It's an Adventure

Johanna

POSTED: Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:42 pm

During his day to day life within The Order, the Janus saw his fair share of game, big and small, hunted and brought back to be used as food for the group, and the hide and bones used to craft and repair weapons. Over the course of his short life, the boy had become quite adept at shaving, stretching, and tanning these hides into leather that the group could work with. It was a meticulous task that would keep the young hybrid occupied in his day to day life, when he was not training with the other initiates, or going out to explore the territory.

Today, however, Elias looked upon the stockpile of leathers he had amassed, more than the order was consuming. He had many sheets and rolls of surplus hide, as well as bones, makeshift plates made from the tops of skulls, knives whittled from long bones, and silver blue eyes flicked out towards the outskirts of the Order's territory. There had been word of a caravan passing through the peninsula, a band of traveling traders who Elias thought it might be in his behest to seek out with his overstock of materials.

Packing his rolled leathers into a large bundle, and bones into a hide pouch, the demon son walked out into camp and spotted the silver girl, looking bored or otherwise unamused in the opinion of the male. "Johanna." The tall svelte mix spoke her name with an easy smile and an intentional relaxing of his posture. "Would you like to accompany me on a small training mission? You'd get away from camp for a night, stretch your legs, I have a few things I'd like to go trade." He proposed, holding up the smaller pack of bones and rabbit hides that he had prepared. "It wont be dangerous, I just need someone to help me carry the bags, what do you say?"
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POSTED: Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:00 am

Now that she was older and able to help around the camp in ways fit for an initiate, people began to talk to and treat the teen a bit more seriously. "The Ashen", she was sometimes called when addressed. She knew her parents had given her the title when she was still a pup, a loving label on account of her smoky hair. At the very least, that was the extent of the symbolism that she was aware of. Though, she supposed it was both pretty and meaningful, since her mother was known as a Pyre. A burning bed of wood for that which had passed, letting off silver snow to dance on a passing breeze. Sometimes she wondered who or what that funeral fire was for, seeing as each of the heads had some meaning behind their own titles they gave it.

Even her father, Prometheus, described his as the name of some ancient being that supposedly gave the knowledge of fire to the species before them. A trickster and inventor, who paved the way for the fledging race. Both of them revolved their symbols heavily around the flames, and even their family name was touched by them, so clearly it had some significance in their lives. In fact, Johanna was crouching next to a campfire, poking at the embers with a charred stick to unlock it's secrets as she lost herself in thought. When the time comes to show her worth and swear her oath, Johanna wondered what name she would choose for herself. She thought about brushing with fire as well, as a nod to her lineage, though on further reflection it made her smirk. Maybe something like that was too cliché, and she needed to discover what fate had in store instead.

As she knelt musing by the fire, a familiar scent ghosted towards her over the crackling lumber. Turning her face away from the heat, Johanna licked some moisture back to her nose and gave a soft smile behind a curtain of hair, watching the older male approach. "Eli." she murmured back, not rising to her feet till he offered a pack of trading goods. "O-Of course, I would love to." she said readily, happy to not have a shift tending to Bel for a while. Graciously accepting the pack of materials, she held it with both hands down in front of her waist in a cutesy fashion. "Where are we going?" she asked in a cheery tone, lightly smiling as she tried to both look and also not stare at him. Lightly rocking back and forth on her pads, Johanna hummed calmingly to herself as she waited to be directed along their chosen route, playing it non-chalantly as a teenager does.
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POSTED: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:53 pm

Crystalline orbs of ice blue gazed piercingly down at the ashen adolescent for the time that she seemed to fumble around her reaction with a smile that the older boy found pleasing in some manner. As she reached for the pack he had offered her, the tall hybrid remembered his manners, and let his eyes move away from their study of her facial features and their movements and gaze elsewhere for the moment, moving his gaze from place to place before he would look into her eyes again.

