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Fantasy FLESHSCAPE - THE MEAT

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Action, Adventure, Horror, Mystery
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ThaDruid

Bacchus
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Days of crawling over the Neurotic Mass, scaling it to the top...
The blue tissue quivers under your feet, threatening to tear. One misstep could mean several members of the tribe lost to the labyrinthine insides of the Fleshscape.
You reserves of meat and Clearblood are thinning by the day, though everyone is hopeful that after this ordeal the Promised Land shall be granted to them.
The Great Ribcage awaits...
 
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ThaDruid

Bacchus
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TRIBE ONE

A NAME
The Scions of Blood

A MOTIVE
To cut the curtains of mystery and unveil the nature of the lands of flesh.

AN ENEMY
The Cult of the Sky Root

A RESOURCE
The fleshscape seems to favor us, pushing us forward like a parent guiding a child or dragging us with it like a slave beneath its master's callous hand.
 
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ThaDruid

Bacchus
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You find yourselves in a vast expanse of mottled, smooth skin that stretches in all directions. The land is flat, without any hills or mountains in sight, yet dotted with skeleton trees and criss-crossed by bright-red arteries. The sun, fiery pretender-god of the sky, beats down upon your heads. Sweat trickles from your bodies, falling in droplets and being absorbed by pores in The Flesh. Your true god, and the reason for your pilgrimage. It quivers under your feet, content, edging you ever onwards. You are making it proud.

In the distance, a massive ivory spire pierces the surface and reaches for the sky. Built by human hands or another product of the Fleshscape's alien will, you do not know. Yet from a distance, it seems to be covered in elaborate markings and motifs. At night, the Spire's top lights up with unnatural fire, creating a cloud of smoke that does not dissipate until morning. Some in the tribe believe it to be a blasphemous effigy of the Dragons, while others a marker created by the Fleshlands to attract wanderers from far away. And truly, you are not the only ones in its vicinity...

A small group of individuals, accompanied by a large, ox-like creature that is both blind and deaf. It carries on its back heavy containers of bone, which hold unknown goods. The men seem to be tied to the beast with sturdy hair-rope, leading it on with gentle pulls and promises of food. Traders and peddlers. Strange to see them, so far away from any settlement. Perhaps the Spire is inhabited, after all...

Sighting your tribe, the men, garbed in heavy cloaks of pink leather, begin slowly inching closer, their beast lumbering behind them with slow, heavy, though remarkably silent steps.

Will you hail them, glorious Leaders?

@Prizzy Kriyze @Osthavula @Squith @GrieveWriter @Meredith
 

Prizzy Kriyze

Tomato Basil Shit
GURGLE
"And such, it will give unto you."
Gurgle finished, and stretched a piece of dried meat out towards two kids he'd found tired, knocked out from the careless playing that they wouldn't be able to keep up for many more years. They excitedly grabbed the piece, bowed to show their respect and then ran off. Gurgle's thin, elongated limbs popped as he rose and stretched to his full, unnatural height. Even moulded to beyond seven feet in height, his slender fingers nearly reached the ground. Rows and rows of glyphs detailing stories of religious significance, hymns, prayers to the flesh, the cradle of life, the holy sacred land upon which they were blessed to live, covered him from head to toe in the form of moulded tattoos. Within the leathery wraps around his head only his unwavering third eye remained open, and his spindly, clawed fingers wrapped themselves around a long, ornate bone staff as he turned to walk away.

His gait was akin to that of a crow, if only a crow had been capable of walking, as he strode through the temporary camp grounds. Though the air vibrated from the heat the tents were aflutter with life. Kids were playing, the sentinels were at their posts, the fletcher was sitting with his legs crossed gently slicing away at good bits of branchbone. Some hunters had just gotten back with a good healthy carcass, and Erin kept up a steady pace, feeding and taking care of those lesser fortunate all the while staying true to her faith and singing hymns of praise for The Beast. Gurgle's hearts beat happily at the sight. They were the fortunate tribe, fearless of odds and circumstance.

