and I, will swallow my pride

Neal

POSTED: Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:11 am

keep screaming 'til they hear you out
[ 446 ] » August 25. Morning. Northering Ethereal Eclipse. Sorry this so random. x3

The ride south had been a quiet one, one of deep contemplation. As she skirted between the boundaries of the misguided knights and aimless spiritualists her mind was focused upon the courtiers, the enemy, and she relished the thought of meeting one of them, of finding a purpose for pointing her arrows at them and to give reason to letting go. It wasn't that she didn't believe in the war, she did, and she believed wholeheartedly that Inferni was not at fault. Even if they were, she would fight for them no matter what, even if they were the ones who had taken that boy, even if they killed him. Though she still harbored quiet thoughts of uncertainty, tiny niggling feelings of not belonging, more and more lately she was coming around to the thought of being a part of something, of not just being the only one looking out for herself anymore.

Three freshly killed rabbits hung off her saddle as she rode, the vast stretch of the deep dark damp forest of Ethereal Eclipse closing in around her. Indra snorted a little as the atmosphere changed slightly once the high forest of The Dampwoods transitioned into the Eclipse, but the wild huntress barely felt the change, her mind elsewhere, her thoughts consuming her. She knew her horse would not steer her wrong, he hadn't before and he would not ever. Steadfast, strong, and smart, Indra was a beast accustomed to long hard rides, so a quiet morning stroll through the forest was child's play in comparison to the long journey north they had taken only months before.

Her thoughts flickered back to the time she had joined Inferni at that moment, the time her life changed dramatically in what felt like the blink of an eye. She went from being completely alone to completely surrounded by coyotes and coymutts all claiming to be her allies, friends, and family, all individuals who would have her back, keep an eye out for her, and be there for her when she needed them the most. She didn't know what to feel about it, she still didn't know, and she hoped this time away from the pack would help her figure it out.

Reaching back, she plucked one of the snares from her saddle and brought the lifeless rabbit into her lap, taking her eyes away from the trees to set molten gold upon the motionless creature for a moment, her fingers easily working the snare off of its neck. Then all at once she bit into its soft underbelly, savoring all the little bits therein as she did so. She had forgotten she hadn't eaten in days.

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POSTED: Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:01 pm

Neal was sunning himself in a clearing when he heard smelt the strange scent. He had been utterly content. He’d hunted a rabbit the day before, and the hunger was only just starting to gnaw at his belly, easy to ignore. He’d made a quick visit to a stream nearby to have a quick wash, which consisted of padding into the middle of the stream, lying down so the water ran over his fur, and ducking his head under a few times. It was easier and quicker than cleaning himself with his tongue. Afterwards, he’d found a sunny clearing and stretched out, closed his eyes and enjoyed the sun on his fur.

Then he’d smelt it. It was a strange combination of horse and canine, but not all the one scent. It was like there was a horse, who had spent a lot of time around a canine was standing next to a canine who had spend a lot of time around a horse. It was utterly confusing, so he scrambled to his feet, shook himself and set of to investigate.

He followed the scent that was blowing down with the wind, retracing it to its source. As he got closer he picked up another scent: rabbit. Dead rabbit. ‘Well, this just keeps getting stranger and stranger,’ he thought to himself. He heard things too, a horse snorting, a canine breathing, and then he smelt blood. The smell sent pangs of hunger through him, because one rabbit every three or four days was not enough, never enough.

But hunger was pushed to the back of his mind by what he saw next. He emerged from the underbrush onto a small trail, and right in front of him was the strangest sight he’d ever seen. It was a canine sitting on a horse. On its back. While the animal looked perfectly content to have a predator sitting on to of it. 'What’s wrong with the canine?' he wondered, fascinated. 'Can’t she walk?'

She was in optime, and had her muzzle buried in the stomach of a rabbit. Of which there were several more hanging from the strange skin-smelling thing she was sitting on. Rabbits. The thought set his mouth watering, but what came out of it was a surprised exclamation that he though summed up the situation quite nicely: “What on Earth are you doing?”

