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[P]  Wind and Rain

Offline Eirik Mar 27 2020, 10:40 PM
#1
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
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It’s a rainy day in the Hinterlands; had been since the morning. Sheets of it came in waves to cover the landscape gray. Fauna went quiet, either tucked away in their nests or burrows, while flora nodded under the weight of droplets. The chill of pre-spring made Eirik’s breath fog. He lifts up an arm to wipe away some damp hair sticking to his face. It had already coated his shoulders and thighs and the line of Mana’s back, who also had large puffs of white breathing from her nostrils. The dead brown deer slumped over the princeling’s rump swayed with her rhythm, the bulk of its weight tied to the saddle, and its fore-and-back legs strapped together to prevent any unnecessary flopping; he had gone out and shot it in the early hours of the dawn, before the rain had started. The moisture was a little bothersome to be sure. Eirik was a wild-living rogue, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t fussy about hygiene or, in that vein, appearances. They were a ways off yet. He hoped to be back in his “furnished” little cavern soon.

On the way, his ears catch an unusual sound.

He had stopped to dismount and investigate a plant with ripened berries. Eirik rubbed one between his fingers before he identifies it as the edible kind, then pops it into his mouth right from the stem. There was something pleasing about a wild berry dotted with rainwater. Mana comes by his shoulder to huff at him, and, remembering his manners, he holds it out for her to munch up the rest, taking a few twigs with it. “Good?” The princeling stands there and ruminates, her big jaw making short work of it.

Underneath the crunching and munching (she had decided to pull up more of the berries from the plant), Eirik’s ears twitch. Turning his head, he squints off into the distance. He saw nothing at first, just more thicket. There was something there, though. Like muddy sounds. Not quite foot-or-paw-or-hoof-steps; it had no rhythm. Instead it sounded desperate, as an out-of-water fish might. Checking out strange sounds were a risk in the Hinterlands. Eirik almost never sought them out after the sun went down, just rolled over and went to sleep, but he figures there’s no harm in it now.

He threads through the thicket, half in stealth, when he comes upon a small clearing with a deep pit. He recognized it. Knew exactly who’d made it, actually. He approaches the edge of it, expecting to find a hog. Or a marsupial. Or some kind of beast. Instead, he finds himself looking down at a pair of human eyes.

Startled, he retreats away from the edge of the pit — then slowly pokes his head over it again.

His ears lift up; he tilts his head.

From this angle, his eyes seem to light up with tapetum lucidium, or something like it. Eirik takes a second to be sure it’s a real, live human he’s looking at. When he’s convinced, he cracks a smile. “Madwone’s caught a man. This might seem a nonsensical statement at the time, but he doesn’t elaborate, yet. It must not have been very encouraging to Falks. After all, the Hinterlands were notorious for being full of vagabonds, some sane, and some quite mad. He disappears from view to look behind him, finding that Mana is automatically following, shaking her antlers free of branches.

“You’ll be polite if I let you up, won’t you,” he calls down. “Otherwise I’ll put you right back down and you don’t want to be here when he comes back.”
Offline Falks Mar 28 2020, 1:05 AM
#2
  • Rogue
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Falks was, for lack of a better word, pissed off.

The heavy rain had obscured the tell-tale edges of the pit he had walked into. Hunter's traps were not uncommon, though there were places where he was less likely to run into them. Having apparently missed the perfect spot for one, drenched and running on foraged goods due to the wildlife scurrying into hiding, the second his weight shifted forward with his momentum he knew he had made a mistake. He falls too fast to react, unable to throw himself backward as the wet edge of the pit collapses and takes him with it. The mud is slick and he hits the bottom hard, his elbow throbbing where it got trapped beneath him in the tumble.

"Fuck's sake..." Comes a hissing curse, slinging the mud from his hands and smearing it on his clothes once he pushes himself to his feet. It didn't help, not in the slightest, and now his meager belongings were filthy. Sliding his boot through the muck, he digs up his bow and his sword, shaking off his backpack before he tries to wipe off his face. Spitting the grit from his mouth, he can feel it rolling over his teeth. Ugh.

Walking to the edge in wet earth nearly ankle deep, he already knows that getting out might be just shy of impossible. It's eight feet deep, ten feet long. He could have climbed, maybe, if it were dry. Maybe. The way his grip slips so easily and pulls a section of the pit down on his head, widening it, doesn't encourage him. Still, he is no beast, and does not give up. He paces like an agitated panther in a cage, analyzing his options and how to get out.