As he arrived at the edge of camp and looked out over the desert-like bonescape ahead of them, the fuzzy vision of his eye, partially blinded by the sun, saw an odd blob of colors seeming to grow nearer. For the first time that day he slowly let his eyelids part and leaned forward over his staff with one hand over his eyes to get a good look. "Such majesty... A blessing of the fleshscape itself." He uttered to no one in particular. His arm shot out and with his fingers outstretched he blocked the path of a passing tribesman. "Young blood, gather the leaders hastily for we shall have to make a quick decision. Go on, now." Truth be told, the other leaders with their keen thinkflesh and sharp eyes may already be on their way, but taking action wasn't harmful.​
 

GrieveWriter

U-Incorporated 2nd Class Type Unit
Cutting and tearing were all part of the beasties, as such Sinew made it a point to make mastery of such things a part of her. Her ability to tear carve into her kills was honed mostly due to the well-maintained form of her blade. This knife, which could defend and provide for her all on its own if need be, required upkeep if she was to keep it from being worn down by the various carcasses it had to fish through. That meant cleaning, the blood of some beasts could do horrible things to a blade, especially one such as her's. And so on days like this, the hunter found herself wiping and wiping the blade with a patch of soft, dry skin. Maintenance such as this wasn't enough to use clear-blood for, but Sinew wasn't one to focus on such details.

She was just outside the camp, as she usually was when performing her rituals like this. The maintenance of her weaponry could only be infringed upon by something she could use such tools on. But despite the concentration she placed upon the blade, she was able to spot the approaching party with ease due to her position. She froze, eyes locking upon the incoming figures as she slowly slid her blade into its sheathe, she crept forward a bit, eyes sticking to them for a moment as she stuffed the skin-rag into the hem of her belt.

There was no mistaking it, they didn't alternate from their path nor did they hesitate to correct even when the camp was undoubtedly field of view. Sinew grumbled to herself, the slow and steadiness of their movements not giving any indication of their goal. Only once Sinew was convinced they wouldn't alter their course did she move, descending from her perch and making her way to camp with haste and anticipation. Interacting with other groups in the Fleshscape only went one of two ways: Good or Bad.

It was clear that others had begun taking note of the incoming strangers, as Sinew was not the only one staring in their direction. Spotting Gurgle was not hard, the creature stood out from the rest of the tribe far too much to blend in. As much as Sinew wished to greet these strangers and discover their purpose quickly, she also knew that doing so without speaking to at least one of the other 'Leaders' would lead to her having to sit through an earful later on. And so she approached him from the side, watching the strangers draw closer whilst tapping her fingers into the smooth skin beneath her.

"New ones." she muttered whilst staring in their direction "No show blades. Sinew approach? Want meet quick, want done quick, want take quick."
(@Prizzy Kriyze )
 

Osthavula

Deliciously insightful one
Cael was working in the skin-built tent where the healers and patients usually resides. One would think such a peaceful pace on flat and blessed land would give them ease, yet the healers never stopped their hands nor their feet for even one moment. The wounded must be kept at best they could, or they would have to waste valuable resources on preventable mistakes. Cael adjusted the bag hung on her shoulder, monitoring the two younger healer organising and cleaning their bandages. The wounded finally stopped moaning and had fallen asleep in the heat. The healer in charge of moving beds were huffing and puffing. One other was counting their stock of life ember with visible frown. That was when the tribesman came in the tent, bearing Gurgle's message.

He was nervous, of course, as he should. Cael turned rather emotionlessly to him, and started moving his way. "You know what to do. " She said to the two. They were already collecting their work, twisting hair grass and bundling them, all into leathery sachets. The other healers were doing the same thing, preparing for the probability that they need to run, very, very fast. Continuing her step, Cael briefly nodded to the man and saw him running off, then she walked straight towards Gurgle in the distance. The towering presence was always an obvious choice to follow should they meet. Cael had also opposed anyone who thought to come close to the healer tent ---- they move near the centre of the pack for better protection.

