Cabin in the Willow Woods

Avrae shares a kiss with a hunky hunter (Caedhe)

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Avrae Kyric
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Cabin in the Willow Woods

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Zi’da 2, Arc 716
Cabin in the Willow Woods, Outside of Ne'haer

There was something peaceful about being in nature. Avrae had always thought so, though there weren’t as many forests near Sirothelle. The Aukari mercenary had never spent much time in nature, particularly because of how many forest fires had been committed by his race. It was just wiser to keep to stone paths, particularly in dry seasons. However, that night, just after sunset, he found himself yearning for the peace and quiet the woods would provide. Leaving Ailluin in the room at the inn they had rented for the night, he made his way through the city of Ne’haer, foot steps quiet and fast as he strolled through the dwindling crowds. It was still strange to him to be in Ne’haer, even though he’d arrived some trials ago. There were so many different races and people, each living their lives with their own hardships. The last few seasons in Sirothelle had made him forget what it was like- to realize that he was as foreign to them as they were to him. In Sirothelle, everyone was… predictable, to Avrae. Similar, in a way, even when they weren’t. He was just used to it, but here everything had him on edge. It wasn’t surprising that he felt the need to get out of the city for a bit.

As he slipped through the grand gates of the city, he made a beeline for the stables, and for his newly bought horse- Kadu. Working quickly, it wasn’t long before he was sat in the saddle and leading his horse towards the treeline in a gallop. After a while of traversing through the thick foliage of the woods, listening to the lullaby of the bugs that made their home in the trees, Avrae came to a stop in a meadow. Sliding off Kadu’s saddle, he pat the horse on the muzzle lightly, “Good boy.” He murmured as he moved to tie him up to a tree. Once he was done, Avrae worked his way to the middle of the meadow, dropping down to his knees. Finally. Some time for meditation and my thoughts. He thought, relieved for the forest’s sanctuary that night. It wasn’t exactly a safe place to let his guard down, but the city was no safer, at least to Avrae. Sighing, the red haired male eased himself into a comfortable sitting position, hands on his knees, raising his head up to the sky. A full moon that night, it bathed the meadow in a silver glow, even making Avrae seem like he was just a spirit of the night. Taking deep, calming breaths of the night air, Avrae let his eyes close, just focusing on his own solitude. At least, until it was interrupted.
Last edited by Avrae Kyric on Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:03 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 485
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Caedhe
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The hunter prepared his shot. He kept his eyes trained on the target, crouching behind a tangled mess of forestry. His longbow was kept on his back, while he drew his composite shortbow to do the deed. The target at hand was a small deer, probably a young adult, likely capable of feeding him for at least a few days with its supply of meat. Caedhe held his breath, eyeing the creature as it frolicked about the meadow, practically teasing him to take his shot. He focused, using an ability he scarcely knew he had, Predatorial Instincts of Velduris. The calm and quiet of his breath kept his aim sure and the creature unsuspecting. Right as he readied to fire, however, a buck ran into the clearing and chased the deer down. The young animal ran from its potential mate, the two of them disappearing behind the treeline as Caed sighed in disappointment. The predatory instincts triggered yet again, revealing quite naturally to his senses that the creature had been startled and gone away. He took a breath.

“Fuckin’ shit,” he cursed. The Willow Woods weren’t quite as dangerous to hunt as the Fields of Gauthrel, but the quantity of good game was lacking to be sure. The animals either got chased down by aroused mates or slaughtered by horrors like the Lurkers, the Skinbanes, or the terrifying Sylvithia. He was half tempted to just go on a Willow Bear rampage and hunt the burly, hibernating beasts for his own hibernation cycle. Stock up on a season’s worth of thick meat - it made sense, Zi’da was coming soon.

The man howled, as well as a man could anyhow. In response, a howl crawled back, and his black wolf came to him - Sidhe, named quite similarly to himself, given to him by the Immortal Karem as a gift; a companion. As always, the wolf was showing him up, with a bloodied hare in its grip. “Sidhe,” the Lotharro called to his familiar. The animal released the hare onto the ground and looked up to its alpha. “Did you find what I asked you to discover?” he questioned the creature. In response, it spoke into his mind.

