Tonight there’s a particular chill in the air and the vendors of the hot drinks are out in force whilst the shopkeeps bustle to display new wares many of them made of things brought in by the trappers and tribesmen from the south. Said trappers themselves are either hawking their own wares, enjoying themselves in one of the city’s many taverns and nightclubs or milling about the streets.
Except Steven Silverton. The veteran dino-trapper and trainer has taken advantage of the crowds to put on a semi-improvised show with his crew of trained raptors. Who are at the moment jumping rather acrobatically through flaming hoops.
Sindri had just had his first taste of the Dino Swamp; though he hadn’t encountered dinosaurs..they had to roll some cultist type folk. Which was..far to easy, but hey, trained Dinosaurs? He’ll happily move to watch such a display..after finding some one selling cheap, but filling noodles and broth. With dumplings..full of..stuff; stuff he isn’t sure what it is..but it’s filling, and hot.
Krunch took advantage of his Fennodi friend working earlier to sneak back to the Inn their room is located and beg for all the food. Seriously, all of it. The whisker coyote is too full to even waddle and Dalia is carrying him in both arms loosely cradled against her chest. The Preacher is more grateful for the gift of the heavy coat she wears with each passing day. She stops at the edge of the crowd to watch the show, no need to move further in at her height and gently deposits Krunch on the ground at her feet, also grateful for a moment’s respite. She does spoil the little guy sometimes but..it’s usually just the two of them and they both enjoy it.Terrilyn is…well, people-watching. The tall blonde is garbed in rather patchwork leathers, but the cold doesn’t seem to be bothering her. The trained dinosaurs seem to be attracting the lion’s share of the people, which in turn attracts her. She moves over closer, tilting her head slightly as she watches the show.
Off to one side, partially in shadow, a tall, lean blonde with giant grey wings leans against a wall. A mug of steaming something held in hand as Ardul watches the show before her.
Her silver armour catches the light, gleaming brightly even as the blue outlines it. It’s not clear if she notices the chill – that armour is fairly encompassing.Not that it would draw much attention, but near the edge of the gathered citizens to see the displays, and drink the beverages, a young Wolfen is tossed out of a bar…
Followed by another young Wolfen, clad in ceremonial garb… and blind. He sniffs the air and shakes his head at the one he has just thrown out on his tail. “One hopes this minor lesson in etiquette teaches Runs-in-Circles manners befitting the scion of a Tribe-Elder,” he tells the rowdy Wolfen who is just picking himself up off the ground.
“That is *not* my name — ,” he starts to say, only to have the wind taken out of his lungs for a second.
“It is your name until you learn your place — and move forward, instead of around, Runs-in-Circles. Now go. Tell your father you have have been disciplined as he requested.”
Howahkan is already moving away toward the crowd, tasseled spear in hand as ‘Runs-in-Circles’ goes back to his Tribe’s main hall. When a breeze promptly turns into a minor swirl near him, he tilts his head sideways and murmurs: “One is as baffled as the Wind. At least Earthsky cannot drink themselves to stupidity…”
The Wind goes on its way and Howahkan continues forward, stepping around Terrilyn so as not to walk into her. It helps the blind Wolfen when the Wind tells him there’s something in his way.
“Aren’t they great folks? Give it up for the raptor pack! Now, for our next trick we’ll need a couple of snac- er, Volunteers! Right. I meant volunteers. Essie! Gertie! Help me pick ’em.”
Two large female raptors, one orange tiger stripped the other dappled white and red start to pace the edge of the crowd sniffing at everyone along the perimeter. They pass a grey furred wolfen in a long coat. Gertie stops to sniff him a bit more and then keeps going, apparently having ruled him out.
“Come on now! Don’t be shy! Two volunteers!”
Sindri is watching as he eats; but he ain’t gonna volunteer..though it looks more like being voluntold. He doesn’t exactly -trust- the dinosaurs up close, a natural reaction to things that can disembowel him outside of his bot. So he just takes time to look around for familiar faces in the crowd. Of which Howie is the only one he seemingly has a chance to spot. Familiar isn’t even appropriate! He’s met him all of twice.
