Personal Quest [Seasonal Event] early morning predators
Remi Abruzzo
Alchemist
Age: 20 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 25 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 10
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#29

Still frozen, Remi fell unceremoniously to the hardened ground. Thinking that the appearance of a lion would be enough to drive the wolves away, Remi found himself somehow surrounded by more wolves.

I still cannot move! Remi called towards the fox he could no longer see. Hearing the yelp, Remi strained against the magical frigid bonds holding him together. Though he could not see Vai, he could feel the flighty minds of the birds he'd send for her and Rory and felt relief flow through him. The alchemist trusted Vai with more than his life, and even though he couldn't see the bow aimed at him, it wasn't the first time the huntress had shot him if it came to that, and probably wouldn't be the last. He was more than large enough to sustain an arrow should her shot go awry.

But then of course there was Rory. Kind, but hardened Rory. Something in Remi's stomach gave a flutter at the thought of his friend seeing him like this, prone on the ground in the body of a predator but unable to move. Yet the man's presence inspired confidence and though the man within the lion still tried to force his body to move and be useful in any way at all, he was confident in those around him.

REMI
How do you steal what you really want
When what you really want is free?



Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.

Speaks with an Italian accent.
Leatherworker
Age: 27 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 15 - Luck: 5
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#30
Blood: hot and savory, running through the wolf's teeth as they sink deeper into the white, blood-flecked shoulder. A growl rumbles through his body, eyes closing as the fox goes for them again, but to no avail: Jigano's fangs scrape against skin, failing to find purchase.

Perhaps the fox is weakening.

With victory sweet and close he prepares to shake the fox, hoping to stun it, when:

His sister gives a warning bark from her place where she's been nosing and licking the lion, looking for the most savory spot. The wolf holding Jigano opens one eye, seeing her stance, ears forward, tail up, snarling, and that's the last coherent thing he sees. The smell of human sweat mixes with that of fox blood, and a sound sings through the winter air before the earth is the sky and the sky is the earth and his vision warps into blood and trees and fractured dreams—

There's fire in his chest, burning, burning; the world darkens as his breath wheezes out once more

but not in again

as the sun sets on his life.

For a second longer the other two wolves hold where they are, taut and tense, their eyes moving from their slain brother to the approaching humans; the she-wolf contemplates going for the fox but he's too big to carry away easily. Something snaps collectively in their minds, and as one they wheel away, disappearing into the forest, silent and defeated.

Only the dead wolf is left behind, cooling in the disturbed and bloodied snow.



Shit

The air was cold and harsh in his lungs, but he barely noticed: all he had eyes for was the white fox in the wolf's jaws. The blood. He froze with his bow up, not sure what he was aiming for, what he should be aiming for, so afraid of hitting the fox that his fingers trembled on the bowstring.

But Vai saved him. Her arrow flew straight and true, into the wolf's ribcage, and in its death throes it let go of the fox.

The other two fled, leaving a—whatever the hell it was—behind. Rory didn't notice, just threw his bow into the snow and stumbled forward, full of relief and self-loathing. He collapsed on his knees by the fox, unwinding his scarf and pressing the wool against the wound, soaking up the blood and trying to stem it at the same time.

"Shit, I'm so, so sorry," he mumbled under his breath, voice weak and trembling, hands unsteady, heart unsteady in his chest. For a few moments the fox was all that he could think of, but he briefly looked up from what he was doing to look around again. "Where's Remi..?"

What would they do if they had to go on, and look for him?



Jigano struggles to find purchase against the wolf, his teeth just scraping along its face

Vai shoots and kills the wolf chewing on Jigano

The other two wolves fuck off at that!
Vervain Calob
Mistress of the Rathskeller
Age: 35 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 15 - Luck: 8
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#31
The fierce victory sang through Vai's blood as her arrow struck true, and she allowed herself to release a shaky breath of relief that she hadn't hit the fox in the wolf's jaws. As the others turned tail and ran Vai set off towards the lion and the injured vulpine, letting Rory take over and using the opportunity to get to Remi and check he was alright. "I have a little healing magic," she called to Rory. "How is he? I can help if you need."

First, though, she wanted to know just why the lion hadn't been able to take out the wolves, or put up a fair fight at the very least. The sight of the frost glittering upon a tawny pelt told the story for her, and Vai frowned as she approached. "I can get a fire built," she murmured, working her fingers affectionately through the lion's mane. "Hopefully you can start to thaw out."

