[Seasonal Event] Many Paws Make Light Work
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,194
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#1
Long Night's depredations had left their mark mostly on the Settlement and Outskirts, among the dwellings of those who the monsters had sought to reach. The wild places had survived largely intact on their own, but Jigano had noticed that the Shrine in the Glade had gone untended for a week and more, while humans had huddled in homes and basements away from the dark. He might have lost the blessings of an Oracle in his transition to Caido, but the respect and impulses to serve as a buffer between the mortal and the divine remained in him, and so it was that, when he could steal a moment to himself, he and Isuma came to their home in the Glade and from there to the edge of the white stones that ringed the Shrine.

They both came on four feet, as soon as they were out of sight of the Settlement, Jigano flowing into his fox form and enjoying the stretch and ripple of supple vulpine muscles beneath his sleek fur. Silvery scars still traced his shoulder but they didn't hinder him thanks to Vervain's healing, and they were hidden beneath his white coat. He stretched his legs as he trotted through the blossoming underbrush, Isuma gamboling happily after and chasing his fluffy brush of a tail - when she wasn't distracted by newly-emerged insects that buzzed and hopped away from their passage.

He might have used his human form to begin the cleaning, but it felt good to be back in his foxform after so much time spent researching in books and walking on two legs in the settlement. There was a lot he could do even in this shape, and he set to it with a will when he arrived and found the Shrine unoccupied. There were branches brought down by ice and wind to remove from the Shrine's grounds, and Jigano took them in his jaws and either carried or dragged them outside the circle of stones, depending on how big they were compared to him. Isuma did her part, too, proudly carrying the smaller twigs behind him as the sun caught her pale fur and made her look like a little glowstone herself whenever she stopped moving.

Amalia
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#2
It is a somewhat comic sight: the leopard with a bouquet of flowers in its mouth, fierce and feral yet brought to heel as she slinks and springs toward the shrine. Ever a place of solace from madness, the Glade is no exception today, and the feline who bounds through the sunlit trees is a far cry from the shaded, shadowed girl. Lavender, lilac, lilies all are clutched between her ivory teeth, leaving a spray of petals and scent as she makes her way toward nature's shrine.

She pauses. There is a scent in the air, at once familiar and yet stronger, more, invigorating and entrancing to her new wild senses. Amalia lowers her body to the ground, her tail raised like a flag, flowers still grasped comically in her mouth as a steady purr rises from the bowels of her breast.

A twitch, a step- and then she leaps, cream-and-black body flying like a bullet into the space where her quarry stands. As much of a grin as she can muster is plastered on her face: she doesn't realize that they don't know her, only knows that she knows them, and she wants nothing more than to be with them now, to wrap herself around Isuma - My sister! - and chase the fluff of Jigano's tail. She is a wild thing, and they are her herd, her family, her cloud.
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


Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,194
MP:
#3
Jigano may have been distracted by work, but Isuma's hearing was even more sensitive than his own and she was distracted by the world around her. She heard the slightest crush of grass beneath large, soft paws and turned to look - and her stick dropped out of her mouth as her golden eyes grow wide and round and delighted at the biggest cat she had ever seen. Jigano caught the edge of her sudden emotion, glancing back--

He dropped his own branch and leaped high as the snow leopard launched herself towards them, incongruously shedding flower petals in her wake. Isuma! he cried in warning, but far too late for the little gryphlet to dodge such a big predator. Not that she needed to - knocked rolling by a big, gentle paw, the little gryphon squeaked gleefully, a tail that was a tiny match to the intruder's lashing with joy. The fox landed on four stiff legs, fur puffed and bristling at first, but his nose caught something familiar and reassuring from the newcomer. Something he couldn't quite put a name to... but the leopard could only be an Attuned with flowers in her mouth and a purr in her chest that rumbled like distant summer thunder through the glade.

Slowly, cautiously, the fox relaxed, tilting his head as his flattened ears began to rise and swivel towards the big cat, a curious whine in his canine throat.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,745
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#4
Her prey is sent sprawling, and Amalia rumbles something like a laugh. Shaking her head she rattles the flowers like a toy, plans for offerings momentarily forgotten in the excitement of play. She is a young thing entranced by a child, guileless and gleeful, for once unburdened by her fears.

Reaching out a paw as large as Isuma's head, she moves to tumble the gryphlet down before turning to her friend. Human-Amalia would have recoiled and retreated beneath Jigano's stiff posture and aggressive stance; leopard-Amalia does one of those things, softening her stance and raising the volume of her purr as she appraises her friend. She is unaccustomed to this role: the bolder, the fiercer, the predator, the beast.

Beneath the shield of the leopard skin, she is still just a child wanting to be loved.

Slowly, gently, she lowers herself down, falling onto the grass and rolling onto her back. The submissive posture is a promise and invitation, and her black eyes never leave the fox's blue. It is a fascinating mirror to their first meeting here, when she was in terror and he set her at ease. She hopes that he will open to her in this form, as she has slowly opened to him.

