Closed A Falling Star This Morn (Asterope)

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

A Falling Star This Morn (Asterope)

Postby Kopesha on August 6th, 2020, 12:30 am



Timestamp: Summer 51st, 520

For two and a half seasons now, Kopesha had been living here in the Tent City. And much as the owner of the caravan she arrived on had said, she'd been robbed and attacked multiple times here. A couple attempts she'd fought off, others she'd lost, and a couple times she just came back to find stuff missing. She had considered leaving but the stubbornness deep in her gut refused to allow that. She'd seen enough here to know that people from all over lived here, she just had to make her place.

But earlier in this season, there had finally been a turning point. Her neighbor, an older man who would brow beat anyone who called him elderly, had come back from buying supplies, swearing like a sailor. Apparently, he had been unable to buy some flower called a daisy. He seemed particularly upset about it since it is supposed to be a common flower throughout the area.

Kopesha had seen enough to know that not everyone here got attacked and robbed, just those without a community to belong to. So she got up from where she'd been whittling, walked over to the man, and asked exactly what this flower looked like. He was perplexed and annoyed by her and shooed her away. So she continued to ask neighbors and people she came across until finally, a child, described it to her. It took three days of searching until she found it, and she returned, setting it in front of the man's tent.

And now, every time she went into the wilds to hunt, she kept an eye out for the white flower, and when she found some, she set them in front of his tent. And the attacks stopped. The robberies stopped. And neighbors would answer her questions now.

She was reminiscing on all of this, a near smile almost crossing her face as she looked up at the morning sky, just as the last of the stars were beginning to disappear. She watched as one, glowing bright, streaked across the sky. It could only be a sign of good luck. She continued to clean and prep her bow, check her arrows, slipping six shortbow arrows, two broad arrows, and two game arrows into her climbing quiver before strapping it to her back. It was warm, so her cloak stayed in her tent with much of the rest of her stuff. She took her pack, with her eating knife, herbalist's kit, flint and steel, a coil of rope, with one torch hanging from the pack and another quiver of arrows strapped to the outside. Her knife hung from her hip as always.

She looked over at Leonard, the neighbor who liked daisy flower tea for his stomach issues, nodding her head. He raised a cup of tea at her, nodding and cracking a small smile. Once Kopesha had determined that all of her equipment was ready, she stood up, bow in hand, and made her way south into the wilds.

She never took the same path in nor out of the Tent City, nor did she enter the wilds at the same point. Predictability got you jumped. Her tent might be safe due to the watchful eyes of her neighbors, just as she now watched theirs, but that didn't mean she was safe while away from it. She slipped between some trees as the sun began its slow, summer climb across the sky.

She found a game path, following it in parallel, doing her best to walk as quietly as she could. She kept to a low crouch as much as she could, following the trail down to a small creek. And there, from behind a brush, she pulled two arrows, one standard and one game. She readied the standard in her bow, not yet pulling on the string, and set the other within easy reach. And from there, she watched the creek and waited. She knew all creatures had to go to water, just as all paths eventually led to it. She was hoping for something substantial like a deer, but all meat sold well in Sunberth.

She just had to be patient.

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A Falling Star This Morn (Asterope)

Postby Asterope on August 7th, 2020, 1:44 am

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Aster was tentatively beginning to venture back into Sunberth. Her forays were brief and nerve-wracking, even though she'd taken care to only visit at night, and not frequent; but she had to learn to get over her fear of the city. And besides, she missed Imogen sorely, so much so it surprised her.

That had been the reason for her visit that night, but she hadn't been able to find the girl, and she was wary of wandering around the city too much at night. She'd made her way to Tent City to see Jala instead, and after explaining who she was to the understandably surprised and cautious herbalist, had sat for awhile and had some tea.

The visit had been mostly silent, the two simply drinking their tea. Aster had told Jala a little bit about the Outpost, and Jala had assured her Imogen was doing fine. The meeting had comforted her. As she'd been getting ready to leave, Jala had mentioned being out of mint for her tea, and on impulse, Aster had offered to find some for her.

It had been a long time since she'd gone actually looking for her own herbs, and she felt like she had to repay Jala for the things she'd helped Aster with, so the offer came impulsively but naturally.

"Don't go too far into the forest unless you think you can handle yourself," Jala cautioned. Aster had minimal experience with the wilds, so she noted to keep to the edge of the woods. "Mint tends to grow by water. It's voracious, so if you find it, there will be a lot. Grows close to the ground, dark green, and well...you'll know it by the smell, of course."

Armed with a small cloth bag to collect the plant in, Jala walked her to the outskirts of Tent City to deter any trouble, and sent her off. Aster began to regret her decision as she approached the edge of the woods; it was a bit of a walk, and by the time she was there, the night sky was being washed out by grey, a sign that dawn was coming. Not to mention that she was beginning to realize she had never really been in any sort of wilderness alone before.

