a nodding campanula of bell buoys

POSTED: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:07 am

379
It's noon in the Miramichi Valley, and it's foggy. Your character has encountered a small fire.

The fire can be Alena's or someone else's, up to you!

Thumbing her tooth-poked ear, a remnant of an earlier encounter with a fellow packmate, Clementine navigated the lowland forests of the Miramichi Wilderness with ease on horseback and off; when the ground grew uncertain or the possibility of marshland arose, she led her white horse across safe ground, his saddlebags swaying slightly.

To avoid the possibility of ruffians in and around Amherst, she’d hugged the mountain range on her way north and passed close to the old home of Sapient before veering away from the general direction of the cape. Keeping the loch on her left as a sort of guide, she meandered the swathe of unclaimed land, sometimes building small fires at night when she felt comfortable enough doing so, and neglecting to do so when anything so much as a foreboding sense of ill-intent drifted her way.

Often, she was awake well into the night, and sighed sleepily atop her horse in the mornings. If one were to delve into the business of trade, however, this was necessary. Taking an armed escort every time – reminiscent of her trade with her aunt, Morgana – would bring about unwanted questions, such as how or why a young woman was able to retain such loyal services. Nonetheless, her story was the same every time.

It was less of a story now, and more of a second self.

She was ruminating over this split identity when a dim fire flickered onto the horizon; from such a distance it was only a hazy speck floating across her vision, as if a single blink might send it away. Despite this, she turned Fingal’s head toward it and set off at a light trot, her hair loose and her rings left behind. No mere merchant’s daughter was as wealthy as the real Clementine Salcedo, after all.

Approaching out of the dense fog that seemed all-too common place these days, she slowed the horse to something that barely resembled a walk, but remained firmly on horseback should the need to flee rise from the glowing light, inspecting the cleared space around it with her keen gaze, assessing and gauging.

Ciao? She called eventually, and then again in English, all while her uncertainty rose precipitously with the growing amount of fog.


Salsola
Merchant Apprentice
User avatar
Lorraine
Mercante light of the North
basilisk eyes
towering citadel

POSTED: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:00 pm


Alena

The Darkness rules here now.
Hatred infected all my actions. This Revenge polluted my soul.

Alena had only gotten through half of her chore list for the day, she had checked and rebaited all of the fish traps and had decided it would be a good time to take a break and make some food.


Since Aenan had been gone, she had gotten a better handle of fending for herself with the new knowledge he had bestowed upon her. She had only gathered a small bundle of sticks and twigs, enough to ensure her fish would be cooked evenly just as the older man had shown her the first day they had met.


A soft sigh escaping her lips, the twigs and sticks crackling within the flames as they were consumed. The calm air was only disturbed by the occasional sound of the tinkling of small pieces of glass falling into a pile of other shards. Since she wasn't home and wanted to practice she had kept in mind that others walk this forest. No one would appreciate glass in their paws, so she had decided digging a hole for the droppings to fall into was the safest way she could proceed.


Aenan had been collecting glass the day they had run into each other and from his stores, she had borrowed a few cracked or otherwise unusable pieces to practice her knapping. A voice cut through the near silence, ear and a half pitching forward and listening for where the sound had originated from. Getting to her feet, emerald gems searched her surroundings. Shrouded by the fog, she had spotted the figure atop an equine.


The eerie scene had sent a chill straight to her core, a figure emerging from the fog... Surely this would only be a horror tale to scare pups or give a thrill to yearlings. Nothing bad was going to happen so close to her new home, right? Breathing in through her nose and out her mouth in an attempt to calm her nerves, she finally called back to the mysterious figure. Hello there. and with those two words, there was no turning back now.



Walks Talks Thinks

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Miranda
Luperci Mate to Aenan Fisher I SoSuWriMo 2013, 2020 Champ! Woops... That went flying

POSTED: Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:22 am

323

Looks good to me!

At first, the campsite had appeared abandoned, but perhaps this was simply the fog playing tricks on a mind that sought mystery and intrigue around every corner. Some part of her wanted it to be so; maybe it belonged to a nefarious person, or someone who had just up and disappeared. Ghost stories were for children, of course, but she had only just emerged from adolescence into adulthood.

Unfortunately for her, upon closer inspection, the fire had been rekindled recently, with the plumes of smoke mingling freely in the fog, creating a sort of cloudy atmosphere. Atop her pale horse, Clementine was more or less able to look down on most things and found that between swirls of mist there were signs of habitation – temporary or otherwise – beyond the fire itself. Here and there were pawprints and recently trampled grass.

