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By Campfire Glow - IC

Liminal

Super-Earth
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
From Creste, the city of shields, the Salt Road runs north and west through the expanse of heaths and wooded hills that people still know as the North Border even centuries after the Vlemish bent the knee, until it turns due north at the coast. With hardly anywhere on the Border itself worth going to, and most travel between north and south done by sea, its building was always more a symbolic gesture than anything else, meant to inspire unity after generations of conflict. Few enough take the land route to make it unappealing to bandits despite the lack of soldiers, and the worst most travelers have to worry about is the occasional bear encounter.

In short, for a small group--say, a party of rootless treasure hunters--looking to bring sensitive cargo--say, a substantial sum in salvaged Tuatha grave goods--from Vlemis to the capital without drawing attention, and willing to travel through rough country, it's a godsend.

Dawn brings heat and humidity, a forerunner of fast-approaching summer. Scraps of gauzy cloud promise to cast no shadows. In a recess beneath a house-sized boulder on a wooded slope, sheltered from the chill rain of the previous night, a curl of smoke rises from the ashes of a dead fire.

*****​

It's another one of those mornings when Yulia can't remember right away whose bedroll she's waking up in. It's definitely not her own, that much is obvious--or if it is, she's not alone in it.

The sound of mourning doves outside the little cave wakes her up. She's never liked those--something about their eyes. It occurs to her that opening her own would quickly reveal who it is she's wrapped around, but if she does that, then she'll have to get up. Instead, she snuggles closer under the blankets, murmuring sleepy contentment.
 

Horatius

Moon
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
Europe
Drakon had awakened a while ago and started on his "breakfast". The day before he had one spell left to cast without shattering his mind or whatever else happened if a person drew on the magic provided by the spirits of nature to him too much. And so he had cast the "goodberry" spell the evening before. A good way to save money and rations. He could have hunted something, but Drakon didn't really see the necessity to do so.

He did have on hunting trap stowed away in his backpack, but he wasn't a cook and while he liked good food he was the most miserable cook in a radius of hundred kilometers, or so he was willing to bet. Munching on the berries he offered the rest to the group, which while they did not necessarily fill a person's stomach, still provided energy for a whole day by only eating some.

After that he began to check his weapons and gear. Drakon was lazy, not stupid and ripped crossbow string or a blunt blade at an inopportune moment could bite a traveler in the rear.
 

Fithrale

Planetoid
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Location
Northrend
Shortly before the sun began to break the endless night sky, Selah instinctively rose out of her trance. The faint amount of elven blood in her kept from needing to sleep the entirety of the night, only needing the most minimal amount of time resting. Something she cherished and enjoyed. Dawn spoke to her in a way that no other time of day could. As soon as she rose, she gingerly stepped outside into the cool night air that nipped at her body. As she shed her usual striking white robe with colorful trim, she stood exposed in the elements of the earth in only her tight fitting pants that hugged her body and showed her curves that were normally subdued. Paired with the pants she had her breasts wrapped as usual, the white cloth enabling her to move more the way she wanted without hurting herself, her hands wrapped similarly.

Push-ups, set-ups, and a jog prepared her for the day. As the sun began to illuminate the world with a golden hue, she found herself meditating as she stretched. This ritual was normal for Selah, a daily one in fact. This is when she communed to the elements, spoke to them, learned from them. She stood outside the cavern on one leg, the other drawn to her, her eyes closed as she listened to the forest. As she did, one arm extended away from her while the other drew in and the still standing water on the ground outside the cavern began to rise and dance and shimmer around her as the sun illuminated her, giving her hair an almost fiery glow.
 

MolarityMolality

Planetoid
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Every day, Ziven gets up before the break of day. He enjoys watching the sun make it's Pilgrimage from beyond the night sky. Still in his small clothes then, a pair of burlap shorts and a linen shirt. Once he glimpsed the amber glow of the sun breaking over the Horizon, he began to get ready for his day. He put on his Leathers and buckled the straps. He threw his coat over himself and slipped into his trousers. He hung the beads, feathers and Chimes from his horns. Finally he broke his fast with whatever was left off last night's supper. He then made his way back to the spot where he had chosen to lay, and picked up his Bandore.