Dalia keeps one eye-fin turned on the Raptors and their handler, not really liking this search amongst the crowd for a volunteer thing. The other eye turns towards Howahkan and the tall spindly alien moves in the Wolfen’s direction after bending down to pick up Krunch. She is not going to leave her raptor snack sized dearest companion sitting on his own now.
“How are you, Wise-Wolf.” Dalia greets as she approaches. A blind Wolfen might be a tempting target as well, and the Preacher does not intend to let anything happen to him if she can help it. She’s also rather amused at the youngling scurrying off away from him.Terrilyn’s initial attention seems to be on Ardul, as she tries to make out what the winged woman might be. But the wolfen display draws it away. First, the rambuctious younger one, and then there’s the older one who steps around her. Still, the avoidance of contact precludes saying anything…yet. She looks over as the raptors start moving through the crowd, and considers for a moment. Finally, the warrior woman looks to the stage. “I will volunteer.” she says, apparently curious what it entails.
The disturbance at the tavern has the winged blonde snorting softly. “The young often require harsh lessons.” she murmurs as Howie passes by her. “They will thank you, perhaps when they are old and grey, but they will.” Dalia’s approach gets a nod from the woman but Arduls attention is soon caught by the show again.
Clapping lightly, careful not to spill her drink, grey eyes following the Raptors as they prowl through the crowd. When she see’s the //other// wolfen, a small smile touches her lips and she waves. Someone she knows, that’s a thing at least.
Pushing herself upright, she calls out “I’ll volunteer…” If the grey furred wolfen is close enough, she’ll hand him her mug.
How many bad decisions have been preceded with //Here hold my drink …//?“A round of applause for our two brave and I must say rather lovely volunteers. Now, if you please ladies, up onto their backs. Gertie and Essie are quite strong never you worry and they don’t bite after I’ve fed them. Which I’m almost positive I’ve remembered to do…”
Steve Silverton makes a show of thinking of that. “Almost positive…”
Hunter, for that’s the grey wolfen, holds Ardul’s mug with amusement.
The raptors bow low to let Terrilyn and Ardul climb atop. Once they’re on the women are each handed terra cotta bowls half full of a clear liquid.
“Now, keep these as level as you can ladies, and let my girls do the rest, mmm? Don’t you worry now…” For a final touch with a snap of the fingers the liquid in both bowls bursts into blue flame.
Someone brushes behind Dalia as the raptors are getting set up for the trick. Wait… just a second… is she missing her coinpurse now?
Yes. Yes she is.
Sindri shakes his head a bit; he doesn’t trust riding Raptors; not in the slightest. Hell he wouldn’t even trust riding floating rocks controlled by mages. Though he isn’t noticing pick pockets; unless they snag his food..or the revolver strapped to him. That might be noticed in quick order.
Dalia doesn’t quite notice that her pocket has been picked, not immediately. It’s the close touch that draws her attention first. In Vesper people are less likely to be alarmed, werided out or digusted by her but still tend to avoid even casual touch. Fennodi are not a violent people, their appearance tends to make people suspect otherwise.
Frowning, the alien sets Krunch down and tips her cowboy hat back, one eye-fin still watching the raptors, even admiring Ardul and the other’s performance, the second fin however turns to find the one fleeing with her coinpurse. Dalia pats her pocket and sighs. It’s fortunate she did not see the person pick anyone else’s pocket. She would be obligated to stop them and return it. Herself on the other hand, well, if the thief is that desperate they must need the money more than her. She will let it be. It was just their dinner money anyway and Krunch… one eye turns downwards and the coyote wags its tail and tentacles, the eye rolls back up.. will definitely not suffer for it.Howahkan hangs back just at the edge of the crowd. He cannot see the goings on, but with the gracious assistance of ‘Earthsky’ (his term for the two elements that speak to him), he can sense the movement and positions of others… in general.
More would require deliberate magic, and there’s no reason (that he can ‘see’) for that, as yet. Leaning upon his spear, he lifts his muzzle heavenward and casts his voice toward the Preacher who had greeted him.
“Heart-Speaker,” he murmurs at her ear. “What is happening? One hears the Naked One’s words — ,” referring to the dino-trapper, a human, hence the term ‘naked’, ” — is the display to Dalia’s liking?”
