wait there with these cindered bones

p, Ezra | Amherst

POSTED: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:40 pm

737 Off we go~!

Hooves clacked against the tore up pieces of cement, barely muffled by the vegetation and dirt that had spilled over from the cracks on the black stone. Lorea snorted and tossed her head, complaining about the harsh pace on such unsteady ground, and her rider had to relent despite her rush. As quick as Tzila wanted this trip to be, she wanted to hurt her mare even less. A lame horse would completely derail her schedule after all.

The librarian didn't want to stay away from the Estate any longer than she needed to be; most of her packmates had already left, the few stragglers already getting ready to leave Sapient grounds, which meant the old mansion was going to be vacant very soon. With no one to protect the items there, it would be ripe for the taking for any opportunistic looter out there. And she'd be damned and cursed if she let that happen. Tzila wasn't one to just turn tail from her responsibilities, and the large collection of the library she had devoted so many hours of her life to was one such responsibilities. The Napier couldn't bare to leave her home of many years without making sure all that wealth of knowledge would find a new home, and unfortunately that meant leaving the Estate for a short while. Amherst was a safe haven for many loners, and she knew most of them would be willing to trade for books, or would know someone who would. So here she was, to casually mention such opportunity for trade for a few trusted ears.

Lorea snorted loudly, tail swishing to get the luperci's attention, low speech clear that she still wasn't happy with how scattered Tzila was. Usually the coywolf would mind their path, make sure they wouldn't walk right into a hole or something of the sort. But today, her gaze was all over the place, eyes searching for those telltale coats and clothing that she grown familiar with among the vegetation and wrecked buildings. It was making the mare anxious, her legs bucking lightly with the nervous energy. With a sigh, Tzila stopped them in their tracks and let the palomino calm down beneath her, and most importantly, allowed herself to calm down as well.

The librarian fussed with her fringe, a nervous habit whenever her emotions were starting to get to her. For spirits' sake, her pack had just disbanded, that wretch of a leader had fled into the night away from his crimes, and so many of her friends - her family! - were left lost and without a place to call home. She was more than a little upset about it, and she had the right to be, like everyone else. But now was not the time to pick her own brains about it, she had a job to do here.

As she navigated through the familiar streets, slower this time, it didn't take long to find this or that guy she knew who could get her message around. The more she walked, the more this particular routine calmed her down some. She could almost believe she'd finish the day on Biff's Bar, have one of two drinks and spend the night, and the next day she'd be off towards home, and go back to her Sapien family. Join them in a late afternoon game of beer pong, laugh and have fun, before pulling on some ears about late borrowed books the next day.

Almost.

She was almost caught by the stab of melancholy before a certain smell hit her nose. It wasn't exactly familiar, but she knew it. The faint memories of a late night camp near the mountains and horses playing by the fire glow stirred in her mind, and she tugged the palomino towards it. At some point, Lorea must have remembered it too, because her pace picked up in an eager trot. Just around the corner...

Horse and rider stopped near a toppled over streetlight pole, both standing in attention, and Tzila felt a smile tug at her lips. She knew this horse, the blueish roan with pale mane and tail. Formosa... Fanatic... Fantasy! That was her name, wasn't it? Yes it was, and if she was here, maybe her owner wouldn't be far either. Tzila slipped out a short little howl, almost a long bark, just enough to get the attention of the small camp. "Hellooo!"
Tzila Napier
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POSTED: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:03 am

Ezra had been inside, settling the small storage up keenly and putting back the horse brushes that he'd just used to bring Fantasy to a shine. All the while working, he had a smile on his features. Today was a day of rest for the horses, and they had managed a small place to stay for the time being. Bygul was holed up in the room made smaller by a fallen wall secured against it's opposite, and Fiora's stallion and Arrow were both off by the stream. The caramel beast was getting washed up and the cart was being cleaned of all sorts of extra soot and dander that had gathered in their travels. Arrow was turning out to be quite the champ of mundane tasks done remarkably well with heart and vigor.

What a shame it was, what his parents had done to him. They would have been luckier to keep the hard working boy at their sides.

For now, though, he wouldn't destroy Arrow's dreams completely. If the boy wanted to work hard for that purpose, so be it, but Ezra kept it in his mind to work for himself, just in case. He would certainly deny the collie leaving to find his parents. That world out there would eat that boy up alive and not so many were as kind as this ol' ex-pirate seemed to be.

