Solo White Tailed Deer

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

White Tailed Deer

Postby Kopesha on August 8th, 2020, 8:07 pm



Timestamp: Summer 12, 520

Kopesha had been in Sunberth for just over two seasons now. She avoided most of the typical city area, sticking to the Tent City section in the southeast, and then operating out of there as a hunter. She preferred it this way, there was nothing good involving that city. Plus she was slowly becoming a part of the Tent City. She didn't get jumped or robbed near as much now.

But today would be a good day, for as she stepped out of tent, just a bit before sunrise, she could see that it had rained. Mother Makutsi had blessed this day, and it would not go to waste. Despite having left Eyktol a few years ago, she still was not so accustomed to all the rain available in the northlands, but she was still thankful for it. She crouched down and plucked the leaf of some weed, and brought it to her lips, to drink the water given by the Rain Mother, thanking her as she tasted that nectar.

Kopesha stripped herself of her clothing, and sat outside of her tent on a small rock she'd fetched a while back to serve as a chair of sorts. She reached over, grabbing the bowl she left out to gather rain water, and set it upon her lap. She looked down in it, smiling at her image. Sootay climbed up her back and on her shoulder looking into the reflection as well. She knew that they were, in fact, seeing themselves exactly how their goddess sees them.

She smiled at herself, knowing that her goddess wished for her to be happy. She bared her teeth, showing her strength. In her native tongue, "Thank you, Mother of Rivers, for blessing us with your bounty. We will honor your blessing by using it to strengthen ourselves and to give back in your name."

With that said, she slowly picked the heavy bowl up and over her head, pouring some of the rain water over her and Sootay's heads, feeling any worries and stresses wash away under her goddess' caress. Basking in the feeling for a moment, she then picked up her scraping stone and began scraping her skin clean of any grime, dead skin, and the like. It was a slow process, one she took quite seriously. She was not one of the Sunberthians, living in their own filth. Worse than animals. Once she was finished, she used the remaining rainwater to rinse herself clean.

She stood up, cleaning up her area, ignoring the neighbors who had grown accustomed to her wanton public nudity though they still tended to stare. She didn't care, she had nothing to hide or be ashamed of. It was always so strange to her that people thought in such ways. She slipped back into her tent, and geared up quickly, double checking all the equipment she had checked the night prior. Once she was ready, she stepped back out, looking southward to the woods.

Sooty spoke first, "It's been a while since we had any deer."

Kopesha smiled, "It has. And it is a special day."

Sooty dashed out ahead of her, "And you're a special huntress."

She chuckled, walking off after him, just as the first lights of sunrise began to climb over Sunberth.
Last edited by Kopesha on August 31st, 2020, 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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White Tailed Deer, part 1

Postby Kopesha on August 8th, 2020, 8:18 pm



And so the pair made their way to the forest's edge, already being mindful with careful footsteps, not that Sootay could actually leave any. Her eyes were set forward, ears open, listening to the sounds of crickets starting the day, paying attention for anything that sounded out of place. Once at the tree line, she headed westward, looking for one of the many game trails that came and went. She never used the same one twice in a row, both for her own safety and she didn't wish to fall into a routine.

Kopesha and Sootay hiked for an hour along the tree line until she found a trail she felt to be suitable. Bow in hand, she slipped beneath the trees, her eyes now scanning the ground and flicking up to keep aware, searching out tracks in the soft mud. The deer were most active at dusk and dawn, so she knew she'd find some eventually. As she went, she took extra care to maintain a lower crouch, to stay hidden beneath the more wild bushes and vines that grew wild around her. She also, where able, stepped only upon rocky areas, leaves, moss so as to not leave as much of a trail of her own. She wouldn't put it past one of those Sunberthers to follower her in the hopes of an easy mark.

The pair hiked along at their slow and steady pace until the trail was abruptly cut short by a particularly large tree that had fallen over the path. Kopesha stepped off the path, into the crunch of the underbrush. She stepped confidently, as any attempt at being stealthy was lost. She reached the end of the tree, seeing that its roots were exposed and the spot it fell from was extremely damp. A sacrifice demanded by Makutsi it seemed.

