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[P]  Blue Hour

Offline Salamander Jul 24 2020, 3:50 PM
#1
  • Rogue
  • Age: 28
  • Gender: Non-binary
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Quartermaster
  • Total Posts: 53
  • Played by: Sbicy
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A storm brings about an early evening darkness, pulling shadows from the corners to stretch across the cobblestone street. In some less well-treated areas in Porthcrawl, plant life has cracked the carefully constructed roads. Succulents grow in clumps near the edges, shying from too much sun in the alleys between businesses and homes. Greedy weeds reach brazenly for the light, leaving a smear of yellow pollen on Salamander’s pantleg as they pass. Lightning flashes over the churning sea, greying clouds eclipsing the setting sun. For now, the storm is dry, charged, and pulsing. Rain has yet to return to the salty waves that lap hungrily at the docks and send the ships swaying with the wind. Weather like this always leaves the eximius alert and prickling with energy, perhaps due to the mutation within reacting to the static in the air. A buzz hushes their thoughts, filling their senses.

Instead of lingering outside to the whim of the storm, they choose instead to walk further from the docks and find a seat inside one of the less-populated pubs. It’s not too crowded, yet not entirely empty. There are a few of their own kind floating about, mingling with humans if their appearance better allows for amicable interaction. Salamander is not so lucky, but they are hardly bothered by it at the moment.

Leaning on the counter as they await their order, the eerie, molten glow of their eyes catching the flickering candlelight. The tip of their tail flicks back and forth, occasionally catching against the wooden floor and cutting a small chip in its wake. High contents of bronze give the ends a solid edge, unbreakable and conductive to the sparks that course through their veins.

Another woodchip goes flying when their nose twitches, a provocative, familiar scent bringing a greedy gulp of air into their lungs. It’s earthy and sweet, musky and sharp like the way the wild clings to the fur of a wolf. Without making a big deal of it, they casually turn their head from side to side, raising their cup to their lips as they spot with ease the dire that hides in the trappings of a human form. A shorter man with dark hair and gold eyes, scarred and sitting alone.

Salamander was never one to resist temptation.

The eximius casually makes their way over to the creature, briefly dragging their tongue over their teeth as an instinctive reaction to their proximity. It does not escape their notice that one of the other nearby eximius in the room has been watching them, leering with glowing green over one shoulder as Salamander ignores their pointed gaze entirely.

”This seat taken, handsome?” A single, black claw taps against the surface of the table to get the man’s attention, meeting his eyes with a disarming grin despite the way their stomach clenches and twists in anticipation. Certain wolves they grew used to being around, like their crew and others they were used to seeing quite regularly, but strangers? Dire exposed to eximius frequently have less of a reaction, though they tend to become startled at the more mutated ones. The interaction felt much like a cat waiting for a mouse to squeak, or to run in fear as an excuse to chase.
Offline Ivandriel Jul 25 2020, 2:09 AM
#2
  • Khogate
  • Age: 30
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Kin
  • Total Posts: 61
  • Played by: Isilzheha
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Having been to Porthcrawl before gave a sense of self-confidence that the dire would be able to easily figure out his way around. Though months had passed and he spent most of that time back home, there had been plenty he didn’t see the first time he’d ended up here. Instead of finding a moment to settle and explore the enclosed city more the dire had been over eager to return to Kho’gate. Too much time and too much stress wasted, overall, to think much of the city other than a means to get himself back home. Ivandriel returned now, recharged and full of curiosity all the while, to walk the streets of the slums. The contraption feeding light into the cave city had been an object of fascination the first time the wolf had seen it and it still was. His internal clock and instincts helped in discerning the truth of the time it was, but with the storm along the bay it was increasingly more difficult.

Ivandriel didn’t care for it, even if he expected nothing less of this portion of Gil’ead. It was fertile and sprawling with abundant wildlife and farms. The jungles to the south and along the coasts were both dangerous and intriguing, and out of the two nations the dire didn’t particularly enjoy the idea of traipsing around in Svalbard waiting for the axe to fall. Dorsum had plenty more places to hide and sneak about, even amongst the cities, though as he walked through the crowds he found it odd there were no other wolves among them. None in the immediate vicinity, that was, save the faint traces of their scents.

