Closed Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Brandon's first Bendi-like assignment, game scouting!

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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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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Khara on April 5th, 2015, 10:24 pm

.
.. 42nd of Spring, 515av
It was snowing. Granted most of it had fallen overnight and now it had settled to a few light flakes floating in the air but still. It was Spring, the Sanikas Gates and Roads were open once more, Thunder Bay was active again, and it was petching snowing.

Khara stood just outside the gate, eyes trained upwards with a hint of a glare - or maybe just a squint - as she watched one of the offending frozen crystals twirl and spin on the light breeze. Late snows weren't anything new, there had even been a time Khara could remember from when she was a Yasi that there had been jokes that Spring had been cancelled and Summer was questionable, that Morwen was simply having too much fun and didn't want to fully retreat back to her frozen city. But the past Winter had been relatively mild as far as Wind Reach was concerned so as far as Khara's opinion went, this snow was entirely unacceptable. Not that she'd ever say such a thing. Not out loud, at least. Can gods read thoughts? Khara questioned and quickly tried to focus her mind on something other than the weather.

Like the bear that was rumored to be in the area, for instance. Thankfully she was not being sent to find the thing, but no doubt that would happen soon enough if reports kept filing in of sightings. Bear so close to Wind Reach were never a good thing, they could be aggressive at the worst possible times. Still, it was something to be aware of. Even more so given that she was apparently going to be joined by someone new. Khara hadn't been given much information about who was accompanying her aside from the fact it was an outsider that had just come to Wind Reach; she knew better than to question why he was joining her, or why her of all people. She had considered arguing that Orthin or one of the other more seasoned scouts would make for a better teacher, but when the word Valintar came into play, all objections had gone right out. At least a hunter wasn't coming along as well.

Show him what you know, help familiarize him with the area, and try not to get yourselves killed. That was the rough outline of what Khara was supposed to be doing. An unspoken urging to find some sort of animal that hunters could take care of the day after was always there, though. She wasn't given any details as to what the new Chiet knew about tracking or what his skill set even looked like, there had been some sort of quick comment regarding the fact he usually was to be training Yasi, but Khara couldn't recall exactly what it was he taught. It was one thing to have someone tag along who didn't share your skills if no one was expecting any results that needed to be acted upon immediately but on a regular day? Khara didn't know whether to be annoyed or terribly anxious about the whole thing; maybe both were appropriate, even if she was already settling for the latter while pretending it was the former.

The snowflake that Khara had been following made it's landing against the sleeve of her katinu and the scout watched as it melted against the warm fabric. All these unknowns and now there was snow in the mix; well, at least her partner for the day would get the full Mount Skyinarta experience, at least. A thought tugged at her and she looked upward again, eyes only managing to see as far up as a bit of the cliff above where the gates stood but she knew she meant more to look past that, to the center of the volcano they called home. Maybe not the full full experience though, okay? She silently willed of Skyinarta itself before she resumed idly watching the last bit of the snowstorm while waiting on the other Chiet.


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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on April 6th, 2015, 4:40 pm

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Game scouting. That was his assignment today. To be honest, Brandon kind of liked the surprise effect his job brought with it; he never knew what he would do when he woke up. Was it teaching Yasi? Was it something else? And what exactly was that ‘something else’? Today, it obviously was not within the walls of the city, but outside in the Unforgiving. Hm, yeah, that would possibly be fun. Interesting, exciting. Probably. If they were to track something big and dangerous… but seeing as the bat was a newcomer, he doubted they would actually let him.

The list was given another look, and the thief found the time and place, as well as his ‘mentor’ for the days he’d be doing this work. He nodded to himself and headed to the Sanikas gates. Apparently, he’d be joining Khara… Chickadee, as Dru liked to call her. Zhol’s significant other. The person who had occupied more than ninety-five percent of his brain and thoughts, leaving the horse-boy unable to think straight. Well, that was how it came across though. Sometimes. That was one thing, but that it had been city-widely accepted was another. People seemed used to it, especially his co-workers at the stables. Brandon could still clearly recall the excuse the horse-trainer had used to convince that girl –Kami, was it?- he wasn’t being strange at all. ’I was just thinking of Khara.’ Dear gods.

