sonder
Eat Me

Male 3 Lowlander College of Eòlas Professor
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Pines & Pages

posted 07-11-2021, 03:31 PM - Word count:
#1



A R Y T H M E T I K
Arythmetik rustled through the pine-littered underbrush, his nose feverishly sniffing the earth. Truly, if he weren’t being so loud about his search, he would have camouflaged into his surroundings perfectly: his scent was already doused in evergreen, and the russet tint of his earthen fur blended into the dry, autumn foliage. But his nostrils were ‘sniff-sniffing’ wildly, errant pine needles sticking to his damp nose as he pressed it close to the ground. Maybe he wasn’t a good, traditional hunter, but he was on the hunt today for something unusual:


Mushrooms.


And not just any mushrooms. Research led him to believe there were psilocybins in the Red Wood, and when dried, their uses were numerous. Personally, the young professor had never experimented with hallucinogens or drugs of any kind. And he knew the amanita shrooms that grew near the Arboretum had special properties as well. But if his ancient tome was to be believed, this particular, orange fungus could be used to either incapacitate or heal, depending on how it was delivered. Frankly, he’d rather be studying physics or practicing maths than scrounging around for mushrooms. And yet, when he’d read about the mushrooms, he simply...had the urge to gather some.


It might have had something to do with his failure to help the rebels in their time of need. Or perhaps it was just a scholarly pursuit.


Either way, the male continued his search, blissfully unaware that he might be nearing a stranger’s den.

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For @Alexei <3

Alexei veteris
Male 2 Outlander Commonwealth Commoner
Undecided

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rhinestone eyes

posted 07-24-2021, 06:30 AM - Word count:
#2

The Red Wood had been the residence to Alexei. It had been the second place he'd found in his time here, and it had been the one thing to stick. To strike a sense of resemblance in his heart. Twisted remembrance of fire within leaves, the smell of burning, the sight of a reaper. It was hard to believe that he even lived here; but most of his nightmares ceased to exist. The occasional one was warranted, not even a new environment can cast a halt-fire of memories, situations he can't forget. Reliving them over in his dream state. Today, thankfully, he'd woken peacefully. The soft patter of leaves falling outside his den. Purple eyes softly opened, without the cold grip around his neck when he usually woke. The young man stretched, paws feeling against one end of his den whilst the other touched the back of it. After a moment, he collapsed back into his laying position, taking a breath, and keeping himself there for a moment. Something rustled outside of his den, Lex's ear twitched to the sound of it, letting his nose follow in suit. Slowly, he made his way out of his den and expected- partly, that it would be the man who smelled of mint, a tangy scent that he could identify within the second. But, it seemed as if no one was here at all. If he was using his nose fully and wasn't able to see, that'd be true. But the paw-steps and sound of rifling through the undergrowth. There is still sleep in Alexei's eyes, even when he lays eyes on a stranger that he's never met before. Expectedly, a nervousness followed in the red man's paws, moving his feet underneath him in a small shuffle.

It almost looked like the man was searching for something, but Alexei couldn't imagine what. Then again, there was still a lot that he didn't really know or get about this land. Maybe there was something rare out here, a treasure or, maybe this was just a good hunting spot. The man's nose twitched in his direction once more, taking a deep inhale and huffing it out once he wasn't able to really detect anything about the other. "Is there something you are looking for?" He asked, somewhat in a weak voice. He's better at fending for himself than he was before. Though, the anxiety of talking to others hadn't really gotten better. His paws underneath him, still worked, a nervous tick he'd never been able to get over - or really realize at all that he was doing it.


@Arythmetik <3

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Male 3 Lowlander College of Eòlas Professor
Jacobite

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Pines & Pages

posted 08-02-2021, 08:07 AM - Word count:
#3



A R Y T H M E T I K
Arythmetik’s snout shot up from the underbrush, a single pine needle clinging to his wet nose. Across from him stood a handsome male, about his size, dressed in ash and ember. Aryth blinked at the striking combination of hues that complemented the man’s purple eyes—similar in color to Morrowen’s, but virulent in their brilliance. “Oh, yes! Excuse me.” Aryth smiled in greeting, his tail waving to (hopefully) diffuse any tension. He could see quite quickly that this wolf meant him no harm. In fact, judging by the way the male’s paws stamped into the earth, he was a bit...nervous? Aryth only took one step closer, not wanting to invade his counterpart’s personal space.