“Not a word…” Ardul murmurs to Hunter, tossing him a small grin as she passes and then smiles politely to Terri. “Ardul.” That’s all she says by way of introduction, keeping a wary distance from the Raptor until it bows down. “Looks like we need to mount up …”
It takes a moment, the Winged Warrior eyes Steve as he makes his ‘joke’ “I’m sure I don’t taste very nice …” but she settles atop the creature and takes the bowl.
As the liquid catches fire, the blonde startles just a little, but it doesn’t spill and she looks over “Ready… ” Terri’s question elicits a one shoulder shrug.There are a couple of small children – simvan children if it matters – weaving their way through the crowd. Away from Sindri and Dalia. Possibly with their coinpurses but it’s impossible to tell at this distance and in moments they’ll be lost in the crowds.
The raptors start to move. It’s almost a dance really the way they start to circle and leap. The ride is, rather amazingly, very smooth. The liquid doesn’t even slosh in the the bowls. It tilts a little back and forth but these two particular raptors seem to be very well trained at keeping both things and people on their backs.
Anyway so far so good. For Terri and Ardul that is. Not so much for Sindri and Dalia.
Sindri fortunately is on the upper scale of wealth; and he doesn’t know he’s been robbed. Which is good for the kids; as he’d likely try and get his stuff back. He’ll likely be upset come time to eat at Grans again though! Since he’ll need to get back to his Bot to get more goodies! “Some how I expect the flames to spread at some point..”
Dalia isn’t concerned. There is always more work for her and quite often the things she needs are provided for in some way or another. The Fennod turns her attention back to the show and Howahkan. “A trainer has brought raptors from the Dinosaur swamps. They preformed tricks on stage, jumping through hoops of fire and following commands. Two of them now carry volunteers from the crowd on their backs and those volunteers hold bowls of liquid flame. It is rather impressive.”
The Fennod explains the show in detail for her Wolfen companion. She likes the Wise-Wolf and is in awe of his abilities. It greatly pleases her to be of help to him in particular. She’s also glad the coinpurse she just lost seems likely to be going to a good use. The Preacher would have simply given it to the children if they’d asked. It won’t be the first or last time she and Krunch go a bit hungry. Better them than the children. Krunch is likely to be a bit more disapp-the whisker coyote moans softly, rolls over in her rms and falls asleep. Dalia snorts.Terrilyn looks at the fire liquid, then back to the showman. “This trick seems to be little more than a diversion to allow the thieves in the audience a better chance of success.” She says, voice flat, as if just mildly perturbed.
Ardul moves with Raptor, cheating just a little, using her wings for a little more balance. It seems that she’s used to riding, at least. Which might seem strange given she can fly.
The way the flames behave in the bowl has her interest, and she seems a little dubious. Terri’s comment though causes her grey eyes to land on Steve and then move to Hunter before moving back to Steve once more. “I would hope not.” she says, rather //pleasantly// “Sure this man wouldn’t do that.”“A display of skill and entertainment then?” the Wise-Wolf inquires, his ears swivelling this way and that to pick up whatever they can from the murmur of the crowd to the exclamations and explanations of Steve Silverton.
“One wishes not to be… rude,” he continues. “But Makha Wakan — the Earth — is ignorant… ‘fleas dancing upon the skin’, as it w — .”
An ear swivels to Terrilyn and the Wolfen lifts his muzzle. “Ah. Some fleas itch. One believes innocents are being robbed…” He crouches down to the ground, places a handpaw flat against it and murmurs something to the Earth, or as he would say: ‘Makha Wakan’. He listens for furtive steps, smells for the scent of victory, the thrill of danger…
If he finds them, he invites the Wind to… give a pair of thieves (or those whom he *thinks* are the thieves) a gentle ‘lift’. Literally.
The climax of the trick involves Ardul’s raptor leaping in such a way as to tilt the bowl in her hands that it transfers its contents into Terri’s bowl. Both come down to earth and wind up side by side, bowing to the crowd and also incidentally letting Ardul and Terri off.
“Wonderful! Wonderful! Give ’em all a big hand, eh?” Steve barks as the crowd breaks into applause. Applause which stifles the sudden yelps of consternation that come of the two pickpockets being suddenly hoisted a foot into the air.