Behind her, her tail continues to swish, an open invitation for Isuma to practice her pouncing skills.
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


Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#5
Isuma was easy to tumble, rolling like a bit of dandelion puff across the greening grass until she came up on her feet again and bounded back towards her leopard-friend with squeaks of gryphonish joy. She recognized Amalia, no matter her shape, and the sense of familiarity and trust she sent to her companion helped Jigano to relax a little further, even as he stared and sniffed and tried to figure out the mystery of their newly-arrived playmate.

For it was play she desired, not violence or bloodshed, that much was quickly clear. Isuma made a flying leap for the fluffy end of a tail that was nearly as big as she was, and Jigano couldn't help but snort and settle back to a sitting position at the newcomer's reassuring posture. His ears flickered in indecision as he watched her for long moments before rising again and taking tentative steps forward, stretching out his neck as carefully as he could to sniff at Amalia's upside-down nose in a more courteous greeting - and trying to get a better feel for who she might be, who seemed to know him, or at least approached him with such optimism and friendliness.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,745
MP:
#6
Jigano's nose is met with her own, large and cold and seeking him. Still upside-down, she exhales firmly against his face, a friendly whuff warm air escaping the leopard's lungs. His scent on inhale is sweet and smooth, at once both familiar and yet more. To her improved senses he is more than a smell: he is a song, a light, a memory, a hug. Amalia's purr increases in volume as she draws her face away, not yet ready to offer more, though a mischievous light remains in her eyes.

The large head is replaced by a paw, batting playfully at the silver fox. On her back she wiggles and squirms, daring him to try and escape her swipe, to play along with this game of catch- his speed and her strength an even match, his slender limbs and delicate build a contrast to her stocky bulk. Meanwhile her tail continues to sway, swatting at the ground around Isuma before rising up into the sky, daring her to put those wings to work.
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


Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#7
He didn't know this stranger who came in an unknown feline form bearing flowers and playful, purring greetings--

Or did he?

He sniffed at her muzzle, letting the blend of strength and sweetness, flowers and incense, books and bread fill his head, and recognition flashed through him as she whuffed an exhalation and batted at him with one of those great, soft paws.

Amalia?! But... how? Stunned by the revelation, only his subconscious instincts saved him from being bowled over as Isuma was, the gryphlet utterly distracted by the fluffy tail that danced and flitted in tantalizing reach. She was far too young too fly, but she was wise enough to wait for it to come down into reach before making her pounces at it, Reep!ing loudly in delight.

Jigano shook his head as he stared in open wonder at the feline who was his friend, trying to reconcile the shy, gentle librarian with this confident, playful cat. It was her though, he was almost certain of it as he looked into her dark eyes, and Isuma had no doubts whatsoever. Tentatively at first his ears perked up fully, tail wagging slightly on the green grass of the Shrine lawn. Then he was moving, running, pouncing to try and land on that thickly-furred chest, a bark of delight escaping as he shed his dignity and gave himself over to the unexpected celebration of the moment.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,745
MP:
#8
At last the fox relaxes, and Amalia whuff's her happiness, swatting now with the other large paw, deadly claws carefully sheathed. When he leaps upon her she cries out in surprise, mewling excitedly but not quite moving, the black eyes solemn as they gaze upon the fox. His sudden comfort is a message that does not need words, and though it fills her with excitement, the excitement is clouded by nerves and doubt.

He knows her. He knows her. It is a relief and a burden, a change in dynamic she wanted, but didn't expect so soon. She has yet to tell anyone else of her new nature, her true nature: chosen, blessed, Attuned. A sacred shield, a marvelous mask, it is less secret than private, perfect, hers.

And now theirs. Through onyx eyes she stares at the creature, unblinking, hopeful, helpless, ready for... for what?

Amalia does not know.
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


Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#9
He had expected her to dodge, but the long, fluffy feline lay still for his negligible weight to land squarely on her chest. Caught by surprise at his unexpected 'victory' he balanced for a moment, weight shifting as if to leap off of her again... then crouched instead, flopping to lay on her ribcage with his muzzle resting on his forepaws as he looked down along her ruffed neck to the square, soft face with the now-familiar eyes.

A soft whine rose in his throat, a questioning sound, as his tongue lapped out to lick his nose in uncertainty. Has she been Attuned all along, as adept at hiding her shape from him as he had been from her? Were they two souls who had kept secrets, each for reasons of their own, in a world where such things were considered so casual and normal that people were offended when you did not tell them such a personal, private thing? Oh, but he could understand her not wanting to trumpet this intimate piece of her soul to all and sundry, and his whine took on a more reassuring croon as he wriggled off her and got all four paws back on the grass. He didn't go far, though, but bent his head to press his sleek forehead firmly against her whiskered cheek, offering reassurance and acceptance and asking nothing in return until she was ready to give it.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,745
MP:
#10
He seems to accept her, and warmth blooms again inside her chest. He has always accepted her, her anxiety and uncertainty, her fervor and belief. Gratitude and happiness overtakes the girl, who reaches out to hug the fox, large paws seeking to wrap around the smaller creature on her chest before quickly releasing as he leaps away. When he presses against her she responds in kind, extending a thick, sandpaper tongue to gently groom his forehead, the purr in her chest melodious and deep.

