Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

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Jaspenellar
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Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:53 am

((In the timeline of things, this happens prior to Lo'en reaching Marn, a few months after my Friends or Foes story. Quite early in their travels together, this is a character exercise between Lo'en and Justinaryn, and thusly closed to everyone but the two. Some "auto-ing" may occur which does not reflect typical writing policy on this board.))

It was noon when they happened across the boundaries of a farmstead. Boundary was a loose description for the pitted and broken stone wall and posts warning against trespassing faded just barely legible... the only tell-tale sign that the area was still inhabited was a small stone cottage in the distance with smoke wisping from the chimney. Being mid summer, the fire was more than likely for cooking than for heat, though being in the foothills of the mountains, it was still chilly at night. Lo’en didn’t care much to worry about which mountains these were- the flora and fauna were similar enough to her own childhood home that she felt reasonably comfortable. There were decidedly more trees whose leaves would change colours in the next few months, as opposed to her needle-leafed pines, and the rocks were reddish giving them a warmer, gentler feel than the cold, grey granite, but foothills and mountains were generally the same in Thar Shaddin and Lo’en had yet to travel far enough from the region to experience real change in the land.

“What are you stopping here for?” The gruff voice rasped from above, the air stirred from over-sized wings beating downward to slow the griffin’s descent. He still landed with a thump, perhaps hoping to startle her.

Lo’en turned to eye the beast. In the five months since their rough encounter with the kobolds, the beast had become less of a thorn in her side to more of a mosquito bite on the bottom of her foot. She still wasn’t sure what to make of his intentions, and he certainly hadn’t become any more talkative about his master or his assignment. The half-elf had learned a little about his personal life, that he came from what seemed to be a tight-knit “pride” and he had some respect for his father’s line. Almost a tit-for-tat, she had offered some about her own family, her sister and her brother, attempting to keep conversation up. While the discussions started out cordial, most ended in some kind of argument and that particular one had ended with his disdain for weak-willed creatures who would abandon their young at birth to an entirely different species. When he compared her to a cuckoo subverting a sparrow’s nest, at which Lo’en carelessly took her bow and loosed an arrow at him, losing the valuable arrow head in the process.

She was inclined not to answer him, but he wouldn’t care if she did or didn’t. “This land is too rocky and barren for whoever lives here to keep a great amount of livestock or grow crops. But something keeps him here.” Lo’en paused, lifting her nose for effect, even though she couldn’t smell anything on the non-existent wind. “Maybe he raises goats.”

The griffin blinked his golden eyes at the girl. She was more perceptive than he gave her credit for. While above, he had seen some stray kids wandering aimlessly in the rocky outcroppings, too many in high concentration than was normal for wild animals. He snorted. “You can’t smell them with that weak nub of a nose. You can’t even tell when you smell bad most of the time. Lucky guess. Are you going to poach one to eat?”

“You can’t think past your next meal, beast,” Lo’en growled back at him. She hefted her bag to her shoulder and crossed the fence line, walking toward the cottage. “The shed seems empty and I don’t hear any dogs. A professional goatherd might be in order for him to get his affairs straight again and perhaps a few nights and dinners indoors for me.” She trusted the red griffin to make himself scarce as she moved to the dwelling.

****

It was dusk when the half-elf emerged from the cottage. Her gear, traveling bag, bow, quiver remained indoors, clearly a sign of intent to remain there, at least for the night. The heat of the day was quickly dissipating as the cool air swooped down from the mountains, creating a steady, chilly breeze, not allowing for annoying summer-time midges that typically bothered pastural areas. She brushed her hair from her face, looking up at the sky as she wandered back to the broken stone wall, wondering if Justin was flying above, and if he would come down so she could tell him what she had learned and what she was planning to do about it.
"She who can laugh at herself will never cease to be amused."

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Justinaryn
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:19 pm

Staying out of the way while his charge busied herself with sorts of frivolous dealings that two-leggers so loved to engage in was easy for Justinaryn. He spent most of the time drifting about the clouds and scouting the area for things of interest. A human might consider hours of circling the same place, studying the same hills, the same rocks, the same trees the whole time to be boring. Bored was something two-leggers got because their minds always needed something to keep them busy.

He found nothing of interest, but that didn't matter. By the time the airs cooled, and coasting along the updrafts became difficult, Justinaryn had memorized the features of the terrain enough that if Lo'en got in any trouble, he would know where it came from and how best to deal with it.