Deciding that his best course of action would not be to exhaust himself, Falks forces his fluttering heart to calm. To panic would only worsen his predicament, and fracture his thoughts too much to piece together a plan.

Trailing his gaze up the side of the wall, he starts when briefly making eye contact with another person. Sucking in a quick breath, he edges backward until his shoulders press into the wet mud, shuddering at the cold of it soaking onto his skin. The face reappears, youthful and smiling, dark hair damp from the lingering moisture. The name they speak does not strike him as familiar, which is cause enough for worry that swells in his throat. His outward stoicism is controlled, momentarily unsure of how to proceed before lifting his hand from the hilt of his blade and letting it drop to his side. It twitches faintly in discomfort.

"Not in much of a position to say no, I'm afraid." His sarcasm is light, as though making a joke, "I don't know a hunter alive that would be happy with having his trap sprung by an idiot." Now that, that was a joke. "Are you willing to help me, stranger?" He almost can't say the words, almost.
Offline Eirik Mar 29 2020, 10:41 AM
#3
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 131
  • Played by: Day
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His response was not exactly a promise but it would have to do.

"Are you willing to help me, stranger?”

“Ohh, aye,” he drawls.

Falks might see him straighten up. He turns his head and gestures to something behind him. “Come, Mana,” he says, and slowly, another creature comes into view: the large shape of a princeling, her wide, curious eyes finding Falks in the pit. Her large antlers, spreading out on either side of her head. Her breath ghosts out of her nostrils. She dips her head towards the edge of the pit, makes a low grunt, and from underneath her hooves the roots strengthen and grow. They push out from the side of the pit; relatively dry handholds yet, that wind up the side of it in a strangely deliberate path. The emerging roots cause the wet dirt to push out and fall to the ground at Falks’ feet. “Quickly now, ‘fore they grow wet, too.”

Once he has climbed up far enough, Eirik tosses down a thick vine in case he needed some extra support, digging in his heels for leverage. He was delicate-looking but his eximius nature meant he was stronger than he appeared; he holds fast despite the stranger’s weight. It’s an arduous climb for sure, but finally — he sees the human’s head poke out from the walls of the pit. Mana stands by and watches him, unmoving, though once he is safely on solid land again she makes a squeak, a strangely small sound for her great size, walking off idly to find more foliage to eat. She was a great boon for a wild-living rogue. Eirik was better off than most. She’d only to look at a snarling sabre cat to reduce it to a docile kitten using a similar magics to the one she had only just displayed.

“There you are.” At the moment, he was a pitiful looking human. Thoroughly drenched and slick with mud. He’d no way of knowing if he were injured or not, so coated he was. Eirik drops the vein and waves out his hands, rubbing them together to rid them of various plant debris.

He would step back if Falks approached with a wrinkled nose. “You smell of peat.”
Offline Falks Mar 30 2020, 1:10 AM
#4
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Falks holds his breath at the young stranger's agreement of aid, keeping his back against the far wall to watch as best he can. The mention of another name sends a tinge of energy spiking through his system, shrugging off the cold that numbs his skin, he returns his hand to the hilt of his sword and grips it. Intricate patterns etched into the steel brand it as anything but a pauper's blade, the familiar shapes pressed into the lines of his palms like a wax seal. Violence would be an absolute last resort, as the threat of it alone was often enough. However, instead of being met with another humanoid face, the dusky blue snout of a princeling peeks over the slippery edge of the pit. Her fur hangs with the delicate moisture lingering in the air, a cloudy snort bursting from her nostrils as she dips the elegant rack of antlers towards him.

Roots spring forth from deep within the ground, collapsing the pit and filling it further as they thicken and stretch. Golden eyes widen a fraction, marveling at the magic the creature possessed as he sloshes through the mud to get a grip on the makeshift ladder. Its a bit slick, but sturdy enough to hold as he wedges the toe of his boot between weaving strands. Glancing up to catch the vine offered, he twines it around his forearm and leverages his weight against the slight form of the young man. His mind jumps to the conclusion of eximius before he can even register that there is no give in the stranger's hold, hardly a flinch at bearing the weight of a full grown man. It doesn't make him feel any better about the encounter, but he supposed that there could be worse individuals that found him stranded in a hunter's pit.

