[m] to arrive is to wither and erode

Asura

POSTED: Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:44 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

OOC: Set somewhere inland of Cape Acadia. Edited for tag just to be safe. :)

A spirit waited for him up ahead in the distance. Gauzy, smoke-edged, it beckoned him forward. He searched the apparition, trying to make out some semblance of a face.

The effort was futile. Whenever he tried to focus his vision, the picture blurred. Cackle was but a dark, swooping phantom that haunted his periphery, sometimes circling above to emit harsh shrieks.

With each cry, Lorkan thought his head might split open, but he did not have the energy to try and silence him. With each step, he felt his strength ebb a little more. It escaped through the tears beneath his stomach and stained his right hand crimson.

There was only a trickle coming out now. He wondered if it meant that he was nearly spent. He gritted his teeth, felt something start to slip down his shoulder. It took him a few moments to identify the sensation. The satchel at his side was a burden he could not shed—could not afford to. With his free hand, he reached up to adjust the strap and was rewarded for his efforts by a wrenching pain.

The breeze picked up; he could hear it whispering to him. It urged that he go hide himself away somewhere.

He fixed his eyes on the figure. His step faltered. Cackle flew down to perch on his shoulder, and then his knees gave way.
Last edited by Lorkan Blackmir on Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

POSTED: Wed May 02, 2018 11:53 pm

Optime | NPC: Muddy (+420)

Thanks for starting! :3

The Sapien and her horse went along at a slow and steady gait. It had been some time since Asura had traveled in the lands north of the pack’s claim. Most of what she needed came from the forested areas to the west and to the south. She had gotten comfortable and used to her usual haunts, and, it was high time to see if there were others that she could pull from for resources instead. The trek had been more for exploration and notation purposes than it had been for herb gathering, but, even still, Asura had done well to add the saddlebags to her steed’s riding gear.

They had traveled along unbothered for quite some time. A few new sources for herbs had been added to her journal, and she had made notes here and there regarding landmarks and other things that had stood out to the Sapien. Asura had been ready to turn Muddy back when the piercing squawks of a bird reached her ears. With what little Low Speech she knew, it sounded like something—a raven or a crow from the tone of it—in distress.

Normally, she might have left nature be, however…something urged her to investigate the sound. Curiosity, concern, she wasn’t sure, but, she shifted Muddy’s reins to guide him in the direction of the commotion. She put the stallion at a trot, unsure of what may lie at the source of the distressed corvid.

She had not expected the sight that eventually materialized from the woodland.

Asura dismounted Muddy immediately upon coming within range and being able to decipher what her eyes saw. It was a Luperci, a male of doggish origin. Dark in coloration, and reeking with the scent of blood and sickness. In fact, the whole area stunk of it, and her horse pawed and tossed his head warily as he watched his rider approach the crumpled stranger.

“Hey!” She called out urgently, her paws crunching loudly against the leaflitter.

A crow perched on the Loner, and had likely been the creature that had drawn her to the severely injured male.

Asura quickly kneeled beside him, hands moving in an attempt to grasp his shoulders. “Sir? Can you hear me?” There was no doubt in her mind that the man was the source of the smell. He was hurt, and it was obvious that he was not in the greatest of states. What had happened to him? What was he doing out there?

“Hey!”

Asura Creo

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POSTED: Thu May 03, 2018 8:12 pm

The spirit disappeared—faded to mist, though its presence still permeated the air. Lorkan stared blankly at the now-empty horizon, one hand still clutched to his side, the other pressed against the dirt, straining to keep him upright. Cackle's talons dug into his shoulder. He tried in vain to shake him off, shrugging violently, but the bird just cawed and ruffled his feathers, and the gnarled claws bit further into his skin.

"Get off, dammit!" His companion was unfazed by the abuse. He let out a defiant screech that rattled Lorkan's eardrums and set his temples alight with pain.

The hybrid hunched over and shuddered involuntarily. His insides were a furnace. He did not notice the woman as she approached, but suddenly a weight was lifted off of his shoulder as Cackle took to the air. He looked up, casting a wary eye back to the skyline.

