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Reply [RP] Blackbriar Bog
R* [PRP] Out of the Woods [Ralir + Miros] Goto Page: 1 2 [>] [»|]

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thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:47 pm
There wasn't some hard line between the Homewood and the Blackbriar Bog. The land and air both transitioned gradually, and the fact that it was harder to breathe out here didn't truly become apparent until Ralir had to stop and regroup every few steps, winded but stubborn. He didn't want to go very far into the Blackbriar Bog - that was not what he and his father had agreed upon, and while he liked the idea of finding something new here, there was always a lingering fear that he, too, would leave Father stranded. Still, he'd hoped for a landmark, at least. Something to record, so he'd know which way he'd been before.

Instead, what he was getting was scraggly rows of trees, all long bereft of color and vital sap. Black water - and Ralir hadn't understood what that meant until he'd seen it. Could you really even call this water? What sort of pollutants had the Others created, and what had been their aim? What could have been worth this?

There were pockets, occasionally, where scent and sound traveled a little better. He found them every so often, convinced himself that the bog wasn't so bad, and then regretted it when those invisible clouds of gas rushed into his nostrils and down his throat. He'd be tasting this for a while, once he'd returned.

What was worse was the thought that the Bog was like this for everyone. Ralir didn't expect to be unique, but it was sobering to know that the regions he'd thought of in the abstract - the background to a tale about finding a chimera herb, for instance - were real, and that real nouls had set their hoof into this mire, done something significant, and come out fine. This endless grey hellscape, with trees that stayed resolutely dry despite sinking their roots into wet peat, had stretched on even further, once.

It was probably best to turn back now: between this and the Ruins and the Barrens, the Ruins were probably the best place to start. Sure, the land was dead, but it wasn't trying to kill Ralir, or trap him here. He had been bestowed with a gift, but it had only just happened: there was time to build his knowledge, so that he was better prepared for a trip into the Bog. He made a long, wordless snarl of exasperation, kicking up with his front hoof. He didn't want to turn back, though, he thought, wincing as the resultant splash landed higher on his coat than intended. He probably should've been a bit less impulsive, especially considering he was out here.

He didn't have long to wallow in regret, though. Only a few seconds after his own cry was a sound that could clearly be identify as a scream, though it was aborted quickly, like its speaker was hiding. The ominous squelches of the bog's mostly-still waters seemed to be amplified in its wake. "Who was that?" he called, turning toward the sound immediately. Unfortunately, he didn't see anyone. "Hello?" Sure - there could be a predator in this direction. But two nouls made for a tougher target than one, right?

He began making his way over, scanning the horizon every so often for signs of motion. The sun was low, making the shadows over the bog longer, and the trees reflected off the black surface of the water, further obscuring any silhouettes. If Ralir had been trying to be stealthy before, though, he certainly wasn't now.  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:45 pm
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                                                                                Of all the places he travelled, blackbriar bog was Miros’ least favored. Not only for the noxious fumes pouring out of the muck, but the thick, hanging fog of moisture that permeated everything. His mane hung limp from his neck, drenched with putrid mist. The scent and mud clung to his legs, turning his charcoal coat an even darker, muddier color. When he returned to Homewood, the first thing he’d do is run through the rivers to rinse himself off. It would take weeks to wash away the last of the bog’s clinging filth. His stomach roiled. 

                                                                                Mother knew how much he hated this place, which was precisely why she’d sent him this way. He proved himself to grandfather tree after so many years of trying. She’d been so proud of him when he returned to her, full of vigor and glowing with the energy of his new gift. Vivify. The same as her. Her mouth remained tight, but her eyes gleamed with pleasure - Miros finally pleased her. Now he could truly help Vykeli. And to begin his journey, Mother dispatched him to the bog, filled with death and decay, with lurking dangers and gripping mud. 

                                                                                “The bodies of many fallen creatures live under the muck, Miros,” said Mother, her back turned to him, frame stiff. “With your gift, you can rescue them, and together we’ll bring new life to Homewood.” 