"I'm not wasting any more life ember. " She would say, and that often silence the fools who wanted to cross the tent for mere convenience.

On the occasion of meeting another tribe, however, Cael usually felt unconcerned. The healers all knew that when the time comes, protect their life embers. With life embers, the important could live another day. No life embers, no chances of recovery, no hopes of survival.

She walked up to Gurgle, saw Sinew made her way to the same place. She looked up to Gurgle, adjusted the bag that was sliding with her sweat. Then she looked towards the direction where they spotted the alien group, squinting to see the creature with them.

Then she waited. She won't be the first to speak on this matter.
 

Squith

New Member
If curiosity gnawed like a parasite on the skin then boredom was gnashing and gnarling and preparing to devour his senses like carrion critters.

Lucan sat in a small leatherhide tent, alone with his thoughts swirling about as smoke while he tap tap tapped his penpipe, as parched as the blank page before him.
It'd been several scorching days he'd been concocting a formula for transposing excrement into clearblood. However, his formulations were missing something. A rather important factor that, if miscalculated, could be more effective than intended. If he could make this breakthrough he'd gain an incredible resource, as well as a dreadful means of mopping the floor with people, per se, per se.

Feeling as if he'd turn completely calcified if he sat there any longer, he stood, stretching his pale hide across his fleshframe, and twisted his neck into a cacophony of crackling on one side, and one loud snapping on the other. Lucan gathered his belongings quicker than he could gather his own thoughts, and would peel back the tent's flap, perhaps intending to badger Gurgle more about the expedition towards the Spire, when a young blood crashed headfirst into his concave stomach, knocking the residual smoke out of Lucan.

The young blood stammered as she apologized, but Lucan could not hear him over his own coughing. But Lucan shook it off and helped the child to her own feet, having fallen after the impact.

"By the flesh, chil', you could give Sinew a run for her leathers going that fast!"


"I'm sorry, but His Flesh wanted us to get you guys really quick…"

"Guys?" Lucan knew that meant the other tribe leaders were being heralded. And with such haste? It wasn't uncommon for the old geezer to call for a meeting at a particular time in person, priding himself on being involved in the entire tribe. But for him to send messengers with such haste, something must certainly be a matter of immediate attention.

"Very well. You've done well, child. Fetch yourself a drink and rest."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lucan united with the group, bolstering an ugly, raspy chuckle,
"Well now, rare that I'm not the last to show. However, not quite as rare as the sight you all seem to be fixated on. By the Flesh, what is that thing those sunfried devil's are dragging towards our camp?"
 

Meredith

Damn tired
aze.png
THE NAVIGATOR
Aze sat with her legs wrapped around a bone tree toward the centre of camp. A plate of bone-wood rested on her lap against the tree, and she sketched an intricate map, filling in what they had explored over the last few days. The astrolabe was strewn to her side. Despite the fact she could do such a thing on her bedroll, she enjoyed the feeling of the fleshscape beneath her, a sort of comforting embrace.

She had been keeping an eye on Gurgle since she had come back from the hunt. She was not much use in dressing carcasses, instead, she made sure the hunting party managed to come back to the rest of the tribe. She found the runes that covered him absolutely fascinating, and often replicated them into trees when it suited her, so as not to waste precious parchment. As the others began to congregate, she too stood, shoving her materials into a makeshift pack and stretching.

She came up beside Lucan as he spoke, ducking her head in respect to Gurgle, the Ascendant. "It does not look like the meat-beasts we hunt."
Shaking her head, she held out her hand, measuring the travelers against her fingertips. They weren't far off. "Maybe not devils. No weapons, Lucan, not yet."

Her dark, abyssal eyes twinkled in the sun. She seemed excited by the presence of the travelers, if nervous, aware that this could go very badly. But still - it was something knew. Something to learn about. Something to experience.

