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In the Wake of Giants [1x1]

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Jannistory19, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Warning!

    This Rp is between two people who are older than 18. Mature subjects and language are likely to be seen/mentioned here. Nothing is absolute - anything is possible. If you aren't of age, turn back please. Otherwise, read at your own risk. Thank you :)




    The bustling dirt roads of Amastad grew crowded as the sun rose up in the sky. Janine sighed as she kept her pace in the sea of humans and livestock. It was the second Tuesday of the month, which meant ome thing: mass trading.

    Yes, all sorts of strangers from the neighboring kingdoms traveled to Amastad to trade their goods to one another. Amastad was well known for its excellent crops, so it's easy to say that it was an important part of keeping the other kingdoms alive.

    The shouts of men and the bleats of livestock made Janine sigh and shake her head. She just felt... annoyed at the moment. Was it the huge crowds? Or perhaps the stench of animal droppings? The possibility of stepping in said droppings? At the thought, Janine paused and looked around. Even though she was in casual clothing, she didn't feel like dealing with that. Hell, it may have been the reason she was feeling this way. She began to veer to the sides of the main road, making some people call her out and complain at her. She scoffed - at least she said 'excuse me'.

    When she finally got clear, the young woman stared at the swarm of bodies as they seemed to appear unending. Like one massive stampede. Janine's stomach lurched as she watched the crowd; that feeling that she got everytime she watched everyone was popping up again.

    With a soft huff, Janine continued on her way down through some darker alleys. It was a cooler pathway, but it was better than feeling the sticky bodies of hundreds and hundreds of strangers.
    Of course, being down these small passageways meant that she'd be face to face with very unsavory and shady people. With a deep inhale, Janine kept her head down and walked past those creepy strangers - trying to give off her typical air of aggression.

    After multiple turns, Janine finally got to her destination - a tavern called 'The Sleepy Hollow'. The name was surprisingly justified - considering how this place was when it was any other day but the second Tuesday of the month. Janine stood outside the doors and leaned up against the wall - she didn't want to go in just yet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Look at them. They scurry like rats, stinking of their own mess.

    The comment was rich with disgust and might have drawn a fair few scathing looks in return. The crowd remained oblivious to the disdainful comment, too busy with trying to get on with their day. The one receiving the comment however heard it as if we're another person stood next to him. In a way, that was true. The shire he rode was not truly a horse but something far more sinister in nature. Had she been freed of her trappings, he had no doubt she would exact her revenge on the one responsible. He was glad it wasn't him.

    He looked between her dagger-like ears and chuckled, "I happen to be one of those rats too you know."

    No, you're not. You are the predator here, not this stinking prey.

    Her conviction was sound but he would never utter the truth to anyone besides Chestnut. Only she knew him for what he truly was. A beast of the night, the stuff of nightmares a thing to be feared and disposed of. His life hung in a very fine balance.

    His hand twitched, feigning control when she knew exactly where she was going. The charade had to be maintained. He had to appear to all as nothing more than a simple Knight riding his warhorse through the throng of a busy crowd. People parted easily enough, no one was going to argue with a 17.1hh heavy horse. Especially one with the power and strength of a fire demon inside, not that they were to know that.

    They came to what passed for a tavern and he noted it had opened far earlier than usual. That would accommodate the the day's trade, it exceeded most days and from that more coin would likely pass into the owner's hands. He stopped before he rose and fell as he dismounted, landing heavily with a thud. He lifted the reins over Chestnut's broad black neck and tethered the lead loosely to a post. She could pull it free quite easily but for him, appearances were everything.

    Raban paused to watch the crowd for a long moment. He had come for trade too but not quite the same as the various peasants and peddlers had in mind. His was rumour, speculation and gossip.

    He glanced at Chestnut before he moved to go inside. He gave the woman by the doorway a glance and a nod of greeting, noting there was something familiar about her.

    Quit ogling the rat. She'll think you weird. Who am I kidding? You are weird.

    Raban blinked and glances back his black shire with her distinctive white blaze down the length of her face. He grunted and looked back.
     
  3. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine glanced up when she heard the hard clops of a horse. For a split second she thought it was going to be somebody with a shady background, but when she looked at the rider, she took it back. This man looked familiar. She blinked, her eyes and his eyes making sudden contact.

    Shit. She felt herself grow tense. Her mind was sending those warning signals, but she didn't feel too threatened by him yet.... Yet. She only thought that because he didn't look like a drunkard who frequented here. Not to mention the pretty horse.

