A Coward's Tools

[p] - Argive

POSTED: Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:19 pm

Winter was continuing to tighten its grip upon the lands of the thistle kingdom. There seemed few mornings where there was a thick, glistening frost, or frigid morning mist. Luckily, while Aidan had the appearance of a coyote, he possessed enough wolf, to have his coat keep all but the harshest of the cold, at bay. Today proved little different to any other for the Massacre male. He rose before first light, a feat that was far easier in the shortening days, trained, patrolled, hunted and made sure to study with Silas. Now though, he was pursuing another project of his, a glimmering of an idea.

The it was only mid-afternoon, light was already leaching from the sky, and seeing inside the pack’s stores would have been impossible if it weren’t for the illumination Aidan had discovered inside. He was no thief, and would not steal from his own home, but he did wish to see what might be available if anything. His search was not aided by the that the grey eyed male only had a vague idea of what he wished to find, or even how he would use it even if he were to find it.

Poison, that’s what he searched for, knowledge of it, samples perhaps. He had heard many speak of substances to aid in killing, often in hushed voices, and he was certain that some attackers had even tried to use it upon him in the past, luckily none of it had landed. There were those, Aidan had heard speak, who called themselves honourable warriors, and to whom the idea of poisoning a blade, or administering such a thing, would be cowardly and beneath them. Aidan could not understand such thought patterns, in mortal combat there were two states, alive or dead, winner or loser. The dead would not care of honour, and the winner had the luxury to feel guilt should they choose. Aidan fought, not for the art, but for survival, and now to protect his home and family. To that end, whatever edge might help to win a fight, or more expeditiously bring one to a conclusion, is something Aidan would be more than willing to try. In this field though, Aidan realised he was but a novice, he required more information.
Salsola
The Henchman
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Optime | Salsola Storage | NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+451)

Sorry for the delay, finally got a version of MS Word re-installed on my computer!

It had been on his list of things to explore on his own ever since his sponsor had showed it to him. At the time, the then-Tradesman had been giving Argive a tour, and Argive had done well to keep his browsing brief in an effort to continue on with that day’s task. He had made a mental note of the location that would—no doubt—become a frequent haunt of his as his time in the Kingdom drew on, and made his way out to the shed when he found the freedom to do so.

He pulled gently on Xanthos’ reins, bringing the horse to a gradual stop before the familiar shed that lay partially buried and hidden amongst the hillside. It was an unassuming thing, surrounded by dead and dried out plants that cluttered and grew in thickly around its entrance. Probably for the best though. If the Kingdom were ever invaded, it would make finding such a place hard to do. With it being largely buried underground too, it meant that the shed’s contents were kept at the same relative temperature year round.

Argive quirked a curious brow though as he noticed the door ajar, and a quick sniff alerted him to the recent presence of another in the area. It wasn’t a scent he readily recognized, which only meant another new Salsolan to add to his acquaintances. Dismounting, Wormwood took up a perch across his master’s shoulders. The storage shed was not terribly large, and the fisher didn’t want to risk being accidentally stepped on while in the presence of someone new in such a confined area.

With a pat to his horse, Argive turned and made his way down to the entryway, his yellow-green eyes searching the room’s contents within to see if anyone was still around. Sure enough, a male of coyote blood within, and looked to be in the midst of searching for something himself. “Greetings,” the Associate acknowledged, his tone neutral. He didn’t know the other, and thus knew not of his rank compared to Argive’s own. The male’s stature didn’t give the impression of a servant, but, without knowing of what title to address the Salsolan by, Argive chose another method to—hopefully—obtain such information.

“I’m Argive, the Kingdom’s newest Associate.” At least, according to Sanguine, Argive was the only one of his rank at that moment in time. “Would it be alright if I browsed as well? Or would you prefer that I wait until you’re through…?” The pitch of his voice indicated that he searched for a name or title to call the male.

Argive Hemlock

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Salsola
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Songbird
Luperci Veleno, Curandero
Don't forget them

POSTED: Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:04 pm

Aidan had pulled a pot from the shelves when he heard the sound of another entering. He had been about to sniff the unknown substance, but turned before removing the lid, and watched the stranger approach. The male was shorter than Aidan, who had inherited such from his sire. The Luperci could easily pass as wolf, but it was interesting to see how some features were discordant, as though the other had been caught in the midst of a shift, at least that was what passed through Aidan’s mind. The scent of horse and the leathers that many used alongside them, wafted towards the Massacre male, and of course, the eye was drawn to the bird. Was that the point? To misdirect? Remember the furniture, but never the dimensions of the room?

