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what lies beyond
[aw] early spring HY5 / morning / sunny with a pleasant breeze

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Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

Where was he…? He had been wandering for weeks and all he could see was the vast barren desert before him, the sands shifting under the early morning breeze. It was still cool, a relief in the desert, yet he longed for the sun to peek behind the clouds and warm his fur. With the sun rising, Brauner knew he’d soon have to find a shady spot to rest until nightfall. Funny… sleeping during the day, waking up at night… it was the total opposite of his usual habits, yet he adapted smoothly after the first few days. His parched throat begged for refreshment, but with no water in sight, there was little he could do but hope a mouse crossed his path so its blood may hydrate him. He licked his lips with a dry tongue and sighed, continuing forward on heavy, lumbering paws. He stopped when he caught a glimpse of movement in his periphery, then crouched down, his eyes glancing about until they fixed on the scurrying of a large mouse across the sand. Had it been still, he wouldn’t have seen it at all. The mouse stopped and began washing its whiskers. Brauner watched it with keen eyes, totally still and focused. It seemed the Deities answered his prayers.

Slowly, he lifted a forepaw and made a move to stalk. The mouse stiffened, ears pricked and standing up onto its hindpaws, looking around before scampering away. Brauner pounced for it, kicking up sand and dust as he landed near the mouse. A bat of his paw, a snap of his jaws. The mouse evaded his deadly grasp. He’d nearly grabbed it when the mouse bit his snout. He jolted up and yelped. By the time he recovered, the mouse was long gone. A bit of blood trickled from the bitemark. He let his tongue run over the wound. Blasted mice. Though they lacked fangs, their teeth were incredibly sharp and their bites so painful. That fiend was not a gift from the gods, but an agent of their scorn. A taunt for his weakness, for his inability to stay loyal to his Guild when they needed it most. He lowered his head and lumbered on, his paws feeling heavier and heavier with each step. It went on forever, having been left to his deep thoughts, passing be scenery that all looked the same. Why did he even come here again…? All he saw was sand and couldn’t scent a single other nearby… He scowled bitterly, then snapped out of his state when he caught the faint but unmistakable sound of rushing water. His ears turned and twitched to pinpoint the origin of the sound, then he picked up his pace and trotted after it.

It’d probably been only a few minutes of jogging but felt like ages. Finally, he reached a flowing creek running through the heart of the desert. He stood in awe of the stream, his chest heaving with every gasping breath and wide amber eyes taking in the glorious sight before him. It was not the most beautiful sight he laid eyes on, but with his dehydration, there was nothing he wanted to see more. The sun had long since risen and the water almost glistened in its golden light. He made his way to the water, dipping his paws in its shallows and lowering his muzzle to the stream.  The water looked almost opaque, full of sediment. He could hardly view his own reflection to take a look at that mouse bite. Were he anywhere else, perhaps he could find something to treat it with… but he was not familiar with desert plants. He recognized clumps of dandelion and sprigs of vervain, but neither was of any use to him.

The water smelled and looked dirty, but water was water. He parted his maw to greedily lap up the water. It tasted metallic and vile, like the fermented blood of a decade-old stag, but at this moment, this water was the most delicious thing in the world. He felt totally renewed as it flowed down his throat.  Drawing his head away, he took a few deep breaths and sighs, water dripping from his chin. With the sun shining down on his dark back, he was beginning to feel incredibly warm. A quick dip in the creek to cool off would be nice… so Brauner threw himself down into the water, making a splash, then he let himself lay and relax in the shallows with heavy eyelids. Perhaps his gods did smile upon him after all, to let him stumble across a creek in his time of need… though at this point, it was hard to believe such a thing.

Partially submerged, Brauner stared out into the horizon, feeling the current rush against him. Perhaps if he followed the bank, he could find what he was searching for…?  He would continue his journey come nightfall. Until then, rest.


Sep 20, 2018 04:37 AM

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[ Edited: Sep 24, 2018 04:24 AM by Brauner ]
230493
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

Today was not a good day. Ruby had hardly had any sleep, memories intermingled with dreams of her twin and their baby sister. She was exhausted now, her eyes held slightly closed in a squint against both the desert strength light of day and against her own tiredness.

She could smell a stranger, a male. Grumpier than usual, she almost walked on by without approaching to find out who it was. But her desert seemed to be getting more and more crowded these past few days, and Ruby reluctantly decided the sooner she went to see who he was, the sooner she could get rid of him. She veered towards the creek.

