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Encounters at Dusk


Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

It was starting to get dark outside. Inside the smithy, in the glow of the furnace, the dwarf placed her hammer on the anvil and stretched her back. Two months of practice had done wonders to her muscles, but they still ached after a long day.

She glanced towards the door. No-one there, so master Vondan was still out. The smith had gone to visit some of his gnome contacts, leaving Breda in charge of the smithy. Not that there was much to be in charge of, as it was almost closing time, and customers seldom showed up this late. Regardless, Breda couldn't help but feel just a little proud. For her, being a smith's apprentice was no longer only a matter of learning a way to support herself. Instead, she did her best to please the outwardly gruff but warm-hearted human, who had rescued her from falling back to the gutter and given her a place in life. To please him and his wife, who was unwillingly childless and starting to show motherly tendencies towards the lonely dwarf. Breda, who had never experienced much of a motherly love, accepted this with gratitude.

She did not live with the couple. She had for the first couple of weeks, but the house was not too big, and the couple was used to their own peace and space. So instead Breda rented a room in a nearby tavern, although she often dined with the couple. She too appreciated having a space of her own after living for a long time in shared quarters. And althoug apprentice's pay was not luxurious, it was certainly more than enough for a dwarf who had spent most of her life way below the poverty line.

All in all, life was looking better than ever.

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Fayane on

The darkening skies were a welcoming sight for Fay, for tonight was to be a very special night. It'd been awhile, she mused as she nodded to the guardsman taking her watch shift, since she'd been a fox, almost a full moon phase. She smiled as excitement mounted, her feet carrying her swiftly out of the guard tower and to the living quarters. She shrugged off her armor, donned her cloak and was off once more. Silently she ghosted the streets of Marn for a minute or two, dissuading any potential followers, before sliding into an alley way. Carefully she looked to make sure she was alone before delightedly shifting. Clothes melted into her skin even as fur grew. Bones shrunk, muscles and sinew strengthened and extra limbs grew. Fay blinked, looked around, and yipped.

No longer was there a woman in the ally, but rather... a very silvery-white fox. Delighted, Fay zipped out of the ally way and onto the streets, delighting in her keen senses and small frame. Certainly she enjoyed being human, but being a fox just felt more natural sometimes. An interesting scent caught her nose, snapping Fay out of her thoughts, and drawing her attention to a building. A smithy to be exact. What was so interesting about that? Curious, Fay hopped onto a box and attempted to peer into the window, only to find out she was too damn small. She yapped, annoyed. Sitting back down on her haunches she considered the sill for a moment before nodding. She could make that jump! Crouching, she gathered her muscles and leaped -- right through the slightly ajar window and into a bucket filled with soot come from the bellows. Squealing in slight panic and confusion, Fay thrashed, knocked over the bucket and toppled out, black as the night and before a pair of feet. Oh dear...

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

The sudden racket and falling and rolling buckets certainly scared the living daylights out of Breda. She had leaped over the anvil and was back against the wall, reaching for the crowbar on the workbench, before she even knew what had startled her. When she saw the small, sooted animal, she quickly turned from frightened to annoyed. How stupid of her, being so absorbed in the idea of being responsible that she would be startled by an animal.

"Well, what the devils are you then?" She said gruffly, stepping towards the sooted intruder. "A cat, eh? No - a fox!" She reached for a broom that was leaning on the wall, and shoved it towards the little canine. "Can't have you here, pest, spreading rabies and fleas. Off with you! Look at the mess you've made. Want to guess who will have to clean this up? And there will be gentlemen tomorrow, bringing their horses for shoeing. I don't want to see you darting from somewhere, scaring them. Especially since it's likely going to be me or Master Vondan who'll end up kicked. Get out of here this instant!"

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Fayane on

Fay saw the broom and automatically stumbled backwards, causing her to trip and fall back into the ashes with a squeal. Trying NOT to make too much more of a mess Fay stood once more, sneezing when some ashes went up her nose. She shook her head slightly before looking up, sitting down primly and yipping apologetically. She couldn't very well shift back - the woman would know she was a shifter and may recognize her while she was on duty. Looking around she saw a sink full of water, and decided that maybe the woman'd treat her differently if she saw she was an unusual but friendly fox. Slipping around the woman quickly she dashed quickly to the sink before leaping in, easily splashing into the water. It wasn't too big a splash, as she wasn't too big a fox at the time, so she didn't make much of a mess. Holding her breath she began to roll around and flail slightly in the water in an attempt at getting rid of the soot from her fur.

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

The fox's leap certainly caught Breda by surprise, and she let the broom fall. Well, at least the fox obviously didn't have rabies, as clearly it wasn't hydrophobic.

But surely it would drown? How did it think it would get out from the big barrel, soaking wet and everything? And if it did, then there would be a wet fox in all the soot that was now spread all across the floor. Breda gave a helpless glance around, but as no better solution revealed itself, she reached down to the water, aiming at the animal's neck, trusting her thick smith's gloves to protect her from bites and scratches.

There would be a bloody mess to explain to master Vondan.

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Fayane on

Fay yelped when gloved hands came down and touched her neck, nimbly grabbing her scruff. Instinct told her to struggle and bite, logic told her to relax. She did a little of both. She squirmed slightly before just yipping resignedly - maybe the owner of the hands would think she's a pet?

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

So now she had a wet fox in her hand, and things still weren't significantly improving. Admittedly it was a beautiful animal, even when soaking wet, with the silvery fur. The sort of animal a tanner would pay a fortune of, but Breda appreciated the living beauty more than, say, a fancy hat.