He could smell the rain on the winds, the salty sea air, and the squalor the humans lived in here. They begged on the streets, cats and dogs with ribs poking against their thinned fur crossing the cracked cobblestone. They were all moving sluggishly with the oncoming storm, thunder rumbling in the distance towards the horizon, but the lack of energy didn’t affect the dire. Ivandriel felt restless and wired for the most part, uncomfortably so, and that showed in his quick movements. Fluid still, like the water that flowed through the canals, but quick. Like moving against the tide the wolf weaved through the denser populace, to the side catered to the wealthy, and put some of that energy to good use.

Coinpurses were left lighter or altogether nonexistent, just long enough for the dire to take what was needed and have the rest be deposited among someone else’s wares. Deft hands and sure feet allowed him to collect a comfortable amount for the short time he spent racing the oncoming storm, Ivandriel returning to the abandoned and ignored half of the city. There would always be eyes upon another, he knew, but at least here it was for reasons he could easily deal with. He didn’t like the prickling of his hair, that uncomfortable sensation crawling down his spine from the nape of his neck when a longer echo of thunder accompanied the flash of lightning. Ivandriel ducked into one of the nearest pubs, not checking even the name or scenting first who might be within. The immediate stench was human, but there were the subtle undertones of their modified counterparts. Carefully he stepped at that point, not so obviously, and found where each of them were sitting. All but one kept to themselves, hardly batting an eye at his presence, and Ivandriel eyed the shun for a second. Glowing green eyes settled on him, Ivandriel’s lip twitching and a scowl starting to form even while in the process of tearing away to find a table towards one of the corners.

Not too many were within the establishment. They talked amongst themselves in quieter tones, barely above a murmur, and Ivandriel found it easier to relax because of it. Nobody but one of the barkeep’s helpers bothered him, and that was only to take a drink order. Of which there were not many, and the few he’d tried already tasted watery and ripe. Piss-like swill, is all it was, but it served the purpose it was meant to for those who could not be beggars in such a way. People came and went, a few of them thinning out until there were even less, and the dire simply listened. It didn’t take much to track the drunkards where they sat, finding them by their less than graceful movements and mumblings, but more importantly where the exi were.

Distantly he’d heard the scraping of the wooden floor, its tempo not one attributed to something mechanical, but Ivandriel was too busy listening to pay much attention elsewhere. He stared at the tankard without really seeing it, settling back in the chair with one arm crossed over to the other that stretched out to toy with the container. Footfalls were crystal clear, pointed and leisurely in his direction, and that’s what he saw first before anything else. Then it was a claw tapping the table, and he heard a relatively feminine voice accompanying the soft clicks.

This seat taken, handsome?

A few things happened at once. He was aware of several pairs of eyes upon him, and the way this one’s shadow extended beyond what should have been the norm. He smelled the sea, something thicker and sweeter, and the stench of exi filtering beneath it much like when he first entered. It was more prominent now, and it caused fingers to curl a little tighter around the tankard in his grip. Tension that didn’t belong to him or the stranger his golden eyes rose up to look at could be felt, the dire quite blatantly staring when he caught sight of the one who spoke. It was because he’d never seen such a mutated shun before, not up close, and he’d never made it a point to go out of his way to approach them. There were scales and horns growing from their head, large ears and teeth accompanying an overall rather animalistic body. “Does it look taken?” he returned sharply, lifting an eyebrow as he made no move to hide his open judgment. Already he expected something less than desirable with how the exi’s glowing eyes seemed to flash brighter, Ivandriel frowning when they made themselves perfectly comfortable nonetheless at the table.

His gaze drifted beyond them to where the others sat muttering to one another, Ivandriel unable to parse it out. So he settled on the one immediately in front of him, body tilting towards the open space between the chair where he sat and the table opposite of the shun. “What do you want?” he asked bluntly then, eyeing them as he brought the tankard up to take another drink. Whatever it was, he was ready if anything suddenly went awry.
Offline Salamander Aug 6 2020, 1:53 AM
#3
  • Rogue
  • Age: 28
  • Gender: Non-binary
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Quartermaster
  • Total Posts: 53
  • Played by: Sbicy
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The reaction of the dire is to be expected: teeth. Salamander can smell that he is alone, hiding in plain sight and acting as any man would. A great irony presents itself in this lone wolf, nestled so comfortably among enemies. Nature dictates that a pack means protection, so what has this creature so confident to sit in a corner and don a cloak of wool? However strange, the eximius knew that appearances could be deceiving. Reigning in the tight, excited coil of their muscles, they approach with as non-threatening an air as they can manage. It is quite difficult, given the red tint of their hide and the horns that curve from their skull, but they consider it a success that the wolf doesn't just up and run away.

