Court of the Fallen
take off the training wheels - Printable Version

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take off the training wheels - Noah - 03-02-2021

Noah had sent a letter to the man on the first day of Flowerbirth, and started his travel along with it. He was sure the letter would reach Henry with enough time for Noah to scout an area first, as he had told the other man he would meet him on the third sunrise.

He had an idea of the animal he wanted to hunt with the other man, because he thought it would be in abundance at this time, and hoped that he was right in this thinking. He had read that it was their breeding season, and with that brought out stupid males and flighty females. Reading about the animals of different lands was more difficult than actually studying them for himself, given that the information in the majority of the books within the Citadel were hundreds of years old -- some of their information older than the barrier that had trapped the people of the Hollowed Grounds for so long.

Hoping he was right, Noah waited on the edge of the glade for Henry, with Eira tucked into his jacket.

RE: take off the training wheels - Henry - 03-03-2021

The fields are barely existent at this point, much of the ground singed away by fires that wrought war on the Grounds. But Henry wouldn't expect Noah to know this, so he shows anyway. He's not managed to bring much with him, not even a net, too worried about taking supplies that may be needed for repairs.

[say]Noah,[/say] his voice carries across the bond, and Noah might feel a swell of toiling emotions with it. Henry's wrestling against them, the wound of his loss still fresh.

But he flies down near the hunter to keep good on his word regardless, wings tipping down to bring him to a heavy landing by Noah's feet.

He shifts back into himself, and Noah will find his appearance is not as he might've once remembered. He's dishevelled, clothes sooty, eyes stiff and distant, shoulders sagging.

[say]"I'm sorry,"[/say] he starts, voice hoarse at first until he clears his throat, [say]"I don't know how successful our hunt will be today given the state of things. I couldn't bring the things you asked me to, either; the Grounds need all of the supplies we can salvage, which isn't much..."[/say] he lowers his head, not noticing the little creature nestled within the other man's coat.

With a heavy sigh, he glances back up and relents with no enthusiasm, [say]"but if you'd like, I can try to use my shift to find something..."[/say]

RE: take off the training wheels - Noah - 03-06-2021

Eira became aware of the presence of another before Noah did. It was like a spark in his head at her realization, a little flicker of blue light that he knew, now, to be totally and completely her. His soul still beamed, swollen with pride and love for the small creature nestled in his jacket. She popped her head out and chirped toward Henry, a friendly and bright and infant-like chirp. His name reverberated across the bond and Noah looked up, glacier eyes catching the bird. He smirked some, happy to have another aerial view. He had gotten used to having it, with Korbin at his side for so many years.

When the man lands, and shifts, however, Noah notices that something is instantly different. Dark circles and weary eyes were not what he expected to see on Henry's face, and not what he remembered. His smirk turned to a frown as the man apologized for the state of things--of himself, of his home, of their hunt. Noah shook his head some, and reached out to grasp Henry's shoulder in a sign of encouragement. [say]"I am sorry that Longnight was so hard here."[/say] He wanted to say more about it, but he was not sure his condolences would really mean much to a man who was used to the suffering of the sunless season. [say]"I took some time to scout a little bit, and I found some evidence turkeys."[/say] At least, that's what he thought they were, and the tracks matched almost entirely the tracks from the book he had read.

RE: take off the training wheels - Henry - 03-12-2021

The griffin chirps at him and Henry has to raise his brows in surprise, doing a double take towards the little companion. He's glancing at it again as Noah places his rough hand on his shoulder. It slumps from the weight, not much of a fight left in Henry now. He doesn't lift his gaze to meet Noah's yet, still gazing down at the griffin. [say]"I'd rather not talk about it right now if that's okay with you."[/say]

It's a little hard to stay in such dimmed spirits when there's a baby animal staring up at you with big, innocent eyes. Even Henry could admit that. More pointedly indicating toward the companion, he asks quietly, [say]"who's this?"[/say]

He nods decisively at the 'evidence of turkeys' statement, letting out a small sigh and, with it, whatever is bothering him. Even if he can't put on a happy or hopeful persona, he can at least dive into the hunt. Wanting to learn, because that was the whole purpose of this, Henry tilts his head to one side and asks, [say]"How did you manage to find their tracks in all of this mess?"[/say]

RE: take off the training wheels - Noah - 03-14-2021

Noah nodded, understanding the pain of trauma. He might not know what happened, and he might not ever know, and that was okay. He wasn't the most equipped to be able to help Henry with his mental state, but at least he could take the man and teach him something and give him a bubble of time and space where he might not have to think about what happened.