“Yes,” it answered. “There are no Lurkers or Skinbanes near the cabin. I’ve searched the Willow Woods in the night prior - we’re safe for now. They seem to be concentrated in the east, near Seraas,” the creature informed him. Caedhe nodded.

“Good work,” he replied, petting the black direwolf behind the ears. As he did so, however, he heard the sound of footsteps breaching the clearing and lowered himself to witness the potential prey. Rather than a doe, it was a man, one with notable features and exceptionally brazen red hair. He seated himself into a meditative position, somehow not realizing the danger that posed. The Lotharro immediately stood up, rolling his eyes.

“Hey!” he yelled, stepping through the treeline and into the clearing. “This isn’t the place for silent meditation. There are a fuckton of monsters, dangerous animals and crazy magical nutjobs around. How many times do I have to tell you fuckin’ relaxative types not to try and find peace with the universe in the middle of the fucking Willow Woods?!” He yelled at him, if only to usher him to quickly ‘get off his lawn’ and go away. These people not only posed danger to themselves, but to Caedhe, as they scared off his prey.


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A man is only as good as how patient he can be. If one is impatient, they make mistakes. Avrae thought back to a quote Kabkadu had once told him, as he took another breath of fresh air. He used to find meditation to be tedious, even boring. He had no focus, no patience, no calm. Now, however, he was beginning to understand it, and he lived for these moments of quiet, where he didn’t have idiots bothering him. Unfortunately, it seemed at least one idiot managed to find him. As he heard the yell of an unfamiliar male, Avrae’s face twitched in irritation, his hands curling into fists. He could almost feel his temper flare up, imagining his inner flame as if it were a tangible thing. He often imagined it when meditating, but instead of dwindling down, he could see it shoot up in his mind. If I had the power to harness it to roast all the idiots that bother me… Now that would be a treat.

Opening his eyes, which shone gold in the moonlight, he turned his head to look at who had yelled at him, taking another deep breath. The man who approached him now was handsome, he supposed, in a rugged sort of way. Avrae studied him, with his dark hair and his bright, shining golden eyes that even out did his own. The man looked wild, almost primal, with sharp canines he could see poking out from behind his lips as he spoke. Avrae could tell he was angry as all fuck, though he wondered if it was truly out of worry for him, a complete stranger. Then, he noticed the bow the man held in one hand as he approached. Ah! A hunter. He must worry my presence will screw up his hunt. Though the way he’s shrieking, I’d say he’s doing that just fine all his own.

Trying to get his body to relax again, as now he was sitting quite tense, Avrae frowned at the hunter approaching. “Well it was silent, until you came along.” Deciding his chance for meditation was dwindling, Avrae pushed himself up to stand, wiping off his pants as he spoke again, “I realize not all of you rugged types are aware of the modern times of our civilization, so let me enlighten you. You don’t need to look like a monster- all big, feral, and with sharp claws- to be one. I find this a much safer place than that of the city. After all, at least I can tell who is a monster by looking at them. It’s much more dangerous to walk amongst monsters who look no different than anyone else.” As he spoke, Avrae crossed his arms across his chest. He was lacking his usual jacket, just in a white cloth shirt, and if he wasn’t an Aukari the cooler breezes of Zi’da might get to him after the long season of Saun’s heat. As he eyed Caedhe, he kept glancing at his bow. To hunt must be quite the helpful skill, one that Avrae had tried and failed at. Ailluin had compared him to that of a ten foot badger when he walked through the woods, making every possible noise and scaring away the prey. Even though he was a stranger, Avrae couldn’t help the tiny flame of envy as he gazed at the beautifully angry male before him.
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The Velduris rolled his eyes as the bright-headed city dweller attempted to school him on the dangers of these woods. By his accent, he could tell that he wasn’t even from Ne’haer, which made the irony all the sweeter. Caedhe wasn’t from here either, but he’d lived in Ne’haer since the cold season of Cylus in the 714th Arc, and he’d learned a great deal of the wilds since coming here. This man clearly did not know the dangers that lay among these trees. Silence mattered not - the Skinbanes could even sense the mere presence of flesh among them. To have shut eyes would only result in creatures tearing away at your flesh before you could open them. He shook his head. This fire-headed, prim city boy had a great deal to learn about the wild. The real wild.