His words are clipped short, golden eyes darting to the side. Salamander subtly follows his glance, meeting the same green gaze from before. The eximius watching them was as ordinary as they came, all human in looks yet far from it beneath the mask of their skin. An expression of mild disgust is present on their features, open with their dislike of... whatever it was that was bothering them. Being that they were used to getting such stares, Salamander had assumed it was because some disliked sharing commonality with a walking lizard. Give anyone enough time, and they would search for ways to separate themselves within their own fold to find acceptance. It was no different with the eximius. They were not immune to prejudice.

"Fair point," They reply to the dire before pulling out the chair and taking a seat across from him. The ale here isn't the best, leaving a sour stain upon their throat long after they swallow it down. Thunder rumbles in the distance, the air charged and beginning to smell of rain.

"Nothing, really. Just wanted to chat with a good looking man, that's all. Going to be boring waiting out the storm in this place anyway, unless you plan on trying to brave those moldy docks." They, too, show their teeth, but it only as a smile. A tingle settles on the back of their neck, making them painfully aware of the other table staring at them. This kind of attention was nearly always followed up with violence, as per dictated by their experiences. Chairs scrape against the wooden floor, sounding the start of their approach.

A moment that was, no doubt, going to proceed an unfortunate event.

Green-eyes slaps a firm hand on Salamander's shoulder, squeezing as though they were looking for the bone underneath that hard plating. A growl of warning rumbles from the deep wells of their chest, voice lowering from the playful lilt it had before.

"Problem?"

The others, two more, are just human.

"We don't want to listen to you playing with your food. Get out, and take the vurk with you." Green-eyes speaks with an even baritone, as if there is no room to argue.

"You can leave if it's making you jealous." Salamander replies, claws reaching up to cover the iron grip on their burning shoulder, "Gonna have to charge you for that nasty language, though." They dig in, easily tearing through the soft flesh and bringing a hiss from Green-Eyes as they release them. The action is quickly followed up by yanking out the chair Salamander was sitting in, making a motion to grab their shirt and jerk them from their seat. The two humans hover by the dire, threatening with their presence.

"No one wants to hear you animals trying to fuck. Go outside where you belong." Green-Eyes turns to look at the wolf, making a motion to grab him, as well. Fast as a whip, Salamander's tail shoots out to coil around the eximus's leg, off-setting their balance and sending them stumbling into the table--using the moment to free themselves of the bloody grip.

"I'll get your dinner if you help a bitch out." Salamander says to the wolf, hands balling into fists as Green-eyes rights themselves.
Offline Ivandriel Aug 16 2020, 8:27 PM
#4
  • Khogate
  • Age: 30
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Kin
  • Total Posts: 61
  • Played by: Isilzheha
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With eyes that could see and a penchant for actually looking, it wouldn’t be difficult for anyone to see that the Dire was agitated. As to what it was that ultimately had his hackles rising could result in an extended guessing game. Because even with the agitation there was a level of calm, of adaptation, with the energy that was presented to him. Ivandriel fed into it, pulling it within himself and turning it over with a silent scrutiny, and found it to be static-charged and bitter to the taste. His nostrils flared, taking in the scent of the two shun and finding them different and yet deplorably the same underlying their separate scents. Cologne perhaps, so strong coming from the one with the green eyes it threatened to sting in his senses. Ivandriel could discern they likely were not together, with the looks they both were being given just now, but part of him still lumped them like so. Mostly the agitation came from the oncoming storm and the anxiety it produced, albeit in the background, but his distrust was immediately obvious.

Especially when the Exi sat down. The wolf was aware of the movements around him, even the slow ones that lagged from a group of friends in the corner blissfully unaware of the tension winding itself up further. Ivandriel didn’t have much time to appraise the oddities that mutated his forced company, his focus constantly shifting back to the movement at the edge of it. ‘Nothing, really. Just wanted to chat with a good looking man, that's all. Going to be boring waiting out the storm in this place anyway, unless you plan on trying to brave those moldy docks,’ the shun said, Ivandriel’s gaze leveling upon them at that.

