Soot and Pine

POSTED: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:52 pm

The forests here were uncomfortably cold, and the overcast weather only exacerbated the problem. Persimmon grumbled to himself as he slunk through a bilberry thicket, cursing in low, barely audible tones. He’d been led to believe these northern lands were some magic paradise where resources were aplenty, and packs were just dying to give weary strangers a home. But it wasn’t, and they weren’t, and even the land itself seemed to bear a grudge towards those who lived on it. He’d only barely left a massive swath of barren former forest, charred beyond recognition, and was glad to be back up in more mountainous terrain. Of course the mountains were equally miserable to be in, seemingly designed to be comprised of twice as much sheer cliff face than actual mountain. The only saving grace was the fact that his current route took him in a wide berth around the territory of the pack that left dismembered skulls in trees as both border warnings, and aggressive artistic faux-pas.

He shuddered, glad to be putting as much distance between him and them as possible. Corpse signs were nothing new to him, of course, but the sheer effort put into the skull placement left a tangible residue of malice and overcompensation. Unfortunately, there was still the issue of finding a place to live for the while. The coyote ducked under a low hanging quaking aspen branch before continuing on. As he went, his ears flicked back to catch any sounds of interest, such as prey. Or a bear.
He was up north, after all.

Up ahead, the trees thinned back out, with fire damage much more evident. A quick sniff around, and poke into some hollows under trees revealed that no, this was not where he wanted to live, and to be frank, The Great Deadly Place in the southern rockies was more welcoming than this bundle of charcoal. ”M’na need ta fine’a place somewhere ain’t right blinked guam.” He said to nobody in particular, not bothering to attempt coherence.With the noticeable lack of bystanders, he felt no need to dial back his impenetrable native accent. More pressingly, the total lack of suitable places to make a home was really starting to get to him worried. Absentmindedly, he began drumming a staccato beat on the leather satchel on his hip, thinking while he did so.

He glanced over his shoulder quickly, only to be rewarded with another view of endless charred trees. Simply staring at stumps was not going to help him in his search for somewhere to spend the night; thus, for lack of a better plan, Persimmon decided to go west from his current location at a toppled tree that may have been birch before the fire. So, he set off to the west, padding along past small saplings pushing up through the soil and residual ash. It wasn’t too long before he ran into a fir that hadn’t been more than slightly blackened with long faded embers, and caught a whiff of several muddied scents at its base.

Several of them were old; voles, shrews, a deer. It was a subtler scent that caught his attention, and caused his tail to shoot up in surprise. It was an indeterminate mix of dog and wolf, which wasn’t too exciting on its own, but it was fresh. It was a signpost showing a way back to civilization. He reflexively ran a hand through his long, reddish hair, sweeping it back from his face in behavioral holdover from another time. Now, there was a chance. To sell a few charms, set a few bones, meet the right people, and start making his way the comfortable life where being huddled under a tree in the pouring rain would be a distant memory. He could get a coat to go with his vest. He wouldn’t end up as another skull on a tree. This was good. Very good indeed

Or quite possibly, as the nagging voice in the back of his head whispered, a very stupid decision. And so, off he went in the direction of what he hoped would be civilization. Unfortunately, the path up ahead very quickly became choked with leaf litter and soot that obscured everything under it. Persimmon heard a sharp crack underfoot, which was followed by a muffled whoosh as he found himself in what appeared to be a pitfall trap, lined with pine needles. The resulting swear echoed across the area, sending a small flock of sparrows surging into the air.


OOC Everyone is welcome, and greatly appreciated.

POSTED: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:18 pm

Word Count → 350 :: Hope you don't mind Thiago jumping in!
Travel wasn't something strange to him. Even back in Onuba, when he'd had a general area to call home, every minute, every second, of everyday he'd been moving: staying in one place too long usually drew attention, allowed for others to remember them, recognise them and point the finger at them when others came asking. Before Krokar they'd never exactly had a fixed home, in the sense of a residency where they remained. Now though he had a house, an empty one, but a house that was his and a pack with a rank to his name to boot; much had changed for him, since those days long passed.

What was strange was coming to out to here of all places; everywhere he looked just seemed ruined somehow, more so than the other ruins he'd crossed on his travels thus far. Fire had staked it's claim here, run rampant and showed no mercy, the lands only now starting to breathe once again and grow a fresh. No doubt if he were to venture in further, the destruction would only become more and more apparent.

