[m] [aw] you'll be free, child, once you have died

POSTED: Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:24 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.
Setting Location Form
Location: Drifter Bay
Date: 10 June* (Okay with changing)
Weather: Warm, slightly overcast
Time: Midday

(655) Ignore the length pls, apparently this is what I do to get myself back into the swing when I haven't felt like roleplaying at all. @_@;; Edit: And I am apparently also stupid and this thread was in the wrong forum for hours. @_@;;;

Draugr is by me!

Draugr ran the comb through the mare's mane. It was the pale golden color of wheat, sandy and streaked with brighter yellow in a sparse few places. The horse was the prize of her war spoils -- though she'd not killed anyone, as a soldier she was entitled to her shade of the plunder. The mare was, without a doubt, crown jewel of that share. Tall and thickly built, the horse had become acclimated to her new owner and home almost immediately. Dra dared not ride thus far, but she had spent many hours brushing mane, tail, and coat.

She'd learned only after much pestering how to clean the ungulate's hooves. Miqui hadn't been eager to waste a morning -- as he'd put it -- educating an equestrian novice. But Dra had broken him eventually. Miqui was no longer frightening to Dra -- since their trip south to AniWaya, she thought she understood him better. Gruff as he was, he was also dependable and loving toward his family. Though Draugr was but an Associate, she, too, qualified as a part of that family. It made her smile to think of them -- brothers and sisters all.

The drab wolfdog led her horse out of the broken room on a long rope lead. The big mare followed obediently, eager to stretch her legs. The mare plodded after her owner, dark eyes following the young wolfdog's every move. Her big and heavy hooves left prints in the dirt ringing Dra's home. The grasses had been cropped short, and the earth was already torn into a circular parth by dozens of similar walks. Dra walked her in a circle around and around her low-slung stone home, trying to conceal her glee with this companion to no avail. She was overjoyed to own such an animal, and to have earned the mare by her own achievement --- Draugr was proud of herself, most certainly. Though she'd had the horse many weeks, the novelty still hadn't worn off -- perhaps because she'd yet to sit upon Dyrne's back?

The hybrid halted, and the horse stopped behind her. Dra moved toward the animal hesitantly. Dyrne wore no saddle at the moment, though Dra had learned how to put it on and knew the animal would tolerate the seat upon her back. Considering, the wolfdog stood watching her horse a moment until finally, she skittered back into her home and fetched the saddle. A few moments later, it was in place upon the chestnut equine's back, cinched and buckled in all the proper places. Dra tugged on one side of the saddle and found it to her liking.

Dra had ridden before, but Dyrne was taller than the chestnut she'd ridden all the way back from AniWaya. The horse knew what was happening, though, and stood strong as the drab-furred hybrid struggled to gain her seat. She first tried to throw one leg over the horse entirely and almost fell before she put the right leg into the stirrup and found her place. Quite suddenly, she found herself sitting in the saddle, feet tucked properly into the stirrups. They were just a little too long for comfort, but she supposed that could be fixed. Hands almost trembling with excitement, the silver-tinged wolfdog picked up the reins and looked down at her horse.

She squeezed her legs together and the horse started forward. Giving a little yip of excitement, the dusky-furred wolfdog drove her horse forward and faster, and soon they were trotting over the marshes in the center of Salsola's territory. Sooner still, they splashed down and into the little creek called Deception. Cold droplets of water pelted Draugr in the legs, but they felt quite good. The open marshes of Drifter Bay stretched before her and her horse, the lingering fog thin and barely visible with the midday heat.

POSTED: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:21 pm

+3 suck it I'm taking this thread

art by crypsis

The end of the war had come as fast as it had begun. Max did not know that was how such things worked—he had never seen war before—but assumed this on par with the norm. He had grown up before and during the fighting and now was hardened by it. His body was a mass of muscle carved out of wood, strong and solid, and his mind had matured in some sense of the word. Stories would never leave him, as he was a storyteller by birth, but a darker shade lingered with each tale. It was no longer just mystical monsters he spoke of, but living beasts of flesh and blood who he had cut down with his own hands and teeth.

Of course, he had not gone unwounded either. A twisted and jagged scar lined his left side, left from where a spear had struck him so deep it had snapped by the force of it. He had felt his ribs crack, though mercifully, they had not broken. Ezekiel’s had again; he had watched his leader stoically face recovery alone, and sought to emulate that.