Most notably were the teeth, bared in a smile. Ivandriel squinted. He let out a huff of laughter, barely audible, but continued to be distracted by their apparent audience. Captive at that and eager to jump in, the Eximius flanked by two humes like they were the dogs awaiting orders. Ivandriel’s spine stiffened in a visible reaction to their curt approach, glowing green eyes shifting between them with a heavy hand finally falling to the horned one’s shoulder. The wolf wasn’t looking at them anymore, however, once the humans were splitting off on either side of the table towards him. His crossed arms unfurled, one hand braced on the table and the other the chair in between his spread knees. ‘We don't want to listen to you playing with your food. Get out, and take the vurk with you.’ Ivandriel echoed the Exi’s growl from moments ago, lip curling in annoyance. His eyes were alight with sudden animosity, directed towards the shun. Without thinking he let out a string of curses in wolven tongue, chin jutting and ears drawing back with the tilt of his body forward in the creaking chair.

You can leave if it's making you jealous. Gonna have to charge you for that nasty language, though,’ the other Exi said, removing the hand that clenched down upon them with a twist of the wrist. Ivandriel laughed sharply, but it was hardly an entertained sound, when the Exi sent him off balance once he started to reach. The wolf was feeling trapped and cornered with how the humans loomed, sharper canines bared in a way that was certainly not of their kind. “Dho’hi nani,” he spat vehemently to the green-eyed shun, “only said a few words to each other.” It took him a moment to slip back into the common tongue, stumbling a bit on the enunciation with the rising annoyance. It swelled in his chest, nails split with the slow, crawling growth of sharper claws from the flesh. “If you’re so eager to impress, this probably isn’t the best way to do it,” he growled, shoving himself to his feet when one of the humans made a lunge towards him.

The chair scraped and the table jostled, mug tipping over to spill the remainder of the contents through the cracks onto the floor. 'Nothin' to impress,' one of the humans clapped back, gaining the lost ground from the swift movement, 'but we'll fuck you up anyhow.' Ivandriel stepped back behind the chair, matching the steps as the green-eyed Exi started to close back in on the scaled one. 'I'll get your dinner if you help a bitch out.' The Dire paused at that, full on glaring daggers towards the shun. "This is your fault! I shouldn't even have to-" he started to grumble, cut off by one of the advancing humans making a swing towards him. Ivandriel let out an exasperated snarl as he jumped back, stumbling a bit to catch his balance and kick himself forward. A clawed hand lashed out with a loud smack of his open palm meeting the soft flesh of the bare-faced man's cheek. His fingers curled in the process, and he gouged deep into the tender skin on the pull back.

It was a small triumph, the almost human-looking Exi making a move on the other, that was shortlived when the other ducked down to shove his shoulder into his ribs. He grunted with the impact, arms wrapped around him to shove him through the open space into the edge of one of the neighboring tables. Ivandriel shoved down the urge to shift, to drop this false form and crush the idiot. Instead he grabbed a fistful of hair, wrenching his head back and taking the blows to his stomach and ribs as he bit down relentlessly on the cartilage of his ear. The other was cursing and holding his face in recovery, twisting back towards him as blood squished between his fingers. This one was screaming now as he instinctively pulled back, Ivandriel jerking his head the opposite direction to start separating the ear from the side of his ugly head.
Offline Salamander Aug 21 2020, 1:06 AM
#5
  • Rogue
  • Age: 28
  • Gender: Non-binary
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Quartermaster
  • Total Posts: 53
  • Played by: Sbicy
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Unfortunately, Salamander wished that these types of encounters were uncommon. Racism from humans and dire was to be expected, but their own kind? Bizarre. It only goes to show that the insecure and vile will do whatever they can to assert themselves above their peers, boiling it down to the shallows of judgment. Appearance was the easiest form of assumptions, most of which seemed to think that the draconic eximius was something akin to the animal they resembled. The less human, the less trusted. Perhaps it stems from a place of wariness due to the general consensus that mutated machines were often prone to madness, though the notion carried no evident weight.

They manage to displace Green-eyes as his approach becomes physically confrontational, tail sweeping to coil around his leg and yank it forward. Quick as a spring, he bounces back and grabs for Salamander's shirt, looking to pull them closer and inflict what damage he could. This eximius was project-born, able to smell the chemical stench of it in their veins, as Salamander deftly moves out of the way of the grapple, but quickly takes a sucker shot to the cheek for it. The ridges of their knuckles strike with all the force a machine is capable of, nearly fracturing their jaw as they loosen with the hit and let it knock them back to lessen the damage. Twisting, their tail comes around again, spikes flat as the strong extremity snaps like a whip and fits into the soft space between the man's ribs and hips.

Wheezing, he stumbles, and Salamander surges forward to grab his face and smash their heads together. The blow hurts, yet it is dulled by the thick bone of their horns. It splits his forehead, blood pouring from the wound as Green-eyes snarls and aims for their thigh in a dead-leg. It hits, dazing the nerves into numbness that has the scaled eximius leaning against the table for support.

