Solo No Friend Is Too Low

Anja makes an unlikely friend

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

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

Moderator: Regime

No Friend Is Too Low

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 2nd, 2018, 9:09 pm

Image
Fall 1st 518
12th Bell
Yedra’s Fountain

It was rare for Anja to make his way into the underbelly of Sunberth without the attentive care of Maisa, but today when he had woken in the dim light in the early dawn, he had found the mare absent. Anja was not concerned. Maisa was, after all, spirited, intelligent, and free thinking. If he had to guess, he would say that the horse had wandered off to Kelski’s home to graze on the long grass that had been offered to the mare during their first meeting. Anja was finding his companion absent more and more, and the past couple of times he’d thought to look for her that was exactly where the man found her. She would come to no trouble at Kelski’s home, and the mare would find him when she was finished there. So Anja had proceeded into the city for breakfast, checked up on a few leads Jeb had given him for jobs (all of which proved to be dead leads, that is, with no undead whatsoever), and enjoyed a filling lunch.

His feet lead him in no direction in particular. He tended to avoid areas that the presence of death emanated heavily from, more for self preservation than for any actual fear. His steps seemed to lead him nowhere, and the man immersed himself in thought. There was something about the life that he was living now that felt listless. He had purpose; that was the gift that his goddess had given to him. Move on ghosts, slay undead. But that purpose in itself was a hollow thing. Where did it lead? The only light Anja could see at the end of the path was his own death. It was a strange thing to anticipate. He still had so much work to do before then, of course. But the path before him seemed so very long and so empty. Especially here, in a city as bleak as this. Could he have any purpose other than this? It was hard for the man to consider such a thing. But should he find that light, he knew he would be drawn to it like a moth to flame.

“Oy! You think you can screw with Ugly you mangey bastard!”

Anja was startled out of his contemplations by a high pitched shriek of rage. Anja blinked the depths of his thoughts away and took in his surroundings. The center of the area was dominated by a large fountain, crumbling with disuse. Under normal circumstances the object would have drawn Anja interest, but far more pressing was the group of young children forming a circle around something. They were flinging stones and shouting, their high pitched voices creating a cacophony of sound that was impossible to miss. Anja didn’t sense death, but he didn’t need to sense it to feel the thrum of conflict. Carefully, the spiritist moved closer.

The group of children had trapped a dog up against the side of a building. The beast was backed into a corner, brick pressed tightly against it’s back paws, and was bristling and showing the whites of its teeth. If it had lived life as the hunter dogs were treated in the Sea of Grass, it would have been beautiful. A life on the streets of Sunberth had destroyed it’s beauty. Its black and white fur was tattered and matted. Several of its teeth were missing, and one of its eyes was covered in scars and saw nothing. Ribs showed tight against the creature’s belly, and Anja could see a few wounds on it where thrown stones had hit their mark.
“Somebody grab it!” one of the boys shouted. “Let’s throw it in the fountain!”

The boy in question who shouted had a cat cradled in his arms. Anja could see blood on the cat’s leg and a mark in the shape of dog teeth. Despite the boy’s words and the clear authority in his shout, none of the children seemed particularly eager to get any closer to the snarling creature.

Anja wasn’t particularly keen on the idea of these boys drowning the poor creature. A brief flash of memory struck the man. His son, surrounded by a pack of dogs, playfully licking him while the boy giggled up a storm. Something in that memory spurred Anja to action before he knew what he was doing.

“Hardly seems worth the trouble,” he found himself saying. The children all turned on him in flash. Anja could see anger on the leader boy’s face, but as his eyes fell on Anja that flash of anger turned to a flicker of surprise and uncertainty. Anja wondered what he looked like to the boy. Eiyons inspired mystery at a glance. Regardless, the boy pushed past his uneasiness.

“That petcher tried to eat my cat!” he shouted.

The shout rolled over Anja like a wave breaking against a cliff. Calmly, he replied. “If you leave it to me, I’ll get it out of your hair. I don’t think you’d be able to grab it to do what you want anyways.”

The boy considered this, anger still tight in him. “You’ll get the dumb thing out of here?”

“Of course,” Anja replied.

The boy paused a long moment, then he nodded at the circle surrounding the dog. “Alright. If I see that petcher again though, I’m gonna slit its throat.”

“Understandable,” Anja replied. He moved through the break in the children and approached the dog.