He was handsome. That was the first thought she had, was that the guy had really rich reddish-brown fur. He had enough scars on his face to both make his appearance rugged enough not to be a pretty boy though, and to mark him as a fellow warrior. And he was smart enough to be cooling off in heat that would only get worse from here on out.

She was annoyed at herself for the thought. She was no starry-eyed waif. It didn’t matter if this guy was handsome. He’d be gone soon.

“If you’re planning on drowning yourself as an attention grabber you ought to know I’m far more likely to watch than dive in and rescue you.” She informed him, hopefully in her flattest tone.

She dropped her muzzle to the creek and lapped a few mouthfuls. Enough to keep her going until she got back to the gorge and drank the much nicer biting cold mountain water cascading down from the peaks.


Sep 20, 2018 08:27 AM — Post #1

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230510
Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

Brauner was almost beginning to doze off, feeling at ease with the water. Though it was warming from the sun, it was far cooler than the surrounding air.. Actually, he wouldn’t mind if it was warm, like the hot springs he once knew not too far from his old home… An unfamiliar scent lulled him awake, bringing him to his senses again. A couple whiffs of the breeze let him know a young woman was nearby, drawing closer. He stayed put, rather too tired to pick up and move already, especially now that he was just getting comfortable. Let her come. He wasn’t going anywhere.

She probably came for water just as he had anyway. He only looked over when he heard approaching pawsteps. The woman that stood by the creek was a small one. Even as he was lying in the creek, he could tell she was very short, though she had bulk. Her coat was richly rouged and for a second, he thought of a woman he once knew who was similarly colored. Brauner’s thoughts wandered. How his old friend was doing these days? ...he didn’t have the right to wonder. It’d been years already and the last time he saw her was when…

His small ears tilted back as a melancholic twinge ran through him. But thankfully he didn’t have to think long. The woman spoke to him, rather dry and flat with a hint of testiness.

“What a shame. I was hoping a kind young lady would come to pull me out of my predicament,” he said, amber gaze glinting up at the stranger. “But this is probably for the best. I would not want to drag you down with me.”


Sep 20, 2018 11:44 AM — Post #2

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230544
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

He showed no fear in meeting her gaze, so he got a respect point or too, nor did he back down at her tone, comfortable enough to stay lying where he was in the water.

She was trying really hard not to let a smile creep onto her face at his words, and purposefully ensured her tone stayed tough. 

“I’m no lady and that better not have been a crack at my size because I’ve heard them all already.” She didn’t comment on the young or the kind part. He would make up his own mind either way. “And I know you aren’t stuck anyway.” She licked a droplet of creekwater off her lips, and surveyed him. “I’m Ruby.”


Sep 20, 2018 08:19 PM — Post #3

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230642
Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

“Ah… my apologies then. I shouldn’t assume,” said Brauner, though he doubted she was very offended at being called a lady. He paused for a moment, then let himself crack a small smile, amused by her purposefully tough words and how she saw right through his quip. “Well… it might have been.” He took a few moments before rising up to his paws and shaking out his rough coat. A few droplets still clung to his damp fur, leaving him feeling pleasantly cool even with the sun shining down on him.

The stranger’s name was Ruby. It suited her well, what with that red fur. He dipped his head to her in a respectful greeting. “It’s an honor. I am Brauner van Aarden,” he said. Raising his head again, he observed her curiously. She had a certain roughness about her that came with being acclimated to a difficult environment.  “How long have you been roaming the desert?” By her demeanor, it seemed likely longer than he had.


Sep 21, 2018 01:56 PM — Post #4

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230686
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

She bark a single-note laugh. “My dad always used to say ‘When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me’.” She recalled, then shook her head in amusement, the mirth fading quickly. “He was really lame.” And Mom used to smack him with her paw for saying the word ‘ass’ in front of her and Argent. He thought it was so funny he’d roll on his back and howl with laughter.

Woah nostalgia, please take a hike, she had a job to do here. Ruby shook her coat out. “I wouldn’t go that far, you don’t need to stand on ceremony with me, Van Arden.” She was trying not to notice that his smile was actually pretty damn handsome too. Dammit, what was WRONG with her lately? 

“I was born into desert life. You want the green, I’m guessing? It’s this way.” She gestured with her nose to the west, waiting for him to fall in at her side.


Sep 21, 2018 05:57 PM — Post #5

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230874
Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

Brauner’s eyes momentarily widened hearing the swear roll off Ruby’s tongue. At the very least it was nothing obscenely vulgar, but… he never really could get used to hearing pretty young women saying crude words like that.

