[SEASONAL EVENT] Heartlight
for Rory
Jigano Silversmith
Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 25
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 1,568
MP:
#15
Jigano cracked an eye open to watch Rory and Isuma from time to time, his singing growing a little unsteady as he held back laughter at their unlikely little band. Both the gryphlet's enthusiastic peeping and the hunter's increasingly silly lyrics were almost more than he could take without rolling into the snow in gales of wriggling vulpine humor.

The luxere weren't in a hurry to reach them, but their approach was at a steady meander, curious as much as drawn to the singing. Many humans sang to them in the winter, some in voices sweet and clear, others gruffly, reluctantly, but still with respect. It was rare that anyone other than children sang with such lighthearted fun and lack of dignity, but it didn't seem to bother the gentle creatures. It was the intent and the attempt that they appreciated, and besides - this was a very unusual little group. At the very least they were worth investigating more closely, if only for the novelty of a man, a fox, and a small gryphon sitting in the snow and singing together in the strangest choir any luxere had seen in quite some time.

The gryphon's voice trailed off as the first luxere crunched a hoof into the snow nearby, nosing about at the last leaves of a nearby bush. Her yellow eyes widened as she grew still in Rory's hands - then stretched up as high as she could reach on her hind legs, in danger of overbalancing as she tried to get a closer look. Obligingly, the luxere swung its head over to sniff at her, careful with its antlers so as not to hit Rory by accident. Isuma put her foreclaws gently on its nose while she investigated it for a few seconds before the much larger creature grew bored and huffed gently, pulling away. The gryphlet toppled forward with a squeak while the deer went back to grazing, curiosity assuaged.

Jigano had fallen silent when the luxere had turned to examine his companion. He wasn't - quite - worried, but the size difference was significant and he was just a little tense until the encounter had concluded and Isuma was left safe - if a little ruffled - in Rory's hands. The fox shook himself ruefully, the collar and bag once again swinging at his throat, and he paused to consider their surroundings. Well... it wasn't quite what he'd had in mind when he'd first set out that morning, but the luxere were as good as a blessing and the brief terror of his visit to the farm had faded.

He settled into the snow and contorted himself, trying to get his paws to reach the collar and slip it off over his head, wriggling around until he'd finally managed it. The blue-eyed glance he slipped to Rory was almost shy as he picked up bag still attached to it, and deposited it on his friend's thigh before sitting back, managing to look both proud and embarrassed at once as his tail twitched and his ears flicked in small movements, his foxy body language far less controlled than what he managed in his human form.
Only simple tables without images or background colors when threading, please. It's much appreciated!
Leatherworker
Age: 28 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 338
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#16
Rory wasn't a very serious creature, at least not when he could afford to not be: he was the kind that would draw a mustache in charcoal on your face if you fell asleep around him, but in important matters—like loyalty, and empathy—he was an entirely different beast. He was whimsical, not shallow.

By the time the Luxere made it close enough to touch he had exhausted the story of the owlkitten's kingdom's rise. It was populated largely by her defeated enemies—brought to heel by her wit and charm and destroyed with snuggles, now reformed as masterful cuddlers and groomers—and her loyal, adoring subjects. Though, to be fair, her defeated enemies were also her loyal, adoring subjects these days, because who could resist this charming little creature? And in her palace burned candles and incense for her mythical Fox Guardian, a white spirit who was rarely seen but rumored to swipe down with relentless fury if she was ever threatened.

Not to mention—he sang slyly, looking at the fox—it was thought that she'd learned to so unashamedly enjoy scratches and cuddles from her elusive Guardian...

It may or may not have been accompanied by Rory trying to stroke its head and scratch its ears.

(It totally was.)

He was just mindlessly singing the gryphon's praises and virtues by the time she silenced. He sang for a little longer, not ending on a particularly grand note, mostly just fading out as he watched the young creature rear up. Without thinking about it he put one hand just below her chest, helping her balance as she put her claws on the reindeer's muzzle. He smiled, and then laughed gently as she fell over forward into his hand. "Easy there," he mumbled, reaching out a hand for the Luxere to sniff, before slowly touching the back of it to its cheek. It flinched a little, but as he wasn't about to eat it, it let him touch it, and after a couple of seconds was leaning into a nice jaw scratch. "Mmh, not so bad, eh?"

