Memento Mori

POSTED: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:16 pm

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<p>The Jack Pines weren't as forthcoming in sign for Summer's end as the Ironwood trees were, as the cylindrical flower clusters of the Ironwood began flitting off branches at even the most gentle push of a breeze. The floral clusters left behind a rare (but oddly pleasing) aroma during their graceful plummet, entitled to the ambience of the Summer Solstice only. Besides the delightful fragrance, the subtle signs of Autumn's omen went unnoticed by Kaitriona. When you lived, consumed, and breathed the life of an outsider, the backdrop of everything became one big blur. She could care less about the special scientific names, the colors, the textures and shapes, even the remedial benefits (foolishly enough). </p>

<p>Kaitriona had been on the run for months now, the count of exact time and days long since forgotten. The focal point of her destination always rested in what the horizon would bring for her and her equine, not stopping to rest permanently for no longer than three nights at the most. Although the Aleutian Islands were thousands of miles away, she still casted a weary glance behind her shoulder every now and then, attentively awaiting a tracker as lonesome as her company to be trailing her like her shadow. Kaitriona and Apache Outlaw were deep within the swath of Arachnea's forest, and for a moment felt her guard drop by the comfort of the tightly packed seclusion of the trees surrounding them both. Faint nickers came from Outlaw, as he wasn't as alleviated to be wandering through dense forest.</p>

<p>Giving a reassuring comb through Outlaw's coarse mane, her motion was a betoken one to the glistening blue waters of Arachnea's southerly lake they suddenly came upon. Emerging from near claustrophobia and prickly branches, Kaitriona chuckled as Outlaw's gait felt a little more lighthearted at the sight of open space. <font face="georgia"><b>"Easy, easy."</b></font> Kaitriona murmured gently with a pat, noting the rocky shoreline. Outlaw slowed down his stride, coming to a light stop in feet of crystal clear water. Kaitriona remained perched upon Outlaw for a second, her sapphire gaze scanning the scenery before them. Demounting, her deerskin pack was retrieved to dig out a flask for water. Her Naginata Blade remained strapped to her back, as she came to the shoreline to kneel down and submerge the flask completely. Outlaw took his chance of striding to where the water was ankle deep for him, slurping water generously and submerging his nose. Behind him, his coarse tail which was otherwise lifeless and limp, flicked with mild gusto.</p>

<p>Kaitriona's mind was focused on nothing in particular, letting her mentality temporarily put itself in a daze and her vision zone out elsewhere. Her sapphire gaze focused on nothing significant except the flicker of sunlight across the lake's surface. It was these precious moments that could be fatal for dropping guard, but also relieving for the weary, lone traveler to be in silence solitude. Little did Kaitriona realize she was relatively near a territory border in a matter of scant miles, but the ambience of Arachnea's southerly lake was serene, and remained fully present in the moment of such. </p>

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POSTED: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:20 pm

[html]<blockquote><b>(538)</b>
<p>The quiver fitted easily between the woman's shoulder blades as she slipped the strap over her chest. With the movement, the arrows made very little rattling, which pleased her greatly. She had not been this well stocked for a good couple of months, and to be full to the brim gave her great comfort. It also helped that now the last days of summer was upon the warriors. While prey was plentiful all year round, the pickings were ripest during this dying season, and she wanted to fill her pack's supplies with the last of the summer's bounty.

<p>After making sure things around the fort were situated and that all her daily duties were completed, she released the awaiting mare from the stall, and no less than a minute she was thundering through the trees. Antebellum was rather indifferent to the change of the air, but the horse nevertheless also felt energized by the slight chill the normally warm breeze took. It was not until the mare slowed did they take notice that they passed over the borders, but it mattered little to either. Prey sometimes seemed less suspecting when in the free lands. Alyssum clucked her tongue once, and the horse moved forward, her tred light and as quiet as it could be.

<p>A hour passed, and she had shot herself a squirrel and a sorry looking fowl. While its plummage was matted and at some parts completely bald, it did not reek of disease, and decided to keep it. Meat was meat, and she wasn't feeding her pack with looks. She tied her hunt to the bags that adorned Antebellum, and nudged her again to continue on. She lowered her bow as she saw the familiar opening in the distance, and decided that it was time to allow the mare to have a break; a huff of protest escaped the creature's loose lips for a moment, but she soon complied with the woman as they exited the trees.

<p>The horse stopped abruptedly and stared at the figures that lingered close by, one of each of their species. Alyssum watched as well, but urged Antebellum forward anyway. With the area so opened, it would be hard to now pass by without disturbing the wolf, and it also perked the Luna's interest that there was someone close to the territory. Not too close to raise suspicion, no, but mild curiosity that demanded her attention. She nickered her horse towards the two slowly, the verbal remark loud enough to be heard by the others. She did not want to surprise them at a close distance, seeing the medal strapped on the female's back glare off the sun.

