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skystouched
08-04-2020, 04:43 PM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2020, 12:31 AM by Dusk.)
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#1

She'd come here in hopes of meeting Shale, but as she'd ascended the jagged cliffs toward his ancestral home, she'd been told he'd just begun an excursion deep into the mountainside. Defeated, Avaneira began the long trek southward back toward Yaurith; her paws had long begun to ache, her neck felt heavy from the weight of midsummer snow (and oh, how it snowed so relentlessly this far up, even in the warmest of months). She'd long grown bewildered by how her friend was able to make the journey so often, but perhaps years of walking along the same paths became less of a tribulation and more of a habit. After all, Yaurithians did what they had to do for money, and if Shale and his family did not manage to get their wares down to Yaurith, they certainly would not have come into the modest wealth they had.

Eventually, Ava relented, straying from the well-worn path in favor of a clearing just beyond the billows of snow just a few hundred feet upward. Here, summer had begun to take hold, melting the snowdrift and exposing the flowers of the meadow underneath. The ground was relatively even, but even the trees still jutted out of the ground at an awkward angle, desperate to reach straight skyward. Around their misted trunks were the seedlings of midsummer herbs, feeding off the dew that collected among the roots of pine trees from the late morning fogs. Ava gave a quick sniff around them, picking around the plants she'd gone low of. Though nothing was particularly rare and valuable, what she did manage to find would help restore her stocks. Very soon, this place would be covered in snow once more, and she would lose the opportunity to find such herbs so readily.

So divulged in her work, she suddenly became unaware of the surroundings before her; as Ava often had, so enthused in her current task she'd begin to grow ignorant of the dangers that could be lurking just beyond the meadow.


@Lumiya
Art by InstantCoyote

08-04-2020, 08:37 PM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2020, 08:38 PM by Lumiya.)
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#2
The light will guide her

She was awfully tired. Her paw pads had cracked and every muscle in her body screamed for rest, for just a moment of stillness. Her fur had been dirtied and dried many times now, the lowest strands but clumps of dirt and foliage dangling from her petite form. Despite all this, her mind was clear and her goal was set; to gather and store as many herbs as she could so she may finally begin her journey to the woods that called her name. She did not know why she was being summoned there by powers greater than her own, but she'd oblige if only to make the calling stop. She required security, tranquility; an adventure wasn't her forte. All the sneaking around, the possibility of trouble ahead... It scared her, and much so. It was why she was extending her stay in the mountains, hoping to avoid any kind of conflict.

Loinnir in kind, hooted in annoyance whenever she mentioned having to go to the forest. She agreed with him on many fronts; that it was dangerous, that their path would be unsure, that she could get hurt or lost or eaten... But she knew she simply had to do what the voice in her head said. Either she was going crazy, or something big was awaiting her in that very forest - her life would matter!

She came upon the meadow by chance, but was quick to spot the small woman in the distance. She hoped the foliage and trees would hide her, but she also knew she stuck out as a sore thumb with her pelt not one to blend in easily. Her ashen ears draped over her finely crafted skull as Loinnir vibrated with fear. He wasn't very used to others, seeing as the duo were loners in this world; aiding where they could, but disappearing as quickly as possible. As she stepped back, hoping to disappear again as quickly as she'd come, she bumped her butt against a tree and tumbled straight into a bush, sending Loinnir flying and screeching as he perched in that very same tree.

“Lumiya speaking.” "Loinnir speaking."

Art by Jaclyn
Rolled a 2 on the sneaking

08-06-2020, 05:58 AM
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#3

He'd not been able to shake the memory of that day in the market, but he didn't want to either. Happily allowing it to consume his thoughts, Dunstan had even caught him humming a time or two, even though their conversation was...less than ideal. Still, Avaneira had shared things she had never before, that had to be a good sign right? He'd risen by mid morning, copper eyes falling upon Dunstan who was still curled up next to him sleeping. Badgers were nocturnal animals, and while they often worked late into the night he was willing to rise fairly early. They had to compromise.

Eyes would fall upon his companion, watching his small chest rise and fall before moving over to nose him gently to stir him from his deep slumber. Shale would draw back, ears fitting atop his crown as Dunstan uncurled, his narrow face coming to peer up at Shale with the look he knew all too well. It said plenty, telling Shale to leave him be and let him sleep, the boy only chuckled "Come on, we have to get to work soon" he encouraged, muzzle parting giving a yawn himself as he slowly rose, dipping his front half to the floor of his den to get a good stretch upon his back, giving a shake of his fur as he came back up to full height. Allowing his companion a few more minutes to wake up, Shale grabbed his bag and went to catch up with his father.

