[Seasonal Event] Three is Company
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
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#1
It was a sunny Flowerbirth day – at least for now – which made it an ideal day to be outside rather than cooped up in the Guildhall staring at books. Jigano loved gleaning knowledge from their pages, but it was definitely a pastime better suited for cold weather or rainy days rather than these bursts of warmth and brightness that raised his spirits and left his feet itching to be out wandering the world.

As was so often the case since Long Night, his feet had a specific direction they wanted to wander, too. One that would go well with a bit company.

”Amalia,” he had called, slipping out of his office with Isuma balancing on his shoulder, ”I was just thinking that maybe we could…”

And so they had. Two humans and a gryphlet and a basket of bread the librarian-baker had brought for the guild and a sack of spring carrots purchased on the way past the market made their way through the Settlement and over the fields and through the woods and across the streams and to the farm of a certain blond hunter who he eagerly hoped was home.

As they came up on the house Jigano called out, his tenor carrying with practiced ease. ”Rory? Do you need any help today? Amalia and Isuma and I thought we could lend a hand with a bit of Flowerbirth cleaning up, if you’d like.” It was, as the pair had decided on their walk, the least they could do after Rory’s hospitality over Long Night, however interrupted it had been.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#2
After the events of Long Night, she has kept somewhat to herself. Her body and mind continue to heal- she is tired, stretched thin, her bones and sinew and neurons and blood all nostalgic for the feeling of death. At night she wakes up in the dark and finds herself in leopard form, panting and whining at her ghosts, unforgiven and unloved by her mother, her grandmother. Her friends.

She is crumbling, cracking, and it is nobody's fault but her own.

Ah, but she rallies, she always rallies, and when Jigano catches her creeping toward the guildhall the smile she arms herself with comes easily enough. She follows him readily, grateful from the distraction, her quiet nature a natural cover for the deeper exhaustion which grips her soul. The walk is long, but she does not protest, merely leans on her antler staff and coaxes stories from her jovial friend. It is only as she truly registers their destination that the girl's resolve begins to fail.

The anxiety that tickles her throat mounts to a fever by the time they reach Rory's- will he want to see her, after what she did? Is he healed, or does he still hurt like her, both in his body and his soul? Part of her hopes he is not home; another aches to know he is. As Jigano calls out the girl lingers back, masking her fear by feigning deep interested in the dogs.
a m a l i a
You were young and you'd stare With a reverence unimpaired
Searching in your dark eyes to find the stars already there


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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#3
Vaya—braver and not neurotic, like the other—gave her customary warning (or, well, announcement, like the herald reading out the names of invited guests) bark before sauntering over towards Amalia and Jigano. She was obviously the Queen of the Yard, her step bouncy and determined and confident despite the age that was creeping up on her. A few silver hairs flecked her nose, but she'd likely deny their existence even if you held a mirror up to her.

Her black tail wagged as she licked Amalia's hands, happy for the attention while Ella sulked among her goats. Her goats, not Vaya's. Ella was the herder; Vaya was the guardian.

Rory, on the other hand, had been in the large barn. The Long Night monsters hadn't had reason to touch it, but the animals he kept within for the week-long darkness always managed to fuck something up. In this case, they had achieved the rather impressive feat of mangling a feeding trough, and Bakshi had kicked the planks off one side of a stall. He probably hadn't been happy about being left alone with nothing but goats.

Rory hadn't bothered dealing with it at first. He had had other concerns, like.. motivating himself to do anything at all. He had almost a year before it needed to be serviceable again—

and maybe not even then, with the spire unguarded, and everything getting fucked up, and who knew what Long Night was even about, and Wessex's monsters, and fucking everything

—but on that particular day, he had actually gone inside to inspect the damage more closely. He was dressed in well-worn leather trousers—he'd got fed up with tearing the fabric of his other ones each time he did yard-work a long time ago—and an off-white linen shirt, sleeves rolled up, top lacing undone, golden hair braided messily. By the time he'd kicked the damaged trough a couple of times for good measure and resigned himself to his fate of picking it apart, Vaya barked.

And soon after a very familiar voice called out, making his heart skip in an unexpected way.

At least it wasn't a ghost waiting for him this time, but a Rory that actually did things. Things he had neglected, and was so behind on.

