A blanker whiteness of benighted snow

POSTED: Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:20 pm

OOC: A snowstorm blows in overnight, coating Salsola in inches of fresh powder. Take advantage of this during the early hours and go hunting, enjoy the scenery, or loosen up and have a snowball fight.

IC:

Snow woke Khael — falling through the holes in the roof of the shed, burning cold flakes landing on her exposed nose. She sat upright and stared critically at the mossy ceiling, her ember eyes latching onto the one gaping break that let snow — and light — fall inside. Since the first sign of inclement weather the woman had (with help of a slave or two) patched and mended most of the roof’s holes, but it was clear that the job was imperfect.

Anger surged up in her, but beside her Katinka’s laughter suddenly pealed. She glanced down at the Swedish-blooded woman, her expression blank, but Tink’s blue eyes twinkled with mirth and she reached up to brush a stray snowflake from Khael’s dark hair.

The dark jackal smiled.

The women rose together from the bed furs — two separate pelts, but overlapped in such a way that touching during sleep was common — and began to get ready for the day. A brush was passed back and forth, clothes unfolded from boxes, trinkets clasped by the other’s hands. The ritual had become quite familiar over the months, though it was interrupted a few times by the cats.

Both young felines enjoyed making mischief, and often a little bauble went missing. When Tink searched for bows to tie her braids, she found one scrap of blue fabric wedged into a bag, and another dangling from a kitten’s jaws. Samak played keep-away for a little bit, until Katinka’s patience thinned and Khael barked a sharp order in Arabic immediately obeyed. Getting ready became easier after that, and soon the small group emerged into a Millstone Village blanketed with a soft layer of snow.

Tink traisped out into the fresh powder happily humming, while Khael tightened her footwraps and padded after her with an intense expression. The cats followed suit; Samak kept shivering, but she didn’t seem to mind getting her paws wet, while Usi — the grey longhair — followed confidently after Tink with ungainly high-steps, shaking his feet. Amused by this, Samak pounced her new “brother,” rolling him into the snow.

Al’abalah!” the ginger queen trilled, while Usi growled and lashed his tail. Though younger, he was bigger, and he kicked her off easily before sprinting past.

As the cats ran around like little frost demons, Katinka laughed heartily. Khael sighed with all the dramatics she could summon.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
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Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:02 am

The wall was cool where she had brushed off the snow and sat herself to look at the falling flakes for a moment. The snow nearly blanketed every surface of the town in a white, nearly crystalline cover. It made the place beautiful, and even more inaccessible to her. She looked at the houses, covered in frost, their cracked and broken windows glittering with freshly fallen snow. She would be there one day. But it took patience. And it took work.

Two - no wait, four - figures stood on the edge of the town, slowly ambling closer to where she sat. Two Luperci - a quick sniff confirmed that they were female. The tiny figures at their feet seemed to be cats, and Pepsi could hear them as their feet crunched in the snow. One of the cats pounced on the other, the leather-clad wolf saw, and she heard sound escape from the cat's maw.

Her ears pricked forward immediately, eyes widening slightly - were those words coming from the feline's mouth? Or was she imagining it? She knew that bears and cougars could speak, although she hadn't met any, but she didn't know such little creatures like domestic cats could speak, too. She cocked her head at the little creature - although at this point, she couldn't ignore the Luperci standing a little ways away, watching the cats with amused expressions. She didn't know them - she didn't really know anyone - but they were undoubtedly higher in rank than her.

She hopped up off of her low-standing wall, approaching the other canines with a small wave and a friendly smile. Instinctively, she smoothed her hair with her hand as she walked forward, and stopped just several feet short of the pair.

"It's a cold day," she said, facing them yet avoiding their gaze. She liked the snow, the cold; her jacket was comfortable in this season, and the snow cooled her hot blood. "I'm Pepsi," she said. "PepsiCola. I'm new around here."

foredated to after pepsi joined like we discussed :> | 328

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Salsola
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Luperci America's second favorite soda!
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POSTED: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:40 pm

[376] I'm sorry for cat spam/interruption ;_; As well as pp, lemme know if it needs changed!

While Tink was giggling and running around after the cats, Khael was quick to notice the stranger sitting on the crumbled old wall. She stood, arms crossed tightly across her chest for warmth, her gaze dead and critical, as the newcomer -- a young wolf -- walked up to them.