Well, at least now Brandon was entitled to finally meet her in person, as a man, and not a bat. Not being able to speak sometimes was rather annoying, especially if people interpreted his actions the wrong way. Khara had seemed quite keen though, yes, she was certainly interesting. Though her taste in men was certainly questionable. It had to be said though, that Brandon had no idea what women were looking for in a man, so he couldn’t really relate to why or why not Zhol was or wasn’t a good choice. One thing was sure though, and that was that Zhol was as unstable as a pyramid of Okomo. Mages almost always were.

His feet padded through the dark cave-like tunnel that housed the gates, barely making any noise. Soft leather boots helped a lot to muffle sound, but it was Brandon’s natural silent way of moving that brought out their full potential. Or so he believed. The cold radiated from outside, carried inside by the breeze, and the bat shivered in his Katinu. The gatekeeper greeted him with a wave, and beckoned him over, holding up a small backpack. “You’re the outsider who’s supposed to go scouting today, right?” he spoke, to which Brandon nodded. “Some of the other scouts left you this. It has a waterskin, provisions and some other helpful things in it. You can’t go into the unforgiving unprepared.” Brandon thanked the old man with a smile, and grabbed the camouflage-colored pack, and swung it on his back.

Then he left the gates behind him, padding through the snow and scooping some up, trying to form it into a ball. Sadly, it wasn’t the right kind of snow: the white stuff didn’t want to stick together, falling apart immediately. He sighed; no snowball fight to start the day. Maybe for the best, Zhol might get mad and burn down the whole mountain, and just about every bat he could find to get revenge for wronging his love. Maybe. He’d seemed unstable enough to start a task like that anyway.

Instead of announcing his presence by letting a freshly made ball of snow shatter against her back, the bat simply approached the girl, scrutinizing her in the meantime. She was short, and her hair was more coppery than fiery. Because of the billowing pants and the Katinu he couldn’t quite make out her built and musculature, but she had to be more or less accustomed to the wilds, so he guessed she was athletic. Khara looked way better when the thief looked at her with human eyes, but almost everybody did. “Hello,” he spoke when he had closed most of the distance between them, one hand raised in greeting. “It appears I’ll be accompanying you today, Khara.” He stared past her then, to the horizon and the Unforgiving lying before it. “I’m Brandon, teacher and-”, he frowned, “Jack of all trades –to be, apparently.”

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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Khara on April 8th, 2015, 4:21 am

Khara hadn't been entirely sure what to expect of her companion for the day; the word outsider never really gave much to go on and for Khara it had lost quite a lot of the edge that other Inarta still allocated to it. Though, try as hard as she might, her mind had only managed to conjure the image of someone not quite Inartan, maybe with brownish hair more like Zhol's than red, but the reality was obviously nothing like the vision. Nothing about Brandon was as she had expected, from his dark eyes to equally dark unruly hair that seemed black but not quite. No, he didn't fit any expectations at all; except for his height, perhaps, which wasn't all that different than some of the men in Wind Reach; he certainly didn't tower over her like some people.

That particular thought managed to start off the shy smile that grew only a tiny bit as she followed Brandon's lead and raised her own hand in greeting as well.

"It is good to meet you, Brandon ...Jackofale?" She couldn't quite make what he had said form. Was it a second name of sorts that he had said, or maybe it was some sort of Common phrasing that she hadn't heard before. Either way, Khara wished she had just left it at the name he had given to start with and quickly darted her eyes away from him in hopes of putting an abrupt stop to the embarrassment that wanted to breeze in.

"Sorry," Khara said with a slight laugh. "My Common is not bad, but not so good either sometimes. If nothing besides, you may still be a teacher today. I know most of how to say things, but when I work I am more used to Nari. It will be good to learn to explain in Common, though."

It was funny in a way; how quickly her heightened state of self consciousness dissolved and transformed into a sudden eagerness with that simple admission. It did nothing to quiet the constant fidgeting of her hands at the cuffed sleeves of her katinu, though. The motions were something Khara had to forcibly stop once she noticed them; it was no good to appear overly nervous when she was supposed to be somewhat in charge. She was becoming far more used to it being an Avora that stepped in and took control if she had company in The Unforgiving as of late, but even among her own caste, the other scouts in particular, Khara tended to be reactive than assertive - level ground at best. Being any sort of leader was... Taxing.

