[P] Flex the rainbow
Kelsi & Anders | Territory Transference
[Image: wolfmoon.gif] Slow and Steady (bNPC Quest) While Tim can handle a surprising amount on her own, sometimes setting slabs of wood in place is a multi-person job, especially when Roadway won't help but wants everything just so. Lend a hand hauling long wooden boards and setting them in place. It'll be a full day's hard work! The pieces of wood slot together without adhesives (like Lincoln logs). What are y'all building? Roadway says "come back later if you want to know." The building is two stories and looks complicated though!

OOC: let me know if any edits are needed! not sure who wants to post first, but any order is fine by me <:

“I’m going out,” was all Sundew had told her family: she did not disclose that it would be beyond the Thistle Kingdom’s borders for the first time, but perhaps this could be easily inferred. Now that she had passed her trial and stood as Family, there was no reason for her to act like a pup anymore. But to some degree, Sundew still felt her youth and felt insecure about it. Her thirst for adventure felt held back by altogether familiar fear of the unknown. She fluttered about in Salsola’s Amherst claim for a while before passing the Firehouse and the gate, surprised she was not stopped. Beyond Salsola, she had been blessed to find a traveling companion not too far along. His name was Anders, and they got along well enough for Sundew to ask him to explore with her.

He told her stories of further off lands than even this, which Sundew was easily dazzled by. She had a keen curiosity and interest in his stories of medicine and healing, but he always seemed to dance around the more gruesome parts—likely because her age showed. She had of course taken some basic care to apply strong-smelling herbs to conceal her Salsolan scent, but she had not yet thought of an alias: introducing herself as Sundew only, leaving off her famous surname (or at least, she had been taught it was famous). Still, as Sundew vaguely explained her situation, leaving home for the first time, there was a knowing glint in Anders’ eyes and she thought that he must have some idea of her true origin.

While this could have unsettled her, she did not let it. Her mood remained cheery even through the more tiring or dreary times of their trek. Then they came across what Sundew had been wanting to see: a great mark that had been left behind by the quakes. They were careful to avoid the large scar of the earth, but Sundew marveled at it a little too closely at points. “Isn’t it amazing what the earth is capable of?” She commented to Anders, her words a tad more mature than usual.

They saw tracks and signs of others in the area. Sundew followed them, and it was only a short time before they saw two canines in the distance, both of them perking their ears and noting Anders and Sundew’s presence. She gave a friendly, toothy smile and a wave. “Hi there!”

A large female dog frowned at her, only grunting in response. She looked hard at work with odd slabs of wood that fit together. Sundew’s smile fell, wondering what they were up to. But before the mood could get too drab, the other loner responded to her. He was large as well, at least for a coyote. He returned her smile belatedly, but she noted that it felt fake to her. “Howdy. Welcome to Oglethorpe. Would y'all two be interested in some work?”

Sundew tilted her head at the strange accent, and glanced to Anders. Out here, she was an Outsider just like him—or at least played the role of one. Whether or not Salsolan superiority extended internal, if it ran through her very blood and she carried it with her everywhere, she did not know if it went that far. With her uncertainty, she deferred to him: he was the ‘elder’, even if only by a few seasons, give or take.

whenever i'm blind i open my wild eye
After the misadventure of the stranger and the deer, Kelsi didn't linger in that area long and continued on her journey. While she didn't feel any closer to her goal, it was fun to meander around and take in the sights. A fellow loner had a recent "activity" with the land—about how some of it? Broke off and swam away? He warned her against exploring it even if the land had settled back down, but it was too fantastic to pass up!

Unfortunately, how the land looked now meant little to Kelsi, who had no reference nor interest in how it was before. The southern coastline looked like any other, though it lacked natural beaches just yet; craggy foretested cliffs that looked quite dangerous indeed were all that was offered. So her feet led her across the landbridge (talk about an actual sight!) and she made the mental note for this shortcut if she ever needed it.

It took a few days for her to reach Oglethrope, a small settlement of sorts that she had bumped into weeks before. She hadn't stayed around long then when they didn't have much to offer for her quest, not recalling the description of the two wolves that she laid before them. She only remained for one night after she compensated them by cutting wood all day. That dissuaded her quickly and she moved on.

But, after getting a taste of how unforgiving trudging around in the backwoods was since her last visit, maybe she could warm up to a few blisters of her hands if it meant shelter and fresh food. Even if it was fish. It was mostly fish.

Kelsi had only arrived that morning and was poking her nose around the buildings, somewhat marveling at what had changed and built up since her last visit not so long ago, when she heard Roadway grumbling about something to someone. It didn't sound like he was talking to Timothy. Drawn out of the guesthouse, it was the scent on the wind that got her tail wagging furiously at first. Then her eyes confirmed her suspicions as she saw the familiar merle coat.

