Re: don't weep for me

for i deserve no sorrow

POSTED: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:13 pm

FennORe

Oh yes, it made sense now. His barely-controlled chuckling was enough to tint Fennore's cheeks a deep red, and she whirled on him instantly, her brows furrowed deeply in displeasure. That seemed to ebb the intensity of his laughing, and he shirked into his submissive self once more; but he had opened the door, and she was not going to let it close on them now.

Her scowl was immovable at first, and she crossed her arms tightly over her chest. She briefly considered something biting as she felt it appropriate; but with a side-eyed glance to Lirael, something more... childish crossed her mind.

"Horsing around, are we, Tamlin?"

A joke had never been delivered more seriously and deadpan in all the land, and the true intention of it seemed lost on Tamlin's face for a few moments after. But as her frown gave way to a knowing smirk, that was his cue to give into his bellowing laughter once more.

She didn't join in with his doubling over, though the small victory was clear in her expression. So he had jokes, that was fine. She could be funny, too — with some effort. Had this been anyone else it would have been received poorly, but it wasn't as if she could commit wrong with her golden scout.

Eventually, he collected himself again, setting about their serious business with a hidden sneer. There was a questioning pause every time after he gave instruction, as if Fennore wanted to make sure he was being candid and not beating around the bush anymore. First they would smooth out her pelt where the saddle would sit, and she gave it a go with roughly the same gentleness he had displayed in his example. Outfitting Lirael seemed a simple task, though Tamlin was showing her how much more thought had to go into it — should anything be awry, the horse could very well buck her off. They secured the odd contraption together, and he made sure that everything was in its proper place before extended a aurelian arm towards her.

Gently, slowly, she stepped up to swing her leg over the saddle, and Lirael snorted with curiosity at the unfamiliar rider. Fennore felt quite strange to be towering over him now, up much higher than she had ever been before. From below, Macha marveled at her master with a gleam in her eye, then took to rubbing up against Tamlin, begging to be held up to her for a closer look. "Fennore, Fennore!" she miaowed eagerly, but the one in question clicked with her mouth.

"In a moment, Macha. I don't want you getting hurt if I..." She glanced at Tamlin with a strange, pensive look. "Perform poorly."

As it was, she was hiding her slight nervousness aboard Lirael very well.

ooc → we got jokes huh is that it
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Songs from the Wood

POSTED: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:18 pm

The laughter had taken away what vestiges were left of their discomfort—the assault, his failed romantic overtures—they were washed away by Tamlin’s laughter, by Fennore’s uncharacteristic pun. Never again, he thought of the time that he had spent dodging her company. How fruitless that had been! No, better to be by her side. He would learn to accept their circumstances here.

Though Tamlin could sense the surprise in the mare when it was Fennore who ascended rather than himself, she didn’t buck her off—before they had fled Caledonia, she might have. Lira had carried Vodeva a great many miles, through circumstances that were altogether unpleasant, and it seemed to have adjusted her expectations for life. Just as it had every surviving Caledonian. Even then, Fennore was no stranger… she just sat a bit awkwardly astride the saddle.

“You’re doing fantastic!” He enthused, waiting for her hands to find purchase on the saddle before he lightly picked up the reins. “Watch yourself, little one.” The Sunwarden instructed Macha below, but as Lirael lifted a single hoof, he thought better of letting that wide-eyed creature roam freely. “I’ll watch her.” He dropped his hold, choosing instead to empty his satchel onto his bed. Coming back, he picked up the cat and placed her lovingly in the bag at his side. Tamlin offered Fennore an easy smile, scratching Macha behind the ears where her head poked out from the satchel before taking the reins again.

Slow, he mouthed to her, doing his best to be reassuring as he gradually eased Lirael forward a few paces. Perhaps sensing the inexperience, Lirael paced herself quite languidly, following Tamlin’s lead obediently. The buckskin’s body swayed as she went, and he deliberately led away from the camp. Others there might see her hand and bother her about it again, or even just embarrass her for seeing her learning something new. He wouldn’t risk it.

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POSTED: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:57 pm

FennORe

The Tamlin she met oh so long ago in the saffron seas of Gaspesia was slowing returning to her, slowly wading past their previous falling-outs and miscommunications. Her eyes softened easily on the man, her pale fingers fiddling mindlessly with the sign of his friendship secured tightly round her wrist — despite the tension, she hadn't dared to take it off since the day he presented it to her. Even if they were not a union in the way he had hoped, they were still bound at the hip, and she would be hard-pressed to abandon something he had so meticulously poured his heart into.