They’re not going anywhere, apparently.
Sindri moves his fingers towards his revolver briefly when some thing other then amusing..dancing Dinosaurs occur. Way to interrupt the show! Yet…he figures in short order; the crowd is not under attack, and he just begins to watch the ..air lifting. Quite unusual..but when magic exists any thing is possible isn’t it? “Dancing Dinos..and now what the hell is this about eh?”
Dalia resists the temptation to hide her face against Krunch as Howahkan takes someones words about theives very seriously. She doesn’t think they got away with much and in this case catching them could cause more harm than not in her opinion. The Preacher decides to simply keep quiet about that and seem as surprised as everyone else at the sudden airborne youngsters.
“It was a rather impressive show, juggling flames and all. Nothing caught fire, no one was harmed.” True by her way of thinking. “Very well trained raptors. I am glad I stopped to watch. Also good to meet you again Wise-Wolf.” Now might be a good time to disappear herself but what if Howahkan needs more assistance? At least she isn’t freezing. It’s a good evening really, all things considered.Terrilyn looks at the flaming bowl with a very “now what?” sort of expression. She’ll move to get off the raptor, but her attention is less on the thieves again and more on the old wolfen. She holds out the bowl towards Steve with a vaguely irritated noise. Howahkan nods to the Fennod Preacher, and pads forward in the direction of the pickpockets. He lets the Wind bring them a little closer to him, as he sniffs the air.
“One wishes to understand,” he tells them as they sink back toward the ground. “Is it hunger? Shelter? Should one turn the pups over to the Justicars?” He then angles his head back in the direction of Dalia’s voice and adds: “Would it do any good?”
As the Raptors land, Ardul alights, eyes resting on the youths dangling in the air for a long moment, a look of … distaste crossing her face. Shaking herself, she turns to Steve “Your creatures are indeed well trained.” With a knightly bow, and one to Terrilyn, the Winged Warrior recovers her mug from Hunter. “As the old Wolfen says, Hunter. Should the Justicars be summoned?”
The look she gives Howie as the wind responds to him, is priceless. “It is magic he uses, is it not?”Steve swiftly recovers the bowl of burning liquid from the Amazon and snuffs it out. “Thank you for your help, miss.” He grins. Not that he’s likely to get one in return.
The crowd is starting to break out now, leaving some donations for Steve and the raptors. The detained thieves quickly find themselves in a small knot of adults.
Hunter shakes his head. “Just get back what they took from you. Justicars won’t do much more than detain them for something like this. And not for long either.”
The grey wolfen checks his back pocket briefly… ah. Yep. Still there.
Sindri will begin to approach the new gathering…as when he went to toss some thing to the Dino show..he’s lacking some thing he needs to you know, throw some thing to them. “If the Justicars would even care.” He suddenly comments, glaring fairly well at the pick pockets!Indeed, no thankful grin. Terrilyn starts out into the crowd, her path approaching the old Wolfen, as she looks at him. “You are the one in charge?” she asks, apparently having leapt to that conclusion already.
“They are hungry children. I do not think any harm has been done.” Vesper is not one of the places in which Dalia usually serves as a Judge and she isn’t sure how much weight her word holds here so offers her opinion only. The Preacher will not admit to being stolen from now at all. Not when it would just get the little ones in far greater trouble than they deserve..at least in some places. She is less familiar with how they do things here, the jobs she takes in ths city are usually more of a guidance role than anything.
Dalia is relieved by Hunter’s words though not many are likely to notice. It’s clear when a Fennod smiles but other than that, their expressions can be hard to read. One of the Preacher’s eye-fin’s focus on Sindri and she puts herself between the children and the angry man. Little ones are to be protected, thieves or no.The Wise-Wolf steps back and to the side to face Terrilyn more directly, and swivels an ear to listen to both Ardul and Dalia. “Howahkan has no charge but Earthsky,” says he, not that the answer would prove very useful to most. “One is… pleased to let the pups run. Those who should hold them in *their* charge clearly have their noses in the sand.”
