[m] in the middle of an ocean no one's hands are dry

POSTED: Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:18 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

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It's night in The Dampwoods, and it's cool. Your character is hunting a weak-looking deer.

Night found her once more beyond Salsola’s borders, called as she so often was to the whistling woods and sighing winds. On four legs her true self was exposed and raw like a wound in the mouth, shades of red, amber, and gold keeping her hidden among the leaves that had only just begun to think about turning. In the weeks and months to come they would either burn bright and fall or wither on the branch.

A recent rain rendered what few fallen leaves existed soft, and the thick bed of pine needles further cushioned her footfalls.

In this form she was long-legged, almost overly lean, and fast. This was not the public face of an old-world patrician or a pirouetting ballerina, but a young and capable cog in the machine. She was an instrument of death, no matter how she pretended otherwise under the fierce glare of daylight. Tools were of no use to her in this form, and her dagger was stashed in its alcove, as useless in her non-existent hands as her skills would be to many others.

Somewhere ahead, the labored breaths of a wounded deer misted in the darkness. She wasn’t so unkind as to have dealt the injuring blow; its fear and pain did nothing for her. Something else – a bear, perhaps, or even a cougar – had done the lion’s share of the work for her. Clementine thought maybe it was young, the product of this spring’s crop of calves.

With her slightly yellowed teeth glistening in the near-moonless light refracting through the trees overhead, she circled around to the right with her attention focused entirely on her prey, the ammonia smell of its fear as potent as the sea.

Last edited by Clementine Salcedo on Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Salsola
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Lorraine
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POSTED: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:15 am

Like an errant autumn leaf she drifted through the dark pathways of the wood, long muzzle pressed into the slick debris turned up by dainty hooves. Though born into deep winter, Galilee was just like her father: sun-loving, almost heliophagic, rarely found in the night and depressed come short days. But they no longer had the luxury of salted food storage or bodies for patrol, and Lee's yellow-green eyes hadn't forgotten their crepuscular roots.

This all to say she stuck out like a sore, tawny thumb in the shadows, wasn't super stoked about night hunting, but was fucking hungry.

She'd caught the wayward scent of the deer, congealed blood and fear-agony all, and found the staggering tracks. Licking her lips, she waved her tail and trotted in that direction, her gait a ground-eating but never-tiring lope. She could run just about any prey into exhaustion, like a true canine, and while she had her surges of impatience, in this she was confident that the end would come eventually.

Provided no one claimed the kill first.

The stranger was bright like her beneath the shading boughs, dust-colored with highlights of scarlet that caught Lee's eye, stalking in a hemisphere around the beast. Galilee smelled another female – almost flowery in her scent, lavender and lilac – and wagged her tail again. She quickened her pace.

The deer never saw her coming. (It totally saw her coming.) Large teeth sank into the old wound, lips peeled back at the taste of old blood before a warmer, fresher iron touched her tongue. It was over relatively quickly after that; shock settled in fast, and its last breath was visible, like a ghost.

The sandy-gold wolfdog lifted her head and looked for the other loner, hoping she noticed how cool that was – but the second she glimpsed her, she grinned with bloodied teeth and stepped away from the fresh corpse, as if to say, "You first!" She wasn't going to steal a kill out from someone's nose without letting them have a fair share; she saw it as a nice favor, anyway.

Petite Cour
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POSTED: Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:45 pm

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From the corner of her vision floated a wayward penumbra, the faint brilliance surrounding a dark core. She descended upon the deer, falling like so many stars, until it was brought down through sheer determination. This was someone who hunted not merely for need – as they all did, whether was a need to feed themselves or others as well – but perhaps for glory in service.

Salsola’s cacciatore worked in this way, serving their kingdom while basking in the blood of lesser creatures; and not only their hunters, but a fair few others as well. Few of them, she thought, would invite another to share in their meal, but this woman did. Drifting nearer, her steps clearly articulating a level of wariness, Clementine wagged her tail doggishly in greeting.

She was a prideful thing, though, and didn’t think twice about the offer of a fresh meal. Ignoring the open wound on its haunch, she ripped into the animal’s belly, viciously and voraciously seeking the nutrient-packed innards.

They were opposites in many ways; one born in late winter, the other during the august days of summer, and their respective groups couldn’t have been more different, with one having existed in a hotel for dreamers by the sea and the other had cut her teeth on stone ships and stone ruins. While she feasted, she thought of her own group’s famous Suppers, idly wondering when the next one might be.

Soon, she hoped.

When she stepped back, having eaten her fill, Clementine was bloody-faced and bright-eyed, one side of her mouth curving into a grin. Her tongue snaked around to wipe flecks of carmine from her face, then pressed against her teeth.

You were like a star, Complimented the Salcedo, rolling her shoulders. nothing... and then brightness.


