On the hunt, nose to the ground

Sanguine | Mirimichi Wilderness

POSTED: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:14 pm

Optime | Mirimichi Wilderness; early afternoon | NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+###)

Wrote this while at work since it's super slow today xD. Lemme know if anything needs changing!

"Left, right?" The fisher chattered as he scaled down the tall pine.

Argive's ears flicked at the sound of the mustelid's claws taking the bark in his speedy descent, but hiis yellow-green eyes remained focused on the map in his hands though. It was a rather crude and poorly detailed thing; charcoal scratching sprawled across a clunky excuse for proper parchment paper. The merchant who had drawn it up for him was obviously not meant to be an artist. Argive had done his best to remember what the metalsmith had explained, as it was the only way to make true heads or tails of the map in his hands.

"I suppose that depends," he replied, folding up the map and tucking it into his belt bag once more. Looking down at Wormwood, he offered a sarcastic smile. "Are we closer to the landmark that looks like a man's dangling fruits or the formation of curly whiskers?"

Wormwood flicked an ear in irritation as he sat before his master. "Should have asked different Luperci."

Argive let out a soft snort, curling a lip, "I'm afraid we were rather short on options."

The journey from Portland hadn't been an arduous one, however, Argive's patience was being tried with him constantly having to decipher what should have been a simple map. The Red Woman, Sekhmet, was supposed to frequent through the area around Mount Oromocto, and it was her acquaintance that he sought. She had ties to the Kingdom of Thistle that he had learned about while in Portland. Meeting her and earning her favor would prove valuable to his entry into the apparently exclusive, secretive kingdom.

The problem lied in reaching the supposed area that the renowned woman was said to be often sighted around, and the map he had was infuriatingly messy.

He turned and moved to rummage through Xanthos' saddlebags. "Perhaps a quick snack to get us through these trying times?" He asked his dark companion from over his shoulder.

Wormwood twitched his whiskers, requesting, "Smoke-fish."

Argive retrieved a small piece, and his hand had just grasped the peppered venison jerky for himself when a sound caused him to pause. Wormwood heard it too, and the fisher had already made a beeline for the nearest tree, scaling the bark quickly before scurrying overhead, his beady eyes watchful and his muscles body ready to pounce.

"Hello?" Argive called out, yellow-green eyes searching almost casually in the direction of the sound. His hands left the saddlebag empty, and were held in a way that showed he was unarmed.

Argive Hemlock

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POSTED: Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:48 am

[+300] • OOC Text

Sanguine felt much more comfortable leaving Salsola and traveling north than he did with going south. While there was probably some more opportunity down there for him, the path that he had taken to get here from the Outpost was one that was much more familiar to him. It helped to have parents that were from the kingdom, able to give their children the proper directions that would lead them to their destination.

Even if his siblings had managed to find the place before he did. How nice would it have been if all of them had just arrived at one time?

Pushing the thought out of his mind, the dark male sat tall on the back of Beurre, head turning over his shoulder to check the saddlebags that had been brought along with him. As he found himself visiting more and more in the neutral lands, it only made sense that he bring along some wares from the kingdom on the off chance that he was able to come across someone. He was still rather rusty at his work, at least compared to the Quartermaster or ever Morgana. He had been so thankful for their help and advice.

Dark ears turned to the sound of someone nearby. It seemed while he was moving along, he hadn't been paying too much attention to the noise that he was drawing in on himself. It was hard to keep paths cleared on lands that didn't belong to Salsola.

Head turned towards the sound of the voice, spotting a brown pelted man with a reddish blaze along the top of his muzzle. He was a stranger, an Outsider, but having been addressed, he should at least answer back, and bring himself with his horse closer, "Yes? Is there something I can help you with?"

Salsola
The Tradesman
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Salena
Luperci

POSTED: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:11 pm

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+###)


The source of the sound became apparent soon enough. It was a young man of dark hues and touches of tawny and cream. His hair was messy and cropped short and boyish. He was likely less than two, if his leaner, youthful form was anything to go by, having yet to fully fill out the sharp edges or musculature that would make him a grown man. Young or not though, he sat atop a large, palomino that looked to be of draft-bred ancestry judging by its thicker build compared to his own horse’s.

The young man steered his mount towards Argive upon being addressed, offering assistance in a way that was both polite but not overly trusting. Typical of what one might expect when dealing with a stranger, and, by far, one of the better reactions than some Argive had met along the road since his exile from his home in Moss Reach.

Argive offered the young man a polite dip of his head and shallow, sweeping bow as his lips curled into a pleasant smile. “I’m afraid I’m new to the area, and can’t make heads or tails of a map a helpful metalsmith gave me,” he explained. With deft hands, he procured the map from his belt bag, holding up the folded, thick parchment between two fingers. “I’m searching to meet the acquaintance of a lovely woman in red who goes by the calling Sekhmet. She is a traveling merchant who has quite the repertoire of goods for trade.” His yellow-green eyes crinkled in an almost fox-like way. “For the right price, of course.”