Smiling, she flicked her gaze back at Rory. "This is Remi - he can become a lion as well as a hawk," she explained, before glancing to the downed wolf. "Would you mind if I had the pelt from that?"
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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#32
Fear. Pain. Struggle. Fight! but all the fight in the world couldn't change the size difference between fox and wolf, nor could a swift intellect outpace the grinding pressure of entrapping jaws that tore and bruised and tried to break the little body caught in them. His consciousness faded to a red haze of panic and fierce determination to leave his mark on his captor before the red faded to black and the black faded to silence and he, who had killed would-be gods, fell to the hunger of a simple animal.

It was Vai who saved him, though he did not know it at first. The huntress's arrow stole breath and life alike from the fierce predator crouched over him, its heavy jaws tensing a finally time before suddenly loosening in the relaxation of death. Jigano twisted free as it collapsed, limping a few steps before also stumbling and falling into the snow, panting and wild-eyed with pain and confusion. He didn't notice the other wolves leaving, nor even the great, frozen lion a few yards away. He was shivering in reaction and shock, his shoulder and leg awash in red, and he flinched as a shadow threw itself over his vision before Rory dropped to his knees at his side.

He didn't even recognize Rory, at first. He whimpered as the scarf was pressed against his shredded skin and torn muscle, turning to snap at the renewed pressure against his wounds--

But the scent that filled his nose was not wolf or threat. It was safety, and warmth, and trust. His sharp white teeth woulddn't even break the surface of Rory's skin, if they had even closed on his friend's hand at all. Instead he licked at the wrist and hand pressing the cloth against him - trying to stop the bleeding, he realized belatedly, as he tried to reassure his worried friend as best he could while staining the snow around him crimson.

For a wild animal, the injury might have eventually killed him. But did Vervain say something about healing magic? Gods most fortunate, he hoped so. He didn't think he'd die from this, but it was hard to think through the pain when all he wanted was to curl into a ball in Rory's arms and pass out until the hurting went away.
Remi Abruzzo
Alchemist
Age: 20 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 25 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 10
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#33

Through his peripheral vision, Remi could sense one of the wolves collapsing while the other two scurried off into the night. He could smell blood, thick and hot in the air wafting towards him, and the lion rumbled a low warning sound as saliva began to drip from his open mouth. His muscles coiled beneath a body still magically frozen—luckily for Jigano—and despite the sudden and pressing desire to finish what the wolves started, he was calmed by the sudden appearance of Vai’s hands in his mane.

With a rumble, one of his ears twitched as he heard Rory ask about him, and Vai explain that the frozen lion on the ground was actually him. With the threat seemingly gone for now, Remi allowed himself to shift back into his regular body, his head in Vai’s hands as his pale eyes looked up at her. Unable to move more than small twitches of his muscles, he tried on a grin (which ended up just being the corners of his lips twitching), and offered the huntress a wink to indicate he was okay.

ish.

REMI
How do you steal what you really want
When what you really want is free?



Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.

Speaks with an Italian accent.
Leatherworker
Age: 27 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 15 - Luck: 5
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#34
He was more shaken by the sight of the bloodied fox than he had thought he would be. Rory had dealt with blood and gore and death and loss countless times before, but never before had it quite so much felt like his fault. What if he had understood right away just how dire things were, and hadn't taken the minutes to hastily hoist the deer? But—he had caught up with Vai, so surely he had not lost that much time?

But still his hands trembled as the wool fibers soaked up the blood, his throat thick and eyes burning with shame. The fox's head came around, teeth closing around his nearest hand, but instead of bite, it just .. held it. "Ssh, it's okay," he whispered, and the warm tongue came out to lick against his wrist instead. Rory took a steadying breath and pulled the fox halfway onto his lap. It didn't seem to him like it would protest much, and even as he told himself it was to better be able to apply pressure on the wound, it was just as much for another reason: to hold him close, and feel that he was still alive.

Then Vai spoke up, revealing that she had some healing magic. Rory took another second to steady his breathing, wrestling down the voice that kept on insisting that this was all his fault and that he was useless (if Vai hadn't been here, would he have been able to shoot down the wolf? he'd been stunned and shaking, after all). "P-please, if.. if you would," he managed, weakly. He hadn't been able to assess the damage, judging the blood loss to be the worst and focusing on stopping that.

As he asked about Remi it turned out that the frozen-looking thing next to them was a, called a lion and b, was actually Remi. Rory blinked, and looked over his shoulder. At this angle he couldn't quite make out what type of animal it was, but it was tawny and muscular as all hell. A predator, then. "Oh," he said, vaguely annoyed that he had yet another thing to worry about. Remi was just lying there, but he didn't seem injured, so what was wrong..? He threw a glance at Vai, who did not look particularly worried, though.

Well. What did Rory know about anything, after all? "What's wrong with him?"