"I must also say sorry because today will probably not be so exciting for you. A hunter isn't coming with us, so no real action. Though, we are looking for an Alkana buck that some of the workers from Thunder Bay said they saw yesterday. They are somewhat rare, so the hunters want to make sure they are not wasting their time on a drudge rumor. The bear that people say they have seen have made a lot of other big stories lately." She paused and let another fleeting look of awkward awareness show at the way she had phrased it. Tall tales and rumors, that's what I should have said. But tails is not tales. How would you say... never mind now, Sparrow. Focus.

A single finger raised and pointed upwards and Khara let a small smirk form on her lips, her eyes trying not to focus too much on another snowflake that drifted between them. "I don't know if this little trick on us will help or cause problems yet, though."


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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on April 8th, 2015, 1:54 pm

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Jackofale? What the hell? He frowned a little, seeing Khara avert her gaze, embarrassed. A mistake? It seemed like it, even more so when the girl apologized for her limited understanding of the Common tongue. “Sure, I’d like a little lesson in Nari too. Might be good for the both of us.” He shrugged, his knowledge of Nari was nonexistent. Every word, how useless or useful it might be was an improvement. He’d be able to understand at least a little of what was said, and still pretend not to speak the language –well, he wouldn’t have a broad enough understanding to speak it anyway.

“A jack of all trades,” the bat started to tutor, “is a term for someone who is pretty decent at a lot of things, but not especially great at one thing in particular.” He tapped his chin, pondering briefly. “Which would make that definition not applying to me, now that I think about it… But anyway, the Valintar wants me to learn various skills, so yeah. That’s why I’m here today, in case you were wondering.” Another shrug, and he listened to the second apology Khara provided, this time for the nature of their job today.

“I am pretty sure that I have no need to have Avora around watching my every move,” Brandon stated with a snort, “Nor do I want to be treated like worthless shyke.” That was probably his biggest complaint about Wind Reach; the higher castes’ attitude towards the lower ones. And towards outsiders some displayed even worse behavior. But that were only the higher castes, the bat’s own caste was pretty friendly towards him, though maybe only when he was around. He had no idea though.

Following Khara’s finger with his gaze, the bat glanced at the falling white flakes, catching one on his palm, watching it melt into a small droplet. A nuisance or a great help, eh? The bat wasn’t really sure himself. “Depends, I guess; ” he spoke, staring at the sky and seeking where the sun was hanging, “It isn’t rain, so I doubt it has erased any scents, but it might have covered some tracks… And it might hinder our vision. Not-” Brandon added immediately, “that I am all that adept at tracking, but I do know a thing or two.” He shifted his backpack a little and raised an eyebrow at the scout. “So, are we going to stand around all day or are we going to do some scouting?” Despite what she had said earlier, Brandon was actually looking forward to it, with a childish form of adventurous excitement.

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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Khara on April 9th, 2015, 3:40 am

Brandon certainly managed to answer a few questions, both spoken and those that had been lingering about in her head. His feelings on the upper castes had already formed, and she couldn't help but wonder if he'd learned that first hand or if enough stories from other Chiet had been enough to sway his mind. Apparently he also knew at least something about tracking, which was good; he even taught her a bit as well without probably even knowing it. Scents. Khara never really took that sort of thing into account. There had been a lesson once when she was a Yasi on masking her own but Khara couldn't really recall the means of doing so. The scents of other animals, though? How would she even begin to understand that and make use of it? It was true that rabbit burrows had a particular smell to them but aside from that... Maybe ask later, she resolved.

At his final question a nervous laugh left her and she felt a bit foolish for standing around. Always getting distracted, her thoughts scolded her before a small bob of her head answered his question before she began walking down the pass towards Thunder Bay. "They said it was about thirty or so chimes down the pass that they saw the animal, so not too far. We may end up going downwards more, though. This time of year, everything seems to go towards the coast rather than up the mountain."

