Closed Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Two Inarta and a Wind Eagle kelvic go out to hunt. What could possibly go wrong?

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Sira on December 28th, 2014, 1:30 am

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Sira was amused by the string of emotions coming from Azira at the start, though to her credit, she quickly got control of herself and realized that she was probably projecting those emotions up to the wind eagle. Sira was used to such things, of course, and would not fault anyone for not getting things perfect right at the start. Khara was the opposite, and the only reason Sira knew she was even down there was because she could still feel the link, but the young woman kept her emotions in check. Sira wasn't sure if that was a good thing, and showed control and understanding, or a bad thing and showed inability with telepathy. Again, she did not fault the woman for it. Neither were endal, and it was unlikely either of them had ever had anything other than basic communication with a wind eagle before.

"Oh, she sent to Azira, "I see lots of things you could kill.. well, maybe. If you could catch them. Plenty of squirrels and other critters in the trees, but I doubt you'll have any luck with those."

"Right. Keep following that for now, and I'm going to go check out this clearing," she sent to Khara, and to both of them she said, "I'll stop sending images for now, but keep in touch with me and I'll do the same. If I see anything useful I'll show you."

Sira spotted the condors circling above the clearing long before she reached it, and if she could frown, she would have. If there were condors that meant there was something dead in the clearing, and if the birds were still circling that meant that either whatever killed it was still down there, or had only recently left. Sira hurried along, riding a thermal that took her almost all the way to the clearing. The large carrion birds scattered as she approached, giving way to the large avian, and it wasn't until she had actually passed over the clearing and was able to get a look at the treeline that she finally spotted what had them so interested. There was indeed a dead animal down below, a large buck by the looks of it, though from the angle she was at it was hard to tell. Whatever had killed it Sira could not see, though there was enough flesh remaining that the animal still had to be around. She could see claw marks down one of the back haunches, and large bite marks on the neck. It was a fairly fresh kill, and the predator that took it down had likely only eaten a small amount. Had something disturbed it? Frightened it away? Sira glanced back in the direction that she knew the others were in, a moment of concern entering her mind, but they were at least a mile away. Still, it was worth warning them, and perhaps the might want to hunt the predator. Or come collect the kill carcass, the meat was still good.

"There's a dead deer down in the clearing, but I don't see whatever killed it. I.. wait."

Sira dove down, nearly skimming the treetops as she headed back toward the clearing and slowly passed overhead. Tracks! Yes, there were tracks all over the place, some of them clearly a deer, but some sort of paw prints as well. Feline? A large cat.

"I think it was killed by a cat. Maybe a Zynx, although.. those prints look pretty big. Here, take a look."

Sira sent the image of the scene, carcass and all the prints included, as she circled back around for another look. She kept a careful eye on the ground, but could not spot whatever elusive feline had taken down the deer. Where was it? Why wasn't it eating it's meal? Sira considered landing and taking a closer look, but decided she would wait to see what the others thought first.

OOC:Don't know if you guys know about this, but here's where all the animals I reference come from: Northern Kalea Bestiary

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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Azira on December 31st, 2014, 11:22 pm

Sira's response earned a mental eye roll from the Avora. You know what I mean, the teen thought at the Kelvic in exasperation. If you see anything worth killing then let us know. Her attention changed to the external again as she looked to her companion.

Khara couldn't just follow the footprints. She'd found it was never that easy with the game scout. She had a horrible tendency of being unsure of herself. The huntress let out a soft sigh as she listened to what the Chiet had to say, wondering if the girl was going to try to talk herself down. She crossed her arms across her chest, weight shifted to one leg and rolled her eyes as the young woman did exactly what Azira had been anticipating she'd do. She found herself frowning down at the footprints though, trying to work out how the scout could narrow their age down so far. How could she tell how degraded they were? The huntress was terrible at telling the age of prints. It was a mystery to the teen how she'd managed it. The girl had knowledge that the huntress didn't and yet

"Khara. Do me a favour. Try to have some faith in yourself. You have just as much chance of finding something as Sira does, maybe more of one. She needs a clear view or she could miss prey under tree cover. You don't have that problem. What difference is a day to you?" She paused for effect. "You caught up to a moose from day old tracks so get on it. Sira will let us know if she finds anything. You just focus on what you're doing and never mind what she's doing. Just because she's an Endal doesn't automatically mean that she's better," the teen pointed out.

