[AW]  Ambience

Cecil

9 y/o medium Male
   
Can you tell me a secret? Can you tell me what's wrong with me?
The rushing water of the Blackwater River greeted his ears as Cecil approached it. He had not seen the river in three years, yet he still remembered the way the waters churned and bubbled beneath his paws. How as a young pup if he stood too close to its edge he could feel the river whispering to him, wanting to pull him in, under the surface. He’d felt fear then, now he only felt an odd comfort in the sound. It seemed to drown out everything else. 

Perhaps his ears were better at hearing now? He wondered idly as he padded along the bank’s edge, as if teasing himself to fall in. It wouldn’t be so bad would it? Letting the river carry him where it wanted. Though he had much to do. Wolves to protect. He would protect all he could. Protecting the things and wolves that he could. He couldn’t even extend that sentiment to the only wolf that had mattered. He had failed Alwyn. He would not fail again for those that still lived. 

Cecil paused before sitting down heavily, echoes of Alwyn’s and his laughter as they played in the shallows all those years ago. He missed it. He missed it so much. Mind’s Eye reached out, relaying information as it always did, but Cecil closed his eyes as images of black and white assaulted his senses. He imagined the colors that were once there: the impossibly green, pine trees around him, dark waters of the river, the lush verdant banks, the deep ochre hues of the dirt as it darkened to mud around the river’s banks. The man barely registered the tears that ran in dark rivulets down his cheek fur, he imagined them as stray water droplets from the river. 

The man curled up by the river’s edge, horns just barely grazing the ground as he rested his head on the soft earth, the white markings on his body emitted a faint glow though it was hard to see with the sunlight hitting the man’s fur.
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Ethos

5 y/o xlarge Male
One for sorrow, two for mirth
♦ ♦ ♦
The coolness of the water enveloped his body as Ethos waded through this river. Today was a day for travel with a hint of wonder. At this time of year, where the summer sun embraced the land in heated passion and warmed his aching back, the ex-warrior would be trailing behind his brother as they would head upstream. A peaceful fishing trip to only enjoy each other’s company—not that their relationship could grow any stronger. With how embedded it was in their lives, he hoped to see his brother meandering around as well for their annual bonding session in a need to reconnect.

Afraid of the currents tugging at them, the vines in which wrapped around him had climbed higher up his neck in a thick bundle. They gripped close to where his head and neck connected, but the pressure was loose enough not to strangle him. He knew once the water pushed with enough resistance against him that it would be time to walk the edges instead. Ethos pulled himself out of the river’s rising intensity, and he shook out his coat before continuing onward.

It seemed he was early or perhaps too late. He passed by the usual spot him and his brother often fished at. With his nose nearly smooshed into the earth, there wasn’t a trace nor familiar print he could pinpoint. A sigh ran from his nostrils, and he brought his feline eyes up to scan the area. Curled farther up and at the other side of this river rested a stranger. Ethos nudged the air while trying to catch the other wolf’s scent. They weren’t magicka but had an energy similar to his own. Stuck in ponder, the giant sauntered closer to where they lain.

Now right across from the other, Ethos stood there with ears high and tail curled. He quietly admired the stranger’s horns for a few moments before he let his gaze draw to their face. His head tilted and, at last, he let his rump meet the ground. “Are you all right?” he asked. Nothing else followed behind that question, not a change in look nor a change in tone. The running river between them swallowed what silence sought to intrude as he waited to hear anything from the smaller male.


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Cecil

9 y/o medium Male
Cecil did not hear the stranger’s approach, the sound being drowned out by the rushing river. Yet nonetheless his Mind’s Eye was ever vigilant. Even as the man was in the throes of his nostalgic memories he could sense someone’s approach. He did not lift his head, nor acknowledge the stranger at first. Simply letting his senses tell him who they were. A part of him was relieved to sense another mundane like himself. 

As they drew closer his passive spell began to dig out small details. A man, a rather huge one at that, yet the way he carried himself and his body mass suggested he was more tall than muscular or heavyset. Closer still. He could see the vines draped over his lithe body, the way the ones around his neck were connected to a nose ring on the man’s face. Lastly his eyes, feline, cat-like in nature stared at him. Cecil didn’t need his spell to feel those unique eyes boring into him. 

A shame that he could not see color.

The stranger’s voice finally reached his ears, asking if he was alright. A large ear flicked in acknowledgement before Cecil lifted his head, finally registering the warmth on his cheeks, he pawed at his face for a moment as if it would rid him of the unexpected tears. The male looked… surprised at the moisture he found there. He turned his head towards the stranger finally, his sightless eyes were still wet. “Ah, I apologize. I’m quite alright,” he replied. The words felt like a lie. 

