Closed Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Lemma runs into some trouble and gets some unlikely help.

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The vast mountain range of Kalea is home of secret valleys, dead-end canyons, and passes that lead to places long forgotten or yet to be discovered.

Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Lemma on March 22nd, 2016, 12:37 am

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1st Day of Spring 516AV

The mountains were getting steaper as she headed towards Lhavit. She felt her forehead for the hundredth time, it was hot- She was coming down with something. She needed to get to Lhavit, and fast. But she was still a days march away. She needed to hunt and set up for the night. Her horse seemed to agree as he refused to move any further just in that moment. There was no use arguing with a tired Alo.

Her feet crunched under snow as she lead the plae white horse to a clump of trees where he would be hidden, and set about setting up camp. The sun was licking at the horizon now. She looked up at it disapprovingly and swore under her breath. She was running out of light. She had an hour to hunt and kill her dinner, or that was a night going hingry. She took anything valuble with her in a small saddle bag and grabbed her longbow, wasting no more time. It’d be troublesome setting up tent in the darkness but it’d be much less dangerous that running out of light while hunting. If she could find something big, she’d be happy.

She didn’t dare stray far from her horse, but tried to stay still and quiet. She wiped the sweat off her brow. Her vision was starting to swim but she shook her head, remaining focused. She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds around her. When she heard scuffliling behind her the hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she spun around slowly. It sounded small, like a rabbit, but anything was acceptable at this point. She couldn’t see the creature but there were places it could be hiding. She stepped forward until she heard the noise again and stopped dead. As she stalked it, she had no idea something stalked her. Lemma was being tailed, she had been watched for half the day now unknowingly walking into an ambush.

It all happened very quickly. She drew on the rabbit and then she felt a shove behing her and lost her balance. She let out a yell of supprise and tumbled down a small incline of snow where she bumped into feet at the bottom. Two... maybe three men, in grey snowy cloaks, all snarling and smirking like animals “What yer doing so far out of the citers ‘ere girly” The spat in rough common tongue. There was a pounding in Lemmas head, she must have hit it in the fall. She tried to scramble to her feet, stabbing one of them with the tip of one of her arrows. This only succeeded in making him angry. Bandits, way out here? Of all things! If she could get away should could turn and shoot but she didn’t have a blade or any real unarmed combat skill. The man she’d stabbed kicked her and she cried out and fell back again “Petch, I’ll give you my money okay, leave me alone!”

“We want yer horse too”

Panic spread over her face. She needed that horse, how else would she make it? She was running out of options. She needed a distraction so she could get away.

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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Parushta on March 22nd, 2016, 12:57 am

Parushta hadn't been hunting long when he heard the all too familiar sounds of human activity. At first it didn't bother him, what the bandits and idiots did was of no concern to him whatsoever, but when it started to affect his hunting he growled. The wolf shook off falling snow attaching itself to his lashes and thick fur, then tried his best to drown out the sound as he watched a startled rabbit skid to a halt three wolf-lengths in front of him.

Surrounded by the comforting trees and shrubs, Paru crouched and readied his body. He was hungry. No. He was starving. Three days without food wasn't unheard of for a wolf, but the human in him begged for nutrients and the sweet feeling of meat tearing. Paru leaped from the shrubbery and barreled into the rabbit, his teeth found its hing leg but the rabbits free leg kicked him in the snout. Paru growled, swung the thing from side to side over and over until it stopped kicking. It was stunned.

Paru finished the job, then looked up again. He smelled blood. Not animal blood either, and not too much of it to indicate a violent death. The Wolf in him was drawn to it because of hunger, but the Kelvic in him wanted to know what was happening. He was curious. Rabbit hanging limp in jaws, Parushta snuck onto the scene and observed a woman being robbed. He heard the ords, took a while to process them, then saw her bow. A hunter? Why didn't she hear these curl-tails?

Paru had seen enough when the lady looked panicked. They wanted her horse. Paru dropped the rabbit in a safe place then growled from his hiding spot. He changed places, attempting to spook the bandits. He growled again, making it a point to rustle the bushes he passed through to make it seem as if there were a whole pack growling one after the other.

The Bandit scare was a complete success. They made a mad grab for a few of her things then ran. Paru shook the snow off of his fur again, then grabbed his rabbit and trotted out of the bushes. The Wolf, quite average for his age but a large animal nonetheless, then ripped the rabbit into smaller pieces and looked to the hunter. Would she try to attack him? Maybe she was hungry. He inched forward with the back half of the rabbit - his least favorite bit - then dropped it and retreated back. He made a growling bark noise, then scarfed down his own pieces.
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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Lemma on March 22nd, 2016, 1:13 am

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The back of her head was bleeding steadily. In her feverish state it was a wonder she had come this far today let alone tried to hunt> She should have just settled for the nuts and berries she had left over from the night before. They started rooting through her stuff whilst the third man went to go take her horse. The two left looked her up and down, like a piece of meat "Yer quite pretty" One said "Maybe we take 'er along wid us" Lemma's eyes widened as one of them ran his fingers through her hair. Even in her state she managed to bite his hand as he caressed her face. He reeled back and drew his hand back into the air poised to slap her.

