These old bones are still breathing

Teagan! Roadtrip thread 2

POSTED: Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:14 pm

INDI KNIGHT
[ 532 ]

Eastern Realms, the very edge of the Cobequid Foothills. This thread will take place over almost two weeks. Current date is the 21st.

“Wow, that’s quite a sight.”

It had taken the sisters quite the journey to finally arrive at their first true destination. Neela’s passage into the abandoned lands of Ichika no Hoen and beyond had borne fruit, but the mountain crossings to first enter and then leave the land had been treacherous. They had managed to avoid the dangerous land of the Anathema territory, but the mountains themselves had been almost as dangerous to two young Luperci, inexperienced in terrain that wasn’t the pleasant lowlands that dominated Casa’s territory. The scattering of peaks in their home had nowhere near prepared Indi for the sheer size and scale of the Halcyon range.

They had made it through though, and now their prize lay before them, the fabled Eastern Realms. Destroyed by fire, and abandoned by any sane Luperci.

They hadn’t quite left the mountains yet, but were instead perched on the final slope that they would have to descend down into the blighted lands. They had spent the night tucked into a small cave - really little more than a crack in the mountainside - and Indi was perched on a boulder, staring down at the lands below while Teagan fussed around their packs. From here she had a view of rolling hills and gentle valleys. Perhaps this land had once been beautiful, but now it was dominated by a vast forest of corpses; burnt out trees thrusting their blackened fingers into the air. Patches of sickly looking fog spotted the hills around what Indi could just make out to be pools and lakes. When combined with the orange glow of the sunrise dominating the sky beyond the hills, it almost looked like the fires that had destroyed this land were still burning off in the distance.

Much as Halifax had, this place disquieted Indi. Unlike Halifax though, where her dislike had been simply adjustment to an environment so different to her own, this felt more solid. This place was dead and wrong, she could feel it deep in her bones. There was a reason that nobody lived here anymore, and it surely wasn’t just the lack of prey. She refused to let her trepidation show though, even when she felt a shiver run down her spine as she caught some glimpse of movement down in the trees below (her eyes playing tricks on her, surely nothing large enough to catch her sight from this distance could survive in such a place). This was what they had come here for after all, to view the wreckage of a land long before their time. This place had history, one of the closest things that the Luperci had to a Halifax - their own forgotten, wrecked world - and it was curiosity about all that which had drawn them here. To show fear because they had found what they were looking for would be ridiculous.

So instead she turned her head to Teagan and plastered a grin onto her face, hoping that the chill still lingering in her spine wasn’t obvious in her expression. “You ready to get a move on sis?”

Template: Hilli / Andi || Table: Songbird

POSTED: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:46 pm

TEAGAN STRYDER
Optime | Backdated: August 21st | NPC: Agrona [ 1,079 ]

Set after this thread.

To Âmes de la Mort!

Their journey thus far had done nothing to cave the insatiable hunger Teagan had for adventure, if nothing else, it made it greater. With how far they’d gone, the smells they’d found, the sights and places they’d seen, it had been all the Stryder had dreamed of since her youth. Of course, their trek hadn’t been without its bumps. The danger of the mountain crossing had been the most worrisome part in their journey thus far. The air was thinner the further up they went, and there were many areas that were dangerous to cross; steep inclines, loose sediment, sheer drops. The siblings were blessed with having such a close relationship with one another. At times, it felt like they shared the same brain, and their trust in one another helped their arduous journey through the mountains be less stressful than it could have been.

Teagan had been in the midst of conversing with Agrona when she’d heard Indi let out an awed breath. Curious to see what she was looking at, the sister paced up beside her and let her eyes take in the sight. The scenery before her had been nothing like she’d ever seen before. The high clouds had been gracious enough to part for them and allow them to see for miles in the valleys below.

It was nothing like the beautiful world they’d left behind. For miles, the land looked bare, scarred by the great fires that their grandfather had said had scorched the earth. If there were any new trees or signs of regrowth, they were likely too young and small to see from so high. Still, a skeleton and barren as it may seem, the range of their view was still spectacular. “It definitely beats the view from atop that old house,” she agreed, referring to the structure they’d used to gaze up at the stars on the fateful night of the Red Star.