Steadying himself on solid ground once more, he looks down at his miraculous rescuer. The princeling moves from their space, instead looking to forage among the brush for something to snack on. Trying his best to shake out his clothes, he eyes the eximius. Well, that wasn't necessarily a given. He could be anything, as he didn't seem to possess the luminescent irises of others. His form was much more subtle, which could be deadlier than anything obvious.

"Thank you and your princeling for your aid." He says, stepping forward and halting when the other moves back from him. "I would apologize if it was something I could help." Even so, he keeps his distance. There is a pause as looks back toward the beast that accompanied the stranger. Falks was never around many animals, save for the horse he'd left behind in Svalbard. He had no particular affinity with them, though was fascinated all the same. "She is beautiful, I have never seen one up close." It's an innocent confession, one he offers while respecting the princeling's space.

Nostrils flare as he sucks in a cold breath, weighing his current options on his shoulders with a gust of warm, misty air. Now that he knew there were traps around, he wasn't keen on falling into another.

"I have nothing to give for your help, and for that I apologize. However, if you are willing to part with the information, which direction is a place that I can wash?" A long-shot to be sure. No harm in trying, though.
Offline Eirik Mar 30 2020, 7:46 PM
#5
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
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He, too, glances at the princeling. He nods in agreement. Mana looks at the two of them, the dead deer still slung over her rump. She had found some foliage to chew and was back to munching on it, a humble creature who never required thanks.

“Nothing?” he prodded. “I’d be glad to have some salt if you can spare it…”

To his kind — wild rogues, vagrants, rangers — salt was a more valuable currency than gold. It was used for soap and teeth-cleaning and the ever-important preservation of foods, and it was a chore to seek out at that. He looked somewhat determined to find it. Eirik scans Falks’ person as if he expected to find it there. He was new, at least in this neck of the woods; maybe a fresh face from civilization? …He didn’t look it. He couldn’t articulate it, but Falks looks a seasoned woods-farer. Disappointed, he shrugged a shoulder. “I know a place. Water’s cold, but I’ve a dry fire not far from it, if you’ve a mind to stay a while.”

He sets off, gesturing that Falks should follow. He could have mounted Mana again, but it was impolite to look down on him from a high perch like that. Once it’s clear that Falks was indeed following, Eirik begins to strike up conversation. Such things were few and far between out here; he planned to take advantage of it. “Madwone’s like me.” He held onto Mana’s bridle. “Except he’s blithering mad. You know. I’ve not found him dangerous yet, but unpredictable, yes. Does odd things to his prey. Wouldn’t have left you there to see what he did to a man. Might have been nothing — but it’d not be fun, I’m sure.” He glances at him, finding that he’s walking alright. Good thing about the softness of the dirt would be that it had softened the fall. “You can hear ‘im howling at night like a dog sure enough.”

He wondered what Falks was doing, venturing out here. The rogues in these parts were like cats, with their interweaving territories, meeting only for necessities. He thought he’d known everyone within his thirty-mile radius.

Eirik leads him to a deep stream with a gentle current. “I’d not brought my soap.” It was a block of oil, animal fat, salt and sage, not something he took everywhere. “Water’ll do you good, though…” He gestures up the hill. There’s a clear path through the wood. “Follow that and you’ll find me there. ’Tis not far. I’ll have that fire waiting, stranger.”

Eirik leaps up easily on Mana’s back again, and the two of them ford through the shallow waters, her long legs keeping Eirik from having to get even wetter than he was before.
Offline Falks Apr 1 2020, 12:23 AM
#6
  • Rogue
  • Age: 50
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In and our of the wood, Falks has met his fair share of vagrants, vandals, and the unpleasant. Being that land, as a whole, was claimed in Gi'lead, being an outlier with no allegiance was a good way to get oneself strung up on display. It was a cut-throat space to live, though they had all been men and women of a title, once. Food would inevitably become scarce, supplies would dwindle, the air would grow bitterly cold. These factors made it difficult to travel in packs, as providing for oneself and not succumbing to the teeth of nature was hard enough on its own. Standing on his own two feet, he looks down at the slight frame of the stranger and decides that he must be eximius. His shoulder aches something fierce from the fall, but he does not rub it in front of a pair of unfamiliar eyes. Despite his precautions, the man speaks to him easily and without fear or reproach. Instead, he comes across as friendly, and the doubts that the older had of getting a straight answer vanish when he receives them and more.