She thought back to the phrase he had explained, and felt a small tug of confusion forming that pulled her down a path of conversation that seemed as good as any for the time being. "So, why Jack? Is there a story that goes with such a thing about his many trades? We don't really have a similar saying, but it sounds like a... a..." Khara let her eyes wander off to the right as she tried to think of the name in Common. "A puffin," she chirped in Nari once she realized she couldn't remember how it was said otherwise.

Not wanting to give up trying to explain better she let out a frustrated sigh before continuing, "It's a bird in Thunder Bay, well, nearby. They live up along the rocky coasts, on top of the cliffs. They can swim, and fly, and they burrow into the ground to make their nests. Not a lot of birds can do all that, but I think it is like you said, they are probably not so good at any of those things as any other animal that does just one of them."

An uncomfortable silence followed, even if just for a tick or so Khara felt it dragged on far longer than that as they continued down the pass, feet crunching the fresh snow that the drudge would no doubt be in a hurry to clear out as the day wore on. "Sorry, I speak a lot when nervous. I also say sorry a lot, I think. I don't normally teach things. Enough on silly birds though, that's not really important, I guess. Since that's not what we are looking for. An Alkana, though. Did they have those where you come from? It's like a deer but bigger and red. That's the only reason we're looking in to the sighting, people don't usually make a mistake about them."


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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on April 9th, 2015, 5:21 pm

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The response was affirmative and the girl started to move, walking down the mountain pass that lead to the bay where the Inarta had some boats docked. The bat didn’t think that was their destination, last time he checked, deer didn’t swim. Not in the sea anyway. Khara spoke up then, clarifying the direction they were moving in. Apparently, the buck they were tasked to track down had last be seen in this pass somewhere. While it wasn’t likely the animal would still be hanging about, it was a good place to start. It’s like inspecting a crime scene to find leads on the culprit, the bat thought, recalling the time he –and a couple other volunteers- had attempted to solve a case of breaking and entering.

Brandon nodded, walking diagonally behind the Inarta scout, staying in her peripheral vision. Despite the ground of this part of the pass being relatively even –for the Unforgiving anyway- the bat had a little bit of trouble finding his footing. Khara seemed to be used to it, moving about as if she was just taking a stroll in the city. Well, the thief hadn’t spent a lot of time in the wild, but he found he did a pretty decent job keeping up. Probably due to him easily finding and keeping his balance, and because he was fit too. Still it was remarkable how the area around Wind Reach was so very different from the Misty Peaks near Lhavit. He’d traversed that area more than just a couple times, and without much trouble, but this was a very different kind of terrain altogether, even though it was still mountainous and rocky.

“Why Jack? That’s a good question. I have no idea, I didn’t come up with the expression. Maybe because there once was a guy named Jack who tried his hand at just about anything, and noticed he was … ah, I don’t know. It’s just what it is. Jack of all trades, master of none. It’s an expression.” He shrugged a bit, not quite knowing if he was making sense anymore. “I don’t usually teach languages,” was his excuse. That bird did sound quite interesting though… Flying, burrowing and swimming? He’d never heard of an avian creature do all of those. “So, a [color=#BF400]muffin[/color] is a jack of all trades kind of bird eh?” the bat muttered to himself, imitating the sounds Khara had made. It sounded not quite the same though, and his chirps were a little on the slow and creepy side, more Symenos than Nari. Hm.

The silence that followed was not really all that great for their moods, it seemed, weighing down on the both of them, feeling heavy and uncomfortable. Silence was fine, but not the awkward kind. The silence where both parties just enjoyed each other’s company and had no need for words was a far cry from this. Neither knew each other well enough to know what to talk about, nor if the other preferred silence over words. It gave the bat some time to adapt a bit to the uneven footing and get an idea of how to find the easiest and fastest way to traverse this kind of underground, which helped a lot with keeping up the pace. In the end, it was Khara who broke the silence quickly, filling it with words hastily.

“I don’t usually teach things either, I just started out because the Valintar guy wanted me to. Though I am rather enjoying it. I don’t always have the chance to torment the …yasi,” he cracked a smile, remembering his first few days on the job. “No, I don’t think we had those deer around Lhavit… Can’t remember seeing one near Kalinor either.” He tapped his chin, thinking back he didn’t really recall much of the wildlife around the cave city. The inside was burned in his mind, but the outside? No, it was vague at best. “In Lhavit we have Okomo though. Large mountain-goats –probably as large as a horse- with horns of shiny crystal. They’re sacred animals, said to have been a gift from Caiyha and … some other goddess, I can’t really remember who. I think Semele, but I’m not sure. It might have been Zintila herself though. ” He frowned, but it didn’t help stimulating his memory.

