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- Rook RP - he/him/they
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#1
(This post was last modified: March 09, 2019, 09:48:08 AM by - Rook RP -.)

Rook's eyes scanned the huge open area before him. One side of the valley seemed to rise up above the other and dark rocky crags poked out from the snow. There was good stone here for knapping. A glossy black material that snapped and flaked nicely when Rook had tapped away at it as a test. If he could find a large enough piece he could make a new axehead at least. The old flint blade tucked into his clothes was getting more fragile by the day. Although he was no expert Rook had made enough arrowheads in his time to know when one was going to snap instead of flake. 

The snow was a downside. Not nearly as thick as the winters he was used to, but still difficult to deal with. It would make finding green stuff to eat harder. Rook was already running low on plant based foods. He had always been a better hunter than a forager. Rook had managed to find a few squirrel larders to raid along his path and had a small bundle of rosehips hidden away under his coat but he hoped there were still some wintergreens to be found. Too much meat could make even the strongest hunter sick. 

Settling down at the tree line Rook began to dig a shallow indent in the snow. Hopefully if he could climb up into one of the trees once night fell to keep himself safe from any large predators in the area. Not to mention he could keep a watch on where the herbivores moved around. If he was willing to stay still for a while it might be a good idea to set up a few snares on the heavily trafficked paths. Once his little area was built up into a rough bowl shape Rook set about pulling what dry tinder he had from his pack. 

The fire would give off a whole lot of smoke since most of the wood was wet, but that was something Rook would just have to deal with for now. Better to be easily noticed than to be frozen. Keeping his bow slung around his chest made the hunter feel safer.


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Muiri she/her
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#2

   It wasn't often that Muiri thought about the southern woods. The "Wilderwood" as Rivian had dubbed it. Oh, it was certainly wild. Nothing like the northern woods of pine and shadows, though. A different kind of wild, and not the malignant sort that Muiri was so familiar with. But that didn't mean she didn't hold her own gripe against it. She didn't go in it often and never went in too deep, always fearful and vigilant that she mind end up there again. Even years later, the memories were too fresh, the wounds still healing, and the nightmares too persistent. So, no, Muiri did not think of the Wilderwood often. Though that didn't mean she wasn't always hyper-aware of it, a persistent reminder of the young woman's past.

   She didn't gaze at it now, even with her sheep straying so close. They didn't do this often, especially not in the winter, but with the copious amount of snow on the ground they sought out lighter patches where they could more easily graze. She didn't particularly mind, as long as they avoided the treeline and were extra alert. Which they were. Such was the reason that Muiri noticed the smoke, one of the sheep having looked up and spotted it before bleating loudly. She was momentarily alarmed, figuring that it must be another person (or creature) or some disaster waiting to happen.

   As much as she hated the Wilderwood and its inhabitants, she couldn't simply stand by. Her flock could manage for long periods of time without her, surely they could last but a few minutes? Just long enough to sort this out. No one would steal them. She just had to reassure herself of this, then she would go. But was Velta getting into trouble again? She wasn't. Muiri just had to go, just had to take a few steps and find the source of the smoke. Okay, she was going- actually, no, no she wasn't. But she had to! Even if she was procrastinating for as long as possible to avoid having to tread within the bounds of the Wilderwood, she knew she had to go find the flame's source. Fine, she would go into the woods.

   In moments, she was beneath the barren boughs of the snow-covered trees. Her breathing was a bit short, a bit panicked, a bit... scared. Were there any wolves present? Surely, there weren't. She hadn't heard a howl in days. She had to compose herself, had to regain her icy exterior before she confronted whatever was causing the smoke. She had to, since she had a reputation to maintain. But that didn't mean she wasn't damn near terrified of every shift of the trees or sound of nearby creatures, jumpy as a rabbit in a wolf's den. She just needed to slow her breathing and swallow her fear, deciding that it would be best to chase that with a long swig from her canteen of whatever alcohol she had pulled from the cellar.

   It didn't take her long to find the fire and who had started it, though she came from behind. She was sure the individual knew she was present, having not given enough of a shit to quiet the sound of her boots' soft-soled steps. "Who are you?" she asked, announcing her presence fully, "And what are you doing on these lands?"
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- Rook RP - he/him/they
Almost Sparkles
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#3

The steps were slow and seemingly not trying to be stealthy. That didn't exactly bring Rook any comfort - he'd known a number of people that hadn't needed to sneak up on him to do harm. Stupid, stupid. He should have known it wasn't far enough. It was never far enough to escape the Father's reach. There could be dozens more of them hiding in the trees. It suddenly didn't matter that Rook hadn't seen signs of humans for miles, he was in enemy territory and he had let his guard down. Had a night of warmth been worth the ambush it lead to?