"Would be a miracle if my supply was not ruined in the fall. I dug my bag from the mud." He holds it up for emphasis, soaking and covered in dirt. His belongings were individually wrapped inside, as he did not always find adequate shelter from rain, but it might not have mattered. Falks blinks at the invitation the other extends to him, readily offering a his place and rest. He would not call it trust, and instead took it as a sign of confidence.

"You are kind, thank you. I would enjoy the company for a while. " A small pause waits in the air before he offers his (cleaner) hand with a deliberate motion, "Your name? I am Sahan." A practiced lie.

The amount of courtesy that the man shows by not mounting his princeling brings questions to Falks' mind. Was he recently pardoned from society? Struck out on his own just some year ago? His manners were still intact, an unfortunately acceptable loss when one lives on their own long enough. No beast or hungry mouth first asks before it bites.

"A hunter, then?" Falks, too, does not like to think of what the man might have done to him should he have been found in a triggered trap, "In my experience, the wild can turn the best men feral. Lose a sense of self, if you will, in the unending stress of it. You seem to be fairing well, though." It is meant to be a compliment, yet he speaks in words that seek to gauge the other's reaction. A harmless observation between citizens of the crown, but they were not within the walls of the city. Nothing judges men out here, save for other men, and their opinon hardly matters when it can be silenced, or dominated. Falks himself had no intention of harming the stranger who just, potentially, saved his life. His response, however, would be telling of events that might have transpired before and reveal his true intention.

The shadows of the canopy pass overhead, drawing shapes and patterns across the princeling's blue back. He did not often get time to admire the beauty of this place, and again finds his attention split at the approaching sound of water.

Falks dips his head in thanks, and watches the stranger move up the hill with his mount before he undresses. He's damn right about the water, and the hiss that leaves his lips is quickly followed by an onset of shivering. Still, he endures, and scrubs his clothes in the stream. His skin is numb by the time he finishes, left only in his undershorts as he shakes out his tunic, pants, and socks, and treks up the hill through the grass. The stranger is there with his beast, unassuming as Falks hangs his clothes near the fire to dry. The warmth is welcome as he sits, combing through his bag and beginning to discretely unwrap his belongings.

"I do have some that isn't ruined. Here, for your hospitality." He puts a small bag, knotted at the top, on the ground between them. "How long have you wandered the Hinterlands?" He asks while casually looking up from his things.
Offline Eirik Apr 2 2020, 9:15 PM
#7
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
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He glanced at him. “Eirik.” This one was not a lie, as he’d no reason to hide it.

“You seem to be faring well, though.” Again he glances at him, wondering if he was to smile or not. Yes, now that he thought of it, he was faring well. He was surviving for sure. He had mapped out the land and navigated it each day with success; injury was few and far between. Some days he went hungry, but others he’d food aplenty. All in all, he coexisted with the natural wilds, and that was really all he could ask of it, and not something he considered praise-worthy. “’Til the next winter at least.”

When Sahan finds his camp, it is a surprisingly “furnished” place, a shallow cavern dug into a moss-covered hillside. Fabric hangs over its entrance, damp from the rain, to show that the place is occupied. Outside of it is the skinning rack, from which the dead deer now hangs; he waits until the rain abates to dress it, though he must not wait long lest he attract scavengers. At the very entrance lies the princeling. Her crown of antlers turn when she sees Sahan approach. She has her legs tucked under her, untacked now and resting, watching him as he enters, then passes. With a flick of her ears she turns away again to watch the rain patter on the foliage outside the cavern.

Sure enough there’s a fire going, filling the inside with warmth and light. Its smoke seeps out through minute cracks in the ceiling. There are strings hanging throughout the cavern that hold drying herbs or clothes, and a tent that contains bedding of straw, lavender, mint and chamomile (which must be changed daily so as not to attract pests) and coverings of thick, furred pelts. There are some stacks of salted meat wrapped in linen and beeswax; a small pile of vegetables or fruit; pots and pans he’d managed to trade for; and many, many little statues. They looked to be made of various bones and wood. No doubt all carved by the cavern’s inhabitant when he’d nothing else to do, and took the shape of various animals — many of them were, incidentally, little carved princelings.