She walked back toward the path, as Sootay scaled the tree, and was walking along the trunk parallel to her. Once back to the path, knowing now that the River Mother had put this tree in the path, she knew that to simply walk around was an affront. She walked up to the tree, feeling its bark, still amazed at how large trees grew in the north. It was sturdy, rough. She gripped at it, finding that it didn't crumble or break. She loosened the string on her bow, slipping it over her torso. A bit of adjusting of her pack and quiver, and soon she was ready.

She reached up over her head, gripping the bark as best she could with her fingertips from her left hand. Then she stepped up a bit with her left foot, pressing her toes into a groove in the bark, wriggling them to get a good grip under her toe pads. In this awkward position, she bounced a few times on her right foot before, giving a small jump up, reaching high with her right hand. She managed to catch a bit of bark in the curvature of the fallen tree, while Sootay watched her from above, lying on his back. She found another grip in the bark with her other foot, and used that to brace for the next push up.

Slowly, she climbed up the trunk, scraping her arms and knees a good bit, and her nose once, but continued to climb until she finally could rest on her chest atop the fallen tree, smiling. Sootay rubbed up against her head, "I knew you could do it."

She rested there, catching her breath, before tilting her head up to look down the other side of the path. And dead ahead, a deer stood in the path, staring straight at her. She froze, holding her breath. Moment after agonizing moment passed, the two beings staring at each other until Kopesha needed to breathe. And that smallest of movement sent the deer sprinting off down the path. Kopesha smacked the wood of the tree with her palm, cursing in her native tongue.

She pulled herself up to a sitting position on the tree and Sootay moved into her lap, "We're going after it, right?"

"Of course."

"What are we waiting for?"

"For me to calm my storm."

"Good."


She took the time to take deep breaths, calming her frustration at not paying attention after climbing over the tree. Then she half climbed, half fell down the opposite side of the tree and walked over to where she'd seen the deer. In the mud, she saw exactly what she wanted to see. Two pointed, oblong shapes in tandem in the mud. The tracks of the deer. She put the tracks into memory, following them. As she went, she could see that the front tracks were smaller than the hind tracks. Or at least that was her assumption. Deer did seem to jump a lot from their hind legs, would make sense if they were bigger.

Following the tracks, she worked to move extra silently, to peer slowly around blind turns and the like. At one point, she found a fresh puddle of urine in a divot in the path. She stuck a finger down in it, sniffed at it, then tasted it. It was something her mother used to do, said it was important to understand scents and tastes as best you could. The more you knew about your quarry, the easier it was to hunt them. As Kopesha passed a blackberry bush, she picked a few, popping them into her mouth, not one to waste a small bounty, finding them terribly juicy and sweet.



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White Tailed Deer, part 1

Postby Kopesha on August 15th, 2020, 9:53 pm



She kept along, until the tracks disappeared. She paused, staring at the very last ones for a long moment. They seemed to be deeper in the damp soil than the previous ones, though wider on the left. And the back points seemed a bit kicked out to the right. She stepped back from the tracks, letting her feet sink heavily into the mud. She then leaned to the left, rolling her left foot, then picking it up. Looking at the track, it left a similar type of impression. She put it back down, and slowly kicked out the heel of her right foot. Lifting again, she smiled, looking off to the left. A low brush there blocked her path. But she knew the deer had gone that way.

She went down the path a bit more, until she found an opening in the brush, and slipped in. She moved extra carefully now, picking the spots where she'd step very specifically, rolling heel to toe to deaden any sound, just as her mother, and husband, had taught her. Avoiding leaves was impossible at this point, so she picked those that seemed to be most flattened to the ground, or were a bit damper to dampen the noise. Dried leaves were the bane of a stealthy hunter's existence.

As she rounded another bush, she stopped, seeing her quarry there in a tiny clearing, plucking at the some plants there beneath the tree. Kopesha quietly pulled a standard arrow, slipping it onto her bowstring, resting atop her top most gripping finger, which she kept slightly raised. She then turned away back to the bush, as she began pulling the arrow and string. Once it nocked, she took a slow breath, focusing. She then took a step to the left, crunching a dried leaf as she pivoted into an open stance. The deer looked up just as she left the arrow loose.