"It is cold," Khael agreed. Her desert accent did nothing to warm her.

Katinka, meanwhile, stopped pursuing the cats and turned to look at the wolf girl. Her blue eyes were wide and bright, and she looked at once charmed by the leather jacket and styled hair. Wagging her feathered tail, she returned to them. "Oh, hello!"

The wolfdog started to get into Pepsi's space for the traditional cheek kiss, but no sooner had her hand alighted on one shoulder and she'd leaned in did she stop and giggle. "Oh, here, this is how we greet one another," she said, and touched her nose to both cheeks. Khael watched with narrow eyes. "My name's Katinka -- you can call me Tink -- and this is Khael." She lifted her hand and added in a conspiritorial stage whisper, "She's a bit grumpy about the weather."

Khael grunted at that, but smirked when Tink glanced at her. Tink continued, "It's good to meet you, Pep --"

Just then, the cats raced past -- the orange tabby rushing in the lead, the hairy gray tom stumbling behind her. Their feet sprayed Tink with snow and their hisses interrupted her.

At once, lightning-fast, Khael reached down and dug her claws into the orange cat's scruff. She lifted the creature up and locked eyes with her, issuing a dark reprimand in Arabic. Samak squirmed lightly but went limp, and averted her eyes.

"Asif," she mewed, and Khael lowered her and let her drop down. Samak landed on her feet, shook her coat out, and scurried to sit a distance away, beginning to groom herself for composure. Usi, the grey cat, looked up at Pepsi curiously then planted his fluffy rear by Tink's foot.

Obviously a little flustered by this, Katinka fixed her smile on Pepsi again. "You must be brand new, if I haven't seen you before," she said, attempting to carry on as if nothing had happened.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:28 pm

She was expecting something more similar to the silver-tongued responses she's received from other Salsolans, all curious about who she was and why she'd chosen to become an associate and all that. What was she supposed to do with this? She furrowed her brow, about to open her mouth to say something (something that would probably get her in trouble), when the dark woman's companion more-or-less bounced towards the duo, giving a chipper greeting to Pepsi.

Pepsi looked over at the other - she was pale in color and distinctly doggish, with long, feathery fur and hair. The greeting didn't stop at "hello", however. The woman leaned in towards Pepsi and the wolf simply watched, panic beginning to well up inside her. Did she do something wrong without knowing? Was this woman going to bite her?!

No, apparently that was just the traditional Salsola cheek-kiss. Right. Now she remembered the off-handed comment from Brocade about it - they hadn't lingered on that too long, however, and she forgot that it was even a thing. She let a smile take over her face as the other touched her nose to both cheeks,and PepsiCola hesitantly did the same with her, giving both sides of her face a quick peck. As the woman introduced herself - Katinka - she also introduced her companion. Pepsi glanced over at her - Khael? - and decided that no, a cheek kiss did not seem to be the best way to greet this particular person.

When Katinka stage-whispered about Khael, Pepsi let herself give out a little giggle - that was kind of uncool, she should probably compose herself better, but the woman's light atmosphere along with the ethereal quality of the snow lowered Pepsi's boundaries. Plus, Katinka's jests made the dark coyote-looking woman seem less serious, less scary, despite her apparent perma-grimace.

Katinka seemed about to tell Pepsi that it was good to meet her, but her words were interrupted by the two cats racing by in a blur, hissing and kicking up flaky snow at the woman (and Pepsi as well). Pepsi brushed the excess snow off of her coat, and when she looked back up, the scary lady - rather, Khael, was holding one of the cats by the scruff of the neck, sharply rebuking the canine. The cat was dropped and instantly stalked away to groom itself, while the other planted itself by their feet, looking up at the wolf. Pepsi was snapped back into focus, however, by the sound of the lady's voice.

"Uh - yeah, yes!" she exclaimed, looking back at Katinka - Tink - as she carried the conversation onwards. "Yes, I'm a new associate. It's great to meet you both." After a moment of waffling, she followed her greeting up by, "I didn't know ... cats could talk?"

i <3 cat spam | 458

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POSTED: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:26 pm

[327]

The interruption had flustered Katinka, who was all too acutely aware of the intimidating manner in which Khael conducted herself. Being aware of (what she thought was) the dark jackal's good and kindhearted side, she didn't like others assuming the worst -- and so she blustered on.