He laughed at his suggestion that somehow the people in Ne’haer were remotely as dangerous as the people out here. “Please,” he waved his hand as if to shut down the man’s speech. “Those girlish city fuckers have no concept of what a monster is. I come from the Fields of Gauthrel, where the most dangerous monsters in Idalos dwell.” His hands moved about as he said this, clearly emphasizing his speech, and certainly ignoring his accidental rhyme. “There are creatures there that can become completely invisible at will, and carve you in half in an instant. There are creatures there that create sacs of fluid along their body that can melt a man in seconds, flung from vast distances. There are monsters there as smart as man, like the Lurkers the people of this city flail about in terror. Words cannot hurt you quite like a stone cold beast, and unlike with humans, their intentions are evidently clear - kill or be killed.”

He laughed again, though perhaps more of a chuckle, repeating the man’s words back in his head. Oh boy, he has a lot to learn, he thought to himself. It wasn’t that Caedhe was a ‘rugged type’, he’d imagined. He was a survivalist type - and surviving outside of the city, with the cruelty of Idalos’s beasts, was something far more challenging than learning to scribble quaintly with a quill. At least in his mind.

As he finished his thoughts, the man examined the appearance of the ginger before him. None of the freckles, at least compared to the other redheads he’d met, but all the same; an anomaly. His body seemed muscular for the standards set by the humans, but lithe compared to the Lotharen. He had a well-shaped face, it was attractive to be sure. Even so, he couldn’t help but feel it deserved a few smacks to remind the Aukari of how foolish he’d been. They clearly lacked paternal spankings in the rest of Idalos.

“Do you hate the city?” he asked him, seeking to understand his intentions for coming out to the Woods alone. “You don’t seem to be from here. I’m not either. I’m from Uthaldria. Where did you come from?”
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Avrae had never liked being laughed at. Mostly because it had happened far too often in his life to be a good thing. So when this stranger- this infuriating, good looking stranger- laughed at him, it was like cold water being dumped on him. Okay, maybe not since he’s an Aukari and that would hurt, but it was definitely not a pleasant feeling. Avrae’s cheeks went flush with an embarrassed blush, his arms tightening around his chest. Calming breath. Calming breath. He reminded himself as he gritted his teeth, listening to the man speak. “There are worse things than being killed. A man might not be a gruesome killing machine, but I personally believe them to be just as dangerous. Perhaps it is just my line of work that makes me believe so.” He had never had much experience with monsters, however, and to hear this man speak of such strange things, things he had never even heard of, was fascinating. Avrae had always had a love of learning, and it was only because of his irritation in being interrupted that he didn’t ask questions about what Caedhe had told him.

His questions, however, took Avrae off guard, eyes widening a fraction. For some reason, it seemed like a complete change of pace to their conversation, almost turning it casual. Avrae was quiet a moment, thinking. Uthaldria. He repeated the word in his mind. He knew where it was, though he’d never been there. He remembered learning about it in his studies in Sirothelle. If he was right, that would make the man a Lotharro- a strange race indeed. One he had never met before in his travels, though it made sense he hadn’t, as they tended to stay to wild places or their own cities. At least from what he knew. As he studied him, noticing the length of his nails, which resembled small, sharp claws on his fingertips, and observing the glow of his golden eyes again, he further confirmed what this man was. Unfortunately, he didn’t know much about the Lotharro other than their existence and general markings.