With all of her attention, the young griffin beamed. Noah unbuttoned his jacket and lifted the growing, white creature from it and handed her out to Henry. The youngling chirped and trilled her delight, bright yellow eyes looking up at Henry with a kindness that made honey seem bitter. [say]"This is Eira. I found her out on the Sea of Glass just before Longnight."[/say] Should Henry take the creature into his arms, he would receive a happy trill and a snuggle.

Taking a deep breath, Noah turned towards the fields. [say]"I was able to find the spot where they roost. It's hard to miss -- just look for the giant, spread out pile of scat."[/say] He started to walk. Eira scrambled to the ground to trot behind her bondmate, long tail swaying delightedly behind her. [say]"And, the memory mud has held their tracks."[/say] Noah pointed at the trail before them, with pristine tracks in the mud set as if they were placed in concrete.

RE: take off the training wheels - Henry - 03-18-2021

Henry startles when Noah hoists up the baby griffin towards him, for him to actually hold. His brows lift in genuine surprise and, not wanting to be rude or mean to the little thing that seemed quite happy to be held, he takes her into his hands. He holds her up with strong hands, to let her feel the soft breeze in her feathers and to get a good look of her. Young, but promise of a beautiful, formidable creature in due time. For now, her innocence is adorable. It's so irresistable, that Henry actually cracks a soft, soft smile and a little life breathes back into his spirit.

[say]"Hello, Eira from the Sea of Glass,"[/say] he coos and gently tucks her in against his chest, where she snuggles up into him and he laughs a little. He wasn't expecting her to make him so happy, but with the farm being gone... it's nice to be around cute baby animals again. It's familiar to him, and it's something he will surely miss. So, if it's quite alright with Noah, he'll keep her tucked in the crook of his arm for a while longer, running his hands absently over her mix of fur and feathers as they walk, letting his stress fade away for the time being.

Henry follows Noah's pointing finger down towards the mud and has a bit of an 'oh!' moment. [say]"Well, that's convenient,"[/say] he remarks, [say]"So, poop and footprints. Is that all there is to it? What happens if they see us first?"[/say]

RE: take off the training wheels - Noah - 03-19-2021

The griffin's delight and joy at all of the attention she was receiving was clear and bright over the bond she shared with Noah. The hunter felt the warmth of it in his own chest, spreading out over his limbs and down through his fingers and toes. It was such a new sensation that the hunter was still getting used to. The little creature felt everything so big and so warm.

[say]"Well,"[/say] Noah started, looking out over the fields. The breeze gently moved the grasses that weren't charred from the fire rained down by the Sparkbird (though, Noah did not know why that was why everything was burned. He didn't want to ask yet, either.) [say]"From what I read, and what Deimos told me, is that turkeys are just as dumb as ningos."[/say] The Halovian flashed the grounder a toothy grin at his own comment. [say]"Turkeys can't really fly for long distances, mostly just enough to get up to a roosting spot. Ningos, too. They forget quickly, so it would be easy to wait them out and settle down again."[/say] All while he was talking, he kept moving forward, eyes dancing across the ground at the mud that so easily held the tracks from where the birds were before.

RE: take off the training wheels - Henry - 03-25-2021

Henry carries Eira along, hands strong and steady but also taking care not to squish her wings or paws. He imagines, for a moment, that she'll grow up to be quite a magnificent creature. She has plenty of room to grow into her feathers and her spirit is already quite precious. He imagines she will be a good companion, and for a moment he wishes that he had something like that. Someone to always be there with him, to lean on when he couldn't share everything he feels with anyone around him. He nestles a soft nuzzle to the top of her head - a motion he doesn't really think about before doing it.

