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 Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert

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AniRedFox
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:08 pm

Ashwyn raised a brow at Sigurd's trick and chuckled. "It's good enough for me." She shrugged.

Zane nodded. "Me too." He stood up. "Well, let's go then." He said.

Ashwyn led the way, trying to catch any hint of what they might be headed towards. Sigurd was next, and then Lo with Zane taking up the rear. He was slower anyway because of his short legs and large amount of books in his pack.

The bright sun filtered down through the leaves making the pathway look spotted and creating shadows all throughout the trees. It was somewhat eerie...
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Lopiena

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:26 pm

Not quite sure what to think of Zane being behind her, Lo looks back every now and then to make sure the Gnome is keeping up ok. The feeling of the forest sets her on edge...she's always been most at home under the green leaves and the soft sounds of the forest, but this one...stories of magical forests and wayward travelers keep churning in her head, and the feeling of being watched increases. Perhaps now is not the best time to go wandering around collecting herbs...she doesn't see anything she needs anyway. Well except for that fully leaved sumac tree; one of the new spells requires leaves of the sumac...but it's well off the path, and Lo has had plenty enough of adventures with wandering off, thank you. Staying close to her companions, she tries to think of something more pleasant than stories of wanderers seeking shelter and being lured to their doom...
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:43 pm

Zane cleared his throat. "Well... this place is... interesting." He trotted ahead a bit to catch up to Lopiena. "I don't have your tree sense, as it were, but... is it just me or do things feel..... odd out here?" He asked, his voice in a hushed whisper as though speaking louder might anger the trees somehow.
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Lopiena

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:49 pm

Nodding silently, Lopiena seems hesitant to break the silence even to answer a direct question. "Odd...is a good way to describe it," she whispers finally. Swallowing against her fear, telling herself to stop being silly, she stands up straighter and looks all around, listening for the comforting sounds of the forest. None of the birds singing are familiar to her; the rustles in the trees don't sound like squirrels, not unless this forest has grown squirrels of unusual size; and the trees themselves...while not menacing, don't feel very friendly. Putting her hand against one of the trees before passing by, she tries to sense the feel of the forest.

(Perception roll: 18)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:52 pm

The forest doesn't seem to be putting off any negative feelings.... though they aren't exactly positive either. It's like the forest doesn't know what it's feeling. A sea of indifference and confusion will wash over Lo as she tries to connect to the trees.

Zane looked at her curiously. "Well? Any luck?"
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Lopiena

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:56 pm

Backing away and shaking her hand as if to rid herself of some gunk, Lo looks more than a little startled to see Zane so close. "Uhh...what?" Shaking her head...it's the trees that are confused, don't let your senses determine what you are...she regrounds herself. "The trees are confused. Very, very confused to the point of being overwhelming. I have no idea what that's supposed to mean..."

Looking ahead to where Ashwyn and Sigurd are, she wonders if it's too late to try the other path...on the other hand, the other path might be just as bad...still feeling the effects of confusion, Lo just doesn't know what to do or say.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:26 pm

Sigurd walked silently beside Ashwyn still feeling flush from the night. He bumped elbows with her and smirked "target practice?" He laughed. Ever on watch Sigurd keeps looking around ahead of them he doesn't hear anything out of the ordinary nor does he smell anything off either.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:44 pm

Ashwyn still had a silly grin on her face when Sigurd came up to her and bumped her. Her grin turned to a smirk at his words and she chuckled softly.

"I'd say we hit the mark pretty well, don't you?" She winked playfully.

As they walked a bit more, Ashwyn moved a bit closer to Sigurd, still watching the forest around them. She lowered her voice so that only Sigurd would be able to hear her. "So... Lopiena and I had an interesting chat last night." She said softly.

--

Meanwhile, Zane frowned at Lo. "Hmm... confused trees? That's... disconcerting..." He began looking around them. "Do you think perhaps it's the Shimmer the elves spoke of?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:50 pm

Looking at Zane, Lo can only shrug. "That's the only thing I can think of. I've never felt anything quite like this before, and that story about the group of dwarves circling the same area has me worried. I don't think the Shimmer will try to confuse us that much, but having never met them I can't even guess."

