begin again

quartz shoreline

POSTED: Sat May 05, 2018 3:52 pm

With the weather warming up, Strawberry often sought the cool coastal winds that came in from the Atlantic to keep from overheating. He didn't venture into the water or even very far into the beach, just close enough that one could smell salt and hear the sounds of water a ways off, and there he would lay sprawled on the ground and bask in the sun while the cool sand chilled his back. It had been a little while since Primrose had freed him, but he had only just taken the ring out of his nose so as not to be mistaken for a runaway slave by any current members of his old pack. He'd begged to know why she was leaving him, what he had done wrong, but she was polite and distant as always when she told him she was leaving and he couldn't come along. One day they might meet again, at least he hoped so, but for now the dog was stuck with a sense of emptiness and longing in his chest that wouldn't go away. It was if he had lost something important, and while that may be true for him, he knew his old master wouldn't miss him in quite the same way. If she did, she wouldn't have left him to begin with, right? He squinted into the sun and nodded curtly to himself in agreement, right.

Despite being left a little bitter and lonely from her sudden departure and his sudden expulsion from the pack, Strawberry was grateful for her having helped him anyway. He could read and write now, and even though his speech sounded a little strange and broken sometimes he was still perfectly able to be understood. There were a few good memories to be had too, along with the scary ones that he supposed came along with being a slave no matter who you were. Being forced to squeeze into a pair of pants for the sake of modesty was one that always brought a smile to his face, though at the time it was a little confusing and even embarrassing.

These days, he didn't know what to do with himself. It felt strange trying to go back to living as he once did, alone and only focused on his next meal, but the idea of trying to find companionship in others frightened him to the core and so he stayed away from contact with other canines if at all possible. There was still a feeling of being too stupid, too wild, too far gone to be of any use to anyone, and so he preferred to save himself the sadness and just not try at all. Perhaps not the healthiest way to live, but it had kept him from any further hardships so far. Strawberry wondered if he should soon try to integrate back into the civilized way of life, but a thrill of nerves went up his spine when his imagination wandered with the idea and instantly came up with all the ways it could go wrong. No, he thought, maybe it was just for the best to be alone.

User avatar
Sherry
Luperci

POSTED: Sun May 06, 2018 11:20 am

Moving up along the coast from Halifax, Thyri rode atop Baldr's back and breathed in the salty air. It felt good to be out of the Court for a change, with the watchful eyes of Seraphim above her and the strong reliability of her medicine hat gelding beneath her. Though her time as packless wolf had been lonely and filled with danger and difficulty, she had had only herself and her animal companions to worry about and there had been something oddly liberating about that.

But, at her core, Thyri was a pack creature. Though she enjoyed her time by herself and, in fact, needed it to recharge, she did poorly without the presence of others in her life. Having friends and family to provide for and to protect was, ultimately, her reason for being. Without that, she was lost and purposeless.

Still, every once in a while, it just felt good to be out in neutral lands again.

Wheeling against the azure sky above, Thyri caught sight of Seraphim up ahead. The hawk was returning to her – something that meant she had seen something. Prey, perhaps? The Chambellan slowed Baldr's pace and lifted an arm for the bird as she began to land. The soft whoosh of her feathers against air filled the silence around her. "Stranger," the hawk said, clicking her sharp beak. "There. Stranger."

Broken though her high speech was, Thyri knew Seraphim well enough to understand what she meant. There was no prey up ahead; there was a Luperci.

Giving the hawk a small morsel of dried meat as a show of her gratitude, Thyri allowed Seraphim to take to the wing once more before guiding Baldr forward. She was feeling curious and, with her staff secured to the saddle at her gelding's side, prepared for a fight if it came down to it.

"Hello," Thyri called out when she caught sight of the stranger sunning himself near the beach. "Is it all right if I approach?" Better to ask, she thought, than risk startling him and accidentally causing a altercation. If he allowed it, Thyri would guide Baldr nearer so she could greet him properly.

OOC: Hi Sherry! Welcome back to 'Souls! I hope you don't mind my jumping in with Thyri. c:

[WC — 363]

don't leave this world to me
Cour des Miracles
Chambellan
User avatar
Mandi
Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
S K J A L D M Æ R
trouble is a friend

POSTED: Mon May 07, 2018 9:39 am

ooc: Hey, thanks! Course I don't mind, that's what I made the thread for!