[say]"Understanding your quarry is important, then,"[/say] Henry nods, understanding the value of behavioral knowledge. [say]"Do you spend a lot of time tracking them? I've heard that sometimes hunters will go out for days at a time, or longer, just to find herds and wait for the perfect opportunity..."[/say] His brows raise towards Noah, thinking he might be interested in doing something like that. Get away from all of this for a few days, with a good enough excuse to other than 'I don't want to stare at the pieces of my home anymore'. [say]"Maybe we can do that sometime soon,"[/say] his voice is quieter and his eyes lower when he says this, [say]"I need to go somewhere else for a bit... clear my head."[/say]

RE: take off the training wheels - Noah - 03-26-2021

Noah nodded as he walked along, listening to Henry. Eira settled down well in his arms, her bright joy settling down as a warm contentment. Noah's own chest felt warm with her feelings, and he hoped that Henry gathered from her presence as much relief as possible in this moment. Noah knew the weight of grief and destruction, and while he had buried his grief in the arms and between the thighs of Delphine, he thought this comfort offering from the griffin was a much healthier, more appropriate way.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, the sky darkening as they moved out through the fields. The hunter took note of it, knowing they would need to pay attention to the coming storm and the direction of the wind. [say]"There is a group of hunters I've done scouting trips with since we were kids, at our father's sides. We take a few expeditions in late Flowerbirth and early Longheat. You would be welcome to accompany me, if you would like."[/say] The thunder rolled again, a lazy, distant warning.

Noah paused for a moment, lowering his body down to crouch and gestured for Henry to wait. He could faintly hear the fowl. In loose blonde hair, feline ears sprouted and rotated in an attempt to catch the sound greater. His eyes followed suite, shifting to that of his lynx to be able to see further.

RE: take off the training wheels - Henry - 04-02-2021

Henry is just as content as Eira to keep her cradled in his arms, until of course matters grow more serious and he must put more attention into the hunt. For now, however, he continues his idle stroking of her feathery pelt. There is still warmth in his heart, he can feel it thanks to her, and he knows there is still.. hope.. of something greater in this life. But he's not yet keen to give in to that feeling, it's still shadowed by his massive losses. He still has to recover and mend the wound, in what little ways he can.

The boom of thunder overhead has him attempting to sharpen his senses, wary of the sky's loud warning of a storm soon to come. He glances towards Noah when the man answers him, giving an actual offer to escape into the great unknown and give in to his predatory urges to hunt. Here, still in the Grounds, he doesn't feel that yet. All he feels is the great weight on his shoulders, like clouds heavy with rain about to fall.

[say]"I would like that, just send for me before you leave,"[/say] he agrees in a quiet murmur, gaze landing on Noah's face to watch him carefully when he pauses. Henry stops, too, not needing the gesture but all the same it confirms that there is something nearby. Henry lowers his own standing to crouch down, carefully setting Eira down between them and patting her head gently. The fluffy ears of a big cat perk up from Noah's hair and Henry's brows raise.

He's not able to do that yet, not just yet, and so he focuses on settling his breathing, his mind, to try and listen and look as best he can. It's then that he sees a speckle of brown moving amongst spared grass and shrubs, though he doesn't hear the calls they make.

His hand comes up to gently brush Noah's shoulder and point in the direction, in case his hunting partner hasn't spotted it. [say]"How do you want to do this?"[/say] He utters as quietly as he can, ready to shift into the eagle at a moment's notice.

RE: take off the training wheels - Noah - 04-06-2021

As the hunters settled down into the grass, Eira lowered herself onto her belly and kept her wings close to her. Downy feathers still sprouted and Noah had reminded her over and over again that she was too young to help them on hunts just yet. Soon, though, she would be fierce and majestic and bring game to fall beneath her claws.

Feline ears rotated on Noah's head, catching the sounds of gobbles and shuffling wings. Feline eyes caught sight of the ugly brown birds just as Henry motioned towards them. Noah wasn't sure what shift that Henry might carry, but he hoped it would serve them well in the wake of the Grounder's empty arms. Noah shifted silently and fully into his lynx form. Large paws kneaded the loamy soil beneath him. Thankfully, the trio were downwind of the birds that continued to roam and gobble in the distance. Thunder rumbled again, threatening the rain to come.

