Against the Odds

Fallen

POSTED: Thu May 18, 2017 4:11 pm

OOC - Set in Wolfville, just outside CdC's borders.
[421]


The abandoned town was long since picked clean, but that didn't mean it was any less fun to explore. Arlen had already memorized the houses situated within his people's territory as best he could and decided that today would be the day he explored the other half, the half that his mother warned him against. There could be loners, thieves and vagabonds, lurking in the shadows she'd said. Though he respected his mother dearly and knew that she knew what she was talking about, she hadn't told him he was forbidden to go.

Trotting lazily down the empty street, he laced his dark red fingers behind his head and rested them upon his crown of loose red curls. On one wrist lay an assortment of brightly colored hairbands he'd stole from one of his sisters. All colors of the rainbow adorned his arm, some plain, some glimmering. He'd always had a fondness for the flamboyant. I know she said it was empty, but maybe someone missed something... There was always the hope that he'd find something left behind by the ancient humans. Besides, Indi had told him that if he wanted to amp up his wardrobe without getting more clothes he'd soon outgrow, his best bet to accessorize and he knew she didn't mean with her stuff.

His plain white tunic billowed in the slight breeze, loose on his still small frame. The sleeves were rolled up to just below his elbows, but the seams of the shoulders were several inches down his arms and the collar hung loosely around his clavicle. The gray pants appeared to fit better only by the ingenuity of his tailor. She'd been kind enough to loosely hem them so that she could let them down as he grew and add in a string to tighten the waistband. Clara really was the best, but the clothes were still plain... it needed something more.

Deciding that he'd moved close enough to the center of the town, the still growing boy took a sharp right and entered a random two story house. It looked like it'd once been quaint with cute white shutters and a nice porch out front. He pulled the door open as gently as he could but was dismayed to find that one of the hinges had been removed from the frame. Setting it carefully against the wall, he left it wide open as he headed further in, eyes adjusting to the darkness. Let's see what we can find, hmm?
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Luperci

POSTED: Thu May 18, 2017 5:28 pm

Word Count → 000 :: Out of Character text


"Were you never taught to knock before entering someone's home?" The French accented voice called out from a room deeper within the home at the sound of the door falling off its hinges. It wasn't truly his home but just somewhere that he was camping out. He had dragged a table over to a broken window that he had wiped the grime off in order to let the sunlight into the room. Spread out across the table was portion of vellum upon which a series of intersecting lines had been drawn. Yet another map was being crafted from memory. He had walked the streets of the ruined city and had thought to sketch out the layout. He labeled where a pocket of loners had taken up residency. Another label listed off usable items. Another was just sights of interest, such as a moored boat.

Acel, the pine marten, left his companion behind in order to go out and identify who had made the sound. He stood up on his hind legs and tilted his head curiously to the side as he looked up at Arlen. He barked at the stranger."Acel! Be nice!" Once more the voice called out and Acel took off to where Fallen was still bent over his map and working on laying down more streets. The more lines he put down the longer it took him to puzzle over them.

"Perhaps you can offer some assistance. My memory is turning to fog the longer this takes." He would have to go back out and pace the streets again to get an accuracy check but first he wanted down the area that he had already walked. If he had another to check behind his work then that would be just perfect.

Art by Kitty

POSTED: Thu May 18, 2017 10:42 pm

OOC - Sorry if this is a little confusing.
[327]


Hearing a voice call out to him from the dark made the poor boy jump, but he managed to bite back the squeal that'd threatened to escape. "Didn't think anyone was living here," his attempt at a nonchalant apology with ruined by the quiver in his voice. A remnant of his initial shock. Arlen silently cursed himself for his immediate reaction, clearing his throat so that it wouldn't happen again.

Slowly, the red Stryder continued into the house, glancing around for any sign of the house's "owner". Before he caught site of the luperci he smelled, a strange rodent decided to accost him with its strange barks. Taking a step back, he turned to the stranger "What on Earth is that?" Rudely, he pointed at the retreating creature. It looked like some weird concoction of animals rather than an individual itself.

"I don't think I've ever seen one before. Where's he from?" As usual, his brief fear had quickly faded into his usual curiosity. Young and full of energy, the boy never tired of asking questions, even from complete strangers. Once his eyes alighted on the paper spread out before the man, that too became an object of interest. "Ooh, is that a map? Like a real one? Where'd you get it? What's it of?" His jade green eyes glimmered hopefully at the red man. Please don't leave me hanging!

"Memory of what, the town? Sure." His teeth shone brightly as he grinned crookedly. "I only really know the part that's in my pack, but I can help with what I know so far..." He shrugged unhelpfully. If he didn't know it, he didn't know it. "But I can always go out and help you if you want! I like to explore!" As if that weren't already clear by his being here.
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POSTED: Fri May 19, 2017 5:00 pm

Word Count → 000 :: Sorry about yesterday, forgot today was Friday which means I had to be up at 4 am and his name is pronounced as Fay - lin


"Not necessarily living but residing here for now." It was a place where he could work without having to worry over the weather damaging his progress. He had had that happened before and had to redo a couple of maps that he had been working on outside when a sudden storm blew up. Now when he wanted to do a map he searched for a secure indoor location. His portraits and landscapes he still preferred to work on under the warmth of the sun. They didn't matter as much should they become messed up, they were for his own enjoyment rather than a record of knowledge.

He laughed at the other's words and the way that he pointed at the pine marten. "That is Acel." The Luperci responded while the marten chirred. "And he doesn't appreciate your tone." Though it clearly didn't bother the marten's companion for the dog hybrid was grinning. "He's called a pine marten. You could find them all over the areas that I stayed in before taking the long voyage. I haven't seen a one since I crossed the ocean." Which would explain why the other wouldn't know anything about his creature companion. "Started feeding him one day and he hasn't left since." Granted there was more to it than that now.

Once again the male was laughing, a melodic sound, when the other male got excited over his map. "If only the traders got as excited as you are. But yes, it is. I didn't get it from anywhere, I'm making it. This one is of the town, just the parts I can remember right now. Trying to fill it in with as much information as I can." He nodded his head when the other guessed at what he needed help with. "Well that will certainly be helpful as I wouldn't be able to visit that part myself." A few of his maps had been drawn up that way, reliant on the information that he was given rather than the things that he saw for himself.

"Well I certainly need to head back out to refresh my memory." The male stood up from where he had remained bent over his map. He rolled up said map and tucked it away into a leather, waterproofed, tube in which he carried all his maps. "I'm Fallen." A bandaged, charcoal stained, hand was offered along with the introduction."And you've already met Acel."

Art by Kitty

POSTED: Fri May 19, 2017 10:12 pm

OOC - You're alright :) I'm sorry you had to get up so early though :p
[459]


For the first time in what seemed like for ever (so approximately since morning), Arlen got all of his questions answered. His packmates, used to his antics, would only humor him for so long before they grew tired of the sound of his voice and the conniving ways he got answers to questions they didn't want to respond to. It was like the boy had a special skill and knew just how to get on everyone's last nerve all at once. It special skill that was particularly useful when he didn't want to get stuck with chores inside the Fort.

But just because all his questions had been answered didn't mean he couldn't conjure up some more. "Where did you stay? Voyage, like a long journey right? Where was it too? Where was it from? Was it fun? Did you see lots of cool stuff?" This man, this stranger that he just happened to stumble across, had crossed the ocean. Though Arlen had yet to travel very far off of his pack's borders, he'd always wanted to go see everything out there there was to see both on land and off of it. "What's sailing like? What's the sea like? Is it really dangerous like they say? Did you meet any pirates?"

The male seem far better humored about the whole thing than Arlen was used to and slowly his green eyes began to shimmer with something closer to awe. Finally, someone who could keep up with him! Oh, how he'd longed for such a companion! "Oh, Mama says I'm excited about everything. But that's not true. I don't get excited about birds. Or reading. But maps are really awesome!" He stepped closer, ignoring the other male's personal space, in order to get a better look at it. "So you really made this all by yourself? How?

The older man seemed grateful that Arlen could help him out, stating that there were parts of the town that he would never be able to reach. "Yeah, I don't think Mama or Dad would be okay with me letting you in to show you the rest of the town, but I'll help where I can." There were some boundaries that even the mischievous youngest Stryder didn't dare to test.

Arlen's tail stopped its incessant wagging as the man rolled up his wonderful maps. I wanted to look at it some more... But the mapmaker didn't seem finished with the conversation. Instead, he introduced himself as Fallen, with an outstretched hand. Signature crooked smile beaming, the young boy grasped his hand firmly with a bright, "My name is Arlen!"
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POSTED: Mon May 22, 2017 5:23 pm

Word Count → 000 :: Have to be at work early in the morning every Friday, it's become a habit now; Lady Elias


"Yes, a voyage is a long journey and the answer to most of the questions is everywhere. I've been a bit of here and there and all over." He had stayed in places long enough to gather all the information that he could and then he had moved on. He had mostly stuck to the bigger places with larger populations, and most especially ports and harbors for those were the best places in which to gather information. And of course there were the ships which he would come to need for parts of his exploration.

"Pirates would have been exciting but sailing is pretty boring. There is just water all around you, that's it. You eat the same old dried out food day after day and have to ration your water because even though you are surrounded by it none of it is fresh and able to be drank." Which is why he certainly preferred land travel over sea travel. "You can meet some interesting individuals but being stuck with the same ones for months on end can lead even the most intriguing of them to become tiresome." Eventually you got to hearing the same old stories. And then there were the routines, every day the same.

A shoulder was lifted and lowered in a shrug when he was questioned on how he made his maps. It was a question that he didn't really have a proper answer for. "I just draw what I see and what I remember." That was as much of an answer as he could give. It was just something he did, a natural talent. It was like asking him how he knew the difference between sky and ground, he just did. Still when his personal space was invaded he involuntarily sidled away in order to create more room. The invasion of space wasn't what bothered him but more of the whom, or even more precisely the gender of the whom.

"That doesn't seem to be a thing that too many like." Though there had been occasions when he had been guided around just so he could collect information. Usually those ended with him making a copy for himself and a copy to leave at the place he had been allowed to visit and explore. "There just doesn't seem to be a trust of strangers any more." though he couldn't say that Arlen was showing any sort of apprehension on his part. "Or else they just don't like Acel." Which caused the pine marten to start fussing again.

"Well met Arlen, you've got a man's handshake." He said when his own hand had been firmly grasped."We just need to grab Lady Elias and then we can go. You tell me what you know and I'll tell you if I have it already." Fallen headed out the back door to retrieve the horse whom he had left to wander around in the fenced in back yard.



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POSTED: Mon May 22, 2017 10:53 pm

Arlen's eyes glimmered with what could only be described as boyish hope as Fallen tried to answer all of his questions. To be fair, there were quite a few of them. It was a wonder the man even attempted the feat of sating the Stryder's hunger for knowledge. It wasn't an easy task. Fallen's description of life on the sea did little to dissuade the boy from fantasizing about it. "I still think it sounds super cool to try. At least once!" Everything was good to try once, right?

Speaking of the sea... "My dad knows how to sail a boat. Did you help make it go or did you just ride on it? Both sound pretty fun to be honest." A light of realization went off above Arlen's head. "Maybe I should have him teach me?" The soft utterance was more for himself than for Fallen or his companion, Acel. The idea to ask him hadn't really occurred to him since his father very rarely sailed anymore. He was always so busy doing other 'important" pack business. But maybe, if he worked really hard in his training, Luca would consider it. Maybe.

Fallen tried to explain his skill, but it didn't quite answer the question Arlen had really meant to ask. My fault for not being specific, he supposed. "But what about distances? Like between the buildings and the streets and stuff?" Spatial awareness and reasoning was what he was questioning, though it didn't seem like he knew the words to properly ask. "How do you know how to make something really big like a town fit on a piece of paper and not have everything really messed up?" It was amazing he even thought of it in the first place, but what would be even more amazing would be if Fallen could actually answer.

Arlen glanced over at the pine marten at Fallen's little quip. "Yeah, I could see how he could be a problem." He squinted suspiciously at the little creature, but smiled fondly after. He had no problems with Acel but some people just couldn't take a joke if he didn't make it clear. Even them, there were those that still had issues with his humor. Like a certain older sister of mine. But at the end he turned back to the man and shrugged. "I don't really see what the problem is. I say you seem pretty okay to me." The unspoken "But others wouldn't agree" was left hanging in the air. A soft sigh left the kid as if he were years older and weather worn. "But Mama says I trust people too easily. I dunno. I think I've got a pretty good judge of character." Too bad it wasn't up to him.

Though he wasn't quite certain what a 'man's handshake' entailed exactly, he knew a compliment when he heard one. Beaming brightly, he wagged his tail softly. "Why thank you!" Fallen gathered his things and began walking out the door, but Arlen paused. "Lady Elias? Do you have someone else here?" Following the man outside, he was surprised when they stumbled across a mare that he had apparently not noticed when he was outside himself.
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POSTED: Tue May 23, 2017 11:31 am

Word Count → 000 :: ooc here


"It is okay when you first start out but after being out for awhile it gets boring." First stepping onto a new ship could be considered fun but then when routine set into place it started to get boring. Or at least it did for him. Fallen wasn't one for strict routines. That could also be why taking over his mentor's work appealed to him so much. Whenever he felt done with an area he could just move on to somewhere else and say it was for the sake of finishing up the large world map that had once been his mentor's life mission and was now his own. So it wasn't just a wandering nature that drove him, but a purpose for it as well.

"I just rode and stayed out of the way of those who worked." Fallen answered with a laugh. "I wouldn't even know where to begin should I have tried to help out." There were the commands given that he didn't understand. It was just all so confusing to him and so he had mostly stayed sequestered off by himself and reviewed his maps. Plus he also had to keep Acel out of trouble, which had been no easy feat either.

Fallen grinned at Arlen's next set of questions. "Practice." He boiled it all down into one simple word. "I still do mess it up from time to time. Sometimes I still draw it too big and have to redo it all over again. Or I draw it too small." He shrugged off the words. "Everything is to scale, not actual size. I just try to make it fit the paper and if I have to redo it to make it all fit then I redo it. I just used the mess ups to focus on smaller areas." He would throw on more labels than he did with ones meant to cover the entire area and would go back in to add details such as trees and whatever prey was to be found. He found ways to still make it informative even if it couldn't be used strictly for its original purpose.

"I just think if you expect the worst from someone then you are going to get the worst." Which is why Fallen gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and tend to treat them the way he would wish to be treated. He didn't want Arlen to be a threat and therefore he didn't treat him as one. "And you seem pretty okay to me too. Very inquisitive." Which reminded Fallen of himself when he had been younger. He had always been asking his mentor things.

"Just her." Fallen said as he ran a hand over the mare's neck. "She was stolen before so I keep her hidden now." He reached down a hand to rub at her swollen belly. "She is due to be a mother in a few months and so I have to keep her safe. Keep her back here so no one else can find her and take her."



Art by Kitty

POSTED: Wed May 24, 2017 12:50 am

[472]

Arlen nodded slowly to everything Fallen said, trying his best to absorb the onslaught of information. He did his best, and he did ask for it, but being young, of course things slipped through the cracks every now and again. He did his best to keep up.