Noticing that Sigurd and Ashwyn are getting further away, Lo steps up a little. "Come on Zane, I don't want to get too separated in this place." Keeping her steps lively but still keeping back for Zane's sake, she judges the distance between them carefully...she doesn't want to get left behind, but she doesn't want to leave Zane in the dust either.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:10 pm

"oh? Was that before or after?" Sigurd said quietly. It was no mystery at this point. He knew full well that Lopiena was pleasuring herself while he and Ashwyn shared on each other's company. Maybe she had a talking to the young druid about what happened and apologized. Something he would probably have to do later.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:23 pm

She smiled, once again remembering the height of their passion from the night before. "Before." She chuckled. "I don't think I would have been able to form a coherent thought after." She winked at him.

"She couldn't sleep. So we chatted during my watch." She explained. "She... expressed curiosity." She glanced sideways at him. "About.... Well, about the stuff we did last night." She smiled, unable to stop remembering the feeling of his hands on her body. She lowered her voice even more, she didn't want to embarass Lo if she over heard.

"I may have talked you up a bit." She smiled, leaning into his body for a moment. "She doesn't think that she'll ever find what we have." She laced her fingers into Sigurd's hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:25 pm

Zane was... well he was moseying. The forest was creepy but it was also unlike any forest he'd ever seen before. He found himself distracted with all of the fauna around him. When Lo called his name he looked up. "Hmm? Oh, of course." He began to trot along behind her. "I know that the forest is confused but... it is fascinating just the same."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:28 pm

Sigurd nodded slowly "she may never, that is a possibility. Especially if she goes back to her village..." he paused for a moment "Wait you told her about what we've done? what we did in the spring?" his cheeks started to feel the heat of embarrassment. "What all did you say? what was she asking??" his instinct was to look right back at Lopiena but he locked his face forward and just looked at Ashwyn from the corner of his eye.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:30 pm

Smiling slightly...forests are always fascinating, and it's fun to be able to share her passions...Lo starts pointing out the trees she recognizes, the clumps of sticks that likely are squirrel nests or bird nests, and identifying flowers. She's pretty good at keeping pace while doing so, though...the trees that she points out are just beyond that bend; the nest can probably be better seen from a different angle, just up ahead; the flowers are pointed out well in advance and she only spends a moment looking at their color or shape. They're slowly catching up to Sigurd and Ashwyn, but are definitely far enough behind to not be able to overhear anything they're talking about, even if they weren't speaking so softly.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:37 pm

Ashwyn smiled embarrassedly. "I... may have gotten a little carried away." She admitted. She squeezed his hand. "I'm sorry if you didn't want me to say anything. But...Sigurd, you make me feel things that I've never felt before. It... felt nice to be able to talk to someone about it." She smiled.

"She... she asked me what it felt like." She glanced up at him, unsure what he would think about that.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:42 pm

Almost afraid to look anywhere else but forward he looked down as they walked "I see.. well it's only natural that a human of her age start being curious about these things... I suppose it's healthy for women to discuss these things together" nodded to himself "no harm in that, was it a good talk?" he asked slowly turning his head to her. "was that all it was about? What did you say?" he was rambling but he didn't notice.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:43 pm

Zane was turning and gawking at everything Lo was pointing out. He looked like he was wanting to write things down but he had nothing to write with. He resisted the urge to stop and pull out a quill and parchment.

"Fascinating." He said in response to Lopiena's knowledge. "You know, next time we are able I really must sit you down and takes notes on your vast druid knowledge. I have only just begun to delve into the world of druids, myself."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:50 pm

Ashwyn bit her lip, afraid he'd be upset that she went into such detail. "Well... I told her that my skin burns when you touch me. That I've never felt things as intensely with anyone else as I do with you. And that I've never loved anyone as much as I love you." She said with a tentative smile.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:51 pm

Laughing, Lo looks at Zane. "Don't worry, we'll have plenty of time to look at stuff. We'll probably be in this forest at least another couple of days, and after that we'll be onto the scrolls left to us by the Archdruid. While the desert is not an area I have any expertise in, we can certainly learn things from others. That's what makes Druids special...while we tend to work alone much of the time...or at least I thought we did, the Archdruid's workshop was amazing beyond words...anyway, knowledge is for sharing. Secrets don't survive if they're not shared."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:10 pm

Sigurd smiled "well that's nothing bad, I'm glad you could share your feelings with her" he said putting his arm around her shoulders and giving her a quick squish against him. A sense of pride started to come over him slightly as he felt a bit of excitement rush through his body "how detailed were you?" he said raising an eyebrow and smiling at her.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:01 am

Ashwyn chuckled, glad that he wasn't upset and amused by his grin. "Not overly so." She replied.