Lunch for him was a small rabbit he'd seen nosing about some bushes during his flight. The small animal was consumed whole - killed, tossed into the air, and caught as it fell, as was a griffin's normal way of eating small prey. It barely provided enough sustenance to get through the evening. If Lo'en didn't manage to get some food out of the locals, he was going to have to find something bigger on his own.

When she emerged from the house, finally, he was on the ground at quite a distance away. Barely a speck on the horizon, he saw her movement with ease and, for a moment, assumed that she could see him too. That was until he remembered that the two-leggers had eyesight like bats and could barely see a few meters in front of themselves.

Reluctantly he got himself airborne again, jumping forward and flapping until he knew he was close enough for to see him, at which point he settled down and waited. If someone was going to do the walking, it wasn't going to be him.
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Jaspenellar
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:19 am

Lo'en peered about, squinting a little as she looked west toward the setting sun. As she came around to the east, against the backdrop of the mountains, she finally spotted the chicken-headed beast, flapping his wings in the distance. He was making a rather big show of it, obviously trying to catch her attention. When the griffin settled back to the ground, Lo'en snarled at him, hoping that he could see the expression on her face, even though she could only make out the red from white on his body and not the finer details of his black striped wings. She started walking toward him, stopped after a few paces, and crossed her arms. He was almost a mile away.

You have got to be kidding me
, she thought to herself, making another face at Justin. After a long wait, she figured he wasn't going to make any effort to hear what she had to say and debated whether it was worth crossing the distance. She saw this as yet another battle of wills. Half inclined to make him come to her, she abruptly changed her tactic and started cutting forty-five degrees from the griffin, heading obliquely away from him while still making some downward travel in his general direction. The half elf, conscious of the quickly fading light, mentally mapped the rocky terrain she crossed, not yet treacherous enough for her to worry about twisting an ankle in the dark with enough flat, sparsely grassed ground between the rocks which lay strewn about randomly.

She was making her way toward the rising terrain, making use of the last of the light to study her surroundings and formulate a plan to use in the morning. She stopped as the ground started to become more rock and less dirt, having made about half the distance toward the griffin in one axis, but put more distance in another. She didn't deign to look at him, crossing her arms and appearing very enthralled with the less than exciting landscape.
"She who can laugh at herself will never cease to be amused."

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Justinaryn
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:35 am

Justinaryn' sat back on his haunches and waited. Lo'en had seen him - he could see the indignant expression her face took on when he'd stopped flying. His response to that was to flutter his wings a few times and then fold them neatly behind his back.

She did have a spicy attitude, that half elf. When they'd fist met, his treatment of her contained a completely honest and healthy amount of disdain, but over the months that disdain became less real and more of a show. She was clever, and he liked the way she fought back. Most of the two-leggers back home were too busy worshipping griffins as holy animals to respond with derision. She never took his insults lying down. Instead, she found her own ways of getting back at him.

It was like playing with a mouse as it ran back and forth between his paws as a pup, only this mouse offered a challenge.

She started the long walk in his direction, and Justinaryn' lowered his head down onto his front legs in preparation to wait, but soon he had to lift his head up again to see what was going on. She wasn't heading straight at him. That sly little two-legger was walking past him - but only barely.

The much smaller distance she kept between them was enough to tease him off his butt. He stood up, and paced in her direction, peering this way and that at the horizon, as if he hadn't had all day to see everything there was to see.

"Did he throw you out already?" he asked once he was close enough.
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:42 pm

With the sun just on the horizon, it was difficult to assess the scale of the foothilss and the mountains beyond, in which wandered the goats she was now charged with finding. The long shadows cast by the setting sun created pockets of false crevices and inaccurately framed jagged edges. Earlier in the day, while wandering eastward, Lo'en had watched the looming mountains in the distance with a casual eye. She hadn't taken in the details, but now that they were in the foot hills, she wondered how difficult this task was going to be.

Waiting for a suitable pause, the half-elf finally turned to the griffin. "Oh, did you say something? Must be the lack of fleshy lips that makes it so very hard to determine if you're talking or just braying like a beast."

Truthfully, Justinaryn' articulated very well, his words fairly clear out of his hard, hooked beak which could easily rend her intestines from her belly, no doubt its primary purpose. She could never resist a jibe though, it had almost become a game to see how much she could goad the griffin after he had made it clear that he was not to kill her. The bestial reactions she sometimes got were often amusing and broke up the monotony of travelling alone.