He made the trek up the Slope, and then slung his guitar on his back to slowly climb up the Boulder. Using whatever imperfections he could find on the surface of the stone as hand-holds to get himself up the boulder. Once he had surmounted the rock he sat atop of it, making sure that he had his balance before he took his Guitar off of his back. Slowly he glided his fingers across the strings, making small sounds with the strings until he found a good note to start with. He set the body of the Instrument on his left leg, the head resting on his right arm, and began to play
 

Grimoire

The Book of Love
Joined
May 16, 2017
With dawn came the rise of the ranger -- Astera could never sleep for too long, pulled from sleep by an infuriating internal clock, six hours to the dot. Before the sun could rise, before the overture of birdsong could herald the day. Before the day's adventuring would take the small group out again onto the road, where things were less softer, less warm, than they were right now--

Astera lingered for some few hours more. Curled onto her side, an arm pinned by the weight of a body next to her. Astera turned against it, a hand slipping over the side of one hip, sliding down along the length of a soft thigh, callused fingertips tracing the line of supple skin up to where it would meet the tangle of blankets of their currently shared bedroll. Astera was patient, moreso than one might have thought of a woman like her, amusing herself for long minutes with the softly curving body of the witch--

When birdsong came, and sharp ears caught the waking of the rest of their party, all of them partaking in their own little morning rituals, Astera shifted a little closer. Heavy breasts pressed against Yulia's body, the hunter wearing nothing but a warm and soft cloak wrapped around her shoulders, fluffy and pleasing if only on bare skin. She was as warm as any of their myriad blankets, her arm now slinking low across the witch's hips, a hand settling on the smoothness of her stomach, threatening to slide lower.

Yulia didn't have to open her eyes to find out who it was. Not as a warm and husky voice whispered into her ear, as much a tickle as strands of dark chocolate falling to brush along the pale lne of Yulia's neck.

"... mornin'. Was wonderin' when ye would rejoin me."
 
OP
L

Liminal

Super-Earth
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Snuggling against her partner, Yulia gleans enough information by touch to know it's not one of the men. A smile curling her lips, she manages to doze off again for a moment, but the soft notes of a guitar from outside the hollow rouse her more fully.

The voice in her ear jogs her memory. "Don't recall leaving," she murmurs, chuckling against Astera's neck. Much as she wishes she could sleep the whole day away, her stomach is insistent. Grumbling, she brushes a kiss against Astera's jaw. "Gotta pee," she mumbles as she squirms her way free of the bedroll, the movement rousing Moggin, who uncurls from his black ball and gives her a withering look before slinking off.

Stepping out into the dawn air, Yulia stretches toward the sky, already feeling much more awake now that she's on her feet. As usual, she hadn't worn anything to bed, and the sun feels gorgeous on her bare skin. The rain clinging to the foliage has begun to steam in the rising heat, giving an ethereal quality to the woods. Outside the entrance to the hollow, the three nervous pack mules the group picked up in Dannerhall shelter under the boughs of an old ash, munching from their feed bags.

After finding a secluded spot in the trees to do what needs doing, Yulia rejoins the group. "S'pose I'm seeing to my own breakfast, as usual," she grouses, seeing Drakon munching on those berries of his and knowing Ziven will have already eaten. Going to the mules, she digs into the saddlebags and retrieves bread, cheese, and bacon, the skillet and tongs, and a couple of the good dry logs--nothing around that'll burn after the rain.

She stoops as she re-enters the hollow. "Hungry?" Not waiting for an answer from Astera, she sets about arranging the logs over last night's embers. Closing her eyes for a second, she focuses her thoughts, flames dancing behind her eyelids...she snaps her fingers, and the wood lights, a small tongue beginning to consume it. Yulia allows herself a moment's pride as she starts laying strips of bacon in the skillet--not so long ago, that would've taken her many attempts.