He doesn’t mind Sahan hanging his clothes about; that’s what the lines were for, anyway. He’s sitting by the fire when he comes in, poking at it. There’s a pot sitting over it, broiling a soupy mixture — it has a pleasant enough smell. He glances quickly at the pouch his visitor leaves on the floor, then reaches over to lift it up, feeling its weight. “This is a lot, Sahan.” He glances at him, looking for further, unspoken or otherwise, affirmation.

He would take it gladly if so. “Mm. The Hinterlands…must be…a few months. At least,” he muses. “Some of my kind live among others. But I would find more remote places than this to escape them.” Yet, trouble often found him. There was naught to do when it came to people. They were like ants you found crawling in your foodstores. Not to say that he didn’t mind a little company now and again…for Eirik, though well-used to surviving on his own, was no exception to the pangs of loneliness. “There’s a lot of us here, actually. Popular place for the outcasts.”

Eirik glances up at Sahan. Some rogues were paranoid — actually, most of them. When he asks a question, he’d not always get a straight answer. “And you?”
Offline Falks Apr 12 2020, 10:42 PM
#8
  • Rogue
  • Age: 50
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  • Played by: Sbicy
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Falks does not miss or take offense to the way Eirik (as he introduces himself) ignores his outstretched hand. Fingers roll back in to drop at his side, chiding himself for an attempt at matters in the middle of the wilderness. Those used to the comfort of cities easily forgot the code of ethics out here, how favors were utilized as effectively as coin. Freeing him from the pit meant that he now owed Eirik something, whether it be traded goods or some manner of service. Of course, were he a lesser man he would choose not to honor unspoken expectations, regardless if the other party practiced them. It is with this thought in mind that he passes along his remaining salt when he arrives at the wanderer's hovel.

This setting is the closest he's been to comfortable since he began living in the hinterlands, and part of him longs to stagnate in order to build up a place like this. Something he could own and call home, something to come back to. His only present anchor was the hovering guilt of his misdeeds and the intention to make up for them, but that was not always enough to motivate. The sweet smell of the lavender from his bedding tugs at his chest, stirring feelings associated with a treacherous memory. Refusing to become distracted further, he nods his head at Eirik's confirmation of his offering.

"It is the least that I can give for not leaving me to be turned into a rug." And he means it. Crawling from that muddy pit would have taken him hours, if not most of the day while he waited for it to dry. Surely, the hunter would have returned to his trap by then, and after that he would rather not think of what might have occurred. Falks was a strong man, but was getting older. Relying on brute strength was not an option, and had not been for some time now. His chances at the bottom of a muddy pit against a well-armed hunter expecting real prey were not good, nor fair. He voices his questions with curiosity, not malice, though it might not matter his tone. Eirik did not seem to be deterred at sharing the information, elaborating on his time in the hinterlands with nary a pause for contemplation.

"And what is your kind?" Falks did not like to assume, but it would be anything short of a miracle if this young man was a dire living at the doorstep of his greatest enemy.

He cannot help but chuckle at his assessment of the number of outcasts running about the hinterlands. It was a large, untamed landmass, bound to be a haven for the unwanted and the lost. From how he spoke, Falks could only imagine that Eirik has met quite a few. Falks did his best to avoid interaction, as prolonged exposure could lead to someone recognizing him. "I guess everyone had the same idea." He replies with a twitch of a smile on his lips. "It was a choice I made years ago. Too many things lacked an answer for me, so I left to sort things out for myself, first and foremost." He doesn't like to talk about himself, and likes to lie even less, "How did you come across your princeling? They aren't common to find, let alone tame." Best to change the subject.
Offline Eirik Apr 14 2020, 10:21 AM
#9
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 131
  • Played by: Day
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He tilts his head. This stranger couldn’t tell? He had always assumed his nature to be obvious. It was the eyes, of course. His ears had been taken care of by someone and he had suspected it was himself for a while now. Once long, they were cropped now — cut half-way — and not immediately obvious as they were half-hidden by hair. He almost thought to pretend to be human but figured there was no use in it. He didn’t think the stranger had a mind to stay for very long anyway. “Eximius, a’course,” he responded.