Before he'd made it back to his den, Dunstan was emerging; more ready to start the day Shale smiled lowering his nose to gently nuzzle the side of his badgers face before the two started for the tunnels. But what he found...what he found, was he still asleep? Or was that really Avaneira? Had she...what was she doing here? Ok Shale; don't freak out. It's a coincidence. Has to be. She's not here for YOU. With a small shake of his head the boy - a bit clumsily made his way closer, "Avaneira? Funny uh...seeing you he—" words cut off, saved from embarrassing himself at the sound of a screeching bird, earthen ears would quickly rotate upon his crown head swinging in the direction of the noise. "What the —" clementine eyes would fall upon the tree the noisy bird had perched itself in, trailing down the trunk to find the form of another dressed in ivory and ash.

A smile broke over the boys face as soft chuckled pooled from cream maw while padding closer to the girl. "..What are you doing?" he mused with a lighthearted laugh, giving a soft shake of his head as Dunstan trailed his steps his striped face peering at the girl from between his front legs.



"Speaking" | "familiar speaking"


 
Table by Centience

08-14-2020, 01:23 AM
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#4

Avaneira?

She heard him before she saw him; and despite the familiarity in her voice, the sudden whiplash of being wrenched from her concentration caused the plush fur on the back of her neck to rise to attention. Her heart skittered against her chest, the hushed thump, thump, thump rallied in her ears like a wardrum, drowning out the muffled echoes of the forest that seemed like a distant, foggy dream from so far high up. She flung her head to the side, mouth-full of herbs and eyes wide and wild and so effortlessly breathless. Funny uh...seeing you he— Then, the crunch and cry of another a few meters away. Avaneira's words were still hitched in her throat, caught in a breath half-escaped yet not quite exiting her gaped lips. Her pale gaze then fluttered over toward another pale creature tangled in the underbrush, and quick was she to rise to her paws, ambling to Shale's side wordlessly as she aimed to get a closer look.

..What are you doing? Shale asked as he ambled closer, and Ava followed quietly on his tail. Despite her uncharacteristic nervousness, Ava could not deny the distinct pull of concern so typical of a fellow healer. “Are you alright?” she asked in a mannered whisper, her eyes quickly running along the small girl's body to see if there were any cuts and scrapes; thankfully, there appeared to be nothing she could see beyond the tangling of leaves caught in plush tufts of fur. “I'm sorry, I hope we didn't scare you,” she breathed again, suddenly realizing the herbs she'd been collecting had long been abandoned and scattered across the ground when they'd caught the breeze and flown from her gaping mouth. Regret settled deep inside of her belly, knowing that perhaps most of them would be lost to the wilderness now.


@Lumiya @Shale
Art by InstantCoyote

09-14-2020, 02:22 AM
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#5

He hadn't meant to startle her like he had, no of course not. And the display of this decorated his face, earthen ears falling back apologetically. But there was no judgement in those copper eyes as she found him, bewildered and flustered as she was, he only smiled softly. A small wag of his tail upon his hocks as he moved his attention the one who'd been trying to sneak up on them.

“Are you alright?” he smiled, eyes shifting to Avaneira briefly, appreciating her concern for the girl. “I'm sorry, I hope we didn't scare you,” but it would seem...they had, like a deer in the headlights the other woman stood before quickly disappearing into the brush from whence she'd came. Shale's audits would fall uneasily, not sure if he should go after the girl to ensure she was ok, but also feeling like it was too late for that. He sighed, trying to break the awkward silence as he glanced over to Ava, "Well I uh....guess it's just us then" he mused with a small laugh.

He was sure she'd be alright, maybe just embarrassed for getting caught. "You're a long way from home Ava..." he mused, only to backpedal. "Not that...there's a problem...I mean you can go where you want" stupid, stupid. "The mountains can be....dangerous that's all" he stammered, attempting to recoop from his mistake, not that she couldn't take care of her - oh boy. "just shut up" Dunstan muttered, right he thought quietly, probably for the best.


"Speaking" | "familiar speaking"


 
Table by Centience

09-14-2020, 02:22 AM
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#6

You have found some loot!


09-29-2020, 04:04 AM
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#7

Disappointment sprawled across her gaze as the doe-eyed woman turned and left, but Avaneira hoped that perhaps she would swiftly return once she realized they were no threat. Nevertheless, Avaneira turned toward Shale as he spoke. Well I uh....guess it's just us then, he laughed, but it appeared almost nervous. Avaneira had long begun to notice the shift in Shale's attitude, but perhaps it would resonate far more were she not so entrenched in her own worries, in the ideas that her life hung on a careful thread. She had grown almost envious of Shale, oblivious to his desires if only to be selfish of her own, to wish for his life if only because it meant her unfettered freedom.

You're a long way from home Ava... he remarked, and Avaneira managed a small smile of her own. She had indeed traveled quite a distance, and though her haul had been meager, it would still be enough to get a little bit of extra money. It had been weeks since her father had left, and the gold he had left in her possession had long been used up. Not that...there's a problem...I mean you can go where you want, Shale stammered, and Avaneira lifted a brow, the mountains can be....dangerous that's all. “Then I suppose I'm lucky to have you here to protect me,” she offered in return, the confidence in her tone a contrast to Shale's, but Avaneira was oh-so-oblivious to her friend's feelings. She thought, perhaps, he was suffering from a sort of cold, or a slip of the tongue. “Are you feeling alright, though?” she asked, the idea of an illness suddenly concerning, “you seem unsettled.”