Suddenly she heard a growl, and so did the men. "Gods..." She muttered staring that the snarling wolf. The bandits obviously didn't want to mess with the creature, because they grabbed what they could then ran. Unfortunately for them they grabbed something precious to her: her locket. She got to her feet with the help of adrenaline alone and drew on the slowest man, sinking her arrow right between his shoulder blades. The man fell and his frauds only hesitated for a moment before leaving him to bleed out. Bleeding herself, Lemma looked at the wolf warily. She was so hungry and she could shoot the creature right now, but it did something strange. It dropped the meat it was holding and backed away. "What...?" She shook her head and lowered her bow.

Keeping a close watch on the creature she slunk over to the dead man and tore her locket out of his hands as well as the bag of Miza's he'd taken from her. The wolf was still looking at her. Had he done this on purpose? Had he saved her? She moved towards the rabbit and picked up the meat, nodding at the wolf "Thank-you?" She felt a little silly saying this to a wolf.

A wave of dizziness hit her. "Okay... okay..." She reached into her backs and found herself an old shirt. She ripped a long strip off it and wadded the rest of it up against the wound. She tied the fabric around her head tightly, keeping pressure in the weeping would to help stop the bleeding. For a moment she let herself sit down, still cautiously watching the wolf and holding the meat she'd been given. She would start a fire soon and cook it, if she could control the dizziness. Which didn't look likely.
Last edited by Lemma on March 22nd, 2016, 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Parushta on March 22nd, 2016, 1:43 am

Paru whined in response. To another wolf or dog he would be saying the equivalent of 'you are welcome', but to this lady he was simply making idle noise. Paru sighed, then coughed up a bit of fur. Right, maybe he shouldn't have eaten his half of the rabbit as fast as he did. The Wolf yawned, then checked his surroundings for scent marks. The lady was in no danger from one-form wolves, or any other territorial animal, and neither was he. This was a forest no-mans-land. Parushta soon found himself wondering why the heck he was checking the perimeter for not only himself but the wounded hunter. He rarely did it for any other hunter that had the misfortune of being followed, tracked and robbed. Why was she different?

Parushta convinced himself that it was because of her looks. She was pretty, and he felt a certain obligation towards pretty people. Their tender faces deserved to go as unscathed as possible. Was that discriminatory? Possibly, but Parushta'a mind could hardly comprehend the word let alone the meaning behind it.

From a distance he heard a scuffle, Paru's ears pricked up tall of his head and he whined. The Lady was most likely still hungry if his own stomach was any indication. Was this scuffling another measly rabbit? Or was it something much yummier, like a deer? Parushta had heard from true wolves that when an animal of prey and a humanoid hunted together they could bring anything down.

Communicating his ideas would require him speaking English, which would in turn require him to turn. Bad idea. Parushta had learned that lesson second handedly the hard way through his sister. He shook the snow form himself, then set off on his own. He'd take down a couple rabbits by nightfall and come back to the lady either gone or still there but with a nice warm fire. Then when she was sleeping he could steal some of her coin and make a mad dash for his den.

By nightfall, Parushta had managed to only catch one rabbit, but he picked up some plants he knew were edible on the way to make up for it. He sat down a fair way away from the camp and contemplated the lady, the bandits, and his odd day in general. First he had slept in for the first time in at least a year, then the bandits attacking this lady, and now the apparent lack of prey? What was happening? He whined, then turned into his human form with the rabbit and forest vegetables in his hands. Paru shivered, forgetting for a mere second that this form needed clothes. Right. Duh.

Paru reached up, untied his backpack from a nearby branch then took one last look at his cozy den before he clothed up and set off to the last place he had seen Hunter Lady. His new excuse was that he had heard a commotion, and then growling, so had come to see if here were any survivors. If she was inexperienced enough she'd buy it. If not... well, he'd burn that bridge when he got to it.
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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Lemma on March 22nd, 2016, 2:03 am

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The wolf was odd. Far too intelligent for a wolf. It was as if the creature had understood her. She contemplated this as she finally forced herself to endure the pain and the fever and get up to gather sticks. She lit a lantern and moved around looking first for decent sized rocks. She placed them in a circle then was off again to find the kindling and the firewood. It didn't take her too long to find a bunch of dead wood. A tree had fallen not far away from here providing her with plenty. She struck up a fire with the clink and steal, coaxing the small flame to catch alight by blowing ever so slightly into it. The warmth was already a comfort. She set about setting up a spit, speared the rabbit meat and sat slowly turning it. Her head was a dull ache and her forehead was dripping with a cold sweat. She found herself longing for the safety of her beautiful hometown.

