Closed Creature Comforts (Kelski)

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

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Creature Comforts (Kelski)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 30th, 2019, 9:44 pm

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Crickets and grasshoppers chimed melodies from the long grass, swaying in the breeze sweeping up from the coast of Baroque Bay. The bug song harmonized with the rhythm of the waves against the shoreline a short walk away. It was music Anja was familiar with. When the Drykas was home, he spent a lot of time here, out among the remnants of nature and grazing livestock. The song of nature was soothing to him, even if he couldn't understand what it was trying to say. Anja was still annoyed at the goats, of course, but he could feel his nerves unwind slightly as the song surrounded him. This area was a sanctuary for him, and frustration didn't serve any one. He took a few slow, deep breaths, and inhaled the crisp scent of cut grass then vaulted over the fence and approached the goats.

They were grazing in the longer grass past the edge of the fence, and looked up at Anja as the Drykas approached and bounced over towards him happily. One of the females let out a friendly bleat and trotted over to rub her horns against Anja's leg. "What exactly are you doing over here?" Anja asked in his very best disappointed-but-not-angry father tone. The goats made no attempt to acknowledge his words, simply continuing with their playful bouncing and cavorting. Anja knew from experience that the goats would quite happily be lifted up and deposited back on the other side of the fence, but by the time Anja had picked up a second goat, the first would be back grazing on the wrong side of the fence. It was a little bit like herding big cats with more destructive capabilities. Just as Anja was debating how to go about the monumental task at hand, Kelski walked out onto the deck and called down to him.

Anja looked up at her and felt a small, unpleasant shock at the worry in her gray eyes and the way her voice quivered with uncertainty. What was wrong? Had something happened? The anxiety felt somehow antithetical to Kelski, and Anja's stomach did a sharp flip. Among the sudden worry he had for his friend, a kind of gnawing realization dawned on him. Of course, he told himself, Kelski was not some kind of perfect, always confident, flawless creature. Anja had nothing but respect for her, but in that respect he had to sharply remind himself that romanticizing her was foolish and unfair. Had he done that? Seen only her positive traits? Aside from when he had helped protect her from that ghost and she had been afraid, most of what Anja had seen of Kelski had been remarkable. Fierce, confident, utterly competent. She was a person who Anja felt secure being near, as if no problem was too large for her to handle.

But people weren't one dimensional. They had flaws, regrets, insecurities. Gods knew Anja certainly did. If Anja was only seeing Kelski's strengths, then what had he missed? In some ways, flaws could help define a person, make them tangible and real. If he had missed those things, then how could he hope to form a real friendship with her? Locked in those anxiety-ridden eyes, Anja reassessed.

"Yes, please. I would be very grateful for your help." Anja's voice was warm and reassuring and his gaze was gentle. The tone of voice was the one he used when comforting people, a task that came quite frequently in his line of work, whether when caring for the dead or the grieving. "We don't have anything like goats in Endrykas. Or...well maybe some of the other Pavilions did, but my family didn't." If Kelski came down from the deck and approached him he would follow her with his eyes as he continued talking. "We had dogs, and Striders of course. And Zibri. They're um...sort of like cows I suppose. Have I ever mentioned that my son loved dogs? Perhaps that's why I got so attached to the twins and their mother."

Anja pulled some grass tufts out of the ground and waved them tantalizingly over the side of the fence. The goats simply cocked their heads at him. Anja sighed. "They're very clever, aren't they?" Anja asked. "Much smarter than the Zibri. Not as smart as Striders of course, but you don't try to get Striders to do anything." Maisa snorted in agreement from where her head was buried in the grass. Anja dropped his bundle of grass behind the fence and approached one of the goats, gently holding out his hand to sniff. The female snorted the grass smell from his palm and nibbled at his fingers. "I do like them," Anja said. "They're hardy animals. And that cleverness, that will serve you well in the Wildlands. Nothing better than an animal that can take care of itself. I just wish I had a better idea on how to work with them."