Aidan’s ears twitched as the other spoke, the other’s subtle prompts appearing to fall flat ”I am Aidan” Remembered pages from Silas’s book making Aidan reply the others words and greeting again. ”Henchman of Salsola. Welcome to the pack Argive.”

Aidan’s tone remained, as always, flat and implacable, his grey gaze conveying nothing but a cool detachment. The crueller Luperci might say, from reality.

”Feel free to look, I have no objection to sharing the space.”

Aidan fell silent, looking away at the space he had been examining. As he did so, pages turned in his mind’s eye, stopping on a hand written one. Eyes turned once again to the newcomer.

”I am not sure I know what to look for, so I may be some time.” That’s not all Silas’s scribblings had said ”Why do you have a creature on your shoulder?” Aidan asked, making conversation. Perhaps if he’d been better prepared, he would have attempted a welcoming grin, to help a pack mate feel at ease, but the Massacre male had been told his attempts had been…interesting, and allegedly felt more predatory than warm.
Last edited by Aidan Blacksun on Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Salsola
The Henchman
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:03 pm

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+438)


A Henchman? It would be the first Argive had formally met. From Sanguine’s word, that meant that Aidan was rather high amongst the ranks, listed amongst the Kingdom’s fighters, a step just below those of the elite Faction ranks. Given his role, Argive wondered if, perhaps, he would eventually rise to somewhere amongst the Shield. It seemed only reasonable as a fighter. Though, perhaps there was more to him than just fighting.

The male seemed receptive enough of the Associate’s presence, even if his tone was rather flat and largely lacking in warmth of any sort. His body language mirrored much of the same. It made him a hard read, as there were little in way of cues to pick up on. No matter though. It just meant that Argive would have to pay closer attention.

“Thank you, Henchman Aidan,” he said with a dip of his snout. Saying his new acquaintance’s name aloud helped commit it to memory better. Argive moved further into the storage room, deciding to search the side opposite of the younger male first. As he slowly perused the communal wares, he pretended to not notice the sensation of Aidan’s eyes upon him. Wormwood, however, stared boldly at the Henchman, maintaining his silence from his perch across his master’s shoulders.

When Aidan spoke again, Argive canted his head towards the male to indicate that he had his attention, even if the Associate was preoccupied with his search. “My companion?” It was a rhetorical question. “He likes to ride there. With his size, it’s the most optimal position without being underfoot.” The fisher had learned long ago how to mitigate his chances of being stepped on or accidentally kicked.

Argive’s sharp eyes continued to rove over the various items that were stored on the shelves and other surfaces. Tools, furs, trinkets, weapons, Luperci-made goods, a few fancy looking human artifacts. He spied a promising area then, one with dried skullcap—amongst other herbs—hanging from the earthy ceiling. He paced over to the section, a hand moving up to grasp his chin as he studied the bundles of dried herbs with a considering look.

He parted a few of the bundles suddenly, revealing a long stalk with withered flowers hidden behind the herbs used more for medicine and cooking. “Ah, here we are.” His yellow-green eyes flicked to Aidan as he pulled the hanging bundle forward so the Henchman could see. “I was beginning to wonder if Salsola collected plants of the poisonous variety,” he jested lightly, his eyes crinkling into a fox-like smile.

Argive Hemlock

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Salsola
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Luperci Veleno, Curandero
Don't forget them

POSTED: Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:02 am

It was a source of puzzlement to Aidan why so many Luperci chose to foster a companionship with, what might otherwise be, prey. Was it perhaps the need to be aware of their mastery over their chosen companion, or did they crave an affection that could be satisfied no other way? It would be something useful to ask Silas at their next meeting perhaps. For now, Aidan’s grey gaze followed the newcomer, not with suspicion or trepidation, but as someone might study the unknown. His behaviour was not meant to make the other feel ill at ease, but neither did the newest member of the Blacksun family appear to consider how his actions may be interpreted.