"Hey!" she called out with an excited bark, running but carefully picking her way over to where the Oglethorpians were talking to the Luperci. Wholly unaware that Roadway was trying to establish some business, she bounced into the conversation, her mane windswept and wild.

She was beaming at Anders, happy to see a friendly face. "I thought I smelled you!" She turned her mismatched eyes onto the girl that seemed to be at his side, and flashed her with a similar cheer even if she had no idea who she was. "And you've brought along a little friend?" As if the other Luperci couldn't have been more than a few months younger than her. She still had seniority!
[WC — 478]
made some assumptions in this post, lemme know if anything needs changing!
The appearance of the girl in Amherst had left Anders bemused at first, but as her extroverted and carefree chatter was matched by his patient and friendly response, and she let some words slip, he began to understand who she was.

Much of this was mere guesswork, as Sundew of course did not reveal too much, but her proximity to the Thistle Kingdom and her story about leaving home made him feel reasonably confident as to her allegiance. It was because of this that he agreed without hesitation to accompany her on her travels. Of course, he may have done so anyway — he hadn’t made as much headway on a proper gift for the leadership yet, and doubt was beginning to creep back in, so why shouldn’t he escort a youngster when it was the right thing to do? — but it was important to him to leave good impressions on the Salsolans he’d met. Time would tell whether word of the apothecary made its way back to anyone who mattered.

The opportunity to stretch his legs and wander away from the oftentimes cold and bleak buildings of Amherst was a welcome one, and Sundew’s boundless cheer energized him. He made jokes about lighthearted incidents with sheep and cattle on the ranch back home, and teased her with innocent-sounding questions if she spoke of her own family, but in the end did not press her or call her out. When they stopped to rest, he took it upon himself to find safe places to settle down, managing at one point to find a pair of partridges along some overgrown hedgerows for them to eat.

The girl was the first to see the gruesome scar upon the earth, a narrow chasm of rock with wilting plant life. His ears folded, he lingered close as she inspected the rift, an arm lifted to snatch her back in case she lost her balance on the loose soil. Thankfully, he didn’t need to.

”You said this wasn’t here before?” Anders asked, looking at the territory beyond with wonder and a touch of fear. Amazing indeed.

Somewhat nervous now, his eyes carefully studying the earth they tread as Sundew bounded ahead of him, he was surprised to see signs of life here: worn pathways and even some structures in the distance. He followed closely behind the girl as she called out to a pair of Luperci seemingly at work — a jowly tricolor dog, and a dark-furred coyote. It was the latter who addressed them with the prospect of labor, and Sundew’s green eyes flicked back to him.

Before he could answer, though, a third canine approached them, one familiar to Anders; there was no mistaking that patched silver pelt.

”Well, hello!” the wolfdog barked, his tail wagging as he was caught up in her excitement. He flashed a grin at the youngster he was escorting. ”Yeah, well, she brought me along really,” he said, but didn’t tease Sundew about providing her with a responsible adult escort even though it tempted him. She really wasn’t all that younger than him, in the grand scheme of things.

He left them to make introductions themselves, not wanting to speak for either one of them, and instead glanced up at the coyote — who was waiting for the little side-meeting to be over with a faint flicker of impatience. ”What kind of work,” Anders asked, ”and what kind of payment would we be getting for it?”

It was then that the laborer grunted, as if to answer his first question, continuing to drag along a great beam of wood which, Anders noticed, had a careful notch in it. Were they building something?
same deal lemme know if assumptions are bad LOL. sorry for the wait + crappiness of this post :')
OOC: all good!!
bNPCs: Roadway Waxflower, Timothy Franklin

When Anders had asked about if it had been here before, Sundew shook her head. “Well, as you know I’ve never left my home before. But, I was here when the tremors happened, and I’ve heard of how it looked before from my elders.” She explained.

As for the offer of work, it had been momentarily interrupted. Sundew wasn’t at all upset, though, because the third stranger that showed their face seemed to know Anders and she was much more friendly: her energy felt similar to Sundew’s own, though different in a way. She moved with more grace, maybe. Sundew’s tail wagged a few times as the two greeted each other, returning Anders grin. “This is my first time on a real adventure, so it’s nice to have a friend at my side.” Sundew wasn’t too proud to admit her lack of experience, but all had to start somewhere. “My name’s Sundew. What’s your name?” As they completed their greetings, the coyote hybrid with the strange accent took a moment before answering Anders.

He motioned with his head towards the other, silent female. “Jest what ya see here. Puttin’ these slabs of wood together—they fit without any kinda glue. I got some good stuff in return: can I interest y’all in some waterskins and axes?”

“An axe?” Sundew’s ears perked in interest. “Oooh, I wanna help.” She put her arms up in a lighthearted flex, seeming to forget all about deferring to Anders to reject or accept the offer for the both of them. “I can pick up heavy things!”

