Hedged In By Thistles

[P - For Odalis]

POSTED: Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:20 am

OOC: Takes place at the very edge of the Salsolan border, sometime in the afternoon near evening.

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This was the worst idea Dogmeat had ever had.

Stealing from flocks of bigger, angrier crows and ravens didn't do it. Trying to argue with a lynx over the uraeic body of a fish didn't do it. Pulling on the tail of a coyote to distract them from the limp scrap of rabbit they'd thieved didn't do it. No, of all the stupid ideas, nothing was worse than trying to steal a fresh kill from the nest of a pair of hawks. Their loud screams ripped the air behind her, savage as their claws aimed in her direction.

There was nowhere she could bank or dive to escape them. The female hounded her left and right, the hawk's mate flying up and down. The crow's wings were sore with effort, muscles burning as she flew top speed. She couldn't keep this pace up forever - the chase had been going on for twenty minutes now. Her adrenaline and winter-sapped strength wouldn't hold up much longer.

The dizzying mix of weaves, bobs and swerves she'd pulled off had ruined her sense of direction. Dogmeat couldn't make heads or tails of the mass of barren, white-tipped trees. She could be flying right over Wolf-Folk territory, and if they had birds, those birds might chase her. To dive into the forest was little better than open sky and angry buzzards, but it still wasn't the best. Ice loomed over and hung from tight flight paths, and a wrong turn could -

A scream behind Dogmeat almost split her eardrums in half. Abruptly-closed talons whisked over her tail; feathers were sharply, painfully ripped out. Dogmeat screamed, the gravel, nasal sound lost in another screech from the hawk. A hit of adrenaline gave her a burst of speed, and Dogmeat went for the trees. This was so stupid, this was so stupid, this was so stupid!

Yet, the black bird dove, and slid between two branches with a scattering of snow. The hawk screamed and slowed, its mate diving between treetops to follow Dogmeat. The crow took the opportunity to bank and weave, thought lost in the motions. Here there came a thick tangle of pines: an easy place to hide for the desperate. Dogmeat stretched out her wings and prepared to land, bracing for a rough impact.

She didn't get very far before something cracked above her. Before she could look up, a hard chunk of ice broke free, dislodged from a snapped branch. It struck her square on the crown of her skull. The crow was helpless as she crashed into the conifer's branches. The male hawk whizzed over the pine's boughs, safe and sound. Dogmeat flapped madly as she tried to get her bearings, ebony feathers raining down. The impact of the branches had snapped and scrapped several off.

She managed to slow herself down enough that she could descend into a pile of snow. There she flopped, panting, the world spinning around her. Her body was heavy, and every inch of it had a ferocious ache. Not even the cold of the frozen mass below her was a comfort.
Creatures
Fish Crow
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Dale
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POSTED: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:13 pm

It had been a difficult idea to come to terms with, to know that people of her homeland had someone ventured across the sea to settle within a cruel Kingdom helmed by heretics and a crooked nobility. The man who had shared a cigarette with her had answered very few of her questions but had dropped enough that she knew the family name which hung like a banner overhead. They were a family that was strong and regal – agile and quick as the willow for which they were associated with. The Salcedo swordsmen of Onuba were known for their skill – and though she had only been at court a short while, she had danced with some of their violet-eyed kin.

To know that they had been here – it meant something that she did not understand.

She wandered the territories more now, her thin frame bundled in layer upon layer of dirty wool and dusty tapestry. The places along the back of her neck where her hair had been shorn off had finally begun to even out, the long pieces of auburn hair curling around her ears. The wrap of cloaks hid the collar about her neck, but despite everything she could feel the weight of it cutting into her pale skin. It acted as an anchor – pulling her constantly back to the towering throne room and the tiny room that she called her home.