    "Nice horse," Janine said before she turned around to enter the building.


    She walked in the establishment and drank in the picture before her.
    Nornally, the tavern was scarce of customers during the morning, but now, there were a bit more people than usual. And Janine didn't mind it too much -- so long as no drunk bastard tried to make a pass on her.
    She was young, but she was just old enough to enter a place like this. Admittedly, she felt out of place, but it was her best bet for remnants of solitude while still being among the masses. She went to the front table and sat down, one chair away from a man sipping on a mug.

    The innkeeper walked up to her and asked what she wanted. "Some water please," Janine repiled. Just because she walked into a place like this didn't mean she had to buy alcoholic beverages.

    She kept her face and straight, not wanting to bring about any attention to herself. Any eye contact and she'd have to deal with some man, and she didn't feel like doing that. Behind her, closer to the fireplace, were a small handful of men chatting to each other like a group of women. She turned around to listen to them talk about random subjects. It was amusing, as men always said that a scene like this was always dor the women - gossiping and talking shit about stuff that didn't pertain to them.

    And look, now there was a sight to behold. If only she could capture the moment and hang it on the wall. She chuckled to herself and faced front, where she was just in time for the innkeeper to give her the cup.
     
  4. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    His eyes continued to register her a moment as she reacted to him in some way. His senses could pick up on her unease quick enough. He glanced back to Chestnut as the woman gave a compliment towards his steed. He smiled as Chestnut snickered irritably, ears facing backwards and forewards again. She never did like being called the animal she was trapped in but that was something she would just have to deal with. At least until they found some way to free her. He still wasn't sure how that was going to be achieved but he would work it out.

    "Thank you," he returned before she left and stood to the side, watching the crowd or at least that was what he seemed to be doing.

    "You really ought to get used to it by now. People don't see you for what you really are," he thought this and she heard him. It was how they communicated and in times when he was without his self control, it was quite often Chestnut who made sure he didn't hurt anyone unknowingly. That was their agreement from the day he had saved her life upon finding her.

    "Yes, well, I still don't have to like it, little wolf," She bit back, flicking her tail over her rump. He stared at her before he shrugged and headed inside the tavern, clad in simple leathers and cloth. He only tended to wear his armour when he needed to or for other ceremonial occasions. Today however he didn't want to attract too much attention to himself. That would hardly do. Raban assessed the space of the tavern as he made his way to a table. He noted where the other ways out of the tavern were, how many were in the communal space and what the general feeling of the room was.

    The pros of what he was aided him in his human form though it was never to the same range or strength as they would be in his darker form. He could smell varying scents that filled the room, most were old and clearly from several days prior to today but some were fresh. One was distinctly familiar and it brought his attention back on the woman that had complimented Chestnut. He had to have met her before now to have known the scent. He was distracted as a figure stood next to him and cleared their throat meaningfully. Raban broke his gaze and peered up before settling for a small cup of ale. He paid for it when it was put before him and leaned back slightly in the chair. It creaked slightly and he winced.

    Men spoke in small groups, the innkeeper and his couple of assistants puttered about their business and Raban watched as the time drew on eventually attracting more and more patrons to the source of drink. It was as good a place as any to derive information as any. As more people consumed more drink, the looser their lips got. He didn't have to worry too much about lies being told, he could sort the chiff from the chaff easily enough if needed. He shifted gently on the chair. He had been in the saddle for a little while now and he was beginning to feel it.

    "Serves you right. You could run yourself and still keep up."

    Raban's face remained impassive as Chestnut's input rang out in his mind, reading it for the jest that it was. Despite their agreement, they had become relatively good friends who relied upon each more than they were both willing to admit.

    Voices filled the space as more table were taken and his gaze fell on one that talked a little too loudly as they settled about their drinks.
     
  5. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine sipped on her water as the room slowly got filled. So much masculinity in one room; all of the women would be outnumbered five to one. Some men were young, but most were older - she crossed her lower legs a little, remembering and retaining some of the feminine rules that her mother gave her.

    Her ears picked up on the bubbly banter of the men, and she shook her head as their words filled the room; how are they already close to being drunk? It wasn't even the afternoon yet. Most of the talk was bragging and taunting nonsense: how one man managed to sleep with two women at the same time, another one talked about how he managed to sleep with the wolves, whatever the hell that meant.