Something had changed, however. He didn’t know what it was, but Ezekiel was no longer the person he had been before the war. A hollowness was in his eyes, a lie in his face, and anger in his words. He was angry at something or someone, but what it was Max did not know. It was not his place to press, and so he had taken the easy route of living on with the knowledge that something was different.

One prized claim from this war was the stallion. Oh what a marvelous thing it was, all gold and red, and not half so headstrong as Viggo. They had so many horses now, and it pleased him greatly. While not a horsemaster himself, he recognized the value and worth of the animals. This one was well trained and responded to his commands with ease, something that Max recognized as true worth.

He had not really been given a purpose in going north, but he thought often of Salsola these days and while he would not go to their borders, he was bold enough to cross the river north. It was by doing this that he managed to move far enough east to spot the girl and her own mount, one he recognized because it matched his own. Likely, the two horses shared some common parent. He thought about this and dismissed it, hailing the wolfdog with his own not-true wolf’s cry. It was too deep, but close.

POSTED: Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:40 am

(309) JFC why would I ever want to roleplay with you. :|

Draugr is by me!

Draugr was an inexperienced rider; it was a good thing her mount was so tractable. The mare picked her way through the marshlands, occasionally splashing into a mud-puddle. Her big hooves left behind torn earth and a clear path through the tall marsh grasses; Draugr turned her head this way and that, enjoying the vantage of the tall animal's pack. Her pale eyes spied a distant figure, and she pulled the animal to a stop, watching as it came. Turning her head around, the drab wolfdog guessed her distance to Salsola, and found it satisfactory. She could stand to go a little farther away.

He called to her when there was less distance between them, and Dyrne's ears pricked upward. The big mare whinnied a cry to the other horse, and Draugr was surprised to see a friendly eagerness within the woman. Did she know this pale creature? Dra was more curious than afraid, so she drove the horse forward at a slow walk, pale eyes appraising the big hybrid on horseback. He looked more wolf than anything to her, although it was an odd sort of wolf -- not one she readily recognized. Scenting him, however, told her well enough it was best to avoid talk of species: he was Infernian.

This was better than encountering a total stranger, Dra thought. Their packs were not enemies -- they had never truly been enemies, as she saw it -- but neither were they truly allied. But that they'd come together to smash their attackers to pieces was nothing -- it seemed natural enough a common enemy would force unusual partnerships into existence. Hi, she said, just barely pulling on the reins. Dyrne came to a stop, engrossed with the appearance of the other horse. My horse knows yours, I think, she said, grinning. Got them from the same place?

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:30 am

hurhur gurls are purdy

art by crypsis

He tried, as he approached, to recall if he had seen this girl before. It occurred to him he must not have, for he certainly would have remembered such a face. She was strikingly beautiful in a haunting way, as if something supernatural had been put into her. It was most clear in her face, where her pale eyes came to meet his own. They were like smoke, or fog—she was not cruel, as he had come to expect from Salsola. His own eyes were mingled with aggression and tainted by the wayward life of a boy abandoned at youth, but he was smiling as he approached. How could he not smile, around someone who was pretty?

The stallion nickered and stuck his head out towards the other horse, and while Max was allowing him his head, he did not relax too much. Still, he took the opportunity to socialized. Lord knew he needed it, after being cooped up and having to deal with a very cranky Ezekiel as his only neighbor. Max smiled his dog smile and let one hand trail the jagged scar along his side.

“Same place I got this from, I suppose. I’m Max,” he offered, and tilted his head to eye her mare. “Seems you got the best of the bunch, huh?”

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:47 am


Draugr is by Requiem!

He was looking at her, and he was smiling, too. That was a good sign, and Draugr returned his smile with one of his own, showing her youthfully pearl-white teeth. Their horses came together and Dyrne seemed excited to see this familiar horse. Dra was not very good at understanding horse behaviors, but she felt the faint trembling and understood the noises they made to be happy ones. Her eyes returned to the stranger in time to see him run a hand up his side, and her eyes widened, appraising the big scar with jaw slightly ajar.