They’d continued on until they’d deemed it unfit to travel any further for the day. As they had in the days prior, they’d found a niche that would break the high winds of the mountains to spend the night. Agrona had caught them a few plump mountain animals for their evening meal, and Teagan had gone about preparing them and rationing off pieces to be save for later should they find themselves in an area devoid of prey. Meticulous as she was, she’d been unofficially put in charge of their supplies, and made it a point to recount their stocks at the end of each day to make sure they had the proper amount of goods and provisions for the next.

She’d slept just about as fitfully as she had in the days prior. The howls and sounds of the mountain were still foreign to her, and she would be roused by the slightest sound of could-be-danger. Needless to say, she’d been glad when they had made their way down into the Eastern Realms below.

Teagan had led them along, seemingly unaffected by the aftermath of the long-ago fires. She had known the land would be such prior to their journey there. Though full of skeletons of trees, it wasn’t as completely devoid of life as it may have seemed. There were signs of regrowth. Though small and mutated, it was a start. If anything, it intrigued the Stryder to see what was left behind after such a devastating event. There was a peculiar, stale scent that hung in the air, and Agrona was stubborn to stay in the skies above for as long as possible. The falcon had never been the rebellious sort though, and so Teagan chalked up her bird’s strange behavior as being spooked by the massive amount of dead trees.

The pair had traversed the area for some time before Indi spoke up. She had been acting strangely since they had wandered down into the valley, but, Teagan had yet to call her out on it. For a girl that was usually chipper and a ray of sunshine to Teagan’s stormy day, the cream-coated sister surmised that the eerie remains of the land probably weren’t her cup of tea. “Yeah, there isn’t much to look at here.” That, and she found the water questionable, and didn’t want to stay to the point that they’d need to quench their thirst with it.

Northeast lead them into a greener area, though, its trees were still very much bare and naked as the first had been. Moss and other hardy, low-clearance vegetation decorated the forest floor in patches. The beginnings of a few new trees sprouted up between their long-dead neighbors, giving the area a feel of new beginnings on top of a horrendous past. It made Teagan curious as to how all life must have looked like in the beginning; before the trees grew tall and stretched their branches high into the sky, before the plains had its long grasses and abundance of wildflowers that waved in the summer winds, before the world was as beautiful as the one she had left on the other side of the mountain.

In the daylight hours, they’d come across a few highlights; a scorched-to-hell remains of a shed and a surprising group of deer, one of which, had a curious, gnarled growth to its antlers. The former had been something akin to investigating a crime scene what with the bits and pieces of evidence of the lives its previous inhabitants had had scattered about the wreckage. The buck had been a topic full of speculation and theories that had stretched for hours after its sighting.

When evening hit, finding a place that was out of the elements had proved impossible, and, so, the siblings had been forced to spend the night huddled up with their backs to each other and Agrona nestled uneasily on a perch above them. As Teagan tiredly stared up into the star-dappled sky through the maze of barren branches above them, she asked her sister, “How long do you think it’ll take for the land to recover?” It had been a question that had been burning in her mind for a good portion of the day.

With sleep overtaking her, she hummed in acknowledgment to what she thought was a reply from Indi.

Template: Hilli / Andi || Image: Martin Rak
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Teagan Stryder

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New Caledonia
Oeglir
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Songbird
City Watch II, Falconer I
You shoot me down
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I am titanium

POSTED: Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:59 pm

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.

INDI KNIGHT
This place is 2 spooky 4 Indi. This post ends at Vapor Lake, Concrete Jungle is on the other side.[2192]

The blighted lands that they passed through made for challenging travelling. The ground beneath Indi’s feet was ashy and soft in some places - sometimes almost threatening to swallow her feet as though it were snow, but much heavier - and in others it was brittle and sharp, scraping the pads of her feet raw. The difficulty that Indi was having extended beyond the physical though.

As she and Teagan walked amongst the dead trees, Indi kept on seeing… something. She couldn’t explain it, put a name to it or really even see it. Every now and when she would just see a flash of indistinct movement out of the corner of her eyes - only to see nothing when she turned her head to look - or a she would glance at a ahead and for a split second see something that she could swear was a humanoid shape, only to find herself looking at shadows and nothing more when her eyes focused properly. It was the sort of visual tricks that she might have easily dismissed under most circumstances - and indeed, her mind was telling her that she was being stupid to give it any thought at all - but it kept on happening. More than what she was was what she felt. Indi was a wolf, and like many - more than many, in this day and age - she was a highly instinctual being, and right now her instincts were telling her that this place was bad, spoiled. There was a prickling in hr spine and an itch in her ears that just wouldn’t go away; almost like that little sixth sense that told her when someone was sneaking up behind her, but a constant feeling that wouldn’t let her relax. Privately Indi thought that Agrona definitely had the right idea of it staying up and well above these cursed trees.