Lifting himself upright, he placed his hands on his back and stretched in reverse. Several little pops crept up his spine and he released a sigh before putting both arms to the ceiling. It only took a moment of that sweet stretch to feel right again, and with it Ezra's light-hearted mood had grown ever more so. Fiora was on his mind and in his heart, always, but with hands a diligent work, he didn't give the voracious monster of his sadness fuel this early in the day.

Fantasy, however, pawed at the broken pavement that surrounded her. There seemed to be a listlessness in her eyes despite the brilliant shine of her fresh groomed coat. That sour gaze had peaked into something more curious as someone familiar made their way near. As they neared, Fantasy recalled Lorea and started bobbing her head and shifting her weight fore and aft in delight. A high whinny of excitement came, and it had Ezra's slender maw poking out of the door. He looked around for a moment before eyes settled on a face he hadn't seen in a long time, but could never forget.

“Lady Tzila!” Ezra chimed and came forth full from the door, arms open wide in a warm greeting,” It's been too long, my friend! How do you fare?” His words were bright, where most of Amherst's traders would rather creep in the allies. He had nothing to be ashamed of. His goods were fair in price and high in quality, unlike some of the items that sleazy traders here might offer,” How is Sapient?” He spoke one last time, seeking to get up to speed with how her life and her pack were doing. It was always good to be in the know!
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POSTED: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:05 pm

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Tzila watched the happy stomping and head bobbing of the blue roan mare with a fond smile, until Ezra showed himself and her smile slipped into a grin. It had been just one meeting a long time ago, but his fond welcome felt like seeing an old friend. It was a warmth she had come to miss lately as her people slipped away into the world like sand through her fingers, and she responded in kind. She allowed Lorea to trot happily over to the small camp, and with a kick of a slender leg over the horse's neck, she slipped from the palomino's back. The landing wasn't entirely graceful since the mare was still in motion, but she didn't fall on her face or fumble too badly so Tzila took it as a win.

"Oh, Ezra, it's so good to see you again! It's been far too long since we saw each other!" She greeted back, contaminated by the man's bright tone. For a moment, the Napier almost went to meet him in a hug, but caught herself from possibly embarrassing herself and instead went to grasp his forearm in greeting. She might be feeling lonely, but not quite enough to hug the loner out of nowhere. Still, her smile was wide and open, at ease for the first time in weeks. "Have you been well? Trade's been good, I hope?" She winked at him, knowing his wares couldn't compare to what one would usually find around the ruined city.

His question made her pause, the smile not quite slipping from her face, but it grew melancholic. The shine in her eyes dulled as she remembered the recent events, all those painful goodbyes and wellwishing. The golden gaze slipped over to the two mares, both playfully smelling and grooming each other, in silent contemplation. "Sapient... Sapient has disbanded." She announced with all the grief and solemnity of a home lost. "Our leader was not who I thought he was. No... actually, he was... far too much like I thought he was." She admitted, and the sting of betrayal and an injustice that wouldn't be avenged burning at her throat. "I knew he wasn't exactly a good person, but I never thought..." Tzila scratched at her head again, rubbing her eyes hard with the heels of her hands. Something like 'His own daughter...' slipped her mouth, but it might as well have been just a sigh.

With a deep breath, she focused back on the tall man, hands on her hips in a 'what can you do?' posture. No time for grief, she had a job to. "And of course, I can't afford to cart away everything my packmates didn't claim, and I'd hate to let all our efforts waste away. Or go to the scavengers." She explained, voice light again but sadness still in her eyes. "So, you wouldn't happen to be interested in some books or new tools, would you?"
Tzila Napier
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POSTED: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:21 pm

A short, winded laugh let fly when she stumbled a bit, but the look in his eyes and the flat lay of his ears conveyed it wasn't a laugh at her dismount but a recollection in kind that Ezra, himself, had fallen a great many times attempting the same thing. A slender hand rose to brace her, but the woman achieved balance on her own accord, and even with the bit of clumsiness, she managed to look like she danced, rather than tripped up. With herself righted now, Tzila gifted Ezra a heart warming greeting in reply, and seemed to be deciding on exactly what to do before offering the dogman her hand. Alabaster hands gripped her forearm in return, and a strong nod of arms between them became their handshake.

“It has, and I am very thankful,” The merchant spoke humbly, but truthfully. He'd gotten his hands on many a thing in the last month that had gotten him a good jump ahead of the rest. He was very thankful for Arrows cooperation in this all, as well. His trade was getting in the way of searching for Fiora, and the boy had done more than enough to keep them both well off. The name 'Arrow' was slowly being spoken alongside 'Ezra Vahn' as paperfolk. The sight of the boy was becoming just as much a trademark as Fantasy, who danced and nuzzled at Lorna in the background. With good fortune, Tzila might stay long enough to meet him.