The deer started it's fleeing, and the air flew left of the intended heart, striking it high in the rear rib. This sent the deer stumbling into the brush ahead of it, and Kopesha gave chase, cursing herself for not being careful right up until the last second. She gave chase, yanking another arrow out of her quiver, pushing through the brush. She saw the deer struggling to move, terrified, climbing up a small rise in the land. The hip she'd hit looked locked up by the shot. Kopesha set and drew her arrow, taking her deep breath. As she exhaled, she loosed the arrow, watching it fly through the wood. This time it struck the beast in the neck, and the deer hit the ground hard.

Kopesha shouldered her bow, drawing her knife as she jogged over to the downed creature. She knelt down to it, stabbing quickly into the beast's heart, right where her mother showed her as a child, ending the suffering she inflicted on it. She watched the light fade from its eyes. In her native tongue, "I'm sorry I failed you, making you suffer needlessly. I offer your spilled blood to the soil, to bring life."

She pulled the arrows free, cleaning them before putting them back in her quiver. Then she set to work field dressing the deer. She rolled it over on its back, splaying its legs outwards. She dragged it around, pulling the head to be uphill from the body, so that the blood would drain properly. It was a doe, so the first thing she did was cut away the udder, being careful to just use the tip so as to not puncture deep. She then set the udder into the crow pile and continued. From the hole that was now formed, she slowly cut her way upward to the breast bone, staying just as shallow as before. She then began sawing away at the bone, not the best effort since her blade wasn't serrated but the bone gave way eventually. She reached into the cavity, feeling upward until she found the throat. One hand gripping the trachea, the other cut it free.

She then pulled slowly, using the knife to cut away connecting tissue. Slowly, all the organs came together, first the heart and lungs, followed by the stomach and intestines. She pulled all of these out,, leaving a portion of intestine still connected. Back at the point where she'd cut away the udder, she cut through the meat, exposing the pelvis. She reached in, cutting away the bladder and remaining intestine. She then pulled the organs out, depositing the lot into her crow pile. Kopesha then flipped the deer back over, to let it finish draining out, watching the little rivers of blood flow downhill. She then said two prayers.

"May your lifeblood flow with the rivers of the world, bringing life anew," dedicated to Makutsi. Followed by, "May your meat sate the hunger of the crows." While the blood was draining, she found a sturdy stick roughly the length of her arm span. Once the deer was ready, she used some rope to tie its head and forelegs to one end of the stick, and it's hind legs to the opposite end. Bow over one shoulder, she leaned down, heaved the stick over her other shoulder, the deer hanging from it on her hip. And she began the hike back to her tent, reminding herself that compared to her journey to give her husband to Makutsi, carrying this deer was but a simple task.

Still, the damn thing was heavy.

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White Tailed Deer, part 1

Postby Kopesha on August 31st, 2020, 9:59 pm



Sweating and huffing and puffing, Kopesha broke through the tree line, deer hanging from a branch on one shoulder, bow on the other, she could see Tent City in the distance. She dug deep, climbing the slight rise as the sun was now high in the sky, pressing her padded feet against the grass, giving extra push off as she went. She carried it through the rows of tents, people eyeballing her carrying food, some with jealousy, others with awe. Not many people ventured into the woods and came back, and this woman did it often.

Trudging along, she reached her camp site, she saw one of her neighbors, the old man with a penchant for daisy tea, sitting outside of his tent. Damn. She completely forgot to look for his daisies. She'd have to make it up to him somehow. She shrugged the deer off next to her fire pit, grabbing her knife, able to feel the man's curious gaze. She opened the skin flap and crudely carved off a chunk of meat that was mostly tenderloin, and some neighboring meats as she hadn't bothered to learn such things. She pulled it out, walking over to the man.

"I forgot look for flower. I give you this. I find flowers day next."


The man looked up at her, she knew he wanted that flower, but he was a kind man, and smiled softly, taking the meat. "You're a nice girl. Thank you."

She turned back, knife in hand, to begin carving up the deer some more, when he continued, "You shouldn't cut that up anymore. Don't sell that meat here in the tents, you've been getting ripped off." She looked up, confused at the words, "People aren't paying you what the meat is worth." She scowled and the man laughed, "No one to blame but yourself for that one. But, if you head into town, you can get a better deal if you sell that to Baker's. It's a meat shop and could make good use of it and pay you what it is really worth. And if you're nice, maybe you can learn how to butcher an animal the right way."