"Hey! Take it outside! Whatever you break, you're buying!" The barmaid shouts to the group, banging a pan on the countertop to rise above the sounds of the fight, "I'll call the guards!"

Salamander isn't sure if there are even guards that patrol this part of the docks, but they aren't too keen in finding out. With a kick square in the chest of Green-eyes, they limp over to the wolf and grab the back of his shirt. When the human with a gouged cheek tries to interfere, they receive a plated elbow to the nose that knocks him out cold.

"Shit! You're wild!" Salamander barks with a laugh at seeing the dire literally tearing the ear from this guy's head, "Come on, I don't have the money for a fine." Giving another tug, they turn just in time to catch Green-eyes coming with a chair, apparently unimpressed by the barmaid's threat. When he goes to raise it over his head, the tail swings again, and he is forced to jerk forward and protect his groin with the chair as the blow splinters the wood.

"Get a life, asshole." The red eximius spits, thunder rolling in the distance as the spikes along their spine and tail stand up. Electricity pools, bringing everyone's hair to stand on end as blue-green wisps of sparks crackle between their teeth.

"Leave! And take all your body parts with you!" The barmaid screeches again, finally hucking the pan at the group. Salamander leans to avoid getting hit by it, instead allowing the heavy thing to smack the once-unconscious human just as he sits up in a stupor, wiping him out yet again.
Offline Ivandriel Aug 23 2020, 5:59 PM
#6
  • Khogate
  • Age: 30
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Kin
  • Total Posts: 61
  • Played by: Isilzheha
390 Mana · View All Items?
This is the exact opposite of how this night should have gone. He didn’t want this - he didn’t want any of this. So fucking stupid. Ivandriel was getting pissed and it showed in the piercing of his golden eyes, a touch of fear hovering behind it if anyone could have looked close enough. Most importantly the Dire was reacting in the moment, on instinct, and he was nearly ready to leap from his skin with the approach of the humans. Chairs were scraping and people were murmuring amongst themselves from the outer edges of the small tavern. Muffled in between it all was the distant rumble of thunder. Ivandriel didn’t focus long on those observations. In fact, he missed a lot of them in the rush of the aggressive humes and their intent to set upon him for no other discernible reason than he’d barely spoken with the horned Eximius. Ivandriel had dealt with racism plenty, as was the nature of being who he is, though it was not often he would find himself cornered because of it. That would require frequenting the towns and villages in a far more engaging way than he usually did. Eximius are almost just as abhorred, so that made it easier to skate under the radar outside of Svalbard. That was somewhere even Ivandriel knew not to treat like a playground.

Most everywhere else was fair game, though, and after having discovered there was far more to the mainland than the eastern side the Dire was keen on exploring it further. This type of shit made that quite difficult to do. His ribs were hurting with the punches to them, there was blood in his teeth and under his claws, and it tasted bitter. Ivandriel was not the type of Dire to feast on the flesh of humes and shuns despite having tasted the blood before, and it left much to be desired. He saw the two Exi struggling against one another, kicking and lashing out with a quickness the wolf didn’t hope to encounter directed at himself. The humans were enough for him already when he was restraining the screaming urge to set them aflame or shift. There was screaming and shouting and everything became amplified in Ivandriel’s mind. He was in the process of adjusting to the influx of sensory information, most of it dominated by the now flailing human. Ivandriel spat the ear to the ground, thick sheets of the man’s blood flowing down the curve of his chin and he collected as much of the blood as possible to push it out in disgust. It hit the floor, and the human was collapsing backwards with both hands glued to the side of his head.

Hey!

Ivandriel’s attention snapped to the barmaid the moment the word cut through the erupted chaos, the banging of the pan, and it made his heart leap in alarm. It also gave the recovered human who still stood a window of opportunity to return the favor of a strike across the cheek. Only this was with a closed fist, Ivandriel letting out a hiss of breath punctuated by just one of many curses tonight when he stumbled along the edge of the table he’d not had time to move away from. ‘Shit! You're wild!’ he heard from behind him, shoving the human away as he twisted to the hand tugging at his shirt. His shoulder came up in a roll to shrug off the Eximius’ hand, though their idea of leaving was exactly the same one he had. They’d already dispatched the human to the floor while the other scrambled for his ear with a trembling hand and tears running down his face. Ivandriel growled as the pan continued to be banged around, each jarring noise he heard having him honing in on the source in a heartbeat.