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Flower of Athens
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:20 am

keep screaming 'til they hear you out
[ 370 ] » Sorry for the slow~

Indra huffed at the sound of someone approaching and the huntress paused in her feast, oversize ears twitching and pivoting to the source of the sound. It came from off to the side at first and then dropped back behind them, the various movement of underbrush, leaves, and twigs eventually turning into steady footfall. Then the scent came – damp fur, earth, leaves, forest, wolf, hints of dog – the variegated scent of a loner. Her hackles raised but she showed no signs of attention, her jaws still working away at the tiny organs and bones in the rabbits abdomen before she tore through to the bigger more appetizing muscles of its hindquarters, pausing only to take a breath and lap the blood from her now pink-tinged maw before diving back in.

Meanwhile the great white horse had slowed, allowing the stranger to catch up until he was near enough to voice his query, at which point the steed finally halted, knowing his mistress would want to investigate. With nothing much left of the rabbit save for a tattered skin, the larger bones, and its head – which was for the most part left untouched – she absently tossed the carcass to the earth and turned slightly in her place astride Indra, placing molten gold upon the stranger with a look of bemusement. What in the world was he talking about? Had he never seen a rider and horse before?

"What's it look like? Traveling." It hit her then, at that moment, the realization that he may have never seen a humanized optime before. She had only ever encountered a non-luperci maybe once or twice in her travels, but they still knew of luperci and the ways in which they lived their lives, cohabitating with prey animals, wearing clothes, using weapons. This one though, appeared to have lived his whole life in ignorance of luperci culture, and it both amused and astounded her. Living where he did, surrounded by pack luperci, and never once did he come across such a sight? "You’ve never seen this before?" Her voice was laced with evident curiosity as she peered down at him, fiery eyes moving from his face to meet the mismatched colors of his own gaze.

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POSTED: Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:49 am

“No.” Neal shook his head, bemused. “Is there something wrong with your legs?”

Travelling? Why would she travel on a prey animal? Why not eat it and travel on foot? A horse that size could last him for days. It made no sense. Nor did the fact the fact that she had tossed away a rabbit that was only half eaten. The bones were still whole and the head hadn’t been touched. Why was she wasting all that food? The whole situation seemed utterly backwards.

He circled around until he came to the carcass that she had dumped onto the road and picked it up, heading back round so he was facing her again. It was only polite to stay in her line of sight. He sat down and began to tear at the rabbit head. There was no sense in wasting perfectly good food. He looked up at her expectantly, waiting for an answer.

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Flower of Athens
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:05 am

keep screaming 'til they hear you out
[ 340 ]

Those molten depths stared down at him a moment, her mind trying to make sense of his words even though she had heard them clear as day and understood them, it just didn't seem to register. Surely he must have been joking. There couldn't possibly have been a place that he lived that wasn't – even at some minute point in time, even in the smallest almost insignificant way – just ever so slightly touched by luperci. She just couldn't believe it, and the look on her face made that point all the more evident, her brow spots arisen quizzically as her eyes narrowed a moment in silent accusation.

Ever the victim of paranoia the wild huntress wondered if he was lying to her, if he was simply feigning ignorance in order to get one over on her somehow. Or maybe he was a distraction, sent to set her off guard so that his loner friends could swoop in and kill her for her horse, her weapons, and other belongings. Her hackles bristled at the thought and her gaze slid to inspect their immediate surroundings for a moment as the stranger moved to collect her discarded rabbit, nostrils flaring to catch any other stray scents than her own and the wolfdog as he wandered back to finish off what she had tossed away.

Once content that – at least for the moment – she was not about to get ambushed, she brought her fiery gaze back to the black and white male. "There's nothing wrong with my legs. It's just using a horse is better. I can travel farther and faster on horseback than I can on two legs or even four. Plus he can haul heavy things for me." She stated very matter-of-factly, watching him finish off her little snack. She still wasn't one hundred percent convinced that he really didn't know what was going on but decided to throw caution to the wind for a moment and give him the benefit of the doubt.