Macha seemed rather crestfallen that she couldn't accompany the white wolfess on her ride, but the Anor man was quick to remedy this. He returned to the trio with his empty satchel, big enough to carry a small feline in, and the dove-furred creature yipped and mewed with glee at this turn of events. The Moonwraith pursed her lips at first at this cuddly display, but Tamlin's winning smile had her shrugging her shoulders in dismissal and agreement all the same. If it kept Macha in complete bliss and out of danger, she saw no harm in it. Besides, the kitten seemed quite entranced with her new transport, and it caused Fennore's tail to wag softly from her perch.

Finally, the pair began to move with the Sunwarden's blessing. She held to the sides of the saddle rigidly, as he insisted on keeping hold of the reins for now, before Tamlin led them away from the humble camp. Violet eyes spared one last glance to the collection of tents and belongings, and soon, they were deeper in the sparse woods.

The sensation was foreign, yet strangely natural. Perhaps it was Tamlin's familiar presence that lulled her into a sense of security, or perhaps it was her youth that let her adapt to new experiences easily, just as she had not fared too terribly with his bow. Whatever the case, her tight grip on the saddle loosened as they trotted farther and farther away, and she looked back at her companion. "... This is nice." It was simple, obtuse, yet wholly sincere.

Tamlin was rubbing off on her more than she realized.

ooc → <3
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POSTED: Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:47 pm

With the thud of each hoof on the ground, Fennore seemed to grow more comfortable in the saddle. Tamlin knew from personal experience that while his saddle was as comfortably made as they come, they were nevertheless a trial to get used to—he could recall days of aching legs and a sore rump when he had first learned as a child. Hopefully, assuming they eased Fennore into it, she wouldn’t have a similar experience. Current proceedings seemed to be smooth, and his emerald eyes did not miss the delicate relaxation of her muscles as the tension in her spine unraveled. Even Macha was enjoying her first time ‘riding,’ taking care to bat at any leaves that dare get too close to her leather steed. When the riding was easy, he let one hand fall to the cat, attempting to inspire her fury upon his fingers.

“Isn’t it? Consider how fast, how far you’ll be able to with Lirael.” An affectionate hand went for the dark patch that adorned Lira’s nostrils, and the horse pressed against him happily. “Bring her something nice, an apple come autumn, and she’ll do whatever you want.” They continued to walk, until their steps brought them where the trees were thinner, with less branches to dodge. As happy as he was, there was a serious glint to his eyes when he queried: “Do you feel ready to hold the reins now?” Sensing a change in situation, the buckskin let her pace slow to a stop, bending low to pluck some delicious greenery from the wayside.

He held the reins up towards her gingerly, studying her expression as he did so. Tamlin didn’t mean to rush her into something she wasn’t fully prepared for, even if he was excited to see how far along she’d come. Horse riding was far easier than archery, at least at the beginning stages it seemed, and Fennore was doing incredibly. If the Sunwarden pushed her too far, he risked seeing that heated stare again—and he doubted it’d be followed by a pun twice in a row.

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POSTED: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:19 pm

FennORe

The progress made was satisfying, something Fennore was taking great pride in: her chest puffed out as she held her chin high, casting a side-eyed glance below to the archer when he praised her for her skill (as he should). The natural fears were fading away and giving way to her confidence, as accentuated by her tall carriage — she felt on top of the world in that instant, far above Macha and Tamlin and Lirael and everyone.

The arrogance faltered with his query, though.

She turned to look at him fully now, eyeing the reins cautiously. Was she ready? Clearly her young, rash mind believed her to be so; but since befriending Tamlin, she had mellowed into a more careful she-wolf, even more wary than she believed herself to be in months past. Lirael came to a halt, letting Fennore have the safety of motionlessness to consider the prompt.

Slowly, she released the reins from his golden grasp, gripping and loosening her hands around them for a moment. "Do you merely snap the reins and she will go?" she asked, but Tamlin was quick to run through a few more steps; it was less in the reins, he said, and more in the legs. The legs? She had him explain himself fully before they continued, to set her (and his) mind at ease before she actually attempted anything.

For several more moments, Fennore remained still upon Lirael's earthy back, processing all of the information with a tight lip. He asked her again if she was ready, but she didn't immediately answer. There was really no reason to be afraid; the creature surely wouldn't be spooked if her owner was so close by, right?

"I'm ready." Taking a deep breath in, her calves applied some pressure round Lirael's frame as she clicked with her mouth again, and the mare took to the cues rather well, all things considered. It wasn't immediate, their slow gait, but soon they were about at the speed Tamlin had set for them before — though this time he was following, not leading.

If she felt Lirael begin to lag, she lightly snapped the reins and clicked her heels again; none of it was performed with much pressure at all, as she was scared of angering her. But the coydog had been right, Lirael was such a docile creature — she listened well after she became used to the lighter weight upon her back, the less certain hold on her reins.