A large but otherwise indistinguishable bird had flitted overhead and blotted out the sun for a moment, and then was gone as soon as it had arrived. It didn't occur to Strawberry that it had been a tame bird travelling with a Luperci until the sound of hooves approaching caused his ears to perk. A feminine voice called out to him, asking permission to approach, and his heart skipped. The dog sat up quickly and instinctively avoided eye contact with her, ears laid back submissively. In his head he knew that was no longer necessary, but he'd been so used to instantly deferring to any and all that came into contact with him, especially those on horseback, that it was no longer a conscious decision.

"You can if you want," he said, stumbling over the words a little. No one had asked his permission for anything in...ever.

She looked quite intimidating, slave owner or not, sitting atop her gelding with that bird circling in the not-so-far distance. The staff strapped to her saddle reminded him of an instance of reprimand he'd witnessed early in his career at Salsola, and how the piece of wood had whizzed through the air before striking the flesh of whatever poor Luperci had been in the crosshairs. It sent a little thrill of fear through him, even though she didn't appear angry in the slightest.

"Don't want no trouble, ma'am," he said slowly, "will leave if you want."

The area was well known to be neutral territory, but he knew that crazies existed who would try to claim it as their own anyways. The brightly colored female didn't seem that type, but it always seemed that the least stable of canines were the most normal seeming ones.

User avatar
Sherry
Luperci

POSTED: Thu May 10, 2018 11:21 am

He shot up to a sit in a way that suggested to Thyri that she had startled him. She lowered her ears apologetically, but he turned his eyes away from her and laid his ears against his skull. Though her time spent in the Court provided her with different shows of dominance and submission, she was still a wolf and the stranger's body language was telling. Curious of him, Thyri encouraged Baldr forward at a slow, non-threatening way. What was someone so submissive doing out on his own? Most loners that she had met in her many travels had been hardened and weathered, for life as a loner was dangerous and tough. She wondered if he was only acting and decided to be cautious.

Realizing that their hunt had been put on hold, Seraphim swooped down from the sky and landed in the nearest tree she could find. Thyri slowed Baldr to a stop then slid off his back, leading him the rest of the way to where the loner sat. She kept a distance between them still, both for herself and for him.

"Neither do I," she replied, offering him a smile. "I won't harm you, nor will I chase you away from this place, unless you give me reason to." Thyri considered him quietly, then added: "I have no claim to this land." He was a big Luperci, bigger than she was. It made her wonder why he was showing such deference toward her. "My name is Thyri Dawnbringer, Chambellan of Cour des Miracles. Do you belong to a pack?"

Next to her, Baldr lowered his head and began to graze. Thyri wove her fingers through his mane and let the sun warm her as she waited for the loner to respond, patient and not without kindness.

OOC: <3

[WC — 302]

don't leave this world to me
Cour des Miracles
Chambellan
User avatar
Mandi
Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
S K J A L D M Æ R
trouble is a friend

POSTED: Thu May 10, 2018 1:39 pm

He sat in silence for a moment after she spoke, puzzling over what she had said. Thyri Dawnbringer was her name, that was easy enough, but the rest of her title made no sense to him. Strawberry decided not to waste too much time on it and seem rude, surely she would explain more about it later. The female knitted her fingers in her horse’s mane as it leaned down to graze and he realized he should stand up as well, despite still feeling a little nervous. She was smaller than him to be sure, but he was no fighter even if his appearance might say otherwise. Berry lumbered to his feet, maintaining a safe distance, and allowed a quick glance at her face. Curiosity about her scars tugged at him but he dared not mention it.

“No pack anymore. Master...she left to go far away and said I can’t not come,” he paused, “sorry, I mean ‘can not’. Am still learning.” He twitched an ear shyly, feeling a little stupid. He hadn’t made a mistake when speaking in a while, but nerves made his brain a little gooey sometimes.

“Oh, am Strawberry. Good to meet.” He gave a single wag of his tightly curled, fluffy tail, in both a conscious attempt at being friendly and an instinctive need to appease the wolf he perceived to outrank him.