Khael wasn't aware of the turmoil in her friend or in any awkwardness in general. Her thoughts were cold and clear: stupid little Samak had been terribly rude in interrupting Tink, and her standards for her feline companions were much higher than that. She did not look so angry now -- not that she had been, just a touch stern and intense -- and even offered something like an amused smile to Pepsi when she asked about the cats' language. It wasn't great, as far as smiles went, but it relaxed Tink at least.

"Some can. They can learn, if they are intelligent. I worked with Samak since she was smaller, to teach her language and manners."
Her eyes slid over to the ginger kitten, who continued to groom herself deliberately. "I don't know if Usi will learn to speak, but he at least understands some." The grey kitten had perked up a little at the sound of his name, his ears twitching nervously, but Tink reached a hand down to stroke his head and he butted it into her fingers with a reedy little purr at odds with his great fluff.

"I am good with cats," Khael continued, "but you should see Tink with cattle and our other livestock. Prey beasts cannot talk, but Tink charms them nonetheless." Her eyes went softer, her chin lifted with pride for the girl, who was flustered once more and tittered in embarrassment.

"She flatters me too much. My family raised cattle, so..." Katinka shook her head and reached out to give Pepsi a friendly touch on the arm, which made Khael lower her muzzle again. "What about your family, Pepsi?"
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

POSTED: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:06 am

The dark woman, Khael, gave an odd smile, but it was enough to relax Pepsi. She cocked her head, looking down at the cats as the other explained their language. Her brows furrowed as Khael described teaching the cat, and going so far as to teach manners. Pepsi had always considered cats to be like livestock or badgers in that they displayed limited intelligence and, while cute, weren't really worth the time to explore further. This changed everything, though - could other animals talk, too? She knew bears and mountain lions could. What about goats? She looked over at Katinka as Khael mentioned her livestock herds... and as Tink quickly dispelled Pepsi's thoughts about talking livestock

"Oh," she said, not realizing she'd voiced her disappointment out loud. "Um! That's a good skill, though," she said, afraid that her disappointment would be taken the wrong way. She didn't have a chance to ruminate on it further before another subject entirely was brought up.

Family? Pepsi winced slightly before she could hold it back - but she attempted to cover it with a weak cough. Maybe she could blame it on the cold. Objectively, her family - just her parents, really - had been loving, kind, and provided for her; that was more than a lot could say. Yet Pepsi could never ignore how they spurned her hobbies and friends, how they wanted to leave this place for the other side of the country, how they didn't understand how the world worked. It wasn't enough to hunt and survive - not anymore. But they didn't get that.

"They didn't really understand me," she said truthfully, shrugging her shoulders as though it didn't matter to her. It didn't anymore, anyway - not now that she had a new pack, a new entire kingdom to live in and prosper. "So, I live here now." She shrugged again, like that was that. She cocked her head mere degrees, curious as to how and why the other two joined the pack. And when? Did they join together? Were they in a relationship?

| 340

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POSTED: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:32 pm

Katinka pricked her ears at the note of disappointment in Pepsi’s voice and giggled, not offended in the least. She understood that her preferred “companions” were simpler-minded than something like a cat, or even the horses that Salsola prized so greatly. In contrast, the hairy cows and numerous sheep and goats and chickens often went overlooked by those who didn’t directly take part in their care.

“A dirty job, someone has to do it right,” Tink said with airy pride in her voice. “They are sweet creatures, most of them, even if they can’t talk.”

Khael smirked then swept her fire-colored eyes over Pepsi when the girl coughed and confessed that her family did not understand her. The dark jackal stared at her a few moments, then nodded. “My family did not understand me either,” she said. “They expect their women to be weak-willed wives. I am not this.”

The fluffy wolfdog was looking at her with a faint smile, as if in agreement with this self-assessment. “I wanted someplace where I could succeed on my own,” she said. “My family are kind folk, but I never felt like I met their expectations. Here I’ve branched out and gotten stronger, and met strong people too.” Her blue eyes lingered on Khael, then she glanced back at Pepsi and offered another friendly smile.

“Salsola is a place of great opportunity,” Tink said. “I’m glad you’re here with us!”

It was a bland statement, Khael thought—a canned reassurance to a newcomer—but damn if Tink didn’t make it sound genuine. Or perhaps she was.
but between my soft hands they die.
Salsola
The Warden
User avatar
Raze
Luperci Mate to Katinka
in her eyes were embers

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