When Argive made his exclamation and then explained his find, Aidan listened. Returning the jar of unknown paste he still held, to the shelf, Aidan crossed the space, keeping a comfortable distance so the new Associate did not feel, crowded.

In these closer quarters, the difference in their heights became a great deal more pronounced, Aidan having inherited his stature from his sire, along with many more characteristics that the Blacksun male would have rather he had not. Aidan’s fighter’s eyes also spotted the scar on the other’s snout, one that Argive was lucky had not ended a little higher in his left eye. The associate’s scent was stronger at this distance also, mixed in with it was something…inorganic.

”Do you have skills with plants and their poisons?”

Aidan asked, feeling little need to hide his interest, and while it would doubtless be worthwhile to more assiduously practice his burgeoning social skills, this was more important. The potential to end combat more quickly, to slaughter opponents more efficiently and thus perhaps face a greater number, would undoubtedly lead to greater successes for his pack.
Salsola
The Henchman
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:37 pm

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+238)

Sorry this is short Dx

Aidan abandoned what he had been previously inspecting and crossed the room to where the Associate stood. Though he eventually stopped and maintained a healthy distance between them, his taller height caused Wormwood to initially tense, only to relax again when the new acquaintance moved no further towards Argive. The Hemlock ignored the subtle clench of claws on the material of his clothes, knowing Wormwood would not act foolishly.

Besides, he had peaked the interest of the stoic Henchman Aidan.

“Plants and venom,” he clarified, maintaining his sharp-eyed smile. “They’re a particular interest of mine, yes.” He turned his attention back to the hanging plant, a clawed digit delicately playing with one of the dried flowers. “This one here is foxglove. If you eat it, you’ll feel terribly sick at first. Then your chest will start to hurt, your pupils will dilate, your gums will turn white or blue in color, and then it’ll get hard to breath. You’ll eventually lose consciousness, and your heart will give out.”

His yellow-green gaze moved back to Aidan. “That’s just foxglove though. Is there a plant or something else you’re particularly interested in, Henchman? Perhaps I could be of some help.” After all, it had been one of the reasons why he had sought out the Kingdom; to have a place where he could continue his studies without being bothered by pretty morals.

Argive Hemlock

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Salsola
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Luperci Veleno, Curandero
Don't forget them

POSTED: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:35 am

If there was something that could be said for Aidan, it was that he was an intent listener. As the Associate spoke, Aidan did not interrupt with comment or question, but focused and absorbed, taking note of the plant and the effects it would have if eaten. At these closer quarters, Aidan also noted that Argive was older than him, perhaps indicating that if the Associate had chosen this as his field of study, had far greater expertise. Aidan did not fidget while the other spoke, shifting only slightly as he redistributed his weight and changed his balance.

”I’ve heard others speak of Luperci who coat their weapons in substances which quickly incapacitate or kill an opponent.”

Aidan replied in answer to Argive’s enquiry, his tone remaining implacable and grey eyes steady and cold.

”In the same breath many of those have called it a cowards tool and not an honourable form of combat.” Aidan paused for a moment, watching his new pack mate’s reaction to this statement, aware that Silas had him more aware of the social reactions of others, or at least, reactions outside of combat.

”The concept of honour is one I struggle to understand. In combat there is a winner and a carcass, the rituals and procedures others place around the act are difficult for me to understand. However, perhaps such principles allow them to die more serenely.”

Again Aidan paused, wondering if his instruction with the servant was raising greater questions than it was answering. All his goal had been was to feign a demeanour more pleasing to others, it appeared to have morphed into something far more profound.

”Are you aware of such substances? Can you create them? And would you instruct me in their preparation and use.”

Despite everything, Aidan was still not one for small talk, getting to the point quickly. Aidan had no doubt he could order the associate to help him of course, and if the pack was in imminent danger and the substances required, he might. However, the grey eyed Henchman was becoming more aware that the cultivation of willing relationships within a pack was crucial. Aidan knew that his ability to combat a greater number of foes would help to protect his home more effectively, but an associate was still a probationary member of the kingdom and perhaps did not feel that sense of duty, it had taken time for it to grow within Aidan himself after all, so for now there were only questions and requests.
Salsola
The Henchman
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:32 pm

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+429)

We could probably wrap this up with your post or my next one? :O

He turned his attention back to rummaging through the hanging plants as the taller Salsolan spoke. He kept an ear pointed towards Aidan to show he was still listening, however. Without any inflections in Aidan’s voice, it made gauging where the Henchman was headed with his answer hard to judge. Yes, Argive was quite familiar with poisoned weaponry. He had actually used such a tactic to win against his abusive father. Was it something Aidan was interested in obtaining though? Or was he expressing a complaint about such…lowly methods?

