Closed Among the Trees (Kelski)

Two strangers venture into the forest together.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Among the Trees (Kelski)

Postby Sanabael on August 22nd, 2018, 4:47 am

82nd, Summer, 518 AV


Sanabael's encounter earlier in the season with a mage by the name of Kynier had left her thinking; mostly, it had left her thinking about magic. Her magic, specifically. She'd been chewing over her interaction with the other mage all season, how comfortable he had been with his magic and using it. If she was honest with herself, she was jealous.

It made her want to practice her own reimancy more, but that was easier said than done in Sunberth. There were plenty of abandoned buildings and back alleys, but the risk was still high; so that day found Sanabael traveling out of the city.

It was early afternoon when she arrived at the Hot Springs, having headed south of the city. Still aching from her brawl sometime prior, and tired of walking, Sanabael decided a quick wash and relax couldn't hurt. Hiking her bag over her shoulder, which held her cloak, money pouch, and some spare rations, she entered the bathhouse. She was greeted by an elderly couple, whom she exchanged pleasantries with before paying for the common springs and bidding them farewell.

There was another woman already in the spring, with long hair, a mix of black and strangely enough, some white; Sanabael frowned slightly. While she wasn't exactly shy, she did enjoy her privacy, and she wanted to avoid showing off her scars as much as possible. Still, she had already paid, and the steaming water was enticing.

Ignoring the other woman, Sanabael toed off her boots; her leather pants, maroon shirt, gloves, and undergarments quickly followed, her sheathed gladius placed on top of her clothing. She held her hands to her chest, palms in, less out of modesty and more to try and cover the deep, silver-white scars that marred her tan chest. She eased herself into the hot water, letting out a deep, involuntary sigh as she settled in, sinking down into the water until it covered even her chin and mouth, dark hair floating in a cloud around her.

She allowed her black eyes to fall half-shut, though she cautiously and curiously surveyed the woman across from her. After a moment, she dunked her head underwater, then surfaced, standing to her full height, hands still hovering awkwardly over her chest. No doubt she looked ridiculous, and it was probably stranger than any potentially suspicious scars, so after a moment Sanabael dropped her hands in defeat, letting them splash quietly into the pool.

The mixed blood leaned back against the wall of the spring, pushing wet hair out of her face, taking stock of how she felt. Her ribs were still sore, and there was still a sickly yellow bruise around her eye and on her cheekbone, but she was healing. Her split lip was taking longer since she found herself worrying at it often, a bad habit of hers.

Sanabael felt awkward, sitting in a hot spring with only one other person, but she kept her mouth shut; it would be stranger to engage in conversation, no doubt, and she wanted to keep to herself in any case. She planned on soaking for maybe ten chimes or so, and then she would continue on her way into the fringe of the forest; she didn't have enough skill or experience to go very deep, but her goal wasn't exploration, it was to find a quiet spot away from the city where she could practice her magic.

Though, come to think of it, practicing fire reimancy in a forest could be problematic. Sanabael frowned to herself, drumming her fingers on the ledge of the spring. "Should have thought of that," She muttered to herself under her breath, brows furrowed as she sunk lower into the water.

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Sanabael
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Among the Trees (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 25th, 2018, 2:04 pm

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She stashed her clothing on the edge of town near the hot springs and took to the sky. Kelski had walked the whole way out needing some time off alone. She loved her new family and being with The Gem, but to a creature that was used to solitude and quiet, her new life lacked both at times between the Akalak who housed two souls, her inability to bond, a magical statue, an ocelot that was often bored, a niece that she hadn’t known existed, and a Night Lion Kelvic in mourning… and a mate that was deeply troubled by a magical artifact that they could in essence do nothing about. And so Kelski had slipped out with a note left behind saying she was going hunting.

And hunt she did. Sea Eagles loved fish and were excellent at diving and swooping salmon out of the water that lounged near the surface. But Kelski also loved fat rabbits and hunting them on some of the forested slopes in and around Sunberth. There were always clearings from forest fires, landslides or even old mine tailings that she could circle in lazy motions, watching with her sharp eyes for movement below. Sometimes, like a hawk, she’d dive just for the fun of it, going after slow silly game like mice that barely fed her. Sometimes she went for waterfowl that bobbed on lakes or in the inter tidal zones, plucking the soft down and eating their tender flesh. But Kelski had recently decided she loved rabbits as well, and knew they hung out on the fringe of forests. They would venture out into clearings, nibbling greenery and quite oblivious to dangers from the sky.

She spotted one without much effort after circling a forest clearing near the hotsprings, and after making two more passes to judge the safety of the kill, she folded her silver wings and dove. Snapping her wings open at the last minute, Kelski caught her fall, back winged and snagged the rabbit. She neatly snapped its neck on the way back into the sky and circled the clearing gaining altitude until she could find a big enough landing spot to park her ass and gut the thing.

Then she consumed it raw, delighting in the sweet warmth of the bloody meat. The whole rabbit was enough to satisfy Kelski and when she was done with just the bones and skin left, she tossed the carcass away and took off from her perch to head back to her clothing. Once she found where she stashed her things, she dressed and decided she didn’t want to go home just yet, and visited the hot springs to see what someone did to make a business of the place. She knew it was pools to soak in, but she wasn’t certain why they were special.

So, she paid her entry fee, slipped past the door, changed into nothing, and stashed her stuff where she was supposed to. Then she slipped into the water and all but groaned at how good the water felt on her healing form. Kelski loved that she had the place to herself and took the time to float, practicing her swimming, with her head tipped back, her back arched, and her limbs splayed out to gently paddle at the water. She stayed for chimes, going well on a bell, until she was finally so relaxed she simply melted into a corner and sat there even longer, unwilling to move.

Then a newcomer came. Kelski was less than impressed by the hardness of the woman’s eyes and her unapproachable atmosphere. But still she nodded a greeting and did everything but look at the woman so she wouldn’t be accused of staring. The Kelvic got it. Sometimes people wanted to be left alone. Kelski’s sharp eyes picked up the bruise on the strangers cheek, the split lip, and her general ‘do not approach’ attitude. Kelski had never seen black eyes like the stranger bore, nor had she seen the silvery-white scars on her chest on anyone else. The Kelvic told herself not to stare as she made sure to worry at her talon-like nails, prying any loose dirt and dried blood out from under the harder-than-normal things.

Sunberth had taught her a long time ago if someone didn’t want to speak, not to talk to them. It had also taught her the painful lesson of approaching unfriendly strangers and bothering them. She was naked in a pool of hot water, more relaxed than she had a right to be, with no weapons around at all. Kelski didn’t want trouble. She’d had a good day so far and a peaceful morning. Her belly was full and she was incredibly well rested. There was no trouble here, or shouldn’t be, as she gazed everywhere but at the woman.

She didn’t turn her back on her, but she didn’t comment either. Kelski chocked it up to prejudice. Most people recognized her as Kelvic because of her odd coloring and her hard-sharp black nails. Long used to it, even humans with solid black eyes could hate. They hated because they were human or close too it. And generally, she wanted no part of them.

Kelski would have assumed the lady was Kelvic by her eyes, having not seen anything at all like that before, but she got no sense of the other being Kelvic. Kelski would have welcomed the company of another Kelvic. They generally understood each other nicely and got along well. It would have been nice to have someone to talk to, or even spend a bit more time outside, maybe exploring the territory before heading home.

Kelski wasn’t ready to head back home yet, but that looked like it needed to be what she did.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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