That oh so familiar smile slipped easily back onto his face then, and he spoke softly, "Good." Giving the girl's shoulder a squeeze as he handed off the bag and his full and long tail swayed slowly behind. "We're going west, just south of Casa di Cavalieri, to a place called Halifax. You should leave a note for your parents, we may be gone over night..." He started as he waited for her response and then continued, leaning in to her with a curious air. "Have you ever, been out over night?" He had noted among others of the group that physical proximity and expressing interest in others was a way to garner closeness and familiarity between individuals, he kept his expression light and curious, and leaned towards her to await her answer, yet did not move to touch her again.

Once they had everything that they needed, the pair set off, Eli standing tall and relaxed with his back straight but an easy air about him, his own bag hanging off his shoulders. Part of the male idly wondered if the bag he had given the smaller initiate to carry would be too heavy for her over this trip, it would be, in the least, inconvenient if they would have to stop and rest part of the way, "Do you have a weapon on you? You probably wont need one, but it's better to be safe than sorry. If you don't I've got more than one." he told the girl, looking back over his shoulder as he walked westward.
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POSTED: Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:34 pm

Oh gods. Oh gods she was making herself look stupid. He was staring at her the whole time that she addressed him and just stayed squatting, and when the girl finally stood up she saw him look off to the sides, probably trying to hide his embarrassment at how awkward she was. This whole trip was probably going to end up with this horrible silence if he even still wanted her to go, and it was all her fault as she tried to fight the urge to start pulling her hair.

But then, that smile that was so characteristically his began to spread, and teen nervously began stroking her hair, suppressing a giggling laugh. Now that she calmed down to think about it, she was being rather silly at such a small mistake, it wasn't likely that the Einar male would think much of it since he was being so nice to her. He always talked to her in a gentle manner, an easing affect on her nerves, though when he touched her shoulder and handed her a bag, the fur in her coat poofed out and fluffed up, a disformed tail swishing a breeze as she beamed. "A-A note? Yeah, sure, okay.~" she said, not really processing what he said until she dove in her tent for something to write on and with, and then looked back at him through the folds as he asked her if she'd been away overnight before.

Laying on her stomach inside with her note in front of her, Johanna idly kicked her legs back and forth as she gave her best "hmm" face. Now that she actually stopped to think about it, the Ashen couldn't recall any time that she had been away from camp for any length of time, especially when unsupervised. Her parents probably brought her to Casa to let her brothers meet the new addition, but the possibility was so fuzzy she couldn't tell if it was real or not. "I'm, not really sure that I have." she said with genuine sincerity, as she looked back at Elias. Quickly crawling back out the way she came in, Johanna picked up her bag again and walked over to her parent's tent, placing the scribbled note addressed to "Dear Dad and Mama" that gave the five W's, and eagerly took to the Janus' side, the bag hitting her shins as she tried to catch up without making it look like a big deal. She did however pause for a moment, at his question of a weapon.

"Uh... I've been training to use a couple different types, but Mama usually just lets me use hers.." she said absently, then cursing herself in her mind for calling the Pyre 'Mama' aloud to another member. Oh god, he's probably going to think I'm some sheltered mama's girl. Which, she kind of was, but that wasn't something she was about to openly admit to Eli. She looked down at the road they traveled, knowing that he was trying to hold a conversation with her but not being able to bring herself to look at him, and certainly didn't want to appear homesick by looking back. She had left the camp before, so this wouldn't be any different. Certainly wouldn't be something to worry about, even though this was a mission it was supposed to be low risk. And hey, when she got back she could tell her parents how Eli relied on her help for this! Being acknowledged by others is sure to get their respect, right? Yeah, that'll work.
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POSTED: Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:41 pm

She was a flighty little thing, like a bird not quite yet sure how to fly, fidgeting and looking at the hybrid seeking approval from his cool demeanor. It delighted him, but it didn't show on his face. She was cute, still cute like the day he met her, like a puppy, and she was eager to wag her tail for him.