He brushed some escaped hair out of his face and hastened outside, looking happy despite the shadows still clawing around in his mind. The burn scar was a dragon crawling up his throat and onto his cheek. "Jigano! Amalia!" he cried happily, thinking of when he'd seen them last—when Ronin had died—

And trying not to think about it.

So he went to the closest one first, which was Jigano, and tried to give him a brief hug of greeting—and grabbing his hand to squeeze—before heading over to Amalia and Vaya. Once he reached them he gently nudged the dog out of the way, before trying to wrap Amalia too in a welcoming, relieved hug.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
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 was more than glad to see Amalia again, and though he noted her quiet distraction and the circles under her eyes he did not press her. Long Night had left scars on all of them, and most of them weren't visible on the outside. He had been the lucky one, in more ways than one. The wounds he had taken when he had hurt them both had largely been salved by their forgiveness, and the no-longer-tenuous bond that had come from that night in the Infirmary at Rory's side. Amalia had her bakery, and her childhood friends, and he had hoped she had been finding similar solace with them, but the longer the walked the more he worried about her. They would need to find some time together soon, and not just to discuss what they were going to do about Ludo's mission... But for now, at least, he could spin stories to make her smile and hopefully help her forget some of her demons for a little while.

The sun could take a few lessons from him, was his first thought as Rory came towards them. He looked good - more than good, in fact, in leather pants and the light in his hair and his smile bright enough to turn spring into summer. He didn't entirely trust the change from his last visit, but he was more than happy to encourage and enjoy it for the moment. The hug came as a surprise, but a very pleasant one. He had been hugged before, and recently, and by friends--

But when Rory's arms came around him something tight and tense in his chest eased, and he felt himself relaxing into the brief embrace and returning it, pressing his cheek to the scar that snaked like a badge of honor over his friend's skin. "Rory," he murmured happily, as Isuma reep!ed excitedly and tried to hop onto the hunter's shoulder, rubbing her soft little face against his uninjured cheek as well.

He parted reluctantly, but the hand that slipped into his kept the smile in his eyes as he stepped far enough away to let Rory and Amalia make their greetings. It felt good to be reunited with them, brought together by joy instead of fear. Isuma was so happy as she caught his own surge of emotion that she was squeaking as she tried to nuzzle Rory and Amalia at the same time, and Jigano had to stifle a laugh at her precarious balancing act on the blond's shoulder. He pulled a leather tie from a pocket in his wide sleeve and began to quickly and neatly braid his hair back with deft fingers and the ease of long practice to give him something to do other than stand around awkwardly.

"We're here to help you today," he grinned, winking at his friend - at both of them, brave hearts all. "So don't hesitate to put us to work!"
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#5
Vaya's warm nose is moist upon Amalia's hand, a welcome anchor to the world for the girl so often cast adrift. The smile she gives the friendly dog is soft and sincere; for a moment she is lost in thick fur and a smooth tongue, the scent and sound of the guileless beast. It is all she can do not to transform, to disappear into snow leopard form and shed her human woes behind. "It must be nice," the girl murmurs, kneeling down to press her face into Vaya's neck, the staff forgotten by her side. She envies the dog her constancy, the freedom she wields without being aware: she wishes she could be so bold.

It must be nice.

The whole walk here her companion has been merry, as though none of it matters, as though nothing has changed- and though Amalia appreciates the kindness of distraction, she cannot shake the memory of Rory's crumpled figure, crumpled face. Peering now through lowered lashes, she wonders if she will see it in life.

The reality is both better and worse. Rory's voice cuts like a knife, and though she does not want to look, she cannot help a sidelong glance as Jigano calls a bright reply. Happiness, a smile; for a moment she hopes. He does not hate her; he welcomes, her, even, and it feels as though things will be alright. But it's not: it never is, when your brain is against you, your greatest strength acting as constant saboteur.

Half-rising, Amalia watches as the men wrap each other in an embrace, something in their face the she cannot name but which causes an empty pang to resound in her chest. It is the way they linger, their cheeks touching, their hands held... the tightrope walker on her heartstrings falters in its dance, jealousy biting at its heels. What place does she hold among them, the older, wiser, stronger pair, Isuma cupped against their faces; what is she but a rain cloud in their sun?

She wants to shift, to shrink, to vanish. Amalia wants to run away from the thing she sees, the thing she cannot have.

Two is company, but three's a crowd.