"But there's one other thing." She didn't want to look back at Lo, so she listened hard to pin point where she was. Getting closer.... but still far enough away.

"She was curious. About the things you make me feel." She smiled up at him. "I may have...." She hesitated, not really sure if he would be upset by this next part. "I may have suggested that... you could help her out with some of that. If the curiosity was ever too much. And if you were alright with it, of course." She added hurriedly. The more she talked the more she began to feel like she was whoring out her mate and she began to feel extremely guilty.

"I don't know why I said it. And it sounds horrible now. I'm sorry, I'll take it back as soon as we're alone..." she knew she'd started to ramble but she couldn't stop.

--

Zane nodded to Lopiena's words. "Yes yes, that's true. I really must conduct more research on nature...." he was really muttering to himself now, occasionally pointing out something that Lo had just showed him and smiling at himself for recognizing it.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:16 am

Smiling to herself, Lopiena encourages Zane's newfound interest in the forest. "There’s a lot to learn, and plenty of time to do so. You've spent most of your life studying...the fun thing with learning about the environment you're in is practical application. So. Staying on the path, what would you look for if you needed to find food?"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:19 am

Sigurd's head snapped to her "You said what!?" he said in an almost whisper shriek. His mind was an torrent of embarrassment and intrigue. He had claimed a mate, that was Ashwyn... Lopiena was young, inexperienced and Sigurd had almost found his way as a mentor for her now. Would mentoring THAT be appropriate? He calmed himself, there would be no way that Lopiena would ever ask such a thing... though, if his mate had suggested it... maybe it would be beneficial for her to learn from someone she trusted. Rather than be used as a piece of meat in some barbaric ritual.

His mind went back through all of the history books of ThunderKnoll, It wasn't unusual for someone to have partners other than his mate... however infidelity was heavily frowned upon. But if his mate was the one initiating the experience.. it wouldn't be infidelity would it? His mind was reeling until he just mumbled out a response "If she wants.. I shall teach"
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:32 am

Ashwyn winced a bit at Sigurd's harsh whisper. She knew it, she'd made a mistake. It was completely inappropriate to offer something like that without discussing it with him first. She was beginning to formulate all manner of apology until he spoke again. She turned to look at him, nervously.

She held his hand tighter and leaned into him a bit. "You're... you're not mad?" She asked carefully.

"I would never do anything about it without speaking to you first. And I made that clear. I only thought... well..." She lowered her voice. "She's attracted to you. And she trusts you." She shook her head. "I just can't stop thinking about that horrible ceremony she's supposed to go through and.... I just don't want her to have to experience is that way." She looked back up at him. "I thought maybe it would be better if she could understand how it could be by being with someone who will be gentle with her and isn't out to break her heart."

She sighed. "It was probably a bad idea... I just wanted to help her..." She clutched his hand again. "I hope you can forgive me...."

---

Zane slowed his step as he considers the question. "Hmm....well.... " He points to a small plant near the path. "This looks familiar... I think it's this?" He asked. The plant has a blue tint to the leaves.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert   Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:43 am

Sigurd smiled and squeezed her hand "It's fine. Really, there's nothing to forgive" he said softly "I know you mean well, and I agree I would rather her experience it right." as they walked he stayed silent for some time "We wont push it upon her, if she brings it up to you again then we'll address it, set boundaries and what not" for now he'd push it from his mind, lest he get over excited about it. eyes forward he marched on, still keeping watch of their surroundings. The mission was the focus, it needed to be.
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Chapter Three: Trials Toward the Desert
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