The fleshscape held many secrets - perhaps this was one of them.
"I will approach, if we agree."
 
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Prizzy Kriyze

Tomato Basil Shit
GURGLE
"A most curious sight, is it not?" One spindly, unnatural hand rose to scratch Gurgle's chin through the wraps of skin. "It beckons, like any other, to be released from its bonds. No sight, no hearing. Helplessly caged within the shackles of its own sacred flesh. But it is not my place to speak, no matter how strongly I feel its pain." He spoke aloud. It was not obviously directed at anyone, but it was all the he could tell Lucan of his observations of the creature. Slowly, like a tree bending in the wind, he turned and faced his fellow tribe leaders.

"Yes, Master Sinew and Master Aze..." He spoke slowly and surely. "You would do well to meet them before they reach our grounds... Perhaps you, Master Lucan, would accompany them to speak for the Tribe as well? I'll send Cut with you." Two fingers were inserted into his mouth, then he whistled loudly. Out of the crowds the Executioner appeared, a cloak blackened by filth and dried blood obscuring his body and a massive, heavy blade of bone hung diagonally across his back. As he approached Gurgle continued, "Would you then, my dear Cael, assist me in mobilising camp? It is about time we got to travelling, anyway. Lucan has been adamant about his wishes to approach the mountain." Gurgle's words sounded free from worry, slow and as venerable as during sermon. His soft, yet perhaps unnerving to some, gaze moved between each of them as he spoke.

Cut arrived among the group but remained silent. After looking over the incoming group for a few seconds he fixed his eyes back on the ground and seemed only to wait for instruction. "Is that agreeable?" Gurgle asked.​
 

GrieveWriter

U-Incorporated 2nd Class Type Unit
Sinew the Hunter
Sinew stayed crouched down as the others arrived, offering varied responses to the sight of the strangers drawing closer. More than the leaders, other members of the tribe gathered as well, captivated by the visitors. Scratching at her brow, Sinew glanced at the other members of the tribe. Cael and Lucan, a healer and and thinker respectively, Sinew often found it difficult to speak to them, but for different reasons. Lucan's big words often made her too bored to focus on him, and Cael was often more like a wall than a person. But not regular bone or meat wall, it was more like a wall with teeth. Sinew could respect what both of them did, but neither were her first options for funsies.

Her gaze went to the side to Gurgle, as he wasn't exactly up there either. His grand declarations and preaching often went over Sinew's head in a similar fashion to Lucan, and Sinew had learned a while ago that simply pretending to understand what he was saying would often get her to her next hunt faster than admitting she had no grasp over any of it. It wasn't a perfect system, but it was one that Sinew was more than happy to follow as long as she could get away with it.

Aze showed up noting that these newcomers hadn't wandered over with weapons. Sinew gave a low hum at that, as the Fleshscape was not one to play by expectations. She figured that even stuff the tribe knew as set in stone could change any day now. Besides, Sinew was positive weapons could be hidden on their persons. Sinew found Aze a useful as anyone else, but perhaps her thirst for exploration made the huntress give her the benefit of the doubt. Exploration did tend to lead Sinew to more beasties to slay and eat, so maybe it was more that her interests simply brought new opportunities.

Gurgle took note of everyone's words, and Sinew could barely hide the snicker she released as he agreed to let her and Aze get to the whole meeting thing. Her giggles promptly ceased once it was mentioned that Lucan could go as well, and Sinew wasted no time in glancing back "No, brain-man not be near. Tribe need his thinkflesh. We take cut-boy; with him, we done quick if blades come. He and Shooting-Girl talk good. They do learning if no cutting."

She stood and stretched before watching Cut approach, like most of Gurgle's following she couldn't really understand whenever he started speaking the same shtick as Gurgle, but the major difference being that she could understand his bloodlust. He cut because he enjoys the cut, that just so happened to align with whatever Gurgle speaks of. Sinew understood that, and Sinew worked better with fleshies she could understand.