The fox's antics caught his eye, and—still scratching his newfound friend, the other hand curled around the gryphon—he turned to look. It seemed to be scratching itself vigorously, or.. no.. that wasn't right. It was pushing at its neck.. at the collar? And sure enough, the white fox popped out of the collar, grabbed it by the bag, and.. gave him one of those uncertain glances. Rory just waited, and the fox put the bag on his thigh.

It was for him?

Obviously it was for him to open at least.

His fingers stilled in their scratching. He didn't know what to say, so he said nothing, just shifted the owlkitten so she wouldn't fall off him when he let go of her. His heart was beating a lot faster than was warranted; his hand was almost shaking as he grabbed the little bag and opened it, letting whatever it was inside fall onto his upturned palm.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Jigano Silversmith
Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 25
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,568
MP:
#17
Jigano knew exactly what Rory was implying, but he was too busy 'singing' to try and refute it. Besides, it was hard to make a convincing counter-argument when gentle fingers slid into his fur and he relaxed under their touch in utter contentment. Isuma gave an extra little warble at that, feeling her companion's joy through their bond and approving whole-heartedly. Jigano's friend really was wonderful! A sentiment the fox's heart echoed as he leaned trustingly into the scritches Rory offered with gratifying confidence after the time they'd spent together.

The luxere's approach might have brought an end to the singing, but not to their easy camradarie as a fourth creature joined their little party. Rory easily steadied the little gryphlet so she didn't really fall, but stared up at the gigantic creature in utter fascination as the hunter continued to make friends with it. Even after she was deposited on his lap she was more distracted by the deer than the more emotionally complicated moment going on right beside her. Tail curling and uncurling, she sat obediently to watch it grazing.

What fell out of the bag wasn't large. It was barely two inches long, in fact, but it gleamed in the winter sunlight. Made from solid silver, it was a charm in the shape of a fox - a very detailed and nearly life-like little fox, in fact, and it reflected the snow around them until it was nearly as white as the creature who sat with such hesitance beside his friend, watching Rory's reaction with anxious blue eyes and a heart that was beating far too fast in his narrow chest.
Only simple tables without images or background colors when threading, please. It's much appreciated!
Leatherworker
Age: 28 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 338
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#18
First impression: bright.

Rory felt like he needed to just sit there for a while if he was to comprehend what he was seeing at all. It was just so.. unexpected. The idea that the fox had very intentionally, very specifically brought him something had been the furthest thing from his mind when he first saw the leather collar. It wasn't so much a lack of self-confidence, or even a history of never being given things (because he'd been given plenty of things, for his birthdays and the like), it was just...

Unexpected, yeah. While his heart always lit up with joy at seeing the white fox, he hadn't thought it'd bring him a present of any kind.

He didn't even know why.

Once the initial shock at being given something so nice faded he lifted his palm to inspect it closer. It was a fox, all silver, finely crafted—there was nothing crude about it, no detail forgotten, nothing that was not exactly as it was meant to be. From the tip of the nose to the inquisitive position of the ears to the fluffy tail... Gently, Rory raised it upright on his palm. It looked like it might take off at any moment, to play with its larger self.

"It's beautiful," he breathed, watching the way the snow and light played off the fine surface. "But not as b-..."

Rory trailed off, again viscerally reminded of the fact that it wasn't just a particularly intelligent and engaging fox, but a human mind behind those bright blue eyes. Someone he knew nothing of. Someone he.. someone he what?

Someone he was self-conscious of flattering, apparently. Rory's cheeks colored a little as he looked away from the real fox and back to the tiny silver one, turning it over in his palm. It even had a little ring hidden in its scruff, so that he could attach it to a chain.

In terms of singular monetary wealth, it was probably the most expensive thing Rory had ever held, but even that paled in comparison to how touched he felt at the gesture.

"Thank you," he said, quietly, but sincerely. He turned it around in his palm again, pulling his fingers out of his mitten to run them just beyond the surface of the silver, afraid of leaving marks on it. "Did you.. did you make this?"
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Jigano Silversmith
Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 25
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,568
MP:
#19
Jigano watched Rory anxiously, hoping that his friend would like the present he had worked so hard for. Facing the Labyrinth, getting attacked by a boggart and the killer squirrels, arguing with Remi, gathering firewood from his performances in the Rathskeller, and then using his own silver coins, unique on Caido for being from his world and nowhere else... He had wanted something special to give to his friends, the ones who made Caido more like a home than anywhere he'd known in the past three years. But of them all, only Rory didn't even know his name... There was a sadness, there, mingling with the fear of what the quiet hunter would think if he ever saw Jigano as a man and not a fox. Maybe, if he'd shifted the second time they'd met... or the third...

But now he'd gotten himself in too deep. He didn't know how to reveal himself without losing the wordless friendship that had become such a powerful anchor in his heart, without losing the gentle touch of a welcome hand, or the beauty of Rory's smile. The gift was as much an admission that he was an Attuned as Isuma was, the little gryphon finally distracted from the luxere to crawl up Rory's stomach to peer into his hand and what he was pushing around with his fingertip.

The hunter's words, his tone, his body language - all had relief washing through the fox, a wave of release that had his ears perking up and his muscles quivering just slightly in happiness that the gift was accepted and appreciated. He cocked his head to the side in curiosity as his friend bit off the rest of what he was going to say, though. Not as b--? Big? Bright?

...Oh.

The blush provided the final clue, and he was suddenly very glad that he had fur to hide his own inevitable reaction to the compliment. Which was silly, really, he was a bard, compliments were as common as water to him. So why, then, did this feel so much more... personal?

Not that Rory had actually said it, though. And maybe he was wrong, and misreading the situation. Maybe the other man had been about to say something else...

Not knowing what else to do, he rose slowly and crept closer again, settling himself to press warm fur against Rory's leg, and daring to rest his head on his friend's thigh. Isuma reep!ed happily and scrambled over Rory's legs to crawl onto the fox's back, her mind full of warm, fuzzy images of giant luxere noses and wind in her downy feathers. Jigano snorted softly in amusement and fondness, but his attention focused immediately back on the human when he spoke again. The gratitude was welcome, but the question was... more difficult. Raising his head, Jigano met blue eyes with a sense of helpless silence. His ears flicked back and then forward again, a low whine in his throat that he dared not voice. Cautiously, as though he didn't quite trust the gesture, he tilted his head to the side, then dipped his muzzle in an approximation of a nod, though not a very certain one. A very un-foxlike gesture, and one that hurt to make as another layer of protection was torn away between them.

Now that the music had ended the luxere started to move away, though slowly, after whuffling Rory's scent and that of the little white fox to remember for later need.
Only simple tables without images or background colors when threading, please. It's much appreciated!
Leatherworker
Age: 28 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
Change author:
Posts: 338
MP:
#20
He found himself wishing he had three hands: one to hold the silver fox, one to almost poke it with, and the third for petting the living fox. However, sprouting a third arm wasn't in his repertoire, so Rory forsook the rather pointless activity of not-really-touching the fox charm and placed that hand on the fox's shoulders instead, gently scratching at its neck and behind the ears.

A gentle smile curved his lips as the little gryphon took the chance to climb onto her bonded, and he moved his hand out of the way for her little conquest.

He didn't know what sort of answer he expected to his questions—certainly not a verbal one, and he didn't get that, either. But what he got was.. ambiguous, sort of. The uncertainty of its flicking ears; the imploring stare before it tilted its head, and gave what could've passed for a nod. Rory grunted in response. There wasn't much else to say about it, aside from asking twenty questions that could be answered as straight yes or no. Curious as he was, he didn't feel like engaging in that sort of prying activity: it somehow felt worse than outright trying to force the fox into shifting.

Like wanting everything it hid away from him, but not admitting it.

"I'll just put this somewhere safe," he said, going through his pockets for some twine or leather cord, and he usually always carried around some work debris. It was the curse of not emptying his pockets more frequently, but in this case, it served him well. He threaded a thin cord through the ring, then rolled it up in a small piece of thin leather he found in another pocket, before tucking it all away in one he trusted to not spill it.

Content to sit out in the snow with his wordless friends, Rory put his hand on the fox's head again, scratching and stroking its jaw, cheeks, ears, neck; if he hadn't felt like his question had somehow.. done something, and if he hadn't been so acutely aware of the fact that it was an Attuned, he likely would've tried pulling the fox onto his lap and given it a good old-fashioned hug, but as it was, he remained sitting, just petting it.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face


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