A spot of bother


POSTED: Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:52 am

OOC: Set in the Dampwoods :) Can backdate a bit if you want?

Eliza couldn't recall ever coming this far South since the family had restarted their lives in Nova Scotia. She liked the cool crispness of the Northern lands; the warmth down here was a pleasant change, as were the sights of fertile woodlands and rolling hills, but the Cormier dog didn't think she'd be down here for very long. She didn't want to be absent from Krokar for too long, particularly with her younger brother's recent bout of illness, and although she was hiding half of her feelings from her packmates these days, the falsely jolly young woman would miss them if she was away for too long.

The silver-brown shape of Bernie the falcon perched with ease on Liz's shoulder as she rode slowly (by necessity rather than choice) through towering trees. The Krokaran was here chiefly to scavenge or trade for items to aid her in setting up her eventual Outpost stall; she knew that she would soon have to dismount and root around on foot, and this seemed as good a place as any. Liz was still so unfamiliar with the forest that it all looked the same to her, and if there was a better spot in which to halt her travel temporarily she was none the wiser.

A stream giggled away close by and the traveller offered her mount a drink before delving deeper into the undergrowth. She considered allowing Bernie to fly, but the falcon didn't have much experience beyond hunting over open land and the wannabe falconer didn't want her to be injured – not when she had just got her back into proper hunting condition.

Unfortunately Eliza didn't spot the dip in the needle-covered earth before her foot sank into it. The sudden change in the set of her shoulders threw Bernie off balance, and the bird flapped upward, clearly spooked. Liz cursed under her breath as she instinctively reached out to grab the spooked creature – but that only resulted in Bernie making a beeline for the nearest perch, situated well above the small dog's head.

“Bernie, I am not climbing up there to fetch ya,” Eliza told the bird, exasperated, and with her ankle smarting. A ponderous sigh left her. “Such a shame that you won't get my leftovers.” Eliza turned to stalk away from her feathered charge, though she did so in such a way that she could keep half an eye on the suspicious falcon, who simply watched her with beady, dark eyes.


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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:08 pm

[ WC: 588] (+5)

Galilani found herself back in the Dampwoods again. Despite recently finding rank and home with Aniwaya, the autumn-coloured female still felt more at ease beside the trees and streams of the neutral grounds. Though birthed at the Great Tribe and accustom to their beliefs and way of life, she still struggled with it as a way of life. She had her mother's wandering spirit and her father's terrible socialising skills, so the two mixed together meant for a restless mind on the best of days.

Sat against the base of a large oak, Galilani rested with closed eyes. She listened to the sound of the birds as they flitted through the trees. She listened to chatting of the argumentative squirrels, and to the dribbling of the nearby streams. She listened to the beating of her heart; its steady rhythm attempting to bring peace to the troubled woman' thoughts.

A sigh left her maw. She couldn't help but linger on the events of the past few months. She thought upon her father and how they had left things in a bad way. She thought about her brother and how she missed him desperately and wished to hear his voice break through the horizon. She thought about Tomas and the torture she had endured whilst foolishly believing it was love. She thought about his face; his steely eyes and his charming smile; the way he branded her and burned her, inside and out. A tear slipped down her cheek as a voice interrupted her sorrow.

“Stop it,” the voice demanded. Galilani wiped away her tear with a pale hand and looked up. Dangling from the branch above her was a mottled olive and yellow snake, staring at her with its deep, dark eyes.

“Stop thinking.”He hissed as he spoke, his tongue flicking in and out gracefully. “It will do you no good to keep living in the past. You're here now, so let's live in it.”

Galilani gave a small nod. Though shocked he hadn't responded to her emotions with a riddle, there was no need to speak. Her spirit guide was right, as usual. Sighing again with a slight shrug of her shoulders, she rose to a stand and grasped her bow and quiver in one smooth motion.

“Shall we practice?” she asked her companion, raising the bow a little as she spoke.

“Always.” The snake dropped from the branch with a loud, uncomfortable thump and slivered to the woman's feet. Galilani stretched out her arm and crouched a little to reach the ground. The Racer wrapped himself around her bicep like an armlet and rested his head softly upon her shoulder.

She smiled warmly at the snake and pushed forward with wide steps.

“Thank you,” she said plainly, the emotion slipping from her face as she entered the zone of concentration it took for her to scout the area and find her desired target.