Lem took off her locket she had stolen back from the dead thief. She frowned and used her shir and some saliva to try and wipe off the blood. She wanted to read her mothers letter again but she didn't have the streagth for the emotions that would bring. She did wonder sometimes if she should look for the alleged Vantha man named Kave. But at the same time the idea of meeting him made her feel sick. What if she let herself love again and lost again. She couldn't take it. She should just focus on her goals. And those goals started in the city of Lhavit. one day she would travel to zeltiva, the home of the great universities. There she could further her education, she would also travel to Sunberth, there she could become stronger, and Lhavit? Well maybe someone needed a glassblower.

She noticed for the first time the wolf was gone. She frowned and wondered if her fever was playing tricks on her and it really was just a regular wolf. Finally the meat was cooked. She was about to take it off the spit when she heard footsteps. "Petch.." She muttered standing up and notching an arrow. A man emerged from the darkness into her firelight. "Don't come too close!" She ordered lining up the shot straight for his heart. "What do you want?"
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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Parushta on March 22nd, 2016, 2:27 am

On his way back, Parushta started to feel the bitter cold on him like a punch to the gut. He wished now that he had abandoned the Hunter Lady and curled up in his snug little den for a nice night's rest. It'd be better than freezing his bollocks off on a weird hunch that this lady was special somehow.

He wondered if she had some sort of family like he had. That'd be interesting. Maybe she was trying to get back to them for some sort of celebration. Perhaps she was escaping their cruel clutches, or an arranged marriage. Paru chuckled and shuffled through some thick shrubbery. He yawned, then remembered the possibility of fire. Warm, lasting fire to lay by if Hunter Lady wasn't crazed by the obvious fever she had.

Arriving at the camp wasn't as peaceful as he had previously expected, Parushta was met arow to heart with the Hunter Lady aiming straight at him. Paru pushed down a yawn. He had seen this all before, though the fever burning through her face was evident and put him a bit on edge He put up his hands, the limp rabbit swinging back and forth in his hand, "Ah, okay! Okay. I heard noises, friend. I thought someone was in trouble. I heard wolf noises too. I guess you fended the thing off. May I sit in front of your fire? You can have some of this."

He shook the rabbit again, and smiled. Hopefully food was enough of a deal sweetener. He looked to the bow, then back to Hunter lady and grinned. If she noticed him he'd be in deep trouble, maybe he'd even find out first hand what happened to his sister. A shiver ran through Paru's body and he shook his head. Snow fell from his ginger locks in a fine mist, making him huff and rub his nose to get the bitter cold away.
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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Lemma on March 22nd, 2016, 4:53 am

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She blinked at him, wondering if she could even shoot straight right now without the aid of anger and adrenaline to steady her hands. He was very tall, and quite athletically built. Not someone she was equipped to fend off even at perfect health. What she needed was medicinal herbs made into a soup, unfortunately she wouldn't have a clue which ones would help her. She wished she'd studied a little harder about the Unforgiving before leaving. The traveler was alone as far as she could tell. He held more food and her stomach grumbled just looking at it. 'I heard wolf noises too'. This peaked her attention. He'd come because of noises yet he'd waited so long before arriving? He couldn't have been too concerned. Then she had another thought. She narrowed her eyes and slightly lowered her bow, deciding to call him out on it.

"You can't have been to concerned if you waited this long to come." She said bluntly.

Her thought was that this young man might have been the human form of that oddly intelligent wolf who'd saved her ass earlier. It was just a hunch, but her hunches were often right. If he was a Kelvic shed bet a slaver would pay a pretty penny for him. It might be worth letting him get warm by her fire. Lemma lowered her bow a little, looked him up and down and then lowered in completely. She kept her now and arrows in her lap as she sat down a ways from his and said "Sit." It wasn't quite a command just an invitation. She had to be wary of him still. "How did you catch them? Traps?" She asked because he'd obviously just come from hunting but hadn't a bow or arrows that she could see.