So he lets the pickpockets down completely, and gives the Wind and Earth a grateful bow of his head as the breeze leaves. Frowning a little, he adds: “One does not understand this place,” muttering to himself. “One learns.”
“If you are sure, Hunter.” Ardul murmurs, sipping from her mug and eyeing the children. “Perhaps they need guidance more than anything.” Seeing Dalia’s concern at the children, it’s a pointed comment.
“Those who are in charge of this city can be found in their chambers …” she says to Terri. It’s a strange question to ask of one in a city so big. “You must be newly come to the city? I am Ardul.” That’s for Howahkan and Dalia, mostly.Hunter just sighs and gestures to the children. “Well, out with it. Drop what you took if you don’t want to be upended.” The wolfen could take them both in hand, turn them upside down and shake them – and he could do so quite easily. The kids glare at him but even in a civilized place an armed wolfen with a cybernetic arm is not someone who is easily gainsaid. A few coin purses – Sindri’s included are dropped.
“Alright. Off with you.” If the others want to detain them that’s all well and good. Hunter certainly won’t stop them or argue, but he’s got no further interest in them. Instead the grey wolfen nods to Howahkan, Dalia and Terrilyn. “Hope you get back anything they took. Ardul, I’m going to get another drink.”
And with that he turns to head back into the nearby tavern with a polite wave of his mechanical hand.
“I am Dalia, this is Howahkan.” The Preacher gestures to the Wise-Wolf and nods to the others. “It is nice to meet you.” Sighing softly, the Preacher move to retrieve her coinpurse after shifting the whisker coyote in her arms. Maybe Krunch can find them later and she can buy the children a meal and make sure they have a proper shelter. If not she’ll have to do something about that.
“Vepser is certainly an interesting place.” The Fennod answers to Howahkan. “I think some of the differences have to do with it being such a large city. There are not so many this big anymore.”Terrilyn nods. “I am new here.” She replies tersely to Ardul. “And it seems I have much to learn of this place. Perhaps one of you might be willing to teach?” Somehow she suspects that the Wolfen might be in that category. “Sometimes the subtleties of other cultures are lost on me.” “Cities come and go,” the Wolfen replies to the Fennod after she introduces him. “The elements here… one has found both Wind and Earth that speak different tongues. Other worlds. One learns.”
He angles his muzzle toward Ardul and Terrilyn, sniffs again and lets out a breath. “One is also new; it is expected of Wise-Wolves to meet the other Tribes… Howahkan is of Moon Fall.” He listens to Terrilyn and barks a short, rueful chuckle.
Although it sounds more like gravel in his throat.
“It is spoken, ‘one who teaches learns twice’. A girl’s confusion in this place is understood by Howahkan. Does a girl have a den here? A… place to rest? Howahkan knows of one — it’s called… ‘Gran’s’.”
“Well met, Dalia, Howahkan.” The winged blonde looks to Terrilyn at the tone. “There is indeed much to learn, of which I am still learning. I am new to this dimension, myself.” It’s an assumption as to Terri’s origins, not that Ardul is going to ask.
With the pick pockets sorted out and the entertainment finished, she bows again to the group. “A pleasure meeting you all. I’m going to join Hunter and refill my mug.” With a wave, she departs as well.
Dalia smiles. “I am happy to help as I may.” It’s part of her calling after all. “Gran’s is a good place to stay if you don’t have one yet. Krunch and I have found it to be very agreeable.” The whisker coyote wakes up upong hearing the word “refill” and Dalia sighs and then chuckles. “In his case perhaps too agreeable. I am likely to need a cart to drag him around by the time we leave.” It’s a good thing they are both so active.“My name is Terrilyn. And I do not have a place to stay yet. I am new here.” She looks to the other two, and down to the coyote. “I can carry him if you wish.” Howahkan barks another short chuckle.
“Krunch…” says he, with a shake of his shaggy head. “Smells fat. Sleepy and fat. For a pup that does not hunt as pups should learn… one wonders how he comes by so much?”
If the Wolfen could see, he’d be glaring — good-naturedly — at his Fennod friend. Sniffing at the air again, he motions down the street with his spear and remarks:
“Gran’s den is this way. Come. We may talk while our paws take us.” After a pause, he adds: “Howahkan can tell from a girl’s voice that she is nearly as tall as he… there are not many females of the Furless who are quite as a girl is.” Suddenly he frowns and angles his muzzle toward Dalia.