Kopesha considered the information, nodded her head, “Thanks you. I will do. You nice old man.” The man described to her how to get to Baker’s Butcher and Bake Shop. She grabbed her coin purse from the hiding place in her tent, then picked the deer back up, grunting all the while. She was starting to get tired of carrying heavy things, she’d had enough for one lifetime for sure. Still, she made her way northward through the tents, and into town. She found herself wondering what Karsynwa was up to. The area of town for the butcher was close to where her and Karsyn had had their first eventful night together. A wild night for sure.

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White Tailed Deer, part 1

Postby Kopesha on August 31st, 2020, 9:59 pm



"This is the best I can give you for this. You've absolutely mangled this poor deer, plus she's a bit young. You really should've waited until next season or simply picked an older adult. Look at this shot placement. You made her suffer, which lessens the taste of the meat, unless you're a Zith. At least you didn't punch the entrails, but look here, and here, and here," Kane Baker, of Baker's Butchery and Bake Shop, pointed to various places in the hide, "You punctured through the skin, lessening the value of the hide. Sloppy, sloppy work. And I'm not even going to talk about the atrocity you committed on that tenderloin. Seriously. Horrible. You won't make much money if you don't get any better at this. You're lucky my wife isn't here right now. She'd have some serious words for you."

Then he cracked a smile, "But not horrible for a beginner. Don't cut out any meat next time, be a bit more careful on your shots and organs, and bring it to me. If it's in decent enough shape, I'll show you how to butcher it, properly. This is just stew meat at this point." Kane handed Kopesha a pouch of coins, "Now get goin. Your eyes are creepy and you don't want my wife to come in and see you associated with this mess of a kill."

He waved his hand toward the door, and Kopesha, still in a state of stunned disbelief, grabbed her coins and left. She wasn't sure if he'd insulted her or her taught her something or both. But she got paid. So that was good. Still, she appreciated his payment, and his offer for her next kill, and she would certainly take him up on it. She turned down the street, hearing a woman's voice from the shop scream, angrily, "What in the shit is this?!" Kopesha hurried along.

As she was walking along, she heard a scree. She looked off to her left, just across the dusty road, at a large open space between buildings. There was some large, strange wooden structure built there, and all over it were crows. Large, strange looking crows. Kopesha smiled. A sign from Brother Eywaat, for sure. She crossed the street, bee-lining for the place known as The Gallows. As she neared, she saw every crow head turn toward her, watching her. It was only now that she could see that each and every single crow was wearing a skull, of creatures that were not crows.

These were warriors. She could feel it in her bones. These crows killed and wore the skulls of their enemies, not letting the bones go to waste. She was honored to be in the presence of such noble creatures. She lowered herself to a seated position, crossing her legs, hands open and resting on her knees. She first said a prayer, in her native Tawna but aloud, to Eywaat. "Brother Eywaat, thank you for guiding me to more of your faithful servants. I will continue you to honor you, and I shall honor them as well."

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White Tailed Deer, part 1

Postby Kopesha on August 31st, 2020, 10:00 pm



Kopesha simply sat there, watching and waiting patiently. Eventually, the Skull Crows stopped paying her any mind, likely figuring that she was far enough away to not be a threat. Not that she would be. She watched as the birds hopped around. She figured, that like many other birds, they'd be foraging for food; seeds, bugs, etc. But she quickly noticed that it didn't seem to be the case. They were moving back and forth from one another, but were never stooping to pick up something from the ground. She closed her eyes, focused her efforts solely on listening.

At first, she heard the typical caws of a crow, small and mellow. Numerous, chatting amongst themselves she guessed. She couldn't make out individuals, no matter how hard she tried. She tried everything. She tried to count them. She tried to focus on just one. But she kept getting lost in their conversations. And then she heard a cooing noise. She opened her eyes, looking up at the source of the sound. A pigeon had landed on the far edge of the lawn, a respectful distance from the crows. It definitely looked to be foraging, pecking at loose grass on the ground, seeing what was underneath.