Fennore gave Tamlin and Macha a reserved smile, but he could obviously see her bust swell once more with delight.

ooc → <3
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POSTED: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:28 pm

Tamlin had never thought himself an instructor, but perhaps he had more skill in the matter than he thought. After all, he had helped his clan with their fledgling eagles—though Fennore was a far more intricate beast than a chirping chick. His fondness for her was spoken in the tenderness that he relayed the instructions, taking care to make sure she understood each step before continuing, and he radiated pride like Valleui radiated light when her hands took the burden of the reins. More time to steady her nerves, a declarative statement, and then she was off. It was no burst of speed, but it might as well have been for how broadly the Sunwarden smiled when Fennore led the buckskin mare in the delicate dance of horseback riding.

Macha’s plaintive whining made it clear to Tamlin, at least, that he mustn’t let her get too far away; he stole the kitten from her leather wrappings, lifting her into his arms so that she might get a better view. “Look at Fen, Chacha, look at her go,” he cooed, letting her rest along one arm so the other could pet her down the gray length of her back. He kept speed steadily behind her, making sure that if anything changed he would be there to intercept. “You ride like a Caledonian Lady,” he announced, as though her regal bearing were intentional and not the result of a spine scared stiff. He could see Lirael’s head swivel towards an appetizing bush, and she managed to tear off a length of leaves without correction.

“There’s no need to go fast,” he stated as they went, Lirael finding the easiest path to meander through. “You’ll be sore enough from this pace. But eventually, we can try running.” Tamlin had been young the first time a horse had gone full-speed beneath him, his wild hair flying like scarlet banners in the sunlight as he had screamed in terror. Katoa had laughed beside him, his own horse keeping pace easily—he had set Tamlin astride a doughy old mare intentionally. As terrified as he had been, he had found it easily addicting to be that free. He had thought himself flying like Sabriel, who had still been his mother’s then.

“You can try directing the path, if you’d like. Just remember to lean forward on an incline, and backwards on a decline. Lirael was built for speed on the meadow, not stability on a climb.” He had had such horses at home, and hoped they had found happiness with their conquerors. Surely they would not have killed a useful horse.

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POSTED: Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:27 pm

FennORe

He was beaming so proudly, so profusely as he kept up with the traveling pair, and the kitten in his arms was staring in awe at the spectacle. The nickname wasn't unknown to her — when talking with Macha, he tended to shorten her name in his usual silly tone — but this was the first time she had heard it without eavesdropping, and she snorted. "Gods, Tamlin, she isn't a baby." She groaned with a roll of her eyes, though her voice was dripping with sarcasm. In a way it was endearing, to see him so enamored by the feline.

Her eyebrow rose at his compliment. "Surely now I am a Caledonian lady," she mused, though this time her words were less jesting and more ambiguous in its intention. As far as she was concerned, she was a lady living in New Caledonia; the pieces fit together and suggested her newly appointed title was correct, even if naysayers such as Athras would scoff at the notion.

More advanced (or advanced for her, as green as she was) suggestions were considered as she continued on, and as they strode through foliage and roots the female rolled her shoulders. "Right, remind me how to steer her again," she said, with a playful glint in her eye, before the male went down the list once more at her request. Again, it was in the legs mostly, it seemed. No wonder she would grow sore after some time.

Eagerly though carefully, she put his words into practice, squeezing and turning her own body to direct Lirael to veer left through the trees. The mare was obedient and docile, heeding to her cues well enough after a few attempts. "Had she been a larger breed, could she carry two upon her back?" she asked Tamlin, clicking her heels again to pick up the pace. It was an innocent question, though perhaps it could carry certain implications had the circumstances been a bit... more ideal.

Of course, she was certainly not going to subject the gentle creature with any strain she could not handle, especially since she was so beloved by her owner. Not that Tamlin was overwhelmingly large or bulky, either, and Fennore herself was quite small — but, still. She was built for speed, as he had said, not endurance. Those of her clan had used huge draft horses for carrying loads of trading goods, and they dwarfed the buckskin in size easily.

ooc → <3
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POSTED: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:21 pm

Even with her countenance bunched up in disgust she looked lovely, and Tamlin struggled hard to adopt an expression of offense, bringing his palm up to cover Macha’s ears when she spoke. “Don’t listen, Chacha, you are definitely the baby.” His best attempt was short lived, for he was set again to his easy smile, and the palm that had shielded Macha from insult had curved instead to scratch betwixt her ears. Off they went in tandem, an odd assortment: a wolf, a horse, a coyote-dog hybrid, and a kitten. A traveling menagerie of creatures, the two Luperci being the ones to speak most commonly, though Macha’s voice would occasionally catch on a word or term and repeat it with delight. Between instructions given to Fennore, Tamlin always made sure to encourage the cat, for it pleased him to see the porcelain woman roll her eyes.