Taking a breath, Avrae finally answered, “No. I do not hate the city. I prefer to travel than to stay there, but it serves my purposes for the time being. I just don’t like the corruption that tends to come with cities and the people in them.” Moving a little closer, Avrae held out a hand to Caedhe, a peaceful greeting of sorts, gazing at him while he waited for him to take it. He knew once he did, the unnatural heat of his hand would give away his own race, if Caedhe hadn’t already guessed it. “I’m from Sirothelle, to the North. Or the dark heart of the world, as I like to call it. The name’s Avrae. Avrae Kyric.”
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The Lotharro hardly noticed the flustered blushing of the bright-headed city dweller. He kept his gaze trained only on his eyes, keeping watch of his vision as he was instinctively trained to do. It wasn’t that he detected a threat from the man, but instead that he’d found himself curious of the Aukari’s perception of him.

He shrugged his shoulders at the assertion that there were worse things than death. He’d heard that before, but being quite fundamentally obsessed with survival - as displayed by his mark and the God he’d fallen in line with - he couldn’t think of a thing worse than the end of his existence. “No matter what happens to you, from crippling debt to the loss of all limbs, in this world you can recover. You can have a mage heal you back to what you were before, or you can move to a new city to escape your perilous fate. With death, there is no recovery. Well, not for you people, anyway,” he said, referring to his own ability to come back from the throes of death, albeit reborn as a different man.

To speak of Uthaldria and the Lotharen, it didn’t seem like the man completely knew of his kin. There was something of a confused, searching look in his eyes as Caedhe mentioned his city of birth. The Aukari eyed him up and down, his sight searching for the defining characters; the sharp nails, the fangs that mirrored a wolf’s. But Caedhe had gained these fangs, and these sharp eyes, from a creature who’d bestowed them upon him. These were not latent in him. Instead, it was the sharp hearing and hands that could rend flesh from bone. Every one of his kin was different, though scarcely anyone knew that, as nearly all of them kept to Uthaldria.

Why wouldn’t they? They were barred from the rest of the world by one of the most dangerous lands in Idalos to walk.
“Hear hear,” the man agreed with the Aukari, snapping back to reality. “Corruption exists where people do. Even despite our beliefs in strength above all, we Lothar fall prey to the schemes of ambitious individuals. The smart men who think that their words are sharper than blades. They exist everywhere.” As he finished with his words, the ginger-haired man took a step towards him. He tensed, somewhat awkwardly, wondering what it was that he wanted. Caedhe didn’t do well with pleasantries. He only very reluctantly took his hand, hoping he wasn’t going to cast a spell or some foul thing, though instead he was greeted by . . . heat.

“God!” he exclaimed, pulling his hand away from Avrae’s grip. “Is everything alright? Are you not feeling well? Is that why you decided it’d be a smart idea to meditate in this fucking place - because you have a deathly fever?” He couldn’t understand it. Avrae’s mere touch felt like a spark of flame, or the surrounding temper of a fire as the heat washed against your bare skin. It wasn’t that it was painful, no - if anything the warmth was an odd comfort alongside the cold winds of the forest. It was rather that . . . he was quite concerned for this man, who he knew now to be Avrae Kyric, from Siro Hell or whatever. Dark center of the world? Whatever, was all he could say. He could hardly make sense of it all.


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Avrae couldn’t help but scoff at the stranger’s words. “You make it sound so easy.” He agreed, in a way, but at the same time he knew it was up to personal preference. He’d rather risk his life fighting a powerful beast than deal with some of the intricacies of civilized life. Which was ironic, given his interest in politics and the career path he hoped to take. Fighting with a blade just made a lot more sense to him, he guessed, than some other things. No, that wasn’t just it… More like… I can control my own blade. I can’t control the devious minds of those that would use me as a pawn for their own gain. Yes, that was it. He knew it was foolish to think he’d have any more control in a real fight, but it was just more his element.