She turns away quickly, and so she does not expect the hug. Swept up suddenly in Rory's arms, the girl stiffens, eyes widening in surprise, the warmth of his body a fire on her skin, the scent of him heavy in her nose. Helplessly she looks toward Jigano, but instead meets the eager gaze of Isuma, the little gryphon also there. How-! And why-!

And why not, she at last decides, her own arms reaching out to return the embrace, snaking cautiously around Rory while resisting the urge to bury her face in his neck.
a m a l i a
You were young and you'd stare With a reverence unimpaired
Searching in your dark eyes to find the stars already there


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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#6
There was something about holding Jigano—

The brief press of his strong body against his, arms encircling, touching, acutely aware of the shape of his chest and waist and hips, the warmth of his smooth cheek against his scarred one—

Dangerously, the breath caught in his throat, a single, dark moment of wishing it was only the two of them, but he genuinely, truly couldn't. He was so glad to see Amalia again, out of the Infirmary, not watching a man die, just here, in the sun, hugging his loyal old dog. It was just that in that one, brief moment, when he was so aware of Jigano, it was difficult not to wish for more of it.

But he released him. Everything had its time and place. The gaze that flashed to his face was difficult to read, both shy and elated, then he reached up to stroke Isuma, balanced so on his shoulder, as he made his way over to Amalia.

Oddly enough, she had turned away from them, almost away from Vaya too, and when he reached out to hold her it felt more like capturing her—as if she had been going somewhere, about to leave them behind. He felt her stiffen, turn, Isuma's feathers tickling his unscarred cheek again as she butted her face against theirs.

But then she relaxed, put her arms around him too, reminiscent of the hug they had shared beneath the Spark Bird. And oh, how different she was to hold from Jigano, how slender, but just as precious. He held her a little longer than he'd held Jigano—an embrace he had nearly fled from, in hindsight—as he mulled over what it was that felt so .. off. Slowly his arms relaxed, hands drifting up her shoulderblades to hold her upper arms as he peered in her face. "Are you alright?" he asked her softly.

Had he had mobile ears, one of them would've flicked back at Jigano's cheerful comment, but as it was, he couldn't do that. So he tilted his head to look at him, melting again at the sight of him in the sunlight, the way his fingers worked through his hair—

Ugh, you sappy ass.

He let go of Amalia, but tried to put a hand on her upper back, urging her to join them in more than just body, Vaya trailing happily at her heels. "I have a mangled feeding trough to fix, and Bakshi's kicked down a stall wall," he said with a grimace. "So you might as well help with that. Let me just see if I can scrounge up some fitting gloves.. splinters are a bitch." And with that he disappeared towards another outbuilding, return a couple of minutes later with an odd assortment of gloves of varying sizes, testament to the fact that others had lived and worked on the farm at one point or another. Some gloves were mended many times, and some had been torn, or just worn thin, and apparently the time nor motivation to mend them had not been found yet.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
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:
#7
It was, he realized after Rory had let go and it was too late to call him back, the first time that they had shared a hug. It had been far too brief, but the look on his friend's face seemed to promise that it wouldn't be the last, and that shared, unspoken desire soothed the regret of their parting. His own smile was uncharacteristically shy, some of the confidence he worked so hard to present to the world slipping to reveal a man walking an uncharted path, but one he chose gladly.

And then Rory slipped away to capture Amalia, whose company Jigano had shared all through their walk. While he had caught a flicker of her discontent in her quietude and distraction he had not realized how uncomfortable his greeting to the hunter had made her until he looked over and found her turned away, hiding behind her lovely hair and the solace of Vaya's attention. Rory, strong and loyal, sweet and true, would not let her wallow in her loneliness - and neither would Isuma, ecstatically eager to have two such wonderful people, so important to her bonded companion and herself, to play with and love.

His expression softened as Amalia let herself accept the hug, and he finished tying his braid off with a self-conscious fumbling of his fingers as the look Rory gave him sent a shiver up his spine and threatened to leave him breathless. As the pair broke apart from their hug he stepped forward to meet them, falling in on Amalia's other side and attempting to capture her hand with shy fingers unused to taking the initiative... but he would not leave her out of the warmth that settled over the four of them as Isuma made tiny, happy sounds on Rory's shoulder before making a remarkably coordinated leap to Amalia's shoulder instead - definitely staying well out of reach of the dog below, who had once chased her and given her companion such a fright!