<p><b>"Greetings."</b> She spoke casually once the distance was not as quite far between them. <b>"I hope you do not mind I freshen myself here as well."</b> Antebellum, who could act like she cared less, bent over to the nearest available water and drunk, though kept looking at the stranges from the corners of her eyes. The coywolf slipped off of the steed and kneeled near the water, and began to splash some of the coolness on her hands and arms, all the while watching the other with a friendly gaze. <b>"Name's Alyssum."</b>
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POSTED: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:00 am

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<p>The daze of her moment's withdrawal from reality was broken by the clicking din of a nicker <i>not</i> from Apache Outlaw. It wasn't from an equine no less, as her direction instantly snapped to where the sound was discerned. In the view approached a Luperci perched upon her companion, Kaitriona's nose gathering the olfactory details before the rider and equine were in comfortable distance. There was a certain allure of a <i>pack</i> scent attached to her, still faint but more apparent the closer she approached. Feeling her muscles tense beneath her raven fur, Kaitriona didn't make any hasty movement at this stranger, but was physically preparing her adrenaline just in case the female decided to spring a surprise assault upon her.</p>

<p>Apache Outlaw was more relaxed and receptive than Kaitriona in this moment, as his head lifted from quenching his thirst to gaze upon the other equine more than the rider. A beautiful Draft Horse, with a flowing ivory mane and feminine coloring to add to her grace. He only shifted his weight, flapping his limp ebony tail behind him, perhaps in a gesture of welcome (but who knew except the horse whisperers who can determine behavior?), and went right back to drinking more. The advancing female was neighborly at best; offering a greeting and a name. Towering twice over Kaitriona, her facial structure and even some aspects of her stature didn't appear wolf. Kaitriona assumed jackal-like, perhaps coyote even. Slender and nimble, with an Earthy pelt and brilliant spring green eyes. There was a lilt of a Southern twang in her voice, making her seem like the type who was wholesome and warmhearted, though the quiver strapped to her would probably prove otherwise. It was always the quiet ones, the ones who <i>didn't</i> look like a threat, who were the most dangerous. </p>

<p>Noting the fine scars of what looked like claw marks blemishing the pretty female's shoulder, it made the skin and hairs around Kaitriona's own scars next to her clavicle tingle. She nearly reached up to scratch the scars that were reason to her Luperci Verto shifting, but decided to finish filling her flask. Her name was Alyssum, and Kaitriona snapped out of her observant gaze before casting a look to the water briefly, then back to Alyssum. <font face="georgia"><b>"… Go ahead."</b></font> Kaitriona replied, her voice a little more on the authoritative edge than welcoming. There was a distance to her voice expressing Kaitriona wasn't as willing to be cordial on this encounter as Alyssum was, but they were both in mutual territory, she couldn't tell Alyssum to go to the next watering site and leave herself and Outlaw in peace. </p>

<p>Hesitant, Kaitriona decided to give her the short version of who she was. <font face="georgia"><b>"Katri."</b></font> It was a nickname given to her by one of many brothers, carried into adulthood from adolescent years. Twisting the cap to her flask, she placed it back in her deerskin pack. Her sapphire eyes longed over her quiver, studying the detail. Archery was not in her forte like blades were, but had always interested her nonetheless in their far distant fatality. <font face="georgia"><b>"Any success lately?"</b></font> Her voice sounded more tense than she would have liked it, but socialization was not a strong point for the otherwise lone female. Her muzzle motioned to the quiver, referring to hunting. Kaitriona hadn't seen a worthy prize of a prey for miles. The forests here were void of any noble hunt, unless she had been looking in the wrong places. </p>
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POSTED: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:05 pm

[html]<blockquote><b>(416)</b> <I>southern hospitality. 8B</I>
<p>The dark beauty seemed distant at best, but Alyssum did not really mind. Most loners were like that--after all, they liked to be alone, at least some of them. So she did not blame her when she was silent at her approach, watching her with sharp, analyzing eyes. Aside from the blade, Alyssum did not see much of anything else that would tip her off, so she kept her gaze friendly and far from judgmental. She was done with cleaning off some of the grit from her fur along her hands and arms when the raven-colored fey addressed her name. It was rather shortly spoken, but she decided not to press for her title. <b>"Well, Kaitri, it is very nice to meet you,"</b> she stated kindly as she rose and approached the mare, whose saddlebags must have contained at least one rag that she could use to dry herself.

<p>She noted the way the female kept glancing over her quiver, and assumed that maybe she felt wary about them. After all, she was at a slight disadvantage with her close-ranged blade. The coywolf casually shouldered them off and tied them to a loose strap on the horse, deciding not to impose herself as a threat in any way. <b>"You bet. I caught myself some squirrel and fowl, though the latter had seen better days."</b> She nickered a short phrase, and Antebellum stepped a bit out of the water and presented the bags. Next to the leather containers was an average looking squirrel and the bird, even sorrier looking now that limp death had overcame it. Alyssum reached into a bag and grabbed a random cloth, brushing off her fur as she inspected her hunt. <b>"If you want, I can cook up that rodent real nice and the both of us can share a meal. I wouldn't mind some company."</b> She could have sworn that she did not scent any fresh meal on Kaitri's pelt, so she guessed she hadn't ate in a while, being in an unfamiliar land and not knowing the hunting grounds and trails.

<p>The woman was not sure how Kaitri was going to react. She truly wanted to be in the dark female's presence, one part to talk to someone outside of her group and one part to see what she was doing out here, somewhat close to her pack's borders. Again, she was not suspicious, but her duty to her people enforced her just to make sure no foul play was occurring.
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