Provider and Protector

#1
(Eydís played by Alcyone, Válas played by Ljósbrenna)

Glaring white as far as the eye could see, only broken by the odd mountain or copse of trees. Villages hid in the shadows of the mountains, away from searching eyes. From one of these exited a tall figure geared in weathered armor and leather, axe strapped at their hip and bow slung across their back. A small bag of supplies sway side to side where it rested opposite to the sharp gleaming weapon. The figure walked the outer walls of the village, checking spots now and again. When they seemed satisfied, they turned away from the wall and began to walk. Before they could get very far, a shout rang from the village gate and gave them pause to listen and observe.

"Eydís!" The shout came again and a smile blossomed on her face, the familiar pull of paint on her skin comforting. Eydís turned back to face the village, noting the open gate and the individual who had called her name. They quickly caught up to her, revealing one of the smith's boys carrying an impressive length of rope. She waited patiently as the child caught his breath before holding the spool of woven threads out to her.

"Mama just finished it and hoped that if she sent me quick enough, I could catch you before you left." he explained as she accepted the thoughtful supply offering. "She figured you might need it to haul anything back." he tacked on, shifting nervously from one foot to another. Most of the children still did that when speaking to her. She wasn't bothered, knowing her discolored blind eye made them uncomfortable until they became accustomed to it. Instead she smiled and placed a hand on the boy's shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze.

"Tell your mother I am grateful for her talents." she began, smile widening as the boy nodded obediently. "And be sure to stop by and visit my home on your way back, I'm sure my father will have something special for you. Speed like that deserves a reward." Eydís winked at the boy when he looked up at her, a new light of excitement in his eyes. At her behest, he turned and rushed back to the gate, her gentle laughter following him. She kept her eyes on the boy until the gate shut behind him then, once satisfied that he was safe, secured the new rope and pushed onward.

The walk itself was always uneventful, though it always gave her limbs time to begin tingling. Not with the cold, no, she was far too used to the climate in the Wastes to be bothered by the cold. Instead, they tingled from anticipation of the upcoming hunt. She had been hunting alone for near on ten years, and still it never failed to flood her veins with adrenaline.

====

In the distance, upslanting eyes of venom-green watched the woman. he was shielded partly by stand of wind-twisted pines. The rest of his cover came from an enchantment bought by the power intrinsic in his blood. Unless he moved, he would be all but invisible; the dweomer he had cast bent the light around him, refracting it in a way that would counfound the eye.

These lands were not his own; were a Northman to see him, they would be tempted to mock him, so muffled was he in layers of fur and leather. However, to dress more lightly would place him at risk. The epicanthic fold to his eyelids and the nictitating membranes behind them revealed him as an Ashtóri. Through these, he would have been known as such, even before he revealed his fangs and talons.

As the Ashtóri watched the tall female, he debated with himself. He could simply ensorcel her from a distance and make away with her, it was true. However, this was not what he wished. He was aware that few Northwomen survived being taken to the fiery city from which he hailed. 'The City Ever-Burning' was not merely a poetic means of describing Great Ashtárias: it was the truth. If he raided for a mate here, he ran a great risk that the woman would not live to bear his child.

And beyond this, Válas of the Sand-Raptor preferred a willing embrace to tears and struggles.

On impulse, he dropped the illusory cloak and moved away from the trees. Tall even for his own kind if he came to stand near the woman, he would tower over her, though Válas was light-framed and lean. Melded to his rangy form was the armor of a Volthår, the Ashtóri elite troops—some of the most feared warriors on the continent. Watching the woman, he lifted his hands and drew off his gauntlets, hooking them onto his belt. He then held his hands palm-upward and extruded his talons to their greatest length, but immediately drew them in all the way. The gesture was the closest one an Ashtóri could make to the gripping of hands as done by humans.

And then he waited, the nictitating membrane flashing over his eyes to shield them from the glare.

====

Soft humming danced on the wind in time with the heavy falls of booted feet striking into the snow. She had a habit of humming tunes to fill the oppressive rushing of wind past her ears. She yet had a minimum of an hour walk ahead of her to reach her preferred spot to begin tracking possible animals to hunt. There were other hunters, of course, but she was the only one willing to hunt alone. Preferred it, in fact. She stretched her arms above her head, rolling her neck to work out the tension. It wouldn't do to have tense muscles when she didn't know just how long the hunt would take. Stretching her arms a bit further, she inhaled deeply through her nose with the pull of her muscles, and promptly froze in her tracks.

Spice, heat, ash. That was definitely not a local smell. Her mind screamed at her even as her eyes scrutinized the landscape, regardless of the fact that only one could really see it. A cautious hand rested on the axe at her hip and she took a hesitant step forward. She nearly jumped out of her skin when a figure suddenly appeared just beyond the trees no farther than twenty yards ahead of her. An impressive figure, at that, he seemed to be nearly a foot taller than her. It took her less than a second to identify just who he seemed to be and her mind supplied the only reason any of his kind would be anywhere near the Wastes.