He plucked a particularly savory looking leaf from its stem, bringing it to Lirael’s mouth even as Macha protested the lack of petting. “For a short distance, I think even Lirael could,” he mused, his fingers resting between her broad nostrils before they returned to Macha’s impatient spine. “It happened, sometimes. Back home. But never for a long time, you can see them grow weary. If done too long, I’ve seen them bite when you go to touch their back after.” His lips pursed, his eyes lost in an uncomfortable recollection—it was obvious that he didn’t enjoy the thought of overburdening any animal, especially Lirael. To do her harm would be a dishonor on the memory of his slain sibling, who had loved the horse with a fierceness indicative of his Menel heritage.

Besides, the idea of riding a horse with Fennore set his thoughts to a more romantic spin, which was unproductive to say the least. Did he hold his oaths so lightly as to tempt them so readily? He shunned the thought; it wasn’t to be entertained. At least not under the bright light of Valleui, when things were righteous. It would be harder to resist in the moonlight.

His eyes slid tentatively to her face, for he worried his next question would press her. “Did you have horses? Where you were born.” He knew the subject of her homeland was a tentative one, and he deliberately did not look to the brand on her flank. Nevertheless, he could not deny that he had a great deal of curiosity on the subject.

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POSTED: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:58 pm

FennORe

"Oh, come off it, Tamlin." She knew he was toying with her now, trying to get a rise out of her — and, as usual, it was working, as evidenced by the amused grin painting his golden face. Fennore wondered just how hard she could roll her eyes and sigh, but she decided to spare the scout this time.

Besides, even her most hardened glares or sharpest scoffs could not spoil the moment, as mighty as she felt upon the tan mare; as fair of a true Caledonian lady she had been, according to Tamlin.

The innocent query seemed to give him pause, and he mulled over an answer she had been anticipating: had there been anything beyond that she had been implying, for him to agonize over it so? Perhaps the closeness, she settled internally, and that would have done him in, surely. They were still a bit shaky on that front, the subtle rejection still poking and prodding at the scout no matter how hard he tried to hide it. But luckily he did not dwell, if that had been the case, for he presented her with a question that carried similarly uncomfortable implications.

The Moonwraith's past, however disingenuous or cynical it had been, was nowhere near as tragic as his, though. "Well, of course we had horses," she replied casually, flipping a hand from her chest as if to conjure up images of her homeland. "We weren't savages, you know."

Her brow arched. "As backwards as they were religiously, morally — they were rather civilized." She looked away then, a far-off look in her white face. "It... really wasn't a bad place to grow up as a child. I learned much, and that is saying a lot considering how young I still am." Fennore only ever really considered her age when it came to how much life she had yet to live, and as regally and courtly she carried herself, many seemed to fall for her spell, not realizing she was barely even a yearling. Not that anyone really needed to know that, lest they use it against her (though perhaps her supple, youthful features betrayed her at times).

Violet eyes flicked back to greenish gold. "Perhaps there will come a time that I share some of our more secular traditions with Caledonia, when we are in a position to settle down and reestablish permanently."

ooc → <3
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POSTED: Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:47 pm

He colored at her response, for he hadn’t meant to imply that she had grown up feral; luckily it seemed she hadn’t taken his query as an insult. Tamlin considered an apology, but she had already transitioned to speaking, and he didn’t dare interrupt her once she’d begun. It was rare for Fennore to feel comfortable discussing the manner of her upbringing, and the Sunwarden didn’t wish to discourage her with the noise of his own tenor. Instead, he listened, large ears turned towards her with a studious expression upon his face. He couldn’t imagine that type of parent it took to hold down their child and burn her flesh, and it gave his stomach uncomfortable somersaults. He both wanted to learn more about her clan, and reprimand them for such a folly. As it stood, he could only hope to soothe the wounds they had left behind.

His own childhood had been idyllic by comparison, and it was difficult to remember that not all parents were as gracious as his own had been. Perhaps their advanced age had been relevant, though it had resulted in less time than he would have liked with the two. It had taken them so long to have Katoa, and Tamlin had been a pleasant surprise even later. “I do not approve of their methods.” He admitted, in reference to Fennore’s parents, hoping that he did not offend with such a statement. “Though I cannot deny their daughter turned out remarkably well.” As prone as they were to teasing, he didn’t say it with comedic edge, but rather a soft smile. She still wore the bracelet he had made her upon her wrist, the token that bound their friendship.

Tamlin didn’t dwell on the compliment, for he hadn’t said it just to invoke a response. “I look forward to it.” He too had often daydreamed of a rebuilt Caledonia, with a proper house to sleep in… though others, like Athras, had hoped for a structure not dissimilar from that of old, Tamlin found he enjoyed more the idea of a Caledonia with pieces from all its members forming the puzzle. After all, he never would have found his best friend in Caledonia proper. “Can you imagine? A meadow for Lirael, an archery range… a real bed.” He laughed, for he was used to sleeping in the dirt, but wasn’t opposed to comfort.

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