It was filled with luxuries that she had been afforded as a servant of the Queen. She had a chipped cup which she used for drinking, a long-forgotten thing that had once been made of fine porcelain. It was decorated with pale pink roses that were soft though what was left of the handle was always sharp against her palm. She had collected other items; a broken comb, a tattered page of a book, and a rusted key that belonged to no lock that she could find within The Kingdom.

Everything she collected was hidden away beneath her bedding, and when she felt her loneliest, she would hold up the remnants of a time long past and wonder at their history.

Odalis wondered if the members of the Nobility did the same with her. She struck an odd figure amongst the scarred mendicants and gold-ringed servants. There was still something strong in the way she set her feet and assessed each of the high-borns as they were called who wandered passed the Boss’ home.

The forest took a great sigh as she meandered through, toeing the line between freedom and The Kingdom which lay behind her.

She was surprised at the sudden cacophony of sound that careened through the trees along with the mad flapping of winds. Feathers reigned suddenly upon her and she clicked her teeth, crouching as a small bird fell from the sky to land with a loud thud amidst the thawing snow.

A hawk cried somewhere above the thick canopy of trees and Odalis hissed softly, gathering up her layers within her hands to step carefully toward the creature.

”You’re a lucky thing,” She wasn’t sure why she spoke to it, but she bent to gently stroke its feathers, ”They won’t get you here.”

Salsola
Indentured Servant
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Amanda
Maintenance Aide (I GOT THAT BROOM BROOM BROOM)
straight through the smoke

POSTED: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:54 pm

Footfalls. Breath and a shadow over her. A warm touch. Dogmeat's eyes blinked open from a darkness that had come and gone. She had been on the edge of passing out when adrenaline shot through her once more. The black bird turned her head to bite, fearing the hawk had come down to finish her off. She was about to bite before she recognized fingers, and those only belonged to one creature she knew of. The Wolf-Folk had found her.

Again.

They had a knack for showing up at the worst - and best - times of her life. Dogmeat looked up, one eye swollen shut and sticky with blood. A sharp patch of needles had scraped over it, and now the inflammation joined with the bump on her head. Turning it sent sharp pains up her neck and down her spine, and Dogmeat feared a wound - even a break - to her back.

But ... she couldn't move if that had happened. So. There was that. Trying to stretch and test this came with a loud squawk of pain. Cracked racked either by the impact or the fall, a pair of splintering ribs ground together near a wing. It didnt help that a couple of blood feathers had broke, stinging like bees on the edge of her limb. Dogmeat went limp, surrendering to the pain, taking comfort in the Wolf-Folk's words as she did. The Luperci's tone was too tender to seem threatening, in that moment.

Wait. That tone. That slight accent. Those fire-and-fresh wood fur colors. Dogmeat's good eye opened slow, and she tried to focus her hazy vision on her rescuer. She gave a weak, guttering noise of greeting, hoping that the Luperci would make herself known. What had her name been? Had they met ... somewhere near the coast? There had been wind. A lot of trees had been swaying and cracking behind them. Dogmeat couldn't recall much more.
Creatures
Fish Crow
User avatar
Dale
Creature

POSTED: Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:36 pm

There was something familiar about the way the little birds’ eyes darted about, the snowy forest reflected in its wide expression. Odalis scooped the little thing into her arms and tugged a long fold of fabric from around her neck to wrap the bird carefully. The sounds it made were crackling and long, and she stroked its smooth head gently poked and prodded Dogmeats wings to ensure that there was nothing broken beneath the long inky feathers.

”Come on, I’ll take you home.” When she straightened she paused for a moment to peer out to the great unknown that lay beyond Salsolas crooked border.

Somewhere out there the Court lay gilded in fleur de lis and the silence that came with loss. She wondered if they were out looking for her, or if they cared at all that Ciprian had managed to steal her away. Her brows cinched together, and she patted the bird absently, turning with a huff to head back through the trees in the direction of her Tower.

The bird squalled again and she was surprised to realize that she had met it before.

Memories trailed back, slowly, like trickling rain.

