[M] I'm everything you know, you wonder friend of foe

Silas | Saint Croix Highlands

POSTED: Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:12 am

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.



Optime | Saint Croix Highlands; midday | NPC: Brimstone (+303)

Oh wow! Hello, stranger!

The dark horse made easy work of the hilly terrain of the Highlands. A cold front had moved over the area, making the usually hot summer day somewhat pleasant with the cool breeze that moved across the land. Only a few, thin clouds dotted a rich, blue sky. It might have been a good day for exploring or practicing her archery, however, Ragna was not riding across the realm for the mere pleasure of it. She was patrolling, as she always was, taking care to know what was going on in the lands both inside and outside of the Vale.

Her time with Boreas made her careful and cognizant of the dangers that lurked beyond the comforts of one’s home. Needless to say, Ragna would not let the Vale suffer an attack from a surprise enemy if she could keep from it.

Atop Brimstone, traversing the lands beyond the pack’s territory was easier, quicker, and the patrols into neutral territory were less tedious thanks to the stallion. Thus far, she had found nothing of note; no suspicious group activity within the area, no signs of carts or horses of war traveling through, no abundance of random traps meant for Luperci. Her packmates likely thought her just paranoid, of her suffering stress-related trauma from her war days. But they would thank her when she kept their hides safe from a devastating attack on their number.

Ragna brought their scouting mission to a stop beside a shallow, babbling stream. The area was heavily shaded by the nearby trees, the bright rays of the sun coming down in pockets where the leaves were not thick enough to keep it at bay. She dismounted from her horse, bringing him over to the water’s edge to drink while she quenched her thirst as well.




EDIT 20180909: Added Mature tag since Ragna has a potty mouth when she's mad.
Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:14 am

Sometimes Silas thought about returning to Zion.

He never entertained the idea for more than a minute. He couldn't possibly march back over mountains and plains alone, and if he succeeded -- then what? Even if he was not punished for the failures of their contingent, he did not think he would find joy in serving; there had never been joy. Zacchaeus was dead, and his sisters would die too, sooner or later. Could he bear to return to that? Standing guard in the cool nights, listening to the kyoodling of coyotes, waiting for an attack?

He had nothing left in Zion. He had nothing here to begin with.

The dark-cowled man sighed, rubbing the crust of sleep from his eyes. How he had accumulated so much when he slept so little was beyond him. Made paranoid after his escape from Salsola, and conditioned from youth to alertness, he woke at every foreign sound or scent. He traveled constantly, hunting, sometimes doing odd jobs to distract himself and earn some meager possessions: guarding a wagon here, roughing up a suspected cuckold there. It was just enough work to keep him sane: a soldier without duty.

He packed up his tent, little more than a weather-worn hide he pitched with local saplings, and donned his ragged clothes and ill-fitting leather armor. He took up the sword last: a short thing made from bent iron, stolen off a corpse. Sheathing this and shouldering the rolled-up hide, he walked the rocky trail in search of a stream where he could wash and drink.

He smelled horse at the same time he smelled water, and went more cautiously. The tired ex-soldier passed through the ferns, his voice just as deep but rougher than it used to be. "Stranger, I'm not here to hurt you, I just need..."

Silas trailed off as he stared at the familiar, scarred face.

"Eklund?"

POSTED: Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:40 pm

NPC: Brimstone (+321)


Her ears flickered as she heard approaching footsteps, her pooled hands turned inward, creating a gap through which the creek water quickly spilled through and back into the source from which it had come. Cautiously, slowly, she reached a hand for one of her knives that were strapped to her thighs. Her bow was attached to Brimstone’s saddle still, and it would take too long to retrieve it and notch an arrow than it would for her to draw her blade. Even Brimstone became alert to the sound of another, clued by the movement of flora as they drew closer.

The horse picked up his head, ears flickering towards the approaching individual. Ragna’s fingers deftly undid the knife’s fastening, her fingers curling quickly around the handle as she stood and turned, her knife drawn as the being broke away from the surrounding forest. They had already started to speak by the time she had turned on her heel, body poised for a fight. When their eyes fell upon one another though, the pair exchanged a look of recognition.

Ragna’s glacier eyes narrowed and her brows furrowed in disbelief of the sight before her. Slowly, she straightened, though she made no move to sheath her knife. It was one of the faction, a member of Boreas, an ex-soldier of a pointless war. Silas Kasper. Glacier eyes shifted to search the surrounding woodland for his nephew, Zacchaeus. She couldn’t find the male, and if his circumstances were anything like her own, Zacchaeus’ absence likely meant that he had not survived the final fight.

Returning her eyes back to Silas, she looked him up and down, offering him a tired, sad, ghost of a smile. “Tch, you look like shit, Kasper.” She lowered her knife and replaced it back into its sheath. “I thought I was the only one left. How did you manage to escape that day?”