The dog cringed and snarled at his approach. He halted, then bent down so he and the dog were at eye level. Then he reached into his pouch and pulled out a bit of rations. It was jerky; hard and tasteless. But it was food. Casually, he tossed the scrap of meat the dog’s way.

It stared at him for a long hard moment, then moved to sniff the meat. Then it turned and snarled at the boys.
Last edited by Anja Nightwatcher on September 5th, 2018, 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Anja Nightwatcher
Ghost Hunter
 
Posts: 113
Words: 129881
Joined roleplay: February 15th, 2018, 3:26 pm
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

No Friend Is Too Low

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 2nd, 2018, 9:35 pm

Image
“Could you give us some space?” Anja asked. The boys had put some distance between themselves and Anja, but they were still hovering like flies over a carcass. Anja didn’t quite trust them not to attack the dog, and it looked like the dog didn’t trust them either.

“Tch,” said the leader boy. “Whatever. Let’s get out of here.” With a growl, and still stroking his cat, the boy trounced off. His group of minions followed him, and Anja watched as they walked over to the fountain, hanging around the edge of it, chattering and laughing.

Anja returned his attention to the dog. The two of them eyed each other, both with a sense of trepidation but for vastly different reasons. Anja wondered if this dog had ever been shown kindness before. It still hadn’t eaten the meat that Anja had thrown at it.

“I’m not here to hurt you,” Anja told the dog softly. He spoke the words as tender as he could manage them. Reflexively, he made the pavi gesture for ‘calm’. The dogs ears pricked, a hint of curiosity in the unfamiliar gesture. It was not violent or aggressive. And Anja had not thrown stones at it. The two of them were in the awkward position of feeling very uncertain about each other. But uncertainty was better than fear.

After a moment, the dog sniffed at the piece of meat that Anja had thrown at it. The dog sniffed it carefully, tail tucked between its legs as it did so. Anja spoke softly to the dog, not saying anything in particular or of note. And, gently, gradually, the tightness that permeated the dog’s body began to lessen. It took the meat into its mouth, then scarfed it down in a flash. Then the dog looked to Anja expectantly.

Anja let out a soft laugh, then tossed a second strip of meat to the dog, which was eaten in a flash. Then a third. Then a fourth. With each toss, Anja moved closer. Soon he was right beside the dog, watching its throat work as the jerky slid down its throat to its stomach.

This close, Anja could get a better look at the dog. It was a female. The nipples on her belly were swollen, but her stomach wasn’t large the way a pregnant dog’s would be.

“Do you have puppies somewhere?” Anja murmured, more to himself than to the dog. He saw the dog’s ears prick up, but there was otherwise no reaction from her. This time when she turned towards him expectantly, Anja offered the jerky to her with his hand.

The dog didn’t like this. She pinned her ears and growled. But they were already close, and Anja had no plans to retreat. Finally, cautiously, she took the meat from his hand. She snatched it away and retreated. When Anja offered her yet another one, she took it less quickly and retreated less far. When she approached Anja for more food, this time he wouldn’t let her take it until she was right next to it. As she pulled the meat from his hand, he lightly stroked her head. She tensed and retreated. But when a blow didn’t come, Anja could almost see a sense of wonder in the dog’s expression.
User avatar
Anja Nightwatcher
Ghost Hunter
 
Posts: 113
Words: 129881
Joined roleplay: February 15th, 2018, 3:26 pm
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

No Friend Is Too Low

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 2nd, 2018, 10:16 pm

Image
The dog had known kindness before. Anja was certain of it. She never would have warmed to him so quickly otherwise; one who had never known a loving touch didn’t know how to yearn for it. Perhaps at one time she’d had an owner, or someone who fed her and gave her love and care. But time had taken that from her, and she’d been forced to make do with what she had, forced to endure the cruelties that others put upon her.

For her, Anja’s kindness must have been a flash of old and good memories. Or at least, it was enough for her to cuddle up close to him as if she knew him, allowing herself to be vulnerable. She was in a compromising position, and yet she was not just enduring but also enjoying Anja’s soft touch. The man couldn’t contain his own pleasure as he rubbed the dog behind her ears. He loved Maisa truly, and the horse offered him much needed comfort that he couldn’t get anywhere else. But there was something about dogs that was warm and nostalgic for the man. Granted he had never been as close or good with dogs as he son had. But the closeness of this dog still brought warm memories.