Anja stole a glance at Kelski to study her expression, searching for a sign of her anxiety having relaxed. He wasn't sure what had her worried, but he had a sinking feeling he might be involved somehow. If it was his fault, then it was his responsibility to fix the problem. If it wasn't then well...Kelski was still his friend. He would do what he could to help. "Are you well?" he asked finally. "You seemed worried, just now."
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Anja Nightwatcher
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Creature Comforts (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on August 5th, 2019, 11:39 pm

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He actually wanted her help? Kelski was surprised, since Anja seemed to know what to do with the animals at all times. Between his dogs and his horse, Kelski saw him as somewhat of an expert on all things flying, crawling, or hooved. But she nodded, and headed down the balcony stairs that took her to the deck which allowed her to walk off out into the grass. On her way across the deck, she bent down and picked up the toughened leather ball she’d gotten for Moth to play with when she’d first acquired him.

“Would you like to play ball?” She called loudly to Anja, half tossing the ball up and down in the air on the inside of the fence. Then when Anja was paying full attention, she’d toss the ball to him and beckon for him to toss it back to her. “How can you not have goats in Endrykas? Don’t you make cheese and eat the meat and well even use the coats?” Kelski thought back, not knowing much of the plains people. Maybe goats didn’t do well on the Sea of Grass. “You haven’t, no, but I’m not surprised your son loved dogs. Don’t little humans always like things like that?” Kelski asked, certain it was so. If there were stray dogs in the city market, one could usually find stray children playing with them. She tossed the ball back and caught it when Anja returned the pass. She laughed – rather shallowly and forced – and tossed it back to him again, all the while continuing their talk.

The goats definitely were zeroed in on the ball now. It was the size of a sheeps stomach – probably what it was made out of – so it was large enough for a horse but definitely tough enough for a few goats. One wandered causally back through the opening, pretending to ignore the ball, but actually circling around the playing duo. Another sniffed at the broken fence before jumping through.

Kelski payed them no mind. But she held onto the ball as Anja wandered over and tried to hold out his hand for a sniff. She tossed the ball up and down in the air, still trying to lure the goats over onto the goat side of the fence by just having something they might want. Gods above she had taken the ball away from them enough because they had broken one of the lower windows on the Gem throwing it at the building and once one had impaled it on a horn and then had ran around all crazy like the ball itself had attacked it with a mind to eat its face. That tear had been neatly mended by Mercy and the ball reinflated after tree gum had been applied. Mercy was always prepared to jerry rig something if necessary to make it last.

“I find….” She said, tossing the ball up and down again. “That if I’m alone and come out here and chase them they love it. But if I get tired, throw myself down in the grass, and play dead, they all come over to investigate and see if my corpse is edible… which gives me a chance to burst up and run to the hole to block it then patch it.” Kelski said casually.

Over half the goats were back in now… so at this point she tossed the ball to the nearest doe, the one that had crossed first and was most curious. The doe immediately pounced on it and started roughly playing with the inflated stomach. Kelski glanced at Anja, at his confession that he wished he knew how to better work with them. Then she shook her head. “They aren’t complicated. They like fun and they like attention. Being in trouble gets them attention. But I have noticed they like what they can’t have or what you have that you are having fun with. And they are beyond curious. So I try to utilize that when working with them. It doesn’t always work, especially with the buck who is suspicious, but the does are like little people… light hearted and joyful. They like fun. They will do a lot for fun.” She said, standing aside and slowly edging her way towards the broken part of the fence.

“I hope they do well in the Wilderness. I try to imagine what it will be like but I can’t. I’ve never lived outside of a city or off a boat. So I don’t know what to face or what to bring.” She said softly, then looked thoughtful. I was going to make a scouting trip south, but there is too much here to do to get The Gem sold and everything packed and ready to move. If I want to get out by the end of the season, we have to stay focused and keep positive.” Kelski said softly.

Anja’s last question caught her off guard. “I am well. I thought I had angered you… by bringing the goats here without asking you. By making more work for you. You seemed… put upon and your voice seemed frustrated?” She added, answering his question openly. All the goats were back in now, solely focused on trying to acquire possession of the ball from the clever doe that was managing to keep it from them. It gave Kelski a chance to work on the fence. They’d popped a board off, and luckily there was a big enough rock near the post to use as a hammer so she could hold the plank up and renail its nails back into the post. “They are clever, getting out like this. They hook their horns on the board and just pry it out by the nails. I’ve seen them do it two at a time then hop over the middle rail and are off. they have to stand on their hind legs to do it, but I don’t know how else to keep it from happening… maybe wire wrapped around the rail and then post?” She added, glancing up at Anja and wondering what he thought. Goat horns might as well be a claw-head hammer as efficient as they were at prying boards loose. “No wonder Barn is always annoyed at them.” She said, knowing she found lots of loose boards or boards pried from their spots when the goats wanted out.