Though happy to remain in this peaceful mood, a rustle of noise interrupts the moment, keep and sharp in the predator's ears. And though she is content in Jigano's friendship, Amalia is ready to return to action. She rolls over onto her belly, suddenly alert, her dark eyes bright. She is a frightening spring of coiled power, a threat and a promise- and though she is gentle, though she is shy, she relishes the ferocity of her leopard form. Peering at the bushes behind the shrine, the feline is a silent stalker, the muscles of her body taut. She glances at Isuma, a silent Watch this, kid, in her eyes as she readies for her quarry to make a mistake and expose itself to attack.
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


Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#11
He couldn't purr, but Jigano grumbled happily, tail wagging as Amalia hugged him and licked his forehead, submitting to the grooming with a grace he hadn't expected of himself. Perhaps it was because she was also in animal form, or perhaps he was just becoming more used to being touched by his friends, but he made no effort to pull away from her affection until the leopard suddenly flipped herself over and crouched, eyes dilating with excitement. The fox couldn't help but huff a laugh, settling back onto his haunches and calling his gryphlet companion away from her game of chase-the-tail to watch her big sister at work.

The quarry in question hopped into view a moment later, blithely oblivious to the playful predators across the Shrine's clearing as it nibbled delicately on some of the large flowers bobbing lazily in the spring breeze. While most animals in the bubble tended to be smaller and scrawnier, this rabbit looked like it had fed well over Deepfrost, lean and sleek and well-muscled. Three times as large as a normal rabbit, it appeared to have mutated a pair of sizeable fangs to go with its bunny claws, and the tail of a smaller rodent still hung out of the corner of its mouth, revealing what it had snacked in during the snowy season.

Isuma's questioning reep caught its attention, long ears swiveling as it looked back at the trio of predators - and it bared its sharp teeth in a most unrabbit-like snarl before it gathered its muscles and dashed towards the oasis, zigging and zagging in unexpected bursts of speed and changes of direction as it went.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,745
MP:
#12
It is a rabbit, small and near-silent, all long ears and slight nose and paws and the scent of prey. Remarkably large, it makes an impressive target for the leopard's first hunt. Some might call it overly ambitious to take on such a mutated beast, but Amalia the feline does not stop to consider this. Each inch of her body is coiled and tight, hungry and eager, coiled and aloof. She lies in wait, the cautious creature preparing for an opportune moment-

That is, until Isuma lets out a reep.

Amalia springs when the rabbit moves, but it is a moment too late, and her great paws light on nothing but soft grass. Snarling her displeasure at missing her mark, the baker-turned-hunter quickly pursues, her muscular body following the rabbit's inconsistent pattern with her own straight line. She may be an animal, but she is still human at soul, intelligent and perceptive, more than a match for an errant hare.
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


Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#13
Jigano was content to sit back and watch this hunt. He didn't know it was Amalia's first, but she had sensed the prey before he had, and she had the right of first chase. Besides, it was a good lesson for Isuma to watch, the gryphlet paying rapt attention to the snow leopard and practically vibrating with excitement against his side. The fox shared his commentary with her in mental images and a warm sense of support that flowed between them and through the telepathic bond shared by Attuned, whether they wanted it or not.

The rabbit was swift and strong, having outrun every other predator that had tried to make a meal of it since its birth. It was also clever, a hunter in its own right, and Amalia would find its darting course taking it behind first the glowstones of the shrine's circle, and then behind trees and and bushes as it dodged into the forest around the glade, using its terrain to its advantage and continually blocking her view of it. Her route was shorter, but the rabbit was just barely fast enough to stay out of her reach as it tried to escape her jaws.

Not wanting to lose sight of the chase, Jigano crouched so Isuma could hop onto his back and grip his ruff with her talons before he loped after the leopardess and her prey, trying to stay close enough to at least keep them in view so he could watch what Amalia would do in the face of the rabbit's erratic course...

Amalia, look out! he called out instinctively, forgetting for a moment that his mental cry traveled on a telepathic bond as he realized that the rabbit was leading the leopard towards the den of a particularly vicious wolverine that the fox had learned to avoid early on.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,745
MP:
#14
More than a match- or so she thought, cocky, perhaps, in the faith that her intellect would lead her to overcome a natural-born prey animal. Every time Amalia thinks she has been successful the rabbit slips between her paws, vanishing back into brush and bough only to appear feet away. She is intelligent, but it is wily, and wise, its instinct a thing to be contended with, having kept it alive until now.

But Amalia is a stubborn beast, and the faster the rabbit runs the faster she chases, determined to succeed in this, her first hunt. Snarling now, fueled by the support she can feel from Jigano, the frustrated leopard continues the chase, heedless of upcoming danger until it is too late. With powerful limbs she leaps over obstacles, not letting bushes or stones block her path: he may be swift, but she is strong, her body built to clamber over or power through.

Eyes on her prize, mind dulled to all else but the focus of the hunt, Amalia pauses for only a moment when the fox's voice rings out in her mind, still too human to sense the trap that the clever leporids leads.
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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