“Sorry if I’ve intruded, I’m out searching for mushrooms.” Aryth’s smile widened, and he continued, completely unaware that he still had a pine needle stuck to his nose. “My name is Arythmetik, but everyone calls me Aryth. I’m from nearby Melrose. Do you live here? If you don’t mind me saying, I thought I caught a whiff of saltwater on you.” Of course, the scholar was aching to ask if he’d seen any orange fungus around these parts. But he supposed it was better to wait and be polite. He didn’t want to encumber his new acquaintance with a million questions.

code by claerie

@Alexei

Alexei veteris
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Undecided

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rhinestone eyes

posted 08-02-2021, 01:24 PM - Word count:
#4

The reaction from the stranger was sudden. The tan wolf pulled his head from the undergrowth, green eyes finding him quickly. Alexei didn't take his eyes off him nor did he back up once the stranger had noticed him. They stared at each other for a moment, purple eyes observing the other - it didn't look like he had any cruel intentions nor didn't seem to want to fight. The red man's tail lifted a little, not as nervous as he had been when the fellow wolf spoke out to him 'Oh yes! Excuse me.' He was quite polite. Alexei's ears lifted a little along with his stature, though his lips stayed the same straight line across his face. Rarely did he ever get to show emotion, it'd been a long time since he had. Grigori must have been one of the first times he actually had a twitch of a smile and physical touch that sent Lex back into feeling things with one another. Which, hadn't been a bad thing. Alexei was pressed back into the looking glass of real life and not just anchored within his head. It felt good, to be around others again. The other man took a step closer, but it didn't scare the man off. He was thin, but filling out once more as there was an abundance of food around the Red Wood. His body never truly strayed from the slim, feminine body that Lex had been cursed with. He's small enough for someone else to take pity on him, larger creatures that chuckle in the face of him. But, he'd been used to it, a runt from the beginning of his life, one of the smallest in his litter. Around this man, he felt a little better about himself, they stood about the same height. Even if the man's hips didn't really curve like Alexei's, there was something to lift his spirits up about his size. "No, no, you haven't intruded at all.. I just heard something out here and wanted to make sure -" What? That they weren't lost? Or that it wasn't some bandit? That he didn't really know. Maybe he had came in search of the fact that he did want some sort of company - or the other reason of coming out to look for trouble that might have been around. "That no one was.. lost or hurt." He concluded, his voice sounding spacey already as he had gotten lost in his thoughts.

A bird in the distant squawked, the sharp pitch bringing him back to the moment. "What kind of mushrooms?" He asked, snapping back into the conversation and acting as if there hadn't been a bit of a pause between the two statements. He'd always been spacey, a trait his mother used to get so upset with when she was trying to teach him about the outside world. She'd scold him on how spacing out would only get him into trouble. She hadn't been wrong. Alexei had seen a few mushrooms growing in the musky undergrowth of some of the plants, but it was in a heavier shaded area than the one they were in now. He's not quite sure if he can remember one mushroom from the rest, but maybe if Arythmetik knew what he was looking for, Lexi might recall it. "Nice to meet you, Aryth. I'm Alexei." And for the first time, he let it come with a smile on his face, the tiniest, when introducing himself. "Oh, I don't live too far from here, no. Uhm.." He looked over his shoulder and nodded to the West a little bit before swinging his head back to the other man. The comment of salt water made him let out a chuckle - somewhat a mix of comfort and irony. "No matter how hard I scrub, it never seems to come off." He gave a weak smile. It was like a curse from the Old Gods he used to pray to. Until, he got swept away by one of them. And now, here he was, stained by the Water God he'd been blessed with as a child. "Melrose? Is that far?" Alexei asked, with a tilt of his head. "I'm not from here. I only arrived a few weeks ago." He stated. Maybe Aryth could provide some insight for him.


@Arythmetik <3

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Male 3 Lowlander College of Eòlas Professor
Jacobite

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Pines & Pages

posted 08-03-2021, 12:40 PM - Word count:
#5



A R Y T H M E T I K
Aryth nodded attentively as the other spoke, all the while subconsciously drinking in the sounds of the singing birds and crunching leaves. It was getting colder now—nearly winter—and every day the earth hardened, he was less and less likely to find his fungal treasure. Maybe happening upon this stranger was a boon...that is, if the violet-eyed male had any idea where the mushrooms were. At the very least, the man was soft-spoken and amiable company. He seemed like a gentle soul. Not that Aryth was the best judge of character, but he’d spent enough time watching from the sidelines to know a thing or two about other wolves. He’d even been accused of being aloof. But this man took the cake (or carcass, rather) on aloofness.