@Ethos

"Speech." 'Thoughts.'
table © freakshow
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Ethos

5 y/o xlarge Male
One for sorrow, two for mirth
♦ ♦ ♦
He watched the man wipe away the tears that dribbled down from where they pooled. A tilt of his head he gave the stranger while they hurried to tempt back a sense of composure into them. One of his large ears swivelled forward to hear the other wolf’s words through the rushing river. Now had his face shifted into an expression that did nothing to hide his doubt toward the man’s reply. He shook his head and returned to standing on all four legs.

“Bear no shame. We all must cry sometimes,” he admitted aloud.

Ethos took a few steps back as his upper body descended closer to the ground. Not wasting another second, he leaped over the stream with unprecedented grace. He cleared the jump as only his tail got whipped by the currents for a split moment. A few inches separated him from being right beside the stranger. Pivoting around, the giant’s tail may have accidentally brushed over the other male’s face. He would seat himself next to them, looking down at the stream in which nearly roared before him.

“You don’t have to pretend to be ‘quite alright‘ now.” His gaze worked its way back to the horned wolf. That is when he noticed the look of their eyes. A hum coated his vocals in a sweetened pitch—his body bringing itself down to the level of this stranger. One foreleg folded close to his chest while the other remained reaching over the river’s edge. “What has you all alone? Or are you never alone?” Although he couldn’t catch any other scents apart from the stranger and his own, that didn’t mean someone else wasn’t stalking the area. Perhaps it may be why they were crying.

The question of whether they may have seen his brother wander through here lain heavy at the tip of his tongue. Surely, however, it was not of importance. His expectations had no room to reign over a more noteworthy presence.


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Cecil

9 y/o medium Male
Cecil blinked at the man’s words though he could already feel the vulnerable half of himself shrinking away at the presence of another wolf. He could remember a time where he wouldn’t have cared so much about his appearance, ironically when he still had his sight. He would’ve thought it the opposite, but he seemed to care more about the way he came off to others. 

He didn’t seem to react initially when the younger man leapt across the river though he snuffed a bit as the other’s tail brushed over him. His ears swiveled towards the stranger as his head followed suit, his horns just barely grazing the ground as he did so. 

“Thank you. I haven’t been alright for… a while now,” he admitted quietly. He could feel those odd eyes on him again, though he supposed they weren’t that odd for a native of Nidria. Cecil tilted his head a bit at the hum that came from the young man’s throat, wondering what the sound meant, he didn’t miss the way one of his horns thumped gently against the ground as he did so. 

His spell allowed him to see that the stranger was now seated next to him, a paw hanging close to the river’s edge. A sad smile graced Cecil’s features. “I’ve been alone for so long I’ve started wishing I had one of those cursed familiars. It would not be so bad to have a companion,” he commented, the foul memory of the magicka that had blinded him twisting up his words. “I was simply reminiscing,” he said wistfully, his blank stare was centered on the river as his ears tilted back. 

“Perhaps I’m getting old,” he murmured, a soft chuckle rumbling in his chest.

@Ethos

"Speech." 'Thoughts.'
table © freakshow
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Ethos

5 y/o xlarge Male
One for sorrow, two for mirth
♦ ♦ ♦
A while now, the horned male said. Concern peeked its little curious self through the pupils of his watchful eyes. The mundane let his chin angle down by a smidge while his tail curled close. There were no notes or words that wished to intrude with an untimed response. His eager ears, however, did wish to hear more. What prodded and bothered this older man? And for it to be some time—nothing should paint him blue for so long.

Loneliness. Far more powerful than what it echoed from: solitude. He has faced the dreaded need for companionship; why, that stood the reason he walked aside this river with seeking eyes searching for the one wolf he knew would sate his hunger for a connection. It was easy to accept that he wandered alone for a moment, but wolves were a social animal for a purpose.

Ethos let a snort slip past the silence he maintained. He thought back to the battered man he encountered a month back or so—specifically, the little feline that showed loyalty to them. He didn’t deny the jealousy in which taunted him that day. Damn magicka. “Likewise. The little demons flex with such favour and the sacredness of their magicka companion...” His tongue pressed against his teeth as if to stop speaking any further. Bitterness had no regard of tainting his vocals as he closed his eyes and scratched the dirt beneath his paws.

With a small sigh, he reconsidered the moment. Thick and flamed his statement was, but it took it not a second afterward to fall flat. “We have each other, us mundane. At least, I would hope.” Why, why must he say that? I would hope. He had his doubt from what he has seen. Perhaps it was better to say he rests confused, unable to grasp certain points. His former captain offered two conflicting paths—perspectives. Realising he was nearly staring into the rushing river, the ex-warrior strung his eyes back onto his company.

His own chuckled followed the other wolf’s, and a faint splash of a whimsical smile pulled at his lips. “So this place holds dear to you. I promise, remembering what has brought you joy has nought to do with age. Old, you say?” Playful he was being while trying to cheer the older man up. Whether the stranger could see what he was doing or not, Ethos tilted his head from side to side, trying to pinpoint what hinted at his company “getting old”. He stopped the act after a few seconds, reverting to a state of content again.


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@Cecil
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