Before her advice could be heeded, the raptor sent a communication. The teen's eyes travelled immediately skyward. She couldn't see the raptor but then she would be much further ahead of them and if she was flying in any way low then there was little chance that she was going to catch sight of the Endal. Images came, ones meant more for Khara than for her but Azira could still see what they might be heading towards. Claw marks, bites, big prints. It didn't look good and she certainly wouldn't like to meet whatever had caused it. They might well be heading right for it whatever it was. What she couldn't figure out though was why Sira wasn't sure what it was. She'd told them to take a look but she hadn't shown them a predator, only the marks it had left behind it. So if it wasn't eating, where was it?

Is whatever killed it still in the clearing, Sira? she thought sharply. The shortbow was readied, an arrow taken from its quiver and nocked. The projectile was held in place and aimed at the ground so that she could walk with it but still be ready to take a shot at anything if it was needed. There was no guarantee that the predator had moved or that it was anywhere near their current position but she wasn't taking any chances. Sira might tell them that she had an eye on it, that they weren't in danger but the bow wasn't going to be put away. She listened, searching for the sound of bird song and being met with silence.

She froze. The girl listened for the sounds of anything else. Maybe the birds had only stopped for a chime, maybe there was nothing big nearby except them. Maybe it was even their fault. The silence didn't have to mean anything.
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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Khara on January 2nd, 2015, 1:45 am

Khara hadn't exactly been talkative to start with that day but what Azira had stunned her into silence. Of all the things she had expected to possibly hear from the huntress that day, the very concept that she might in some way be better than an Endal was... Well... Khara wasn't sure what to think of it. Should she be flattered? Should she be horrified? A bit of both? Either way she felt like the favour that Azira asked for was something she really should try for. Maybe she really did need to stop questioning herself so much.

There wasn't much time to put more thought into it though as the most recent image flashed into her head after Sira spoke of the dead deer. She tried to focus in on the tracks, the mention of a Zynx sending a shudder through her. That particular feline's prints were something she had become uncomfortably familiar with and had burned into her mind so she would never forget what they looked like. Just like Sira had said though, the prints were big, bigger than Khara remembered but it was hard to tell without proper perspective.

"Those look too large for a Zynx," Khara spoke aloud, repeating the thought in her head to hopefully project it to Sira as well.

Seeing Azira ready her bow cued Khara to do the same. She wouldn't be nearly as good a shot should anything decide to attack them, but two readied weapons were definitely better than one and the caution seemed well worth it. The sudden hush that seemed to fall over the woods wasn't lost to her either and caused the Chiet to nervously glance about.

"Everything's gone quiet down here," Khara aimed the thought towards Sira once more. "I don't think we're alone anymore."

The game trail was considered a new way, what once had been a solid lead towards potential game now became something that could lead the predator right to them if it had a mind to follow it as they had been.

"They didn't mention anything about Kougaras or Mountain Lions," Khara said quietly, a twinge of bitterness creeping into her tone. The lack of a warning from the more senior game scouts probably came from a lack of knowledge rather than any malice, but ever since her scolding from Azira regarding the Zynx last Summer, Khara had started to find that movement of predators was just as important to note as any game.


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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Sira on January 7th, 2015, 2:38 am

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The silence of the birds did not necessarily mean that there was a predator lurking nearby, though technically there was, if you counted the two human predators. But it also did not mean there wasn't a predator nearby. Sira did not know where the cat was, if it was near the pair of women, or it was near the clearing. What she did know was that there was a dead deer, and there was nothing eating it. There did not appear to be anything wrong with the deer. It looked fine, it wasn't rotting. It looked fresh. Why would the cat, whatever it was, leave.

"No," Sira mentally responded to Azira, "It is not in the clearing."

Sira cast her gaze outward, but she had no hope of spotting the cat beneath the treetops. They were stealthy even without a thick canopy for cover, and for all her superior eyesight, she could not penetrate the leaves and branches completely. The forest floor appeared only in glimpses, and on it Sira saw.. wait.

Sira turned sharply in the air and circled around for a better view, spotting the movement again! It was small, much smaller than what she had expected.. and there were two of them. Two cats! Another flash, and Sira confirmed it. Yes, two cats, small ones, and they were fighting each other. Wait.. no, they were playing! She had to circle around again to see more, and Sira realized that they were...

"Kittens," she sent to both the women in alarm. "There are two kittens, but I do not see the mother."

Sira could not tell what kind of kittens they were, but they were large enough that Sira knew the mother was not a Zynx, not to mention they were the wrong color. All in all, it did not bode well. The mother would not leave her kittens, but she would be on high alert. If they were not eating the carcass it was because the mother did not deem it safe for them to venture into the open. That meant there was either some other predator nearby, or..