Watching as the girl turned tail at his suggestion of leaving a note, grey blue eyes adopted a peculiar expression, watching as she knelt in the doorway looking back at him, his facial expression strange and unreadable as he gazed at her, looking a bit tense and stiff legged. "Good, good." He told her before he went on to ask if she'd been out over night. He didn't think she had, and as it turned out, she wasn't entirely sure herself. "Really?" He questioned with feigned intrigue, leaning in closer as she caught up and they began to go on their way. "I'm surprised that you haven't left camp, you're very mature." He spoke, asking if she had any weapons, and seemingly genuinely smiling at her response, and the irony of it.

"Then here." he said, pulling his bag around to the front of him and producing a knife made of carved bone. "This one will serve you just fine." re-situating the bag on his shoulders, Elias kept walking, setting a pace that would be a fast walk for Johanna, but just slow enough that it wouldn't force her into a jog. They talked on the way, the male keeping up pleasant conversation and asking the femme questions about herself, sometimes nudging her shoulder or patting the crown of her head, trying to keep her engaged as they traveled so that she would be slow to tire out.
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POSTED: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:37 am

Johanna wasted no time scratching out her message to her parents for her soon-to-be absence, still trying to hold a conversation as she did. Craning her neck around as she laid there, she could see that he had a curious expression, but couldn't quite place what it was about. It was kind of foreign on his features. He also commented on how it was a good thing that she was going to write her parents a note, but stated it in such a weird way. Unable to hold in a giggle any longer, she pealed out from behind her hand, giving him an amused smile. "You're funny, Eli." she told him, a faint glow surrounding her as she set her hand back down to continue scratching words.

Admitting to her lack of knowledge while finishing up, the older male seemed to be intrigued by the notion that she had not spent the night outside their little home, which was a little nice to hear, though it made her feel a bit self conscious. Hurrying to walk along the path with him, she puffed up a bit, torn between being indignant and filled with glee at him complimenting her maturity. "Well, I didn't say that I haven't left the territory, just that I haven't been out overnight." she stated, lifting her muzzle up in an air of dignity before peeking over to Eli, who was still shoulders above her head, to see if it worked.

The initiate felt shy in admitting that she had no weapons to herself, but being offered one took her by surprise for a second. Staring at the bone knife for a moment, glancing at him as they walked, Johanna gingerly took it, admiring it's ivory color. It wasn't quite as weighted as a metal one, but there was still enough heft to the knife that it felt similar to the one she used for training. "Ah, th-thank-" she tried to sputter, before spazzing out as she tried to catch up to the increased pace, awkwardly holding onto the and bag in the same grip. She had to take larger strides than Eli did in comparison, but she hardly seemed to mind, with every shoulder touch and head rub envigorating her and spiraling into a twittering, blushing mess. Really, he was an curious sort of guy, but that was just part of the mystery she supposed.
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POSTED: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:35 pm

It was a long walk, as the pair of Luperci trekked out through the damp wood, heading west from the moonstone lakes to the derelict human settlement known as Halifax, that was slowly being reclaimed by nature as time went on. Damp red pine needles clung to their feet from the forest floor, and the air was a bit humid from a recent rain, but it wasn't too uncomfortable of a walk.

"You know, it might be easier if you slung the bag over your shoulder." The hybrid canine told her after a while, watching as she held the bag in front of her in her hands. "Here, let me help." He told her, coming up behind the girl and placing a large hand on her shoulder, reaching over the other for the bag that she held in her hands, his towering form looming head and shoulders above her as he held the strap so that she could slip her arm through it.

It was well into the evening and the sun hung low in the sky by the time the pair had made it to the city's edge. The trees dispersed into a skyline of towering buildings, broken windows, crumbling bricks and fallen siding, collapsed roofs and open storefronts lining a cracked asphalt road, weeds and grass and young trees pushing out from the crumbling pavement where they walked. "The caravan should be around here, lets go." Eli spoke to his young companion, leading them forward into a sea of buildings. He could smell the horses before he saw them, and the hybrid turned them down an alleyway to where a ragtag looking group of canines sat around a crackling fire, food and drink spread out between them, and Eli grabbed Johanna's hand to bring her forward in a casual way.