“For what?” The snake looked puzzled.

Galilani entered a clearing in the trees. She reached to her quiver for an arrow and begun to prepare.

“Being my friend, obviously.”

She pulled it back against the bowstring. Her breathing slowed as she weighed up her aim. Her target, an old willow tree a few yards away, stood through some large shrubs and sparely leaved trees. Her muscles rippled under her fur and her fingers twitched as she readied the release.


The arrow missed its target. Galilani rose an unimpressed eyebrow at the snake and lowered her bow.

“Oops.” He grinned widely. “My bad...”

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POSTED: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:13 pm

Eliza must have taken no more than three steps away from the perching falcon before she heard the thrum of something sailing through the air, followed shortly by a thunk which made her whirl around in one sudden motion. It sounded like the arrow had hit the ground, not feathers and muscle, but the dog's conker eyes immediately sought her companion all the same.


Even if the arrow hadn't been aimed at the falcon, Liz knew that Bernie was in a flighty mood and the sound alone might have convinced her to take off again, this time well out of reach. The Krokaran's brows knit together as she contemplated what it would be like to lose her lifelong friend on a expedition which she hadn't even needed to take. As her heart hammered in her chest, Eliza was beginning to regret this fool's errand.

Bernie gazed down at her, unblinking, but with a question in her bright eyes.

“Oh, now you're not spooked,” the dog grumbled as she marched back toward the tree. “Get here.” Bernie did nothing except shuffle a step to her left. A faint growl rumbled in the Cormier woman's throat as she stood at the base of the tree, hands on hips and nut-brown eyes narrowed to slits. “Now.” Of course, any threats Liz made had only the slimmest chance of working seeing as neither dog nor falcon shared a common tongue.

“Fine. I'll go see who that is without you.”

Liz stomped off, convinced that if birds could laugh Bernie would be cackling right now. She really wasn't having the best luck lately: first the closest thing to a friend she had in the world had disappeared, and now her falcon – arguably her most enduring companion – was playing hard to get.

The wiry dog's steps were still overly heavy when she spied another woman through the trees, grasping a bow and looking about as unimpressed as Liz felt. The petite dog ground to a halt, lips pursed as if wondering whether to flee before she could give the stranger a chance to aim the bow at her.

“I come in peace,” she called as she rounded the tree, palms raised to show that she had no weapons. “Although my bird could've been in pieces.” A mild smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. “Nice bow ya got there.”


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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:42 pm

[ WC: 320] (+3) <33

“Why did you go and do that for?” Galilani asked grumpily, trying to beat the twitch of a smile from the corner of her mouth.

“I felt like it.” The snake flicked his tail a little. “Besides, you shouldn't have missed anyway. Practice, Lani. Practice.”

Galilani sighed impatiently at her companion whilst he hissed out a wave of laughter, vibrating against her arm. “You sound like the Tribesmen from back home.” She smirked and her eyes lit up with a cheeky glint. “...But then again, none of them were named Noodle, so it isn't all bad for them, 'ey?”

“Don't call me Nood--!” A snap of twigs stole the words from the snake's mouth. Galilani spun around to face the noise, though her ears quickly caught the sound of peaceful callings. Tightening the grip around her bow, her fingers twitched uncomfortably. Her face remained still and unemotional.

“S-s-sorry about your bird,” she stuttered slightly, though her stance remained tall and confident. It was an unexpected sight to say the least. “Is he alright?”

Noodle snorted disapprovingly at her choice of words. “Shouldn't of been in the way, more like.”

Galilani shot a look at her guide before looking back at the strange woman.

“Tha-thanks.” She swallowed hard, trying to ignore the build up of sweat between her palm and the bow. “Homemade.”

She looked around, trying to sense if the woman was alone. Satisfied, she began to relax a little more. She didn't like big crowds.

“Where are you from?” She tilted her head curiously, the feathers in her hair brushing down her shoulder and the beads rattling slightly. “You're very close to Aniwayan borders, you know that right?” She paused, analysing the situation in her mind. She thought about what to say, what not to say. She didn't want to sound foolish.

“My name's Galilani Adahy,” she added quietly, almost a mumble as she clicked her tongue. “What's yours?”