She lingered by the edge of the woods, then reached up to grasp the tooth that hung on a chain around her neck, rubbing her thumb over it to soothe herself and bolster her courage before she stepped in among the trees. Above her, Aster saw the glowing streak of a falling star shoot across the sky. She wasn't sure if it comforted her or pained her, so instead of dwelling on it, she inhaled and entered the woods.

Asterope walked further into the trees, peering around curiously. The forest was quiet in the hours of the late night that bled into the early morning, only a few birds beginning to stir and whistle their songs into the grey light. It was...surprisingly peaceful, for the city that lay so close to its edge.

The sound of trickling water caught her ear, and she followed the sound, skirting a fallen tree, the log thick with moss. She wasn't being particularly quiet; her steps disturbed and rustled the brush around her, snapping the occasional twig, her cloak sometimes catching on twigs. It wasn't so dark that she needed to use it for light, at least.

Pausing, Aster listened carefully, tilting her head to listen for the water. It sounded louder, so closer, and after a moment she continued in a slightly different direction. Eventually, she saw the trickling stream; she was perhaps further into the woods than she should have gone, but she was there now, so she might as well look.

Approaching the stream, Aster leaned over, searching through the grass and plants by the bank of the stream. Not seeing anything that looked like mint, she moved slightly more down downstream, combing her fingers through the grass; further down, a patch of dark green caught her attention, and she shifted over. Plucking one of the plants, Aster crushed it between her fingers, and the smell of mint overwhelmed her senses before she even raised the leaves to her nose.

Satisfied, she knelt down, beginning to pluck the leaves and fill the sack that Jala had given her. The sounds of the birds waking up around her and the babbling of the brook was soothing as she plucked the leaves, the scent of mint lingering in the air; but as she worked, the hairs on the back of her neck began to prickle.

Aster was unaware of the hunter whose line of sight she had knelt in, but she felt uneasy, as if she was being watched. Pausing, she looked around, feeling her nerves creep back in. Was there an animal around? Or perhaps worse, a Sunberth thug who had deemed her easy prey?

Swallowing hard, Aster mustered her courage. She had her whip on her hip, not that she was very good at using it, and she could always use her claws if she had to. "Hello?" She called out, to the empty air around her, her gaze flickering back and forth. She tried not to sound nervous, but she could hear the way her voice quavered regardless.

Even as she spoke, she felt it when the sun finally slipped above the horizon. Kneeling by the stream, peering into the trees, a soft golden glow enveloped the fair-skinned woman with pink and grey hair and crimson eyes; when it faded, it left a woman with glimmering rose-gold skin and burning amber eyes, with flowing rose-gold hair and elegant, milky white horns that spiraled back from her temples.

Shyke. She had really lost track of time. She might have to bring Jala the mint she had collected another night; she wasn't sure she wanted to risk venturing back into Tent City during the day. Aster wasn't even sure she wanted to be in the forest during the day. "Is anyone there?" She demanded, slowly rising to her feet, squinting into the shadows, but she couldn't make out any shapes, whether animal or person. Her free hand drifted down to ghost over the whip resting on her hip; despite her hesitance to rely on it, it was still a comforting presence.
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A Falling Star This Morn (Asterope)

Postby Kopesha on August 7th, 2020, 8:48 pm



Kopesha heard the steps before she ever saw her target approached. She slowly, ever so slowly so as to be quiet, began to draw on her bow, the arrow nocked, to full draw. And there she held it, already feeling the strain across chest and back, a a small shake forming in her bracing arm. She brought the bow up to a gap in the brush, waiting, agonizing as she heard the movement moving across her toward the water. She kept her breath low, patient, watching, hands beginning to perspire and that thrill of the hunt growing in her gut.

Then a woman walked across her path, and she immediately lowered her bow, slowly loosening the string back to a relaxed state. She inwardly sighed. Not only was this woman not food, but she was probably keeping food away from this hunting spot. Then the woman spoke, clearly suspicious of something.

Despite being hidden, Kopesha's face was deadpanned in disbelief. Had this woman heard her somehow? Perhaps she wasn't as stealthy as she thought herself to be. Her arm was sore from holding her bow for that long. She had heard from one of the men of Riverfall when she was there a couple years ago, that to get a stronger bow arm, she needed to eat more. But surplus of food had never been a reality in her life. It was a problem she hadn't quite discovered the fix for yet.

All of these things combined had put her in a bit of a foul mood as she watched this woman. But that didn't last long, as the woman began to glow, Kopesha's eyes widening. The woman became another woman entirely! More beautiful now, and with horns, which didn't seem so strange on this ethereal woman. This woman, clearly having detected Kopesha, having changed like this, could only mean one thing. Kopesha laid down her arrow, keeping her bow in hand, as she stood up. She raised her bow over her head as she did, to show that she was not a danger as she moved around the bush and into plain view of the woman.