Draugr Helsi. I fought, too, but I didn't get any scars, she said, sounding faintly disappointed. Yours is really nice. Did you kill anyone? she asked, excited at this prospect, too. She hadn't killed anyone, but she'd come close, and she'd definitely shed blood for her pack. We did! She's very obedient, and they're both pretty, she said, lifting a chunk of Dyrne's silver-gold mane and letting it fall. Despite how much she liked her horse's appearance, Draugr was more glad for the animal's good behavior -- a more stubborn or headstrong horse might well have been beyond her capabilities. She didn't want to say that kind of thing in front of anyone, though, let alone someone she'd just met.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:18 am

art by crypsis

Having little experience with children, let alone girls, his own age, Max was unsure of how to behave or if he should even behave in a certain way. He had never been given any real advice by Ezekiel, and couldn’t actually recall ever seeing his mentor with a girl, let alone flirting with one. He debating asking him about this later, then recalled the last time he had done so and let it go. Zeke had been downright aggressive and complained about how women weren’t worth the trouble. Naturally, Max assumed he was talking about Talitha and he really didn’t want to get into that with him.

His eyes lit up as she spoke, seemingly impressed with his wound. “I did,” he said, a bit too quickly. “Two of them, actually. The one that did this got me first, but it was the last thing he did.” There was a manic sort of gleam in his eyes, talking about it. Max had been told to act like a monster, and oh, he had. He let his eyes fall to the horse, then back to her body, though he was quick to adjust this and focus on her horse again as if realizing he had done something wrong. “I think she’s prettier,” Max concluded. “And you should be happy you don’t have any scars, they would ruin your fur.” It was a fumbling compliment, and one he hoped she didn’t take the wrong way. Inferni certainly saw some value in the scars, though he was certain she wasn’t a warrior.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:31 am


Draugr is by Alaine!

Killing was something Draugr wanted to do. She'd seen death in her lifetime already -- there had been plenty of it within Salsola, and she was a willing participant and observer in much of it, but she had never taken a life with her own hands or her own jaws. Watching was fun enough, but participating seemed like even more fun. Perhaps killing might grant her an advance of rank within the pack, too -- this boon was one the silver-tipped wolfdog was eager to have. A higher rank was almost as good as a horse -- almost.

Two, she repeated, a hint of marveling in her voice. He seemed about her age -- maybe a little older, but he was at least part-coyote and probably small due to that -- but he'd killed two canines already. The silver tip of her tail twitched and she smiled. You're lucky, she decided. If I had scars, or maybe if I killed someone, my pack would think more kindly of me. It's worth a little fur to have a better rank, I think, she said, unconcerned with her physical appearance. It was only after she'd spoken Draugr realized the intent of the words, and she looked down suddenly, murmuring an "oh" almost too quietly to hear.

You like my fur? she asked, looking back up at him with pale eyes.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:44 am


art by crypsis

When he had first been brought into Inferni’s folds, all wide eyes and wild stories, Max had been suffering from a trauma that helped breed aggression into his blood. He had been trained, since childhood, for combat. He had watched blood be drawn in such exercises, watched elder warriors kill, and even watched as his own mentor displayed true savagery in a way that he did not understand. Boreas had given him a reason to kill. Defending his home was a reason, and he had been swept up in the flurry of combat and the bloodlust that lingered deep in his belly. Zeke had told him that was where souls were kept, and he often wondered if his was truly as angry as his gut often felt.

She seemed to completely miss his compliment and Max’s ears turned down a little, unsure of himself. Still, it pleased him to think she was capable of fighting and murder. As he was about to explain that his own rank had only been earned from such events, she met his gaze and his voice caught in his throat. My God, her eyes are pretty.

Realizing his mouth was still open, he quickly spoke up. “Oh uh, yeah, yeah, it’s really nice. Most of my clan is all brown or red, or kinda yellow. Or gray,” he added, thinking of Kaena. As he studied her face, he realized something else too. “You have markings kind of like my friend. His muzzle is dark like yours—you must have some dog in you. I do too,” he explained, motioning to his slightly bent ears. “Though I guess you can tell that from my fur, huh?” Max laughed lightly, the thick scruff around his throat bristling at the motion. He felt like he was talking too much.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:04 am


Draugr is by Alaine!

Draugr hadn't received many compliments, and even learning it was only liked because it was different to one's accustomed coloration made her feel flushed. She could not stop the silvery tip of her tail from twitching back and forth a few times, and she looked down, fiddling with Dyr's mane. Though she was smiling, she couldn't quite look up at him, either. Did her like her, too, or just her fur? The question lingered, and she decided this must be the case -- he was flustered, perhaps more than he ought to be, and he was talking a lot for someone she'd just met. Perhaps that was just his custom, though?