Casting Prestidigitation to light the fire.
 

MolarityMolality

Planetoid
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
The sun was now fully in the air, and now that it had fully ascended to it's place in the sky, Ziven's melancholic requiem to the night was seemingly no longer appropriate for the time being. Ziven descended the boulder, and then he descended the slope, still holding his guitar--up against his arm with the neck straight up as if he were holding an arbalist holding a crossbow while on parade.

He set his foot on the ground leading into the hollow in order to test it. Once he sunk his foot in a bit and felt that the ground was indeed, not about to slide out from under him, he entered, and began to slowly enter the little burrow where they had set up their camp. He actually admired the ingenuity of using the little hollow as a shelter from the rain. It certainly was not Ziven's idea.

He slid into the burrow and sat on his bedroll, before turning his Bandore to a more relaxed position on his lap. He looked over to Yulia as she prepared her breakfast, and he gave her a nod of acknowledgement. "Don't mind me." To be fair, they would have been able to hear Ziven coming. The harmonies coming from the chimes that he had hung from his horns give off his presence long before he ever actually appears to the beholder.

He laid the Bandore back into it's playing position. He strung the silver strings, once, twice, a third time. He played a few low notes, then moved his way up to the scale, and then back to a few lows. Now that he had settled himself into a decent rhythm, he began to strum the instrument, creating a more cohesive piece for anyone inside of the Burrow to listen to.
 

Fithrale

Planetoid
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Location
Northrend
As the sounds of the music in the distance stopped, it alerted Selah to the fact that the group was stirring and preparing for the day. She released her communion with forces of nature, as she did the water dancing around her body returned back to the earth. She quietly retrieved her robe and wrapped it around herself as made her way back towards the group, making a point of snatching Moggin and wrapping him around her neck like a live scarf if he didn't oppose. Making a point of scritching his head as she made her way into the small hollow area they rested for the night.

Once inside and noticing the group still only rousing for the day she set up a small pot near the already running fire that Yulia had started. Still in her morning routine, she used the silvery clay pot to brew one of her favorite green teas made with citrus and cinnamon. It was a staple of her life at the monastery, one she still cherished. After it finished brewing she poured it into her gourd and tied it to her waist with a red silk sash, sipping from it while she snagged a piece of bread and sat on a log near the fire and ate it. Listening to Ziven's music and enjoying it while she soaking in the view of Yulia preparing breakfast for the rest of the group. From time to time she would gently wave her hands towards the fire and help keep the flames off of Yulia while she cooked.
 

Grimoire

The Book of Love
Joined
May 16, 2017
"Mm," Astera purred something quiet as lips brushed across her jaw. A moment of sweetness before the treason of the witch's departure. Astera made a disgruntled sound as her arm candy was taken from her, but such was a good-natured sound. She rolled over the other way, going fishing underneath the tangle of blankets to try and find where her clothing had been scattered to the previous night.

She struggled into a pair of cotton hosen, securing them around her hips with a thin leather belt. On went her tunic, the padding she would wear under her armor, and it was finally a mostly-dressed Astera that entered the main body of the Hollow. Her dark hair was wrapped up in a loose leather throng, her beloved sword lashed loosely across her back. She stepped down to stoop beside the fire where Yulia had started to prepare the day's breakfast. She gingerly knelt, leaning back into a comfortable position with an arm wrapped around one crooked knee.

"Mm... shame we can't just settle up a sign on this place n' call it an inn. Little hidey hole for all the world's myriad adventurers," Astera said with a low chuckle. "But ah, I'll definitely take a bit if you don't mind sharing," she said, glancing sidelong at the witch with a cocked smile.
 

Horatius

Moon
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
Europe
Listening to the ongoing conversations and watching the surrounding proceedings Drakon continued his handiwork on his equipment. The others had started the day by making music, breakfast or themselves presentable. Another day on the road. He was looking forward to seeing civilization again. As fun as spending time with his friends in the wilderness was, it was more fun when he didn't have to spend the night in a damp cave. And there were a few things he wanted to buy. But dwelling on the impossibilities of the moment didn't help, so he turned his attention to the others.

