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The Underground

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» REMEMBER ME, Blazeh, Sal
 
PLAYERS INVOLVED:
@Verridith (Blazeh)
@Saleyne (Sal)

SETTING: Going along the Merchant's Road.

WEATHER: Very cold and damp.

TIME: Current! Dusk.

CHARACTERS INVOLVED:
Red, Bird, Edge, Illiya, Cloud (Blazeh), Shadis, Saegra, Siri (Sal)

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user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
 
"Isn't it a bit cold out here for you?" Saegra asked as she joined the other woman who was leaning against the wall of the inn they had stopped to spend the night in. It had been an arduous few months following Edge's return. The news she had brought along with her had been troubling, especially for Shadis.

"I'm alright," the werepanther answered as she pulled her cloak tighter about her slim figure. Pressing her lips, Saegra didn't look convinced but merely followed the other woman's gaze to where her young daughter was toddling about a few feet away, playing with some toy that they had picked up in a market a few days back.

"Besides. Adra's enjoying herself." Turning her head to look at the shifter, Shadis leaned her head back against the wall.

"Where have Edge and the kids gotten to?"
^
 
This area was filled with craggy rocks, sharp cliffs, difficult climbs; the caverns yawned so high above it was thick in mist like clouds, and moisture dripped from stalactites down to puddles far below. However, the climb was nothing for a dragoness - much like the one who sat perched up on top of a large, rocky outcropping, two children settled in amid her soft, warm feathers.

Since she found the group, Edge had rarely slept, nightmares plaguing her nights of cruel golden dragons and coiled, black serpents. She saw Sentin more often than not, and woke up crying on more than one occasion, slipping away from the others before she woke anybody. Now, she focused on looking out over the cavernous landscape for dangers that may come from afar, Illiya and Cloud playing some game with a few loose feathers.

There was nothing. There was always nothing, save for a few merchant groups traveling the great Road, between towns. They had heard very little news, and hardly anything of the former thieflord, save that there was a man traveling with horses that may or may not have fit his description.

When she had heard news of Naiome's death, she had been more upset for him and what he must be going through; the little girl had been like to his daughter, and he had thought he owed her and the family of Death so much for wrongs buried deep in the past. Such was the worry for him that, upon hearing of Gilgamesh's demise, she had no tears for one who had so thoroughly destroyed her life.

But now, she wondered if he were dead or alive; was he looking for them, or trying to stay away? She had come to regard the knight as a close friend, and hoped that he could find salvation with his old group once again. He had loved Shadis so very, very much... and when she, Sentin, Gilgamesh and he were together, looking for Cloud, she could see how much being apart depressed him. "Come," she rumbled with a sigh. "Sit back down and hold on; we're heading back."

Lifting her wings, the dragoness paused and looked down the road one last time. This time, she saw a lone figure, far distant; though it couldn't be Red. It looked to be a furred dragon, one with feathered wings, glossy brown-gold. With a sigh, she took off and spiraled back down to the travel inn, alighting a little ways distant where she wouldn't upset Adra or the others. Letting Cloud and Illiya down, she shifted and came near, then sat down in the dirt a few feet away.

"Nothing. Still nothing. Just a damn dragon down the road. Not even many merchants today..."

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
 
Shadis didn't have to wait long for an answer to her question. Following the dragoness with her eyes, she looked down at her feet at the news. It was hard to say she was disheartened -- she had made her peace with Red's absence; it was his Fate that concerned her more than anything. Crossing her arms over her chest, she watched their child playing a few feet away and marveled over how much the girl looked like her father.

"I'm sure we'll find him soon," Saegra answered. Straightening, she stretched and looked about for the other two children. Milo had remained inside, curled up with a book, as usual.

"We have to. He can only have gone so far," the wolf added with confidence that Shadis wished she felt.
^
 
The dragoness didn't seem overly hopeful. More than anything, she seemed annoyed and irritated. It wasn't the search that annoyed her so - it was the finding nothing but rumors and hearsay everywhere they turned. It pissed her off, and made her want to throw some hellfire at whatever was closest.