"I may not be the strongest," Jigano admitted with a rueful grin, "or much of a carpenter, but I can at least clean out the old debris and help carry things!" He squeezed Amalia's hand and then loosened his fingers in case she wanted to free herself from his forwardness, but he didn't pull away until she did. He might have said more, but Isuma decided to take up the conversation at that point, reep?ing coaxingly to get Amalia to use her free hand for scritches as Jigano laughed quietly at her shameless importuning.

It gave him a chance to make more formal greeting to Vaya, and by the time Rory returned he was scratching the dog's ears as a tentative peace was reached between fox and hound. He chose an oft-mended pair that likely belonged to Rory - they shared similar long, slender fingers at least - and pulled them on as he began heading for the barn. "I can start sweeping out the splinters from the damaged stall," he suggested, "so you two can focus on the trough?"
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,971
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#8
Rory's hands are stabilizing, anchors for her ever-wayward mind. Looking up into Rory's eyes, Amalia cannot help but relax, some of the tension leaving her slender frame as she regards her constant friend. "No," she answers honestly, but it is with a short laugh and a wry smile, humor and sadness mixed within her face. Almost without thought she moves forward again, wrapping her arms back around his waist in a tight, ardent squeeze, a far more enthusiastic hug than the one she had given moments before. "But I'm better, now," she whispers into his neck, before releasing him and stepping away.

Turning back to Jigano Amalia smiles, her face at last regaining some of its earnest color, though she is still a shadow of what she was. For a moment she is distracted by Isuma's attention, letting loose a soft laugh as the creature lands upon her shoulder. Jigano's fingers slip easily into her hand, and Amalia glances up wonderingly, amazed at how quickly she has gone from being alone to being part of them. It leaves her breathless; she can only smile, glancing shyly between the men before reaching up to scratch the gryphon between her shoulder blades.

Amalia squeezes Jigano's hand before letting it fall away, her attention returning back to the gryphon whose need for attention seems without bound. "I can do a little carpentry?" she offers, looking at Rory with uncertainty once more rising in her face. Amalia is a baker, not a farmer, but she knows how to work hard. She takes a pair of gloves from Rory, smaller than many of the others, and wonders idly if they belong to his sister as she slips them onto her hands. "Just tell me what to do."
a m a l i a
You were young and you'd stare With a reverence unimpaired
Searching in your dark eyes to find the stars already there


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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#9
He wasn't sure what he was looking for in her familiar face, uncertain of how to label what he saw there—it was difficult to identify. Hard to pick apart, when he didn't know what had put it there in the first place. It was the kind of tension he only realized had been tension when it eased, recognized by its sudden departure rather than by its presence. No, she said with a laugh. His gut did something complicated.

He knew what she meant, he knew how she felt, and there wasn't a whole lot he could do about it. It was the kind of thing that went deeper, required more time to fix than anything he could do there and then.

She put her arms back around him and he held her again, something cold and infinitely sad pricking at his heart.

The Long Night dark had taken one sister from him, and given him another.

"I'm glad," he replied in a murmur, the low volume of his voice allowing him to hide his heartache. He blinked something warm and wet from his eyes before stepping back, laughing as Isuma abandoned his shoulder in favor of Amalia's.

If it sounded a little fragile, it was because it was.

He returned to find them lavishing attention on the critters present: Jigano scratching Vaya, who probably did not associate him at all with the white fox she'd defended her goats from, and Amalia with Isuma. A crooked smile spread over Rory's face as he watched them select gloves, before pulling on a pair himself. He followed Jigano into the relative dimness of the barn, dumping the unpicked gloves into a nearby (and dry) bucket.

"You could take apart the trough, and see how much of it you can salvage for a new one?" he suggested to Amalia. They were pretty easy to understand and make, so once they knew what they needed, replicating the broken parts wasn't all that hard. "And Jigano and I can bring down the stall wall. There's some tools and nails over there," the last bit accompanied by a wave of his hand in the direction of said tools and nails.