Then Kelski added something more. “I don’t know you well, Anja. And I respect you. But you don’t laugh much, and almost never smile. You are… reserved. When you raise your voice it makes me think of other angry humans I know.” Kelski added, not wanting to compare him to how other humans acted, but she couldn’t actually help it.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
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Creature Comforts (Kelski)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on September 18th, 2019, 6:33 pm

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Anja felt a surge of relief as Kelski left the deck and walked down towards him. For a flash of a moment the Drykas had been worried she wouldn't come down to join him. He smiled at her as she approached, relief flickering across his face. He tilted his head very slightly when she asked if he wanted to play ball, and his mind flashed to how she had mentioned that he never played. "Sure," Anja said. The Drykas' catch was clumsy, but he managed to avoid dropping it completely. His Goss back to Kelski was clumsy, but before long he had gotten into the rhythm of catching and throwing, and there were only a few fumbles.

"I suppose some Drykas probably have goats," Anja considered. "My family never did though. Our milk, cheese, meat and coats came from our Zibri. At the mention of children loving dogs, Anja couldn't help but chuckle. "Yes, they certainly do." His animals often drew curious looks from the youngsters running about the city, and once or twice Anja had walked in on Ember and Caitlyn snuggling with the pups. "There's something about a dog's loyalty that calls for children, isn't there? They're so much easier to handle than other animals, and have so much affection to give. It's like dogs were made for us."

Anja didn't miss how their play with the balls was attracting the goats, and he found himself quietly mystified and took some mental notes. Such curious creatures these animals were. It seemed that just intriguing them was enough to bring them nearby, and Anja filed that information away for later use. Kelski's method was clearly more effective than his own, so he soon returned to the woman's side. He nodded at Kelski as the woman explained her method of understanding then animals. When she tossed the ball at one of the goats, Anja saw how they clustered around the ball as the doe played with it. As Kelski inched towards the fence, Anja made a show of kicking the ball a bit and the doe pranced after it.

"They are a good choice for the wilderness," Anja said as he watched the goats tussle over the ball. "They are too tough and clever to be easily taken by the predators in the Wildlands. They will fight the predators off...or warn others if they are about." Anja stroked one of the quieter does who was watching several of the goats tussle with the ball. She bleated and gave the man a friendly headbutt to his leg.

Anja's face turned concerned as Kelski spoke her worries, and the Drykas spun to face her fully. "I'm not angry with you Kelski. Anger is not an emotion that comes easily to me." He turned back towards the goats, and a wry smile crossed his face. "These little ones just had me a bit frustrated is all. It had nothing to do with you." Anja gave the kelvic a sidelong glance. "I didn't intend for you to think I was upset with you. I'm sorry it came across that way."

The goats were focused enough on the ball that Anja was able to move over to Kelski and help hold the board up for her while she rehammered in the nails. "Clever beasts," Anja said, but there was a note of affection in his voice. "I hadn't seen them pull the boards off. For all I knew they were prying those boards up by magic." At Kelski's suggestion, the man considered. "If they're pulling off the boards with their horns, then something to block their horns perhaps. Wire would likely do it." When the board was properly hammered in, Anja tested his weight against it and nodded with satisfaction. "I hope Barn will be happier in the new home," Anja said.

With the board properly set up again, Anja wandered over towards the goats to join their play, but the man stopped dead at Kelski's words. He turned to look at her, and regret and worry filled his eyes. "Kelski, I-" Anja bit back his response and stopped to consider how he wanted to word what he wanted to say. "I would never ever wish for you to feel unsafe. And I would never wish harm on you." He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I recognize that I am reserved and quiet. And I don't laugh or play. That's just how I am, and it was how I was even before my family died. I suppose their deaths made things worse though. I'm...relearning what it is to have a family." He paused to think for a long moment. "I have a great deal of respect for you too Kelski," he added. "I would like it greatly if we could be better friends."
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Anja Nightwatcher
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Posts: 262
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Joined roleplay: February 15th, 2018, 3:26 pm
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Creature Comforts (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on November 1st, 2019, 1:15 am

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Kelski

Running +1, Morphing +1, Intimidation +1, Teaching +3, Psychology +2, Persuasion +2, Subterfuge +1, Animal Husbandry +1


Note: Anja isn’t on the site any longer, no need to do grades.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1574
Words: 2004873
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

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