                                                                                How could he say no to that? Why would he want to? He took enough provisions to help him through the afternoon. Mother taught him how to subsist on minimal rations, how to go days without water if he must. He had to prove himself to her someway when he’d been denied his gift for so many years. 

                                                                                What he didn’t know was how to activate his ability. None of his mother’s lessons covered that. It sat beneath the surface of his skin, warm and glittering, eager to burst free of him. 

                                                                                The feeling dissipated with a snap of tension. 

                                                                                Something snarled. And, shortly after, a scream shot through the muck. 

                                                                                Miros jerked his head up, ears perked and swivelling. 

                                                                                Hello? 

                                                                                Another noulicorn! 

                                                                                Miros squinted through the fog. Everything out here was dank and drab, the long shadows of the trees over the water cast obscurations over the landscape. Now would be the perfect time to figure out how his gift worked.

                                                                                Although… he wouldn’t be helping those lost under the muck. Only himself and his loneliness. 

                                                                                Something white flashed through all the grey. Miros squinted, straining his eyes. Was that…? 

                                                                                Yes. It was! If it hadn’t been for the splash of whitee spotting on the buck’s flanks, Miros never would have made him out between the shadows. 

                                                                                “Hello!” Miros called. He didn’t wait for an answer. Knee-deep in the muck, Miros plodded forward, heaving himself onto the nearest island of peat moss and roots. “Was it you screaming just then? Are you hurt?” 
 

Bugghnrahk
Vice Captain


thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:55 pm
Ralir had not quite yet figured out the best method for ambulation in the bog: he was hurrying over, of course, but that didn't mean he was traveling fast. Or that he knew where he was going. He'd certainly heard something, and hearing things meant...company. Surely someone sentient could guide him? Krima had, or he'd thought so, anyway. Or, perhaps, he'd find someone in distress, and he could help them back. Only it was extremely easy to lose his place here, and he wasn't actually sure how far he'd traveled.

To Ralir's surprise, he wasn't alone for long. The voice that called out to him didn't come from quite the same direction, though, and it sounded different, too. Clear, for one. Ralir stopped in his tracks and cast his head from side to side. He didn't see anyone, but he was definitely being seen.

The reason for this became clear soon, though: a grey-colored noul emerging from the fog onto an island of soil in one powerful motion. He looked, well, about as bedraggled as Ralir felt, though that shouldn't be surprising, in this sort of environment. It was obvious upon seeing him why he'd blended in with the long shadows: he had a black mane and tail tuft, and more black running up his legs, which in this lighting could easily be mistaken for the silhouettes of trees in the distance. "Me screaming?" Ralir repeated, still a little confused. Of course someone had been within earshot this entire time and just...not been visible. How could a noul see anything out here?

"Ah - no, no, that wasn't me!" Ralir searched for the vague outline of the island the other buck had situated himself upon, and heaved himself up in turn, with more visible effort. "I - " Ah, perhaps he shouldn't reveal how easily frustrated he'd been. Actually, now that he was closer, this buck looked familiar. Ralir squinted, tilting his head just a little. "I...I think I know you. I'm Ralir." His own name wasn't exactly well-known, though; he and Father participated in community events as much as they were able, but Ralir had been a nobody before he'd finally argued Father into letting him venture to the Grandfather Tree.

He waited, a little, for a response, and then followed up - "Ah, but I heard that scream, too! I was trying to head over, but I can't see very far, or...really judge how far I've traveled at all." He scuffed absently at the soil, then stopped when he realized it might lead to erosion. Not that there was much plant life here to protect. "I...suppose I shouldn't have to ask whether it was you."  
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:16 pm
“Ralir?” Miros tried to imagine the other buck without mud caked to his coat and a flash of familiarity burst through his mind. “Ralir! We’re year mates, I think we’ve had gardening lessons together. You’re the son of-” 

His mother always referred to him as a useless old coward, so often the insult was ready to slide off his tongue. Miros considered it needlessly cruel, not all noulicorns were built to withstand the dangers of the Barrens, and Ralir’s father - as far as Miros remembered - was kindly. But he couldn’t recall the older buck’s name. 