With that decided, Sinew stood and began making her way over to the newcomers, calling back to the others as she did so "No wait, we catch up if no die."

(@Prizzy Kriyze ) (@Meredith ) (@Squith ) (@Osthavula )
 

ThaDruid

Bacchus
As the merchants draw nearer to the tribe's clumped up mass of tents, smaller details in their presence became evident to you. Firstly, their numbers. 5 traders and their beast of burden. 4 of them are tied to the beast itself, and wear similar clothing (the afromentioned leather cloaks), while the last member of this caravan does not have any hair-rope connecting him to the creature. He seems taller than the rest, with his cloak reinforced by transparent chitin and wielding a long staff of bone. Some sort of guard.

Next, you notice something about the great beast carrying their wares. It seems to have been naturally born without eyes, yet... It should have been able to hear, at least. The Fleshscape would not permit for something so weak to even survive its harsh habitat. And then you see them. Tough bone nails hammered into the creature's ears. The traders seem to have made her deaf on purpose, so that she would be more docile and cooperative.

One of the unarmed merchants hails you, waving their hands around wildly, while they inch ever closer.

"I salute you! The wind brings good tidings for trade! We come in peace!"
@Prizzy Kriyze @Osthavula @GrieveWriter @Squith @Meredith
 

Osthavula

Deliciously insightful one
Cael looked towards Sinew who had already moved, to Aze who wanted to approach them, and to Gurgle, the one who suggested the action. "Agreed. " She simply said, not commenting on the group. Yet her dark and alerted eyes strayed once again to the group pacing steadily forth. What strange and pitiful creature, she thought. But there could... No, must be a reason why they had brought such a beast along with them. Was it for intimidation, for its size and its stride? Or could it be an actual advantage of... Offense? Again, whether they are friendly does not concern her, it only does when they would cause sufficient harm. She need to inform the other healers.

She stood, however, waited for everyone to come to an agreement, long enough for time to pass them. Silently. Wordlessly. Watchfully. The bone hammer rooted in the flesh. Healer badge swung dangling on her waist. The shapes from the distance became more vivid.

"I salute you! The wind brings good tidings for trade! We come in peace!"


Thus she raised a brow, stood still and turned her head again to the others. Her guard wasn't down, as usual. Then again, friendly resources wouldn't harm them.

"Should we still prepare moving?" She asked, low as a groaning of drum.
 

Meredith

Damn tired
aze.png
THE NAVIGATOR​

"I believe so."
Aze moved cautiously, slowly, and waved the others to follow behind her. She did not need much preparation, and if the others did, well - they'd just have to catch up. There was no time for idleness when a potential enemy was getting ever closer to their camp. As she approached, she worked to make herself visible, walking proudly at full height despite her slowness. The beast would have given her pause, was she not confident that her tribe could take it down, or if she was alone. The senseless animal elicited a sort of curling horror in her stomach. What would it be like, to be so powerless?

She spoke to the traders, hailing them with a wave of her hand toward the sky, and doing her best at a grimacing smile. Her voice carried, loud and clear, over the still-sizable distance. "What are you hoping to gain? Food, cloth?"
 

Prizzy Kriyze

Tomato Basil Shit
GURGLE
"That will do." Gurgle spoke as those given the task set into work. With slow and deliberate movements he turned and strode back through the masses of people, parting the crowd like a sea of flesh. "You'd all do well to gather your things and bring down your tents immediately." He calmly but authoritatively stated, his voice ringing out over the crowd with an effect akin to a loudspeaker. The tribesmen started shuffling to get to their respective tents and quickly prepare to depart as he calmly continued walking, looming over the people and almost seeming to just walk over them. He closed his natural eyes once more and turned his head towards Cael. "Shall we, master healer?" Erin had already taken notice to the situation and was scraping together what was left of the meals to bring with her, effective as she was.

