I forgot about the sun
for Jigs!
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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#1
I'm heavy metal, I'm hollow wood
He didn't remember what he had been doing: it had just been something, anyway, one of many little tasks he did, endlessly. Mending fences, taking in the harvest, putting away hay for the winter, sweeping the porch, washing up, weeding, something, something, something

But the sunlight had distracted him. As if he was a kitten and the rays a piece of string he had found himself led onto his own porch, somehow sitting down and...

Just sitting.

Eyes closed.

It was one of those days when the world clung to the warmth of summer, choosing to forget that autumn was here, a warm whisper of a time gone by; he was pleasantly warm from work still, and there was no breeze to chase the shadow's chill into his skin. It was just him and the sun, the play of bright reds and warm browns on the back of his eyelids, and the rich scent of life in his nostrils—

Had it ever been like this before? His world, his everything, his barren, dusty, cracked land had paled so in comparison to the wild and mighty Greatwood, and... And his mind spun back to the terrifying events at the top of the Spire, the chamber breaking open and the walls falling and the barrier, with its endless mirage, falling... The world beyond had glittered in the dark of the night.

And the sun had revealed to him the truth.

The Outlanders had been right.

His barren, dusty, and cracked land was barren, dusty, and cracked. It was gray and desolate and dying and for sins unknown he had been punished along with his ancestors (or perhaps they were meant to be martyrs, the necessary, selfless sacrifice for the greater good; or perhaps they had just been collateral damage) and left to slowly waste away in his bleak cell.

So had it ever smelled like this before? Had the autumn air ever been rich with the scent of decay and, somehow, a scent of warmth—warm wood, warm leaves, warm horses? The greens turned to reds and yellows so furiously bright he wondered if something hadn't happened, if life hadn't flowed into the Hollowed Grounds now that the barrier was gone...

He was free.

He was a bird let out of its cage.

And maybe he was wing-clipped only because he did not know that he had wings.

[ SCENE CHANGE MY BRAIN DID NOT WANT TO WRITE: Ella shows up and licks his hand or something and he smiles and laughs and starts ruffling her fur and playing with her ]
just shy of greatness, ah, ah

Coding base by Sky!
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
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Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 40
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,506
MP:
#2
Copper had a unique tang to it, a smell as much as a flavor, hot and living and liquid as he swallowed it down. It was a taste that changed as it cooled, its sharpness dulled as red darkened and the pulse that drove it faded to silence.

In the autumn warmth amid the changing leaves the blood was easily lost beneath the fallen pages of Rae's books, the stories of life writ large in the Woodlands as the sun filtered between those that remained above. The owner of that crimson fall was already gone, traveling limp and cooling in the jaws of a leggy white fox who trotted through the trees and back to the place and person he called home.

Jigano paused at the edge of the woods, looking out over the farmstead spread out below. Hair as gold as the ripening wheat gleamed from the porch, bent over a hound of white and grey, and a laugh rose to where he stood, a sound that lifted his heart as he bounded down towards the back of the house, dodging a stray goat as he slipped under the fence and rose on two legs to open the back door. Dropping the autumn-fat rabbit on the counter to clean for stew later, the fox-eared man headed to the porch to join his mate, settling gracefully to the ground beside Rory and resting his head on the farmer's knee as the hunter played with his hound.

For this one golden moment, all was right with the world.
Unless otherwise noted, Jigano always wears a pair of black and silver bracers with a star design inset on each (Eclipse Bracers), and carries the lantern SoulKeeper at his belt.
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Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
Change author:
Posts: 395
MP:
#3
I'm heavy metal, I'm hollow wood
He was so used to the sound of Jigano coming and going now—and such a strange thing that was to think of, that the silence Karlia had left him with had been so profoundly changed—that he did not register it. He was lost in the moment, in the sunlight spilling over him in warm and gentle waves, lost in the bushy, wagging tail of his dog and the laugh in her bark and the laugh in her brown, warm eyes as she chuffed and lunged for his hands. Sometimes teeth gently closed over them, and he shook her muzzle until she made a most undignified sound and let go, happy as can be, pawing at him and coming back for more.

He was ruffling her fur, saliva-coated hands buried in her scruff, when Jigano came out of the door and gracefully sort of fell down on the porch.