Ziven was decorating himself, Yulia and Asteria made themselves tea and breakfast, while Selah stoked the flames. For a moment he thought about calling for the aid of the spirits of nature. A minor magic people liked to refer to as "Wild Cunning". The spell had several uses, but one was that Drakon could petition the spirits of nature for aid and they would scurry to set up or break down camp for him and by extension his friends. Drakon liked to be a little frivolous and he liked making life easy, so he really was tempted, but only for a fleeting moment. It was one thing to waste magic on such applications in the evening when he still had the power left to cast spells, but doing so in the morning not knowing what the day would bring was stupid. So he began to stow his gear in his pack, put his shortswords on his belt and equipped his quiver of bolts.

Listening to the ongoing conversation he chimed in joking, "While the company is probably the best you will find for kilometers and the entertainment isn't half bad either, I do prefer a better make of bed and drink available than here and some variation in the food. And so far our trip hasn't been that terribly exciting. So I hope you will forgive me if I won't shed tears for the return to this cavern, once we get back to more lively places."
 
OP
L

Liminal

Super-Earth
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
It was always a throw of the dice with Moggin how he would respond to Selah's affection, or indeed anyone's. Today, he seemed not in the mood. While Selah's reflexes were quick, his were quicker, as cats' are, and he nimbly dodged out of her reach, shooting her a glare and a disdainful hiss. Nevertheless, as she headed for the hollow, he slunk along after her, likely hoping to snatch any food scraps that fell unattended.
I did actually roll for that, for the record. Unlucky :p

The cat wound his way around his mistress' heels as she crouched before the fire, turning the bacon in the pan. "Don't see it makes much difference. You lot keep me from getting any decent sleep same as any inn crowd." She didn't laugh, but the wry smile that tugged at her lips showed her good humor--and the fact that she didn't miss the double entendre.

"Still on track to make the godstone by dusk tonight?" she inquired of the better navigators among the group.
The godstones, of which eight are known today, are ancient standing stones scattered across Creste and Vlemis. Once holy to the Tuatha, each was the site of worship for a particular god of that people's pantheon. While the Tuatha are gone, and their cult with them, travelers still make a point of stopping at the godstones when they pass--partly because they make convenient landmarks, and partly because of the host of stories that swirl around each one, telling of miraculous boons bestowed on travelers who come with respect to sleep in a god's shadow.

The Salt Road passes by the stone of Aeronwy, a goddess of rivers and healing. Her stone is known for the hot spring it overlooks, which is purported to have great restorative properties. Anyone proficient in Survival knows that the party is, indeed, still on track to reach it by dusk tonight, if they don't dawdle too much.

There's more than superstition to the stories of the godstones' powers. Each has its own properties, but all function in a manner similarly to ground consecrated by the clerics of the Church, repelling certain supernatural creatures and dispelling many harmful magical effects.
 

Horatius

Moon
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
Europe
Leaning on his wandering staff Drakon surveyed the surrounding area. Looking up at the sky and considering the time of day he knew they were making good headway. The Godstones made for easy navigation. He couldn't quite remember what the deity was supposedly depicted by or on the one they were heading for, but he knew they could make it before nightfall.

"In my unqualified opinion, we are on time to reach the stone before sundown."

Drakon thought he remembered one of the mercanaries that had taught him the craft talking about the stones. But he hadn't listened and didn't care that much anyway.
 

MolarityMolality

Planetoid
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
"No clue. I'd assume so, at the pace we were going--But in truth, I cannot offer you a concrete answer to your plea." He stopped strumming his Bandore and set it on his back. He stood up and looked down at the party, crossing his arms for a moment. He then felt a bit of dampness on himself, and his body cringed up for a moment. He smoothed out his clothing in response.

"Before I hit the road, though--I'm going to go find a place to Bathe."

He turned around to exit the hollow where they had set up their camp, but he turned his head to look at the group at the last second. "If anyone would like to Join me, I'd be much obliged."
 
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