“You’re father is the historian, right? I’m Miros, Eyufi’s son.” He beamed with pride at his mother’s name, puffing out his chest and raising his head. 

“The bog is a maze,” Miros agreed with a nod. The first time mother left him out here on his own he’d gotten lost and nearly drowned trying to cross between the islands, his rickety fawn legs just barely long enough to keep his head above the water. He’d gotten sick drinking the black water to keep himself alive, but he’d made it back to her, and the pride in her eyes warmed his rattled lungs better than any medicine. 

There was no time to reminisce, though. 

Another scream cut through the fog, this time with a very clear “Help!” amid the garbled squeal. 

Miros whipped around in its direction, ears perked and straining. Now would be the perfect time to use his gift. It’s warmth buzzed in his chest, tingled just below the surface of his skin, he saw it glowing red in his mind’s eye, he just didn’t know how to tap into it. To let it burst free out of him. Miros squeezed his eyes shut and pushed at it. 

His eyes snapped open of their own accord and the world of dingy greys faded to further fog. A diminutive spark glowed to the west of their location, sputtering and frail. What was that? Was this his gift? 

“I…” Miros hesitated, suddenly shy. What if he was wrong? 

But he couldn’t do nothing. “I think I see it... “ he turned back to Ralir,” Stay close and follow me?”   

Bugghnrahk
Vice Captain


thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:43 am
At the repetition of his name, Ralir froze. When someone recognized him, it wasn't always good - he certainly had never been very cool, growing up. Most nouls did get a chance to leave the Homewood before they were fully-grown, after all. Unlike Ralir, the Daddy's colt who always followed the rules. So he wasn't sure what to expect when the other buck continued to discuss their connection. A yearmate? Wasn't that even worse? "The historian" was a kind epithet for Father, though.

It was also probably Father's preferred one, but Ralir had certainly heard nouls like Eyufi say far worse. At the reminder of Miros' name, Ralir's mouth dropped open a little. He didn't quite need to hear it aloud to recognize who Miros' mother was; the name was enough. He shut it quickly, though. He hadn't had much of an opportunity to talk with Miros at length before, which probably excused the unfamiliarity. He seemed nicer than his mother, though, and Ralir was not going to turn down his kindness. "That's right, we did! Yes, my father, he's - um - Kelus." Though now he definitely wasn't going to mention the way he'd snarled in frustration and probably scared...whoever was screaming for help now. Eyufi and her family were far more well-liked in the Homewood, because it was obvious to anyone that they all worked hard to attempt to heal Vykeli.

That was certainly not what he should be worrying about now, though. He turned as Miros did, straining his neck and his eyesight to see whether he couldn't at least make out some semblance of motion. That'd be easier than looking for color, right?

He was not very successful, though. To his chagrin, it was only a few moments before Miros was announcing that he'd seen something.

Honestly, Ralir couldn't see anything interesting, not the way Miros was headed. But it was, well, vaguely in the direction of that scream, and it seemed to get a little louder as they approached, and - probably most importantly - he didn't want to be alone here again, now that he'd found company. So he followed, more slowly than Miros. He worked out all the time, in the Homewood, so Ralir was quite strong and healthy, but he often forgot that this was in comparison to his father. Besides, he really wasn't accustomed to the environment of the bog just yet.

It became clear pretty quickly, though, that Miros was not headed for a noul. A noul would have been visible, and Ralir could still quite clearly hear some sort of splashing and vocalization. But he really could not see anything. "I...the voice is louder here," Ralir said, when Miros slowed for a bit. His ears swiveled constantly in an attempt to pinpoint the source. "Hello? Can you hear us? Could you - er - " What would help them narrow down this person's location? Or could Miros, perhaps, see better than Ralir?

He left his question unfinished, unable to think of something useful.  
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:12 pm
“You’re right,” Miros agreed as the pair slowed. He could hear splashing, but it was impossible to see anything through the murk. The flicker of light was fading, which sent a stab of panic through Miro’s chest. Were they too late? He lowered his head, trying not to inhale the poison fumes of the bog too deeply. His head swam, spinning with pinpricks of pain and nausea. 