But just as he asked it the lion shifted back into a man—heart-wrenchingly familiar, snow and frost coating the curls Vai's hands were running through. Strangely enough, he did still not move, though he seemed to be conscious, for his eyes were moving. Rory frowned, and his gaze then followed Vai's to the wolf, and at her question—request?—he just nodded, subconsciously shifting the fox a little more into his arms. "No, go ahead," he said quietly. "You deserve it."
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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#35
He wasn't sure if it was Rory's hands shaking, or himself. He wasn't sure it mattered, either. Rory had saved him, was here for him now, and it had been so very long since he'd had someone he could trust at his back. When the hunter shifted him into his lap, the fox did his best to help, whimpering as torn muscle protested, but snuggling as close to his friend as he could, if the man would let him.

Once he was settled and no longer trying to move, the blood flow did begin to slow, thanks in large part to the pressure Rory was placing on the wounds. It hurt too much for him to relax, but hearing that Remi was in one piece - if still affected by whatever had stopped him from fighting back earlier - was a relief all on its own. Taking a careful breath, Jigano set his nose against Rory's hip and closed his eyes, trying to perk his ears up in spite of the pain to reassure his friend.

It also let him hear a bit more of what was going on around them, now that he wasn't so worried about an impending and bloody demise. Injured, yes, but not dying. His lungs were filling with air, and he didn't feel any pain from his ribs. Only his left shoulder throbbed with the beat of his heart, and he had lost more blood than he was comfortable with (which was any, really), but not yet a life-threatening amount thanks to Rory's quick thinking. It could have ended worse, he decided ruefully as he listened to the sounds of Vervain moving and Remi... breathing? What was wrong with the boy? Everything had happened so fast...

He tilted his head up, opening one blue eye to check on Rory's expression and making a small sound of comfort for his friend as Rory pulled him more securely into his arms.
Vervain Calob
Mistress of the Rathskeller
Age: 35 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 15 - Luck: 8
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#36
"What am I going to do with you?" Vai sighed to Remi, though his wink did earn a lopsided smile from her. She smoothed back his curls, glancing worriedly at the frost that covered him, unable to think what might have caused it. Still, thinking wouldn't defrost the alchemist any quicker, so Vai set down her bow and quiver and unbuckled some of her furs so she could drape them around Remi. Hopefully the extra warmth would help while she saw to Jigano.

Nodding her gratitude to Rory at the promise of the wolf pelt, Vervain padded across the snow to lean down beside man and fox. "Okay... just keep holding that like you are," she murmured to Rory, smiling and carefully holding out her hands to the Fox. Breathing slowly and evenly, Vai felt the familiar vein of magic ignite within her, suffusing her hands with light and warmth.

Jigano would feel the pain dissipate, first of all, before she began to work on closing the wounds in his shoulder. How much she would be able to accomplish, she didn't know, but hopefully it would help.
Remi Abruzzo
Alchemist
Age: 20 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 25 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 10
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#37

The pelts over his body seemed to help, though being all but locked-inside was perhaps one of the strangest and most frustration sensations he'd ever experienced. He could blink and swallow, and, if he really tried, could twitch his lips slightly. But his body seemed entirely disconnected from his thoughts in a way that he wasn't sure he'd be able to stand for long.

Trying to relax as he listened to Vai dealing with Rory and the attuned who seemed not to want to shift or reply to him, Remi let his eyes scan the snow-laden leaves above. The moment made him wonder if this was what death was like, to be utterly without bodily recourse and to simply be left while others were tended to. Blinking slowly and knowing that the frown he felt was not apparent on his face, the alchemist set to trying to wiggle his fingers or toes.

REMI
How do you steal what you really want
When what you really want is free?



Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.

Speaks with an Italian accent.
Leatherworker
Age: 27 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 15 - Luck: 5
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#38
It was a relief to feel the fox press against him: somewhere, in his mind, Rory was still acutely aware of the fact that there was a human mind beneath the white fluff and behind the blue, blue eyes, and knowing that made him wary of overstepping boundaries.

But then and there, it seemed to have been the right thing to do.

Then Vai was leaning down over the fox, and Rory's fingers—on the hand not keeping up pressure on the wound—dug through fur to work gently against its skin. He had watched a couple of magical mendings before, but it never ceased to amaze him. Vai's hands lit up, and even though they were not focused on him, he still felt the gentle warmth radiating from them. It was soothing, in so many ways.

After a couple of moments he dared to release the pressure he'd kept up, and balled up the bloodied scarf before depositing it on the snow next to him. The magic was truly amazing—while it wouldn't wash the blood out of its fur, it knit the flesh and veins back together, and Rory's eyes could see it all.