Then she heard another coo. From one of the crows. She looked over at it, seeing it hop a bit closer toward the pigeon, mimicking the coo. The pigeon looked up at the crow, cooing back. The crow changed up the intonations of the cooing, until the pigeon began to hop toward it. The crow hopped backwards, continuing to coo, further drawing the pigeon in. Once the bird was in the middle of the group of crows, a single caw was uttered, and they all pounced on the bird. It didn't take long for it to drop in a flurry of grey feathers. They ripped at its flesh, consuming it.

And so, Kopesha tried to caw. Soft and timid. The birds all looked up at her in unison, then went back to their meal. She tried the same caw again, but nothing happened. Once more, nothing. She tried changing it up a bit, trying to urge more of a deeper sound from her throat, but she couldn't get the birds to give a damn. She kept at it, over and over, til her throat began to get scratchy and sore. She felt a cough coming, one she tried to suppress, while bringing up a hand to her mouth. As she half coughed, half croaked into her hand, the birds all looked up. They then began to mimic the noise back at her, and one hopped in her direction.

She tried it again, intentionally this time, and she could see some were losing interest. She tried again, trying to conjure the sound from deep within her, and managed to pull it out. And the one crow hopped closer still, mimicking the sound back at her. She repeated it, and so did it, in a back and forth until the bird was so close she could reach out to touch it. She withheld the urge, but she studied it, and the skull over its head closely. It looked to be the skull of a particularly large rodent if she had to take a guess. She'd seen some huge rats in this city, so she suspected it might be one of those.

The bird initiated the call this time, and Kopesha answered, and the bird hopped up onto one of her legs. It was both heavier and lighter than she'd expected, as she'd never held a living bird, let alone a crow before. She saw it studying her, and it reached forward, tentatively, grabbing a bone bead in her hair, and tugging on it lightly. But it was braided in and would not pull free. Smiling, she spoke to it in Tawna, "You want this?"

She slowly, using wide gestures, brought her hands up to her hair. She unbraided that bit and slid the bead off. She then left it in her open palm, making the call once more. The bird answered in kind, then grabbed the bead in its beak. Then it hopped off her and returned back to its brethren. She smiled, seeing it show off the bead to its friends, before working the bead over one of its feathers, wearing it similar to how she'd done. An exchange of knowledge, one that gave her an idea. One that meant she had to return to the meat shop. With the very angry wife.

She sighed, standing up. Better to get it over with.

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White Tailed Deer, part 1

Postby Kopesha on August 31st, 2020, 10:00 pm



Kopesha backed up against a wall as Kiarsha Baker waved a large butcher's knife in her face, "It was YOU that desecrated that animal with such disrespect?! That was an abomination! An affront to Caiyha!" From the other side of the shop, Kane Baker was smiling nervously at Kopesha and his wife, "Now honey..."

The Myrian woman whirled around, pointing her knife at him, "Don't you honey me!" Kopesha took that time to sidle over closer to the door. Kiarsha pointed the knife at Kopesha without looking, and the Chaktawe woman froze. Kiarsha continued on, "You bought from such an amateur! From one such a greenhorn as to bring us this?"

Kane stood tall, putting on a more stern face, "If we don't guide her now, she will not improve and continue to dishonor the animals. Now stop the tirade and let's get to work." Kiarsha looked back at Kopesha, playing with the knife in her fingers as she considered something, and Kane continued, "Nah, not enough meat there, my love. Not worth the effort."

The Myrian sighed, "I suppose you're right, my love. You know I can't stay mad at you when you decide to show some backbone." She set the knife down upon the table, "Well, get over here." Kopesha stepped forward, silently praying to Eywaat and Makutsi to not let her get stabbed by this crazy, tall woman. She stepped up to the table, seeing her deer laying upon it. Kiarsha said, "So you want the head? For what?"

Kopesha had never once told a lie and had no intention of starting now. "Eywaat show me skull crows." She felt that was enough of an explanation. And it seemed Kiarsha agreed, "Well then, let's get to it." Kiarsha and Kane both pulled out a wide variety of knives. "Watch carefully, we will explain as we work, and we will go slower than we normally do. Do not interrupt, do not ask questions. Do not think. Watch and listen only."