    Janine shuttered as she drank more water. Sometimes she figured men to be dirty dogs. She couldn't understand how a woman was supposed to be attracted to animals like them.
    As the conversation and bragging dragged on, the topic thankfully changed from sleeping to hunting stories. Her ears somewhat perked at the topic - as much as she loved animals, hunting gave out its own appeal.

    The topic was brought on by a somewhat older group of men. They mentioned deer, wolves, and bears -- the typical stuff. But then, the stories teetered more and more on the fabricated side - Janine grew slightly annoyed, but whatever - a story was a story. She liked to tell stories herself, but she wouldn't tell anyone here any of them. And besides, she'd fought beasts much bigger than a wolf or bear.

    Then, a voice spoke up from the opposite side of the room. Janine turned around to see a man somewhat shrounded in darkness and covered in a cloak.

    "Ha! You younguns no nothing about danger. You talk about bears? The beasts I hunted and fought were five and ten times the size of a bear!" the man exclaimed as he swigged his drink. Janine blinked with increasing interest - where did he come from? Was he already there when she came in?

    The young men looked to each other and scoffed. "Yeah right old man! What did you fight? A cow?" one of the men taunted. Most of the men gave light chuckles, which made Janine shake her head and scowl at them - she never liked it when people diarespected the elderly.

    The man gave a small smirk, which Janine barely caught. He must've known something they didn't. He looked to a man sitting next to him, which stunned Janine even further. These men must've been there the entire time.

    "Tell me, do you know what beast plagues the five Kingdoms today?" The man asked.

    The other man shrugged his shoulders as he looked to his companions. "Dragons?" the man asked.

    "Exactly." He gave a pause to let the thought sink in.

    It took a moment before the younger men picked up on the idea. The men began to chuckle amongst themselves.

    "Nice try old man, but we know better than to think you had chased dragons. Was it as big as a cat?" A young man teased. The room was filled with laughter - laughter that Janine didn't appreciate.

    The first man looked to the man next to him and nodded. "Alright then, if I'm lying, then tell me about - this," the man's companion pulled his cloak off as he stood up. She struggled a little to take his shirt off, but once he did, it revealed a nunber of outrageous scars. The one he pointed at first was his arm - it had a huge, singular jagged scar that virtually ran down the entire arm, from shoulder to wrist. But he wasn't done, as he then showed his shoulder - it had a large circular scar in the center of the joint, where the bones met.

    His final show was on his back: two giant ugly scars that discolored most - if not all - of his back.

    Janine was simultaneously mortified and intrigued at the display. She was wondering the same question as everyone else.

    "How the hell did that happen to you old man?" one of the younger men asked. The room was accompanied by agreeing murmurs of drunken men.
     
  6. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban drank sparingly. Whilst he could put them away just as well as the other men were in the space around him, he preferred to keep his senses about him. He relied on them a good many times in the past and no doubt he'd need to rely on them in the future. For all appearances, his attention was mostly on the door or the bar but in truth he was quietly listening to the conversations going on around him. He yawned briefly and leaned back again, reaching to rub one side of his jaw before a group of voices began to gain his attention.

    Boasts and brags and most he had heard before on several other occasions and it was mostly stuffed he ignored. He hunted them too occasionally, especially during the dark times as it relieved the need to hunt and staved any course for human flesh. However, he sought no cause to toot a horn about the affair. Not like how some liked to. He took another sip and raised a brow as an older voice piped up with inflections in his voice that caught his attention further. He turned in his seat a little before subtly shifting it so he had a better view.

    He watched the conversation unfold maintaining his impassive facial features. The air changed and grew excited as words were exchanged. The old man did seem rather sure of his own convictions. He leaned forwards slightly, hand loosely clasping his cup of ale which stood half full by now.

    Dragons. No creature he wasn't already used to and had occasionally thanked his curse in the course of some fights. Especially on the rare occasions when his true form could be a complete use to him but it was always dictated by what company he was with. He smiled to himself a little. Mankind was perhaps naive of some of the horrors that the dark produced, too distracted or concentrated on the Dragon problem. Dragons could make menaces of themselves in many ways and given their gargantuan sizes, they weren't worth ignoring.

    "Much like this interesting tale," Chestnut muttered in his mind
    "Then let me listen. These boys sure aren't," he replied, eyes narrowing as he watched the youngsters laugh and shake their heads with disbelief in the old man's story. Raban knew better than to mock. Even legends began with a tiny shred of truth and there was never any use in underestimating experience. He sipped his drink at length, grey-blue eyes staring at the group with interest that was quickly stirring. He paused as the old man threw off his shirt and Raban took in the injuries that broke the skin. He unknowingly sat closer to the table edge as he looked at the marred flesh. It had to have been from something large. Dragon claws could wreck terrible damage if you weren't careful and some of the smarter dragons used this with innate knowledge of anatomy.