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:30 pm

Ragna recognized him at the same time he noticed her, but even as her posture settled Silas noticed that her knife was still exposed. He made no moves on his end, standing with his ears cocked back and one hand at his side, the other tightened around the strap that secured his tent-roll to his back. She could name him a traitor and cut him down; he couldn't make any assumptions about her loyalties or where she had been all this time.

The group that she smelled of was certainly not Boreas, though -- it smelled local. Her tired smile and its accompanying remark confirmed it; she was a traitor too.

Silas returned her smile with a weary one of his own. He was a handsome man when he truly smiled, but only a scarce few had seen it. His expression was a mockery of true amusement, haunted by the darkness under his forest-green eyes. "I didn't."

With a small grunt, he removed the rolled-up hide and set it on the bank. He crouched down by the water to splash his face, and looked up after shaking some drops from his wavy, oily charcoal hair. "Salsola made me a prisoner of war after that battle. I escaped 'em when they engaged in another war -- 'gainst the coyotes." He couldn't quite appreciate the irony. He didn't know how the war had ended, either.

"No one else, then?" Silas didn't sound surprised.

POSTED: Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:30 pm

NPC: Brimstone (+454)


Her brows furrowed at his disagreement to her statement. What did he mean that he didn’t? There was a look in his emerald eyes, one that told of a story much more than his simple statement. She didn’t like it, and an internal clock began to tick for him to speak more on his vague statement before she demanded one from him. The scout felt her muscles tense and her facial features grow cold as the ex-soldier deposited his things and washed his face. Thankfully, he spoke before she had to prod him, though his words did not bring comfort.

An old flame, one of fiery, dark hatred, sparked within her chest at the mention of their old enemies. Salsola? He had been captured by those coyote-loving slavers? It made sense that they might have imprisoned him, after all, they seemed to think themselves so above everyone else that they thought that their own kind could be owned like property. But why Silas? Why only him when she had seen the Kingdom and Clan alike brutally massacre the rest of their faction members?

The war, she had figured out through the rumors in those cold, late-winter months, had been sometime during the fall too. Silas had been captured within the Kingdom for that long? She could only imagine what tortures the Kingdom might have put him through, what degrading things they might have done to him.

Despite the slow boil of her blood, Ragna found a small humor in how he had escaped. “I hope you took a few out during your escape.” Hell, she would have. Keep her prisoner? She would have murdered everyone that she came across on her way out of the Thistle Kingdom. It was during a war. What were a few more dead on either side?

She shook her head negatively to his question. “Snorri managed to escape with me, but he died of an infection a few days after the final battle. I haven’t caught a whiff of another Boreas member until you showed up.” The words were said bitterly. Nobody had come for them. The main body back in Zion had not sent anyone else. Likely, the faction had been sent on a fool’s errand, a suicide mission, and when they had failed to return, they had merely been considered “lost” and were forgotten.

Ragna took in a breath to calm her seething nerves. “Anyway, what have you been up to since you escaped? Looks like you’ve been chasing a good night’s sleep.” She hadn’t missed the crust mucus that collected near his eyes, nor the way his hair looked like he could use a good bath.

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:00 am

Silas shrugged his shoulders at Ragna's quip. His story of escape would have disappointed her; all he'd done was take a child hostage, stealing away into the forest like a coward. The only man who'd died was a fellow slave in the wrong place at the wrong time, taken out in a moment of sheer panic and instinct when he threatened to announce Silas' location. He hadn't even kept the boy; the puppy had tumbled from his arms when he fled from the coyotes riding at him across the river.

All he could hope, in the end, was that the Crone understood what it was to lose a son.

The scout mentioned that she'd met no other survivors, and that Snorri had succumbed to infection in the end despite escaping with her. Silas frowned at this, his eyes sympathetic. He had liked the weapons specialist, a warmer and kinder man than most Boreas wolves, and had fond memories of the man teasing his serious demeanor while putting the finishing touches on his halberd -- last-minute fixes to a weapon already repaired well enough by the Niequist.

He blinked a few times as Ragna inhaled, the noise drawing him from his thoughts. He grunted and pushed some overlong hair out of his face. Yeah, well. I never know if a Salsolan will come across me. Makes it hard to sleep. He made himself straighten, rolled his shoulders back. I haven't done much of anything. Some odd jobs here and there, enough to earn some good food or a secure place to rest for a few nights. Ought to travel back out west, but there's nothing for me there.

He tilted his head at her, his eyes thinning thoughtfully. You, though -- you look good. Running with a new pack these days?

POSTED: Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:07 pm

NPC: Brimstone (+409)


“Tch, if they haven't caught your ass now, they probably won't unless you got real friendly with them.” It had been, what? Almost a year since she'd first heard and seen the rumors of the war between the Clan and the Kingdom? They probably counted him for lost or dead. If he had any luck, hopefully the latter. The Eklund shifted her weight. “Though, I understand the caution.”

In the days, weeks, and even months after the final battle, Ragna herself had been more of a light sleeper than she already was. The thought of Salsola or Inferni finding and killing her or what little remained of her companions had made her paranoid in the beginning, however, that stressful feeling had, thankfully been kept in check thanks to the extra sets of eyes and ears that she had with her. Silas, on the other hand, looked to be completely alone now. One could never be too careful. Even now with a pack, the scout was wary of her past coming back to haunt her.

She nodded to his list of things that had taken up his time since leaving the Kingdom’s clutches. At the mention of going west, Ragna gave a sharp exhale before dropping down to sit beside her old comrade. “Even if there was, you should have left earlier in the spring. There will be snow up in those mountains now.” She had learned as much from a wolfdog in one of the larger trading hubs in the previous summer. There was nothing for them in Zion now though, nothing but more wars, and possibly dishonor for returning home instead of dying on the battlefield.

Ragna shrugged nonchalantly as the conversation turned to her. “Yeah, I suppose. They're a soft target though, only maybe two or three could actually withstand an assault by Boreas,” she said somewhat arrogantly, “Glade likes them though, and it's a good place to hide until I figure out where to go from here. Highly doubt Salsola or Inferni would come looking for a war criminal in a pack like this one.”

Her glacier gaze slid to Silas then. “I could put in a word for you if you think you'd want to join?” she offered him a teeth-filled smile. “Easy meals. Someone to watch your back while you sleep,” she tempted, “You just have to suffer the leader guy who is a bit wack.”

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

POSTED: Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:29 am

Reckon we could wrap this up, either here or with your reply?

His lips twitched in a polite smile, but Silas did not believe her. Was it not several years' brewing vengeance that led their contingent across a continent? His cousins, Louis and Jonas, had died in the first war several months before Silas was born. If Boreas would chase and cull the descendants of fire-starters and enemy generals, certainly Salsola would stop at nothing to destroy an escaped slave should they catch his scent.

As Ragna settled beside him, Silas scratched his temple and thought about snow-capped peaks and youngsters playing in the frost. He listened idly to the woman's description of her pack, wondering what might happen should their foes find the apparently softhearted community. He didn't think he could trust in sanctuaries anymore -- though her invitation caught him by surprise. His forest-green eyes darted to her, wide and wary, and his mouth twisted. Simple pleasures such as a full stomach and a full night's sleep tempted him immensely; he would be a good asset to the pack if they needed folk like Ragna.

The Kasper was silent for several seconds, then looked away. There was no reason to say no, and yet -- a thousand protestations burned in his gut. At the core of them was something frighteningly angry and selfish, something that he would not wish on peaceful folk.

He would not be content in the quiet life he'd always dreamed of, he realized. He was too angry, too damaged -- too far gone.

I don't want to impose, Silas said, his voice low and amiable. He made himself stand up, bracing his hands on his thighs and grunting as he straightened his sore back. I'll think about it, Ragna, 'n' visit again in a few days.

He did not mean it to be a lie, but Silas never would keep that promise.

POSTED: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:24 am

NPC: Brimstone (+309)

Sorry for the delay! Thanks for the thread<333

It looked as if she had caught him off-guard with her offer to vouch for him to the Ravenking and Nightstag. She could hardly see why though. Of their warband, Silas had been one of the few saner and less annoying ones to deal with. He was a capable fighter from what she remembered of him, and, his ability to escape the Kingdom’s clutches promised that he still had some talent to him yet. Able to survive as a Loner for nearly a year since the Inferi-Salsolan War, Ragna highly doubted he’d be anything but an asset to the neutral and softhearted clan of Luperci that made up the Vale.

Despite her suggestion though, it didn’t appear as if her old comrade would commit to the idea. His silence, and then him breaking eye contact with her, Ragna already knew that his answer would not be an immediate one, nor, likely, one of acceptance. What did he have to lose though? They were free of Boreas, and so long as they kept their secrets, no one would ever know of bloodied pasts. Did he feel guilty? Did he feel like he had unfinished business left to do?

Ragna was tempted to pry, but she bit her tongue, instead, narrowed her eyes upon him sadly when he gently denied her offer. She watched him stand, but, did not rise to her feet to join him. If he was suddenly so eager to get on the road again, she would not keep him. “Head northeast of here and follow the river,” she told him, knowing that she had not told him of her pack’s location for him to “visit” should he change his mind. “Howl for me, and I’ll come.”

Her gaze left him then to stare at the babbling stream. “Stay safe, Kasper.”

Ragna Eklund

Mistfell Vale
Wolverthorne
User avatar
Songbird
Luperci Scout I
Do not go gentle
into that good night

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