The flickering red sputtered out a few inches in front of his nose. 

Without thinking, he dunked his head under the water and grabbed for it. His teeth closed on something solid, he pinched it gingerly and lifted it from the silt, wincing as black water sloshing down his throat. 

The thing he’d grabbed felt tiny, and it hung limp from his mouth. The red flicker paled, reduced to a dust mote of pinkish light. He couldn’t tell what he’d grabbed, but it was slipping toward death. He turned to Ralir - a bright pulsing glow of red coming from the other noulicorn - eyes wide and brimming with worry. 

They were too late. Miros had no way to heal anything. Had Grandfather Tree known something like this would happen and cursed Miros instead of offering him a blessing? Allowing him to find dying things only to watch the life extinguish from them? 

“I don’t know what to do,” he mumbled, a breath above a whisper.  

Bugghnrahk
Vice Captain


thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:09 am
To say that Ralir was surprised that Miros was putting his head into the much was an understatement. That had been something Father had cautioned him against doing even when desperate: it was more important to carry clean water into the Bog than into the Barrens, he'd always said. In the Barrens, at least, it was possible to find water underground, if you listened for hardy desert-dwellers and looked for shade. In the Bog, there was just poison; a noul couldn't explore here the way they did in the Ruins or in the Barrens. They always had to turn back early.

Of course, then Miros emerged with his face unrecognizable, darkened by the water and silhouette distorted by - oh, he'd certainly found...something. Someone, Ralir realized: a tiny, reptilian someone, by the looks of the tail. It was unclear how someone so small had made it to this part of the bog without drowning sooner, honestly, though perhaps others knew the area better than Ralir did.

It was obvious, though, that they didn't have very long. Ralir's eyes widened, meeting Miros' - just about all he could see of the other buck's face, because the whites of his eyes had escaped the dunk into the water - and finding his panic reflected there.

Only - only Ralir could do something. Well. He wasn't very good at it yet, but he remembered the way the Grandfather Tree's gift had flowed through him at the slightest concern for his father. Sure, he was no Vivify user, like Miros' esteemed mother, so his ability wouldn't help directly. But someone who was soaked so thoroughly - and a reptile, at that - would surely find some use for warmth, right? "Lay it out, here," he said quickly, though he wasn't sure where here meant just yet.

He ended up indicating the nearest tree with a remotely flat surface. It'd probably been nice for climbing once, with low branches out of its squat little trunk. It probably wouldn't be very comfortable, but some elevation would help, right? And -

Ralir closed his eyes without waiting to see whether Miros was following, trying to recall the channels the gift had taken through his body. He had received his gift; that was the whole reason he was out on his own today! Just...oh, Grandfather Tree, why couldn't you have given him an explanation along with an ability? He could feel his heart thudding wildly, and then settling into a steadier staccato as warmth began to bloom, unsure but definitely present, from his chest.

He didn't have very much in the way of control yet, though he also didn't have enough power that the warmth was really dangerous unless you were already overheated. The problem was that he couldn't really control the extent, and he huddled in close to the tree, opening his eyes when he could feel that the warmth of his ability was a steady hum rather than a weak pulse. "Ah, is it...?" he trailed off, not sure what he was asking.  
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:53 am
He was panicking. He couldn’t panic. Mother would have his hide if she knew Miros had been afraid instead of the steady calm she’d always taught him to be. And it was showing in his face. The muscles around his eyes tight with worry, the ache of his jaw kept at bay only because he didn’t want to hurt whatever was dangling from his teeth. He didn’t dare breathe deep to calm himself, not when his nostrils were caked with putrescence. 

At Ralir’s suggestion, Miros slogged hastily for the scraggly, barren tree. He placed the thing… the person gently on the first available flat surface and took a shaking step back from it. Them. Her? 

It was a scuttle scale, black with mud, and one of the tiniest he’d ever seen. From nose to tail she might have been the length of Miros’ head. The muck sliding off her weighed more than she did. Worse than that, though, he thought she wasn’t breathing. 