"There is an old man who lives in that cabin. His wife recently passed, and he has since become too frail to keep his goats in line. He had hired help a few weeks ago, but has not heard from the young fellow in a few days. He's fairly poor, living only off his goats, occassionally taking them into that tiny town we passed two days back for long-term goods."

The town had been more of a scattering of buildings, in which the outlying homesteads would come to barter their wares at appointed times of the year. Those down in the more fertile valley would bring grains and drinks to the table, while those like the old man of the cottage who lived in more austere conditions, would bring meat and animal products for trade. A handful of people actually stayed in the town to manage the tavern-inn and oversee the goods stored there. It was a meager existance, but for lack of any better or more populated areas, it was as good as any and those type of towns always provided Lo'en with a place to sleep inside as a change of pace.

"He's offered me two goats if I help track down his help, or find the goats if the help ran off. He boasted a rather lively number of eighty-two. Perhaps he's become a little senile." At this, Lo'en made a face, looking slightly annoyed at the prospect of having to round up eighty-two goats on her own. Her family's farm always maintained somewhere between 100 and 120 goats, but that was with three or more care-takers and dogs to aid. And never had there been any point that she could remember where any lot of the goats were simply missing, left to wander by themselves.

She paused, giving the griffin room to make any comment. She was sure he had spent the day aloft, knowing that his anatomy was less than conducive to walking for long periods of time and having seen his distaste at being stationary for more than an hour at a time. Surely he had seen something. Whether it would be easy to drag the information out of the stubborn beast was another matter, and she shifted her weight from foot to foot to show that she was not going to patiently await his answer.
"She who can laugh at herself will never cease to be amused."

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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:06 am

Justinaryn' let out a muffled, bird-like squawk from behind his beak and glared at Lo'en dangerously after she insulted him. She knew as well as he did that he couldn't do anything to her, but that didn't stop him from taking offence and showing it. No two-legger but her could get away with talking as she did.

The feathers on the back of his neck and around his chest ruffled and stood up. He got annoyed, lacking the words to come up with a witty reply for her. Gradually, he settled down and listened while she explained the situation.

He boasted a rather lively number of eighty-two. Perhaps he's become a little senile.

"That would be a great many goats for a lowly two-legger to handle by himself," he said. He then stared at her while she shifted impatiently for him to add something of more value. "I may have seen some goats from above, but any goats I did see I would have eaten without asking permission from an old man."

With a beak for a mouth, he couldn't smile to show his emotions, and with a face of feathers, the rest of it was hard to read. He looked noble no matter what his state. Everything had to be read in his eyes.

"If you look at your feet, you might find evidence of the old man's senility."
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:53 am

Lo'en refrained from making any retort against the griffin's comment about eating goats. He could be as fastidiously clean as a barn cat, but there would have been some evidence of a meal as large as a goat on his white feathers or in his talons. Two goats payment was a rather generous offer- one could be traded back in the town they passed for dry goods and supplies that she was getting short on and the other could be her emergency food supply. Of course, the griffin could probably eat half of one in a single sitting. The half-elf had thus far escaped from his relying on her to provide food, but she wasn't so sure how long toting a portable food source around would last.

She looked down at her feet, not having a clue as to what the griffin was alluding. Annoyed with what she took as mockery, and growing chilly and impatient with the onset of evening, Lo'en simply laid out her plans. "I am going to take the job. It can't be all that hard," she gritted her teeth at the understatement but pressed on. "I'm not familiar enough with these mountains and their perils to work now, but I'll be up at dawn. I think I'm going to have to re-establish his pens, they are in shambles. That should only take until about noon, and then I plan to work the northeast tomorrow. If you eat any, I *will* shoot you on sight."

Without waiting for a response, the half-elf started back toward the lonesome house.

*****

She opted to stay the night in the shack on some clean hay, wrapped up in her cloak. Old men tended to snore and the small, cramped house smelled faintly of sickness. Perhaps it was trace from whatever his wife had died from, but it was enough to make Lo'en uncomfortable and gladly take up residence in the feed shack. The hay was fresh enough to still smell pleasant, indication that the old man had had recent help from somebody more youthful, since he looked too frail to be hefting heavy bales. Were it deep in the winter season, Lo'en had no doubt the goats would be milling about the old man's house for the feed. Instead they were roaming the hills, taking advantage of their freedom and the autumn vegetation.