A soft and gentle breeze then came from the left, bringing with it some cold and more importantly the scent of feces. Disgusting as it was, Brandon recognized it immediately and wrinkled his nose. It wasn’t that strong though, but the scent was enough for the bat to have his mind place an image of the source of the stink in his head, along with a memory of other such scents. Not very pleasant. “Not sure if it is helpful, but there’s dung lying around somewhere in that direction,” Brandon pointed briefly, then lowering his arm again.

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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Khara on April 11th, 2015, 7:13 pm

Lhavit, as much as Khara knew, was the closest city to Wind Reach. In Kalea, though, closest was a strange term to use since it was still almost an entire season's worth of travel away - if the weather cooperated. It seemed to make sense that was where Brandon had come from, though he mentioned Kalinor as well. Both seemed like distant far away places of fantasy to Khara, though. Places that she would never see, almost like they didn't exist at all and only existed in stories, despite having met people from them. Even the description of an Okomo only further added to the feeling, goats with crystal horns? It sounded almost as wondrous as the tales of a dark city lit entirely by glowing stones that Drusilla had spoken of or even a sea made entirely of grass that Zhol had once called home.

Her curiosity was certainly peaked, she had so many questions that suddenly sprung to mind and once more Khara found herself desperately wishing she could one day visit such places. It was enough to attempt to send her thought flying away with such fancy, but it was Brandon who brought them back down to the ground as if caught in a sudden net. Probably for the best, Khara reluctantly admitted.

Though, the sudden observation that Brandon had made was realized and Khara couldn't help but look to him with a mixture of confusion and curiosity. A cautious sniff was given but it smelled of nothing to her, maybe a hint of salt that was coming from the bay but nothing like what Brandon had pointed out. No use in asking the obvious question yet, though, not until they came across the droppings.

"Okay..." The questioning tone sounded far more disbelieving than she would have liked. Khara wasn't one to judge others, especially not to think they were trying to deceive her; at least she hoped she wasn't. An apologetic look immediately formed across her features and Khara continued, her tone softening greatly. "Let's have a look, then."

Still wondering exactly what it was that Brandon had picked up on that she hadn't, Khara lead them off the path. They were still above the tree line proper, but there were enough smaller shrubs and other low growth that an animal could have wandered up to graze on the bounty that spring had offered, a light dusting of snow would hardly dissuade a hungry buck, after all - or so Khara guessed. It seemed a reasonable enough assumption with the way that some Inarta acted in the kitchens after the first successful larger hunt and they didn't have to eat the unimpressive meals that were made up of the Winter stores anymore.

The snow itself was a curse and a blessing. If the Alkana had passed through the day before it would cover almost all of the signs of it's passing; prints would be obscured, small nibbled on grasses blanketed over. But if it had come upwards earlier that morning... That hope was diminishing as they continued in the direction that Brandon had pointed. Everything still seemed pristine as far as Khara could see and her hopes for an easier time of it were diminishing. Finally though, there seemed an area that wasn't quite as smoothed over. While nothing was quite clearly defined, the depressions in the snow certainly gave the impression that something had come through; perhaps while it had still been more steadily snowing in the early hours.

A clearer indentation in the snow caught her attention and Khara hurried ahead, trying to avoid disturbing the other patches of uneven snow. Sure enough, just as Brandon had predicted a small pile of dung rested in the snow, the warmth it had given off melting itself a small crater in the frozen covering. It wasn't entirely fresh though, the light coating of snowflakes that had managed to remain and linger on top of it told that much. Still, the pellet like shape of the droppings were typical deer, though Khara couldn't tell if they were large enough to be from an Alkana rather than a smaller breed.

It was a start at least, and for a while she let her gaze follow the rougher patches of snow, trying to figure out if they coincided with the strides that their quarry would make as it walked across the terrain. Frustratingly, the scout had to admit that she didn't know. They'd still follow them, however.