Unless either of them protested he'd proceed to the broken stall and began to work loose the broken boards.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
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:
#10
He might have been a little jealous at how much more easily Amalia opened up to Rory than to him, but she had known the hunter all her life, and the two of them would always have things that he could not be a part of. The bard took that thought philosophically, if a little sadly, knowing all that he had willingly given up on his world even before the portal to Caido had changed the course of his life forever. But there were new memories to be made, and friendships to strengthen, and he stepped forward to offer his support to gentle Amalia while Isuma basked in the scritches at the base of her wings and peeped happily.

And if Jigano took a few long moments to admire Rory’s retreating backside, well, he hoped the girl wouldn’t blame him.

Gloves on hands and Rory’s guidance in his ears, Jigano set to helping his friend with enthusiasm, if not skill. Luckily destruction didn’t call for much finesse – but neither did he have a lot of muscle to ease the way. He settled for studying Rory’s technique and attempting to copy it on the other side of the busted boards, levering and rocking the nails out by using the boards themselves to ease the way. And the occasional kick from a booted heel when finesse proved ineffective.

Soon enough the splintered, broken wood was freed and the bard gathered it up in a nearby bucket, transporting it outside where they could salvage the nails later, and the wood could go to Rory’s fireplace, leaving the area inside free for the skilled farm owner to begin repairs.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,971
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#11
Amalia falls to work with the vigor of youth and purpose, spurred into action by her unwillingness to reflect. Though her claimed knowledge of carpentry may have been something of a stretch, what the girl lacks in knowledge she makes up for in enthusiasm, and a wild willingness to help. So she sets to work with hands and crowbar, ready to pry away the ruins and prepare for a fresh rebuild, a Flowerbirth hymn falling easily from her rosy lips.

Many minutes and not a few splinters later, Amalia sits back and surveys her work, wiping sweat from her brow. Her muscles ache from the work; she has managed to cut her cheek lightly, as well as both her arms, but the flush of accomplishment belies those wounds, and the smug pride in her expression suggests she does not mind the cost.

There is a pile of useful timber on her right, smaller than the useless stack but still good. Standing up with a deep stretch, she gathers an armful of splintered woods (earning more scratches on her arms) and proceeds outside, following Jigano to the salvage pile and dumping her load atop.

Then, if he will let her, she moves behind and to his side, wrapping her arms around him and taking a moment to prop her chin atop his shoulder and enjoy the weariness that comes from hard work. With a contented sigh she pulls away, inhaling deeply from the aromatic spring air, a warm smile on her sunlit face.
a m a l i a
You were young and you'd stare With a reverence unimpaired
Searching in your dark eyes to find the stars already there


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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#12
He found himself humming along to Amalia's hymn under his breath, the Flowerbirth praise a warm thing in his soul. Not fire, but sunlight: the words were a mumble, occasionally punctuated by a grunt as he found something that defied his efforts and required him to work. Sweat beaded on his forehead and trickled down his back and sides. The work in and of itself wasn't that demanding, but there was just something about working with your arms occasionally held up. It was exhausting even if you didn't do anything.

There was something so familial about the whole thing that almost made it painful: the silence that was not a silence, for there was the hymn he and Amalia sort-of sang together, and the noise of wood creaking, splintering, thudding to the ground with that peculiar wood-crash sound. But they didn't speak, yet somehow they were three facets of the same thing, working in unison.

He found himself blinking more than sweat out of his eyes again as he thought of Karlia's thick hair catching the sunlight, glittering gold, just like his own. Her daring, feral grin as she looked back over her shoulder: are you coming, little brother?

So when Jigano carried the destroyed timber outside and Amalia followed, Rory remained where he was for a moment. He sniffled against the burden of memory and love, pulling a sweaty hand from the glove and rubbing the back of it across his eyes.

Soon enough, he would need answers.

But not yet.

He bit the inside of his lower lip as hard as he could without hurting too much, using the pain to focus himself again. He could fall apart later, some other time, when there wasn't work to be done. When he was alone—it was a private sort of grief, a mourning he wanted to do when no one was watching.

A door he just wasn't ready yet to let anyone through. Rory rubbed his face one last time before pulling on the glove again, and looked outside. Amalia stood with her arms wrapped around Jigano, and for a single, surprised moment he felt a twinge of uncertainty—something he knew he could easily label jealousy or fear or possessiveness, or.. anything unpleasant, really.

Then he gave his head a small shake.