User avatar
Sherry
Luperci

POSTED: Tue May 22, 2018 7:55 pm

Reminiscent to Thyri of a bear, the stranger shifted his enormous mass from the verdant earth and heaved himself to his feet. He truly was a large creature, she thought as she tipped her head back and looked up at him from the end of her tilted nose. Taller, for sure, than Alessan but not quite so impressive in height as her father. She stood near her steed's side, thinking she should perhaps have detached her staff from the straps before she dismounted. They would be difficult to manage in the midst of a fight should one occur.

But his mannerisms were decidedly non-threatening to the shieldmaiden. He kept his distance, for one, and seemed almost hesitant to look her in the eye. For reasons Thyri did not yet understand, the brawny loner seemed submissive to her.

And then he spoke and the pale brows above her soft, jade eyes creased.

Master. Offering him a nod that was intended to convey reassurance for his mistakenly spoken contraction, Thyri blinked slowly and glanced at her grazing gelding as she ruminated on her thoughts. His voice lifted her eyes and she allowed him a smile. "It's good to meet you too, Strawberry," she said. His curled tail reminded her of Reblin; it endeared her to him.

"Where did you come from?" she asked as Baldr took a step away, still grazing. He flicked his dirty blonde tail with a swish. Thyri watched her horse for a moment, then looked pointedly at Strawberry. "And what will you do?" She felt uncomfortable, unsettled. As far as Thyri was concerned, the opposite of "master" was "slave." Who was this man and what had happened to him?

[WC — 284]

don't leave this world to me
Cour des Miracles
Chambellan
User avatar
Mandi
Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
S K J A L D M Æ R
trouble is a friend

POSTED: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:46 pm

Her mannerisms seemed friendly enough, and it allowed him to relax just the slightest bit. His curled tail gave another wag and he returned her smile, a gesture still foreign to the male as it wasn't something he grew up doing, nor was there ever much cause for it during his days in Salsola. The sandy female began to ask questions, and his interaction-starved brain scrambled to keep up. He puzzled for a moment on her words, eyes flicking uncomfortably from her face to her feet to the muscled flanks of her grazing horse. Too much eye contact made him feel a bit hot and suffocated, a relic of the months spent being punished for accidentally appearing too dominant to those in charge. Where he came from was a tricky question because he wasn't sure he came from anywhere, and if he did it didn't have a name. Or did she mean where was his pack? He no longer had one of those either, he thought to himself. Neither an origin or a destination. It was all a lot to think about. "I...um, am born from everywhere?" his voice had a cautious lilt as he began to speak, rosy-red ears laid back against his head, "Was always in forest, all alone. And then Salsola um, helped me. Wait, not Salsola- not all of them. Just Primrose. She was good. Now she is left." He felt a heaviness in his chest as he said it aloud, something he had not done yet but that added a realness to the situation that hadn't been there previously. "Now I will do...what I did before? He was thinking of trying to expand on that when the thought hit him, maybe Thyri knew Primrose! Maybe she could help him make his old master want him again. He felt stupid as the words even brewed in his brain, but could not stop them piling out his mouth and into the air between them. "Do you know Salsola? And Primrose?" He almost called her 'Prim', as her brother sometimes did, but it didn't feel like it was his word to say, and so he kept it filed away where no one could scold him for using it.

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Sherry
Luperci

POSTED: Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:23 pm

It was becoming increasingly clear to her that Strawberry had fairly loose command of the common tongue. Confusing as it occasionally was, there was also something a little was endearing, in a way, in the he talked. A small smile curled her lips when he tried to answer the question of his origin. "You've traveled a lot then?" she asked gently, then listened with her small fading from her face as he continued.

Salsola was largely a mystery to the pale Dawnbringer. It was a name that she had heard of but a place that she had never before visited. Of the very few things that she had heard of it, the facts were dubious at best or only rumored to be true, so her opinion of the pack was largely neutral. Still, mention of the pack piqued her interest and Thyri listened silently.

"If you same from Salsola," she began slowly, frowning. "Why don't you go back there?" In the back of her mind, the memory of how he uttered the word "master" pinged. "Strawberry, was Primrose your master? What were you to her?" Maybe he was getting his titles and words mixed up, she thought with some doubt.