The half-elf turned onto her side, cradling her head under her arm. As she drifted off to sleep, she wondered what had become of the young man who had been hired to help. She had not noticed any surplus of livestock in the town and she had not passed anyone on the way to the homestead. It was unlikely the youth had stolen away the goats to sell in town. Perhaps he got eaten by a mountain lion. Hands from more domesticated farms didn't always thrive with the more headstrong, stubborn goats, and he could have fallen into a ravine chasing after the nimble creatures. It didn't quite matter to her, either way. Lost goats provided her a diversion from the boring road.

Lo'en slept fitfully, dreaming of dark things, red eyes, and fearful hallucinations. Strangely, it wasn't a nightmare of her own, but it felt as if she were an outsider, watching someone being tormented to the point of dying of fear. Her mind could only compare the scene below her with one of driving wild-eyed goats off a cliff, kids, does, and bucks leaping headlong to their deaths to escape whatever it was that was chasing them. Was it her? Something as intangible as wet goat smell wafted toward her, exciting her... The dark dream passed on the subconscious level and when she awoke the next morning, she recalled nothing of what troubled her during the night.

***

Shortly before the sun was at its zenith, Lo'en finished rebuilding the stockade that would keep the goats she found. If she found any... Wiping the sweat from her eyes, the half-elf bid the old man who was watching her from his doorway good day. Poor old man, she thought to herself as she hefted her bow, attached her quiver of arrows to her side, and placed her feathered cap on her head. She took a long coil of thin rope, slinging it over one shoulder across her body. Her new employer went inside, moving wearily as if he had just done all of the work of moving the logs and heavy stones to rebuild the pens that the goats had apparently knocked over to escape. He might have been an able goatherd at some point, but now he moved slowly, gingerly, and he squinted as if having a hard time seeing things at a distance. She started striding north-eastward to begin her search for the wayward goats.
"She who can laugh at herself will never cease to be amused."

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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:42 pm

If you eat any, I *will* shoot you on sight.

The griffin's response to her idle threat was to snap his beak in her direction - his standard way of emphasizing his physical superiority. The beak made a clacking sound when he did it.

Normally, Justinaryn' would spend his nights sleeping outside. He had no problem keeping warm, and finding a safe spot to curl up was easy when one could fly. The seclusion of rocky cliffs where his preferred sleeping grounds - something that became increasingly rare the further south they travelled.

Despite all their differences, the fact was that the griffin felt safe sleeping near Lo'en. He knew, by then, that she wouldn't try to harm him. She'd had several opportunities - they had even teased eachother about the prospect of doing something while the other slept - and each one knew that the other was not going to try anything. There was a shaky bond growing, even if nobody was ready to admit to it.

When the half-elf went into the shack to sleep, Justinaryn' stopped just outside the door and paced. He was torn between the comfort and relative security of sharing a sleeping space with her, and the indignity of spending a night like a two-legger. Unlike their usual nights outdoors, where they could sleep near one another without any issues of proximity arising, this was a human structure. The implications of spending a night in those quarters were more obvious.

After she closed the door behind her, he huffed, and steadfastly refused to make an issue out of it. He found a place outside, tucked behind the building and near some bushes. With his rump pushed up against the wall, he slept peacefully.

* * *

At the start of the next day while Lo'en worked hard to rebuild the old man's stockade, her griffin watcher stood around and watched. He didn't offer any help - neither of them expected anything like that - but he stayed nearby and observed, occasionally wandering off to go investigate something but always returning to her.

He kept his mouth shut and didn't demean her work. Perhaps the subtle rejection of that night was bothering him.

Once Lo'en had her things and started on her way, he finally offered to lend a paw. In his own way.

"It is a good thing you have me, fleshy-lips. Finding these goats on foot would be impossible."
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:14 am

The half-elven goatherd, as she was currently employed, made no effort to hide the surprise that she felt at the griffin's offer to help scout out the goats. Though her stride did not falter or hesitate, she could not keep the curiosity from her grey eyes as she glanced over to look at him. The griffin hadn't taken to the sky yet, he was pacing at some distance, but close enough that she needn't shout to make herself heard. Lo'en gave a quick look over her shoulder, wondering if the old man had seen her unusual travelling companion. His door was shut and the shades were drawn on that face of the house. Justinaryn had thus far kept his distance while she had brief encounters with other "two-leggers" as he liked to say. The half-elf originally guessed it had something to do with his disdain for his "duty" of watching her, but then there was that one incident early on, where a youth had laughed at the griffin's appearance as if he was a crude joke... She had come to learn that the part of the world in which griffins roamed, they had been treated very nearly as holy creatures, and that kind of reaction had ruffled his ego almost more than anything she'd seen so far.