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POSTED: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:33 pm

Liz didn't notice the snake until she had already projected her voice through the leaves and dappled light. When her eyes did fall upon the serpent, they popped open, ending up so round that they really did look like a pair of miniature conkers against her sepia face. Never in her life had she seen a Luperci and a snake communicate as it seemed these two were doing. In fact, the chatterbox Greenhorn was – for once – robbed of speech. But that could only last so long.

The larger female stood tall but sounded nervous, stuttering a little in her initial apology. Eliza grinned, waving a hand casually, though her gaze kept switching from the canine to the serpent. “Probably serves her right for flyin' into strange trees. Bird's bein' stubborn. She's fine, other than her bull head.” Eliza raised her voice slightly, shooting a look over her shoulder. “Ain't ya, Bernie? C'mon down now, we've found company!”

There was nothing other than a rustle of leaves to indicate that the falcon had heard her, and the dog shrugged.

Her eyes brightened considerably and grew wide again when the wolfy female admitted that she'd crafted the bow herself. Eliza wasn't ashamed to show that she was impressed, but her mind was already working out what else this stranger could craft. It was natural to Liz, as a trader, to be curious about the skills of others, particularly those skills which could produce something from nothing. She hadn't created much herself, other than the odd net and half a boat which still sat unfinished in her pack lands.

“Way up North,” was the breezy response. Eliza had stopped staring at the snake now, but kept him in her peripheral vision. “Place called Krokar – put down roots up there about a year ago, me and my family. Could say we're fisherfolk, although that'd be discountin' the caribou we tend.” It was evident in the fierce pride with which she spoke that the floppy-eared female was happy to share this information with the autumn-coated woman. Even if she hadn't been happy to share such things, she suspected that her mouth would have acted before consulting her brain.

For the first time, Eliza displayed some uncertainty as she inhaled slowly. “Ah, not trespassing am I?” A crease of worry appeared above her eyes. “I don't mean to – could blame it on the bird if I am – Bernie, would you show yer feathery face for two minutes so's this lady don't think I've made you up?”

There was a signature flapping which meant a bird in flight nearby, and Bernie finally swept down to her companion's shoulder. “Aha! Galilani, meet Bernie. And me, I'm Eliza Cormier.” Liz moved as if to take a bow, but thought better of it given what had happened the last time she'd made a sudden movement with Bernie on her shoulder. She peered at the snake again, half hoping that he, too, would be introduced. With the falcon restored to her rightful place atop Liz's shoulder, the dog visibly relaxed.


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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:57 am

[ WC: 515] (+5) WOTD: Lackadaisical.

Galilani watched her new companion's casual motions. There was a slight pang of jealousy from the crimson painted female, as she had never felt so calm as to shrug off an apology with such grace. She did her best to smile, though her face distorted from the over-zealous attempt and she quickly decided blank was the way to go.

It became apparent fairly quickly that the bird was not the same as her own spirit guide. It seemed like more of a pet than a companion. They did not appear to speak to one-another either, which seemed like a bizarre concept to the Aniwayan female. Looking around to spy the bird, she frowned when met with the rustle of trees. She was curious about his appearance, and about him in general. She had a thing for animals. She enjoyed their company more than the company of others.

Up north seemed pretty vague at first. She hadn't heard of Krokar either, but the fact she hadn't been here all that long probably had something to do with that. She liked the sound of their lifestyle regardless. It sounded simple, less built on belief and appeasing their gods.

“Fisherfolk.” She repeated slowly, thinking aloud. “So do you have a belief system, a-...” She paused, trying to think of the right words to use. “--Religion?” She dropped her gaze nervously, fearing that her question would be perceived as stupid or irrelevant.

It wasn't until the stranger showed elements of apprehension that Galilani's eyes met hers again. “Oh, no.” She hastily replied, her brow wrinkling anxiously. “No, I-- er, I didn't mean to worry you. I just don't meet many outsiders this close to the borders, err, sorry about that.”

She ran her fingers through her fringe of dark hair, smiling uncomfortably. She was never any good at this talking thing. She had her father to thank for that.

The bird swooped down just in the right moment to take away the awkwardness in the air. Galilani was thankful, though her spirit guide displayed little interest in the creature. In fact, he seemed to have developed a rather lackadaisical attitude about the whole ordeal. There were no insults, no riddles, no words of disapproval. Mildly concerned, she made a mental note to discuss the subject later whilst they were alone, if it didn't come up sooner, of course.