Cut
His gaze had been fixed on the ground just a few steps ahead of him with an absence in his eyes that made it seem like he was looking through the fleshscape itself. While the others were considering their options he did little more than concentrate his hearing on the oncoming traders. The dull thuds of the giant creature's heavy hooves sent quivers through the fleshscape. In his mind's eye he could see himself bringing down the heavy femur-blade over its spine, up through its throat, into one blind eye and out the other. The urge was small, but it burned like a heretical flame within his chest. Beneath the black coat fluttering in the wind his knuckles whitened from the fist he formed. They'd never see it coming, not from someone as small and seemingly helpless as he.

But when the time came that Aze finally took matters into her own hands and started approaching them he let go of his sin and raised his chin to walk with an imposing posture. The warm wind blew back his hood and revealed his roughly cut hair as he followed the navigator slightly behind and to the left of her. He kept his focus fixed on the trader that had spoken up first, and drilled a hole through to the back of his head with his stern gaze. Just give me a reason to sever that ugly head from your shoulders.
 

ThaDruid

Bacchus
As Gurgle gave the order, the tribe immediately set themselves to work. Reserves of food and clearblood re-counted and stacked together, tents brought down, materials tied together into easily-carriable forms. They were like well-oiled machinery, used to this routine whenever the time came to start moving once more. Soon enough, everyone would be ready to wander. Even run, if a pack of Screaming Eels suddently burst out of the ground. A man crouched down, putting a hand on the Flesh beneath him. No tremors. They were safe for now.
Even if they were preoccupied with bringing down tents and setting out bonfires, the tribesmen were not blind. They too saw the trading caravan, coming ever closer. Some expressed mild worry, but most were excited. They could trade for food, new clothing, clearblood. Everything was in high demand. A young couple came near Gurgle, seeking both his attention and wisdom.

"First Ascendant... We've seen the merchants coming. What will be done with them? The tribe is needy for supplies..."

The young man holds his woman close, a protective hand on her abdomen. She shows the signs of early pregnancy. You see the uncertainty of youth in his eyes, but also the steely resolution of fatherhood. The girl keeps her gaze down, meek and red-faced. Perhaps afraid of you, perhaps worried for her child's well-being.

Meanwhile, a bit further from the edges of the camp, Sinew Aze and Cut meet with the merchant nomads. Their faces are still obscured by hoods, but now one can see that they are most definitely human. Their pack beast is forced to stop by a sharp jab from the guard's bone staff. It whines softly, a thick tongue sneaking out from its lips between two rows of blunted teeth. It drools on the ground. The pleasing smell of food wafts from the creature's back satchels. Tools and other implements of bone jingle as it stretches.

The same trader that hailed you stands at the front, flanked by the menacing one. Behind them, the other three are already hauling merch down from the beast's back. They act fast and with confidence, comfortable in their task. They must be used to it.

"Why, really, we are after truth! We wish to know about the Spire. Perhaps we shall head there next, if it is inhabited. We are willing to trade food and tools for your knowledge."
The man speaks to Aze.

"And, of course, whatever else you may wish to give away."
He adds, almost as an afterthought.

The hooded guard stands unmoving, his eyes set on Cut. He sneers, and clenches his hand around the staff.


@Prizzy Kriyze @GrieveWriter @Meredith @Osthavula @Squith
 

GrieveWriter

U-Incorporated 2nd Class Type Unit
Sinew the Hunter
Sinew stayed crouched a few yards from Aze as she conversed with the supposed trader. She stayed close to the ground, trying to smell anything over the scent of food. But it was no dice, if they had some kind of toxic sludge or other such implements, the food masked them well. She wasn't much of a talker, especially with new people, her particular form of speech left her lacking tact. She kept her hands tense, ready to reach for one of her weapons at a moment's notice. But she couldn't be the first to act, as that would undoubtedly lead to a scolding afterwards. Whether it be the traders or one of her fellow tribe, the responsibility for bloodshed will not fall upon her head this day.