Indi’s nerves quickly became frayed as she and Teagan made their way through the dead forest. She blamed it on nervousness at being somewhere so different, so far from home. Then she blamed it on thirst, dehydration. She and Teagan had been walking for hours and hours and they had barely had anything to drink since they had left the slopes of the mountain. There was precious little water here and what there was looked… off. Stepping over small streams that looked like thin lines of moving sludge and finding ponds that looked almost like patches of dirt until something bubbled in the water below the surface didn’t exactly make Indi eager to try out the local delicacies. Surely that was it, her mind was just overtired and taxed from the lack of water, and so was playing tricks on her. Unfortunately, Indi couldn’t quite make herself believe it, and she was losing faith in her excuses just as fast as she came up with them.

Things got a bit better when they left the blighted lands. The trees were still stunted and bare here but it had more of a feeling of life to it. Life that was slowly and painfully struggling to recover from a cataclysmic event, but life nonetheless. After a while they even found a small stream with running water that actually looked like it deserved the name, and while the taste was still sharp and unpleasant Indi drank deeply and felt much better. The movements continued though. Less frequent now, but still there, still flashing in the corner of her eye just as she let her guard down time and time again. She had been able to distract herself somewhat as she scenery began to sprout a bit of variety. The weird deer that they had seen had given both Indi and Teagan their fair share of distraction, as they endlessly debated what could have caused such a growth and whether or not the deer would still be edible - thankfully they had enough food supplies that they didn’t need to consider finding out firsthand, Indi certainly didn’t fancy it. The broken down house had been another matter. At first it had simply seemed equal parts interesting and depressing to look at the shattered remains of someone’s home; the concept of this entire area condensed down into a single building. But once they actually got inside it, things got bad. The spine-tingling feeling that had been nagging at Indi earlier had come back full force and gotten worse and worse until she could actually feel a chill rolling down her spine and she had forced Teagan to move on as quickly as they could. By the time they had stopped for the night Indi was a bundle of nerves, hardly daring to look anywhere except straight ahead left she see something that she was beginning to suspect she really didn’t want to.

The sleeping arrangements left much to be desired. It might have been a hollow comfort so far out of their home territory, but Indi would have felt much better with something between her and whatever was out there in the night. She curled up as close to Teagan as she could get and shivered against her sister’s back, eyes roaming the darkness as she listened to her sister’s voice like a lifeline.

Though, Teagan’s question don’t exactly make things better. It was an innocent enough question but something about the wording gave Indi pause.“I dunno. It’s been years since the fire and it’s still like this,” she replied distractedly. Talking about the land like that made it feel less like land and more like a living thing. An animal that had been wounded, and was slowly healing and nursing itself back to life. It made her think about the creatures that had lived here before. How many of them still remained, what had survived the fire and lingered? Indi felt Teagan begin to relax and droop at her side and made an effort to go to sleep herself; the day had been a disquieting one, but also long and physically trying, she was exhausted. Yawning widely, Indi began to close her eyes. And there, just as she was looking through her eyelashes the split second before she actually closed her eyes, a pair of eyes opened up in the darkness to stare at her.

Indi stiffened like a stone, eyes flying open even while the rest of her body locked up tight from fear and shock. But of course, there was nothing there except the darkness and a faint whispering wind. WHimpering quietly, Indi reached one hand back and curled it around Teagan’s. The other remained down by her hip, curled around the handle of her dagger in a death grip.

It was many hours before Indi got to sleep that night, and when she did it was light and fraught with nightmares.

