now we are stunned minds

Atalanta

POSTED: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:30 pm

midday, dampwoods (+200)

She had considered coming horseback. She was glad she hadn't.

To run felt nearly foreign. It had been countless weeks since she'd done such a thing, and it was embarrassing how quickly a stitch sprung to her side and her panting prevailed. Even though she had been doing physical labor around Casa more recently, she had very little time to wander or race straight for miles. She had been building muscle, not working her lungs. And so her trip to the heart of the Dampwoods was sporadic at best, he once easy trek becoming one of work and tire. It made it only worse that she had chosen to hunt with bow and arrow today, since it required her two-legged figure to carry her weaponry at all times. But the tired mother prevailed on, that old flare of stubborness and refusal to quit still very much alive. Eventually, she made it to the place she had been seeking.

After another pause to lean against a tree and even out her breathing again, Lyris assessed where she was. It was just a normal patch of wood; but here was the place she had caught many trophies. It was deep in the thick of this particular forest, and animals of all the varieties seemed to feel safer here. With that glitter in her eyes that only a huntress could know, the Cavallo plunged into the vegetation, eager to begin her tracking. Not too much later, fresh scat of deer caught her nose. The lightly snow-dusted earth had been impressed by the hooves of ungulates, and Lyris whipped her tail in a brief expression of victory.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:50 pm

breaking gun arrow safety rules y'all

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Another Luperci was on the trail of the deer, too, though there was a sharpness to Atalanta's movements -- a leanness to her face and hunger in her eyes that suggested she hadn't been able to eat something so large in a long time.

Hunting usually wasn't rough on the archer and runner, but a slew of bad luck seemed to have followed her lately -- from broken and misplaced arrows to mere misfortune when chasing down rabbits and birds. She was usually very self-sufficient and proud of that fact, but sometimes Artemis didn't run and shoot alongside her.

She attributed it first to mere misfortune, things outside of her control, and then wondered, like a child, if it was truly an act of the gods.

She chuckled at old superstitions, but as the hunger gnawed at her belly, Atalanta found herself praying.

Maiden goddess, huntress of the moon, make my aim true...

She nocked an arrow, eyes and nose seeking out her quarry, then suddenly stiffened at the telltale sound of footfalls in the woods beyond -- and a blur of white fur.

Atalanta moved on instinct, pointed and drew.


avatar by marinatedmermaid

POSTED: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:09 pm

call the archery police (+300)

The trail was long, if fresh. The animals were on the move. Lyris took care with each foot step, easily falling into the natural tempo of staying out of sight but closely near. She often checked the wind, as well as chose to leap from tree root to rock if the path was available to her in leeway of risking cracking a twig hidden beneath the inch of snow. Her heartbeat and the faint rustle of wind were the loudest things in her ears, the ground the sharpest sight of her eyes. She was close. Very close.

The last deer she had landed had been during her time in New Dawn. She could very clearly remember the suppressed anxiety and excitement that came with the hunt, paired right along with her favorite feeling: the burst of triumph and relief when the arrow buried itself in its mark. The cry of the beast that came moments later was less pleasurable, but Lyris never let it drag out for long. Normally, she would send a second shot to the throat and then end the job with her dagger. While she may have been a sharp-shooting, cold-eyed hunter, she was not merciless. Especially since the birth of her own children; she did not enjoy watching things die. She was here for the food, and the thrill of the race.

Something moved. It was silent, and her ears had not helped her here. It had been her eyes; a slight disturbance just across the way, a fluid pull of what she assumed to be a head of antlers raising. Lyris reacted just as her body told her to; pulling an arrow from over her shoulder, she slipped it against the string of her bow, and then raised from her crouch to point. It took her only a quarter of a second to realize, then, that her target was not a deer. Jerking her bow up at the last moment, Lyris took a fast sidestep, loosing her own arrow to bury in the branch above her in an attempt to avoid the projectile pointed her way.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:22 pm

See galleries for credit.

The problem with Atalanta's shooting style was that it relied so much on speed and reflex; she tended to hit her prey before they could react and feather them rather than aim to shoot out their eyes or other tiny targets. It meant, unfortunately, that she often acted before she could follow through with her thoughts, too -- and the difficult life a loner did not help matters. As many creatures were out to get her as they were to help, and a bluff with a nocked arrow turning deadly was better than being slow on the draw.