At first he thought it was the ghostly figure, come back to lead him into some wild unknown. As it came closer, his pulse quickened. He was struck by the perception of its—of her—realness. He watched her slow and then dismount from the dappled beast she had ridden upon. Each of her footfalls blazoned a warning. This was no apparition.

The butt of one of his daggers protruded from his crumpled satchel. The metal was cold against his thigh where some of the grip had rotted away. Cold as the grave. His fingers itched to grab at it, but his hands were otherwise occupied. "Stay back," he snarled. The sound was barely audible over Cackle's frantic cries. He tensed, drawn as a bowstring, as the stranger knelt beside him.

"I am not deaf." He recoiled from her touch. She had pale claws like the ones that had left the weeping red imprints across his skin.

POSTED: Sat May 05, 2018 5:16 pm

NPC: Muddy (+262)


He snarled at her in spite of his weakened state. “I won’t,” she refused, her voice carrying a defiant finality to it. His snarl had likely been out of defense, like any wounded creature would react when approached by a perceived threat, by an opportunistic predator. At that very moment, she may have very well have fit both of those. The male was in no state to fight her off, not with whatever injury he had that had caused him to hunch over as he was.

Turquoise eyes could read his body language, how he stiffened at her touch, how tense and rigid he held himself. It was a dangerous game she was playing, kneeling so close to a wounded animal that she did not know. He could lash out at her, attack her in an attempt to protect himself. She hoped he wouldn’t, but, she was not so naïve to not consider the possibility. If she wanted to help him, she had to keep her wits about her.

Asura removed her hands, not wanting to test her luck after having seen him flinch beneath their touch. “That’s good at least,” she replied to his grouched statement. At the very least, it seemed the male was coherent enough to hear her and what she said. It was a good sign, one that indicated he was not as worse off as she had originally feared upon coming upon the scene. “I’m a medic from Sapient, a pack near here. I can help you…if you’ll let me.”

Asura Creo

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POSTED: Sun May 06, 2018 7:03 pm

Her touch withdrew, but her presence did not. Lorkan froze completely, feeling as though his chest were in suspension—as though, if he were still enough, he could prevent that dreaded strike.

This was not a matter that could be settled with blades, as tempting as it was. Even if he were to kill her and take off with her belongings—which he was not in any state to do—the wounds beneath his belly would still be there to eat away at his insides.

He walked a fine razor's edge, and at any moment the woman could choose to pull the line out from under him. The desperate thing inside him, the antithesis to whatever part had conjured that spirit, was not easily quieted. But he took a breath, clenched his teeth, and slowly took his hand off of the breach, so that she could better see what it was that ailed him. There was a rush of cold air against the newly exposed skin, and he let out a hiss from the foreign sensation.

"If you really are what you say, then I won't refuse your help," Lorkan conceded, not meeting her gaze. "But I will not go with you." Accepting the help of this stranger was one thing. Following her to some strange place, filled with equally strange people, was a different beast entirely. His life was already balanced in too many hands as it was.

POSTED: Wed May 09, 2018 10:34 pm

NPC: Muddy (+348)


Her eyes searched him, trying to assess his condition and how she could help him. What resources she’d need came to mind, how long it would take to aide him and for him to heal. So long as she could replace what was used fairly quickly, she doubted Nivosus would get onto her for helping a Lone. After all, Sapient could do with some friendly ones after the past few incidents that they had had with wandering loners and loner groups.

The man relented, though, perhaps reluctantly so. He shifted in his position, exposing the wound that had had him doubled over from pain. Marks that looked like the handiwork of someone’s claws raked across his lower abdomen. And, even for his pain and suffering, the Loner made a stipulation; he refused to be taken into Sapient territory. It was to this that the medic gave him a hard frown.