A realization shot to focus in her head and her attention snapped back to Brandon, the same mixture of disbelief and inquisitiveness that had formed earlier returning full force. "How did you...?"

She couldn't bring herself to finish the question. Even this close to the dung, Khara could hardly smell it. There wasn't any sort of apprehension she felt towards the dark haired man, though. Maybe someone else would have been almost frightened of his ability to seemingly do the impossible, but Khara saw it as an advantage that had lead them to this spot and that alone was worth knowing more about.


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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on April 13th, 2015, 3:12 pm

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Of course she did not believe him; Brandon was not quite skilled in tracking or scouting, and it was apparent that Khara hadn’t noticed the scent of feces at all. Then again, the bat’s nose was many times more sensitive than humans’ and compared to his animal form, this was still only a fraction of how sensitive it could be. The same was true when talking about his ears, but ears weren’t all that important for this task. From his limited knowledge on the subject, the thief had formed suspicions that scouting –when done by humans- consisted of searching for visual clues, interpreting and recognizing them.

As a result of the weak senses of the human race, they only relied on their sight, and doing things along the lines as what Brandon had done was deemed to be impossible. But, that was only because the Kelvic held a human form and was possibly being mistaken for a human male. If he’d been a bat, she probably wouldn’t have been looking at him as if he’d just said he was the God of the Wilds or something. Or even if she’d known he was Kelvic. But whatever, as long as she didn’t just dismiss his words as some lie or farfetched bluff, the bat was fine with her skeptical look.

Thankfully, Khara did seem to value his input, or maybe she just didn’t want to pass by any slim chance of finding the mysterious buck, and led the both of them away from the path, into the rough landscape that was a little less traversable than the Sanikas Road. The footing was uneven most of the time, and bushes grew everywhere, coated in a thin layer of powdery snow. Apart from the trail the scout and her batty companion left behind them, the white dust had been untouched, no indication whatsoever that there had indeed an animal been passing through.

Yet, doubting his nose was not an activity the bat participated in; his sight could be fooled, a shadow could be mistaken for a threatening figure approaching in the dark, but scents and sounds were rarely something else than the bat believed they were. Besides, the thief was confident in his own abilities, and knowing fully well what he was capable of, he didn’t doubt himself. Some believed the bat was arrogant, and perhaps that was true, but in his own eyes, he was merely confident, and that confidence was supported by his skill and knowing.

Eventually, the duo arrived in an area that wasn’t all that beautiful and untouched; there were small ravines and canyons made of snow, depressions that formed a path similar to the pass they’d been walking in earlier, but only a miniature version. However you looked at it; it were tracks, there was no doubt about it. The underground might be uneven, but not like that, these were made by something passing through, but what? As Khara approached the small pile of dung, the bat kneeled in the snow, a hand reaching out and stroking the rough ground as if it would tell him something. With the frown on his brow and pondering expression he might have seemed as if he had found something unusual, but in fact the bat had no idea what he was doing or what they were looking for. Could they use the ground below the snow to track down the creature? No, probably not, it felt like rock, not like dirt; there wouldn’t be any tracks left behind other than those in the snow.

“The scent,” Brandon clarified while tapping his nose, though breathing through his mouth; the smell of the droppings wasn’t all that great, even though it wasn’t exactly fresh. “I have an excellent sense of smell, though it’s not like I know what scent’s what. I can tell whether it’s a humanoid or an animal’s scent, but I generally can’t tell what kind of animal, since I have little experience scouting.” Though, that would change once he got some more experience under his belt; it wasn’t like he couldn’t tell the difference between two animal scents, he just didn’t know which was which. He’d have to learn to get to know the different animals and their scents… maybe even the smell of their droppings… hm… that might help a lot…

“So, what kind of animal dung is this? Is it from the Alkana buck we’re looking for?” he asked while approaching the pile of feces too, drawing up next to the game scout. He studied it for a bit, burning the shape into his mind, deciding not to do the same with the scent. Another time maybe, but not right now, not now Khara wasn’t entirely sure herself. The bat was sure he’d have a lot of opportunities later though, not that he was looking forward to it.