"Thank you," he said when she was done, and he meant it. He couldn't really figure out why it had gotten so badly to him—the guilt, the worry—but at least it was letting go of him. Sniffling a little, for the cold helped to make his nose run, he shuffled around so he sat facing Remi instead, but with the fox still on his lap, unless it decided to take off. Without really noticing he ran his fingers through the fur, avoiding the shoulder but occasionally pausing to scratch along the jaws and throat. "I can go look for firewood," he volunteered, though truth to be told, he was loathe to let go of the fox—but he was worried about Remi too, and very much wanted to help in getting him thawed out. "While I've never seen this particular thing happen before, well.. it's Caido. Strange things happen here. Since he's still alive he ought to be alright once it lets go of him." He ran the back of a bloodied hand across his face, mostly to wipe away at his nose and eyes.

"What a mess this turned out to be, huh?"



Thanks for participating, I hope it was not boring at least <3 I figured we could try to wrap it up? I'm going to say some animals have been chewing on the offal from the deer but the bodies were mostly untouched (maybe someone had gnawed on a leg or so but they didn't manage to bring them down), so neither meat nor hide got ruined, really. I guess they'll pick them up on the way back eventually!

Vai's healing magic ought to heal most (like 90% at least?) of Jigano's wounds
Vervain Calob
Mistress of the Rathskeller
Age: 35 | Height: 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 16 - Endr: 15 - Luck: 8
Played by: Honey Offline
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#39
"It's my pleasure." Vervain smiled to Rory kindly, waiting until she felt she had done all she could for the little white fox before drawing her hands back. The glow and the warmth faded, and whilst Vai felt a little lightheaded from the exertion, she was confident she would be alright. Nodding to the other hunter at the suggestion that he get firewood, she straightened up so she could pad back across the snow to where Remi was trying to get his extremities to cooperate.

"That would be wonderful, if you could. I think we could all use a rest after this, and hopefully Remi will be able to explain better once he can speak again. It looks as though something froze him..." Whatever had happened, they likely wouldn't be on their way again until both alchemist and fox showed certain signs of being able to move unaided. Until then, it was a waiting game. And Rory was right - a damned mess it had turned out to be.



I really enjoyed this! Thank youuuu! <3
Remi Abruzzo
Alchemist
Age: 20 | Height: 5'11 | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 25 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 10
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#40

Can you tell them I am alright? I do not want them to be worried. I do not feel injured...just...stuck. Remi thought towards Jigano, still under the impression that he was an attuned who had, for some reason, lost the ability to communicate. Without being able to turn his head he was unable to see what or where everyone was, until Rory suddenly appeared seated next to him.

Doing his best to smile (really all he could manage though was a slightly crinkling around his eyes and lips), Remi let his eyes wander towards Vai wanting to nod in agreement at the suggestion of a fire. Magically imposed though this might be, good old fashioned heat seemed to be just what he needed.

And so Remi was forced to wait and thaw out.



<3
REMI
How do you steal what you really want
When what you really want is free?



Force and magic can be used against Remi without permission.
Let me know if you want to kill him and we can chat.

Speaks with an Italian accent.
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 449
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#41
He trusted Rory, and he liked Vervain, and between the two of them he held still and quiet and let the lady do her work. The lifting of the pain was like a weight from his shoulders, and he relaxed into his friend's arms as the healer used her magic on him. He wasn't sure how it worked, and so he didn't move until the warmth faded. As Vervain started to pull away he turned his head to try and give her hand a grateful lick, reveling in the feeling of being whole and unharmed again. There was still an ache where the wounds had been, a lingering soreness as if from a much older injury, but he felt far closer to normal than he had any right to, after a fight with a wolf.

He was utterly content to stay in Rory's lap after that, the quiet physical attention - petted, scratched, soothed - utterly unfamiliar and thoroughly cherished for its novelty. Exhausted from the run, the fight, and the healing, he laid his head down on his friend's thigh and would have stayed there until the hunter had to move--

--if the damned mental voice of the boy hadn't pierced his thoughts like a spear, no more welcome than the wolf's teeth punching through his skin. Without thinking about it, his ears flattened and he let out a low, rumbling growl towards the frozen young man who had caused so much trouble. The fox shook his head sharply, as if to clear the whining of a particularly stubborn insect from his ears. Reluctantly he pushed to his feet, testing his leg to make sure it would hold his weight, before he turned his head to Rory, giving his friend an earnest whine of apology. Nosing his friend's hand, he gave him a parting lick and then padded away, glancing behind a few times as he left the little gathering to put some space between himself and the pushy hawk-boy.

He wouldn't leave them entirely, not when the wolves might still decide to return, but he moved out of sight - and hopefully out of mind of the pup - to pace the perimeter of their little makeshift camp and warn away any predators who came sniffing after the blood spilled so copiously across the snow and Rory's scarf.


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