The Key to Abundance

Ankh

POSTED: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:10 pm

His feet had long since left the last remains of snow that dared to drift into the dark mantle of the Blackwoods, and it seemed within the maze of immense, gnarled pillars was a different world. Only the lingering white breath that left the pallid blush of his nares dared to remind this strange place that it was winter on all other plaines, and like dustmotes, stray snowflakes glittered the rare sunbeams but disappeared before they reached the earth.

Charcoal feet moved within the pine needles and weaved through the pointed stones that dotted the landscape between the trees, the brilliant ellipse of ash upon his extremities like ghosts in the obscurity. His great body moved between the trees with growing difficulty, but the only color that peered from his monotonous coat sought out something different than these vertical columns that grew in great numbers ever upward.

Ankh was a name he'd heard murmured once more twice, and Helena did no more than tell him of the man's rank within the pack. Shaamah's prying ears had found the hermit's location by word of mouth, though such words hadn't originally been intended for him. While he could say he was out to meet all members of Salsola, and that certainly wasn't a lie, there was a special case with Ankh. The man was one of the Wardens. While that wasn't Shaamah's next step up in the caste, the man would have good influence over how others below Warden should perceive him.

The judgment was by rank alone, but in Salsola, that seemed enough.

A strapping arm pressed branches from underbrush aside as he stepped over a collection of stones, stepping into a denser part of this natural maze as the air hung heavier. His breathing pattern quickened as his great form fought through the growth until suddenly, a clearing sat quietly before him.

A cacophony of glowing orbs gazed through the veil of mist and shadow. Shaamah's first instinct was to challenge the little creeping stares, but before he could sound the warning call, his eye caught something looming to his left. Warily, he turned his scarred hollow away and met the twisting, sprawling arm of a tree which reached into the canopy with sleepy tendrils and curling limbs. From it's hidden height, to it's darkened doorstep, his sight trailed. The hollow of Ankh D'Aabt.

Hissing echoed through the silence, swallowed up by the trees as a spat erupted between the veiled creatures. Brush shivered and branches snapped, a yowl behind him brought his head around to see from where he'd come. The underbrush barely left a note that he had been there. The scent was, unremarkable cat. Wrinkling his nose, he moved on to the Hollow now, wary steps wise to heed the call of a less than friendly Warden should that be the case.

The chilling ambiance hadn't been enough to have the soldier turn back, but more so on the contrary. The desolation of this place, the hidden life within it of traveling eyes and creeping creatures was a firm reminder of home, and would have been completely had it not been for the fact that his feet were mostly dry and his breath still hung visibly before him in the chill of the still scene.

As he neared what he found to be something of a threshold, he held fast. The bedraggled roots curled and tangled before him as he stood static against the eerie backdrop, a heavy plume of mist traveling behind him. With a shallow, though still booming bark, he beckoned the dweller from his sole solace with the respect a Warden had earned.

With a start, the cats that had curiously and quietly surrounded him leapt out of their skin and darted in all directions. The sudden, unexpected noise had sent them sprawling. They skirted trees and filled what was once a somber hush with the din of scattering. Pebbles tumbled and twigs littered in the wake as little shadows sprinted, all of them blurs against the dim light. He stood patiently in the chaos as it slowly died, his edges square and coiled fists firm, intent on dutifully offering the knowledge of who he was, and why he was here, should it be asked of him.


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POSTED: Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:38 pm

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The soot black Tomcat was among the brave, few who didn't spook as the giant called out in his great booming voice. Among the four other cats that Ankh kept close (they were, understandably, less feral and more socialised) there was a smattering of overly curious eyes. None stayed as close as the five preferiti, but some sunk back only as far as the thick undergrowth and remained to bear witness to the giant's encounter with the skeletal hermit. None stood as far forward as the great, hulking coal coated feline known to all as Allspice. The names of the cats, the ones that actually possessed names intelligible to canine ears, were little known amongst the Salsolans that even knew of them, but if any names were ever remembered it was often solely Allspice's. He was the only one to interact with the citizens of the Thistle Kingdom, as irregularly as he did so. Even when he did, his name was never proffered alongside the summons to the hollow. Most often it was through word of mouth that anything regarded the D'Aabt man was made known.

The sound drew the Pale Man to the door in an eerie short instant, almost as if he'd been waiting behind the door, skeletal hand already grasping the doorknob tightly, ready to twist. He hadn't been though, he'd been hunkered over his worktable, making deep incisions into catflesh and plucking organs from the still warm body ready to divine the future. It was strange, seeing how slow and deliberate he was witnessed to move, how fast he could make a trip from point A to point B when unseen.
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danse macabre

POSTED: Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:54 pm

Shaamah paid little heed to the felines, and did his best to ignore the stench of them. The wait on the other side of the hollow's door wasn't long, and sharp ears found the sound of the rattling handle just moments after his summoning bark. There the Warden stood, within the threshold of the ethereal forest, amid the grip of the large tree's inner shadow. Silent, and still, he stood in waiting. Shaamah wouldn't make him wait long, at all.

“Warden,” Throaty hum traveled in the strange quiet beneath the trees. This man certainly matched the description of him. The Family soldier paid the proper respects to the quiet man, as per culture,” I am Shaamah of The Family, new to Salsola,” Not so new as to be completely untrusted, however. It was the beginning of his explanation as to why he was here, exactly,” I've come to offer my services to you, should you require them,” A better way to offer himself up, compared to a simple introduction. He'd come this far. It wouldn't hurt anything at all to do a little work for The Warden.

“Helena as my sponsor, you may locate me through her, should you require my servant or my aide for your work,” While he didn't know what Anhk did, save for the idea of witchery in the woods that came through on other's words, he wouldn't deny the man aide if it meant heightening his name within Salsola's throat. After his offer, he awaited Ankh's response. If the man didn't desire any hide or hair of the soldier, then he wouldn't push it. There could be more than one way to fall out of Salsola's graces, and if any of them were a bit like him, then the pestering of new members could do just as much damage as it could help.


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