When the morning came and Indi was awoken by Teagan stirring at her back she was sporting a prestigious set of bags beneath her eyes - almost enough to actually show through her fur - and felt tired to the point of light-headedness, like she hadn’t slept at all. For once though Indi felt no desire to stay still and sleep in for a little longer, instead she beat Teagan to her feet and for one of the first times in her life she was shaking her sister awake. “Cmon, get up and let’s go. This place is giving me the creeps,” she insisted. Indeed, the place that they had chosen to sleep sure as hell didn’t look better in the morning light. The ground here was fairly thick with a carpet of soft, squishy moss which had made them choose it to sleep, but in the morning light it looked… weird. The trees here had grown back quicker than elsewhere, but much like the misshapen deer they had seen yesterday many of the burgeoning saplings were malformed and mutated, some with twisted, gnarled trunks, many growing out of the ground at skewed, doomed angles.

Indi didn’t like it, and the ushered Teagan up and onwards as soon as she could. While moving aimlessly at first - Indi just eager to put the misshapen woods and the strange feelings that haunted them behind her more than having any actual plans on where to go - it didn’t take long for them to find a river weaving its way through the landscape. The waters were sluggish and foul-smelling, but it gave them a landmark to follow at least and after a quick discussion about where they actually were - and a short argument about which way north was based on the sun - Indi and Teagan set off upstream, padding along the banks of the river.

Indi felt a little bit better to be moving, less like a sitting duck just waiting for… something to come and pick her off at its leisure. Exactly what was the cause of her paranoia she had no idea, but it was good to get away from it. Even if it was at the cost of her nose; the river’s smell only intensified as they travelled upstream, and it was obvious that there was no drinking water to be found in its depths. Despite the increasing vegetation, there was a dead zone either side o the river that spoke volumes of how life giving it actually was. The lack of trees proved to be a blessing though, and for the first time since descending the mountain Indi had stopped constantly seeing those movements out of the corner of her eyes.

Though, she still felt… off every now and then. Almost as though there were a pair of eyes drilling into the centre of her back. She reused to turn around and see whether that intuition was true.

Eventually, the river led them to a large lake. If it were possible for a body of water to look ill, then this one definitely fit the bill. The waters in the lake absolutely stunk as they moved away from the river feedoff and into areas where the waters stood more stagnant. The acidic waters produced a mixed smell of sulphur, death and - though Indi couldn’t put a name to the smell - burnt plastic that had both Indi and Teagan cringing and covering their noses. Even the lake’s appearance contributed to the sickly feeling; its surface was covered with a thin film of fog that seemed to steam from the surface, stinging Indi’s nose and eyes and almost completely obscuring the small island which stood in its centre. The area around the lake was dead and almost silent which lent the mists an eerie quality. Staring into them seemed to make the eye trick itself, as though the mist was hiding weird, irregular shapes within itself.

“There’s something wrong about this place,” Indi grumbled, kicking at the loose stones beneath her feet and glancing enviously at Teagan’s scarf. Something to cover her muzzle with would be wonderful right about now. She hadn’t exactly come into the Eastern Realms expecting to see a verdant paradise, but is seemed like there was nothing but death wherever they looked.

Then again, maybe it was just Indi? It was easy to see death everywhere when you felt like the world itself was out to get you. The jerky scares of yesterday had been replaced by something entirely more insidious today. While Indi had barely seen anything, she had been afflicted by a tiny sense of terror running down her spine that had grown slowly and smoothly throughout the day. It felt like something was stalking her, a sure-footed predator taking its time and savouring the hunt.

“I mean, look at it. And smell it! It stinks like, like-” Indi continued, taking her frustrations out on the lake. Her complaining stilled to wide-eyes silence as she suddenly realised that, for once, her eyes hadn’t been playing tricks on her as a gust of wind thinned the mist out just enough for Indi to see over to the other side of the lake.

“Teagan, look!” she exclaimed. Over the other side of the lake, shrouded by the mist, were what was unmistakably human buildings, houses. And now that Indi’s eyes had adjusted to the gloom and the fog she could see that this was no small settlement! What looked like hundreds of buildings lined the far side of the shore, and beyond them she could see the larger buildings that heralded the start of a city proper. For a moment Indi managed to forget all her worries as she thought ahead to what could be waiting for them on the other side.

Though, it seemed like it might be a while before they got there; the phrase ‘So close yet so far’ sprang to mind. While the buildings were visible, they still had to navigate the lake itself to get there, and the river that they had followed up to the lake blocked them from taking the shortest path. “What do you think?” she asked Teagan, glancing mistrustfully at the sluggish waters and the lake which fed them, “Should we risk it, or take the long way around?”