When a voice reached out, seemingly from nowhere, Clem urged her horse forward, a line creasing up her muzzle in consternation. Snuffling and tasting the air, there was something vaguely female about the scent, but she was distracted by the strangeness that seemed to surround them.

Hello! Greeted the Warden in the same tongue, giving a brief wave from where she sat, her horse taking slow, plodding steps forward. His head hung slightly, as if he might be contemplating taking a break from travel with or without his rider’s permission. Fingal was stubborn in this way, though rarely was he eager to take a break from anything.

He enjoyed a challenge as much as she.

is this your fire? I thought it was abandoned at first, so I came to investigate. She confessed the truth in a chipper tone that felt strange. It was perfectly suited to her alter ego, however, and this bolstered her confidence.

Despite this, she did not swing down from the blanket which she’d taken in lieu of a saddle, having not been invited to do so.


Salsola
Merchant Apprentice
User avatar
Lorraine
Mercante light of the North
basilisk eyes
towering citadel

POSTED: Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:22 pm


Alena

Darkness rules here now.
Hatred infected my actions. Revenge polluted my soul.

Through the fog, the figure waved another greeting. The slow thumping of horse hooves on the ground as the pair slowly emerged and came into view. Raising a dark hand she returned the friendly gesture, her hand giving a wide wave before falling to her side once more.


The firey haired female spoke once more, questioning about the small flames that lapped at the newly added wood. Her gaze flickering from the fire to the stranger she gave a nod. Yes it is.


Thankfully the blaze had caught her attention in time, or she would have been busy rekindling or even making new coals for the fire when this stranger had come upon her. I was very lucky, my flames nearly died out. But I think that I managed to save them. she said chuckling softly. It was her own fault that the blaze had nearly gone out, to preoccupied with her knapping to realize the light had been dimming.


Gesturing to the fire and the space surrounding it If you would like to join me, I wouldn't be opposed to the company. she said, genuinely enjoying the thought of having someone to talk too. Things had been much to lonely without Aenan, though she wouldn't admit that out loud.

Walks Talks Thinks

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Sorry for the wait!! [212]




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Miranda
Luperci Mate to Aenan Fisher I SoSuWriMo 2013, 2020 Champ! Woops... That went flying

POSTED: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:07 pm

384

Sorry for the wait!

By appearance alone, Clementine might’ve thought the woman before her was an Eternity of old – all creams and browns with virulent green eyes, green as the grasslands in the height of summer – but she knew of few who lived beyond Salsola these days, and she could think of none who would be found alone at a conspicuous campsite. They were too clever for that by far.

This woman was young, nearly as young as the would-be-trader herself, compounding on her curiosity many times over. The life of a loner was a difficult one, fraught with the threat of starvation, injury, or illness, not to mention the benevolence (or lack-there-of) of whatever local packs existed. Some, like those of old in the southern regions, hadn’t worried overmuch about such occurrences.

Her own group, the collective Thistle Kingdom, did not share such soft-hearted views.

That is fortunate, Agreed the redheaded woman conversationally, throwing in an accompanying nod to cement the sentiment. With all the fog and the constant threat of rain looming, getting another fire started would have proven difficult. Damp materials, she knew, were not conducive to such things.

Dismounting from her horse at the other woman’s invitation, she removed the plush black blanket from Fingal’s back and folded it over her arm, always eager to keep it close. Of the things she called her own, it was the oldest by far, having once belonged to the Gamekeeper. It was a point of vanity that she used it now, on a horse trained by the same beast-master.

The white horse immediately lowered his head and began to snuffle around for bits of green to eat, and knowing his great love for food, she did not find this at all odd.

Is your fire very important to you? Clementine ventured after a moment, having walked into the circle of its light. Many luperci ate cooked food, this was true, but it was not necessary, just as their plush fur kept many of them warm enough; this woman did not look like a jackal, either, who might become too cold in poor weather. More to the point, she did not see why such a thing was an absolute necessity beyond the creature comforts many of them enjoyed.


Salsola
Merchant Apprentice
User avatar
Lorraine
Mercante light of the North
basilisk eyes
towering citadel

POSTED: Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:34 pm


Alena

Darkness rules here now.
Hatred infected my actions. Revenge polluted my soul.