The ache of worry ravaged his insides, but he froze to the spot. He wrenched his gaze from the lizard as Ralir approached her and held his breath. His heartbeat thundered and slowed. 

The warm glow of Ralir’s magic was like sunshine in the gloom and with it, some of Miros’ panic melted away.
The scuttle scale heaved in a deep breath, her tiny ribs stark against her hollow belly. She gasped and twisted. Miros lurched forward, afraid she might enter the cruel contortions of a death throw but- 

She flipped upright and shook off some mud. Her mouth opened, a pink tongue sliding through, reaching for her eyeball, but she stopped herself. Probably remembering exactly where she’d been and what smothered her face. Miros couldn’t imagine the horridness of surviving drowning only to poison yourself a moment later. 

Her breath rattled, wheezing, and she croaked out a pitiful,” Uh… thanks?” 

Miros laughed. Entirely inappropriate and almost alien to his own ears, like the sound was barking out of something else in the swamp. The rush of endorphins, of relief, forced the surge of commotion out of him. He turned to Ralir with an easy smile, swallowing back his chuckles. “I think you did it, my friend!”   

Bugghnrahk
Vice Captain


thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:07 pm
Ralir had never seen a scuttle scale so tiny. That was what it was, right?

It was a little hard to tell, obscured as their real shape was by the mud still dripping off of them. Still, he was certain he'd heard words - he'd heard a plea for help, at least. And, well, this was certainly neither noulicorn nor jackhop.

She'd been very still, for that one second, but suddenly it was like she was struggling again. Ralir drew closer, nearly bumping his horn against Miros' - ah, he'd done the same. This was no time for apologies, though; he just angled his head differently and approached again, just to see whether his ability had done anything. It wasn't as though she was injured - at least, not as far as Ralir could tell. Her motions looked frantic and uncontrolled, though, and Ralir wasn't certain what he should do.

He didn't need to worry for long, though - she managed to flip herself over without too much ceremony, the mud on her body flying into Ralir's shoulder from the speed of her motion. She had a little pink tongue, and Ralir found himself wincing as the familiar motion was aborted. She certainly seemed conscious of what she was doing, though, and that made relief run through Ralir. He hadn't been sure what to expect from his attempt at help, after all: it wasn't like he'd ever tried to resuscitate a scuttle scale before, and he was still new to his ability.

Her voice was clearly strained, but Ralir wasn't sure he could expect anything different. Still, he heaved a sigh of relief, looking from scuttle scale to the other noul. "I...I..." He shook his head, still trying to process the word Miros had used. Friend - it wasn't like Ralir was lacking in those, exactly, but he'd never have expected to count Eyufi's son as one. He wasn't going to correct him, though. "We did," Ralir said, shaking his head. "How did you know to look there?" There was a hint of incredulity in Ralir's voice: he knew nouls had abilities, of course, but there was so much variance in them, and he didn't quite understand yet how to detect the use of magic in anyone other than himself.

"Ah - " Ralir started, realizing he'd neglected someone. "Will you be...all right?" He'd turned back to the scuttle scale, now, wide-eyed with concern. There wasn't much he could think to do other than offer a ride home - assuming home was the Homewood, anyway. Still, he didn't want to have pulled her out of the bog only for her to endanger herself again.  
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:10 am
“My gift!” Joy burbled like the freshest spring. Despite the muck dripping off his face, despite the shivers racing up his withers, despite the horrid poison smell. Sunshine grew bright and strong in Miros’ chest, aching to escape. “I didn’t know how it would work, I’ve never used it before but I just… felt it.” Cherry red and warm as sunbeams. “And then I-” 

He whipped back toward the tiny scuttle scale, remembering himself. 

She attempted to scrape the sludge from her scales with fragile hands, revealing glimpses of faded yellow and olive green. Her eyes were pumpkin bright against the mud, sharp and darting between the two noulicorns. She gave up her attempt at grooming, letting the silt pool around her, and lifted herself up on her hind-legs. Miros shifted back to let her out of his shadow. 