“A girl IS Furless, is she not? One begs forgiveness if he has smelled her wrong.”
“Here at least, people find him cute instead of frightening. He’s taken advantage and I haven’t the heart to chastise him when the reaction he gets is usually so different. He’s really very friendly. One could wish people didn’t put so much stock in appearances so often.” Dalia says regretfully.
She smiles at Terrilyn. “Thank you for the offer but I am used to carrying him.” For that reason actually, what harm people think a tentaclefaced dog will do them Dalia doesn’t know but usually it’s safer to keep the little guy close, for both of them. “Yes, I believe so.” The Preacher answers Howahkan. “Krunch is also a better hunter than I am when we are in the wilds.” Dalia admits rulefully. She hasn’t the heart for it really.“I am taller than most people. And I am Furless, unless one counts hair.” She says, looking back to the Wolfen first, then back to Dalia. “Let us go to this den, then, and we will see what we can do. Most people want exchange, and I have little.” Oddly enough, the blind one leads the way.
He never appears to actually ‘look’ where he is going — it is all listening and sniffing… although that wouldn’t account for avoiding walking into everything. Occasionally he will nod to seemingly…nothing, as the breeze goes by.
“Gran’s appears to be home for many as they come into Vesper,” says he to Terrilyn and Dalia. “We have found it so. Some trade services in exchange for food and a place to sleep — many of the beings that come through the Rifts here in Vesper alone have no concept of ‘coin’, or they have coin that no one of *this* Earth would recognise…”
He lets out a breath at that and shakes his head. “It is simpler in the Wild. Much simpler. May one ask, what brings a girl to this place?” He turns his muzzle briefly toward Terrilyn so she will know to whom he is speaking, then stops just before walking into the rear end of an oxen… or, a creature that might *pass* for an oxen on its home-world.
Vesper is every bit as busy during the night as it is during the day. The end of a ‘day’ for one citizen is the beginning of another. In fact, some of the residents here probably have no concept of day or night.
It does the Wolfen’s head in at times, if his frequent, abrupt head-shakes are anything to go by.
Dalia pauses for a moment. Well then. It would seem to be a good thing her purse was returned. The Preacher smiles. “I can cover a room for you, it’s no problem.” It isn’t now after all. She’s relieved that Terrilyn described herself..while she’s grown to enjoy describing things for Howahkan, it can be a bit awkward to describe someone in front of them.
One of her eyes turns to Howahkan just in time to see him almost walk into the beast and she mentally chastises herself. “Apologies Wise-Wolf. I should be watching our path better. It is all too easy to become distracted here I’m afraid.” Even for or especially for one with as keen a sense of vision as she.
Terrilyn watches with interest as the Wolfen navigates. “You must have keen senses. And…I was cast out of my tribe.” That’s said somewhat tersely. “It is nothing. It is in the past.” She looks over to Delia at her offer, confused. “Why would you do this for me? You are not kin to me.”As Howahkan’s footpaw connects with the ground, a small cloud of dust rises upward, turning into a miniature whirlwind or dust-devil that travels to his handpaw, remaining there. He holds it up to Terrilyn and smiles.
“Howahkan is Speaker for Earthsky — what some call an elementalist, of Earth and Air, twin forces each opposed to the other… and yet at the same time… not. One listens to both — what a Wolfen’s eyes cannot see, Earthsky feels. And tells.”
He frowns afterward, and grunts ruefully.
“The trick is getting it to be quiet, sometimes.” He goes quiet himself, for a short while as the trio must turn from one busy street to another… although this brings Gran’s into view. Around them are side-streets that appear to lead… everywhere and nowhere. In some cases, paths just vanish, or there are temperatures and shades of light in alleys that contrast very much with everything else.
Howahkan adds: “One spends more time alone with Earthsky than other folk. Solitude is… well understood.”