"Evening. The lady and I brought things to trade." He spoke in a casual sort of dialect, different from the manner in which he usually spoke, and his smile was cooler and more casual, effortlessly fitting into a new persona around the bunch.

"Whadya got?" A female dog asked in a snarky tone, and Elias let go of Jo's hand, running a hand along the top of her head before lifting the bag from her shoulders, and opening it for them.

"Here, pelts, bone weapons and tools, dried meat, plenty of good leather too." He spoke, lowering his own pack from his shoulders as another man, short and stocky, maybe six foot, came over with an appraising expression as he took a bag and began to rummage through it's contents.
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POSTED: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:35 pm

Johanna hummed to her self sweetly, merrily skipping along as she breathed in the forest air. Something about the scent of spruce and prey made her feel alive, and it hung especially thick in the air with the clean rain giving a refreshing burst to the daily aroma. At camp everything smelled of lake fish, smoke and a blend of everyone crammed together, but out here she could single out which part of the wilds she wanted to explore. It was freeing, in a sense.

They continued in their trek through the forest trees when the taller mix started talking to her about how she was holding the bag, as Johanna blinked at him inquisitively. The girl wasn't really even thinking about how she was holding the bag, just that her way was fun. It seemed like reason enough, but Elias drew closer regardless, placing his hand on her shoulder as she went rigid. The Janus leaned in closer, reaching down in front of her and gently taking the bag from her grasp, holding it up so one of the leather straps angled towards her. She wasn't sure if heartbeats were audible, but from how loud it was in her own ears they must be. Why she was reacting so poorly to him casually leaning over her, the Ashen had no idea, but it made her spine tingle and her tail go straight(-ish). "A-a-a-a-a, m-m-m-m-" she stammered like machinery having a critical failure, hot as if the canopy just burst into flames and the summer sun began to rage down at them.

With the grace of a broken doll, Johanna winded her arms up to slip one through the strap, moving her entire torso just to snag the bag and slide it onto her back, preventing herself from shaking apart with just pins and needles as his fingers brushed the back of her neck, pulling the sack into place and then withdrawing from his grip. "Th-th-thank you." she finally forced out, her feet creaking forward as they began to move again. Why do I feel like I'm going to die for some reason? she wondered to herself, phasing in and out of the moment as deep blue eyes were nailed to the forest floor.

As the day passed and they continued on, Johanna couldn't even think of being tired. If anything, she wanted to be less dizzy, from how lightheaded she was getting. She struggled to connect dots that seemed to move about and wriggle away every time she traced to them, silently padding out of the trees and into the ruins without so much as a glance. What about him made her feel so helpless? It made no sense at all, but she just couldn't stop this heat wave of embarrassment from washing over her every time he so much as rubbed elbows with her. Was it his height? His capability, as a craftsman and an initiate? He would probably be able to become a Proven here soon, if he continued to work hard and strive forward. He said something in a lulling tone, as Johanna blankly looked up to stare at him before nodding, her brain shutting off almost all external info in an attempt to save itself.

Was it his soothing tones? Few that she knew had a voice so calming and rich, including her parents. They probably had a similar effect on her simply for being her parents, but why was his so enchanting then? Was it his looks, she wondered, as they rounded a street, and then another. Sneaking a couple quick peeks, and then a few more, she could say that he was fairly handsome. But she wasn't that shallow, right? Her heart didn't race for the simple fact that he was nice to look at. Maybe it was his age, she guessed, as they started walking down an alley. Of all the men in the Order, he was one of the youngest. And really, she was practically related to all the Order members save for ones she could count on one hand, including Elias.