"Who are you anyways? You from around here?"

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POSTED: Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:10 pm

Neal could see that she was suspicious of him, and he wasn’t sure she believed him either. Oh, well. That didn’t particularly matter to him. He’d had a decent meal for the second time in as many days, and that was a record. He wasn’t lying, and whatever ridiculous ambush she was waiting for wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

He cocked his head at her nonsensical response, still chewing on one of the rabbit bones. How in the name of nature was sitting on some prey animal better than getting around on her own two feet. He shot the golden eyed Optime an incredulous look, shaking his head.

“I have to admit, getting farther and faster does make sense, but you’re in a pack.” he said the last bit with a slightly accusatory tone. He wasn’t all that fond of pack canines. They tended to think that life as a loner was just as easy as life with a pack for support. “Why would you need to travel far?”

He snorted at her last point though. “What’s the point of dragging something around if you can’t do it yourself? What is that heavy, anyway? I mean, aside from an elk, and you can just eat that where it is.”

“I’m Neal, and yes, I live here. Well, in the area.” Was his response to the last question. ‘She might as well know it,’ he thought, ‘its not like she going to get any information for it is she asks around.’

“What about you? Why are you here? And what pack are you from?” His curiosity about packs, for all his distain of their members, was insatiable.

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Flower of Athens
Luperci

POSTED: Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:02 am

keep screaming 'til they hear you out
[ 388 ]

Molten gold narrowed once again as he mentioned she was in a pack, curious as to how he would know that if he had never encountered luperci before. Again, the irrational voice at the back of her mind screamed at her to turn away and leave the stranger in her dust, but the logical part of her mind prevailed and a snort escaped her at his next question about travel, her head shaking a little. "I'm a scout. It's my duty to make sure the lands surrounding my pack are safe. That there are no spies or bandits lurking nearby."

His next string of questions were dripping with audacity and she almost regretted tossing the rabbit away for him to finish off, quickly tiring of his ignorance despite her features remaining placid and for the most part still amiable. "Moose. Bison. Caribou. Elk." Just to name a few things that were too heavy for one luperci to carry on their own, even the biggest and strongest of them. "I don't just hunt for myself, I hunt for my pack, so I have to bring back what I kill, I can't just leave it." Nevermind that she often traveled a good distance from her pack to ensure she didn't hunt too much in the same place and either scare off the prey or quell them completely.

When he finally divulged his name she let a small smile ease to her sharp coyjack maw, which dipped in acknowledgement of his introduction as well as in greeting as the desert dragon reciprocated. "Daeva. I'm from Inferni, if you've heard of it." She doubted he did. "It's to the north of here near the bay." Her head moved in a vague motion toward the direction she spoke of, not at all worried about what he did with that information. Inferni was a large and powerful clan that was notorious for being unkind to anyone who wasn't a coyote, so even if he did go around blabbing about them, it wouldn't do him any good.

"We're not big fans of wolves though, so I wouldn't go wandering that way if I were you." She warned, in a way that seemed almost like she was genuinely concerned about him. "You're probably better off poking around AniWaya or Vinátta if you're looking for a pack."

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POSTED: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:56 am

“Daeva the scout from Inferni,” Neal said, testing out the name, “Which I have heard of, by the way.” A single wolf hunting for the whole pack was strange news for him, but the, semi civilised wolves were strange.

“You’re all part coyote, right?” It was a wild guess, but coyote blood was one thing Dave and Vesper had in common, and he was trying to figure out their animosity towards wolves based on the similarities of the two Infernians he’d met.

There they were again, AniWaya and Vinátta. He would have to ask where they were at some point.

He eyed the rabbits hanging at her side. “How did you catch all those?” If he could find that out, it might solve his hunting problem once and for all.

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