    The old man was lucky to be alive never mind trying to put youngsters back in their places with his show and tell.

    "Answer lies before them and still they question the old rat?" Chestnut spat in his mind echoing his own line of thought. There were few other creatures that large that could do that kind of damage other than Dragonkind.
    "They're clouded by drink. Except for one, I think." He mused back, letting ale slip past and down his throat. "They continue drinking, they won't remember his tale."
    "You will."

    "Come on, old man. Tell us!" The rest joined in, drink pushing them to impatience. Raban frowned before he downed the rest of his drink and thumped the butt of it on the tabletop. The sound struck loudly, cutting through the din of youth.

    "Continue, friend. I think you can colour us all interested in hearing your tale," he looked to the old man and nodded, his own voice never raising in a shout but was clear and concise enough to be heard despite its husky notes.
     
  7. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    The old man chuckled as he heard a voice speak to him aside from the drunken voices throughout the room. He put his shirt back on and sat down with a sigh.

    "Alright then. It was about 20 years ago. The dragon problem in Amastad was twice as worse then than it was now. I was in the Dragon Slayer brigade then. The night was dark and damp - a storm was about to come in, so many people were trying to lock up and get warm before the rains came. A dragon ended up getting spotted stealing some animal from a barn, and the alarm sounded. Me and a small group of the Dragon Slayer chased the beast into the forest, hoping to either retrieve the animal, or kill the beast itself."

    The man paused to take a sip of his drink, using the small window to collect his thoughts. Janine was even more intrigued at the story, but she compelled herself to keep a neutral expression. So far, nobody had taken notice of her presence, so she was good so far.

    "The dragon led us deeper into the forest than the Knights normally ever went on their own, but we were determined to wear the beast out. The forest was soon covered with a thick fog, and before the knights knew it, the dragon managed to disappear into the forest.

    We looked for it until the rains came in and the thunder rolled. We decided to declare the mission a loss until we heard a strange roar. It was somewhat close to where we were looking, so we raced after the noise until we saw the dragon -- dead and mangled up like some rat after a cat played with it.

    Its body was punctured with multiple holes, and its neck was completely twisted around, riddled with fang marks as it laid on the ground.
    The moment we saw the dead dragon, we then saw markings all over the trees. We realized that we were in another creature's territory and swiftly decided it was time to leave....

    But something else said otherwise.

    Just as we turned to leave, a deafening roar stopped us in our tracks. My ears were filled with this dreadful sound. I covered my ears as it overwhelmed my senses, but nothing worked to dampen the volume. My vision blurred, my bones felt like they would shatter at any moment, and I felt blood coming out of my ears. I screamed in pain as I tried to steer my horse, but the next thing I knew, I had blacked out.

    When I woke up, I wasn't on my horse anymore, and I had a splitting headache. I looked to the side as the rain soaked my face and body, and was face to face with a fallen comrade. My horror was cut short as heavy footsteps appraoched me, and as I strained to move, I was quickly pinned down by a large foot with a hooked claw on it. Its head came down to meet my head, the lightning shedding light on its figure. I saw its eyes - they were filled with the worst kind of rage. It growled lowly before roaring in my face and racking claws against my back, forcing a tortured scream out my throat. The beast flipped me over and pierced a claw in my arm, then went down my arm, tearing at me like I was a pieceof cloth. It then skewered a long claw through my shoulder, making me scream even harder.

    The beast growled lowly, and watched as I screamed for someone to save me... Or for the beast to end me, whichever came first. But instead of ending me like any other dragon, it simply took a moment to regain its breath, and watched as my blood spilled on the soaked ground. I don't know what else it did to me, because the pain was so bad, I felt myself black out once more."

    The man paused and looked to the man beside him. With a sigh, he swigged his drink and shook his head. "The first thing I saw when I woke back up was a hospital ceiling. It was a miracle I had lived, they said. A single Knight had waited for me to wake up. Turns out, the dragon walked off and left me to slowly die.

    And that beast killed every single one of the Knights in our group.... except for the two of us."

    Janine stared in awe at the man when the story was over. That was a hundred times better than a bear or a wolf story. It was a real dragon. And a vicious one at that. It was when she lifted up her drink did she realize how excited she was - she didn't catch how shaky her breath was or how how tight she had balled her fists. It was almost like she was there.