Sira's eyes shot back in the direction of the two women. She couldn't know exactly where they were, but she knew where the game trail was. She doubted she would spot the cat on the trail. Sira flew higher, heading back in their direction, and constantly scanned the treetops beneath her. A flock of birds burst from the treetops, disturbed by some unseen threat, but if the cat was near them it was a good thing, as it meant it was traveling in the wrong direction. Other than that, she saw no other signs of danger. Soon enough the game trail was in sight, and Sira looked for a suitable spot to land. There wasn't any place ideal. She could probably force her way down if needed, or head back to the camp, but either way she doubted she would be able to reach the women in time if the cat attacked. And she still wasn't exactly sure where they were.

"Azira, shoot an arrow into the sky. I'm trying to figure out where you are. Don't worry, you won't hit me. I'm probably too high up."

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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Azira on January 11th, 2015, 9:59 pm

She didn't need Khara's words to put her on the alert but they certainly put her more on edge. Whatever was in that clearing was bigger than a Zynx and they might be walking to meet it or it might be coming to them. She tightened her grip on the bow, glancing around her more alertly as if some giant animal was going to jump out of the trees at them at any moment. The hush wasn't helping matters. She couldn't blame the Chiet for readying her bow as well. The fact that her companion was armed too made her feel a little better about the situation.

Sira's message was met with a thought of Shyke! that was sure to resound clearly in the Kelvic's head. Still on the alert she managed to regain enough of her wits to provide a better response. It's gotten quiet down here but that doesn't mean anything. It could just be because of us, she reported to the raptor, doubt seeping in that showed what she really thought about their situation. There was no way they were going to move an inch until they had some idea what they were going up against. If the cat was nearby then they needed to be prepared for whatever it was they were going to be facing.

"Kougaras and Mountain Lions? Is that what we're up against, Khara?" she asked sharply, turning her attention to the scout only briefly before returning it to their surroundings. "Anything I should know about them? Their behaviour or-" She froze mid question as Sira's alarm pierced her mind. The huntress gazed at Khara in horror as the implications of what the Endal had told them sank in. The Avora could understand the need for alarm all too well but she didn't know if her companion did. Predators didn't seem to be something that she gave much consideration to as was proven by her failure to follow the zynx tracks until prompted back in the summer. Would she realise just how protective a mother would be of its offspring? Did she have any idea of the danger of coming between the two? They could easily walk into the wrong area and inadvertently seeming a threat to these kittens and if that happened, they were well and truly petched. They'd have a better chance if they were in the open because they could have aid from the air but she didn't like their chances all the same.

"Where the petch is she if she isn't with them?" she asked in a rhetorical hiss, scrutinising the surrounding trees. "She'd only leave them if she was seeing a threat off and that threat had better not be us," she muttered. There was no way to know where it was in relation to them. Sira had a bird's eye view but she probably wouldn't be able to see them under all the foliage cover. She'd flown further on as well so she was probably far ahead of them. She didn't know that for sure though. Maybe they'd travelled further than she'd thought or the clearing was nearer to them.

Establishing their location had come into the Endal's mind as well and the huntress was quick to comply. She searched for a gap in the canopy above that would allow a missile through and adjusted her posture to allow a vertical shot. The bow was raised, the string drawn back but she released it before she achieved full draw. It didn't travel high enough into the air and fell back to the ground quickly too, the huntress having to step out of its way. Azira swore at it before retrieving it and trying again. This time, she drew it back as quickly and as far as she could manage and sent it flying up into the trees. It soared above the treetops although from this angle she couldn't tell how high it had gone and so she couldn't be sure that it had been visible to Sira at all. It didn't even come back down again, caught somewhere above them no doubt.

I don't know how high I can get an arrow, Sira. I've only a short bow and I'm not used to shooting up. I'll shoot until you tell me to stop, she told her, drawing and nocking a new arrow as she did so. Again she lined up a shot, rising the bow above her head and shifting her posture to better accommodate the sort of draw she needed. It was easier this time and she was able to pull the string back far enough, stretching up on her toes to give it an extra few inches. It made her wobble a little but it didn't make much difference to her shot. As long as it went up it didn't matter. It wasn't like she was shooting at a target. She went for the arrow after it fell and began the process again.
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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Khara on January 15th, 2015, 5:00 am

It was hard to know what to do in the moment. After her blunder with the Zynx they had thankfully never come across the season before, Khara had made every effort to push the necessity of understanding the dangers of other predators into each and every time she left Wind Reach. But a mother? That brought on a whole slew of problems that Khara wasn't even remotely sure how to be ready for. Just how aggressive was a creature if it felt it's young were in danger? Did Azira and her even count as danger towards the cats?