His eyes slid to the saddlebags of the young man’s mount. “You look like you might dabble in a bit of traveling and trading yourself, perhaps you’ve heard of her? My sources tell me that she’s supposedly seen between the areas of the Burnt Church and Halcyon Mountains.”

Above them, Wormwood perched quietly, ready to leap down should the stranger turn aggressive with Argive.

Argive Hemlock

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POSTED: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:05 pm

[+300] • OOC Text

Sanguine could tell the male was giving him a good look over. Strangers tended to do that, especially when it came to someone as young as him. This was really the first chance that he was getting to do this on his own, so he had to make sure that he didn't give the wrong kind of impression. Yes, he was young, but the small handful of experience he had gotten was well enough to prepare him for this venture on his own.

The brown man had dipped his head, offering some reasoning as to what he was doing out here. He claimed to be looking for someone named Sekhmet. It was such an exotic sounding name. In a way, it sounded like the names of the two jackal siblings that lived in Salsola, neither of which he was particularly close to. Either of them could have used it for their fake name, but he wasn't sure if that was the case.

Hell, he didn't even know if this man was even looking for someone that was from Salsola to begin with. It could be another Outsider for all he knew.

Green gaze shifted to the saddle bags as he had been called out for what he was portraying himself as. He was a travelling merchant, or rather Noir was. he gave a nod to the man, then a shrug of his shoulders, "Can't say I've heard the name before, but I might have seen her in passing. Know any other information on her from your source?"

If this was some kind of Outsider, it would give him an opening to another potential for himself as well. He offered a small smile, "I travel a lot, and it seems you have come a long way. If we can't pinpoint this woman you are looking for, you are welcome to browse the items I have." Might as well make an attempt to better his own standing.

Salsola
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Salena
Luperci

POSTED: Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:25 pm

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+###)

He’s describing Helena :3

The young man’s face did not show any signs of recognition of the name, and he denied having heard of such a person, which was not too surprising, though, unfortunate. The world was large, after all, and the tri-colored male might have been just as new to the area as Argive himself. Even still, he continued, inquiring for something else that might have been more identifiable or memorable than just a name. Argive obliged, having nothing to lose and everything to gain from what information had been passed onto him.

“The metalsmith claims her to be quite beautiful; two-toned eyes that could pierce your soul, luxurious red tresses to frame a slim, pointed face, and a figure and grace that men would go to war for. She has an accent, I am told, French or something close.” Argive put his map back into his belt bag. “She barters for all sorts of luxurious goods, and the metalsmith humorously thinks she comes from some place of importance.” His yellow-green eyes were sharp then. “A pack, perhaps.” And it was entrance into this pack that Argive wanted.

For the time being, he left the idea of this pack being the infamous Salsola out. Rumor was that they were a rather exclusive bunch, and, to a complete stranger, he doubted any of them would have outed themselves. If anything, it might have turned them away. Argive was patient, willing to prove his worth if it meant finding a purpose again.

“If you consider Portland to be a long ways, I suppose I have,” he said with a fox-like smile. “And, Sehkmet or not, I wouldn’t pass the opportunity of a trade.” He shifted his weight, turning slightly towards his horse. “If you’re interested in medicines and herbs, I have plenty for a Loner.” He gestured to his stallion’s saddlebags with an open palm. “I also have a few pelts still from our recent kills.”

Wormwood turned, making his way towards the trunk of the tree he had been perched in. As the fisher worked his way down and back to his Luperci master, Argive introduced himself to the young man. “I am Argive Hemlock, scholar of herbal medicines and poisons.”

Argive Hemlock

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POSTED: Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:00 pm

[+400] • OOC Text

Sanguine had done his best not to let it show in his face, but the way that this stranger was describing this Sehkmet was starting to sound like someone very familiar. The only person that matched the details offered to him was Helena. Being the master of the Merchant tier, that didn't come to as much of a shock, but what was is how this man had gotten that kind of information.

A metalsmith? Were there any metalsmiths at the Outpost? What was he thinking not interacting with them when he was there in his youth? First Lithia and now this. Having that kind of information would have helped him out much better in a situation like this.

And even more.. he seemed to come to the conclusion that she was from some kind of pack... did he know about Salsola and was just not saying it? Something about all of this seemed very suspicious.

He couldn't let all of that on, not just yet. Maybe if there was a way he would be able to get more information.. then he would know what he should do next. For now, he would have to keep the role of Noir, "You know, now that you say that, she is starting to sound familiar. I think I've seen her around here, but I can't say I know where she comes from. Did the metalsmith tell you anything else?"