    "Wow," Janine whispered to herself.
     
  8. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban nodded glad his little prompt got the man to continue his tale and though he kept to an impassive facial expression. To hear this old man was part of the same order was inquiring and he was gaining a new respect for the man. Not many who fought against such beasts could claim to have reached old age. He had either gotten very lucky or was very experienced at the task. There had been more than a few times where he had only just escaped serious injury and nine times out of ten that had only been due to what he truly was.

    He listened with a boyish keenness as the old man spoke. He liked a good tale or story as much as anyone else. There was scant else to do on some nights and sometimes a story could warm the hart more than a fire or blanket could. He enjoyed that far more in retrospect. It was clear it was doing the same for others in the space of the tavern. The silence was only broken by the man's voice and gasps at various points of the story. Whether it was true or whether it was fake and the scars were indeed caused by something else... both were plausible.

    However, there was something in the voice and his senses that told him that this tale was not as false as some of the more naive peasant-folk may believe it to simply be. There was the ark of truth in this and that got him curious as he watched the old man come to the end of his telling. The details were too specific. He read fear and awe rise in the room. Dragons were feared by everyone but their size and nature also caused some to admire them for what they were or what they presented. For him, it was more a measure of carefully maintaining a delicate balance. He believed that Dragons did have their right to live on this world but so did human folk and other beasts that lived. He took no pleasure in killing them but did so only to cull them to a certain number. Raban was quite specific in his hunts. He would only target those that had grown too big and lived too long or those that had grown too ferocious and unwilling to share.

    This one sounded just like the sort he hunted. Too big and too much of a danger to everything surrounding it. He could respect territory. Any wolf could. However, a dragon could covet that and widen it. Since it was bigger than most else, other creatures could barely argue such points. He sniffed the air and wrinkled his nose.

    Silence filled the air once the old man had told his story of his lucky escape from certain death and Raban smiled in the pause before he nodded, leaning forwards, his chair betraying his shifting wight with a resounding creak that broke the silence in a snap, drawing attention.

    "This dragon, it still lives, do you know?" he asked, careful to put the inflection of awe and curiosity in his voice. If it still lived, it could rear its head again, do more harm to innocent lives. There had been talk of a forest where few returned but whether that was connected, he couldn't say for sure. The law had long given up on trying to find the answer to that mystery.

    Raban barely acknowledged as many turned their heads to look at him. Some blinked slightly having not registered the man beforehand and yet as they did now, they could note Raban bore his own scars. His rugged skull with prominent brow and cheekbones that followed with a strong jawline bore two scars down the side of his face. They weren't dragon related but he had been content to let people of the order assume them to be.

    The question drew more curiosity from the crowd, aiding the air to grow more excited. Raban could smile, people loved a good story with their ale.
     
  9. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine took notice of the change of air in the tavern. It went from sloppy drunk carelessness to attentive and curious. A good story did that to people.
    Janine almost hoped that the story wouldn't end -- she liked it when there was something to distract her from her outside concerns.

    She looked down when a voice quipped a question to the old Knight -- it was the man she saw outside before she went in the tavern. Turns out, he was paying attention to the man as well, even going as far as to ask a question, like a curious child. She smirked a little, wishing she had the guts to ask.

    At the question, the man looked to his friend, as if asking if he wanted to answer the question. The other man, who was at least a decade younger than the first man, shrugged his shoulders, then looked towards the owner of the question.

    "To be honest son, we don't know. After the vicious attack, our leader said that this dragon was our biggest threat to our Kingdom's safety, and that we needed to eliminate it.... But understandably, nobody wanted to chase after it. After all, who wanted to be cut open like a piece of meat?

    We didn't know what we were dealing with, and we didn't have any eveidence as to where it lived, since it was pure chance that we stumbled upon the beast's territory anyway.
    Some brave soldiers went out to find the territory again. We tried to warn our leader of the danger, but he didn't want to listen... Hours later, that same terrible roar echoed throughout the forest. Birds flew in the air, I swear to you, I could hear the screams of our Knight comrades as well. When we raced to save them, but they came bursting out of the forest before we went inside. Upon close inspection, there wasn't a scratch on them, but their ears were bleeding something fierce. Even their horses' ears were bleeding. After a few days, they were declared dead from internal bleeding."

    The man shook his head with a grumbling sigh.