“I won’t be able to fully help you if you tie my hands,” she warned, “The medicine and rest of the supplies I would need to aide you in a full recovery are back in Sapient. So, unless you plan to tough it out on your own after I do what I can out here…”

Asura left it up to the stranger to make the call. She could not force him to go back to the pack with her. So long as he understood the consequences of such a decision though, she would respect whatever he chose. In the meantime, she let her turquoise eyes continue to examine his injury. It looked relatively deep and had likely been quite an unpleasant ordeal to go through. From the stench in the area and the stained color of his hands and fur, Asura calculated that, left untreated, the man would be counting the days until his expiration. The blood loss, the likelihood of infection if it had not already set in…they were great.

Her attention shifted elsewhere, looking about the environment for what she had to work with if the man was stubborn about his decision.

Asura Creo

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POSTED: Sun May 13, 2018 2:04 pm

Lorkan grimaced as the elbow of the arm supporting him nearly buckled. He was almost tempted to take the woman up on her offer, but in the end his caution won out. Out here, it was just him and the elements and the gouges below his navel—maybe a lone predator or two, if he were particularly unlucky. But at least the wild did not play at mercy. It was a constant companion, cruel and familiar. Better to brave its perils than be subject to the whims of numberless unknowns. He knew its ins and outs better than he knew his own soul.

Above him, Cackle rattled out something unintelligible. For the first time, Lorkan looked the stranger square in the eyes, his jaw set. His gaze was blear but steady. "Whatever you can do out here will suffice," he told her. He was still hyperaware of his satchel on the ground next to him. Healer or opportunist or angel of "mercy," she had a little bit of the wild in her. Or perhaps that was simply what she represented to him. His mind had a queer way of projecting the intangible upon the corporeal.

But the threat she presented was very real; that was what it all came down to. There was no room for feverish fancy in death. His free hand—the one he'd previously had clutched to his stomach—came to rest by the handle of the blade.

Just in case.

He prayed he would not need it, had already decided against it, though the prospect still held some appeal. A way to lift the terrible uncertainty from his chest, to relieve some of the tension that had him so paralyzed. But no amount of relief would cause the rips in his skin to knit themselves back together. It had become clear to him that his body could not heal on its own. Maybe it was the sting of betrayal that had made his wounds fester so quickly. The cowardice of the man who had inflicted them.

It was a bitter memory, but it strengthened his resolve; he needed this stranger, loathe as he was to admit it. But if she sought to cut him down, he would drag her down with him.

POSTED: Sun May 27, 2018 3:19 pm

NPC: Muddy (+338)


The male seemed to consider and weigh his options and the gravity of what his final decision would entail. She knew him to be in pain, his facial expression and quivering muscles as he tried to remain aware and lucid before her were evidence as much. As a medic, it was unsettling to make him bear it, however, she knew better than to force her help upon someone who didn’t want it. It would only make things worse than they were, causing unnecessary tension, as well as possible harm to either party.

Eventually, he confirmed his decision to stay out in the wilds rather than be escorted into Sapient territory. “As you wish,” she accepted with a reluctant nod. As much as Asura did not like the verdict, she had to respect it. She just hoped that the male didn’t come to regret it after she left him and his avian friend. Asura let out a sigh, wordlessly noting the silent threat the male made with placing his hand on a knife at his belt.

“I need to get you to fresh water so I can clean off the blood and see what I’m working with. I know of a stream that’s close to here. Do you think you can walk if I help you? Or would you rather let my horse carry you?” Her tone was crisp and business-like. With his blood loss, they didn’t have time for idle chitchat or beating around the bush.

Her turquoise eyes shifted to his hand then before looking up at his face. “And, I won’t hurt you, so long as you don’t hurt me or my horse. Just to be clear.” She too had a knife, and with his condition in health, she felt a bit more confident in the odds being in her favor if things became ugly between them. She didn’t want it to come down to that, however, the medic would not let herself become a victim either.

Asura Creo

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POSTED: Tue May 29, 2018 6:22 pm

The medic accepted his choice, which was a relief, because with each passing moment, Lorkan feared the fight was fleeing him. He still felt the pressure of her presence; it was knotted in the rigid coils of his spine, in the harsh jut of his shoulder blades. But his eyes were hot, heavy with fever. His hands had begun to shake and would not still. And the promise of a stream, of water...he had not realized his thirst until then. It was yet another agony to add to the rest: his throat, his head, the gouges below his navel—his foolish, fragile trust in the stranger’s intentions.