“What a wonderful animal,” Galilani exclaimed. Her eyes lit up in awe as she admired the feathers and strong features. “Do the two of you not converse?” She tilted her head curiously. “Is he your...” she paused again, contemplating the right word to avoid offence. “...companion?” She nodded approvingly at the female whilst awaiting an answer.

“It-- It is nice to meet you, Eliza Cormier of Krokar.” Trying to ignore how formal and stupid that sounded, she signalled to the apparently sleeping snake wrapped around her arm. His tongue occasionally flickered to taste the air. “This is Digalvnvhi. He is my spirit guide. And, yes, he is always this unpleasant, so I wouldn't, err, take it personally or an-- anything.”

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POSTED: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:20 pm

Eliza could vaguely feel a fern tickling her ankle, and she had to glance down to check that it wasn't a feathered wing. Bernie sure was taking her sweet time in showing up, even though she must have heard her canine companion speaking to the other – others, if she included the snake, though he seemed to be studiously ignoring her – in friendly tones.

Something passed across the other female's face, some kind of discomfort, and Liz's head tilted slightly to one side. She couldn't fathom why the feather-adorned wolf would be nervous; it sounded like she was close to home, and she had a snake on her side, whereas Eliza only had a falcon who was apparently playing truant. Plus, she looked strong, sturdier than the chocolate-and-ginger dog. Eliza had always taken well to conversation – some would say a little too well – so she pressed on regardless of any nerves Galilani was experiencing. The best way to put someone at ease was to simply be at ease.

Galilani seemed to be contemplating the idea of fisherfolk out loud, and a brisk nod jolted the Cormier girl's ponytail up and down like rippling flames. “Religion?” she questioned, trying not to sound dismissive. For a moment her face grew pensive; the Cormiers had believed for a long time in the water Goddess, but the rest of the pack were free to make up their own minds. “Not as a rule – we don't enforce nothin', each to their own 'n' all that. Me, I'm more practical than spiritual. What about you?”

Bernie's appearance was met with a wagging tail and a sparkle of triumph in Eliza's eyes. She turned her head briefly to make a face which implied that Bernie's delayed reappearance would not be forgotten, but was soon thinking on the next question posed to her: “We communicate, sorta. Body language as opposed to words, though – she speaks low speech, y'see, and I never did learn it. Could say she's my companion, yeah - ” Liz glanced sidelong at the silvery bird before continuing in a whisper “ - but I reckon it's more on her terms than mine. She'll go scoutin' and huntin' for me if I ask, as long as I make sure she's fed 'n' happy.”

The smaller Luperci's brows drew together momentarily as she tried to wrap her tongue around the spirit guide's name. “Digal.. v.. wait, what's a spirit guide? Sounds awfully fancy.” She shrugged her shoulders, smiling warmly. “Seems more straight-talkin' than unpleasant, but good to know it's not just me! I've got three brothers, y'know – had to grow a thick skin pretty early on. I take it Aniwaya is your pack, then? D'you all have spirit guides? Are they all snakes?” Eliza was coming to the conclusion that she definitely wouldn't want to trespass if all Aniwayans had serpents as friends, but Lani seemed nice enough.


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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:23 pm

[ WC: 894] (+7) I think my muse ran away with my fingers here... Oops. XD

Eliza's response to her question on religion puzzled her for a moment. All she had ever known were the strict beliefs of The Great Tribe, and now, similar such beliefs in Aniwaya. She mirrored the head tilt of the other woman, and pursed her lips together, thinking for a minute before she spoke.

“Oh, I--” she paused again, unsure of what sounded better or how to explain herself. “Agidoda** once told me of how we came to be, but it's more about worshiping the earth, and being thankful for the blessings the spirits give us with food and each day of living.”

Galilani's brow creased. She didn't like speaking at the best of times, and now she felt like she was just talking for the sakes of it. She didn't know what to say about the Aniwayan religion. She hadn't really paid much attention to her studies after her mother left. She frowned.

“The story--” She rubbed her hands together uncomfortably. She could feel the sweat building beneath her pale fur. “The story goes that originally the world was not as it is now, that we did not have hands or bows or...” She looked at Eliza's bird. “Birds to befriend us...”

She flicked her tail as she spoke, taking a slight pause after every few words to think about her sentences. She worried that she would sound like a fool. Only time would tell, however. The story couldn't be stopped mid-flow after all.