There wasn't a particularly deep reason for him to be out this far from Krokar. His justification was to learn the lands that were near to his home; by knowing them, he'd know what they offered, where he could find resources, locate the packs, know about trading spots. Mundane, boring reasons really, lacking the thrill of adventure or excitement of a mission.

Yet among this bare land he found a stranger, or at least, the tail end of a scent that would lead to one. Unexpected, since from what he'd found thus far this place had nothing to offer anyone. Thiago would never go as far to call himself a social creature; frankly, he hated social situations. However he'd make an exception to be around a living soul, for this place was truly starting to give him the creeps.

Lifting his paws, he began tracking the male, dark eyes scanning around himself, seeing nothing even as the scent grew stronger.

“Hello? Is anyone out there?”

Art by Alaiaorax

Do you think there's something wrong with me?
Do you wanna stick around to see, how bad a boy can be
Krokar
Magnate
User avatar
Kitty
Luperci Falconer, Scavenger, Lookout

POSTED: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:54 am

It wasn’t that bad, as far as pit traps go. Persimmon took a few seconds to right himself and check to make sure he hadn’t been horrifically injured in the fall. After experimentally flexing a few muscle groups he decided that nothing had been maimed. Now was the issue of the pit. It was somewhat shallow, far more suited to catching medium game than passers bye. Judging by the decay of the lining, it was older than the fire, and long since abandoned, The coyote stood up cautiously before looking down at his vest. There was a tear running down the side, long and ugly, with errant black threads splayed out from the corners. He groaned, then quickly gave the rest of his clothes a cursory exam, relieved not to find anything else exceptionally damaged among his clothing

With minimal difficulty, the coyote scampered out of the pit. He paused on the edge, taking a moment to make sure nobody had witnessed his ignoble fall. Vanity was part of it, but for the most part the ash laden terrain had simply put him on edge. The coyote almost fell back in the pit when a voice suddenly called out, startling him. Persimmon recovered quickly, and didn’t even flinch when his quick trot through the brambles across from the pit brought him in the path of a total stranger. He was almost definitely a dog, simply based off that odd cloying funk that made up an underlying base note in the stranger’s scent, and had a vague fishy hint around the edges. Wisely, the coyote made sure not to show any outward sign of distaste regarding the stranger’s smell. Although, it took quite a good deal of personal restraint.

Eyes flicking across the dog, he made a quick covert analysis. The canine was predominantly shades of brown, mottled with other colors in places, and his physique was that of a craftsman. Muscled, but not in the same places that a lifelong soldier was. A mildly guarded look and stance indicated that mister dog was not the chatty sort, which was going to be a bit of an issue. He was likely connected to a pack of sorts, as he seemed healthy enough. That, and the fact Persimmon could pick up the lingering remnants of at least five other people’s scents on him. Loners don’t normally have that sort of identity diffusion hovering like a cloud about their persons.

Eager to avert another communication disaster like he’d had with the white loon, as he’d come to think of her; Persimmon opted for a very conservative greeting. Well, he couldn’t resist adding a little wordplay after the wording of the inquiry had practically begged for creative misinterpretation. The coyote simply looked over to dog, keeping his body language neutral and non-threatening. ”There is exactly one anybody here.”

POSTED: Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:31 pm

Word Count → 280 :: Out of Character text
Scanning his surroundings, his breath caught and muscles tensed: certainty that was someone nearby filled him. Frowning now, his sole erect ears spun around, nostrils flaring as he breathed in the scents, eventually deciding on a direction and edging closer to where he believed the cause of his unrest lay – someone was out here, having triggered one of his sense, set off some warning and he could figure out or pinpoint what exactly had cued him on on it.

With careful steps and eyes peeled he moved forward a few more strides, coming to a strop as movement sounded clearly this time. Before he'd been distracted, distanced from the source enough so that any sounds hadn't been loud or clear enough to register. Now though, he heard it all too clearly, a paw lifting to continue forward in investigation. Not that he needed to go looking, for from the brambles surrounding him came a coyote cutting into his path.

Holding onto his silence he watched as the male, of whom mimicked his own words in a distorted manner back at him, breaking his frozen expression. Lifting a brow, his tail twitched behind him, all the while one thought struck him: what a strange fellow he'd gotten himself mixed up with.

