Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

All things outside of Thar Shaddin.
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Jaspenellar
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Name: Loen
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Fri May 15, 2009 5:40 am

Lo'en cringed at being hit with glops of the goo as the griffin attempted to rid his fur and feathers of the mess. Fortunately for Justinaryn', her amusement at his appearance was tempered by indignation of being re-drenched with the leftover monster substance. Both reactions would have likely sparked anger from the stubborn, prideful beast. At an impasse of which emotion to verbally announce, the half-elf diverted her energy to movement, pulling herself up to the opposite ledge amidst protests from the goats. It did not take much goading to get them to start moving and she prodded, pushed, and clapped her hands at a few.

The half-elf paused to watch the griffin jump. Justin's leap reminded her of a supple cat jumping to a table top despite the visual image of his bird-fore parts. The blend of his genetic make up never failed to catch her attention. Fortunately, even the highly predatory creature on the other side did not seem to overcome the herd's desire to escape the cavern which was smelling more and more of death.

"Lead them out the same way we came in," Lo'en offered, raising her voice only as loud as she dared.

After all of the goats, an astounding estimate of 40 in all, were on the other side and following the griffin out, the goatherd, not trusting her own leaping skills, jumped down into the sludge once more. She crossed the horrible pit one last time, scooping up her bow from the goop on the ground and hurried up the far ledge. She caught up to the middle of the herd, trusting the others behind to follow, her haste in no small part to extricate herself from the ravine as quickly as possible. Lo'en wiped her bow string dry as best she could while she walked before releasing the tension and unstringing the bow. Using the bow to prod the goats along, the half-elf and griffin worked to get the herd out of the ravine in a hurried but surprisingly orderly manner. The narrow ledges along the way helped prevent a mass, hysterical exodus.

The gradual re-opening of the ceiling allowed their eyes to adjust without being blinded. The sun was warm and high in the sky, marking the day only half over. All previous mist had been burned away, to Lo'en's relief, and the day was looking much more cheery than it had began. The goats milled about aimlessly, nibbling at the tufts of grass wherever they could find them, their small bestial brains having already dumped the encounter with the gelatine monster. Whether because he still smelled like the creature's goo, or they were accustomed after having followed him from the ravine, the goats showed no inclination to run from Justin.

The half-elf took the moment to catch her breath and attempted to wipe some of the remaining clinging substance from her body. She avoided looking at the griffin, for some inane reason feeling just as self-conscious at her undoubtedly ragged appearance as he was.

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Justinaryn
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Fri May 29, 2009 4:39 pm

With some distance placed between themselves and the ravine, they spent a lengthy silence walking on the journey back, neither one of them wishing to break it. For Justinaryn, silence in the presence of others was something he was accustomed to. The human need to fill silence with trivial chatter was not a trait he possessed. Or so he thought. It was never a problem with his master, nor with the other griffins. Though they had other means of communication, small talk was not something they indulged in.

Sufficed to say that Justinaryn had never had a companion like the elf. He had talked to her more frequently, and about matters that were both more trivial and more meaningful than the sorts of discussions he normally had. She would never know it, looking back on what little open communication they'd had, but she also didn't know how closed off his life in the hatchery had been. Back there it was all business and honor. A casual relationship was impossible.

And so he found himself wanting to say something, rather than continue to walk in silence, if only to know what she was thinking. Unfortunately for him, he lacked the kinds of social tact one would normally employ to break the silence. It took some time to think of something.

"I did not expect your arrow to succeed."

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Jaspenellar
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:01 pm

Lo'en, being more or less a solitary traveller, was not concerned with long silences from her feathered companion. She had never been inclined to be overly talkative, but she had become subtly aware that even though the griffin could talk, he hardly ever started conversations. The silence while they herded the goats away from the stinking cavern was not unusual, unexpected, or uncomfortable, and the half-elf was somewhat surprised when Justinaryn' chose to talk first.
"I did not expect your arrow to succeed."
She had been towards the middle of the herd, trying to keep a few of the wayward goats with the main body as his raspy voice came from behind her. Having the predatory beast as a herding mate more than made up for her lack of practice at goat herding. Surprisingly, the goats were shuffling docilely in the right general direction down the foothills, allowing Lo'en to fall back to a companionable distance with the griffin.