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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Khara on April 18th, 2015, 6:16 pm

An excellent sense of smell seemed like a bit of an understatement to her. Maybe it was some sort of magic that he was using; Khara thought she had heard of such a thing before, people who could change things about themselves so they worked better or different. Either way, Brandon didn't seem too keen on elaborating exactly how it worked for him and Khara decided not the press the issue, no matter how her curiosity was piqued. If he didn't want to say, there was probably a reason for it.

"It might be," she replied. The embarrassment of not being able to give a sure answer when she was supposed to be the knowledgeable one followed quickly. "It definitely is the type that deer leave behind, smaller than the sort elk make. A little different shaped too but without the other it is hard to say the differences. Alkana are big but I do not know if what they leave behind is big too."

The awkward sounding phrase was immediately regretted. It sounded like the sort of thing a Yasi would say, maybe someone younger than a Yasi. Her first instinct was to apologize again, maybe come up with a more proper way of phrasing things, something to better explain than some vague fairly obvious notion that big animals had big droppings. That wasn't always true, though, and trying to explain the whys regarding it sounded like she was spending far too much focus on, well... shyke.

"We aren't quite down as far as the workers said, but that doesn't mean anything. A lot of the times they aren't exactly right. They deal with fish and trading mostly, so I do not think they are so used to guessing time and walking distance." Khara tried to sound confident but worried that it may have sounded more like she was speaking down about those that worked in Thunder Bay.

Relax and find the deer. He isn't some hunter that is going to make you miserable if you don't know everything. As the thought came to her, she glanced over at Brandon. No, he certainly didn't seem the type to purposely be cruel to someone who had already admitted to having language problems. That didn't necessarily mean she wanted to seem incompetent, either.

He looked off in the direction of what she supposed was where the deer had walked through, trying to get a better impression for what the snow covered. "And it doesn't look like there was more than one that was here, so we're probably on the right track. If not, it'll still lead us to something the hunters can make use of, hopefully. It may just turn out that it was a buck of a different type that they saw. Either way, let's follow the trail and see where it takes us, yes?"

Great, now you sound excited over the prospect of finding just about anything. Way to impress, Sparrow. Khara offered a shrug that hopefully brushed off whatever mixture of badly phrased explanations and far too much enthusiasm to make up for it all was reflecting on her.

She didn't expect much of an answer, she was supposed to be leading, after all. Gods, maybe this was why she would never be an Avora; leadership just didn't suit her. A bit of a sigh left her as Khara let her eyes sweep over the obscured path that the animal had taken as she tried to judge which direction it had come from. Instinct told her that she should be looking for it to head down towards the bay, but the disturbances in the snow seemed to run along the edge of the mountain in a gentle curve. They were near the highest point it seemed to go, so both directions technically lead downward.

Khara carefully picked her footing along the snow covered ground as she lead Brandon along the line of disturbed snow a short ways away from where the dung had been seen. Finally she crouched down and gently pushed aside some of the snow, thankful for remembering to bring her gloves for a change. "Hopefully it will have left something behind rather than just some less than pretty patches of snow," She spoke aloud, not quite sure if it was to help her associate or for her own benefit; a strange sort of prayer to Caiyha perhaps.

Once the snow was cleared enough to see the ground, Khara couldn't help but grin and quickly look up towards Brandon. "It's not the best, still can't tell if it's the bigger deer we're looking for but see?" She pointed towards the two small sharp impressions in the snow, coming to points where they were deepest and flared outward in what Khara knew to be an incomplete impression of the deer's hoof. "It looks like only the front of the print came through the snow, but at least we have a sure direction to go in."

Her hand raised to gesture in the direction the pointed tips of the print aimed towards. "Looks like we go that way, away from the road. Not very surprising."

The scout straightened up and dusted the last lingering snow off her gloves before setting out along the path once more. She was still fairly sure they weren't close to the creature with the tracks covered how they were and with the light snow still casually falling around them, so they wouldn't have to try and keep quiet just yet. Curiosity still tapped away at her, like a stubborn woodpecker that refused to let her keep silent.

"So, what brought you to Wind Reach? People do not just come here by accident and it is not the sort of place I would think one would want to take a holiday at."