Azira's musing about the possible reason the mother wasn't with the kittens did nothing to ease the sudden flare of panic that was threatening to take over. Each breath was fought to keep steady and slow as she continued to look around them for any hinting of movement and strained her ears to hear anything over the rather loud and rapid beating of her own heart. Khara tried desperately not to think about the possibility of how an arrow may only enrage the creature rather than really hurt it and if they would even have time to get a shot off. Couldn't cats jump a decent distance when they pounced? And where was Sira? How long would it take for her to get back to them? Was there something else she should be doing? Just how truly petched were-

The rapid thoughts were brought to an abrupt halt at the sudden sound of Azira's arrow releasing. Khara spun towards the huntress, a questioning look flashing across her features before she realized what the Avora was doing. Firing arrows into the air? Was it some sort of diversion or had the Endal given her some sort of instruction. As the second arrow was fired Khara watched for only a moment before better judgement turned her attention back to the surrounding wilderness. There was a purpose to what the huntress was doing and Khara would just have to trust in that. She just wished there was a quieter way of going about it. Each time Azira went to retrieve the arrow she had fired, Khara felt herself tense all the more. Movement like this couldn't have been a good thing if an already agitated cat was looking for them.

A sudden thought popped in her head and she quickly moved toward Azira, keeping her readied arrow aimed towards the trees beyond them. She waited until the Avora had her arrow in her hand again before quickly speaking, her tone as hushed as she could make.

"Use mine," she nodded towards the lesser supply of arrows she carried in her quiver. "They probably aren't as good, but you won't have to worry about trying to pick them back up. The less we move the better, probably. The cat might already know where we are, but if it doesn't there's no need to make it easy on it, right?"

The glance she cast Azira probably didn't manage to convey the desperate hope that the huntress took what she said as an offer and suggestion rather than any sort of order, but given the very real danger they were in, it could probably be forgiven. Azira did tell her to have more faith in herself, after all, and right then it seemed like the best way she could contribute, even if it was just to supply the huntress with arrows she wouldn't have to be concerned about where they fell. If she was trying to signal Sira in some way, Khara hoped that the Endal would see and show up soon. If Azira was shooting towards the sky it was going to be on her to make the first shot at the mother and as much as Khara wanted to believe she would hit her mark, she really didn't want that to be on her head.


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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Sira on January 22nd, 2015, 7:09 pm

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Sira was worried. She wasn't certain how experienced either of her companions were. They were armed with bows, but bows weren't very effective at close range, and if the cat got in close they would be at a distinct disadvantage. Sira had never gone up against a big cat, not solo anyway. In her eagle form she had no fear of them, they wouldn't attack a wind eagle anyway, but as a human she knew that even a zynx would be a threat against someone not prepared. Azira's curse resounded in Sira's mind, and Sira agreed. Sira's vision was keen, but spotting a lone arrow among a sea of trees and branches was going to be very difficult. She hoped she would spot them in time.

If the cat, kougara or whatever it might be, was actually hunting Khara and Azira then they needed to hurry. Would the cat actually attack? Were they even in danger? It didn't matter. Sira had to get them out of the dangerous situation. It was her job to protect the lower castes, and if the cat did attack, and if they couldn't fend it off by themselves, then Sira will have failed. It didn't matter how some Endal treated those lower than them, it was their job to protect and provide. Sira would not fail at that.

A flash of light caught Sira's eye, and Sira turned in the air. Was it an arrow? Sira wasn't sure where it came from, she hadn't seen clearly enough. She circled again, slowly as she trained her eyes on the trees and air directly above them. The arrow was so small, but finally Sira spotted it. At first she thought that it might be a trick of the eye, but a few moments later another arrow popped up just a few feet about the trees. Now that she knew where to look it was easy to see, and at certain angles Sira could spot glimpses of red hair down through the branches.

Sira scanned the area nearby, searching for a place to land. There wasn't anywhere ideal, but there was a spot where the trees cleared out somewhat and she could force her way down there. It wouldn't be comfortable, but she could pull it off safe enough. Then at least the three of them could meet up and make their way back to the camp and her saddle. At least then it would be three against one. It would have to do.

"I found you," Sira said to both of them, "There's a spot a little to the east where I can land, then we can make our way back to the camp together."