    "From that moment on, we were forbidden to look for the dragon. It was much too dangerous to condemn any more lives; we couldn't afford to lose anymore Knights.

    We decided to nickname this dragon - "The Hidden Death". While I do keep my faith in the Knights, I wouldn't dare send anyone after this monster."

    The man looked to the rest of the other captured men, with a look of the utmost seriousness.

    "If it is still alive, this beast has stayed in the forest all these years. I normally don't recommend to leave a dragon alone, but for this one.... I wholeheartedly urge any and all Knights to leave this one alone. You'll live longer."

    Janine stared in awe as the second story ended. This was just getting better and better. This dragon has singlehandedly stricken fear into the Knights. A dragon that has been declared to not be hunted.... That must've been what her leader was talking about the other day; she had overheard her head Knight speaking softly about "The Hidden Death".

    So that's what that nickname was about. It was about this dragon. While she wasn't the type to rush blindly into danger, she felt this.... Growing feeling. It just fueled this dangerous desire to see the creature herself.

    She took a small breath to calm herself down. There was no reason to rile herself up over something that had happened years before she was even born.
    But instead of keeping quiet, something happened - her nerves reached a certain point, and she accidentally blurted a sound out that caught the men's attention.

    She flinched and grolwed mentally at herself - why the fuck did she do that?

    "Yes lass? I assume you have a question?" The first man asked.

    Janine figured she had no choice but to speak up, and turned around to face the scarred man.

    "I was wondering, can you move that arm? Efficiently of course," Janine asked.

    The man looked to the young woman with a tilted head and made a sound that sounded like a mix between an scoff and a chuckle.
    "What do you think the answer is?" He asked.

    Janine narrowed her eyes a little - she couldn't tell if she was being challenged of her common sense in asking the question, or if she was truly being asked what her opinion was.

    With a sniff, Janine decided to challenge the man back. She refused to be intimidated.
    "Well, considering how you've beaten the nearly impossible odds of surviving, one could imagine that you've also beaten the odds of never using the arm again. Considering that you still have that arm, I can assume that you can use it to a certain extent. Unless you're just keeping it for decoration?" Janine asked.

    The man paused for a moment as the tavern grew quiet. For sure, it could seem that he would grow angry out of feeling disrespected, but the man instead gave an amused guttural chuckle at the response.

    "That's quite the answer lass. To answer your question, I can use it still, just not up to its full potential. Don't expect me to lift up men across my back anytime soon," the man responded. Janine smirked and nodded her head, pleased that she didn't back down and resume her silence.

    At this point, one of the young men who originally teased the men got up on his feet and raised his cup.

    "Well old man. That's quite the story. I guess it's safe to give acknowledgment to a lucky bastard. Here's to sheer luck.... And stories from the depths of the forest," the man said. Surprisingly, or maybe unsurprisingly, most of the men got up and said their agreements, sipping their drinks before sitting down. Janine simply raised her drink as well - the declaration was very true.

    The men sipped the last of their drinks and gotten up on their feet.

    "Well. It's best we get going. We can only sit in one place for so long." The first man said as they began their walk to the door. The other men had their various reactions, varying from trying to keep the men in the tavern to just voicing their displeasure. Janine was almost among those to beg the two men to stay, as she could listen to stories like that all day. But she supposed she talked enough for one bar visit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  10. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban felt you could cut the air with a knife and receive an ample slice of all the energy it contained. Curiosity drove people to rise from their drunken stupors and he smiled at their excitement. It lay akin to his own. Who couldn't find stories about dragons worthy of attention.

    "The saps with no inner child, that's who"


    He almost snorted aloud at Chestnut's dry words of bemusement. She was a shrewd thing, able to read people as keenly as he could. He smiled and told her to hush, wanting to hear the answer to his question. He listened with the same rapt attention as most others in the room.

    There was good chance this dragon was still alive. It coincided well with the talk of a forest some distance away from which people seldom returned. Whether it was because of the Dragon or because of something else just as dark and ferocious, he was unsure. Either way, he felt it would have to be investigated.

    Ears bleeding? He frowned at this and knew that meant even more trouble. Smaller dragons couldn't yet reach that ability whereas the great lungs of a giant very well could be enough to do so. If he and Chestnut were to go and see for themselves, they would have to do so with caution. At least they both had a distinct advantage over other Knights. A wolf and a demon... it made for a powerful combination but still, whether that was enough to best a giant remained to be seen. He was open to the knowledge it could very well take more.