Eirik nods at Sahan’s explanation as if he understood. He had found the majority of society (what little interaction he had with it) to be an unpredictable, malicious sort. One didn’t need to be persecuted to want to get away from it, he thought. And he’d lived for so long off the land that in his mind it was a completely viable option. Didn’t know why more people wouldn’t, honestly. And while he knew Sahan’s answer was as vague as they came he didn’t feel the need to push. “Aye, well, there’s naught the woods will answer for you. Withholding bastard the wilds are. You’ll need to pry what you want from it like your life depends on it, and it does. Good thing is you’ll be so pressed to survive you’ll forget what your questions even were, with any luck.” He shrugged. “Works for all of us.”

His eyes flicker downwards. It was as if Sahan’s next question had distressed him. “I don’t remember,” he admits lowly. “It’s hard for me to remember…most anything.”

That was very nearly an understatement. He called it the “big blank”; didn’t remember anything up until a few months ago. Eirik had no idea how frequently this happened either. Might not have even been the first. If only Mana could speak — she might be able to explain much. Obviously, she had still remembered him upon waking. She was a loyal creature, and he’d no idea what he’d done to earn it; all he could do was hope to maintain it thereafter.

She still laid by the entrance of the cavern, watching the rain fall. “That’s not to say I’m insane,” he added quickly. “Not yet. I don’t think.”

He might not have many personal memories left, but he still knew things upon recovering. Common knowledge. Learned knowledge. Muscle memory still intact. Certain things like the state of the world and the separate nations, and what he was, exactly, which was eximius and one day fated to go mad. He too had long ruminated that this loss of memory might have been the first sign…yet that had been many days ago with no further degeneration. At least that is what he’d thought. For did the mad know they were going mad?

“Suppose I’ll be like Madwone one day…” he mused, eyes downcast.
Offline Falks May 14 2020, 12:00 AM
#10
  • Rogue
  • Age: 50
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  • Total Posts: 28
  • Played by: Sbicy
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At the confirmation of the young man’s race, Falks feels an inward shift of balance that puts him more at ease. He, at least, knew that of the stranger and what to expect from him in terms of ability. It did not relax him, this information, but it did help him understand who he was dealing with. Suspicions and assumptions never helped anyone when it came to a fight, IF it came to that.

Eirik is wise in the ways of nature, knowing what he could take and what it would give in return. He has made himself comfortable here, and it shines through in the freedom with which he speaks. The eximius does not come across as deceitful, yet Falks cannot shake the caution that seizes his thoughts. Trust is a treasure earned, not pillaged or bought, especially so in the hinterlands. The price for incompetence was too steep to let his guard down fully. Still, he listens with an attentive ear when the other speaks, taking his words as valuable advice. All his training and less-than-simple upbringing did not prepare him for a life devoted to cycles of nature, the ebb and flow of luck and skill.

He nods and begins to put his things away, asking about the Princeling that grazes nearby. The dusky blue coat is coal-gray in the shadow of the canopy, the antlers curled and elegant upon her head. It reminds Falks of the horse he left behind in Svalbard, the warhorse he’d been gifted upon gaining the rank of Captain in the king’s royal army. A great, stubborn dun-colored stallion that was hardly afraid of a thing. Part of him misses the old grouch, wondering if he was given to someone else or retired due to him climbing up in age.

At the admission, Falks snaps his attention back to Eirik, his brow furrowing and expression unreadable. He does not have to ask for the boy to go on, assuring him of his insanity and trailing off soon after. The old general cannot stop the tug of guilt and sympathy for the eximius, as they had all suffered at the hands of the cruel bastards that orchestrated the Blanchard Projects. Sullivan comes to mind in an instant, her story burned into a permanent scar across his mind--the torture she endured then and how their tampering had driven her mad in her pain. All eximus were rumored to descend into their madness at some point or another, and his heart aches for them because of it. Yet another moment of inaction where he did not say a word.

”I cannot begin to understand the distress that must cause for you,” Falks has learned that saying “I am sorry” for the past did nothing when he himself did not commit the act. He allows a moment of silence, collecting his thoughts. ”I have only just met you, but you appear sound of mind, to me.” Perhaps a stranger’s reassurance would help just a bit.

”You do not remember the experiments, then? Nothing before?” He asks, ”Forgive me if I am prying, you do not have to answer those things if they are painful.” He means this, as he does not want to cause the boy anymore strife than he might have already by unknowingly bringing it up.