She stared at them swinging from his hands "Pass them to me, I'll put them over the fire and skin them." She told him, then seemed to catch herself "Sorry, I should introduce myself. I'm Lemma." She elected not for a handshake, as she was still weary of him, but she did give him a warm smile. Her smile was beautiful, but merely polite rather than genuine. Once he handed her the rabbits she might be able to tell how they were killed. She just couldn't make it obvious she was looking for teeth marks.
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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Parushta on March 22nd, 2016, 9:59 pm

Parushta paused at the suspicious phrase. He brought his eyebrows together and swallowed. He had plenty of abilities that helped him survive and eat and actually come close to thrive out on his own, but talking his way out of situations was not one of these abilities. To be completely honest he was as good at charming ladies as a chipmunk would be fighting a dragon. Paru blinked, then waited in silence. Maybe if he feigned foreign origins he could get out of the situation.

When the bow was lowered and she continued talking, Paru fought the distinct urge to laugh and breathe in a massive sigh of relief. He sat down promptly, then put his food down in front of him and yawned, "I snapped its neck." He said plainly, as if snapping a rabbits neck was almost his day job. When he realised that she meant 'how did you catch it' instead of 'how did you kill it' he perked up again and tossed it over the fire to her, then held out the herbs and vegetables.

"Vegetables and herbs. That one there with the spiky leaf is not too nice, but it makes you sleep like a pup." He said, then put his hands back into his lap once all of the food was on her side, "The one there with the smooth pointy leaf is very nice. Not much of it around here but it makes you better for hunting. More wary."

He heard her name and smiled. Lemma sounded like an animal name, not the name of a hunter lady out in the forest. He refrained from saying this though. Parushta shook her hand firmly and nodded, "Parushta." He retorted, not quite ready to tell her that she could call him Paru. That was reserved for people he knew wouldn't put an arrow between his eyes or shoulder blades.
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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Lemma on March 23rd, 2016, 2:19 am

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He was curious. She couldn't place him. The way he acted was almost a little to carefree for someone out in the unforgiving on his own. She wanted to ask about that, but she wasn't yet willing to answer the same question yet in return so she set about keeping her hands busy and began using her knife to neatly and swiftly skin and gut the dead rabbits. She couldn't see any firm evidence, but she'd been listing to every word he'd been saying very carefully. "I think the phrase is sleep like a baby." She muttered quietly under her breath, her feeling getting stronger by the second.

The way he described the leaf made her suspicious as well. He wasn't very careful with his words. 'More wary.' It was like he'd been there when she'd let those men follow her trail. She frowned, creticing herself. It had been a real struggle just traveling and staying awake on her horse let alone worrying about the trail she was leaving. Still, how could she have missed them. She refrained from dwelling on this too long, it'd drive her crazy. Maybe she'd feel better after some food.

She was handed herbs and veggies as well which she thanked him for "This should help me hold on just a little longer." She looked up at him while she was working "Parushta, are you alone out here? Where are you headed?" She asked him. She made her face show nothing but concern. "I'm sorry I aimed my arrows at you before." She said pretending to look a little guilty and trailing her eyes back down to the food she was preparing for them both "You can't be to careful with people you don't know. Thank-you for sharing your food with me" She gave him another of her charming smiles and loosened up her shoulders as she spun the meat on the spit.

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Blood Red on Snow [Parushta]

Postby Parushta on March 23rd, 2016, 2:40 am

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Parushta furrowed his eyebrows a little more. Crap. He got the phrase wrong again, and now she was most likely suspicious. Then again, he had probably mucked it up enough already. If she was as smart as he thought she was by now, she'd of guessed his race as soon as they met. Paru shrugged, then returned to digging little holes in the moist earth.

She skinned the meat carefully and quickly despite the fever she had, which impressed him greatly. He watched the knife slide in and out of the rabbit, showing more and more of the delicious meat inside. Once it was ready to be cooked, then later and hopefully eaten by the both of them, not just one, Parushta licked his lips and bit his lip.

Paru nodded when asked if he was alone out in the Unforgiving. He felt a little odd when asked if he was alone, almost as if the question implied bad intentions, "I am alone. I am headed to Lhavit." He said. Parushta tried not to reveal too much, but when Lemma was suddenly nice and smiled at him he caved, letting his mouth run as fast as it wanted.

Not having had contact with common speakers for quite some time made him speak fast, which in turn made him a little hard to understand, "No, that's okay. Actually, arrows are easier to dress if they stick into you. Swords and things that go all the way through are worse. My brother had one go through him and he died from it. Can never be too careful when dealing with bandits." Paru said, then looked up at the food when it was mentioned again.

"The food will help both of us. Always better to feed people who need it, my Mama said, because if you do then people will like you. They will help you if you need it." Parushta stopped after his mother slipped into conversation. It made him uncomfortable, so he shook his fingers to get rid of dirt and busied himself with cleaning under the fingernails one by one with a thin twig.
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