As his hand connected with Caedhe’s, Avrae’s eyes widened and he jumped at the man’s exclamation, watching him yank his hand away like Avrae had bitten him. At first, confusion filled his expression, until Caedhe spoke. There was a pause, and then- for the first time in a very long time- Avrae burst into laughter. Full, whole hearted, body shaking laughing, a rare grin lighting up his features, his eyes gleaming. He hadn’t had anyone react to his heat in… ever. Most people knew Aukari. They either avoided them because they thought they would only bring destruction, or they dealt with them and took the risk. Most people knew an Aukari by their flaming red hair, and by the time they felt the heat of their skin, they weren’t surprised. So to see this man look so taken aback was nothing short of hilarious for Avrae. He bent over, hands on his knees, as laughter bubbled out of his mouth- deep and loud, echoing in the meadow. When he finally regained his control, the Aukari was breathless, a few weak chuckles escaping him as he straightened up again.

“For fuck’s sake, calm down. I’m not contagious, nor am I beset with a deathly fever or a terminal illness, I assure you. Though I suppose the assumption is a reasonable one. I’m an Aukari.” He told him. When he saw further confusion, he was even more surprised that Caedhe didn’t appear to know what he was. “Made by Faldrun. Fire guy. Burnt humans, brought them back. Rules them with an iron fist- you know, that one. Jolly old Faldrun, who just loves us and decided to make us a race of his own personal soldiers that have fire in their very essence and can burst into flames and kill themselves. I’m one of those.” He was still sporting a small smile as he reached up to run a hand through his ginger locks, ruffling them up slightly, “Don’t worry, I won’t go setting myself on fire anytime soon. Not if I can help it. That was the reason behind my smart idea. Meditation helps keep me from my inevitable demise.” Taking a breath, he glanced back at the meadow where he had been trying to meditate. A flicker of regret flashed across his features, wishing he could find some peace. He didn’t like to meditate around Ailluin- she was too distracting.

Smile fading, Avrae released a long sigh before looking back at the Lothar. “You never said your name. I think it’s only fair I know the name of the person who ruined my peace and quiet.”
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The strange man would do as strange men often did, replying with strange reactions like bursts of discomforting laughter. Maybe he really was ill, if he determined it’d be the logical response here to just start laughing wildly. Maybe it was a breach of language? Maybe Caedhe said something that meant a lewd thing in Avrae’s native tongue? He had no idea, and so as the man laughed, he merely stood awkwardly and waited for him to finish. Calm down, the man told him, which was ironic considering his upset of random laughter filling the clearing and driving off the birds. The Hunter could hardly take any mention of calm seriously when Avrae was in such a state.

He called himself an Aukari. Caedhe had heard mention of them, though he didn’t really know anything else. There were a lot of really strange races in Ne’haer that didn’t exist in Uthaldria, like the blue people - the Eidisi - and the weird rocky faced baldies, the Qi’ora. He knew next to nothing about any of those races. As far as he was concerned, they were all just odd looking humans, as none of them seemed remotely grounded in their beliefs. He supposed that was the odd thing about non-Uthaldrian society, for him. Despite the orderly way they functioned, there was a lack of cohesive thought. You had people like Avrae who lived in the city yet hated the way city dwellers acted, searching for solace in the woods, isolated from everyone else.

And of course, the fact that he was an Aukari who talked ill of this “Faldrun” who created him was . . . unique. Caedhe had never met a Lothar who’d found distaste in Thetros, and even though the hunter himself had often been called ‘cursed’ by their Father and Creator, he’d never felt anything but confusion and a desire to understand Thetros’ detachment from him. The way Avrae spoke of his creator was truly alarming, though honestly, Caedhe did imagine just from the simplistic way in which he was described that he was sort of . . . a dick. “Well . . .” he prattled nervously. The Velduris had no idea what to add to that line of thought. He knew nothing of the Aukari, or of Siro Hell.

Fire . . . suicide by flames . . . heart of the world . . . Faldrun, it was all confusing to him. He eyed Avrae emptily and nodded along as he spoke. “You can uh . . . set yourself on fire?” he asked confusedly. In reality, he thought it was kind of cool, and so he said as much. “That’s rad,” he confessed. Unless he died in the flames, which was of course terrifying and not ‘rad’ at all. “Well . . .” he paused for a moment. The ‘Aukari’ asked him his name. That was something, indeed, that he could reply to.