The sandy woman nodded, it was indeed fortunate that she had saved the flames from dying out. The thick fog could easily turn anyone around, and not wanting to get lost she thought it best to wait until she could see well enough to make her way home. The moist air along with the strong scent of rain and fallen leaves were enough to confuse her in her attempts to get home.


She was not a tracker by any means, she could trace her way home if she had too but she didn't mind waiting out the fog. It had given her a chance to continue practicing making knives from the bad pieces of glass that Aenan had set aside or thrown away.


As the woman dismounted and removed the blanket from the pale equines back. It was clear the horse was happy for the break, lowering its head and snuffling around for any bits of greenery to eat. The woman approached and stood within the ring of warmth created by the blaze. Not really. she said softly.


It was true, the fire wasn't desperately important to her other than a source of light and a way to cook her food. But with the fog being so thick, a certain detail was easy to be missed. Dark paws gestured down to the side of the flames. There at the side of the pit were two contraptions that her friend Aenan had shown her.


A Y structure that held the fish open like a book over the flames. Since the fog had gotten so thick, I decided to take a break from my chores and cook some fish. she said with a soft chuckle.

Walks Talks Thinks

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Sorry for the wait and crappy post! Next one will be better <3 [285]




User avatar
Miranda
Luperci Mate to Aenan Fisher I SoSuWriMo 2013, 2020 Champ! Woops... That went flying

POSTED: Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:34 am

333

 

For a long time, too long maybe, Salsola had been dominated by those inclined to violence; this was, perhaps, by design. Their history was rife with would-be insurgents, the Boreas wolves had come to tear them down on two separate occasions. Inferni had accused them of violating the Covenant of Salt and gone to war.

Even now, their Sanctus ranks were empty, some curse hanging over those inclined to practicing and wielding magic. Eventually, the strife would subside, and those of the Shield would find themselves resigned once more to practicing day in and day out, always ready for the next conflict… but in the spaces in between, the peace time, they needed other things. Trade must prosper, even during the deep, dark stretches of winter. In the future, a diplomat might be able to avert war.

Clementine hoped that was the case; she hoped because she wanted to be that person.

Like Alena, she was no tracker, nor was she particularly adept at fighting. If necessary, she might find someone weaker than herself, but that was a good way to make enemies… which she desperately wished to avoid from here on out.

I like fish, She said with a smile, turning to gesture to the horse carrying some small trade goods. if you want, we could share a meal, and I’ll… compensate you for your trouble.

It was true. For whatever reason, she liked fish more than anything else, especially fresh-caught fish. Whether it was cooked or not or didn’t matter so much, but even in this desolate place she could appreciate the attempt at civility one typically associated with pack animals. They tried, these Outsiders, to shrug off their wildling natures.

Do you need furs or anything, with winter coming? She ventured a guess; these were plentiful, and unlike the fine spotted things she used for clothing, bedding often did not need to be immaculate. It was a good way to move their stock of imperfect pelts.


Salsola
Merchant Apprentice
User avatar
Lorraine
Mercante light of the North
basilisk eyes
towering citadel

POSTED: Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:18 am


Alena

Darkness rules here now.
Hatred infected my actions. Revenge polluted my soul.

Alena was glad to hear that her new acquaintance enjoyed fish, for this was all she had to offer other than the glass knives she had been attempting to perfect as her meal cooked over the lapping flames. What a messy business it was knapping knives from discarded glass shards that Aenan would find. Though she lacked the experience of working with flint, she could just as easily assume it would be just as messy.


The dusty looked over the horse carrying the pale woman's goods, a small smile tugged at her lips as she thought of Aenan. She had been wanting to get him a gift, to thank him for all he had done for her. It had come up in conversation once that the older man hadn't enjoyed a drink since his old pack had disbanded, and this is what prompted Alena to consider the trade. There is no need to pay me, I am more than willing to share my bounty. But if you insist, and if you have any on you... she said pausing for a moment, trying to think of what the drink would be called. She remembered her days with The Order, and the Moonshine that Greed often enjoyed.


Clearing her throat she finally spoke once more If you have any Moonshine, or drinks that are similar I would happily accept the trade. It was clear Alena knew little of the substances in the world, most of all the alcoholic drinks that most enjoyed. The thought of the coming winter had worried her, but Aenan had assured her they would be fine. With the pelts she had gotten from Sophie and Derek, they would have some warm bedding at the very least.