“Uh huh, I can see that,” grunting the short response, he shrugged, tilting his head at the male as dark eyes roamed over the others body, seeking weapons or any sign of threat. Nothing seemed all that bad about this one, although why he'd been out of sight and slinking around enough to put him on edge had him hesitating with the small talk and more friendlier greetings.

Art by Alaiaorax

Do you think there's something wrong with me?
Do you wanna stick around to see, how bad a boy can be
Krokar
Magnate
User avatar
Kitty
Luperci Falconer, Scavenger, Lookout

POSTED: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:26 pm

The familiar blank look spread across the dog’s face. Persimmon inwardly sighed, and added wordplay to his mental list of Things North Folk Do Not Understand. The list had been steadily growing at a depressing rate over the last few weeks, and had come to include things such as; sarcasm, innuendo, and in one disastrous occasion, appropriate times to vent flatulence. The fact that his new friend was obviously put off by his sudden appearance was not lost on the coyote.

It was understandable, really. From the dog’s perspective he had been slinking through the underbrush out of view in an almost exaggeratedly devious manner. Persimmon decided to put the other male’s fears, justified as they were, to rest immediately. He began to speak, a velvet baritone that was carefully pitched and intoned to seem amicable. “Sorry ‘bout hidin ‘longside the path. This burnt out forest has me on edge, so when I smelled someone…” He trailed off with an apologetic shrug and a quick gesture over to the brambles. Persimmon hoped that statement should be enough to offset any any lingering mistrust. Other than the millions of reasons the roving masses mistrust each other, of course.

An inveterate orator and self proclaimed Person-Who-Understands-People, Persimmon very quickly decided that the dog would not be impressed by or even understand flowery language. No, now was a time for plain speech. Something he found unimaginably boring, unfortunately. So he subtly shifted his ears and tail, smoothing his hackles as much as possible, trying to give off a more casual air. The coyote decided to finish with an innocent question, but informative to him nonetheless. ”So, what are you doin’ in the middle of this scenic wasteland?” He followed his statement with a less than serious chuckle. With luck, it would diffuse any lasting doubt in the dog's mind about Persimmon's intents.

POSTED: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:40 am

Word Count → 213 :: Out of Character text
Standing there awkwardly, the Vela male contemplated walking away; no small talk came to mind and with the silence beginning to stretch on he felt the pressing need to do or say something, yet his limited social capacities still did not provide him with a means to address the situation. It was one thing to recognise just how socially incompetent he'd become since leaving his some, yet quite another to do anything about it.

So he stood there, watching the other, breathing a small sigh of relief when the male took the initiative, giving some semblance of an explanation or perhaps it was intended as an apology? Hard to say really, although given it had started with 'Sorry' he was going to go with the latter.

“No need to apologies, these are neutral lands. Nothing to apologies for out here,” shrugging, he took a second longer to mull over his own answer, unsure how much he actually wanted to divulge to someone who was an absolute stranger in an area that was creepy and of suspect.

“Eh, well I'm new out here. Was learning the lay of the lands, but decided better after seeing this place. Gives me the damn creeps. How about you? Not exactly a great sight seeing location.”

Art by Alaiaorax

Do you think there's something wrong with me?
Do you wanna stick around to see, how bad a boy can be
Krokar
Magnate
User avatar
Kitty
Luperci Falconer, Scavenger, Lookout

POSTED: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:07 pm

Persimmon was now absolutely sure that the dog hadn’t even the slightest smattering of conversational skills. That much was evident as the silence between them grew until he filled it, and the dog seemed ready to walk off before he had. The tawny male made sure to open his stance, perk his ears, and otherwise seem as neutral as possible. It seemed to be working, for the time being. Today was going to be one of those Persimmon does the thinking for both sides of the conversation days at the rate they were going.

Part of him wanted to blame the ash choked wasteland for hampering his natural charisma. How could one hope to make a good impression in this hellhole? Better chances were to be had in between a prisoner and his jailers than amidst the corpses of these trees. Still, he pressed on, determined to get as much out of the encounter as possible.

The coyote did his best to look sympathetic to his new acquaintance, and for the most part, he succeeded. He also refrained from pointing out the redundant repetition in the half-hearted response of the dog, simply nodding in agreement. The bit about trying to learn the lay of the land was something Persimmon could understand. It was what he was doing, after all.

After a split second of deliberation, an answer came to him. ”I know what ya mean. T’tell the truth, Imma a bit lost out here.”

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