“I am Caedhe Aelothar. My name means ‘the Sky that blocks the Sun.’ Caed is sky, he is a conjunction of sorts, and Aelothar means sun.” Like with all Lothar, his name meant something. Caedhe was named by those who had shamed him in his past life - his name was a metaphor for his relationship to them long ago, one of a great buffoon blocking out their joy. It was no secret in Uthaldria that Caedhe’s past incarnation, Lenswyth, was quite an insufferable fiend, and so the name stuck - he didn’t mind.

“It’s good to meet you, I guess, Avrae Kydick of Siro Hell,” he mocked his name teasingly. “I wouldn’t normally be sure if you have the balls to stick around since I already told you about the Lurkers and all that, but you’re as fiery as your appearance proclaims. I’m imagining you won’t be leaving the Woods due to my warning. If that’s the case, would you like to join me? We can . . . I dunno. Talk, or something.” He rose his shoulders, shrugging. In truth, Caedhe rarely got to talk to anyone except perhaps Sigurd and his Familiar, Sidhe, who had already reverted to spirit form at the presence of the Aukari. Getting to know someone who wasn’t totally intolerable was perhaps a boon of the night, making up for his poor game in today’s hunt. And - indeed, Avrae was not intolerable to him. He was . . . at least interesting, if a passing dalliance for but a singular evening. Most people who came by didn’t stay. He couldn’t blame them.


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Why was he in such a good mood? Avrae had no clue. He had been interrupted from his only chance at meditation, and he was now talking about his least favorite subject- Faldrun and the Aukari people. And yet, as he ran his hand through his hair again (a nervous tick of his), he couldn’t help but smile once more, biting into his bottom lip as Caedhe asked if he could really set himself on fire, and then called it “rad”. Oh if only you knew. The image of Kabkadu bursting into flames right in front of him, no different than that of the sun setting to a blood red sky, flashed behind his ears. His smile faded slightly, earning a certain sadness as he peered at Caedhe. “Rad… yes, I suppose it would be, if it could be controlled. I could set myself aflame if I tried to but… I doubt I would survive. Faldrun was cruel that way, to create a people that held something so destructive, without making them invincible to it.” His voice was surprisingly soft, thoughtful. The words he spoke gave him a chill, body shivering visibly even though he wasn’t remotely cold.

As Caedhe introduced himself, Avrae’s smile grew. It sounded like “Kayd”, but he doubted it was spelled that way. He was certain if it was read on paper, it’d be mispronounced. “Huh. Blocking the sun. Well, If we went by name and race alone, I’d pronounce you as my greatest enemy.” He said, giving what was actually a charming smile, “The sun is rather important where I come, after all… but I say fuck it. The sky is… prettier.” His smile only grew, glancing away from him as his words left the impression that he wasn’t quite talking about the actual sky, just the barest hint of a flirt on the tip of his tongue. “I doubt my name has any great meaning when strung together. Avrae means Counsel, as far as I know. And Kyric actually is rare for an Aukari name, because it means dark haired- and Aukari are notoriously ginger haired. The only name I have that is even slightly pertaining to me would be my middle name. Aodhan. It means fire. Very common for an Aukari.”

And there it was- making him laugh again. Not as long or as strongly, but Avrae couldn’t help but chuckle at Caedhe’s teasing words. Kydick… of Siro Hell. He had never thought of how many words could be twisted into something else that was utterly inappropriate, but that was certainly two he wished he had thought of before. He might have been insulted if anyone else had used the word dick in his name, but Caedhe’s way of saying it, in such a tone, only made him smile. Something he knew he was doing far too much of. It was beginning to feel strange, to smile so much. Which was sad, in a sense, but Avrae had come to accept he didn’t have a lot to smile about. Until now.