Art by InstantCoyote

10-15-2020, 12:44 AM
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#8

“Then I suppose I'm lucky to have you here to protect me,” he smiled, a breath of relief passing his lips, he could feel his shoulders fall slightly as he relaxed under Ava's words that beamed with the confidence he lacked. Tail subconsciously swaying behind him, his copper eyes would fall slightly, only lifting when Avaneira spoke up again “Are you feeling alright, though?” he gave her a puzzled look, what did she mean? “you seem unsettled.” oh - earthen ears would pull back slightly as the heat rushed to his cheeks, "Uh no i'm feeling fine....i'm ok, really" he assured her, glancing up with a small smile and a sigh as he struggled, maybe he should just tell her. But could he? What if it ruined their friendship? What if she didn't feel the same way and rejected him? There was a part of him that wanted things to stay just how they were....for fear of losing her entirely. She could push him away if she didn't share his feelings, and then what? He'd never see her....

But what would happen if he never told her? Nothing...

He sighed, swallowing the lump in his throat. "Ava there's something I wanted to ─" but he froze, eyes unable to meet hers, and unable to force the words to escape from his mouth, they screamed within his head, he shouted them, but could not get his lips to form the words. No matter how he tried. Now he felt sick. Too afraid of her rejection, that she would not be there to catch him when he took the blind leap off the cliff. Instead he cowered back, sinking away from his fears, he took a sharp turn - and like an idiot he changed the subject and ran.

"Nevermind," he quickly shut it down, ".I'm sure father needs me to get back to work....d..did you need any help down from the mountain? " he asked, still unable to meet her moonshine pools.


"Speaking" | "familiar speaking"


 
Table by Centience

10-15-2020, 05:11 PM
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#9

Uh no I'm feeling fine....I'm ok, really, he assured her, yet something about him left Avaneira unconvinced. Nevertheless, she'd never been the type to press her friends on the issue, knowing that should it be something Shale truly needed help with her would tell her. At least, she hoped. His sigh further affirmed her skepticism, but as much as Avaneira wished to compel him more, she kept herself quiet, watchful. An awkward silence begin to encroach upon them, two bedraggled beings struggling to find the right words; Avaneira desperate for answers, and Shale desperate to answer. After those few drawn moments, Ava finally opened her mouth to speak, but Shale had quickly beaten her to it. Ava there's something I wanted to─ and then he stopped, his eyes not quite rising to meet her own. Nevermind, he finally forfeited, and Avaneira's shoulders slumped, I'm sure father needs me to get back to work....d..did you need any help down from the mountain?

Disappointment was evident in her expression; the downward turn of her lips in a half-frown, the knitting of her wolfish brows, the slight puffing of her cheeks. She wondered what he could have needed to say; was he truly feeling sick, but doubtful of her skills as a healer? Was there something going on with his family, or his relationship with her father and her own family? Certainly, if it were something pressing and disastrous, he would have told her, right? “I would love the help,” she finally said, but the question still lingered in her tone, unable to be quelled by her the best of her intentions. “Only if your father would not kill you,” she said suddenly, hoping a more jovial jab might lighten the mood in the slightest. After all, the thing she hated most was the fact he couldn't look her in the eye─she wondered if she had done something to hurt him.

Art by InstantCoyote

10-18-2020, 02:22 AM
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#10

He sighed, ears falling as his feelings ate away at his very core. An argument insisting within his own head and heart to tell her. To break the restraints he felt which sealed his throat and prevented him from forming the words, why couldn't he bring himself to do it? Why couldn't he push himself past this? He could not...and could not even bring himself to look at her right now. Try as he might, his copper pools only danced up to her dark face, skimming briefly before falling once more. God he was such an idiot. He wanted to crawl back into the mines and never come out save himself the embarrassment of the disappointment on her face. Claws would sink into the earth, muscles bound tightly.

“I would love the help,” he sighed, forcing a small smile to brush his lips, though short lived as it was. “Only if your father would not kill you," she tried to make light of Shale's dismiss of the prior engagement. "Oh...dad...he doesn't scare me" he murmured through another hefty sigh. He forced himself to move, pushed his limbs to work

"I think he'd be more upset if I let you find your way home alone....come on" he'd muse, trying to force the smiles to free himself of the weight of his own thoughts and assure Ava that he really was alright. He didn't find he was being very convincing though as he began down the mountain. Keeping his eyes downcast in front of them trying to find the right words; though he never could.

-exit? walking Ava back down & heading home assumed?-

"Speaking" | "familiar speaking"


 
Table by Centience

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