Sira sent the both of them an image of the general area she was going to land, not that it was of much use to them. It mostly just looked like trees. Sira made for it, circling once to get a lay of the land, and more importantly, the branches that blocked her way down to that land. This is going to hurt, Sira thought to herself as she dropped down toward the trees. Branches raked against her, pulling out a few feathers, and a large branch loomed in her path.

Petch.

Sira shifted, smacking into the branch and hanging on for dear life. There wouldn't have been a way around it. She hadn't seen the branch from above, it was obscured by smaller branches and leaves. She was still a good way up, and Sira peered down at the ground, frowning. Her sword and bow had fallen below her, which was good, since she wouldn't have to hold on to them while climbing. Sira lowered herself, naked feet reaching for the branch below her. She couldn't reach it. Sira lowered herself some more and slipped, her foot catching the branch and flipping her over backwards. She crashed down through a number of smaller branches and landed on her back next to her bow.

Petch..

"Okay, I'm on the ground," Sira groaned into the minds of the other two, "Heading your way."

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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Azira on January 25th, 2015, 8:32 pm

There was no response from Sira and so she assumed the raptor hadn't seen anything. If she hadn't, Azira wasn't surprised. Using a short bow had never posed problems in the past. She'd always used one, had always liked how much easier it was to carry around and to use than a long bow, not that she'd gotten much use out of the longer bow as a Yasi. Right now, she wished she'd taken the opportunity to invest in one. Short bows were short distance weapons, they couldn't fire as far or as fast as their large cousins and when you were aiming for distance, it was a bad weapon to have on hand.

The retrieved arrow was nocked and shot upwards as before and barely reached above the treetops once again. She waited for it to fall back to the ground, stepping towards it before it had even hit. Khara's words stopped her in her tracks. Her gaze held a query as it turned on the Chiet, understanding dawning as the girl explained. She wanted her to use her arrows rather than having to go running after her own. No doubt she thought the Avora's arrows to be of higher importance than her own; a game scout wasn't even supposed to use a bow. She accepted the offer gratefully, nodding her agreement as she plucked an arrow from her companion's quiver rather than her own. The new shot was prepared quickly, the arrow let fly into the upper branches where it became tangled and didn't return. No way had Sira seen that and the huntress began to despair that she might never see them at this rate. It needed to work though and so there was only the option to keep trying. Failure wasn't allowed.

She took her time with the next shot, even though every tick was vital right now. They needed to get themselves seen as soon as possible and that hadn't happened so far through rushing. The new arrow was nocked, the string dragged back as far as it would go as she aimed the missile skywards. Her drawing hand was level with the elbow of the arm holding the bow and she tried to pull it back a bit further. She could feel the tension in the string, feel the way it was being pulled close to snapping point. She let it go before it could be ruined under the strain. The vibration of the shot went through her hand as the arrow was released, the hand continuing its backwards draw until the movement was complete. It sailed up above the canopy, a new arrow already ready to follow it by the time it had fallen. A few ticks later, the canopy was pierced again and through the gaps in the trees she spotted the Wind Eagle high above them. Sira was over where they were but that didn't mean that she had seen anything. Another arrow was prepared before confirmation came, the tension on the string relaxed gradually to stop the current missile flying off.

There was a sigh of relief from the huntress, the arrow dropped back into Khara's quiver before the last one to have fallen was reclaimed and joined its fellow. An image of a clearing in the trees had filled her mind a few moments after the confirmation came and she assumed that that was where the Endal was going to land. It wasn't clear where it was in relation to them but it was apparently to the east. Azira orientated herself in order to face that way, listening for any signs that Sira might have landed, any signs that she was close at hand. A watchful eye was still kept on her surroundings, an arrow again readied in her bow as she remembered the danger that might be near at hand.

She perked up as a sound came from the direction that their feathered companion would come from although the sound didn't bode well. There was a lot of rustling, the whipping of branches as something hit into them and then a thumping sound that was faint with distance. If a giant raptor had hit the ground it would have been far more audible she was sure but she could only assume that that softer thump signified a smaller, human body had landed instead. Sira seemed to groan into her mind then, the tone suggesting that she was far from being okay. Not hurt, or at least not hurt enough to admit it, but no doubt in an unpleasant way.

We heard. Unless of course, some other Wind Eagle crash landed in the among the trees, she responded drily. I have a fair idea where you came down so we'll head in your general direction. Her attention was turned to Khara, well aware that she had no idea what she'd just passed onto the Kelvic. She didn't need to know anything though, she just needed to follow her betters. She had no right to question orders.