Watching Caedhe as he gave his offer, Avrae let his smile fade as he mulled over his options. Uncrossing his arms to let them fall to his side, he took a step closer again, reaching out. His hand closed on Caedhe’s own, the one he had wrapped around his bow, and he gently took the weapon from him. Raising it between them, he studied the intricate woodwork of the weapon, the strong, sturdy string that was used to launch arrows at a man’s foes. “You’re right, I don’t plan on leaving. So, I’ll tell you what, Sky that Blocks the Sun. I will stay, and I will give up my meditation time… if you show me a thing or two about hunting.” He was serious, gaze flickering up from the bow to instead stare into Caedhe’s own bright eyes. The two stood closer than Avrae realized at first, but he didn’t step back, holding onto the bow and silently gazing at him as he waited for his answer.
word count: 700
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Caedhe
Approved Character
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:01 pm
Race: Lotharro
Profession: Hunter
Renown: 30
Character Sheet
Wealth Tier: Tier 1

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Cabin in the Willow Woods

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“Hell yeah the sky is prettier,” the man cocked a grin, flexing in response if only to provoke a laugh. He was the sky, after all. Any compliments to that big blue meadow above the clouds was an indirect compliment to him. He’d be damned if it wasn’t. Wasn’t sure how he’d compliment ‘Counsel’ as a name, though. Counsel. Hm. “You’re not as wise as your name suggests,” he blurted, essentially an anti-compliment. He was quite poor at this. “And you’re not dark haired . . .” he stated further, his palm stroking the bottom of his chin.

“Though you are fiery,” he finally agreed with. “Counsel of dark haired, fiery wenches. That’s what you were named after. Basically the Naerikk.” He smiled brightly, holding back laughter at his own joke, as it was considered to be too self-aggrandizing in the inferior societies of the south. And of course, Avrae laughed along with him, though probably for his Kydick joke. He’d already moved past that one, though. There were new ridiculous claims to be made here.

So wrapped up in his ridiculous jokes he was, however, that he practically allowed the ginger to waltz in and disarm him. Before he’d regained himself from the laughter he’d eventually succumbed to, the man had his bow in hand as he studied it intently. It was his shortbow, while Caedhe kept his longbow at his back for prey at a further distance. The Lotharen quickly drew his second bow in hand, always making sure he was armed while surrounded in the dangers of the Willow Woods. “That’s your first lesson hunting,” he said, following off of his train of thought. “Always have a weapon ready,” he glanced at the shortbow the man had plied from his hands.

When he looked back up, he found the man’s eyes to be exponentially closer to his than he’d remembered them being. Their faces were hardly maintained at any distance, and he swore he could feel the scalding breath of the man against his neck. Caedhe’s face grew serious. “By the way, if you want to learn how to hunt, one thing you should know is that looking a beast in the eyes from such a distance is a challenge. When you’re in danger, and you fear for your life, know that looking at a creature the way you’re looking at me will only provoke them to action. It’s assertive. They don’t like it - the wolves, the bears, even the foxes. I don’t like it either.” He narrowed his gaze, pressing his face forward and flicking the Aukari on the forehead. Considering his elongated nails, it would likely hurt to some degree.

“Secondly, a bow is only the initial weapon. If you fail and they catch you, and seek you out, they’ll come at you faster than you can fire on them. You will need a blade. I bring sharp knives with me into the wild.” He reached into his satchel and drew a knife, holding it out to Avrae to take. Shortly following his ‘gift’, he turned his back to offer the man a few arrows at his quiver. Though turning your back on an armed foe as a mistake, he imagined that Avrae was not a foe. He did not mind the risk.

The Lothar imagined it would actually be quite some fun, hunting with another, especially a rookie. They were unlikely to find prey, but the challenge would be dear entertainment, and they could learn about one another along the way. He could inquire upon Siro Hell and thus learn of the source of the man’s silly mannerisms. Avrae could learn of how much of a titanic badass Caedhe was. Information for information.


word count: 639
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