    The old man gave them his dire warning to leave the dragon be and he heard it but his interest was sparked and duty demanded it was investigated. Undoubtedly there was some way it could be defeated, that he knew. The trick was just learning how that could come to pass.

    Raban's attention was stolen as he heard a female voice pipe up from the crowd. At a glance, he realised it was the woman who had complimented his horse. She seemed to be taken aback or otherwise unused to drawing attention to herself if her expression was anything to go by.

    The wolf knight tilted his head at the question and listened as the pair exchanged words in a mix of challenge and disdain. He was uncertain as to why her interest in the movement capability of his arm was of any importance but everyone could ask what they wanted.

    His eye caught movement as he raised his cup to his lips and paused as he listened to the youngster toast the elder's success and fortune. Raban nodded, it had certainly been worth the telling and he knew the story would in turn be fed back to others, changing as stories often did when retold over and over. Small details exaggerated to falsehoods in their eventuality. He lifted his cup in the toast and drank, finishing what was left in his cup.

    Raban remained in his seat as the pair gave their leave followed in turn by a succession of others. As he sat there, he found his gaze resting upon the woman again. He sniffed the air and smiled to himself. They had at least seen each other before but only so far as being seen. He did not recall her name which suggested they had never been introduced. Least of what he could remember. This meant there was a potential she was also part of the same order.

    He shrugged, he could have equally been quite wrong in his estimations.

    "So, up for a little trek to the forest, old friend?"
    he asked the demon in horse flesh waiting outside.

    "Little Wolf, I thought you'd never ask," Came the reply.

    He smiled to himself quite visibly. Chestnut loved the thrill of a hunt. She might be stuck in a Shire but there was no forgetting demon's excitement inside.
     
  11. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine was back to her quiet stature as soon as the two elders left the tavern. But she couldn't get too comfortable with the quiet talking - surely it would end sooner than later. The thrilling storytelling was over, and it was bound to give way to the original drunken surroundings from before.

    She turned her head ands noticed a couple of middle-aged men glancing at her. She blinked and mentally growled. No. No way. She did not come here for any drunken nonsense; especially not so early in the morning. The young woman looked to her cup -- there was a little bit of water left. She could rush the rest of her water down. So before she got dragged into something undesirable, Janine swigged the last of her barely cold water, and turned to scoot herself off her chair. And yet, even when she tried to leave, the two men had gotten up and approached her. She stood up and crossed her arms, hiding the balled up fists that were ready to make contact with whoever tried anything funny.

    "Yes? May I help you?" Janine asked with a standoffish tone of voice. One of the men raised his hands up and chuckled a little.

    "Calm down now girly, we didn't come over here for any trouble. We just want to know what someone like you is doing in a place like this," the man asked with a raised eyebrow.

    Janine couldn't help the scoff that rose up and out of her mouth. Now what the hell did that mean exactly? The woman felt herself tense up with anger, but she still wanted to keep her calm demeanor. She stuck out her hands and separated the two men to make a path for herself.

    "Nothing. Nothing at all. Now if you'll excuse me, I got things to do," Janine said as she walked to the door.

    The men looked to each other and scoffed lightly. It seemed that they didn't appreciate the brisk brush off -- especially from a woman like Janine. One of them walked up to Janine and grabbed her arm, trying to keep her in the tavern, but Janine whirled around and slapped the man, forcing him to stumble onto an empty table.
    He released Janine's arm as he fell into an empty chair, groaning as his face stung harshly across his cheeks. Janine glared at the second drunk man, flexing her fingers like she was going to rush the man herself.

    "You want to grab me too?" Janine challenged. The man stepped a few inches back, shaking his head vigorously. She sniffed with a small smirk. Why did she have to resort to violence to get out of situation? Well, in any case, she felt a little bit of her tension release itself.
    With that out of the way, Janine made her exit out of the stuffy tavern, and the outside air hit her face with a vengeance. She sighed as she saw the masses of the townspeople once again, and figured that she needed to get some space a little longer.

    She looked up at the sky. It wasn't noon, so her lead Knight wasn't calling in the brigade just yet. If she left now, she'd have just enough time to step into the forest and take in the scenery for a while.

    With that, Janine took off, hoping that she'd make it home before it was too late.
     
  12. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Raban stood all ready to leave the dark little tavern and head out before he noted the woman rose as well followed by two to three others. He gave pause, silently watching them as he sniffed the air. A selection of heady scents filled his nose but hers was standing above the rest along with these men. He could sense their excitement, anxiety, thrill perhaps and that spoke to the beast within him more than it did to the man. Raban listened, pretending to be caught in the indecision of leaving or buying another cupful of ale. The barkeep hovered nearby either waiting for the choice to be made or keeping an eye on proceedings. Raban could not blame the man. Furniture was not something immediately replaced.