She slowly approached the woman, and in her struggling Common, "Apologizes. I hunting, you come to water. I no hunt you." As she came closer, she lowered the bow down to her waist, but still kept two hands upon it. Kopesha was wearing her simple feathered bodice and knee length skirt, bands of black painted across her eyes, arms, and legs. Her jet black hair had feathers and beads and bones all braided into it, and her obsidian eyes stared at the beautiful woman.

Her lips pursed, clearly a question upon them. She took a deep breath, looking the woman directly in the eyes, "Are you goddess? What you name?"
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A Falling Star This Morn (Asterope)

Postby Asterope on September 1st, 2020, 10:24 am

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Aster spun around, startled, as a woman suddenly emerged from the trees and underbrush. She hadn't actually expected anyone to be there. Her hand clumsily grabbed at the handle of her lash, but she realized the woman was approaching slowly, and she held her bow up in her hands to show that she wasn't a threat.

Cautiously, Aster dropped her hand back to her side. The woman was striking, beautiful in a wild way. She had eyes as black as the darkest night sky Aster had ever seen, shining pools of obsidian, and a black stripe of paint to match across her face. She was clearly much more in tune to the nature around them, comfortable in the wilderness. A hunter? It made sense, given the bow.

The woman's words, in broken Common, confirmed Aster's theory. The braids in her hair, decorated with feathers and beads, reminded Aster somehow of the Drykas. The next words from the huntress caught her off-guard completely, and she couldn't help the startled laugh that burst from her, like chimes in the wind, full of surprise rather than humour.

"A goddess?" She'd seen people in awe of her before, but that was certainly a first. It was certainly flattering, if in a rather uncomfortable, borderline blasphemous way. "No, nothing like that." Well, perhaps not nothing. But she wasn't sure how to casually say 'no, actually, not a goddess but just a little bit divine, I used to live with one in another world entirely'. So she just shook her head, morning light dancing off the gleam of her horns.

"I'm an Ethaefal, a daughter of Syna. My name is Asterope." Her hands were full with the bag she held, and the woman had both of her hands clasped around her bow, so Aster didn't bother to offer a hand. "I'm sorry if I disturbed your hunt. I don't usually come into the woods, but I came to gather some mint for my...friend," she finished, after a pause.

She considered Jala a friend, but she wasn't sure if it was quite so strongly reciprocated. Acquaintance might be more accurate. As if to prove her point, Aster raised the partially filled bag slightly, sending the strong scent of fresh mint wafting through the air.

"What about you? What's your name? Perhaps I can help make it up to you somehow, with your hunt?" She didn't know anything about hunting, but perhaps the black-eyed woman could also use some mint, or some other herb. "Hopefully I didn't scare away all of the animals, I know I wasn't exactly quiet. I'm not actually used to being in the wilderness like this, and definitely not the forest." Not that she actually would have fared much better in the Sea of Grass, but she kept that to herself.
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A Falling Star This Morn (Asterope)

Postby Kopesha on September 1st, 2020, 9:25 pm



The woman laughed at her question, and this caused a disapproving scowl to start growing upon Kopesha's face. Even if this woman wasn't a goddess like Kopesha had thought, the laughter was both an affront to the idea of gods, and an insult to her own pride. She listened to the continued words, her mood soured.

An Ethaefel? She hadn't heard of it. But it was just another race, it seemed. Not a goddess. Kopesha felt the wind flutter out of her sails, so to speak. This helped to lighten her anger a bit, though she was still annoyed. Her name was Asterope. Kopesha stepped up to her, presenting her forearm to clasp and be clasped, "Well meet you, Astro-pee." She stepped back after, regardless of whether Asterope had clasped back. "I be Kopesha of Kalanue Tribe, Raindancer of Makutsi."

The woman seemed to think her presence had been some sort of interruption, a disruption. Kopesha shook her head. "Forest is free place. You no disturb me hunt. That like say wind disturb me hunt. None sense." Then the woman said something that worried Kopesha even more. She wasn't used to being in the wilderness. Yet here she was, alone. That was incredibly dangerous and stupid. The look on her face was evident of this thought, completely appalled at the audacity of something so reckless.

"You lucky you not quiet. Loud scare some beasts. You no should be here. Too dangerous. You not be serious, Astro-pee, daughter of Syna." Kopesha shook her head, "Forest be respect. No respect forest, you die. Other people die." If she looked closely, she would be able to see tears filling Kopesha's ebony eyes. It made Kopesha remember about how she lost her husband. That had been with dozens of other seasoned hunters, and still, many were killed. The wilderness was not something to ever take lightly.

She needed to get this woman out of the forest, safely and quickly. "I help you find mint. You leave. Deal?"

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