Salsola
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Lorraine
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POSTED: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:09 pm

Long limbs carried the red-hued loner closer with not so much trepidation as a careful awareness – because to tromp forward trustingly was naive at best and suicidal at worst in these woods. Galilee stood very still, her ears set high and her tail swaying as she watched the lithe female dive in, pearly teeth digging into the soft underbelly and taking the best for herself.

With a gentle roll of her eyes, Lee let her, and approached with stiff legs and still-wagging tail to gnaw the tougher flesh from the bloody haunch, careful not to intrude on the other's territory lest she get a snap to the face. She ate more languidly, even though instinct was to gorge on what she could, because only God knew when next she might eat. Her teeth scraped against bone, tongue passing over the last bits of meat clinging to that section of femur when the pretty dog finished, licking her bloodied lips and speaking smoothly.

Galilee paused mid-lick, rather stupidly, her eyes staring up at the gorgeous young hybrid in bewilderment.

Oh fuck, how was she gonna beat that line?

She wasn't. No – just had to pretend that hadn't floored her. Like she'd heard better. Like the last line that had made her jump into someone's bed hadn't been "my ears are cold, mind if I use your thighs to warm them up?"

She lifted her chin and grinned, confident, toothy; mirrored the way the girl had ran hers over her bloodied face.

You're a pretty bold poet for your age, mon lapinou.

Husky voice, cocky smile, flex just a little in the shoulders. Yeah, she didn't need no pretty words.

Petite Cour
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POSTED: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:38 pm

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She was used to others letting her have her way – because she was young, because she was a rising star, because she was pretty – the reasons didn’t matter why, only the end result. In this way, she as self-absorbed as possible while mentally distancing herself from such things, imagining herself somehow above it while up to her shoulders in it.

The loner, or whatever she was, took more time. Even from a few paces away, she could hear the sound of bone-on-bone, and her ears flickered at the sound. Once, she glanced into darkness as if expecting to find prying eyes, but there were no spies in the woods tonight. Licking blood from her face in the relative silence, she had enough awareness to wonder where the stranger had come from.

By her bulk, she might’ve had a home once, but the would-be merchant doubted if she belonged to one now. Of the packs she knew, none of them smelled like her, and disguise was a tool wasted on non-Salsolans.

Beyond that she didn’t wonder, finding she didn’t much care.

There was a pause between her observation and the golden woman’s response where anything might have happened, and Clementine thought for a moment she’d made some mistake; those were rare, and never came quite so fast as this.

Maybe for you, signora, She responded, instantly blending and mending the two faces she wore. Antiope Scali the merchant’s daughter and Clementine Salcedo the Warden of Salcedo would have to make their peace tonight.

have you had enough, then? Clem didn’t gesture to the deer, but allowed the silence to conflate her meaning. Intuition told her no; no one that strong knew when to quit.


Salsola
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Lorraine
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POSTED: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:57 pm

Galilee had been raised in a court, but one that had its origins in a band of misfits, of mongrels pretending to be kings – a far cry from the intrigue and politics of the more northern kingdom. She didn't possess a silver tongue or the keen mind and steel heart for manipulation.

But challenge was a language she spoke well. Her vivid green eyes narrowed.

Had enough? I've only had just a taste.

With a motion made graceful by her long legs, the sandy-gold wolfdog leaped from a standstill over the carcass, joining the loner's side. Her body conveyed a fluid dominance from the set of her ears to the lift of her tail, its tip swaying. She muscled her way into the girl's space, as if trying to drive her off the carcass, but it was clear from her direct gaze and crooked smile that she might just take a bite out of something else.

Belying her dominance was a softness to her eyes, a clear allowance should the girl want to escape. Lee was a predator in only one sense, and she was cognizant and careful of the other female's youth.

Petite Cour
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what's up, danger?

POSTED: Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:29 pm

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Their shared carcass was abandoned almost as swiftly as it had been taken down, the final blow – in both cases – dealt by the jade-eyed woman whose manner was so interesting to Clementine. Machismo was a rare trait in Salsola, as if they’d selectively bred it out, and perhaps this was true. In a pack where the word of women was Law, there was no room for the false bravado of men.

They drank wine, peacocked, and were generally more gentlemanly than one might initially assume. For Clem, who anticipated and desired new experiences, this was boring.

No one could say this of her current companion, who had no sense of decorum or personal space, her physicality a challenge in and of itself. She was sheltered enough to feel this was temporarily acceptable enough and smart enough (she thought) to weasel herself out of a sticky situation if it came to that; using their shared dining experience as a guide, she proceeded accordingly.

Bumping her shoulder against the other woman, her posture suggested that this was not unwelcome.

You could have more, She suggested, venturing dangerously close to unexplored territory. It was a girl’s challenge, not a woman’s, said in the same way one might declare a dare or a game of hide-and-seek. if you want.


Salsola
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Lorraine
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