Shaking her head, Thyri offered him a sad smile. There was something hopeful in the way he said her name. "I'm afraid I don't know anyone named Primrose," she said. "Or anyone from Salsola, to be honest. But if you don't want to go back to there, or return to your old life as a loner, the pack that I come from is peaceful and nice." She wasn't trying to pressure him into anything, but she wanted to convey to him that there were other options. "As long as you helped out, like everyone else, you would be provided for and kept safe."

[WC — 309]

don't leave this world to me
Cour des Miracles
Chambellan
User avatar
Mandi
Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
S K J A L D M Æ R
trouble is a friend

POSTED: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:54 pm

He brightened momentarily, "Yes, travelled! Always going around somewhere. Then I am accidentally caught in Salsola trap," a short pause to stick out the paw he'd gotten snapped in a bear trap at the pack's borders, jagged edges of a scar still just visible where the fur became thinner on his toes. It looked as if a real bear had bitten down and shaken him, and he supposed that was why it was called a bear trap. "Then Primrose comes. She helped, even though I am scared and never talking to anyone else a lot before then! She said I can stay and she fix my foot, but then am not allowed to leave." The way Strawberry spoke, you'd think he was telling the plot of a gripping action packed story, not the one of his own enslavement.

"Master, yes. I called her that when others can hear, but sometimes she said I can call her by her name. She is not cruel like some of the others though. Never hit me like I sometimes see happening. When I first arrive at Salsola, I saw that. It made me very scared for if she would do that to me too, but no. Primrose was good. When she is leave, I am not allowed to stay." He was a tad winded now, not having spoken so much at once in perhaps his entire life. It was a freeing feeling being able to tell someone his side of things for once, and especially so since Thyri didn't appear to be annoyed or bored with him like the Luperci in Salsola usually did whenever encountering him. It felt as if he mattered, if only for a few minutes.

The mention of another pack made him a little nervous inside, though he wasn't totally aware. of it. Strawberry paused carefully and regarded the female's feet, unsure of how to respond. "You mean I am coming to stay with you? Like with Primrose?" Being that Salsola was the only experience with a pack he'd ever had, the idea of being accepted into the ranks of another group as a free man was so foreign to him that it didn't even breach the fringes of his mind. While Berry didn't hold his time in captivity in a negative light, he wasn't sure if doing it all over again was a good idea. It pained him to potentially offend Thyri, but after a time he shook his head. "I think is best to try and do new things now. After being in pack, maybe time to not be in a pack?" He wasn't sure how to word his feelings on the matter, but hopefully the woman could decipher him well enough to understand.

User avatar
Sherry
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:21 am

Thyri smiled at the way Strawberry brightened but her expression grew somber again as the man recounted his story. She lowered her eyes down to the foot that he stuck out, flicking her pale jade eyes over the jagged scars on his toes. "That must have hurt quite a bit," she said, lifting her eyes to his face again. There was a great deal that she was learning about Salsola and, with every new piece of information, her unease about them grew more firm.

In spite of this, however, she found herself gripped by the tale as Strawberry told it. Even though his speech was littered with grammatical errors and strange syntax, Thyri thought him a good storyteller. And it was obvious in the way that he talked of Primrose that she had meant a great deal to him. "I'm sorry that happened to you, Strawberry." It seemed cruel that she should go away and discard him like trash, but then, based solely on what little she understood of people who claimed ownership over others, it didn't particularly surprise her.

When he asked her if he would be coming with her, as he had with Primrose, Thyri shook her head slowly. "You are your own master now, Strawberry," she said gently. "You're free to make your own decisions. If you should stay at Cour des Miracles, it must be your own choice to do so." Watching him, it seemed to her that there was some inner turmoil that he was working through. Or, perhaps he was simply trying to decipher what she was telling him. She was quiet while he thought, then watched as he shook his great head and declined the offer to come to the Court.

Thyri wagged her tail slowly, feeling a sense of something light and happy. Maybe it was the idea that he had made his own decision, that he was taking control of his life. "Of course," she said with a nod. "There's nothing wrong with that. I was a loner myself for a short time." Thyri brushed her palm over Baldr's shoulder. "It didn't suit me." She laughed lightly and shrugged. "If you find it doesn't suit you either, you're welcome to call upon me at the Court any time."

[WC — 385]

don't leave this world to me
Cour des Miracles
Chambellan
User avatar
Mandi
Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
S K J A L D M Æ R
trouble is a friend

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