By the time Alexei asked his question, the scholar realized he didn’t need to fear a one-sided conversation, even if the other male seemed a bit spacey. Aryth perked up and replied, “Losh, I’m glad you asked. I’m looking for a particular spore that’s orange in color, round and smooth on top, and not too large in size. Have you seen anything like that?” Then he smiled, realizing he might be a bit too pushy. At least the other man was smiling too. He introduced himself and Aryth chimed, “Nice to meet you, too.”


As their conversation continued, Aryth ventured another step closer. He didn’t want awkward distance between them, but he maintained a measure of comfortable personal space. It was then that he felt the itch on his nose, and he huffed as he brushed the pine needle away with his paw. How embarrassing. Maybe that’s why the man was so hesitant. Aryth shook his head at himself and sought Alexei’s purple gaze once more. “Oh dear, have I said something wrong? The past is the past, I didn’t mean to dredge up anything unpleasant. But yes, Melrose is close. I’d be happy to walk there with you if you want to see. So...does that mean you haven’t spotted any of those mushrooms yet?”

code by claerie

@Alexei <3

Alexei veteris
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rhinestone eyes

posted 08-06-2021, 07:52 AM - Word count:
#6

The soft sounds of the forest around him, soothed him, if his anxiety would strike - it'd be calmed by the familiar feel of the setting around him. He'd known something like this from a past world, a past life that he had moved through so fluidly, he forgot what it was like. He had a family for a little bit when he had stayed within there, but then, as all things do - it came to an end. And he was forced with nothing to do, but move on. Alexei's brain whirled as the mushroom in question was presented to him in a description he can envision. His whitened eyebrows knit together as his eyes stray, looking around the Red Wood that surrounded them and trying to think where he might of seen something like that. 'Nice to meet you.' Arythmetik followed up with, but Alexei already seemed a little too in thought to look back at the male and carry on a normal conversation. "You... too..." He hummed, slightly underneath his breath. After all, he didn't want to be rude. He was just, in thought. Trying to think where he had....! "Oh! I think I saw a mushroom like that near the West end!" Past his den, and more towards the denser woods named 'Yorkshire'. He'd learned that in passing, but hadn't had the guts to step paw within the darkening forest - Autumn in full spring, it did sprout the green forest into a redder color, but nothing as maroon as the forest around them now. "I can show you." Alexei gave a nod. He didn't have anything else to do this morning. Seeing as this man wasn't rude or mean in any way, maybe there was something he could make of here.

Paw-steps occur, taking a few steps closer to the West, but ultimately, not moving until the orange male followed. There wouldn't be any need to go there without him. The man's words, that he had mentioned right before Alexei had interrupted that to register. The past.. Melrose... Mushrooms. His lips pull in a straight line, remembrance of the past. It was behind them, but, it never seemed to fade. The last 'fuck you' of a God, tainted with a curse that he'd never be able to outlive. Alexei gave a weak smile, as if it didn't bother him and shrugged his shoulders, looking back out to the tall trees and forest that laid beyond them. Why should he even care anymore? The sloshing of water had long left his ears and he didn't have to worry about anything like that anymore.. Right? He'd gotten over it. "Oh, you didn't. Not at all." He spoke, somewhere, again, far off. "Melrose... another time?" He asked, coming to and his eyes finding the professor once more. He'd have to learn the lay of the land sometime, but for now, he could keep to his normal routes. It was what he knew, it was comfortable. Even if, he was just dreading the anxiety that came along with going new places. Even though everyone here, had been so nice, so far. Somewhere, there were going to be wolves that didn't care for him much. Alexei's paws tense in the undergrowth and try to forget about the time he'd had teeth around his neck. He tries to remember that was long ago. The past. He took a step further, trying to leave the thoughts behind.


@Arythmetik <3

code + art by claerie

Male 3 Lowlander College of Eòlas Professor
Jacobite

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Pines & Pages

posted 08-15-2021, 11:35 AM - Word count:
#7



A R Y T H M E T I K
Aryth’s eyes veritably sparkled, like gems in the sunlight. So, Alexei had seen the mushrooms after all! He was excited, of course, but he tried not to act childish as the rouge-brushed male offered to lead him there. “That would be perfect, thank you,” Aryth said warmly, nodding gratefully. He followed the local without hesitation, his earthen fur bristled with subdued but eager energy. Overall, he was still calm and level-headed, and he maintained a respectful distance between himself and the other wolf. There was a sense in the air that made the scholar wonder if this man was easily spooked. He was friendly, of course, but even as they walked, he could tell that Alexei’s mind was somewhere else. It was like watching someone gaze into the distance literally and figuratively at the same time. Aryth’s head tilted slightly, but he straightened and blinked as Alexei spoke up again. “Oh, sure. Just stop by any time.”