He cast his gaze to her beast and immediately dismissed the notion of its "aid." He did not like the look of the thing. "I can walk," the hybrid groused. A clawed hand pressed firmly against his stomach, the other—redoubling its efforts in its war against gravity—still brushing against the cool metal of his foil, he made to stand—and then her next words knocked the breath out of him. He recovered quickly, but the shock of it lingered; it shown in his eyes. There was something else there too, and in this they betrayed him: a grudging respect, tempered by wariness, but present nonetheless.

Balancing himself on one elbow, Lorkan grasped the knife firmly by the handle and, carefully, within the woman’s plain view, slipped it back inside the bag. It was a defeat, and a relief, the temptation gone.

He resumed his struggle. It was slow, painful, but he would not relent. The side of his mouth crooked upward when he finally stood in triumph. Even the half-smile was an effort, however, so he focused his attention on remaining upright—took a tentative step forward. The world tilted on its axis for a terrible moment, the earth and sky reversed. But he held firm and the vision passed.

Cackle,” he called. The bird swooped down to rest upon his shoulder, more gently this time. It nipped his neck affectionately.

Lorkan then spied the sprawled shape of his satchel out of the corner of his eye and felt a fresh wave of loathing at his predicament. He did not trust himself to bend to retrieve it, and in any case he did not want to risk the extra burden.

Turning to the woman, he gestured weakly toward it, mouth a grim line. "Perhaps you'd be more comfortable carrying it?" A way to mitigate the threat he posed—and a transparent excuse to spare what remained of his stubborn pride.
Last edited by Lorkan Blackmir on Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

POSTED: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:26 pm

NPC: Muddy (+534)

I have no idea how I keep missing when you reply to this thread @____@ Feel free to PP their arrival to the stream!

Had the situation not been as dire and the stranger before her not as on edge, Asura might have thought to tease him for his quick decision to use his own two legs rather than trust her horse. He seemed very adamant about remaining independent and not accepting help if he could keep from it for whatever reason. From the medic’s point of view, it was silly, however, there was likely a reasoning behind it all. So, she chose to not comment, merely go with his wishes and hope to save his life before it became too late to do so.

She watched him apprehensively as he tried to stand, wanting to help him, but, also not wanting to make him nervous or irritated with her and lash out. Her words of both reassurance and warning seemed to ease his mind a bit, the flash that shifted over his features and his later actions evident as much. It was a start. The more willing he was to cooperate with her, the easier and faster their short time together would go. The man removed his weapon and placed it within his bag, and Asura felt some tension leave from her body as it was moved out of immediate drawing range.

Without her help, the man managed to slowly rise to his own feet, a pained but triumphant twitch curled the edge of his lips. Asura stood up herself, hovering, waiting for when the injured man might need her aide should he fall or stumble. He took a step before pausing, as if trying to regain his bearings that had caused him to faulter like how she had found him. The man stayed standing, and even called for his noisy bird companion to him.

His attention was drawn away though as he seemed to remember something, and, following his gaze, Asura realized he had left his satchel on the ground in his attempt to rise to his feet. When his attention shifted back to her, Asura offered him a pitying smile. He was definitely a stubborn one, this male. “I’ll put it on Muddy’s saddle horn and give it back once we reach the stream, okay?” That way, her hands would be free to aide him, and the bag would be carried by a decidedly neutral party. Perhaps that would make him feel more at ease.

Asura picked the bag up without waiting for a response and moved towards where her large mount stood, looping the strap over the saddle horn so that it hung off to the side of the horse much like the other saddlebags that were towards the stallion’s rump. The burden was hardly anything to bear for the draft horse, who tossed his head and rumbled when his rider neared him.

“Come on,” Asura told the horse, petting his muzzle soothingly before she went back to where the male Luperci stood. To the man, she gave him a serious, but concerned, look, “If you need help, just…say something, okay? The stream shouldn’t be far from here.” The Sapien turned then, slowly leading the way towards the water source, her horse following along gradually behind the group.

Asura Creo

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