My daddy was half-dog, she explained, nodding her agreement. I haven't met a lot of dogs, so it's good to meet one. And never a white coyote, she said, looking up again with half a grin, agreeing with his assessment of his fur. You're from Inferni, and you have a pretty coyote face, so you must be coyote, too, she said, smiling and leaving the word pretty up for interpretation -- whether she meant his face looked mostly coyote or she found it comely, he'd have to decide. Perhaps that was her intent -- she thought it a good idea to determine where his feelings were, exactly, and she wouldn't figure it out without posing a riddle -- however elementary -- of her own.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:17 am

art by crypsis

Beyond being pretty, this girl was being friendly, and Max had very little of that as a child. While the clan was his home, most people were simply tolerant of him as opposed to friendly. Some were downright mean, though he supposed this was to be taken in stride. His stride, of course, usually involved turning his teeth or fists or stick upon them and beating some respect in, but Max was used to such savage behavior and hardly thought it odd. Someone talking to him without looking at him funny was also nice—most people couldn’t get over his pale fur or large body, which said NOT COYOTE all too clear.

He smiled broadly as she called him a coyote, though, and was glad for it. The term pretty, however, threw him off. Did she think he looked like a girl? Doubt bubbled up in him, but he forced himself to remain calm and save face. Maybe she meant handsome, or strong, or something that suited a warrior of Inferni and not…well, a girl like herself. His own tail began to wag, curled up near his back as it was. “I’m half and half,” he explained, not bothering to tell her that the dog half was a monster and he, by that logic, was part monster himself. “And the only white coyote I’ve ever seen,” Max added with a hint of pride. “Though I uh, I don’t know how much of a coyote I do look like. I’m not as skinny as everyone else.” He paused, thinking, trying hard not to fumble.

“You’re nice,” he finally settled on, and felt stupid immediately for saying such a thing.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:41 am


Draugr is by Alaine!

The dark-furred hybrid smiled, a faintly perplexed sort of smile, and cocked her head. She gave her horse a nudge and Dyrne moved forward a step or two, her head parallel with the pale Infernian's mount. You're coyote here, she said, leaning forward and reaching forward to tap a finger against his muzzle. And here, she said, finger lifting to brush against his ear. She leaned back in her saddle and smiled again. She would not have been quite so forward if she hadn't suspected him of liking her. The only place I show dog is my muzzle, I think. She would have thought her wolf's blood would be undesirable to all of Inferni; it was surprising that he'd look past it, and she wanted to ascertain he knew precisely what he was looking at, too.

With his compliment, she smiled and dipped her head again, dark muzzle looking down at their legs and Dyrne. She edged the horse forward so her leg brushed against his, and slid her horse behind his, giving the equine a wide rear berth. She held the horse there a moment, appraising the broadness of his shoulders and the way the scar curved around his side, twisting and baring the puckered skin beneath. A moment later, she pulled Dyrne up beside his mount again so they faced the same direction. Again her leg brushed against his, and she looked over at him as she did it, if only so he knew her touch was deliberate and intended. She did not want to -- or perhaps she did not need to -- voice her likes and dislikes or what she found attractive in another canine. Perhaps he might keep guessing and doubting, but that was some of the fun in it. Draugr was low-ranking and held no authority within Salsola; it was strangely pleasant to feel some kind of sway over another being.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:54 am

art by crypsis

The approach was met with trepidation, but Max was a warrior of Inferni and as such, he remained still to allow the girl to move forward. His eyes followed her motion. When she touched his ear it flicked instinctively, and his smile wavered a bit. He was unsure of her point, but let it go. Her admittance of a spattering of dog blood confirmed that she was mostly wolf, but he had learned that wolves were broken down into separate categories. Salsola fell, by the right of the war, into a friendly one. Wary, but friendly. They were led by a coyote, after all, so why shouldn’t they be allies? Ezekiel had never really demanded such heavy aggression amongst wolves, though Max was certain the Aquila disliked most of them on principle alone.