But of course that never solved anything, so she relented.

"We'll only stay the night here, right?" Edge asked; she glanced at Shadis, then back at Saegra. "We should keep moving at as fast of a pace as we can. If he's traveling, we need to push until we catch up."

A sharp wind gusted down the roadway, and she grumbled and turned her back to it. However, she didn't catch the scene that rode upon it - familiar but distant, yet growing closer by the moment. Wolfish, underlaid by a scent of dust and pine wood...

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
 
Shadis nodded at Edge's suggestion. "Seems like the best course of action," she replied. Her eyes once again returned to Adra. She was so young and the constant traveling made her so restless. Sometimes she wondered if this was really the best for her; Red could have returned to them if he had truly wanted to. It wasn't as if she had ever kept Adrastea from him or kept their whereabouts unknown. Yet he hadn't and at times she felt it was unfair to spend Adra's childhood seeking him out when he had not chosen to return to them.

Glancing at her hands briefly, she looked to Saegra and raised an eyebrow. "Everything okay, Sae?"

The woman's gaze was distant, the wind tugging at her violet hair. At the sound of Shadis's voice, she seemed to give herself a little shake and nodded. "Yeah. Fine. Moving on... Sounds fine..."

Looking back down the road, the shifter frowned. She had to have imagined that...
^
 
Saegra's unusually distracted reply even caught Edge's attention; she glanced over at the shifter, grey-green eyes holding a sort of sharp, annoyed curiosity that only enhanced her irritated expression. However, her annoyance began to fade as she looked back down the road, searching for whatever the woman sensed.

It wasn't long before the dragoness shifter realized it might not be something she could immediately see. Closing her eyes, she scented the air and opened her eyes once more, suddenly puzzled. That was strange - she had smelled such a scent before. But she couldn't place it.

"Saegra," she said, rising. "You smell something, don't you? What is is?"

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
 
Saegra had fought the urge to step away from the building and out into the road for a clearer view. It seemed that Edge's voice called her back but only partially -- her silver gaze was still fixed on where the road disappeared from view.

user posted image

"Nothing," she answered hesitantly as she slowly pulled her attention from the scent and back to Edge and Shadis. "It's nothing."

Shadis arched an eyebrow but didn't press. Walking off across the lawn she scooped Adra up and settled the child on her hip, then returned to their little group. "We should probably head inside, I guess."
^
 
The shifted dragoness nodded, and motioned for Cloud and Illiya to follow. "We should plan our next move," she said quietly, holding the door open for Shadis and the others. Her eyes wandered down the road, even as the pungent scent of fresh berry-pie wafted from within, and the warmth of the inn's hearth called them inside. "When we should leave, and what places to stop along the road there will be. Places of rest, food, and healing. We haven't run into any trouble yet," she continued, "but it's good to know."

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
 
"Mmhm. Especially with the kids," Saegra spoke in agreement as she followed Shadis and Adra inside. While the three of them alone would probably be fine to stop as needed, the four children that accompanied them certainly introduced a new factor -- one that required considerably more organization.

"The pie smells good," Shadis observed. Apparently Adra agreed; the child gave a happy little squawk at the mention of it and the werepanther smiled. Saegra could see it didn't quite touch her eyes. It never really seemed to anymore.
^
 
Cloud was happy to take the food his mother bought for them, and sat down at a table with a leg of chicken that was larger than his head. Tearing away at it, he didn't notice the door open as Edge brought drinks for them, as a bard played jovially in a corner some ways away. A tall man walked in, concealed in a cloak, hood pulled over his face; he dropped a few coins on the bar, and ordered a drink from the innkeeper, as well as a bed for the night.