Perhaps part of her recognized the danger of the other's weapon, too, but though Atalanta's fingers twitched she'd frozen. She could see now that the white shape was a Luperci, and one whose scent, though downwind, was the same as the other pack wolves Ata had encountered before. She hesitated, certain for a second that she was about to die, that the time had finally come and that Hades would greet her now --

The arrow zipped past her ears and thunked in a branch overhead, and Atalanta cursed shrilly: Hera's tits! She ducked a little too late, loosening her arrow arm and all but throwing her weaponry down to show that she wasn't a threat.

Sorry! Atalanta yelped, putting a hand to her chest.


avatar by marinatedmermaid

POSTED: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:37 pm

OOPS (+200)

Her leap, however, had been quite in vain, and seemed to cause more of an issue than avoid one. The involuntary movement, in order to flee, caused her arrow to fly, and it very narrowly missed pinning the stranger's ear to the tree behind her. Lyris promptly ducked after her dodge, and laying flat on the ground, heard and exclamation that made little sense to her, but was clearly one of surprise. In response, the deer herd not far off started at the noise and the low rumbling of running began to seep through the trees. Their prey was gone, but at least they hadn't killed one another. In the midst of the quickly fading noise of stampeding, Lyris snatched her bow and shot to her feet, hoping dearly she hadn't injured the stranger. Cutting through the brush, the dark-eyed mother froze when she came face-to-face with the stranger, dropping her own bow at her feet to match the woman's pose. "Me too," Lyris replied, voice a little short from the still-fading feeling of her heart jumping to her throat. "Did it nick you?" The Cavalier asked, glancing up to the blue-fletched arrow that was nestled in the limb above the lady's head. They both still appeared a little wide-eyed, but a near-death experience tended to have that affect on even the hardiest of hunters.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:47 pm

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The distant sound of thudding hooves and crackling undergrowth told Atalanta that their skittish, feet-footed prey had gotten away -- which was as much a reason for her to continue cursing under her breath as the mortification of finding herself nearly killing someone (or, more likely, getting killed). She drew in soft but deep breaths to try to still the racing of her heart, hand still pressed to her soft, pale chest as if she could quiet it through her ribcage.

The other archer rose and made her way through the undergrowth to approach Ata, setting down her own weapon. Glancing up -- she was considerably taller than herself -- Atalanta forced a quick if wobbly smile and shook her head. No, I'm okay, she said. I'm sorry I took aim at you, she repeated a moment later, her accent thicker with worry. I've been having the worst gods-damn luck, I swear...

She took in a shorter breath to stop herself; she was too independent to throw herself at another's feet sobbing about her life's story, especially when it had been fine up until this past week or so. She found her hands shaking and began to comb her fingers through her hair, giving herself some motion to tend to.

She smiled again, fast and friendly if nervous. I should have recognized your scent sooner. You're from Casa di Cavalieri, yes?


avatar by marinatedmermaid

POSTED: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:12 pm

sorry if this is all over the place .n. (+300)

Lyris' body was now successfully covered with a dusting of cold dirt and snow from both her tracking and her dodging. She looked a little homeless and worn; though she was far from first. Setting eyes on the woman and realizing she was not bleeding from her loosed arrow managed to calm the Cavallo's fluttering heart. She had come to kill deer, not wolves, and had she found a Luperci at the end of her shot Lyris wasn't sure what she would have done. Nothing pleasant, that was for certain. Murder, where at once she had been indifferent, now held a new sort of reverence and blasphemy to her. She had few- if any- morals that she religiously stuck to, but day by day she was finding herself a little bit more.

Her immediate concern and kindness was not very long-lived, though. The scarred woman did not become immediately bitter or blunt, certainly not, but her voice evened out to its usual flatness and her body to its normal stiffness that was the norm when she was in the presence of unfamiliar company. What an awful way to introduce yourself, and it did nothing to improve Lyris' tact in conversation or navigation of words. "It's alright, I aimed too. Just instinct, I guess." Lyris lifted a shoulder, and then crouched briefly to retrieve her bow, brushing off the debris that had stuck to the slender, white-birch body. Returning it over her chest, the Corpo then made a small loop around the still-flustered loner to retrieve her arrow with a quick leap and snatch. Turning back to face the gray-blue gaze of her sudden company, Lyris seemed to visibly relax as she ran her fingers over the shaft of her arrow. "Yes. You know of us?" Now that they were nearby, Lyris could identify the woman's scent as one of a solitary soul; the way that Casa di Cavalieri's name escaped her lips, however, had been vaguely excited, and it intrigued the Corpo. "I'm Lyris." She introduced, realizing that was an important conversation point with strangers.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:17 pm

Sorry for wait and suck post!