    It seemed the woman held things to hand and for that, Raban was grateful. There was a couple of things he needed to do before the meeting. He had come an awful long way for it and had rode fast to make it on time. Now he was too early and needed to waste time. Thankfully, he had supplies and other things that needed replenishing. He gave it a few moments before he turned the cup upside down and with a heavy thud of his boots, walked out of the tavern much to the barkeep's dismay.

    He smiled at Chestnut before he unhitched her reins and rather than mounting her, he chose to walk ahead, leading the way through the throng of peasant folk, local guardsmen and other wayfarers. It wasn't that hard to make his way to the shop he needed and then to the stables afterwards. He needed a new saddle as his old one was only just holding onto to Chestnut's girth.

    "Would be nice if it was fur lined, you know"
    "That would raise suspicions, old friend"
    "Too bad little wolf"

    Raban helped the stable-hand to fit the new saddle paying close attention to the girth straps and ensuring it was right for the horse in which Chestnut was trapped. He counted out the coins that spoke of the saddle's cost. A small fortune for some families. He noted the time before Chestnut spoke of a need to get away from civilisation for just a little while and he knew it was not worth keeping her here for long. He thanked the man serving him before he got on the saddle and steered her out of town. He chose for the back streets this time around and was able to maintain a relatively quick pace, her powerful legs make short work of the churned mud.

    It was not long before she brought him to the edges of the forest and he stared at the depths in the treeline. Forests presented a sanctuary for him at times when things were rough and uncontrollable. Those times were rare, few and far between but he knew he was a monster in those instances. The further he happened to be in those circumstances, the better for everyone else.

    He found a trail and let Chestnut pick her own route with a subtle reminder to head back towards town in time for the meeting. She acknowledged with a toss of her head and a snort before he lost himself to thought, his body reacting to Chestnut's movement instinctively.
     
  13. Jannistory19

    Jannistory19 The Eager Rper

    Janine panted as she ran all the way back home. It was a small challenge, with all the huge horse carriages and cattle carts zooming back and forth in the dirt streets. But she made it relatively unscathed.

    "Mom! I'm home," the young woman called out as she stepped inside the house. She looked to her left to see her mother on her rocking chair and knitting something. Janine approached the older woman and kissed her cheek.

    "Hello child," her mother said as she reciprocated the kiss. Janine took a piece of bread, slathered it with butter, and nearly ran out the door again.

    "Where are you going?" Janine's mother asked.

    "To the forest! And I'm taking Venus too!" Janine said as she ran out the door and around the corner to her stable. Neighing happily was her knight horse, Venus. A somewhat smaller black and brown beast of a horse who was given to her as some sort of joke by some sniveling, sorry excuse for a knight instructor.... Just because of her skin color.

    At first, she wanted to send the horse back - but not without making the horse swiftly kick the asshole in the face - but she quickly grew to like the equine. The mare had spunk it seemed, and it surprisingly liked to pick fights with the stallions. When she saw that, Janine instantly fell for her, and called her 'Venus' just because it sounded like a name for a hot-headed woman.

    After weeks and weeks of dedicated training, Venus and Janine became inseparable. Now, she can just tell Venus to stomp that insufferable Knight to the ground, and nobody would care... He was an asshole to a lot more people than her.

    After saddling her up and riding her out, Janine was quick to approach the forest. As they drew closer to the treeline, Venus snorted excitedly. Janine could swear that Venus was taken from the wild and forced to work for humans. It would explain the mare's occasional attitude towards other humans besides Janine and her family.

    "You ready? Alright, let's go!" Janine shouted with a small whoop of excitement.

    With a neigh, Venus moved her legs and galloped through the forest, running as fast as her strong legs can take her.




    For however long the older man and his steed would travel, there would suddenly be a roar echoing across the forest canopy. Birds flew away in surprise, and the forest would slowly grow quiet again. But after a few seconds, another roar would echo - this one somewhat deeper and a few seconds longer. Bears? Or a dragon perhaps?

    Once it got quiet again, the sounds of thudding can barely be heard, if one listened hard enough. What could the thudding sounds be? Fighting? Hunting? But all too soon, the beginning smells of a fire had caught in the air. What was happening up ahead?
     

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