Max watched her, curiously, as a peculiar sort of dance went on. Her leg was soft against his own, but firm, and he tilted his head to try and follow her motions. It wasn’t until she was at his side again that he realized she was doing everything on purpose, and then a crooked grin cut across his face. His tail thumped happily against the saddle, and his own legs squeezed Gunther, who snorted and took a step forward only to have his head pulled back gently. A suggestive nod was given ahead of them—the land was open beyond the river, and spattered with wide areas for them to run. Maybe she would be up for a race, to get them away from the threat of her home's close borders.

POSTED: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:30 am


Draugr is by Alaine!

When he grinned at her, Dra knew the pale coyote understood. She herself was not so experienced in the way of men and women, but she was starting to understand. How better to comprehend something than leap into it? Instinct would play enough of a part, and she hoped perhaps Max had a faint idea of what he was doing, too. The dark-furred wolfdog did not fully know or predict where they might go or how far they might take it, but she was swept into a teenager's hormonal rushes, and she was willing to see just where that might be.

He nodded and the hybrid did not wait for further instruction -- she squeezed her legs into Dyrne's sides and the horse jumped forward, sliding immediately into a smooth trot and picking up speed quickly. The horses might have been of the same place and stock, but she was certain she could outpace him. He was bigger and broader than Draugr herself, despite his coyote blood. Once again she reflected on the strangeness of her stature, her parentage considered. Perhaps she was not done growing? She was still young enough to perhaps encounter one more, but even with another she wouldn't equal her mother's height.

The chestnut horse moved across the plains, her hooves tearing up patches of grass and sending it flying behind her. Draugr twisted her head to see that Max was following, and closely, too. She grinned at him and twisted back around, pale eyes falling on the mountain before them. Perhaps they would go all the way over -- it was a steep climb in places, but Draugr had never seen the other side. They were too far west to encounter the burned lands, but Dra did not know this. Dyrne began to slow, the hard ride having taken some energy, and Draugr let her drop back into a trot, thinking Max might ride beside her.

POSTED: Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:42 pm

he's so awkward; you should have kissed her man!

art by crypsis

There was something, some deep-bred desire in him that sought the opposite sex. He was not wise enough to know it for instinct, and he trusted it because Ezekiel had always told him to trust such things. Max did not believe in God, as Ezekiel spoke of Him, but figured that if there was something like that it would give feelings like this. It felt right; as right as it had when he had brought the hatchet down on the face of the wolf and cut him to bits.

Almost as suddenly they were running, no, flying, and Max found himself tailing behind her. Gunther was not a slow animal, but he had been right in his assessment of her own mare and fairly certain the race was lost before it begun. Still, he leaned forward and kept his eyes on her back, her silver-tipped hair, and when she looked back at him he felt something hot rush up in his chest. It surprised him so much he let out a gasping laugh, teeth bared to the world, and was glad he regained composure before they slowed to a bouncy trot.

With his hair tousled and teeth glinting, Max pulled along beside the dark girl. “Told you,” he echoed proudly. “You got the best of the bunch.” Then he leaned over in his saddle, extended one arm, and patted her horse firmly on the neck. “Fastest one I think I’ve ever seen,” he rattled on, and abruptly let his arm trail across her leg. Half-bent and lower than she was, he grinned up at her in a manner more sheepish than cheeky.

POSTED: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:49 am


Draugr is by Haley!

The dark-furred hybrid liked the way he looked when wind-blown and tousled, breathless from their ride. Her pale purple eyes lingered on him and she smiled a shy little thing as his hand lingered on her leg. She longed to hold it in place and even pull it to other places, too, but she dared not -- not here, anyway, and not in such an awkward way as they were, both on horses. Instead, she grabbed his hand playfully and held it a moment, letting her paw linger in his hand before pulling it back and giving Dyrne a bit of a squeeze so she moved forward, her hindquarters about even with Gunther's head.

Surely not, she said, shaking her head as she turned back to face Max. There were sleeker and lighter horses in Salsola's stables -- Dyrne was sturdy and well-built, but she wasn't a horse made for flying over the earth, either. But that's okay -- you like me better than Dyrne, don't you? This was murmured sweetly, though playfully, and she gave a swish of her tail and a toss of her hair as she turned back around.

Near to the base of the mountains, the treeline was visible. The scraggly pines of the marshlands became tall and straight, and deciduous trees even sank their roots into the stony soil here and there. A particularly well-shaded copse, nestled between an outcropping of rock and a small, muddy stream, caught her eye and she extended a finger, pointing. Let's go there, she suggested, turning back toward Max again.

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