Only then, in the silence between the two females did she realize what she had missed. She shook her head with a slight sigh Forgive me, I forgot to introduce myself. she said chuckling to herself. It wasn't often she would forget formalities like this, but it had felt like ages since she had met someone new. A coal-dusted hand reached out towards the pale furred female with a warm smile My name is Alena.


Walks Talks Thinks

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Miranda
Luperci Mate to Aenan Fisher I SoSuWriMo 2013, 2020 Champ! Woops... That went flying

POSTED: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:22 am

504 Words

As a general rule, Clementine did not often carry much — if any — of the world’s less savory goods; they invited too much trouble from those who might want them; drunken lechers, thieving addicts and the like. Most alcohol was saved for Salsola anyway; there was always more than enough reason to drink during their Suppers, when surprising betrothals were announced, when ranks were announced. Those who found their mate-to-be distasteful would drown their sorrows in alcohol; the same could be said for the lowly who fell from their lofty positions.

The Warden knew nothing about the sting of defeat; what tragedy she knew was of the perfectly ordinary kind and not political machinations crumbling like so much sand under her feet. It seemed very likely to her that in her lifetime Salsola would continue to prosper. There was no force on earth that she knew of that could take them on, not even the valiant knights of the south… and they had no reason to turn their eyes to the marshlands anyway, content as they were to continue warding the coasts as so-called peacekeepers.

What use were they in times like this anyway, when there was a tentative truce between all the packs? They’d failed to facilitate any sort of peace during every war the merchant had ever heard of, and that was the least-knightly thing she’d ever heard of.

Back to the matter at hand, the redhead found herself frowning a little, contemplating the mist, the things she knew she’d brought with her, and then gently shaking her head. It would be a shame if she'd deviated from her original path for nothing.

I don’t have moonshine, There was no one who made it, no resources available now that Urho – Symre’s father – had taken his skills with him. They had an apiary; once, they’d had honey mead as well, but no longer. Skilled craftsmen were becoming rarer and rarer these days, especially when there was so much prestige to be found elsewhere. I might have some vodka though.

It was something she didn’t usually bring, distasteful as she found it. Whenever she did drink, which was uncommon at best and always within the confines of her own home, it was wine that found its way down her gullet, not clear alcohols or meads or even beer. Even in Portland, when watered down drinks were all to be found, she thought this disgraceful.

Returning to her horse, she fetched a small plastic container sealed with wax and removed it, offering it to the woman who called herself Alena with a slight grimace. If it was for her, she hoped the woman wasn’t out here alone, drinking. If she was, someone less savory than she might come along, and then her fire going out would be the least of her problems.

Antiope, Clementine lied smoothly, nodding her head in the direction of the jug. take a whiff, it’s good stuff.


Salsola
Merchant Apprentice
User avatar
Lorraine
Mercante light of the North
basilisk eyes
towering citadel

POSTED: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:25 pm


Alena's ears drooped as the woman before her said she had no moonshine, though as the woman paused to think about her wares or even perhaps where she could get some she spoke once more, lifting the sandy woman's hopes back up. Vodka was something she had never heard of, but even then she hadn't heard of moonshine before Greed had offered her some. But before Alena could speak the fire-spotted woman had returned to her mount. Rummaging through bags until she had found a small container. Her head cocked to the side in curiosity as the seal was broken. The strong scent of the alcoholic drink wafting to her as the container was offered. It's nice to meet you, Antiope. she said with a slight smile. The scent of Vodka stung her nose, but she took a good sniff anyway. She had no idea how to tell if the drink was good, she would have to take Antiope's word for the good quality of the liquid. Even so, she couldn't help but wrinkle her nose at the stench wafting from the Vodka.


Alena had learned her lesson when she had tried moonshine, the burning in her stomach coupled with the taste and smell had all but ensured that she would only partake in such drinks on special occasions or events. Though she would never actively seek out such a drink, she had heard Aenan mention his love of the effects alcoholic drinks gave. How many fish would you like for the Vodka? she asked attempting to think about how many fish she had gathered already. Even though she had a few roasting over the fire, she could always scale and gut some more for the trade. If you have far to travel, I can also give you some fish to sustain you on your journey. she said softly. With the traps Aenan had placed throughout the waters dotting the area, she was positive that they would have more than enough not only to feed themselves but to add to their stores for winter.


Alena Talks NPC Talks

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Miranda
Luperci Mate to Aenan Fisher I SoSuWriMo 2013, 2020 Champ! Woops... That went flying

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