And for once, nothing seemed wrong in the world: everything was just as it should be, with the sunlight on his face, his hands buried in warm fur, the slight weight of Jigano's head against his knee. He did not move his hands—he wanted to, but he found himself stilling, not freezing so much as simply ceasing—even though his fingers longed to trail the sharp line of Jigano's jaw, or touch the thin skin of his soft ears, or gently tug on that silky, white fur—

Slowly he moved one slimy hand from Ella's neck and up along her jaw, tipping it up so that their eyes aligned. She politely, and confusedly, wagged her tail as he carefully brushed a thumb over the soft fur next to her nose.

"I'm thinking about leaving," he said—to the dog, to Jigano, to himself, to the open door of his birdcage.
just shy of greatness, ah, ah

Coding base by Sky!
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Reply
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 40
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,506
MP:
#4
He hadn't meant to interrupt the game, but he felt the stillness that came over his mate as he joined them. There was a weight to it that spoke of thunder on the horizon, a shift in their world like the change of seasons. The sun was warm upon them, however, and Rory's scent calmed and centered him, a bright and living shield against whatever pain the world might cast their way. Jigano knew he could stay in that moment forever, feeling the rough fabric of his lover's trousers beneath his cheek and watching Ella's shed fur drifting in the sunbeams.

He smiled at the hound, feeling Isuma's sleepy thoughts from somewhere above where she had found a napping spot on the roof, and closed his eyes to drink in the moment and wait for his mate to find the words behind the silence.

A dozen questions cascaded when he did, hope and fear clashing in a swirl that might have brought tension to his broad shoulders if he hadn't been touching his lover, his lodestone, his summer storm. His ears flicked, betraying his surprise, but the hunter's presence soothed him now as it had for seasons - had it really been nearly two years since they had met amidst a tumbling pack of vampire gourds? - and just being with Rory calmed and clarified his thoughts in a way no one else could, distilling all he wanted to ask down to one simple concern:

"When would we go?"
Unless otherwise noted, Jigano always wears a pair of black and silver bracers with a star design inset on each (Eclipse Bracers), and carries the lantern SoulKeeper at his belt.
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Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 395
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#5
I'm heavy metal, I'm hollow wood
And perhaps, Rory was just as surprised as Jigano at the words that came out of his mouth: it was not something he had thought about, not something he had planned, not something he had dreamed of while sitting idle in a sunspot. It was something he had realized only as he played with Ella on the porch, a bit of soul thawed from the tundra, a glimmer of fish-scales in the sun in a muddy river.

In the silence, he held his breath.

As a child, and a young man, he had dreamed of the world beyond the barrier, of a world where the Demon did not guard the Spire—he had lost his first lover in a skirmish with it, after all, a bunch of youths drunk on arrogance and hope and sheer stubbornness. Rory had watched most of them die, one by one, torn to shreds by that twisted, wicked thing. Rory had ridden the Outskirts, time and time again, looking for a change, looking for a way out, one that wouldn't kill him as it had killed his mad mother, and instead he had found Outlanders.

Remi had, in some way, taught him that his world was a cage, one he was used to battering himself against until he just hung against the bars—and when it was finally opened, it was like he couldn't understand, or was afraid of what was beyond. He shrunk back into the safety of the known, pulling further and further back, into himself, into the cage, until he barely left the farm and the surrounding forests.

He guessed he was afraid of ridicule, of judgment, of the idea of he, the cautious, careful farmer, leaving—going where?

Maybe it was all just stupid.

Maybe he was just stupid.

"When would we go?" Jigano said to his lap, and Rory's fingers gently moved up Ella's muzzle to her face, stroking her eyebrows.

"I was thinking in spring," he responded, surprised that his brain had a plan at all; that it had more than just half-jumbled dreams and ideas. "Find someone to care for the farm, for Bakshi, over summer, and.. and come back in fall, I guess," because open cage or not, Rory was not ready to abandon what he still had here: a functional life, food on the table, a source of relative income (traded goods, traded favors) for what he grew and bred and slaughtered.

But there was a part of him that wanted to ride beyond the horizon of his known world.
just shy of greatness, ah, ah

Coding base by Sky!
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Reply
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 40
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,506
MP:
#6
He watched Rory’s hands, long fingers calloused by a lifetime of hard work yet capable of such soothing gentleness. They were powerful hands, strong and sure in the fields and repairing fencing or skinning a deer, but then there were the times he reached out to the hounds or horses or his lover with such tenderness that Jigano could only marvel at them.