As Anja stroked the dog, the drykas checked the dog over for injuries. It was habit really; he did the same thing with Maisa every morning. Touch was a way of maintaining connections, and it was an ideal time to make sure an animal was functioning at their best. This poor dog was, unfortunately, far from her best. She was covered in fleas. Anja had hardly pushed apart more than a than a scrap of her thick white fur before dozens of tiny black dots fled in the wake of his touch. Ugly red marks shone on her body where stones had struck her, and small bits of damaged skin had already began to clot around the dried blood. Her fur was terribly matted as well. In places it was impossible to part with his finger tips. Anja could already imagine the nest of fleas that had taken up residence underneath. The drykas was already considering how to acquire some shears to remove the issue when the dog pulled away from him abruptly. Anja followed the dog’s intense stare. The boys, who up until moments before had been lingering near the fountain, had moved on elsewhere. The dog’s cautious glance asserted the situation, and without ceremony she fled from where she had been trapped and vanished down an alley and out of sight.

The drykas sighed and gently straightened himself to his feet, brushing off the mud and fleas that clung to his jacket and clothes. The dog had gotten a large meal out of him. Perhaps that was enough for her. Kindness was a rare thing in this place, and Anja could see why the dog would quickly make use of it, and then going about her way. Even the dogs here in Sunberth were all about opportunity, and Anja could hardly despise them for it. How else could they possibly survive?

Anja was already studying the street layout and considering what to do next, perhaps a walk down to Kelski’s home to go see if his strider companion was where he assumed she’d be, when a bark startled him out of his thoughts. He turned in the direction of the noise to see an intent white face staring at him from within the alleyway.

“Yes?” said Anja.

The dog barked again. Her tail wagged fiercely and her eyes glittered with expectation. Anja didn’t have to be a mind reader to guess what his new friend wanted.

“I’m coming,” Anja called out with a smile. Once she was sure he was following, she started off down an alleyway at a pace that was just fast enough for Anja to keep up with her if he moved at a steady walk.
User avatar
Anja Nightwatcher
Ghost Hunter
 
Posts: 113
Words: 129881
Joined roleplay: February 15th, 2018, 3:26 pm
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

No Friend Is Too Low

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 3rd, 2018, 1:44 am

Image
The dog was swift as she weaved her way through the streets, but she always seemed to know exactly how far away Anja was, and she never completely disappeared from Anja’s sight. She moved with purpose and confidence down alleyways, windy stone streets. Anja found their surroundings growing more and more shabby with each turn. Gradually buildings became more and more dilapidated, and the streets grew emptier. The area was abandoned, and full of not much more than scattering giant rats and the occasional aggressive stray dog who growled and snapped at Anja then fled.

After twenty or so chimes, Anja saw a flash of white vanish inside a building. The place had been a house at one time, but countless years of disuse had caused the building to collapse upon itself leaving it uninhabitable...or so it appeared. Anja approached the entrance to the building, finding the door blocked by a large piece of wood that had once been a part of the entryway. He heaved his shoulder up against it, carefully maneuvering it so that he pass. The object was stubborn, and it took Anja several long minutes of struggle before he was able to push it aside. His muscles burned, but the interior of the place revealed itself to him.

The inside of the collapsed house was dim from the lack of light, but a glance at the ceiling confirmed Anja’s uninformed opinion; the house, though dilapidated from the outside didn’t appear to be at any risk of collapse. In fact, the foundation of the place seemed sturdy. It was dank and dusty, but the it seemed that not even rats had chosen to make homes here. As Anja looked towards the the dog, he was able to put a picture as to why the vermin might have fled.

The dog lay underneath a piece of rubble that had created a sort of overhang that resembled a den. She was stretched out, and wiggling against her breast were four small puppies, nursing furiously.

Mystified, Anja moved closer. Though Anja was no expert, he imagined that the puppies couldn’t be more than few weeks old. They were tiny black and white scraps of fur with bright open eyes that were focused intently on their mother and the meal before them. They seemed unconcerned with Anja, perhaps in part due to the fact that their mother seemed relaxed around the man.

“I’m honored by the privilege,” the man said quietly, lightly touching his heart. The dog blinked at Anja peacefully as he settled himself down in the dust beside them to examine the puppies. They were whimpered softly as they nursed, pushing against one another in the fierce sort of competition that could only be found between siblings.

Anja reached a hand out and looked to the mother dog for confirmation, but she seemed unconcerned by the action. Gently, he touched the white back of one of the puppies. He heard a squeal of protest that earned a chuckle out of him, but the little one didn’t stop with it’s fierce nursing.