Hopefully that wouldn't sound too suspicious of him.

He shook his head of it, focusing more on the next part of their conversation, "I'm very familiar with Portland. I'm from there myself actually. Maybe I can have a look at those herbs? I don't have many of my own." He recalled a lesson he had learned when he had gone out with Morgana. Even if there were items that he did not personally see for himself, he could gather them to use to trade to others or for Salsola's own stocks. That was the plan here.

Dismounting from Beurre, this was some clear disgrace in the landing. He wondered if he would even get used to getting up and down from such a large horse. What was his father thinking when he gave him this one? Giving the horse a pat, he padded closer, giving an introduction as well, "A pleasure. My name is Noir. A scholar you say? Do you dabble in the written word or just in plants and poisons?"

Now he could definitely get along with someone that liked the pursuit of knowledge as much as he did.

Salsola
The Tradesman
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Salena
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POSTED: Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:49 am

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+###)


It seemed that describing the mysterious merchant woman that was Sehkmet helped more than her name alone. Again, this was of no surprise. Names were not always easy to remember, but appearances, actions, and first impressions certainly were. When the young man inquired more about the metalsmith, Argive easily obliged. Anything Argive told him would have been of little threat to himself. “Only that she has quality goods for trade most times, and is not someone to cross. Most of his rambles were about her beauty and honeyed, exotic words though.” It had been a pain to sift through.

He turned Xanthos, unfastening the straps of some of his saddlebags. “Is that right?” He said when the young man mentioned being familiar with the port-side town. “I was there only for a few months when I heard of a tantalizing rumor that sent me north and into the company of the metalsmith.” Argive dropped this with a casual note, wanting to gently ease into the subject of the pack he sought to join.

He gestured for the tri-colored male to come over. “Feel free to look. If you want to know more about any of the plants, just ask.” As someone who was on the road, his collection wasn’t extensive, however, it contained the necessities; things like meadowsweet for pain, fennel for warding off fleas and stomach issues, broadleaf plantain for wound care, feverfew for headaches and migraines, skullcap for anxiety and soothing one’s nerves and mental state in general, and foxglove for a painful death. He had honey combs too, something he had traded for for a steep price. All were separated into their own leather pouches, most were dried, though, some were fresher from recent scavenges. There were a few wooden jars, each varying in how full they were, and all serving a separate purpose. The saddlebag opposite of it held the pelts. The ones that remained closed contained Argive’s personal effects.

The young man—Noir, as he called himself—made his way over just as Wormwood joined them at Argive’s feet. His eyes were a beady, steady stare upon the stranger. “A pleasure to you as well, Noir.” Argive had committed the name and face to memory.

Hidden in plain sight, Salsolans were rumored to be. Bearer of many masks and blending in. Tricky, sneaky, lying folk. The idea that this man could have possibly been one of them had not escaped Argive. Even if Noir wasn’t one of them though, perhaps he could have known of the pack at least. Any further information to locate the Kingdom in these foreign lands would have been helpful.

Argive inclined his head in agreement to Noir’s question. “Both, I would say. I am a man who takes pride in his studies, and what better way to notate what I learn than through journals?” It was easier to keep track of experiments with new plants, finding antidotes, and testing poisons if he had something to readily compare the results to each time.

Argive Hemlock

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POSTED: Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:07 am

[+400] • OOC Text

Argive didn't really give much else to go off of. He was certain of the woman he spoke up, but having already spoken about the lie of not knowing where Helena was from, he would have to come up with some way that he might be able to steer him towards her or even inform the Quartermaster of the man he had come across while he was out.

Though in truth, part of him leaned more towards the former matter. He had learned well from others in Salsola, and now this was his chance to attempt something on his own. He could do this, and he could prove that even to those back home. Noir was a good mask for the man, and all he had to do was play the cards right. There would be another opportunity to correct this small setback.

It seemed that chance was handed right to him. Had this stranger actually caught onto the fact that he was partly being lied to, or was there more to this than he was letting on. Rumors were not uncommon, but for ones to bring him up this way and to be looking for Helena? There had to be some kind of connection between those points, "A rumor you say? Must be a new one. I admit, it's been some time since I was last in Portland. What rumor do they have spreading around now?"

Green gaze moved over the herbs, none of which he was familiar with, which was a shame because it made him an easy target to be taken advantage of when it came to trading. Part of being in this line of work was also knowing the product that was being worked with. That would be something to work on as he was moving forward with this path.

Content in the items that had been offered, he returned to his own horse's side, removing one of the bags to join with the man. He held common items from Salsola's own stocks, a few jars of oils, meats, and pelts, "This was all that I brought with me. I have more back where I am staying. If there if nothing you see that interests you, then perhaps you can tell me what you are looking for and we can arrange for something."