This one was the collision of wood against wood as the green-eyed shun lifted a chair up. The shadow the Dire saw first, an arm starting to rise reflexively when he was dispatched by the heavy-swinging tail of the scaled one. Ivandriel laughed, genuine at the expense of the other, but was swiftly stopped by the clattering of the pan nearby. His shoulders bunched and his head dipped, the wolf sneering at the barmaid as he started for the door after the Eximius. Retreating at their back they made it to the door, and the stranger even opened it to step outside in the fresh falling rain. Ivandriel hesitated, though, with a brief misstep and silent lament at having to be outside right now when these were the exact conditions he was trying to avoid by being inside. If he’d had a moment to think he would have been angry once more at the Eximius who he’d blamed before and still did, even voice it again, but he was halfway through the door when the air was punched from his lungs.

Everything in front of him spun out of control, dragging on his way down in the mud. The horned Eximius faltered, having to turn back, and was slipping in the mud to backpedal while Ivandriel gasped for air. Regaining his strength little by little he twisted and kicked, the toes of his boots creating grooves in the wet ground for some kind of leverage until he was spun around by digging fingers. He didn’t hear what the green-eyed one said, eyes glowing in the growing darkness of the street outside of the tavern. He was too busy shoving against the weight now perched on top of him with gouging claws burrowing into his flesh wherever he could reach, trying not to focus too hard on the rain splattering his face or how his heart pounded quicker in his chest with a sense of desperation.
Offline Salamander Sep 8 2020, 9:23 PM
#7
  • Rogue
  • Age: 28
  • Gender: Non-binary
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Quartermaster
  • Total Posts: 53
  • Played by: Sbicy
160 Mana · View All Items?
This was really not Salamander’s ideal circumstance when making a first impression. With what could be the start of a joke: the wolf, the dragon, and the machine are tossed out onto the street. While the pirate severely doubted that any guard would waste their time trying to solve a conflict down here, it was best to stay out of trouble. Everett had put them in the doghouse before, though it was only on the rare occasion that they did something especially dumb.

There was no other way to classify this situation other than “especially dumb.”

Taking off in the wake of the door nearly flying off its hinges from the force, the rain is already coming down. The unpaved and broken cobblestone creates the perfect setup for a slick, dangerous path. Encroaching earth churns into mud on the smooth surface of the rocks, snatching the balance from the eximius’s feet. Salamander yelps, twisting and bowing in an attempt to ground themselves. Be it the dire’s poor luck, Green Eyes has followed them, and this time does not bother with the comical sight of the other trying not to bust their ass in the mud. A rough hand grasps the wolf by the scruff, wrestling him down to press him into a thick, growing puddle.

The rain is coming down in sheets, the wind pushing and pulling the waves that spill over the dock and add to the flooding. Finally, Salamander falls, catching themselves on hands and knees facing the struggling pair. Digging their claws into the rocks below, they lean back and throw their weight into the eximus to knock him off. Green Eyes goes spilling against the side of the tavern, now covered in just as much filth as they were. Before he can properly react, Salamander crawls over to him and grabs his throat. Rearing back, they begin to slam the back of his skull against the street. The other lashes out, fists landing blows onto the pirate’s face with sickening thuds, but Salamander doesn’t loosen their grip until the mud darkens and those angry green eyes are rolling back into his head.

Now, they don’t wait for an answer as they dip to grab the dire by his shirt, hauling him up to stand and pulling him along.

“A guy as hard-headed as that won’t be out for long.” They say above the roar of the rain.

Moving further along the rickety bridges and paths deeper into the canyon, the pair soon stop when the rocks far above jut out enough to block the pouring sky. Salamander picks the sticky cloth from their skin in some vain attempt to air-dry. Their lip is busted, smearing some pink across their fangs, and one cheek looks like it might be swelling. Hard to tell with the scales and the way the faded yellow glow of the lanterns makes them sheen.

“He didn’t do too much damage, did he?” Again, with no thought to personal space, Salamander steps forward to lean much-too-close for strangers and inspect the dire for visible injury. “Don’t worry, I’m excellent at kissing boo-boos.” They crack a grin. “Thanks for the help, by the way, you could have left, but I guess I owe you a date.” They wink, somehow still in good spirits despite what just took place.

One’s demeanor could be the result of many things, yet this blatantly implied that this was not the first time they’d gotten into a scuffle over their appearance.

“Let’s go get dry and maybe get a new pair of clothes.” Salamander beckons him with a hand to follow.