“We were going to disappear. Die off and be extinct, or so the stories say. But the great spirits smiled down on us, showing us the way to our true forms, and the path to survival.”

She looked at Digalvnvhi warmly. He too seemed interested in the story, or perhaps he was just listening ready to mock her later. Being her spirit guide, there was a special bond between them. She just wished he wouldn't annoy her so often, bond or not. She made a note to enquire deeper into the history of Aniwaya, the Tribe, and the spirits later.

“We created fire, hunted with bows. But our selfishness was our downfall. The seven families warred with each other, unable to make peace or share their sons and daughters.”

Her mouth twitched uncomfortably. Her heart pounded in her chest, faster and faster. She felt sick.

“The pure bloodline caused sickness in all the families children. The war bore no fruit, only death. So eventually the families found peace, and the children were no longer born sick or deformed.”

Her hands felt numb. She could feel her throat tighten up. Dizziness set in. Quicker, deeper breaths.

“The spirits showed us the way to make peace, and no longer did the families suffer. Aniwaya was born with the merging of those tribes... In time we were blessed with their presence. The guides came and kept us on the path of goodness... And here we ar--”

Galilani's words trailed off. She felt herself lose her footing sightly. Stumbling, she used her bow to steady herself, digging an end deep into the dirt.

“Oh,” she breathed quietly, shocked by the sensations throughout her body. “I don't---”

She looked up at her female companion. Shame washed over her body as she stood there, crouched over and retching.

“I'm sorry,” she hissed between gasps. “I-- I don't know why this is happening.” She lied. The amount of talking had triggered a panic attack. She wasn't social at the best of times, and this had pushed her brain over the edge. She rubbed her temples and leaned harder on the bow. It creaked under the weight.

“I--” She lifted her head, unwilling to show too much of her weakness. “I too wish to learn... low speech... eventually.” She thought about the pigeons in Aniwaya. She wondered if she would talk to them when that time came. She thought about anything else than what was happening right here and now.

“Digalvnvhi,” she corrected the female within a gasp of air. “He can be a pain, but he means well most of the time...” Her heart began to slow. Her palms didn't sweat as much. She slowly straightened herself up again.

“No, not all of them are snakes. I've seen birds, deer, rodents.” She grimaced as her brain sent a pain down her face. It wanted to make sure she was still alive.

“I've heard of bears, bulls, buffalo and other exotic creatures too. I'd love to see them.”

She always did have a soft spot for animals, even technically dead spirit guide ones too.

“And yes,” she added quickly, almost forgetting the original question. “Yes, I am a member of Aniwaya. Just recently, in fact...”

She stared at the woman silently as her words trailing into the air. She felt herself again for the most part. They never lasted too long after all. She had taught herself to ignore them with the help of Tomas's torturing. She could thank him for that at least. Even if, now, this woman might think her a tad psychotic. She held her breath and waited. Digalvnvhi peered with his large eyes over Galilani's shoulder. He too was very curious at how the fisherwoman had taken the whole ordeal. Very curious indeed.

**Agidoda = My Father
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POSTED: Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:10 am

OOC: This post is all over the place D:

Lani seemed as perplexed by Krokar's lack of a strict belief system as Eliza had been by her question on religion. The dog was all ears, though, prepared to listen in spite of her tendency to bulldoze through conversations with a flow of words which was sometimes difficult to stem. She sensed that she was about to be enlightened, and smiled encouragingly at the paler female. Her eyes had stopped flicking towards the snake now, and one hand rose to smooth Bernie's feathers as the AniWayan began her story.

A faint smile pulled at the Krokaran's lips. The wolf spoke of Gods who seemed benevolent, granting the canines the gifts of fire and bows so that they could survive – but Eliza had a feeling that this would not be a wholly happy tale, and she was proved right as her new acquaintance continued.

Galilani seemed to grow shaky, her words more breathy as if she couldn't gulp down enough air to push them out. Liz was soon torn between remaining respectful and listening, letting her finish the tale, and telling her to sit down and catch her breath. The dog's shaggy face grew more and more concerned until the AniWayan appeared to stumble, catching herself with the home-crafted bow. With one hand still resting absently on Bernie, the Cormier female took a couple of steps forward and thrust out an arm, wordlessly offering the support of her small frame.