[say]Let's get closer,[/say] Noah prompted over the bond, lowering his body in the charred grasses to stalk wide to the left of where the birds huddled.

RE: take off the training wheels - Henry - 04-08-2021

Henry eyes Eira as Noah surveys their quarry, watching her lower herself and - for all intents and purposes - look ready to hunt. Amusement softens his expression but his gaze rises quickly, to the turkeys as their gobbling voices lift a little higher in volume. Noah shifts more fully into a lynx, and Henry feels the tug of his own prompting him.

The eagle lowers into the grasses, though its body is not designed for silent and stealthy stalking. The calm grief and patience disappears, replaced by a pulsing drive. Noah's statement over the bond is muted by the eagle's instincts to rise and fly, to dive right in. Why waste time? His golden, sharp eyes trail across Noah's lithe frame briefly before they're narrowing over the grasses. Ducking and bunching his muscles, Henry gives in to the call of the hunt - perhaps too soon.

[say]Closer, you say?[/say] His voice bears through the bond and suddenly he's off in a swoop of motion, stirring the grass and loose soil beneath him with the force of his wingspan.

Beating his wings to reach a fast momentum, he glides across the field and hones in on the turkeys. They react, of course, panicking and running in all directions (and looking rather ridiculous, while they're at it). The Stellar's Sea Eagle is the king snake of the bird world, its tastes not at all restricted by the relation it has to them. He relishes in their panic, that hunter's ambition calling him to take a dive, merciless talons extended.

(feel free to decide if he's successful or not!)

RE: take off the training wheels - Noah - 04-08-2021

While Noah wanted to stalk around the flock and take them by surprise at the very last minute, Henry flew off in a flurry. Noah's eyes widened in alarm, but he didn't give way from his stalking. In his gut, he knew he had the right plan. But, all he could do now was watch the eagle swoop in towards the turkeys. The flock was alerted quickly, and panicked. They scrambled this way and that, each gobbling out their frantic surprise. Henry's talons went for one of the larger of the birds, a tom, but the creature seemed to react too fast. While Henry did not grab hold of the bird's body, he did manage to grab in one talon tail feathers, and in the other about halfway down a wing.

Noah's frustration was a quick, pounding force out over the bond as he suddenly surged his own assault at another large tom. It tried to flee, but Noah in this form was too quick on the ground. Razor sharp claws extended from his paws as he leapt towards the bird, his body landing heavily on it's back and pushing it into the charred grass. It flailed it's wings and wiggled with as much ferocity as it could muster. the lynx struggled with the bird for a few minutes, the scuffle between the pair and the eagle and it's prey enough to send the rest of the flock away, running without thought towards the safety of trees. Finally, Noah got ahold of the bird's rubbery neck, biting down long enough to suffocate the turkey.

All the while, thunder rumbled in the distance near ceaselessly, lightning flashed, and the winds changed.

RE: take off the training wheels - Henry - 04-12-2021

Henry felt Noah's frustration, but not until after he felt the crushing of feathers beneath his talons. He surges forth, not to let the turkey escape from his snagging feet and snapping beak. His own anger pulses out, something he's vaguely aware of, as he takes it out on this defenseless animal. It's not quick, it's not painless, but he executes the prey beneath him, spurred on by its gurgled cries and fighting. His weight is used to crush it into the mud and a fierce sound leaves his mouth as he crushes its neck until its movements cease. A mess of bloody feathers cover his own.

Its only as the thrill of the hunt ebbs and flows out of his racing heart that he realizes what he's done, what he's let go off and taken out on the animal that lays limp and torn on the ground. Thunder echoes across the clouds and his neck twists to watch as lightning flashes.

With a calmer heart, Henry blinks over at Noah. He has nothing to say for himself, feeling equal parts disconcerted and contrite. Still, he can't help the apology that forms into words in the bond. [say]I'm... I didn't mean to lose control like that...[/say]