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Right, Atalanta agreed, and shook her head as she glanced at her own bow still pressed to the earth, her tone dropping low. Instinct usually keeps us safe. It didn't necessarily do the same for others, that much was obvious, but she'd had to react quicly to bad situations before. She didn't usually regret her decisions, though some of them were more thought-out and had subtler social consequences than spooking or shooting someone with an arrow.

The white wolf was tense, which Atalanta could understand -- she wasn't relaxed at all herself, despite her submissive posture -- but she seemed to ease up once she had her weaponry again. She seemed curious about the Grecian woman's knowledge of her pack, and Atalanta nodded. I've met one or two of your members before -- and a former member. And a... a long time ago, a friend of mine told me about you. He said you were knights. Knights that belonged in storybooks, the type of knight that he'd wanted to become, though she knew the prince would never leave his kingdom even in pursuit of such a dream. She frowned, then quickly wiped the melancholy expression away, rising to her feet and extending her hand in a humanlike gesture for Lyris to shake.

I'm Atalanta.


avatar by marinatedmermaid

POSTED: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:08 pm

your posts are never suck <3 (+400)

Lyris almost had to withhold a laugh at that- instinct was supposed to keep up safe. According to whom? Instinct had failed her or been stacked against her, time and time again. The only thing that kept her safe was her own vigilance, in her own opinion. It took personal awareness and the drive to build your skill set and the ability to defend yourself, in the end, if one ever wanted to avoid or fight back against the odds the universe may have stacked against you. That was why Lyris normally ended up only blaming herself for her failures, and why failure was her biggest fear. She only saw the tiny slip up as one of her own, not one of her instincts, and it was reason for why she constantly was stacking unecessary weight on her shoulders. Like just now, Lyris only had her own lack of foresight to blame when pointing her arrow towards Atalanta. She should have known that the being was not prey, but friend, and yet had missed. It bothered her in the back of her mind, subtle and silent but still very much tangible throughout the rest of the exchange. Lyris did her best to shove it off.

The Stryder paused in the movement of her claws against the feather fletching of her arrow. This stranger spoke with a sort of reverence in her voice, and the Cavallo was intrigued. Casa di Cavalieri was a valiant place, but did it seem so grand and powerful to outsiders? "Of sorts." She replied, lifting a shoulder in the echo of a shrug. "We just... try to protect what's important, I suppose." The stranger seemed to brighten up slightly, though Lyris could see the pain that had briefly danced across her face. She didn't pry, nor did she think on it more. She would never appreciate someone doing the same to her display of memories resurfaced. A hand was lifted to her, and Lyris stared at it for a handful of seconds. The gesture was familiar, but it took her longer to recognize than anyone grown up in a civilized place would have. Immediately upon remembering, she shook the other's hand, sweeping away her hesitation in picking up a new line to discuss. "What were the names of the Cavaliers you met before?" The mother inquired, genuinely curious. They had obviously left some kind of impact, no matter how small.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:41 pm

evidence to the contrary: this post

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The respect in her voice was an echo of the story Guinevere told her, and perhaps the relief that there was another woman-knight — a sign that this place was all right, as far as packs went. Her standards were admittedly low, but she was still not quite used to these civilized places after her missions in the western wilds.

She nodded. So I have been told, she agreed, but a bit of humor danced along her tongue. I do have questions about what you do find important, though — I can't imagine it is quite the same as what these other packs value. The stories I've heard were, admittedly, biased in your favor. Her whiskers curled, and her tongue peeked between her lower canines in a silly little smile to disarm the judgment. The picture that Guin had painted could not have been the full story, but an adult — and an adult woman with a disfiguring scar on her face — would have a different take.

There was a moment of hesitation before Lyris took her hand, but Ata did not fault her for it. She let the handshake last no longer than the other woman allowed and smiled again. Guinevere told me much of the ideal of Casa, she said. And I met her brother Tristan in the northern woods. Her expression shifted again, minutely, and her tone fell a little flatter as she added, And it was a Courtier who used to tell me stories.


avatar by marinatedmermaid

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