Since she could not come up with a better idea, she took a few steps away from the soot and placed the fox gently on the floor, near the smithy's open door. "Well", she said in a conversational tone, almost believing that the peculiar animal would be able to understand her. She took a step back in order to not make the animal feel itself threatened. "What would be your next clever move?"

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Fayane on

Fay felt herself being sat down on the ground, right by the door and looked about. At the woman's inquiry she yipped back, politely stood at the door and shook her fur dry(er), managing to avoid making too much of a mess. That done she trotted right back inside, determined she'd help fix this mess she made.

She looked around once more, before spotting a cleaning rag... on the table. Noticing the near-by chair Fay moved to sit beside it before leaping on the piece of furniture. That done she yips and hops onto the table, snags the rag gingerly between her teeth and hops back to the floor. Almost cheerfully she trots over to the soot pile and drops the rag before pouncing - her forepaws landing on the rag and pushing it, and the soot, back towards the bucket. Delighted at the fact that she'd cleaned and found something fun to do she repeated the process, yapping gleefully.

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

Having expected the fox to escape at the first possible moment, Breda was more than moderately surpised when the animal actually took up cleaning the mess. There was definitely more to this creature than met the eye.

Her anger long since faded, the dwarf picked up the broom and joined the fox in the cleaning attempts, curious to see how the peculiar situation would proceed. What was this creature, and why had it ended up in the smithy, of all places?

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Fayane on

Delighted when the dwarf-woman helped her Fay squealed, a noise that was high-pitched and more like a whistle than a squeal, yet it was somehow kind of pleasant to the ear. Her 'portion' of the soot cleaned Fay sat down and looked up at the woman, interested in her. She smelt of the smithy - the reasons behind that were obvious enough - but she also smelled of sex, booze and a hint of drugs. Fay frowned inwardly. This woman was a whore? She sniffed again, carefully. No... no the smells were more faded... so she visited whores? Fay couldn't help but to wonder why, only to decide it wasn't really any of her business. Sitting back on her haunches she lifted her fore-paws off the ground and yapped easily at the woman, blue eyes looking up curiously at her. It never occurred to her that this was very unusual behaviors for a fox.

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

It certainly was not how Breda had expected a wild animal to behave. But then again, what did she know? City girl and all. Certainly she wasn't aware that she was being so closely examined, and that the fox could read so much about her.

She swept the rest of the soot into a pile and gathered it back to the bucket. Then she turned back to the fox, kneeling in front of it and carefully extending a hand towards the animal. What on earth was this creature, that behaved like a trained pet, and knew all those tricks without command?

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Fayane on

Fay fell back forward on her paws before leaning forward to sniff the girl's hand politely. That done she sat back and solemnly put her paw in the girls hand and yipped. Still not quite realizing how odd her behavior was, Fay just as politely nodded her head and waited for an introduction. Not once did she think about acting like a real fox... maybe it was because she hadn't been one in awhile...

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

Another gesture from the animal that caught Breda by surprise. So much, in fact, that she automatically grasped the paw and responded like she would respond to a human. "Breda Dreaughan. Nice to meet you." When she realized what she was doing, she drew back her hand in embarrasment.

And then, suddenly, she understood. For althoug it was by no means something she was familiar with, there had been all kinds of creatures lurking in the slums at night, sharing the gutter with her. And sometimes, a man lying in the arms of a whore would confess things he would never otherwise speak of.

"You're a shapeshifter, aren't you?" She whispered in awe, carefully reaching towards the animal again, gently touching its head. "Some sort of were-fox. Is it full moon tonight? Or is it new moon for your kind? What on earth are you doing here?"

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Fayane on

Fay blinked before sighing a little foxy sigh. She'd been found out... wonder how... carefully she stepped back before allowing her magic to pulse through her. Bone grew, sinew stretched, fur flattened and became clothes. Human once more she smiled almost sadly at Breda.

"I'm afraid I cannot answer you as a fox, I have no talent with that sort of thing. Yes I am indeed a shapeshifter, and I apologize for startling you. No it is not a full moon, nor does that matter I can shift at will. As for my reasons for being within a smithy... I was taking a late-night stroll when a scent in here - yours I'm assuming - caught my attention. Curious I decided to investigate... and well the rest you know." Fay explained easily as she looked down at the now much smaller woman. Wow she'd shrunk...

"How rude of me, I never introduced myself when you were kind enough to shake my... paw. I am Fayane, though please feel free to call me Fay." She bowed slightly before straitening and smiling. "If you'll excuse me, tonight is my night to simply enjoy being a fox. I assure you I can understand you. If you'd like me to leave simply shoo me out." Fay bubbled out before falling forwards, shifting rapidly. She gave a delighted wriggle when she was back in her fox form before looking back up at Breda and yipping.

Re: Encounters at Dusk

Post by Breda Dreaughan on

The dwarf, still down on one knee, leaned back and watched in amazement the transformation that happened in front of her. She was too dumbfounded to reply, and even after the woman had turned back into a fox she stayed silent for a moment, digesting what had just happened.

"Can shift at will, eh?" She said finally, in a quiet tone. "You can in turn into and out of this form whenever it pleases you." Smiling sadly, she reached to gently touch the cheeck of the fox with her fingers. "How amazing that must be, to run out there in the wilds, to be part of it... To escape the daily life whenever you want to." She let out a small sigh, unable to prevent the small twinge of yearning. How often she would have loved to have such an opportunity, how much easier life would have been as a fox.

"Well, Miss Fay," she said then in a lighter tone, "you are most welcome to stay and look around, if you want to. My master will be back within an hour, though. If he finds you here, he will have some questions. Unfortunately I'm not sure how he feels about shapeshifters."




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