"As much as I'd like to tote my archery skills," she said with no lack of humble sarcasm, "I don't think the arrow did much to that ... goo." The half-elf hadn't really spent any brain power until now to think of why the gelatinous monster had suddenly dissolved, preferring to think on the goat herding mechanics and put as much distance between themselves and the mysterious ravine as possible.

"Maybe it was only held together by some magical bonds. Touching me unraveled it like a ball of string." The implications of her statement were nothing new- on a prior incident, she had been chased out of a village because the magically inclined healer had laid his hands on her and, having lost his 'connection' to whatever magic he touched, declared her an abomination. Lo'en was learning to steer clear of strangers' personal spaces unless she could ascertain they wouldn't be affected by her unusual magic null.

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Justinaryn
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:39 pm

Her answer was odd. Justin had no real magical abilities of his own, and thus never felt any lost connection to his abilities when he was around her. He could, however, sense when others had magic in them, and she was as dry as a desert in that respect. Completely devoid of any magical aura to a degree that was peculiar for an elf.

Indeed, when he thought about it, he realized that it was peculiar.

As they walked, he turned his head to watch her and study her again, this time looking for signs of something coming from her that would nullify magic. He examined what he saw in her more carefully, from the opposite perspective that he normally did.

He did not know what he expected to see. In the end, he saw nothing.

"I have never sensed any magic coming from you. That is strange."

Perhaps it was a clue as to why he was told to watch her. Dupranj would want to know if she exhibited such abilities, if he didn't already.
Utopia is not a place, it is a state of being.
It can never be found from without.

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Jaspenellar
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:58 am

"It is what it is," Lo'en offered by way of explaining the inexplicable. She left it at that, as a small faction of goats had decided to stop to investigate some shrubbery, requiring her to peel away from the griffin to chase them back to the main body of the herd.

The remainder of the journey back was uneventful, and even with two halts to give their caprine charges a rest and one for her to clean as much of the muck from herself as she could, the half-elf and unlikely substitute for a herding dog had the herd corralled near the old man's shack before sunset. Justinaryn' discreetly fell toward the back of the goats, and eventually made himself scarce as they came within sight of the shack. Tossing a few bales of the fresh hay into the pen assuaged most of the protesting bleats. All told, they had successfully returned 54 goats to their rightful owner.

The old man could not be found when the half-elf first arrived. The vaguely bad odour in his house was less disturbing in light of the foul smell of the gelatinous creature's lair, so Lo'en took the liberty of using the oversized tub within to properly scrub herself and her clothes clean. On her own, with no other company than herself, the half-elf shuddered, closing her eyes tight, willing herself to forget the hideous scent of the half-digested bodies and the piles of glop in that cavern. She could tolerate natural decomposition, small unplesantries associated with the circle of life, but the low, aching sound reverberating through the ground and the uncanny, unnatural ambiguous form of the gelatinous thing that possessed some kind of higher order of intelligence... Lo'en scrubbed herself until her skin was raw.

Despite her extended bathing period, she was still out, cleaned up the tub, dressed, and was in the process of picking out a goat for dinner when the old man came ambling up the drive with two youths, neither past the age of 12.

*****

"Eighty-two!" The old man shrieked as he attempted to chase the half -elf away from his farm. He would not hear of any monster tale, convinced that the girl had already taken the missing goats of his supposed eighty-two to market. Having gauged the old man's stubbornly senile attitude early, Lo'en had swiped one small goat from the corral, leaving the gate open and scattering the others to occupy the old man's new found help. Too tired and hungry to argue for her promised payment of two, the half-elf had to be content with the one she had and strode away bearing the goat hefted over her shoulder.

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