Of course, when his inquiry came in turn, Tzila's expression shifted in such minute detail that Ezra wasn't prepared for the information that he was want to receive. Sapient? Gone? He found his chin drop, but his hand came quickly to lift and hold his muzzle closed with a touch. He hadn't expected Sapient to fall through the cracks as Vinatta had, though as history foretold, nothing good lasted forever. With the volatile nature of the rouge groups, and even some of the packs that claimed territory here (Lookin' at you, Salsola), it was always only a matter of time. Still, the highset ears atop his crown rested in the thick of black locks for her at her loss,” That is dreadful, I am sorry to hear.”

She went on to explain a bit, vague and broken, but enough that it turned in Ezra's stomach to hear. To trust your leader and have them turn on you? Or rather, to misguide your gut instinct and trust your leader, only to have it end in such a way? Ezra knew the rumor mill would eventually get a few stories his way, but knowing the honest story from on of Sapient's own, would help the merchant better gauge truth from tale. Tzila seemed lost, as many who became displaced were, but there must have been a greater fire moving her forward so that she could put all the pieces together and move on.

After a breath her tune lifted, acceptance that what was, was, and couldn't be undone, she made the best of what she had. The ebon of his twisted threads danced as he dipped his muzzle in respect to her offer,” I would be more than happy to take a look to see what you have. As it so happens,” A hand fanned across the street and toward the door from which he came,” I've got everything in this room here, as my cart is being serviced. We can go through what we've got to offer, and if you'd like, you might stay for dinner?” Surely, she'd welcome the idea of a warm meal. Hopefully, it hadn't been too long since her last, but if it had, Ezra was more than willing to oblige especially under her hardship.
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POSTED: Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:35 pm

Watching the sheer surprise on Ezra's face at the grave news, Tzila felt a little validated in her grief. The loss of a home was fresh and stinging in her heart, but the source of that loss stirred disgust in her gut. Not just at the Moineau, but at herself and her packmates. It was with bitterness that she thought that they should have seen the truth sooner. That she and her fellow Sapiens should have done more, been better. But Nivosus was cunning like that, and he hid his tracks well, so much so that no one noticed the cracks in the every foundations of their home until it was too late, and it was crumbling beneath their feet. Hindsight was a bitch, after all.

"Thank you, Ezra, really." She says, her voice devoid of emotion but her eyes distant and misty, like she wants to cry but refused to. The Napier appreciated the sympathy, but the sting is still there, painful and hard to ignore even though she must. 'A job to do, Tzila, remember you have a job to do.'

She was more than glad to change the subject, and gladly nodded along to the dog's suggestion. "Yes, I'd love to stay for dinner. I was going to spend the night over at Biff's, but I don't think I can handle the usual crowd today." She explained, thinking of the rowdy and loud patrons that came usually in the evening, and couldn't help how much it reminded her of the usual nights at the Estate, full of people and joy and alcohol. No, it felt like too much too soon, but a small sacrifice she had been willing to make. Now she had a chance to avoid that, and like hell she was skipping it. "So, what have you got?"
Last edited by Tzila Napier on Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tzila Napier
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Nina
I only procrastinate and yell at Kitty
NO DEATH
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POSTED: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:45 pm

Her gratitude wasn't taken lightly, the weight of her ability to speak these things to him appreciated from the depths in his soul. All the more reason to have a good soul have a safe place to stay for the night, if she didn't have one. Tzila didn't waste any time in taking up the offer, either. With that, Ezra offered Tzila in the direction of the small camp and made his way over himself. He wanted to make sure she had a place to seat herself should she got in there, and he was sure she'd want to set up her horse, as well.

Fantasy, however, saw the change in motion as a reason to be excited. The mare urged Lorea over to follow in the footsteps of their riders, eventually poking her heavy head into the door. The ruin wasn't anything to sneeze at, but it was out of the wind and could shelter them from ran if it tempted for the night. Eventually Arrow would be here as well, so Ezra took it upon himself to ensure everyone would have plenty space.