“In my homeland, it is a long-standing custom to honor one’s fellow wolf with a bow, no matter his standing. But very well. When in Rome, as they say.” He smiled on the last part then straightened his posture. He noticed she had called him by his family name. This was nothing unusual to him, but it never was his preference… With a slight incline of his head, he said, “Just Brauner is fine.”

Ruby said she was born into this climate and was rather quick to give him directions to greener pastures. “It takes a clever and resourceful wolf to survive so long in conditions like these,” he said, noting her rather good condition and strong body despite having spent what he could only guess was her entire life in the desert. Most did not do so well in a place like this, himself included.

“You’ve guessed right.” He took a nice stretch then made his way over by her side. “I would appreciate an escort.”


Sep 23, 2018 06:51 AM — Post #6

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230880
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

Wow. This guy didn’t just have manners. He’d been raised… properly. Not that Ruby would have changed bring dragged by in the desert, because she’s always been happy.. initially. Romping with Argent, and later Emerald tagging along behind complaining the twins were too fast, or too busy for her…

Not a path she could head down without shaking the foundations of the walls she had carefully put in place.

“Well, you aren’t in Rome, whatever that is, you’re in the desert.” Ruby pointed out practically. “Besides, you won’t need that sort of display in the valley.” She dipped her head in understanding when he requested his first name he used. And though she didn’t want to let it show, a small smile touched her muzzle anyway at his compliment. She knew she was both (stupid wolves didn’t last long in the heat), and it was sort of nice to have somebody understand a desert well enough to recognize that and to say so.

“Well, let’s get going then.” She said in lieu of replying to the compliment, just in case something mortifying like mentioning his handsome appearance slipped out. A quick subject change was next on the list. “What about you, Brauner? Some reason you’re traipsing through the sand looking for greener pastures?” 


Sep 23, 2018 07:44 AM — Post #7

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230976
Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

Brauner chuckled at Ruby’s comment. “Of course. It was just a saying,” he said. Before long, the two wolves were on their way. She had asked about his reasons for being here, and he thought about it. It was a rather long story, one he didn’t want to get into with one he had just met and he doubted Ruby would care to know all the gory details anyway.

“Ah… that’s a long story,” he said. He supposed he could give her a clean, condensed version of the tale, one that made it easier for him to talk about and was less likely to bore her to tears. “Long ago, I abandoned my Guild.  Perhaps I would have returned by now, but… I don’t feel it is right for me to go back…” Brauner paused for a moment, then let himself move on, not wanting to dwell too much on these thoughts at the moment. “I’m not sure what brings me to this desert specifically, or anywhere else for that matter.” He wasn’t really sure about anything since his father’s death.

“Perhaps it’s hope there is something better beyond here, or perhaps it’s foolishness.”


Sep 23, 2018 07:54 PM — Post #8

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[ Edited: Sep 24, 2018 04:22 AM by Brauner ]
231030
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

A saying that made no sense. Sure.

When he mentioned his story was a long one she merely flicked her tail. “Long walk ahead.” She pointed out, and went quiet to listen to what she assumed was a shorter version. Unless the pair of them had wildly differing definitions of ‘long’.

She figured a Guild was another word for pack. Maybe why Brauner was as formal as he was.

“No desert goes on forever. This one takes you through to a valley, massive place. If you’re looking for a particular terrain or pack I can give you some pointers.” She offered casually. Though she wasn’t too sure if she wanted him to succeed or just… not to come back here. Not that he would. He could ask anyone questions. It wasn’t like she was some valley expert anyway given that she had spent most of her time there avoiding other.


Sep 24, 2018 04:44 AM — Post #9

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231063
Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

His ears perked at the mention of a valley. It sounded promising enough, though it may have only been in comparison to this place and the wilds he wandered before. And from the sound of it, there were packs in that valley. Perhaps a pack was just what he needed to distract himself and give himself a purpose again. Ruby offered pointers and Brauner would be a fool to not take whatever he could get.

“I would appreciate that very much. After all, knowledge is the greatest weapon,” Brauner said with a smile. He took a moment, thinking of anything specific he might ask, but had nothing specific in mind at the moment. Perhaps a few questions would come to mind as Ruby told him more.


Sep 24, 2018 11:14 AM — Post #10

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231134
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

Ruby snorted lightly in amusement. He might be good looking and well spoken but he wasn’t so bright. “Any wolf’s greatest weapon is their teeth.” She pointed out practically, but she launched into a brief overview of the valley without much hesitation.