As he browsed, Argive found plants mostly suited towards healing and cooking. It was reasonable enough, though, somewhat of a disappointment for someone who dallied in the poisonous variety. When the warmer seasons came, he would be sure to bolster their offensive, plant-based stores.

Eventually, Aidan concluded, and Argive was content to learn that he had, indeed, chosen the right place for his new home. He abandoned his idle action with perusing the dried herbs, and angled himself so he fully faced the taller male. “In a fight where the outcome is death for the losing party, why would you not give yourself the best chance you have at securing your own survival?” It was a rhetorical question, one that the Hemlock had used time and time again to justify his use of poisons against an enemy. His eyes were sharp as they narrowed. “Honor has no place in such a fight.”

Why should he give a bandit an honorable fight if they sought to kill him and rob him blind? If it came down to his life or someone else’s, why should he fight fairly when his opponent likely wouldn’t afford him the same curtesy? Some more morally bound soul could die a terribly pathetic death at the hands of another, but, not Argive. He would survive to live another day.

“I’ve used poisoned blades in the past.” He continued to smile arrogantly. “Depending on the desired effect you want to come of its use, however, you may be out of luck until the spring.” He gestured wordlessly to the hanging herbs to indicate that he was currently limited to the supply that the Kingdom had stocked before his arrival.

He canted his head slightly. “I could show you, perhaps, but, what’s in it for me, Henchman?” It was, perhaps, a bold question to ask for an Associate. However, he didn’t want to appear easy, someone who would just roll over for anyone. His work didn’t come without a price.

Argive Hemlock

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Don't forget them

POSTED: Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:07 pm

Aidan watched the other browse the hanging plants, kept dry within the stores. The Blacksun male judged that Argive was not that impressed, a suspicion confirmed when the other turned and proclaimed it to be the case. The question Argive then posed was a confusing one to Aidan. The Henchman knew that pack lived upon these lands, and it was his understanding that packmates worked together in order to ensure the continued survival of the pack, it was certainly the assumption he had made since arriving and one that continued to be reinforced, but this Associate’s question brought that assumption into question, or perhaps the Associate’s worthiness of becoming part of the Kingdom. Perhaps there were many within Salsola who were self-serving, but Aidan had not come across them, though the words of the Queen in his only meeting with her, echoed a hint of the behaviour.

”Barring anything drastic, you will become a member of the pack. Your motivation in helping another packmate is the continued safeguarding of the kingdom. A more effective defence force allows every member to live free from persecution.”

Perhaps if there had been any inflection the short speech would sound almost evangelical, as it was it sounded like the conclusion of a logical pathway, perhaps not the logical pathway, but it made sense. Without Salsola, Aidan knew he would not be left alone, thanks to its protection, he was left in peace and had his skills honed in the pathway of his choice.
Salsola
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:41 pm

NPCs: Wormwood & Xanthos (+181)

Thanks for the thread<333

The reason he received was a literal one; Argive should provide his talents for the good and safety of the pack. His efforts and contributions would solidify his role in it. It should have been worthwhile, perhaps even an honorable duty. His work could aid in protecting others, some, even, that he was not acquaintance with, maybe even those he didn’t like. It sounded noble.

A shame, Argive was not much of the heroic or selfless types.

He didn’t scorn Aidan’s words though, no. He didn’t know the stoic man well, and Aidan’s answer could have been a warning as much as it could have been a missed point. The Henchman’s emotionless tone made it hard to judge one way or the other, and being the newest member of the Kingdom, it meant that Argive had a limited number of options of ways to react or reply without possibly jeopardizing himself.

So, instead, the Associate hummed in an amused way that flashed his canines. “I suppose you’re right, Henchman. I suppose you’re right.”

Argive Hemlock

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Salsola
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Luperci Veleno, Curandero
Don't forget them

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