“I might be,” she said, dropping back to all fours. “I wouldn’t have been if you two hadn’t fished me out, that’s for sure. I’m a real superb swimmer, the best swimmer I’ve met, but this-” she slapped her tail in the water, spraying black droplets “- this would drown a fish!” 

She barked a single laugh, but the sound strangled in her throat and she regurgitated a blob of bile instead. 

Miros lurched forward to help her… help her how? He had no skills to fix her, and the rudimentary healing lessons he’d taken from his mother weren’t appropriate for someone so diminutive. 

The scuttle scale recovered on her own with a few more hacking coughs. “That’s better,” she grunted,” Proves my point! Anyway, thanks for the rescue and all that, but I gotta…” she waddled toward the edge of the peat. 

Miros rushed forward to stop her. “What are you doing?”  

“I didn’t come out here to collect flies and fiddlesticks.” She weaved around Miros’ hoof in a flash. “I’m looking for tangleberries and I won’t find them up here.”  

Bugghnrahk
Vice Captain


thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:15 am
There was nothing that terrified Ralir more - at least, not in this moment - than the little body they'd rescued deciding to put herself back into the bog. "Hey!" he yelped, "N-noulja! Ah - didn't you just say these waters would drown a fish?" The term of address wasn't quite right, but Ralir was also not exactly prioritizing correctness of speech right now, so he could likely be forgiven.

He looked from the little scuttle scale to Miros with his ears tilted back in alarm. "At least - let one of us accompany you." There was a pause: he didn't mean to imply she needed a chaperone. "Then...that way, you won't need to swim. We are taller."

Ralir wasn't sure where to best find tangleberries - he didn't really know the lay of the land out here. It was his first trip out, after all. But at least this way, he'd feel a little less responsible for...whatever happened to this scuttle scale. He couldn't be sure, of course, but he kept thinking back to when he'd first heard her scream in the distance. It'd come after his own snarl. Had he startled her into becoming unsteady?

Well, if he had, he wasn't going to say anything about it, but he wasn't going to let her endanger herself if he could help it, either. It must be even harder to swim out here with a persistent cough thanks to having swallowed some of this terrible poison water. He looked up at Miros, tail swishing nervously. "I'm - I'm still new to my gift," he said. "I don't think I could help you out again, and you're much too small for someone of our size to really do much of anything without a gift." Ralir had practiced all his life to be good enough to leave the Homewood, but there were limits to his fine motor control, and he wasn't sure Miros could really do much, either.  
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:31 pm
“Now, hang on!” the scuttle scale yelped, winding her tiny body around to glare at Miros and Ralir with fiery intensity. “Tangleberries aren’t going to- 

“A ride, huh?” her bright eyes whipped between them. “I’d like a ride.” 

Miros laughed relief, leaning into Ralir to brush his shoulder in silent gratitude.

Another noulicorn new to his gift? Had Ralir also spent seasons getting turned away from Grandfather Tree before finally finding his power? Miros didn’t ask, didn’t want to ask. His succession of failures was better kept a secret. 

“I didn’t see any tangleberries,” said Miros. The red-white fruit was one of the few things that grew in the bog, it didn’t much care for Homewood’s climate. Mother warbed Miros never to eat one, filled with pus and poison from the swamp, but scuttle scales had a taste for them. 

“That’s because all the other scuttles snatched them up while I was busy spluttering.” The scuttle scale wound her way toward Ralir and stretched her full length the few inches high it could manage, her tiny arms reaching for him. “Help me up, would you?”  

Bugghnrahk
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thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:49 am
The swift change of mood was certainly amusing - but Ralir, for one, liked company, and also the idea of not swimming through this swamp. So he could certainly sympathize.

"Are they that good?" Ralir asked. It was a silly question - there were plants, too, that nouls found scrumptious, which could have some other species on their last breath in minutes. Besides, often the danger made goods like tangleberries even more appealing, a trade good that was high risk and high reward.

He crouched down in a smooth motion, holding still until the plucky little scuttle scale was able to find purchase. "I'm Ralir, by the way, and this is Miros."