“There’s hills on the other side of this desert, home to a pack who let their kids roam wild in the hills unsupervised. There’s mountain ranges to the south and north. South mountains have two packs, Soulfire something are one and the second are some huge mob who think ‘Starmaw Concord’ is a good name, and I’m named after a mythical red stone for crying out loud. In the north forest is the Vanguard, which I would avoid unless you enjoy complex romantic drama.” Poor Kronos. She still thought about him and his unrequited love, though she didn’t quite know why her mind drifted there at odd moments.
“There’s a central forest, another pack there I don’t know well. On the coast are two packs, the Silu Tribe and the Rangers.”


Sep 25, 2018 06:57 AM — Post #11

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231385
Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

He paused to Ruby’s response, then sheepishly smiled. “Well… in one way, you’re not wrong,” he said. This Ruby, she was a very literal and straight-forward thinker, wasn’t she? It was interesting, rather unlike the ones he knew back home. She was quick to move on to telling him about the various packs that lived in the lands ahead.

“Starmaw Concord…?” he said with lifted brows as he held back an amused smile. “Deities preserve me. That name is a bit… much, isn’t it? Then again, perhaps I should not be one to talk. My Guild had quite the… elaborate name itself. I didn’t name it but… you know.” He chuckled a bit and shook his head, mostly just laughing at himself. It seemed like quite a few other packs besides the Starmaw Concord lived in the valley as well, and by the way Ruby spoke of them, none seemed especially appealing, except maybe the Silu Tribe and Rangers.

“I always did have a soft spot for the coastline,” Brauner said. “Perhaps I will investigate those two—the Silu Tribe and Rangers. Hopefully, the Tribe does not turn out to be cannibals or the Rangers an order of assassins.” This last part was said in jest, but anything was possible…


Sep 27, 2018 01:11 AM — Post #12

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231415
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

At least Brauner admitted she had a point, even though Ruby could tell form his hesitation he still believed in the power of words. She didn’t try to change his mind though. Not all wolves needed to see eye to eye. And she didn’t mind the sure, honey-smooth sound of his voice.

A smile curved her muzzle and softened her guarded warrior’s facade when he agreed Starmaw Concord was a bit much. “Go on then, what was your Guild called.” She asked tolerantly. Whatever it was couldn’t be as awful as Starmaw.

“I met a kid from the Tribe. He described them as friendly and helpful, sound like beach hippies, if nice enough. Rangers I think are more serious.” This she based solely on the most annoying chatty wolf ever, Benny, not liking them. Pretty much meant they were opposite to his nature, right?


Sep 27, 2018 08:47 AM — Post #13

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231912
Brauner is currently Inactive. Activate? Inactive
Name Player
Brauner van Aarden Alex
 

Brauner’s ears perked when Ruby asked for the name of his Guild. He wasn’t too sure if he wanted to open it up for mockery, but… well… why not. “The Arcane Relics Guild,” he said,  straightening his posture. Compared to some names, perhaps it wasn’t that stuffy but not even he, the son of an Agent, knew what these ‘arcane relics’ were.

He nodded as Ruby described a bit more of the Tribe and Rangers, though it wasn’t much. “Beach hippies? Well… if they are kind, then maybe, if they end up not being the place for me, they could help steer me in the right direction,” he said, thoughtful with his eyes focused ahead of him. Perhaps he could seek this Tribe first… but he was still curious about the Rangers, a bit more than he was about the Tribe. A more serious, honor-bound guild was more familiar to him. Ruby described the Rangers as being more serious. Maybe they were like that?

“Have you ever met one of the Rangers?” he asked, turning to Ruby.


Sep 30, 2018 04:58 PM — Post #14

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231963
Name Player
Ruby Chris Staff
Achievements (?)
None yet!
 

Ruby couldn’t help herself. She laughed. “You definitely shouldn’t be one to talk.” Her smile lingered. “That’s terrible.” She didn’t shy away from pointing out the truth, and Brauner had of course been the one to bring it up anyway.

She shook her head at the question. “Only heard of them. They’re south on the coast I think, the Tribe north.” She reported, opening her mouth to ask him to tell her what he found out himself when she next saw him.

Luckily, she stopped herself in time. When she next saw him? That was stupid. It wasn’t like he was ever going to come back to the desert for a chat.


Oct 01, 2018 06:55 AM — Post #15

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