Edge didn't notice him. She didn't even look. But the voice was low, yet familiar, and he paused mid-sentence to glance back towards the door. He seemed almost as if he'd caught a scent on the air, like a wolf who had scented something he'd smelled before. And when the wind from the door carried his own scent inside, it was decidedly wolfish...

...and perhaps even more familiar than his voice.

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
 

Shadis had gone to order food for their lot as well while Saegra remained at the table with Milo and Adrastea, keeping an eye on them in the meantime. When Edge returned with the chicken leg for Cloud, Saegra got up and went to help Shadis bring the food for them and the kids back to the table. With her back to the door, she didn't see the man walk in, but when his scent hit her, it was like someone had punched her.

Exhaling sharply, she glanced over her shoulder. Looking up, Shadis's brow furrowed at the sight of Saegra's wide, silver eyes sweeping the room. "What? What's going on?" The she-wolf didn't answer with more than a flustered shake of her head. She would know that scent anywhere -- anywhere.

And it was his voice -- that low, almost out of range rumble that drew her gaze to the man at the bar. His face and build were hidden so she couldn't be sure but she found herself setting the plate down in front of Milo without ever making a conscious decision and turning from their group.

Shadis caught her arm, clearly bewildered, and Saegra gently untangled herself. "Don't... Don't worry. It's probably nothing," she murmured absently without looking at the other woman. "I just have to see for myself."

That said, she moved towards him, her heart pounding frantically in her ears.
^
 
The man had turned his attention back to the barkeep, apologizing for the interruption. As the coins were exchanged and the attendant gave the newcomer his drink, he gave quiet thanks and turned to go.

Suddenly, the familiarity would make sense.

Though somewhat thinner, and looking tired and drawn, there was no mistaking who it was - beneath the hood, brown eyes reflected the light of multiple torches, and a short beard and mustache matched the golden hair that framed a handsome face. He wore none of the armor that he had before, only simple leather bracers, though he still had the worn ring on a thin chain around his neck.

It was Bird.

"Saegra," he said, surprised. His expression reflected his shock, and he very nearly dropped the goblet he held. He said nothing else, however; but his face dropped in a mixture of emotions - none of which prevailed over the other.

Edge froze, looking over at Shadis and Saegra, then let her eyes settle on the former knight. She recognized him, too... But why was he here, and why wasn't Red with him?

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
 
Where was Red?

It was the first question that popped into the werepanther's mind as she registered the face within the confines of the hood. Saegra and Bird had parted ways when she and Red had; each one sticking with their friend of so many years. Now here Bird was and the former thieflord was nowhere to be found.

Alarm tightened the muscles in her chest as she thought of all the various meanings of his absence. Injury, imprisonment, death... But she forced it back, away from her face, and busied herself with putting food on Adrastea's plate and cutting it into small pieces while Milo served himself. The children -- she had found -- always made the best distractions.

Saegra herself had wanted to smile when she saw that it was indeed who she had thought, but the expression died halfway upon her lips. He looked so thin, worn, and tired. It wasn't what she had expected.

Silver eyes searching his face, she tried to decipher whether he was happy to see her or not, but perhaps it wasn't that simple. "It's been a long time," she said, smirking a little at how cliche it was. That's what people said, wasn't it? In books and stories, in moments like this.
^
 
The knight took a half step forward and paused, hesitating; a hundred emotions swam in his eyes, and he set the goblet aside, suddenly seeming unsure what to do with his hands. "I... Yes," he whispered, trying a halfhearted smile. "It... has."

Bird reached up and pushed back the hood, then slowly lowered his hands. "Sae, I..." he stammered, before taking a breath and shaking his head. "Please... forgive me. For everything." He cast a glance aside, expression suddenly pained. He seemed lost, and whatever joy there had been was quickly and quietly being washed away. "I should never have left you. I shouldn't..."

--------------------
user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
user posted image
"you do know I have the worst memory in the high desert right"
"that's a lie, you just fill your memory with all things BTACD related"
^
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