When Fallen explained that even he - who made such beautiful maps - messed up from time to time, Arlen couldn't help but smile sheepishly. "Well that gives me a little hope that maybe I won't end up as big a screw up as I think I will." Only part of him was joking. His brother Remus already had an idea of what he wanted to do with his life, his sister was working her hardest at archery and knife fighting and had an avid interest in reading, and his older siblings were long past their First Bloods. It seemed like he was the only one who didn't know what was going on anymore. He just wanted to travel and have fun and fall in love. Was that too much for a boy to ask?

Arlen's tail began wagging furiously as the mapmaker explained his opinion about untrustworthiness. "I agree! And how can you expect people to like you or trust you if they don't think you trust them back? It's not a fair assumption to make." If the man couldn't already tell, Arlen was quick to make friends out of anyone and everyone he met. The mapmaker was no exception.

At Fallen's comment about Arlen, he grinned his crooked smile. Pearly white fangs glinted in laughter. "Yeah, I'm told I ask too many questions. How else am I supposed to learn anything?" He glanced side to side quickly with a mischievous gleam before adding "But don't tell anyone, I sometimes do it on purpose so they'll send me out." What was a little exaggeration every once in a while? It didn't hurt anything.

When they went outside and greeted the horse, Arlen let out a breath of understanding. "That's a very unusual name for a horse." At least in his mind it was. Then again, who was he to judge, He'd made friends of his pack's cattle and even had names for the calves already though they didn't officially have any. At the mention of babies, the boy's face softened considerably. "Awwww, she's gonna have a baby?" He grinned at the horse though she probably didn't understand his expression.

Animals and their babies aside, he turned slightly more serious once they left to go looking at map making. He pointed towards the scent of Casa. "I know most of the town from this road on that way. Everything else I only kinda sorta know."
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POSTED: Tue May 30, 2017 7:05 pm

Word Count → 000 :: ooc here


"I think that is something else that ends up being in your head. I think you can be and do whatever you set your mind. You just have to really want it and try at it. And sometimes things just fall in your lap." He added on with a laugh, motioning to his map. "My mentor had started this but I'm finishing it up for him now that he has passed on. It was his life's mission to have it completed." And it didn't bother Fallen to now have the responsibility of looking after and completing the map. He hadn't had an ambition of his own when he had started out but seeing how much it meant to his mentor had made it important to him as well. There was no better way to honor his mentor's memory than to see his work completed.

Fallen nodded his head in agreement. "That is exactly how I feel." He had the belief of what one put out into the world would then be returned to them. He believed that positivity bred positivity. He also didn't understand how those who treated others as if they harbored some sort of nefarious motive expected to be trusted and liked themselves. "No matter what you might be told don't let anyone force you to change your views. You shouldn't have to conform in order to make someone else happy.

He smiled and shook his head. [b]"You can't learn if you don't ask. I don't believe there can ever be such a thing as too many questions. No matter how old you get you never stop learning. There is also something more to be found out."
There was no doubt that Fallen was continuing to learn. He was seeing new places and meeting new faces so there was always something to pick up from that. He was always learning something new, even if it was just the layout of the area that he found himself in as was what he found himself learning now.

"What would a usual name for a horse be?" Fallen had never really paused to consider that there might be proper, and therefore improper, names for a horse. He had simply kept the name that she had already been given rather than making her learn to accommodate something new. He saw no need to change her name just because he hadn't been the one to give it to her. It would be like him trying to change Arlen's name just because it wasn't one he had picked out, or at least that was how he saw it.

A nod of his head was given. "She is." Fallen grabbed the wrist of the younger male in order to place his hand against the back of the mare's stomach. "Feel that? That is the baby there." There was a slight twitching movement within the mare's midsection from the foal as it was being pressed against. Fallen laughed at the movement. "You woke him up." Though Fallen had no idea if the foal really had been resting or if it was even a colt.

When Fallen headed back out into the city he brought the mare with him, not because he needed a mount, but simply so he would know where she was at all times. Though Acel had saw fit to ride upon the horse's back. "I've been a few blocks over in that direction." He said as he pointed in the opposite direction of where Arlen had. "Stayed in the area around the house mostly."

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