"Come on, Khara. We'll just step this way," she murmured as she headed off in the direction she thought Sira had landed. She was fairly certain that she knew where she was going. How far wrong could she go? If they missed each other, they could always communicate by mind.
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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Khara on January 30th, 2015, 2:53 am

The fact that Sira was joining them was supposed to be a relief, wasn't it? Yet the crashing sounds that came from further into the woods did little to calm the Chiet. Khara wasn't sure what she had been expecting to hear from the Kelvic's decent, the area that had flashed within her mind did look pretty dense and she hadn't seen a clear path to the ground, but it seemed to her that an Eagle should have been more graceful. Maybe Sira had been in a rush. Maybe the danger the two teens were in was far closer than the Endal had let on.

When she finally heard the Endal within her mind, Khara could only cringe a little at the tone of her voice. She didn't sound like the landing had been exactly a pleasant one, she could only hope that the Kelvic hadn't been injured and if she was that she wasn't one of those whose pride got the best of them and would refuse her companions to know about such a thing.

The only small margin of comfort in the situation came as Azira spoke up and took charge, leading them towards where it sounded like Sira had landed. Khara wasn't a leader, more by routine than design maybe, but she never really had wanted to find out if she was capable; some things were better left unknown all things considered.

She followed dutifully, keeping an arrow nocked and ready to draw the string of her bow. Every noise in the area was listened to intently, the sounds of their footsteps seeming overly harsh in the hushed woods. Thankfully the first living thing she saw aside from Azira was the Endal, looking a bit worse for wear thanks to her rough landing. The thought came guiltily to the Chiet who once more hoped she hadn't been accidentally broadcasting her thoughts.

Just because they had caught up with Sira didn't mean it was time to relax, though. Having a Wind Eagle on your side would have been one thing, but the Kelvic had to switch back and while three bows at the ready were definitely better than two, Khara still wasn't quite sure what sort of match they would be against an aggressively protective wild cat. Sira had spoken of heading back to the camp as well, which while certainly the smart thing to do, did come with a feeling like the entire trip had been for naught. There had been a sense that they were going to bring a ton of game back, or at least some. If they hadn't followed her suggestion they wouldn't have even been in this mess...

Don't think like that, Khara mentally scolded herself. There hadn't been any reason to suspect there had been a predator about until Sira had come across the carcass. This wasn't her fault. Now she only hoped that she had been the only one thinking along those lines.


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Passengers (Azira and possibly Khara)

Postby Sira on February 4th, 2015, 12:52 pm

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Sira climbed to her feet, stretching out her muscles as she did so to test for any major injuries. As far as she could tell no major damage had been done. She was covered in a number of scratches, scrapes, and small cuts, which left her looking rather a mess and far worse than she actually was. One small cut on her forehead was bleeding down her face and Sira had to wipe her eye to see clearly.

"Petch," she muttered to herself, "Why do head wounds have to bleed so much?"

Over all, though, she was fine. Covered in bloody scratches, but none of her wounds were anything of concern. Aidara could have healed them all in one go, but Aidara was gone, and Sira would have to let them heal naturally. She retrieved her bow and was bending to pick up her talon sword just as Azira and Khara showed up. She noted both had their bows at ready, and so Sira drew her sword instead, slinging the bow across her back. The sword was something only an endal would carry. It was finely crafted, and had an ornate handle shaped like a howling wolf's head, with glittering emerald eyes. The blade was magical, though you couldn't really tell by looking at it. Sira didn't know much about magic, and hadn't even suspected it might be until quite some time later. She could hack away at solid stone with the thing and not put a dent in it. It wasn't Isurian steel, she'd seen those before, but it seemed to be just as strong.

"Hi," she said, not bothering to whisper. If they were being hunted, her landing would have either drawn the cat near, or scared it off. There was no need to be quiet anymore, it knew they were there. "So I figure we have three options. Go back to camp and run away. Go toward the kittens, kill them if necessary, and steal their kill for our own. Or we just wander off in some other direction and keep hunting. What do you guys want to do?"

Originally Sira had just been planning to lead them back to camp and get out of there, but being cut and scratched from the landing had annoyed her and now she wanted to kill something. Sira had no problem with retreat if it meant living to fight another day. She wasn't stupid. But.. when she got angry or annoyed, common sense fell off the mountain and Sira did what she wanted. The only reason she wasn't going straight for the kittens was because of the two women with her. She could order them to come along, and might anyway, but she liked them, and preferred to give them a choice.

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