Template: Hilli / Andi || Table: Songbird

POSTED: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:41 pm

TEAGAN STRYDER
[ 860 ]

Ends in Concrete Jungle. Didn’t want to go much farther ‘cause wasn’t sure if you wanted to continue the spookies for Indi xD

It was rare that Indi was up and lucid before Teagan was. Of the two, the Stryder child was more of a morning Luperci than her sister. The koi-colored sister was eager as ever to get a move on, and, faced with not having to psych Indi up to get up and moving for the day, Teagan didn’t complain. It did bother her, however, of what Indi had said.

Creeped out? What was there to be creeped out about? Sure, the land had a kind of weird vibe to it, but, as far as Teagan was concerned, it was nothing of concern. To the more stoic sibling, what was left behind were merely scars from a past life. Some gnarled trees and mutated things, nothing big. Definitely nothing to lose sleep over, as seemed evident by Indi’s actions that morning and throughout the day.

Had she known the source of the sister’s anxiety, she’d have considered making a jab that she was just being a “chicken.” As it were though, she’d rather keep the peace if it made Indi feel more at ease.

They continued their exploration, and the further they moved north, the more evident the extent of the devastation from the fires from long ago became. The land just didn’t look as it should have. Many of the waterways smelt funny. The trees that had survived were bare despite it being summer still. The land’s prey was mostly small game, something that could reproduce quickly and recover faster than larger ones such as elk and deer. As far as large predators were concerned, they had yet to find even one besides themselves. However, there were a few, stale scents of the occasional Loner passing through, so, the land wasn’t completely barren of any to keep the prey population in check…somewhat.

The lake they found did not particularly stick out in Teagan’s mind when compared to everything else they’d seen thus far. Merely, it fit just fit in with the strange sights and smells. Her canary eyes flicked to Indi when she made a comment. “Well, it was burnt to Hell.” She commented, agreeing, but trying to lighten her sister’s mood—or at least redirect whatever spooked thoughts might be running through her mind.

Indi continued, and Teagan’s eyes followed as the koi-colored sister seemed to see something. Her brows rose as she spotted clear shapes beyond the mists. It looked like another Halifax. She could see from the new energy that flowed through Indi that her sister wanted to check it out. One glance at the waters and Teagan let out a harsh exhale. “I don’t want six toes or five limbs.” She was referring to the buck with the gnarled antlers they’d seen. To make sure her decision was clear, she added as an afterthought. “Walking never hurt anyone.”

With that, she turned and started to navigate the “long way around” that avoided the strange-smelling, stagnant waterways. They were on this trip to explore anyways, so, taking a shortcut through questionable terrain wasn’t a risk she was willing to take if it had the possibility of later complications.

It was well into the afternoon by the time they’d reached the grey ruins. From afar, it might have looked like a Halifax, but, up close, it was clear that their similarities stopped there. Scorch marks marred many of the abandoned buildings, and the signs of the fires from long ago was more evident here than it had been anywhere else. The old human domain was devoid of plant life other than a few hardy weeds or like-plants sprouting up from cracks in the ground. The air was quiet and hollow, cold.

Rubble and burnt trash littered the streets in piles, and it was obvious that the city had been picked clean by scavengers, human and Luperci alike. The sisters navigated through the concrete skeleton of a previous era up until the start of nightfall. They hadn’t found much, only more things that were “odd.” They’d settled for the night inside a small building—some kind of store—that was relatively solid save for the broken windows towards the front of the little shop.

Tucked behind the counter, Teagan felt that they were safer with only one way for someone or something to attack them from. Agrona was not very satisfied with the sleeping arrangements, however. Without a tree in sight, Teagan and Indi had found an old coat rack for the falcon to roost on for the night.

Teagan tossed back the jewel Indi had found earlier during their trek through the city. “What do you think you’ll do with it?” The Stryder child had never been much for pretty trinkets. Indi though, she had an eye for that sort of thing.

They conversed for a little while longer before deciding to go to bed for the night. Hidden out of plain sight, Teagan felt a little more at ease that night knowing that they wouldn’t be open for attack at all sides.

Template: Hilli / Andi || Image: Martin Rak
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Teagan Stryder

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New Caledonia
Oeglir
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Songbird
City Watch II, Falconer I
You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

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