"Nari" | "Common" | "Pavi"
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Rule Number One, Try Not to Die (Brandon Blackwing)

Postby Brandon Blackwing on April 19th, 2015, 2:57 pm

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Well, at least they were not tracking the wrong kind of animal; the droppings were from a deer of some sort, though what kind was still a mystery. “So, how big are those Alkana actually? I've never seen one before, so I'm not too sure what to expect. Is it a lot bigger than an ordinary deer or just a little?” Brandon asked as the duo set off again, frowning as he spoke, realizing the subjective nature of the question. With big, the bat meant at least one and a half times the size of a normal deer, but Khara might interpret it somewhat differently. “I mean, just how much bigger is it? Like twice as big, or...?” He made a vague gesture with a hand, leaving the rest up to her imagination.

Brandon followed Khara's lead, placing his feet where hers had been just a couple ticks prior as they descended the slope carefully, trusting the scout to find the best places for good footing. And he didn't want to disturb the patches of snow when Khara took great care not to. Perhaps it was important for something, the bat didn't know and he didn't want to ask, so he just followed in her wake, setting his feet where she did, an easy thing to do because of the snow.

She crouched down after a short while, wiping away a bit of snow and revealing a print of one or other animal. Brandon watched with interest, a little surprised to see the grin spread across the scout's face. She looked proud and rather confident for a change; it suited her rather well, way better than that worried, timid expression she'd been wearing for the most part today. “Well well, what do you know. Seems like the chickadee's more at ease in the wild than in the city,” the bat muttered silently, an eyebrow raised. “As to be expected from a game scout.”

While mumbling, the bat did study the print though, getting a little closer and crouching down as well, carefully feeling the print with a finger. “Hmmm...” So that was the print left behind by a deer? The information was stored inside the vault in his mind, tucked away for later use. With a print as a sign guiding them in the right direction, it wasn't too hard figuring out which way the animal had gone. Even Brandon knew, and Brandon was a complete novice at this sort of thing. Away from the road, just like Khara pointed out.

It was indeed not surprising. He'd heard that deer were rather timid, and skittish, so it was logical they'd stay away from places where humans frequently came, and if they did, they wouldn't stay for long. That was the case with most wild animals, and no surprise seeing as humans were actually quite accomplished hunters. Not with their body alone of course, but with the right tools such as blades, spears and bows, they were a threat to just about anything. Especially so if they traveled in groups. Kind of like a pack of wolves, with the exception that humans weren't all that willing to give up, and they would fight back when attacked, instead of fleeing. Sometimes, that became their downfall, they didn't have accurate instincts anymore, or maybe they just ignored them. Sometimes they underestimated the threat they had encountered, or sometimes they were bound by the notion that if they ran they'd be cowards. Even Brandon wasn't safe from that pressure, but the bat did know what to prioritize. Cowards lived to fight another day, what couldn't be said about the stupidly brave.

Either way, the deer had headed away form the road, and as a result, Khara and Brandon followed in its tracks, straying from the Sanikas Road even further, treading along the path created by the deer they were tracking. It didn't take very long before Khara spoke up again, not pointing out any sort of signs this time, but filling the silence with a question, and probably the hope for a conversation. “Heh, Wind Reach is indeed not the place to go on a holiday to,” he grinned. To stay in the city one had to work, so a holiday was out of the question. “Basically,” Brandon started with a sigh, “I got involved with the wrong kind of people... Well, one person actually. He dragged me into a situation that was... rather... unfavorable. In the end I ended up in a lot of trouble and staying in the city became a little dangerous...”

A scowl took over his face, twisting it in the ways it wanted to as he recalled the series of unfortunate events. He'd believed he'd left it all behind him, but clearly he wasn't really over it yet. Even with Solomon Kriegsfelt dead, the bat still resented him, and thinking about it could still sully his mood for a brief while. “Wind Reach was close by, and I didn't want to go back to Kalinor, so I came here. I have to admit though that Wind Reach isn't the best city for me.” His eyes glanced sideways at Khara, as if to gauge her reaction for a tick, before he continued. “The Inarta's -your- values and society is not quite something I can adapt to easily.” Then he started to mumble something about endals and the respect they wanted but didn't deserve, and about mandatory groveling.

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Brandon Blackwing
The master thief Incognito
 
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