The odd pair traveled further into the woods. Indeed, as they strolled, the trees started to vary and they grew thicker, denser. The scents lingering on the bark reminded Aryth of the clash of tooth and fang, and he feared they were getting close to the barracks or soldier training grounds. Nothing good happened lately in Yorkshire. Not that he knew of, anyhow. So he scanned the forest floor intently, hoping to spot those particular orange blooms as soon as possible. The silence wouldn’t have bothered him if he wasn’t starting to make hypothetical connections between Alexei and the soldiers. “So, Alexei, what encouraged you to move to Redwood, if you don’t mind my asking?”

code by claerie

@Alexei

Alexei veteris
Male 2 Outlander Commonwealth Commoner
Undecided

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rhinestone eyes

posted 09-06-2021, 07:40 AM - Word count:
#8

Delighted that he could offer some assistance to the other male, Alexei trotted towards the place he had first seen the mushrooms. He could remember seeing them, the odd orange spores that had made root at the bottoms of the tall trees. Despite just moving into the woods, there was an air of easiness to it. The paths traveled and where the trees diverged. As if it had been a maze he had crossed before. "Of course." Alexei answered him, after the man had thanked him. It was nice to be of some help to someone else. Maybe he could make good friends with someone besides a few familiar faces that he knew, but didn't actually get to know yet. The answer to his question of Melrose made his lips twitch into a small smile. That would at least mean that they could meet on another occasion. As tired as he was of traveling and finally settling into a place - he was eager to make this place his home, whether it would be long. "I will." The quiter of the two noted, looking over to him in their graceful trot towards where the mushroom in question was.

The woods grew closer and closer together, creating more of a dense environment than the opening of it before. Of course, Alexei knew where he was going, and slowed down once the border of the west end got closer. It was when the question of why he'd made this place his home. As if on cue, the smell of smoke and ash flittered by Alexei's senses and, in the blink of an eye; he remembers in flashes of the past. Hell's finest, chained to the shadow, the close grip of death, and finally letting go. He comes back when his eyes reopen from the blink and his legs finally break into a walk. "It reminds me of my old home." Not that he would have considered the ashed forest where he stayed almost a year ago, to be home. It was more the fields around the burned forest, but it always felt like the dead center of his heart. Where he longed to be. And now, that it somewhat felt like he was even miles away. "And being so far from it.. it's nice. To have something... y'know?" He tried to explain. He never was the best at articulating his thoughts. His violet eyes briefly pass by Aryth, in an attempt to scan for the mushrooms that he had seen. The red man rounded a few trees before the flat topped spores came into view. "Hey!" He calls, stepping around it, careful not to touch it, "Is this what you're looking for?" He asks, much softer now than his call before. He hadn't been so loud spoken in what feels like forever. Lex was mostly soft spoken, with an air of shyness to his voice, until he really got to know someone.

@Arythmetik <3

code + art by claerie

Male 3 Lowlander College of Eòlas Professor
Jacobite

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Pines & Pages

posted 09-12-2021, 09:11 AM - Word count:
#9



A R Y T H M E T I K
There was something deeper, more disturbing happening inside this man’s mind. Aryth guessed by the way he paused, frozen in his tracks by the chill of a simple question. But Aryth was too polite to comment on it. He merely watched the other male, never knowing that the ashen greys and flashes of red in his coat so perfectly mirrored the flashbacks in his mind. But when the soft-spoken male finally replied, Aryth smiled softly. “I’ve only ever lived in one place,” he offered. The scholar’s voice was warm, like sitting at a campfire in the dusk of autumn. “But I’m sure it’s comforting, to gaze around at these grand trees and remember.” He’d almost said ‘and see happy memories,’ but he’d stopped himself. The look on Alexei’s face was difficult to decipher.


The Junior Professor was shortly distracted by his guide’s discovery. His emerald eyes brightened, mouth popping open in a surprised smile as he trotted forward to stand alongside Alexei. Academic glee gleamed in his handsome features as he leaned closer to the orange spores. “Ah, excellent, excellent. Thank you so much, Alexei. It would have taken me hours to find these without you!” He didn’t waste any time. With careful jaws and the tenderest of touches, Arythmetik began to pluck the mushrooms from their rooted stance and lay them out in a row. He realized he should have brought a pouch of sorts to carry them in, but he could put them on a piece of bark and carry it in his mouth like a tray. There was always a solution! After a minute, Aryth remembered himself and smiled up at his new acquaintance. “These can be dangerous, if swallowed raw,” he explained, assuming Alexei might want to know why he’d hunted down mushrooms. “But when dried, they can be ground into a powder that eases severe pain.”

code by claerie

@Alexei