They approached the caravan, the return of smoke and woodfire scents snapping Johanna out of her thoughts, suddenly standing at attention before trying to relax her shoulders a bit. Just before they walked into view however, something unexpected happened. Almost effortlessly, Elias reached behind him and grabbed her hand, where she was holding it close to her chest in case her heart flew out. All thoughts came to a screech and a crash as she could feel her physical form attempting to violently implode. He greeted them coolly, and was succinct in why they dropped by. He even called what the Greyfire girl could only assume as her a lady, as she melted like butter and failed to hide her bashful expression behind his frame. She smiled with starry eyes, as she figured out why she lost her mind around her.

It was his charisma, plain and simple. He was so charming, and kind. When he spoke everyone wanted to hear what he had to say, not just her. The way he talked, the way he carried himself, it was... like watching nobility. Having such grandeur directed at her, and for how often, it would make anyone blush. Satisfied with her answer, Johanna was content to stand just behind him, still beaming even though he let go of her hand as he proceeded to trade with the merchants. Delighted at the rustle of her hair, she graciously let the bag slip from her back, watching as he began to conduct business with them, with another merchant striding closer to inspect the goods firsthand.

As he shuffled through the bag, he shot a glance over to Johanna, still just smiling away, and then back to Elias. "What's with the kid?" he asked, with eyes that questioned but found the materials to be a better prize. Johanna puffed out her chest a bit, slightly crossed that he would imply she was a runt after Eli had just called her a lady, but she supposed she would let it slide. She wanted to look decent in front of him, after all.
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POSTED: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:50 pm

Elias took careful note of Johanna's reaction to his words, his actions, cold eyes watching with careful meticulousness so as not to miss any cue, any detail that could jeopardize his position with her, as well as his position in the world. Day after day, the male watched, and he learned, and he built onto what he was in order to slowly climb to the top of the heap, the top of the food chain. It was in his blood, after all.

A pleasant smile remained on the male's face as the merchants began to take interest in his stock, eyes moving from the young girl at his side, or somewhat behind him now, to the merchants, eyeing as they pawed through one of the bags, and seemed to like what they saw. At the remark of the male who seemed to be the alpha of their small group, Elias noticeably frowned, and cool blues narrowed. "Like I said." The hybrid began before moving to sling a long and slender arm around Johanna's shoulders and draw her into his side, closer to the front so that everyone could see her clearly. "The lady and I are here to trade, are you or aren't you?" He finished, squeezing her shoulder though he did not stop to look down at her this time as he eyed the much shorter merchant.

"Ah, yeah, right this way then." The merchant spoke, though he narrowed his eyes at Elias, seemingly trying to scrutinize his intentions or if he was being serious. "Tobias." he introduced himself, leading the demon son to reply in kind.

"Elias. And this is Johanna." he spoke, taking the lead with their introduction before letting his hand fall from her shoulder, though not without letting his fingers subtly trace through her fur on the way down.

"Right then, stock's this way." The stocky wolf-dog allowed, gesturing towards the parked carts and horses munching on grasses that grew through cracks in the pavement, and Elias led Johanna again by the hand to the back, letting her go as they passed the others sitting around the fire, and continuing on his way towards the merchandise. Reaching into his bag, the jackal hybrid lay out one of the larger rolls of leather flat on the ground, and upturned the contents of both bags onto it. Bones, antlers, as well as finished tools and weapons of each, sinew thread and fibrous coils of rope, rabbit pelts, and rolls of leathers, stone arrowheads, all useful things.

"Here's what I have." he spoke.

"And what're you lookin to get out of it?" The femme dog asked as she got up and sauntered over to them, inspecting the goods as the last member of their little bunch remained by the fire, drinking.

"I need alcohol, whatever kind you got, medicinal herbs if you have them, and something pretty for Johanna to wear." After he finished speaking, the woman stood to her full height, just above Eli's shoulders, and eyed down the pretty pup, before her gem green eyes lit up.