He knew better than that. So as if he just hadn't been on the verge of crying over his probably-dead sister he stepped back out into the sunlight. "Sure is faster with three sets of hands," he said with a wry smile, using his boot to nudge the scrap pile. "Come on, let's get some of those fresh planks." He began to walk towards a pile covered in waxed and oiled hides, which revealed a small treasure trove in the form of, well, planks: cut lengthwise, some with a rounded surface as they were the edge of the tree, some entirely flat. They were rather fresh; he had a sort of long-term post-Long Night agreement with a woodsman. It involved things like a timely delivery of planks, goat's cheese, and thick wool socks, among other things. And stories. Boy, had he enjoyed the one about the deer hunt turned wolf hunt...

With Jigano's help he moved the planks they needed into the barn, and set about to replacing the wall section Bakshi had so considerately kicked a hole in.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
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:
#13
It wasn't a song he knew, but it was one he listened to intently before joining in with a wordless humming counterpoint, adding a light note to the harmony of his companions as Isuma hunted dust bunnies and drifts of goat fur across the stable floor. There was a serenity to the work, in part because of its simplicity but more for the company and the warm affection that threaded silently between them. It was a strange and precious thing, something Jigano had never really known before, and he cherished it with a distracted sort of wonder for how good it felt.

Was this how it should have been, traveling with his old friends? Friendships that weren't built on necessity and survival and wariness, but instead on choice and love and trust? Was this what Rory meant about the difference between 'wanting' and 'needing' someone? Questions he didn't know how to ask, and was a little afraid to have answered, for what it would reveal about him - to himself as much as to his new friends. And so he kept the words tucked inside for now, losing himself instead in the physical effort to break down the damaged stall.

He grinned at Amalia as she joined him outside with her own load of broken wood, but he was taken off guard when the young librarian wrapped her arms around him in a spontaneous and gentle hug. She'd been wise, catching him from behind so he could return it properly, but for once he didn't flinch, and instead he pressed his hands atop hers where they met at his middle. Such strange things, hugs. He kept expecting to be singed or scratched, remembering other hugs from another person. He missed her terribly...

But Amalia was the opposite of Yohgel in every way, and it was easier to accept her spontaneous affections as he grew more used to them - and as the memories of his former world began to grow more distant. He let her pull away and turned to grin down at her, basking in the smile that suffused her face now, a far cry from her expression on their walk over. It suited her well, and his smile softened at the young woman who was becoming as close to him as Val - the closest person he'd had to a sibling - had been in his youth.

That soft smile warmed with a flicker of a different sort of heat as Rory joined them. The fine sheen of sweat on his brow was a good look for him. Then again, everything was a good look on him, as far as Jigano was concerned. Just being near the hunter was a gift, and the nearer they could be, the better, since even before Long Night.

"Ever at your service," he murmured with a sly grin as he strode along at the blond man's side to help gather and shift the planks into the barn. He might not have been a carpenter, but a bard of his experience had a knack for picking up simple skills quickly, and he soon fell into a rhythm of hammering the wood into place across from Rory as they rebuilt the wall so that it was even stronger than before.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,971
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#14
Amalia turns at the sound of Rory, the smile still lighting up her scratched and dirty face. Her moment with Jigano was welcome, warm, but it is warmer now that Rory is here- and again the baker glances between their faces, thinking she sees something in the looks exchanged. She may be young, but she is not dense, not oblivious the the simmering bond which runs a different course than that which binds her to them. Amalia chuckles quietly to herself, stepping away as Jigano leaves to stand by Rory's side, that small pang of loneliness buried beneath contentment of work, happiness with the day. Nodding, she too goes to collect some wood, following the aureate men into the old barn.

Another hour or so of work, and Amalia steps back, wiping sweat away from her brow. Her work on this part has been slow, laborious, unimpressive in its yield, and as the girl looks upon it a growl rises from her gut. Turning a bashful grin to her companions, Amalia puts her tools down and raises her arms into a stretch, falling forward to graze the ground with her fingers and wincing as her back crackles and pops. "It's getting late," the girl remarks, eyeing the laboring men. "Why don't I go in and start making dinner? I'll let you two, ah, finish up on your own..."

There is no mistaking the mischief in her voice, the twinkle in her eye. Before they have a chance to retaliate Amalia is gone, disappearing into the waning daylight and retreating to the safety of the farm house.
a m a l i a
You were young and you'd stare With a reverence unimpaired
Searching in your dark eyes to find the stars already there




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