Anja found his eyes roaming over the small creatures, and he prodded them gently and with concern. They were fat, strangely. Had their mother been making sure all of her milk went to them to make sure they were healthy? After she had been fed she had come straight here.

“You’re certainly a good mother,” Anja said quietly. He moved a hand forward to stroke the dog’s head, and she closed her eyes peacefully.
User avatar
Anja Nightwatcher
Ghost Hunter
 
Posts: 113
Words: 129881
Joined roleplay: February 15th, 2018, 3:26 pm
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

No Friend Is Too Low

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 3rd, 2018, 1:59 am

Image
Anja’s gentle hands continued to explore the babies, bringing about more squeals and protests from the squirming puppies. They were covered in fleas, which even the inexperinced Anja knew was problematic with puppies so young, but aside from that they seemed healthy enough. Better cared for then their mother was, certainly. After a moment, Anja brought his hand back to the mother dog.

“Shall I make a guess on why you brought me here?” Anja said wryly as he stroked the dog behind her ears. She let out a soft sigh in reply.

What was it the dog had seen in him? Surely she was taking a huge risk by bringing him here. He could bring harm to her children or to her. She had allowed him to see what was surely the most important thing in the world to her. Why take the risk? Had that small scrap of kindness he’d offered been worth enough for him to earn her trust? Or was she simply desperate?

There was an easy answer to that question, and it came to Anja without too much intense thought. The dog had taken a risk. Anja had seemed kind to her, and by bringing him here she was risking her pups in the hope that he might offer her care. Or at least, that was the best assumption Anja could make.

The man could feel a slight stirring sensation in him, one that he hadn’t experienced in a very long time. It was a strange thing to be relied on. Anja felt responsibility towards his respective duties as an Eiyon and a spiritist, but it was different to have something small and desperate asking for his trust. There was a little spark of life in this weary place. Although life was not his patron, Anja had always respected it. And in some ways, it went hand and hand with death. Perhaps he should be searching for it as well. Maybe it would help to make his life less...empty. After all, once one had passed on in death nothing remained. It was a lonely existence to live only among it.

One of the puppies had finished nursing and turned towards Anja with a soft growl. Anja gave the mother a glance to make sure she was still fine with it, but she appeared to be resting. Gently he reached forward and lifted the pup onto his lap. The puppy squirmed and let out a growl of protest, drawing a chuckle from Anja.

“Now now, enough of that,” he scolded the pup gently and probed it looking for injury. He did the same with each of them as they finished with their nursing, and returned them all to their mother one by one. Already his mind had began turning.

“There must be something I can do about the fleas,” Anja murmured to himself. He stood up and brushed himself off. Perhaps he could ask around the city for a place that could sell something that would be able to help. And surely he could find them some better food as well?

As Anja made his way towards the exit to the dog’s den, he heard a soft bark. The mother dog was sitting up and staring at him. At her feet, her puppies sat and rested, or weakly played with each other.

“I’ll be back soon,” Anja promised, and turned to leave. From the corner of his eye he watched the dog set her head down with a sigh.

“I’ll call you Light,” he said quietly, more to himself than to her. “The puppies can wait for names until later.”

It was an odd thing to have now. Purpose. Someone reliant on him.

Anja intended to explore the situation to its fullest.
User avatar
Anja Nightwatcher
Ghost Hunter
 
Posts: 113
Words: 129881
Joined roleplay: February 15th, 2018, 3:26 pm
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

No Friend Is Too Low

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 6th, 2018, 2:42 am

Image
Grades Have Arrived



Anja Nightwalker

XP Award:
  • +3 Observation
  • +2 Persuasion
  • +5 Animal Husbandry
  • +1 Socialization
  • +1 Endurance

Lore:
  • Location: Yedra’s Fountain
  • Animal Husbandry: Using Food to Tame
  • Animal Husbandry: Speaking Softly to Reassure
  • Animal Husbandry: Using Touch to Inspire Trust
  • Animal Husbandry: Petting to Search for Injury
  • Animal Husbandry: Assuring Puppies Have Been Fed
  • Animal Husbandry: Searching for Fleas
  • Light: The Mother Stray Dog
User avatar
Anja Nightwatcher
Ghost Hunter
 
Posts: 113
Words: 129881
Joined roleplay: February 15th, 2018, 3:26 pm
Race: Human, Drykas
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests