A reluctant partnership
Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
LILLY - Regular - Grey Wolf PAD - Regular - Grey Wolf
Played by: Blackbird Offline
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Posts: 1,711 | Total: 3,324
MP: 3880
#1
Sah

Sah cursed under his breath as he eyed the expanse in front of him. Lilly paced beside him, sniffing the air as her ears flicked back and forth. The pair had taken a different path than normal when crossing through the Feverlands today, and it seemed that they were paying the price.

The Abandoned considering regretting the deviation from habit, but they'd changed paths so as not to disturb a mother bear and her cubs. He couldn't really regret that after all. Who was he to disturb a small family while they foraged? But now he and Lilly needed to come up with a plan. If they doubled back to go around the pits, they'd be home late. And Sah really didn't' want to worry the twins or Cordelia.

"Let's see what we can find, Lilly. Maybe there's a way through." Sah scanned the area around them for anything he could use. Grabbing a long, fallen branch, he prodded the earth around them. Sure enough, beneath the visible leaves laid more tar. "Fucking hell."

It was times like these that Sah really envied Deimos' earth magic. He could have just made a path to walk across. Alas, Sah would have to come up with something else.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?
Talyson Seawright
the Messenger
Courier

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: King's End
Level: 10 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 50 - Int: 1
BOREAL - Mythical - Dragon (Fire Breath)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 1,758 | Total: 7,036
MP: 9470
#2
It was a toss-up between The Climb and the Feverlands, really. Tal couldn't decide which one he liked least, but he had almost come to the conclusion that it was whichever one he was currently in. "C'mon, girl, stay close," he urged the pale dragon who drifted in his wake like a muddy ghost, blending weirdly into the mists that hung over the Tar Pits like heavy, wet gauze and gave her a pearlescant gleam.

His See-Wright goggles were pulled down over his eyes as he neared them, not taking any chances at wandering into one of the hidden, sticky traps that dotted the edges. "Pretty sure the safe path is this way..." he muttered, half to himself as he furrowed his brow in concentration. Being able to see ten feet ahead to follow the firm ground made the route safer, but he still didn't want to waste time taking one of the false, dead-end paths out into the midst of the Pits. It would cost too much time and he was already late getting back as it was.

The little old lady had moved again and it had taken another couple hours to find where her hut had repositioned itself this time so he could deliver the ursur-fur knitting supplies she'd ordered via raven mail.

Boreal's head came up suddenly and she let out an odd Whuff? of smoke. Tal paused and looked around as the images associated with the scent she'd caught slid through their bond and then she was off, bounding along the edge of an inky morass while he swore under his breath and followed with a little more care.

Sure enough, she'd broken through into a clear patch of the mist to try and touch noses with Lilly, scaly tail wagging in greeting and...

There was Sah.

It was too late to try and hide, so Tal stepped forward out of the mist and reached up to rub his neck awkwardly, scowling uncertainly out over the bubbling tar a few feet from their boots. "Uh. Hey. What're you doing out here?"

Nearby, a tar bubble popped with a viscous glorp as if to punctuate his words.
Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
LILLY - Regular - Grey Wolf PAD - Regular - Grey Wolf
Played by: Blackbird Offline
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Posts: 1,711 | Total: 3,324
MP: 3880
#3
Sah

Lilly perked up suddenly and whipped around, tail already wagging. Sah followed her movement and felt his lips twitch with amusement as his companion cheerfully greeted the dragon. Boreal wasn't a nuisance, but her companion was. Not as much as he used to be, but the courier was still annoying most days.

As Tal emerged, Sah raised a brow at the man's clear awkwardness. "Trying to get home. I'm guessing same as you." The Thunder turned and eyed the tar around them, humming contemplatively, "I'm still trying to figure out the safest route." It didn't help that right as a portion of earth seemed solid beneath his prodding, there would be a fizzle and a nearby bubble of tar would pop too close for comfort, rending that route unusable.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?
Talyson Seawright
the Messenger
Courier

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: King's End
Level: 10 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 50 - Int: 1
BOREAL - Mythical - Dragon (Fire Breath)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 1,758 | Total: 7,036
MP: 9470
#4
Tal hadn't been expecting to run into anyone else out here, and he wasn't emotionally prepared for company. He might have prickled up like a hedgehog, but his tone was more cautious than belligerent as he greeted his fellow Halovian.

"Mmm. There's a safe path through the center, but..." Tal scowled out into the mist, which quickly became impenetrable the further from the edge of the Pits one went. "It's not exactly straight, an' it gets pretty narrow in places..." He stopped rubbing his neck for a moment, fingers curling over his spine and nose wrinkling hard before he exhaled sharply.

"I can see through the mist with these goggles. Leastways, a little bit. Enough to find the edges of the path an' see the turns comin' in time t'not walk off the end of it. If y'stick close t'me and step exactly where I do, we'll be across the Pits in an hour. But y'have to do exactly as I say," he warned Sah, meeting his eyes for a second before looking away again quickly. It was weird to not be hurling insults at the Advisor while he was talking.

"If y'don't like it, you can go the long way around," he added after a moment's thought; less an ultimatum than a grudging offer of a viable alternative.
Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
LILLY - Regular - Grey Wolf PAD - Regular - Grey Wolf
Played by: Blackbird Offline
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Posts: 1,711 | Total: 3,324
MP: 3880
#5
Sah

Sah was surprised when Tal had a solution, having forgotten the tendency for Accepted to have magical items on hand. At least, ones that weren't weapons that was. Goggles that showed safe routes, that certainly sounded useful for a courier. And especially for the current situation.

However, the idea of taking orders from Tal left a bad taste in his mouth. But Sah wasn't a complete idiot, it was clear that this was his best option. It wasn't just him that needed to get home after all, Lilly was with him too. Like hell he'd let his pride put his pup in danger.

Sah sighed heavily but nodded. "Alright, Errand Boy. Lead the way."
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?
Talyson Seawright
the Messenger
Courier

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: King's End
Level: 10 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 50 - Int: 1
BOREAL - Mythical - Dragon (Fire Breath)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,758 | Total: 7,036
MP: 9470
#6
A little hmph might have escaped at being called 'Errand Boy,' but it was a matter of habit by now more than any real annoyance. "Meet you on the other side, girl," he murmured to Boreal, crouching to scrub her horns and press his forehead to hers as the dragon crooned reluctant agreement. As soon as he gave her room she took off, heavy wingbeats lifting her slowly above the pernicious mist until she could get an updraft to carry her higher.

Usually she would have stayed at his side in case he needed help, but with Sah taking her usual place at Tal's back it was safer for everyone to have fewer creatures on the narrow path.

After thinking hard for a few minutes, Tal pulled a length of rope out of his Bag and tied a wrap around his waist before offering the other end to Sah and Lilly. "In case any of us does slip in," he offered by way of explanation, figuring the Advisor would catch on fast enough. Roping themselves loosely together would hopefully help with pulling out anyone who got unlucky.

When preparations were complete he adjusted his goggles and then set off down the path, walking slowly but confidently down the center as it started out wide enough for the illusion of safety to lull them into a false sense of security if they didn't know better. "Did uh. Did you have anythin' else y'wanted me to take to Torchline?" he asked in an - only mildly grudging - effort to make conversation.
Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
LILLY - Regular - Grey Wolf PAD - Regular - Grey Wolf
Played by: Blackbird Offline
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Posts: 1,711 | Total: 3,324
MP: 3880
#7
Sah

"Stick close to me Lilly." Sah wished that his companion could fly off to safety as well, but the wolf had no such abilities. Actually, there was something that he could do. Bending down, Sah gestured for Lilly to climb up.

The wolf jumped on cue and settled on his shoulders, her back paws digging into his back. One arm went back to hold her steady, even has he flinched as her claws dug in. But this was the safest way for her.  At Tal's cue, Sah took the offered rope and tied it around his wrist loosely. "Ready."

As they walked, Sah made sure to follow Tal's directions carefully. Lilly had to be adjusted once but their progress was steady. The question however made Sah visibly flinch. "No. I don't." The words were quick, not snappish, but they gave no room for argument. Sah really didn't want to think about Maeve and her fickle ways at the moment.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?
Talyson Seawright
the Messenger
Courier

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: King's End
Level: 10 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 50 - Int: 1
BOREAL - Mythical - Dragon (Fire Breath)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,758 | Total: 7,036
MP: 9470
#8
The courier gave a silent nod of approval as Sah lifted Lilly up and out of danger. If the Advisor fell in they'd be in bigger trouble with two to rescue instead of one... But that just meant he'd have to make extra sure Sah stayed out of the tar.

For Lilly's sake.

The beginning was the easy part, of course. Almost like the Tar Pits were trying to lure people in, but that would be silly, right? Ha... ha...

Tal didn't dare look back while he was walking so he missed Sah's flinch, but the tone of his voice was a pretty clear warning. So of course the courier's curiosity was immediately aroused. "Aren't you guys still friends?" A question that was actually genuine; he hadn't read the letter, but the flower was pretty obviously a courting gift.

Which, if Sah's reaction was anything to go on, hadn't been reciprocated. But Maeve had still seemed to appreciate it, at least.
Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
LILLY - Regular - Grey Wolf PAD - Regular - Grey Wolf
Played by: Blackbird Offline
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Posts: 1,711 | Total: 3,324
MP: 3880
#9
Sah

Sah sighed heavily as he continued to follow Tal. "We are. But...." He paused before simply giving a brief summary. "In the single season we were apart, she went from talking with me about starting a relationship to not only getting with another man, but also moving in with him. Two months were too long for her to be alone apparently. I didn't know until we met in person after I sent the flower. We exchanged letters during Deepfrost and she never said a thing."  

The Abandoned shook his head in disbelief, "And apparently, she's been in love with this guy for years. Even while she was with her son's father. She just kept going with her second and third choices because the one she wanted wasn't available. I refuse to be someone's second choice.

Sah refrained from telling Tal that Maeve had even been his first kiss, one of the things he regretted most about their brief almost relationship.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?
Talyson Seawright
the Messenger
Courier

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: King's End
Level: 10 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 50 - Int: 1
BOREAL - Mythical - Dragon (Fire Breath)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,758 | Total: 7,036
MP: 9470
#10
Tal's ears were as perked as they could be since he couldn't see the expression on his friend's companion's face. He actually stayed quiet while Sah talked, though at least some of that was due to peering through his goggles as he measured the path ahead. He paused his steps once when Sah shook his head, then led them off at an angle to their previous route as the mists curled thickly about them, blocking sight of the way they had come and both sides of their natural causeway as it forked and began to curve away from its previously straight line.

But the courier could see far enough around them to find the places where the black goop bubbled lazily against the packed earth of their route, just waiting for a slipped foot or overconfident stride.

Admittedly it wasn't easy to pay attention to the road with the unexpected twists and turns of the story being related behind him.

"Well... shit," he said succinctly when the other man finished. There was even an undertone of solidarity in his voice that was usually lacking. "I mean. Sounds like you might've dodged an arrow with her?" Otherwise the Wild Thunder would have hooked up with the Queen and never known he was second fiddle... or worse, gotten tossed aside after moving out to Torchline with his kids. "Sorry, man..." He reached up to rub the back of his neck awkwardly, then stopped abruptly, squinting suspiciously at a sudden drop off ahead. He looked around and sure enough, the path continued to the left as he remembered, but much narrower than it had been before. He tugged the rope lightly to alert Sah and then headed off in the new direction.

"Want me t'bring the vodka over tomorrow night?" Because some things transcended rivalries, at least for a little while.
Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
LILLY - Regular - Grey Wolf PAD - Regular - Grey Wolf
Played by: Blackbird Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,711 | Total: 3,324
MP: 3880
#11
Sah

Sah watched Tal navigate, taking care to follow the man's footsteps exactly. The man's words pull a laugh out of him, "Oh for sure. I dodged a swarm of arrows, thank fuck." Truly, as much as it hurt and stung his pride, Sah was so thankful that Maeve had shown this side of her early enough for him to get out mostly unscathed.

At the slight tug of the rope, Sah adjusted his path accordingly. His lips twitched at Tal's clear awkwardness. But the offer for another late-night drink has his smirk turning into a fond smile. One that only shows since the courier's back is to him. "Fuck yes. Top shelf, I'll pay you back."
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?
Talyson Seawright
the Messenger
Courier

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: King's End
Level: 10 - Strg: 44 - Dext: 44 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 50 - Int: 1
BOREAL - Mythical - Dragon (Fire Breath)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,758 | Total: 7,036
MP: 9470
#12
Tal nodded brotherly understanding, even if all Sah could see was the back of his head bobbing. Still, the laugh was good to hear and he took it to mean that the Thunder's heart might have been a bit bruised but it wasn't too broken.

Not that he cared about Sah's heart. But no one needed that kind of pain in their life, and a sad Sah would mean a sad Lilly, which was something the courier wanted to avoid.

That was definitely why he made his offer for drinks and company and at the fervent response he flashed a grin into the mist, content that Sah couldn't see it. "I'll bring the best we stock in Sundries," he promised. "Nine-ish?" Late enough for the kids to be in bed by the time he showed up, hopefully.

With that to look forward to the last of the courier's initial discomfort faded and he paced the route with a straight back, peeling back the mist with the help of Safrin's gift and revealing the safest, fastest route through the Tar Pits until they reached the shore on the other side and Boreal could rejoin them.

And if they made the rest of the trip home after that a race? Well, at least they were tired enough to sleep well that night!

~Fin~


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