Dalia considers her response for a few moments. “The easier answer..” She tells Terrilyn, “Is because I can. The longer answer is that it is my calling. I am a wandering Preacher. It is my duty and my pleasure to help those in need wherever I go. It would trouble me greatly to know you do not have a place to stay tonight, the weather is only going to get colder. I’m happy I can do something about that for you.”
The Fennod listens to Howahkan’s description of what he does with much interest. She’s traveled many places and seen many things and types of power and people but he is something new. And despite all the stories she’s heard and sought out about the Wise-Wolf hearing him talk about himself is something else entirely. She watches the little dust-devil with delight. Her trip to Vesper has thus far been nothing like she expected and Dalia could not be more happy about it.Terrilyn follows the others, and frowns at the side streets that go everywhere and nowhere. “This place does not seem to be very safe.” Her eyes are on the dust-devil a moment, and she’ll even poke at it with a finger. “Magic. I do not have a good understanding of magic.”
The tall blonde shakes her head, and looks back to Dalia. “My people are hardy, cold does not bother me.” Whether that’s true or pride speaking, who can say? “You must let me do something for you, so I do not have debt to you.” she says, earnestly.The tiny dust-devil vanishes into the air from which it was drawn, and the lupine elementalist comes to a halt just outside the doors to Gran’s Bed and Breakfast. From the looks of things, D-Bees from… all over frequent the place. Every mealtime is breakfast for someone, dinner for another… and so on.
“It is not,” the Wolfen replies to Terrilyn simply and honestly. “One recommends: keep to the main streets. If a girl must travel through the alleys and lesser-known market stalls… go only where others of similar species go… The air in some alleys is utterly foreign to Howahkan.” He shudders.
As an afterthought he adds: “It is safer for a girl that it might sound…Terrilyn smells cautious. This is good.” As to the mention of debt, the Wise-Wolf falls silent once more and turns his muzzle toward Dalia.
“It is… our… ‘custom’ one supposes, to travel occasionally to outlying settlements and offer aid. Howahkan must also visit those Tribes of Wolfen that do not come into Vesper often… Terrilyn is welcome to come.” There is a subtle shift in how he addresses his new acquaintance, and before each time he uses her actual name, he appears to listen for something first.
Dalia nods. “You owe me no debt, I only ask you help another in need when you can.” She looks around at the buslting business of Gran’s. “It’s true Vesper is a different kind of city and it’s very easy to get lost but it is also a place of great wonders.” The Fennod can’t help it if both of her eye-fins turn in Howahkan’s direction as she says that. He has long been a secret hero to her and that she’s finally met him, and here, of all places.. even if she’d hated this city that would have made the trip for her. The Preacher is rather fond of the place though, inso much as she can be for a somewhere that isn’t free and open beneath the sky. Besides.. “I’ve met so many interesting people here as well.” It doesn’t hurt that she’s barely noticed among so many different peoples and cultures. It’s a nice change for the Fennod and her canid companion.“There are no others of my species here, Howahkan.” Terrilyn says it as a simple, matter-of-fact. “They would not choose to live around others.” The fact that he’s now using her name seems to confuse her just a bit; that subtle head-tilt shows itself again. “I am happy to go with you. I will learn, and perhaps I can assist should there be violence.”
“If you aid me, I owe you debt. My people are warriors. We are unaccustomed to…needing the help of others.” She shakes her head a little. “What you ask is not insignificant. But I will agree.”“One understands,” Howahkan replies with a nod. “The places one mentions are… similar to Vesper. Ardul used the word ‘dimension’ — they collide, overlap, change the Earth as *two* Earths become one… temporarily. The magic of the swamp to the South is no less perilous. Trust Howahkan; a girl — Terrilyn’s — service will be a true test of strength.”
He pauses again as some reptilian Grackle Tooth leave the Bed and Breakfast, and gives a nod to Dalia and their new friend. “The Wind is learning Terrilyn’s name,” says he — which is his way of saying he is getting to know the tall Shemarrian. “And it is pleased. Howahkan must leave now; a Wise-Wolf’s work is never done — Dalia Walker will help Terrilyn secure a place to stay here.”
He bows his head respectfully to the Shemarrian.
Nighttime in Vesper and there are plenty of festivities, including some very talented raptors! and some talented thieves...
December 13, 2409
Vesper - Dragon's Gate