Her eyes locked on his movements, good eye regarding the gauntlets carefully as he removed them. A memory brushed the back of her mind, reminding her she'd seen that exact armor before. She wasn't very fond of what that memory told her of it. Mind racing confusedly trying to identify what his gesture may have meant, she shifted her weight into a seemingly lax position, though anyone that knew her training could see she was ready to act at a moment's notice. She didn't trust it, not one bit.

"Are those meant to be impressive?" she inquired in an accented voice, a brow raising and her tone bordering on scathing. A bad idea, probably, but it was true. Hers were just as dangerous, though that was a very well-kept secret in her village.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Current Entrance Reply edited and added to from above)

Glaring white as far as the eye could see, only broken by the odd mountain or copse of trees. Villages hid in the shadows of the mountains, away from searching eyes. From one of these exited a tall figure geared in weathered armor and leather, axe strapped at their hip and bow slung across their back. A small bag of supplies sway side to side where it rested opposite to the sharp gleaming weapon. The figure walked the outer walls of the village, checking spots now and again. When they seemed satisfied, they turned away from the wall and began to walk. Before they could get very far, a shout rang from the village gate and gave them pause to listen and observe.

"Eydís!" The shout came again and a smile blossomed on her face, the familiar pull of paint on her skin comforting. Eydís turned back to face the village, noting the open gate and the individual who had called her name. They quickly caught up to her, revealing one of the smith's boys carrying an impressive length of rope. She waited patiently as the child caught his breath before holding the spool of woven threads out to her.

"Mama just finished it and hoped that if she sent me quick enough, I could catch you before you left." he explained as she accepted the thoughtful supply offering. "She figured you might need it to haul anything back." he tacked on, shifting nervously from one foot to another. Most of the children still did that when speaking to her. She wasn't bothered, knowing her discolored blind eye made them uncomfortable until they became accustomed to it. Instead she smiled and placed a hand on the boy's shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze.

"Tell your mother I am grateful for her talents." she began, smile widening as the boy nodded obediently. "And be sure to stop by and visit my home on your way back, I'm sure my father will have something special for you. Speed like that deserves a reward." Eydís winked at the boy when he looked up at her, a new light of excitement in his eyes. At her behest, he turned and rushed back to the gate, her gentle laughter following him. She kept her eyes on the boy until the gate shut behind him. Once satisfied that he was safe, she secured the new rope to her person and pushed onward.

The walk itself was always uneventful, though it always gave her limbs time to begin tingling. Not with the cold, no, she was far too used to the climate in the Wastes to be bothered by the cold. Instead, they tingled from anticipation of the upcoming hunt. She had been hunting alone for near on ten years, and still it never failed to flood her veins with adrenaline.

When she returned to her village, two deer and several rabbits and squirrels in tow, Eydís passed the animals off to the tanner, who would skin them before handing them along the line to be dealt with. They had a rather efficient system in place by now, and it always made her smile to see it in action. A voice behind her made her turn, smile widening further as her gaze fell on her father.

"You are needed, little love. I'm sorry to have to send you back out so soon, but our usual runner is the one sick this time. We're entirely out of Ladyleaf trying to help him, he was to leave tonight to go purchase more but... Well he obviously can't." Eydís laughed softly and placed her hand on her father's arm.

"It's alright. I'll repack for a longer journey. Have Woír pack as well, I dislike the idea of that long a journey without someone to trade off watch with me." Kveldulf nodded and pulled his daughter into his arms, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. He hated to send her so far from home, but he knew their people meant everything to her.

"Travel safely, little love. I will see you when you return." With that, he left to attend to his own business. Eydís ensured everything was handled with her hunt before heading home. After ensuring her pack was well stocked with everything she would need, she checked her weapons, adding more arrows to hunt with on the way. Just as she finished taking inventory of everything she needed, there was a knock on her door. Upon opening the door, she was greeted with the sight of a fellow shifter, Woír, with his pack on his shoulder and weapons strapped to him.

"So you're dragging me on this errand, are you?" His chocolate eyes sparkled as he grinned at her, entering her home as she stepped aside to let him in. The shifter was tall, with blond hair several shades lighter than her own that just brushed his shoulders. She returned the grin as she set about securing her weapons to her.

"I figured you could use the exercise." Her tone was teasing as she hiked her pack up and over her shoulders. Her comment earned her a lighthearted shove from Woír before they both headed out the door to begin their journey.

It took a rather long time to reach the small town of Bitter Ridge from their home in the Jhogaia Wastes. They regularly shifted to move faster and cut down on time, trading off keeping watch whenever one or the other needed to rest and sleep. Her first sight of the town made Eydís frown and turn to her companion. "Do we really keep sending the poor kid here? The place looks as if he's lucky to ever make it back." The other shifter merely chuckled at her comment as they finally came upon the Sable Bear Inn she knew was the supplier they bought the Ladyleaf from.

They entered together, both shifters' eyes scanning the place. Eydís led the way over to the bar where the sour-faced old man lingered, clearing her throat. Woír stood just behind and to her left, looking for everything like a bodyguard she very much didn't need.
 
Last edited:
Top