Rook launched himself to his feet, pulling his bow free from around his torso as he went. Stringing an arrow he turned to face whatever it was with a snarl. Although his bared teeth would be hidden by his mask but the stranger would hear the raspy growl he let out. The arrow pointing toward them was not exactly subtle.

Blue. That was the first thing he noticed past his own panic. Grey-blue cloth and white wool. No sign of raised weapons. Probably not a capture party if only one had approached. A civilian? Some part of a larger trap? Was she safe? Held against her will? Was she a distraction? He had to move!

Rook kept his bow arm steady and just listened over the sound of his own heartbeat. There were...birds. the crackling of the fire, and the trees groaning under the weight of the snow. Bleating from somewhere he couldn't quite see yet. Nothing sudden. Nothing that screamed that there were others hiding away and waiting for the chance to attack. Just this girl asking who he was. If she didn't know the mask, didn't know who he was then...maybe he had outrun the Father's followers.

Maybe this was just a girl.

The man let his arms relax slowly. If she made no move to rush him he would keep his bow lowered. She didn't appear to have any sort of pack with her...so she must be storing her food and gear elsewhere. It would come across as obvious Rook was travelling with all he had. The woman was relatively clean. Probably not a traveler then. She might know a little more about the land than he.

Rook tapped the arrow tip against his own chest, not yet ready to give up his weapon even if he was willing to watch and wait. 

"Rook." The word burned deep in his chest. Rook pointed toward the woman with his arrow, cocking his head to the side in question.


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Muiri she/her
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#4

   Muiri held her breath when she was greeted with an arrow pointed between her eyes, dropping her hook and raising her hands slowly until they were level with her chest. She gazed at the masked stranger with chilling eyes, trying her best to appear calm as she counted her breaths. This was an awfully dangerous situation. An arrow ready to kill her and a stranger who snarled at her behind their mask, plenty ready to let it go. She didn't move, stone-still as she waited. She didn't speak up, didn't do anything but merely hold her hands up and wait for the stranger to do anything other than point an arrow at her. Then the bow dropped, and with it Muiri's hands fell to hang by her sides again. The immediate danger had passed.

   When he answered her first question, she nodded. Rook... like the bird? She saw a few from time to time when they came north, but never more than a few per year. Mostly ravens lingered around, chasing off the pesky crows. Some liked to hang out by her home, namely a few that she sometimes fed scraps. They were polite enough, having learned not to nip when she fed them. Some had even sat on her hand if she coaxed them. Though, otherwise, she found nothing else notable about his name other than how coarse his voice sounded when he told her it. Perhaps he hadn't spoken in a long time.

   As he gestured at her, she answered simply, "Muiri." She gestured backward, toward the unseen sheep beyond the treeline and all their bleating. "I tend a flock in the moors just beyond this forest," she explained, "in the lands of Steltind, which now belong to Bridgehaven." Bridgehaven, which had entered her life whether she liked it or not. Rivian had asked for the lands and the caves within the great mountain, Taimavar, and Muiri had granted the girl's wishes despite doing it begrudgingly. She did not like people, least of all strangers, but at least few of them ventured into the moors. If they did, Muiri was bound to find them. Traveling the moors meant that Muiri was bound to stumble upon you at some point.

   "Bridgehaven is a group of humans and... talking animals," she added, feeling silly as she added the last bit. "They live in the mountain and are lead by a small woman, Rivian, a--" she paused for half a moment "--friend of mine, I suppose." It felt odd calling someone else a friend. She hadn't had a friend in such a long time that wasn't a sheep or raven. Though, no one could replace sweet ol' Lettie. Not even a person. Or a raven, just for the record. "I remain in the moors, though, to tend my flock." Totally not because she had claustrophobia or anything.

   "You seem to be a traveler," she began, pointing toward all Rook's items near the fire. "You can stay with Bridgehaven if you'd like. No stay must be permanent, and if you ever want to depart you can simply do just that. We hold no claim on you unless you wish for us to." She paused, nearly flinching at the crack of one piece of wood in the fire. She had thought it was something in the woods. "Regardless of your decision, could we move to the moors? I'm... not exactly comfortable in the Wilderwood," she muttered, side-eyeing the shadows beneath one snow-covered bush.

   Stars, she really didn't like doing this much talking. Especially when she was in the middle of the woods with a stranger.
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