“Good ta know,” the Luperci said with some hint of dryness. “Y’all can call me Roadway, and this one here is Timothy.”

Sundew tried again to greet the broody Timothy: “Hi.”

Finally, she got a response, after what she thought was a roll of the eyes: “Nice to meet you.” It was said in the same sort of accent, but much less strong. She did not make eye contact with Sundew as she said it, but Sundew felt accomplished, humming and putting her hands behind her back and swaying on her feet for a moment.

“OK, I’ll get started.” She began to rush over to where the pile of the wooden boards had been laid, and Roadway added: “Ah, jest follow Timothy.”

With a nod, Sundew lifted the first board, already having learned to lift with her legs from other work she had done around Salsola. Her growth spurt that had come along with her shifting had helped her—the weight, though heavy, felt manageable.

whenever i'm blind i open my wild eye
The little friend gave her name (Sundew, how charming!) and without missing a beat the half-faced wolf gave her own. "Kelsi Singwell," she introduced, and even gave a little flourish of her shawl as she bowed cordially. "Magician, wordsmith, and something of an adventurer myself!"

It seemed like she was prepared to dive right into pleasantries, but Anders fortunately cut off her spiel before it could find its footing. She blinked between the two newcomers and Roadway as they resumed their previous conversation about… work.

Immediately Kelsi's interest was lost. Call her lazy, but she wasn't the laborious type and it was already grueling enough to pay the tax to stay overnight with the band. It wasn't like she had anything else to offer besides her time and elbow grease, being as "unencumbered" as she was, as she worded it.

Still, it was not like she wanted to ditch Anders and Sundew either (at least not yet), so she half-listened to see what Roadway was proposing. He was suggesting that they could help Timothy with slotting the beams of wood together. Kelsi was somewhat familiar with what he was referring to, having seen as much on her previous visit. And like before, it seemed Roadway was finding more enjoyment in telling others how it was going to be done rather than doing it himself.

Kelsi did find it a little annoying, but also respectable. But maybe that was because that type of managerial position was appealing to her. Telling others what to do and they listened while you did little to nothing as you focused on the "creative vision?" Sign her up!

Kelsi half-expected the reward to be food or an invitation to shelter within the settlement. However, the mention of axes captured the same wonder in her as it did Sundew and her eyes widened with visible intrigue. I want an axe too, what the hell!

Even if the job offer hadn't been extended to her per say, Kelsi bolted after Sundew as if she had been tagging along all this time. "Wait, lemme help!"

It seemed Sundew had a board taken care of all by herself though; she may have been younger than Kelsi, but she was taller, stronger. The magician turned to face the next board that would need to be slotted, and she huffed through her nose, rubbing her hands together in preparation before grabbing one end of it and hefting upwards. She picked it up easy enough, but the opposite end was still sitting on the ground. And as she hugged the board underneath her arm and crawled towards the center so that she could lift it entirely, the heavier it seemed to become.

Kelsi had to put it down for a moment. "Just gotta adjust the grip," she murmured defensively, to no one in particular. She bent her knees and, with effort and using both of her arms, she managed to get the board airborne. The strain was tight on her face. Okay okay okay, now just walk, she braced herself, hyped herself, as she stood there and barely kept the board from falling out of her grip.
[WC — 524]
noodle arms extraordinaire
Anders looked over the large slabs of wood as the coyote explained the task, understanding now how they could fit together once their notches were aligned. They were of considerable size, or at least long enough that lifting and carrying them would be awkward. It seemed that the big woman had little difficulty or complaint doing so, single-minded in her labor. Though they were of an age, she would fare far better than Anders at such a task.

He was ready to decline — while a new waterskin would be quite nice, he wasn’t sure what use he’d have for an axe — but Sundew piped up brightly, flexing her arms and declaring herself suitable for such a job. After she ran eagerly to start moving wood, Kelsi — whose initial disinterest had played out across her patched face in a mirror to Anders’ — seemed to change her mind and bolted after her.

The overseer, Roadway, lifted an expectant eyebrow at the young man who remained. Flushing, Anders went to help.

He’d hoped to avoid menial labor in leaving his home, but he knew he couldn’t just leave the girls to it. His pride wouldn’t allow it. Besides, he thought that a new axe might make a decent gift for Salsola if he couldn’t find something else more extravagant; he just didn’t want it to come to that. Sighing, he stretched his arms in preparation, confident that his muscles would remember the work well enough.

Spotting Kelsi struggling with her plank, the boy snorted softly to himself then came over, lifting up the back end of the wood and flashing her a cheeky grin should she glance back to see who had assisted her.

”Where’s this one go?” he asked Roadway, who gestured with a precise set of instructions that made Anders realize this would be a long task.

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