“This is what I've got,” He spoke as he finally set everything up. A sample of each of his wares for her to see, and easy access to the rest. Paper was bound in leathers that were easily unwrapped, and he was sure she'd recognize them from their last trade. In the other items were a few textiles and ways to bind them, simple flax tools for making such textiles, various abandoned weaponry that had been scavenged, rope and catgut, his usual wares such as the horses and macrame as well,” A little bit of everything it sees. Any of this strike your fancy?”
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POSTED: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:39 am

Ezra moved to show her to his camp, and Tzila gave him a moment to set up for her unexpected visit as she reached for Lorea. The mare was busy reacquainting herself with Fantasy, and looking pretty happy to see the other horse again, but at the sharp whistle in Tzila's tongue she pranced over to her rider. With quick and sure motions, Tzila loosened the straps of the saddle on the palomino's belly and then lead her towards what looked like a decent tying post. Secretly, it also gave her time to swallow down the knot in her throat and the moisture in her eyes. No need to break down in front of her host, no need and no time. Not now, not yet.

Tzila had to squeeze herself between the ruin's entrance and Fantasy's big body as the mare looked inside after her owner, an amused smile in her lips when her hands gently scratched at the strong neck on her way in. There was a neigh in her ears, Lorea whinning for attention from her horse friend, that startled a little bark of laughter from her. It had been a while since Lorea has sounded so bratty, it was pretty funny.

The Napier focused on the assortment of goods before her, yellow eyes analysing them out of respect for her fellow trader rather than suspision that his items might not be up to par. She knew Ezra was fair and trustworthy, but not to give at least a cursory study of his wares would be just insulting. Of course, her heart went out to the paper sheets and everything they meant to her. Her career, her work and her pride. When would she find another library worth pouring her devotion on again? No, not now. Focus. Sure, it would be wise to get a few more sheets for the road, who knew when she'd find more of those in such good quality, but her focus was also elsewhere. She looked at the textiles and binding threads with interest, ideas floating in her mind. Careful fingers pinched the tip of one of those textiles, rubbing them between two fingertips to test strength and thickness.

"Yes, plenty." She answered Ezra's question, warm yet airy, making calculations in her mind of how many she might need, how many she could afford to trade. "I need to make myself some more bags, wrap up the more delicate volumes for the travel. I'm sure the Keisari will bring plenty of wrappings, but you know. Just in case." She explained, a tone in her voice that was all worried mother hen, like might be speaking of her own puppies rather than books. Her eyes caught the now trademark macrame knots of the Vahn man, and another smile slipped into her face. "What would you be willing to trade some of these for? I have an inventory list with me here, if you'd like an idea. And of course plenty of books in many topics you could wish for." She explained, reaching into her belt for a round pouch and slipping out a rolled up paper. As she unrolled it and offered it to the dog man, she caught the charcoal drawings of the tool types and shapes, their numbers and states scribbled besides them. There was another list detailing the books in her possession, but she didn't really need to see it; she knew the names by heart.
Tzila Napier
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Nina
I only procrastinate and yell at Kitty
NO DEATH
woman king

POSTED: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:00 pm

While the scratches from Tzila were absolutely wonderful, the plight from the mare who had been tied up stole Fantasy's attention. When the indigo draft retreated from the ruin, it gave everyone a little more room to move around, without that big head of hers in the way. Dancing beside Lorea, Fantasy took it upon herself to make sure that Tzila's horse was alright, and then proceeded to nose at her, testing the waters to see if it was okay to start nuzzling and grooming her long-lost friend.

Ezra couldn't help his grin, awarded by her laughter at her own equine's silliness, but he held his voice so as not to distract Tzila from where her eyes wandered. If she found what she wanted and they finished the trade, they could get that out of the way and really get into hopefully making Tzila feel a little better about what was going on in her life. While he knew himself to be a loner until Fiora might show, or until he couldn't search for her without the security of a pack, he wouldn't be a great help to her, but he would offer what he had. Dinner and a night out of the wilds did a lot more good than he'd remembered in his younger days.

His grin turned into a warm smile as she tested the feeling of his wares, the dog more than happy to allow it so that she would get exactly what she wanted, without any reason to return it for misunderstanding. Nodding politely to her words, he shifted his footing to the other side, willing to stand forever if that was what it took for to make up her mind rightly,” Just in case. Over-prepared with useful things will always best being ill prepared,” The urgency of the care of the tomes in her charge was inspiring, his grin to match her own,” An inventory, you say? Well that certainly makes everything much more simple!” Without having her to go, fetch what it was she had, she released the list to him and he mulled over it thoughtfully.

“These books here. One looks of Tailoring and the other, Brewing,” He pointed at the names on the list,” Is that right?” Words slipped from him in a manner of astonishment that he might come along with a few things he was interested in," Do you know the condition they are in?"
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