He glanced up at the other noulicorn again, letting his eyes - now hidden from the scuttle scale's view by virtue of her being situated on his back - widen a little to express just how absurd he found the situation. Some people had to make their living somehow, he supposed. Or, well, perhaps all of the tangleberries she wanted were for herself. Ralir wasn't sure. He wouldn't want to venture into the bog knowing he was small enough to drown just for food, if it was him. Then again - he had Father to worry after. Not everyone did.

"Do you have a secret spot? All I know is they can't be found up here." He indicated the peat they were standing on, taking a tentative step off and glancing over at Miros. "I - I don't come out here often, really, but I'm eager to learn."

That was a lie. Ralir had never ventured this deep into the bog at all. He wasn't going to say it, though.  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:53 pm
Miros hid a chuckle at Ralir’s expression by nipping an imaginary itch off his withers. He agreed with a silent scrunching of eyes. This scuttle scale was absurd. He admired her tenacity, though. Mother would approve, skirting death is no reason to give up your duties. And neither was going on an adventure with a couple strangers, just because they were gathered in one place. Mother sent him here to find old bones for revivification, not to hunt for Tangleberries. But… 

The power that pulsed deep inside him was already drained from the use of his gift, any strain to flicker it into being sparkled pain behind his eyes. His abilities would be no more use to them now, and… and what if something happened to Ralir and the scuttle scale? Mother said Kelus rarely let his foal leave Homewood and the scuttle had already drowned once. It would be worse if he left them alone. He had to go along to keep them safe! 

Mother would understand, and he’d keep an eye out for petrified animal bits. 

“I’m Lem.” The scuttle crawled up Ralir’s mane and appeared between his ears, tiny enough that she could wind around his horn. “Tangleberries are great, but you know what’s even better? Being the scuttle with the most, ha!” 

She mumbled something too quiet for Miros to pick up, but perhaps Ralir might have caught the words. 

”That’ll show those overgrown bastards!” 

“There’s a good tree up north,” Lem barked, waving a tiny arm in the direction she’d nearly re-drowned herself. “The water gets deep around it, though. Watch your hooves!”

Miros squinted. He wasn’t sure that was north, but Lem must know the bog better than they did. He nodded, shallow with hesitancy, and marched out in front of Ralir to lead the way. 

“This isn’t my favorite place to be,” he said to Ralir, keeping his gaze firmly ahead to check for pitfalls. “But I know my way around a little.”  

Bugghnrahk
Vice Captain


thyPOPE

Devoted Hoarder

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:03 pm
Lem's little body tickled as she settled in Ralir's mane - she was cooler than he had expected, but then again, she was a reptile.

She was very sure of herself, too, for someone who'd just nearly been drowned. She clearly had a bone to pick - she was settled between his ears, so Ralir had managed to hear the insult she'd muttered. Still, Ralir wasn't quite sure it was his style. He understood why someone might want to be more cautious.

"I'll be careful," Ralir said in reply to Lem. He always was, at least compared to other nouls around his age. He had a nod for Miros, too, but as he did it, he recalled that the motion had probably destabilized Lem's position - oops - as well as being completely invisible to a noul who was in front of him. Also oops. Well, he could still feel the weight on his head, though perhaps just because she'd managed to curl around his horn earlier.

"I'm glad," he said instead, peering around as they began to venture forth. He tried to imitate Miros' style of walking, too, knowing he wasn't quite efficient at the task. He was no expert botanist, and while he knew generally how to tend to a garden - every noul knew that - the characteristics of specific plants might elude him. It didn't matter now, though; there weren't very many trees that really lived out here, and tangleberries lived up to their name. The tree had viciously-curved branches that curled around the fruit they bore, providing at least a little cover from the wear and tear out in the bog - as well as from enterprising scuttle scales, apparently, and it was instantly recognizable the moment it came into view.

Ralir steadied himself as they walked closer. It was true; wading was tougher out here, and he was lagging behind Miros. The bog was getting stinkier as they approached, too - not that Ralir had really thought that was possible. "Hang on," he said to Lem, by way of apology. Miros would've been a quicker ride, probably...but there was safety in numbers, right?  
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[RP] Blackbriar Bog

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