”Whats brought you all the way up here?” She whispered softly, ignoring the way snow fell from he trees to dot her auburn mane, ”I remember you… from before.”

Salsola
Indentured Servant
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Amanda
Maintenance Aide (I GOT THAT BROOM BROOM BROOM)
straight through the smoke

POSTED: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:47 pm

Crows were expressive birds. Though they lacked the ability to speak the High Tongue, their eyes and motions told volumes. When the dog asked what Dogmeat was doing there, the little creature's head lowered. "Caaaaaaaw," she guttered, looking as ashamed as a puppy caught in the larder. Arrogance and being a thief: that's what had brought her to these unknown lands.

Speaking of unknown, what had happened to the beautiful dog's face? When Dogmeat had met her, the Luperci's eyes had been as blue as the sky, round and shining like dew. Now, an ugly, lightning-bolt scar ran through run of them, and the iris had turned slush-gray. Her gaze looked dull and haggard, and her autumn-leaf hair was rough and short, like it had been chopped or torn off. Squinting with her good eye, Dogmeat tried not to look worried as she scanned the other's face.

"Caw?" Her dark bill, dotted with snowflakes and glinting with blood, pointed at the dog's healed wound. The sound was groggy and concerned, Dogmeat forgetting her own straits for a moment. Whatever had happened between their last meeting and now, the world hadn't been kind to the she-dog. Dogmeat hoped that an eye had been the only thing the Wolf-Folk lost. "Caw caw?"
Creatures
Fish Crow
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Dale
Creature

POSTED: Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:50 pm

It was a strange thing to remember a bird. Many of the species that lived in Nova Scotia were non descript – huge wide-winged ravens with cruel looking beaks and beady eyes that revealed nothing of their thoughts. Odalis had seen eagles too – white headed predatory things that had been frightening to her even as a child. The little bird in her arms caw’ed softly, blinking its eyes in a way that indicated to Odalis that perhaps it was tired or injured – though the fact that it did not struggle in her arms caused her brows to cinch together with worry.

They had met once – in the Seabreeze Brink before everything had changed.

The scar on her face practically glowed as she twitched her auburn hair out of her eyes, and looked off sadly between the trees. The trail she padded along would eventually lead her to the stable located behind Elphaba’s wretched tower. ”Yes, I suppose I look different than the last time you saw me.” The question in the birds call caused her to click her teeth, ”It is a long story. Perhaps for after you are feeling better.”

Fragments of memory trickled to the forefront of her mind – how to set a broken bone, or what herbs to chew to create a simple poultice – all things that she had abandoned in the wake of her capture.

”This place is Salsola.”

Salsola
Indentured Servant
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Amanda
Maintenance Aide (I GOT THAT BROOM BROOM BROOM)
straight through the smoke

POSTED: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:44 pm

Salsola. The name wasn't familiar to Dogmeat, but something about it made the crow shiver. There were certain places to the birds of this land shrouded in myth and unknown. Passed down as a folklore of sorts, they were cautionary half-remembered tall tales. Everything spoken of was as big as a bird was small. One of these was a pine forest, dark and full of heavy air, where wolves warbled like songbirds. Dancing like they were flying, somehow the sky and the earth were the same for them. The trees bent down to meet the beasts, lifting them into the stars to walk among them. There, they hunted birds in the air, and cast them down into the earth to be torn apart. They would dangle uneaten entrails as an offering to their kin in the woods.

Dogmeat thought the air felt a bit heavier than usual. No, wait, that was her own body, sinking down into the Wolf-Folk's arms. "Caaaaaaaaaw..." she drawled, a mix between affirmation and complaining about her sore head. The bird glanced around her surroundings, feeling herself shrink with the uncertainty. She looked back up at Odalis, desperately seeking some sort of comfort or assurance that no, this wasn't some horrible place to be.

Although, considering the scar, maybe this place very much was. Dogmeat was such a stupid, stupid bird.
Creatures
Fish Crow
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Dale
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Salsola