"Ah, I've got just the thing." She exclaimed, going back to rummage in her things, a large trunk on the back of one of the wagons, while the stocky man who'd called himself Tobias went back elsewhere, and Elias could hear the clanking of glass bottles as he shuffled and grumbled to himself. Before long, the long and elegant looking woman with the sour personality had returned, carrying with her a well made black shirt with long sleeves, and a wool, short, sleeveless grey dress, and the man came back with two brown glass bottles of moonshine.

"Don't got no herbs, but there's this." And Elias reached out and took the things he was offered, in turn inspecting them as he opened one of the bottles to sniff it's contents, before turning back to face Johanna. He held the dress out to her, noting how it looked like it would fit her, if not a bit loosely, but she would grow into it. "What do you think of this, Johanna? I think it suits a pretty woman."
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POSTED: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:59 pm

Johanna remained indignant, but wilted a little the longer the merchant lingered on her. Even though he was shorter than Eli by far, he was still a good foot taller than herself, so naturally she wanted to shy away and hide behind the Janus, out of sight. No such luck, however it showed in other ways. Her fur and tail stood straight up once more as he guided her from behind him and into the crook of his arm, nestled into his side as her arms remained down in front of her, fiddling with whatever they could find to keep herself occupied.

And what did they find? Oh right, the knife. Johanna stopped rolling the carved blade in her hand for a moment, realizing that she had still been holding onto it since Eli handed it over, having no place to put it as she had, adopted her mother's disposition for clothing. Truth be told, she had always wondered what it was like, but most clothes nowadays were hand fashioned, as everything serviceable had been salvaged years ago. She didn't want to pester her parents for such a trivial thing, and certainly not Elias. His time was more valuable elsewhere than for her sake, and the young girl really didn't want to be a burden on his tasks as they were.

Which reminded her, amidst all her meltdowns and squirming, Elias had been sticking up for her to the traders, the very reason he came here. She felt truly touched, as he was putting his mission in jeopardy for her sake alone. Fortunately, they seemed to back down, not wanting to toss away a good trade. He talked gruffly, like he had one too many choice encounters with walls to the snout, and was quick to lead them to what they had to trade, introducing himself as he moved. Elias spoke for the both of them, which Johanna was fine with since she was feeling a little uncomfortable, but the slightest sensation of his nails skimming off her back made her flare up intensely, a small mewl escaping as she tried to remain dignified. Elias really had to be more careful with his hands, all of the accidental touch mixed with the head petting and shoulder hugging was really getting to her brain.

Trying to focus on literally anything else to slow her pace, Johanna looked around at the wooden wagons they had lined up here in this grassy patch that was squeezed between these great grey buildings, with moss and vines beginning to creep up the walls creating a rather blended look. The traveling merchants had a few horses as well, almost the same amount as they did back at the camp. It must be fun, living on the road, knowing that the path that took you along was where you could always be, that it was as home as the end of the journey. Elias was busy negotiating what he wanted with the traders, as Johanna mainly tuned out. She was just a hauler, so the details of the deal didn't interest her that much. Things began to slowly get awkward again as the taller woman began eyeing her heavily, with the Greyfire girl suddenly feeling a panic grip her, wondering if something had been said.

The woman stalked away around a cart, as Johanna tried to nervously see what she was up to. To her surprise however, when she came back with a cloth bundle for assumedly a trade, she extended it out to Johanna herself. Elias was next to her, inspecting some other goods, as Johanna stared blankly at the clothing. Done with his own inspection, Elias turned to what was a rather pretty dress, and unfurled it to present to his companion. Asking for her opinion, Johanna looked at him mutely, wondering who the special lady he was referring to was. But he was holding it out towards her. And it looked small like her. Two dots stopped long enough to be connected.

"I, I, I can't..." she said wide eyed, steepling her hands together in a look of awe and joy. This trip was really turning out too good to be true, how could she ever live this down now? He had gone and traded some clothes for her, just out of nowhere. Elias was entirely too much, he was far too caring that she could deserve. How had she managed to earn his kindness in such a scope?
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