How often had others asked when Rory would go traveling? Always before Jigano had shrugged and said that the farmer was more stubborn than he was, that Rory would go when he was ready and not before. And aside from LongNight the bard was, in truth, perfectly content to have a home to return to and a lover to lay beside each night, even when all they did was nestle together in the dark.

”Mm. It would be nice to get away from the mud next year,” he agreed, his memories shying away from the blood and death and loss of the last Fiat Lux. He wondered if the festival would even be held for a few years, but if they were already on their way it wouldn’t much matter. ”Wouldn’t need much. Some changes of clothes, a pan and utensils for cooking over the fire… between my nose and your bow we could hunt as we went, or trade work for meals and a roof over our heads if the weather turns wet.”

It would be strange to go back to his wandering ways. Stranger still to do so with a partner by his side, one who held his heart with such quiet strength. Not bad, just… different. A good different, he allowed himself to hope with a warm glow of optimism lighting his smile, even if only Ella could see it. ”Amalia and Deimos might take care of the horses,” he suggested, considering Amalia’s fondness of the equines and Deimos’s unicorn companion.
Unless otherwise noted, Jigano always wears a pair of black and silver bracers with a star design inset on each (Eclipse Bracers), and carries the lantern SoulKeeper at his belt.
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Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
Change author:
Posts: 395
MP:
#7
I'm heavy metal, I'm hollow wood
He had never before had a world that was large enough for travel: how long did it take to cross the Hollowed Grounds on foot?

Not long enough.

On horseback?

Even less long.

Rory had been everywhere within the barrier's destructive ring, and after the storming of the Spire, even at its deadly center: the one part of his world he had been denied. For so long he had had lethal walls, no actual concept of anything bigger, wider, wilder. How can you long for something you do not understand? How can you want something that you cannot even hold in your mind? How do you know how caged you are, when you have never known anything else?

It was not strange that he had been frightened.

"Tsk," he teased gently, smiling at his dog and scratching her cheeks, "such vanity." Oh, he knew full well what Jigano meant—the disasters of the past Fiat Lux were fresh in the minds of most, but...

But that was the life he was used to: unpredictable, suddenly violent, suddenly deadly. Even though the Spire Demon had had clear rules, other, dark things lurked, and there was LongNight...

And he became acutely aware of how little he knew of the wider world. In this corner of Caido he was an expert, a professional, competent and capable in his niche of goat-raising and farming. But what did he know of traveling? Of how to barter with strangers? Of anything?

He was momentarily daunted, sighed and let go of Ella's sweet face. She keened softly and nudged his wrist, as if asking if she had done something wrong, and he comforted her with a mumbled don't worry, girl and a hand in her ruff. "I suppose," he said quietly, looking beyond his loyal dog. "And I suppose you travel better on your own four feet, mh?"
just shy of greatness, ah, ah

Coding base by Sky!
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Reply
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 40
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,506
MP:
#8
"Always," the fox replied contentedly, secure in his vanity and utterly shameless in it. Rory pulled him back from the brink of bitter memory with gentle teasing, soothing over the hurt of seasons past and deaths already mourned and drawing him back to the present moment where sunlight warmed him through and Ella's happy panting at the attention made his own ears twitch at the memory of the magic those fingers could muster when applied to just the right places.

He considered reaching out to tease the hound as well, but her bond with the hunter ran as deep as a lifetime while their own was far more recent in comparison. A year to a dog might as well have been a decade, but Jigano's habit of spoiling the hounds was a drop in the bucket compared with the attention of the man who raised them. Long-fingered hands remained still in his lap instead as he nestled his cheek against Rory's knee and idly considered what it would mean to be on the road again, this time as two (or four, or six) instead of one.

"Mmm." It was a noncommital sort of hum as he listened to his lover's sigh and turned his head to press a kiss to his knee. "You can carry me, if you'd like. That would be a better way to travel," he teased gently back. "I don't know how well Bakshi would like Torchline, though. And he'd hate Halo." The steady old gelding was Jigano's preferred friend for riding lessons, the two comfortable at their own pace when Esaia wished to outrace the wind. "Too cold, and not enough carrots for him there."
Unless otherwise noted, Jigano always wears a pair of black and silver bracers with a star design inset on each (Eclipse Bracers), and carries the lantern SoulKeeper at his belt.
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