It seemed that the wolf was determined to finish her story, and Liz couldn't help admiring that resolve. She wasn't sure what to say – what might help and what would simply embarrass the female whose nerves had clearly turned into some sort of panic, but she waved away another apology.

She seemed to want to continue their conversation; maybe for once Eliza's babbling could actually help. “Eventually sounds about right – I've got no other tongue than this and no experience of learnin' one. It'll be a challenge, but I like a challenge.”

Liz realised that her gaze had lingered too long on Lani, and she quickly looked to Digalvnvhi as the snake's charge explained that spirit guides could take a multitude of forms. Nut-brown eyes widened as she absorbed the list of species, counting on her fingers, and for a few moments she was silent as she thought back to the story of how the guides had come to join with their canines.

“The path of goodness – I like that. Reckon any religion's a goodun if it helps ya strive for somethin' like that.” She fell silent again, wondering if she should address what had happened a few moments before, and eventually deciding to be direct. “Listen – I don't want to harp on 'bout somethin' that makes ya uncomfortable, but are ya alright?” Eliza's gaze fell to the bow which had made a harsh creaking sound. “And yer bow?”


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POSTED: Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:51 am

[ WC: 660] (+5)

The words of concern were greatly appreciated. Galilani, half expected her female companion to flee, smiled weakly at the enquiry of both, herself and her bow. She nodded slowly, pulling herself completely back to a stand, holding her shoulders as confidently as she had done previously. She appeared as though it had all been a bad dream.

“Oh, th—that.” She chuckled. “I’m fine, honestly.” Her emerald eyes glistered with half-truths. “And this,” she lifted her bow from the ground, gripping it in her once sweat-ridden palm. “It’s survived worse. I just,” she clicked her tongue, glancing at the curious snake behind her messy mane of fiery dark hair. “I just have those some—sometimes.” She shrugged and looked out toward the horizon.

It was in that moment that Galilani recalled her first ever panic attack. She had been a happy child, bubbly and confident, striving for knowledge. She had always loved to read, especially with mother. When she left however, Galilani took it all pretty hard – she blamed herself, blamed her father; took to spending all her time studying archery, tracking, and all the requirements to become a good scout. She worked herself into exhaustion, and then, eventually, she blew like volcano full of emotions and left the Tribe, leaving only a memory of harsh words and insults in her stead.

It wasn’t until she stumbled across Tomas and his band of merry men that things really took a turn for the worse though. He had been charming, silver tongued and courted her like a gentlemen. He had taken her under his wing whilst she had become lost in the wilderness, and she had not seen the danger right before her eyes. Over a period of a couple of months, Galilani had been raped, burnt, mentally tortured, shoved into a box barely big enough to breathe in; things were not as nice in the outside world as she had imagined. Thankfully, the spirits had shined their luck upon her and allowed her to flee – thus, bringing her to Nova Scotia, introducing her to Digalvnvhi, and taking her to Aniwaya. No matter how rude or uncouth he might appear, Galilani loved her snake dearly, though she doubted she would ever tell him – he’d find the whole thing highly amusing.

Drawing in a deep sigh, the woman turned back to the female, sadness in her eyes at the thought of her family, and the horrors she had seen since leaving them. It was a fool’s errand, perhaps, but she had to try. She didn’t want to be a coward; not like her father anyway.

“I, err, I appear to have lost myself in thought for a moment.” She glanced at her spirit guide lovingly for a minute. Though he did not speak, still watching the strange fisherwoman, his mouth twitched in to a slight smile. He knew she was looking; he knew what she was thinking. His tongue slipped across the air.

“You—you said about Krokar.” The autumn female felt her curiosity bubbling. “Were—were you born there? Or did you come from far away?” She thought about all the exploring her mother had done. Galilani would have loved to see the world. “Do—do you have professions there?” Galilani couldn’t tell from the woman’s appearance what her exact trade would be. She dared not guess in case of offense.

“Wha—what do you do? I’m a Tsula Agateno.” She smiled, realising her companion may not know the term. “Sor—Sorry, I mean Scout. I’m a scout, though not very highly ranked yet. I just do patrols mainly.” She wondered if she was even allowed to talk about these things, but her nerves had gotten the better of her. She continued to ramble, nervously stuttering and flitting her gaze between woman and floor. “I also look after the pi-- pigeons.” She sighed. “I just wish I knew what they were saying. I never know if I’m treating them ri—right.”

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