Almost more than anything. "Justin," Lo'en purposefully shortened his name to an almost human sounding title. She knew it riled him to no end, that and having to hop-skip alongside her on the ground like a lame chicken, as his skeletal structure was not conducive to plodding along on the earth's surface. The goatherd actually recognized his offer of help and his patience for walking nearby so that they could talk, but the day was early and she couldn't refrain from poking and prodding the proud beast. Her grey eyes turned back toward the rising terrain in front of them and an internal voice was telling her she should accept his help. But, she was raised with goats! If she couldn't rise to this task, she had nothing to her name.

"You'd make quite a special herding mutt, wouldn't you? I don't think I've ever had the experience of one farm animal helping to herd another- I mean, who's ever heard of a chicken herding cows?"
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:45 pm

The feathers on the back of the griffin's neck stood up as Lo'ens words began to rile him again. Had this exchange transpired a few months earlier, he might have attacked her - again - for her impudence. She certainly deserved it, and if she kept it up he wasn't going to hold back the more feral impulses. Her lack of respect for his species was, in his opinion, due to the fact that she had not been properly disciplined.

It was especially bad because her comments came immediately after he had offered to help her out. He didn't have a great many options available to him as a response. Certainly, he wasn't going to continue to offer that help.

"Go lick the grass, you worm with legs." He blurted out, which seemed to calm down his temper a bit. "We'll see how well you can do crawling about on two legs on your own."

With that he plopped his rear onto the ground and watched her, refusing to go any further unless he had to do so to keep her within sight.
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:38 am

Lo'en grinned at the griffin, and with a careless wave good-bye, she bounded off towards the foothills. The half-elf moved with a long stride, covering the flat ground expeditiously, but without unnecessarily wasting energy. Her loping, leggy motion, borne from her goat raising childhood and cultivated from her long travels on the road, was an efficient pace that allowed her to cover distance in a third of the time it would take to walk it. The slim quiver of arrows jostled rhythmically at her side, secured toward her back so there was no danger of losing them. Though the sun was high, the air was thin and the rolling mountains provided some breeze as respite from the late summer sun.

She slowed to a walk as the slope became steeper, finally looking back to see if Justinaryn' had followed. As she wiped some of the sweat from her brow on her shoulder, she figured she'd ran for almost an hour, and the old man's house was far from sight. Not pausing long to look for the griffin, the goatherd turned back toward the mountains and began climbing.

***

The better part of two hours had passed when Lo'en made it to the crest of one of the taller ridgelines. Red, clay slopes turned out to to be easier to manage than her homeland grey granite, and the agile half-elf had thus far encountered no difficulty in scaling the ridge. She found herself looking down into a draw that ran southeast. There was a higher ridge opposite her position, beyond which there seemed to be scattered, stunted trees. She hazarded a guess some thicker shrubs and vegetation grew along the ground there, and perhaps even a small stream in the next draw over. Toward the north, the ground was more rocky, clay giving way to real stone as the mountains really began to grow. Keen grey eyes scanned the opposite finger, but no movement caught her attention. Quirking an ear, she thought she could hear the slight burble of water, and a few bird calls, but otherwise it was quiet. She had seen no sign of goats yet, but chances were they had headed south first, and then worked their way up the draws, instead of traversing the fingers and ridges as her path had taken her.

Making a game plan in her mind, Lo'en began picking her way down the slope toward the opposite finger.
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:59 pm

Lo'en's griffinic watcher did follow her, but only barely and at an extreme distance of at least a hundred meters at all times. He could see her more clearly than she could see him at that range, able to make out the details of her clothes and even the glisten of a bead of sweat on the back of her neck brought on by the hill she was choosing to climb.

He remained nothing more than a figure in the background, standing still each time she looked back at him, wings flattened against his back. It might have been amusing for him to watch her going through the ropes and unnecessary effort that she was, if not for something that had been bothering him since at least that night. Justinaryn' did not want to tag along doing nothing, in a grumpy mood because of her insults, still feeling like an outcast after leaving the only home he ever had.

There was an urge he felt to form a companionship with the half-elf. She wasn't that bad most of the time, and he had thought that things were changing between them. The previous night, and his present situation did not coincide with that change. Everything was finally starting to hit him.

As a result of all this, the griffin was not watching with the appropriate amount of smug satisfaction. He was pouting.

Only when she reached the top of the finger she was climbing did he take to the air, enough to get him up to the top about a dozen feet away from her. Refusing to make eye contact, he sat down on his haunches and waited while she began the seemingly daunting task of climbing back down the other side. He peered out over the terrain, giving no hint as to whether he saw anything of interest.
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:38 am

There was going to be just enough light left for Lo'en to find a place to settle for the evening by the time she crested the next ridge. She had judged the lay of the ground correctly- There was a small copse of stunted trees and more ground shrubbery which poked out from the rocks and clay around the thin, trickling stream. Still no sight or sound of goats, but the half-elf was not inclined to be disheartened or pessimistic. In fact, she was fairly certain she'd find evidence of some the following day.

Lo'en sat down on the slope to rest briefly and took out a hard biscuit. She idly toyed with the idea of trying to hunt for dinner as she scanned the sky for Justin. The day had passed quietly without his company, almost too quietly. She was beginning to feel a little sorry for chasing him away- the past few months, after the kobold attack, had seen the tentative truce turning into something akin to companionship. His harsh, alien voice had now become familiar and a welcome break in the silence of lonely travel. Her grey eyes caught something moving against the darkening sky. She waved her arm widely, once, in hopes of beckoning him closer.
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Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Justinaryn » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:39 am

Justinaryn' passed the time in the late evening by taking to the skies and circling lazily overhead. He couldn't help but search for the goats Lo'en was looking for, if for no better reason than to satisfy his curiosity. He had no plans to tell her what, if anything, he saw, but at least he would know if she ended up foolishly walking in the wrong direction. He could have himself a laugh.

He did eventually see one. Even for a griffin like Justinaryn' it was tough to make out from so far away and with the daylight waning. A small, grayish white form, hunched over near some rocks, nibbling away at a tuft of grass. The terrain made it impossible to know if there were more around or if it was only the one from where he was. There were a lot of places for the animals to hide, and these ones had a knack for navigating the steep hills.

Lo'ens waving caught him from the corner of his vision and he glared at her, although she could not see it. What did she want? If she expected help from him, she sure wasn't going to get it this night.

He idled in the air for at least a minute, looking around for something else to do. There wasn't. It was getting late and he wasn't hungry. With a look of indignation, which could really only show in his eyes with his lack of most facial muscles, the griffin swooped down, made a few more circles, and landed a few feet from his charge.

"Having trouble, worm?"
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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Name: Loen
Race: Half-Elven

Re: Goats, Griffins, and Gelatinous Stuff

Post by Jaspenellar » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:16 am

Lo'en was feeling more her typical, happy-go-lucky self with each passing day in the griffin's company. Her initial sour, disdainful outlook of having a griffin sidekick was mellowing into a sardonic, bittersweet resignation. And so she replied with a quirky grin as she shrugged off his query, gnawing on the hard tack. "Not at all. Having trouble would imply I've actually started looking for the silly beasts. I was merely scouting the layout of the land. I'll be starting first thing in the morning; meanwhile, this copse here looks like suitable protection against the night."

The half-elf spoke over her shoulder as she stood and started ambling down the slope. "I imagine you've probably found yourself something to eat already. I have this stale biscuit to hold me over for the night. First thing tomorrow-"

An odd, unnatural keening sounded, disturbing the otherwise tranquil evening for the span of a several heartbeats. Lo'en was not one prone to startling, but she froze, her entire body ceasing motion except for her grey eyes which peered about cautiously. Even after it died, she remained still, trying to sense the natural movement of world and if anything was out of place. It had been a low-pitched, wide-mouthed wail, a single call that seemed muffled but still strangely reverberated in one's bones. Dusk insects had ceased their calls, stifled by the keening. Just as the half-elf moved to place a hand on her quiver, the world's normal noises started again.

"Well then, now that's over with..." Lo'en spoke calmly, but her mind raced to catalogue the chilling sound.
"She who can laugh at herself will never cease to be amused."

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