Kopesha nodded, and saw them get to work. First Kiarsha removed the head with a powerful, single swing of her large butcher's knife. Then she switched to smaller, though still large, knives. They began removing large chunks of flesh and hide from the skull. As those fell away, they switched to smaller knives, removing smaller and finer pieces of flesh. Soon, all that was left was the red membrane over the bone, the eyes, and the tongue. "Until you are better with a knife, use pliers for these." Using a set of pliers, Kiarsha removed one eyeball, while Kane removed the other with a knife alone. Kiarsha then pulled on the tongue, demonstrating, and then Kane cut it out.

Once that was done, Kiarsha began showing Kopesha how to properly butcher what was left of the deer, while Kane got a pot of water boiling. He dunked the skull in, "It will be a couple of bells. We'll get some work out of you in the mean time." Once Kopesha learned how to butcher the deer, she was shown how they wrap in paper here at the shop. Then they showed her how to clean the table and the knives, and set her to work cleaning the already nearly immaculate shop. She swept, wiped down surfaces, dusted, cleaned windows until Kane announced the skull was ready.

He pulled it out, showing how the membrane was easily removed now. Kiarsha then removed the jaw bone, and showed her how to remove the flesh and brain tissue. Then she rinsed it out with cold water. They brought out a small assortment of small brushes and continued to clean it out. Once it was ready, they set it before Kopesha, "Would you like to adorn it?"



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White Tailed Deer, part 1

Postby Kopesha on August 31st, 2020, 10:00 pm



Kopesha pulled out her knife, as Kiarsha continued to speak, "You should get some chisels sometime, it's really not good for knives to be cutting through bone like that. You'll damage your blade." Kopesha nodded looked at the deer skull, wondering how to adorn it. She'd never really done anything artistic like this before. She thought about the deer, how it got to this point. It was born in the woods south of here, and the tip of the blade began to etch into the bone. It took surprising effort in order to get a shallow etch into it, but she pressed carefully, not wanting to damage knife or skull.

She thought about how the deer was probably raised by its mother, probably with an older sibling, among other female adults and various juveniles. As she thought this, she let her hand guide the knife, following the flow of the story. It started to grow, old enough to go out on its own. Away from the safety of its herd, mating perhaps? And then it rained one day. A tree fell. A huntress appeared. A chase ensued. Pain, so much pain, escape the pain. Run away. Hide. More pain. Can't move. Panic. Why can't I move? Then darkness, hearing a prayer in a language I don't understand.

Once the basic etching was done, working at a table, unfazed as customers came and went, as the married couple dealt with business, leaving her be, Kopesha then began to deepen the carvings. She worked slowly, her arm tiring and burning, her back aching, not realizing she'd been at this for hours. But soon the etches were deep and prominent, forming circles and swirls and whirls and flows. It felt as if it were a story told for Makutsi, and because of that, Kopesha felt satisfied with her work.

She sat there, holding her knife in both hands, teasing at the point of the blade, noticing it was a bit dulled, twisting it in her hand, as Kiarsha wandered over. "Not bad for a first time." She pointed at a few spots, "You can see here that's where you began to lose strength in your hand," at another spot, "And there, you began to slump when your back was hurting," and another, "And that's where your blade began to dull." Kiarsha crossed her arms smiling, "But those are good. Those are as much a part of the story as the story itself. Well done, little Chaktawe."

"Shit!"

It was in Tawna but the sentiment was all the same, as the dulled tip of the blade still managed to bite into Kopesha's skin. A drop of blood rolled down the blade and fell down and landed upon one of the circles on the skull. There was a momentary silvery glow, one that both Kopesha and Kiarsha saw that faded just as fast as it appeared. KIarsha swore in her native language, in a hushed whisper, "You need to go. Now. Take that with you. Do not tell anyone what you did. Go."

She ushered Kopesha out the door, shutting it behind her and turning the closed sign upon the door. Kopesha was completely flabbergasted at this, left standing there, holding a skull that glowed for a tick. She shook her head, not sure what that was about, and started making her back to Tent City. She'd try the skull on later. People were so weird sometimes.
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White Tailed Deer

Postby Luminescence on April 14th, 2021, 5:46 pm

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