One eyebrow rose to Argive's agreement in a scholar. Well, that was interesting. Idrieus took pride in her collection, but wasn't much for being a so called scholar. No, that would more go to him. It was comforting to know there was another that seemed to have similar thoughts to his own, "I see."

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POSTED: Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:42 pm

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+###)

Jaeger is Heine Kaiser’s alias; he’s been at the Outpost since June 2018.

His breadcrumbs had worked perfectly, Argive thought with a victorious, inner smile. He had paved the way for a natural breech of the topic of the mysterious Kingdom that he had heard of back in Portland. Things wouldn’t look so suspicious this way, and, if luck was on his side that day and this trader was one of those elusive Salsolans, perhaps he might have impressed him. If not, Argive had little to lose with speaking of the rumor he had heard.

“Oh, just something I heard from a huntsman named…” Argive tapped his chin almost thoughtfully. “…I believe it was Jaeger?” It certainly was. His tone remaining casual, he continued, “I traded him some herbs to help his sick wife.” Argive’s yellow-green eyes watched as the younger man perused the various plants he’d stowed in the saddlebags.

“We’d been talking for a week or two while I saw to her treatment, and I suppose I must have impressed him with my medical skills and knowledge.” He went on, building up the story to maintain the general tone of their conversation thus far. “On the last day I saw to his wife, he mentioned there being a kingdom up here in the northeast. A sophisticated, secretive bunch, delving heavily with trade and somewhat lenient on morals. He said that my desire to continue my studies in poisons would be…” Argive gave a hand gesture as if trying to find the right word. “…a non-issue with them, and that my medicinal expertise would be something of value.” Argive shrugged, his lips curling into a soft, almost wicked smile. “And how could I ignore something like that?”

Noir didn’t seem particularly drawn to any particular plant, though, whether it was because the young man was too proud to ask about them or not in need of them, Argive couldn’t tell from his angle. From his position near his master’s feet, Wormwood’s whiskers twitched as he gave a subtle sniff at the stranger. Xanthos, meanwhile, paid the whole situation little mind, shaking out his mane and flicking his tail while idly waiting for the next directive.

Yellow-green eyes watched with patience as Noir returned to his own steed and came back with a bulging bag of items for Argive himself to look over. His dark ears gave the yearling his full attention at the suggestion that was given, though, his sharp eyes continued to shift over the offered items.

He saw an opportunity, and he decided to bite.

“Do you have any more jars back wherever you’re staying? Being on the road, I have little use for oils, and I don’t want to over-burden my horse with more furs.” He gestured to one of Xanthos’ saddlebags with a hand. “If nothing else though, I’ll take some of the meat you have there?” Offering to trade something would hopefully make Noir feel like his time hadn’t been completely wasted. “I have some herbs and salves for wound care or pain if that might be of any interest to you? Some dried clover for helping with colds?”

Argive Hemlock

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POSTED: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:15 pm

[+400] • OOC Text

And there were the words that solidified it.

That name was one that Sanguine had been much more familiar with. Having been born and grown up at the Outpost, he had come to know all those that came and went from there and between Salsola proper. He knew their names, real or fake inside out. Jaeger, or rather Heine, was someone that his father knew more personally. He was once a servant back in Salsola proper, freed and came to the Outpost. His father had been the Overseer, once in charge of those servants.

So of course his father would be checking up on the man, and having his children come along when they were actually able to get out of the house.

A sick wife though. He hadn't been back to the Outpost in some time. He wondered if that former female servant was the one that Argive was talking about. Had she actually gotten sick? A shame if that was the case.

Green eyes moved up, studying the Outsider as he gave his story. So she had been sick and he had been overseeing her recovery. He had been the one that slipped word about the kingdom, and how useful his skills could have been to such a place. True, the work of poisons would not be turned away in a place like Salsola, and the Boss might see a need for others that were willing to dive into such a messy subject.

His fingers tapped along his arm, "That's quite an offer. I wouldn't want to turn down something like that. This Jaeger seemed very confident in you to want to lead you to such a place." He wondered if it was wise to start letting on that he knew more than he was saying.

Then again, if someone else was leading him right to Salsola, who was he not to continue to point him in the right direction?

Sanguine watched the man as he looked over his items. While he wasn't too interested in the oils themselves, he was much more concerned with the jars themselves. He would have to check back with the Quartermaster when it came to their supply of empty jars, but he would need to see her anyways about their new guest here. He was looking for her after all. His claws tapped over the top of the jars, "I'm sure I've got some spare ones laying around."

Hands moved over some of the meat he had brought with him, offering it out with an open hand, "I am not alone where I come from, and I'm sure your herbs and salves would come in handy for their line of work. Care to make an exchange for this and meet again for those jars?"

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