in establishing the several different types that she had gathered in the earlier hours of day light right up to the darker hours they now stood within.

"New Caledonia," she had repeated, little more than those two words at first. "I'll have to stop by once I'm finished." At that, she had looked up, capturing his eyes in her own. "I have family in the area, though I haven't been in contact with very many of them yet. I wanted to learn the area before so I could make my own decision on where my life goes from here."
Eden was definitely a bit of an oddball when it came to being part of Salsola. Where others would hold secrecy above everything else, he was a much more open person. He didn't hold the same biases towards Outsiders like others did, and was more than willing to drop everything if it meant helping someone in need. The situation that he was curently in wasn't anything sort of dire, but it was clear that the female needed a bit of help when it came to the plants she had as well as the ones he was offering to her. It would only serve to help her in the long run if he could pass some knowledge along to her.

His eyes moved over to her herbs, his tail wagging behind him, "Well, if you are still uncertain about some of them, I can do my best to help you out with them." He thought about it a bit more. This didn't have to be a one time only thing. He was well old enough to the point where he could take a role that his mentor once had for him, "Or if you don't have more time now, we could always try and meet up some other time." There were plenty of options.

The young male felt his tail wagging. He had turned slightly his attention drawn north once again, "I'm not sure exactly where it is, but if you go that way, you should be able to run into it. Sorry I can't be more helpful with this."

He did find it interesting the the way she spoke about her family. She had family in the area, but didn't really have any contact with them. He brought his hands together, "At least you won't be alone out here. They are close by if you needed them right? Anyone I might know?" He gave a pause in his onslaught of questions before leaving one at the very end, "Do you think they would disapprove of some choices you are making?"
(+300) | NPCs: N/A
Eden de le Ulrich
[Image: yfguJcT.png]

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
They were both young though Maephis was only just beginning to learn that there was drastic difference between males and females. She didn't know if there were ulterior motives to being helped and being young offered more than its own small chance at pushing her toward naivety rather than learned knowledge. She had watched Haven with a less than trained eye and hadn't discerned whether or not they had lied about anything between the two of them thus far. She was awkward, not just mentally but physically as well, her paws still larger than what they would have been if she were truly an adult and still, there would have been a long time between now and the moment she'd become an adult.

His nod had told her that he was happy with her terms and she had offered her basket in turn for the herbs he offered her the chance to peek through. After only a moment of holding them within her paws, he had offered a small lecture into what some of them were used for and what they were called. Offered the chance to meet up once more, she found herself in agreement to the fact that she couldn't have possibly learned them all in the same day. Patient and observant, the small witch had leveled her gaze with his, no longer fearful that he might be a danger to her. No one who offered to teach her could be in her opinion, unless they were just wasting their time.

"It's getting dark now and it'll be time to settle in for the evening soon.." She had already been interrupted by the rumblings of her belly. Back at camp, she at least had some dried meat she had hidden on the off chance a bear or some other predator roamed her camp in search of food while she was gone. "Could we meet here every other cycle of the moon?" Besides, some cycles of the moon offered different results in the feelings and sensations of an individual's relationship. For now, she had just wanted to see if he'd be a good friend. Her eyes, at the result of him having pointed in the direction of the pack in question, had roamed that way as well.

"I don't think you would know them. I don't think we're a very large family." Of course, her mother hadn't suggested their family was larger than the few brothers and sisters she knew of. "My mother might have been angry with me for not meeting my father right away but my father... I think he would agree with me making my own path."
Eden couldn't help but extend a hand to help anyone and everyone, even if it sort of went against the rules of Salsola. Too much pain in his head whenever something bad happened caused him to feel for those that were injured or hurt in any sort of way. Even if this woman didn't fall into those categories, she was looking for help, so of course he had opened up what he knew in order to help her. It wasn't like she would be any danger to Salsola. She wasn't even heading in the right direction to head to the Thistle Kingdom.

Besides, even if she did end up in New Caledonia, their kingdoms were on good terms with one another, so that made him worry even less.

Pink gaze turned over the plants she had gathered. She had ones that were common for the area, so nothing to really worry about there. His attention seemed to snap back to her when she spoke again, claiming that it was getting late, and they should both be looking to settle in. Yes, that probably would have been for the best, since he probably had further to travel than she did.

Upon her request, his eyes brightened up. He was quick to give her a nod, "I'm sure I can manage that. I'll bring my book of notes next time. They're a lot more detailed than what I have explained."

Passing her own plants back to her, the young male had made another reach for some of his own gathered herbs. He had a habit of bringing a few from the clinic, just on the off chance that he might need something in that moment. He took more common ones from the clinic, offering a couple out to her, "Here, take these with you too as a parting gift. They grow further south from here. Coneflower and lavender. The coneflower is good for fighting off infections and colds. As for the other one, it can help with a multitude of things. I'll have to show you that one when I have my book."

Even with how much he had learned, there were still times when he needed to refer back to his own notes when it came to certain plants.

The topic of family had come up. A shame that he might not know anyone in her family, but he brushed that off without prying further. It really wasn't much of his business. He offered her a smile to her answer, "Well, I hope that you get to meet with him soon. We should both probably get going then huh? At least until our next meeting. We could probably meet earlier in the day so we have more time to talk."
(+400) | NPCs: N/A
OOC Text
Eden de le Ulrich
[Image: yfguJcT.png]

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi

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