But what if they were lying to Aze? Lying to all of them? Sinew was cautious off most things, kept her alive in the times before the tribe. But that caution had also made her overlook opportunities many times in the past. The tribe could always use potential supplies, but what if these traders all drew weapons from the beast's packs upon entry? They were still outnumbered greatly, even if the beast proved dangerous, but they'd still be able to do some damage. Thinking like this infuriated Sinew, so she merely decided to let someone else take responsibility for this scenario. Glancing over to Axe and Cut, she saw that Cut at least seemed ready and rearing to go. At last, if the looks he and the bigger merchant man were passing was any indicator.

It would seem that the decision would land on Aze. Sinew refused to be an instigator, but would only put any sort of faith in strangers like these if it was someone else's idea.

"Up to Aze, then." Sinew sighed out loud whilst reaching behind her to scratch at the back of her head "Sinew no like put faith in new flesh. But no want fighty fight if no need."

She looked out off the corner of her eye to Aze and nodded "Trust them? Or no trust them?"
 

Osthavula

Deliciously insightful one
As soon as Gurgle mentioned her, Cael pulled herself and her hammer over to his side, following as they move through the clan. They were quick, learned. Everything they set up was meant to be torn down quickly, so that they will not stumble when situation calls. Anyone that dared to set up something too permanent, now fumbling at the roots of their tent, scurried hastily as Cael gave them a stern eye. But there was little to tell them. They knew what they were doing for the most part. Then there was the boy, Cael saw him running with some children to spy on the strange creature coming towards them, and he was holding a stick and imitating them. That was when the young couple came to consult gurgle. A tender pair, a hopeful union. Cael turned towards them, sized them from the side.

Cael could tell that they tensed up, a little, avoided her gazes. She remembered when the healers took cared of her, when the first sign of a child came. She remembered that when she announced what the symptoms directed them to, their lips widen and curved and thinned. It was a strange thing, as Cael had no familiar recall of her mentor with any assemblances. She took it as a sign of health.

Now the girl flushed, as Cael decided for a second that it wasn't a case of illness. She looked to Gurgle, awaited his reaction. She wouldn't voice her thoughts out loud to announce everyone.

Cael was careful. Thing was, she had learned what a loose mouth could meant. She had seen that in enemy clans where that led to demise, and had personally seen that in this clan what it could lead to. Trouble and demises. She waited, waited for them to go, before she signalled the one who stood the tallest among many. And she won't speak it, as trivial and crucial the message both can be.

The life ember supply is low.

She would say. There, deep hidden in her eyes a glint of concern. They need life ember and clearblood, or they couldn't deal with any excessive injuries.
 

Meredith

Damn tired
aze.png
THE NAVIGATOR
Aze hesitated as Sinew asked her whether or not to trust. She ran her tongue over the back of her teeth, focusing on the sensation in a sort of quiet contemplation, before nodding. "Trust, for now."

Halting, she held her hand up to the traders, the universal gesture for ceasing. She turned her head to Cut, at her side, and hissed into his ear. "Ten paces more behind me, then stop."
She dropped her pack, and rustled through it, pulling out a large leather blanket. The rest of the backpack she nudged behind her, towards the others, where she knew her possessions would be safe. She passed off her bow to Cut and took twenty-five paces forward, half-closing the distance between herself and the traders.

The blanket was set out on the ground to sit. She pointed a bony finger at the trader who had spoken to her, moving it to point at the blanket, and gave what was (to her mind) a pleasant smile. "Weapon stay back. You and me, we talk. Healing things and tools for knowledge."

Settling on the blanket, she crossed her legs, eyeing the trading party warily. She did not feel comfortable having that guard (or that animal) so close to her people if it was not necessary. That could go badly, very, very quickly.
 

Prizzy Kriyze

Tomato Basil Shit
GURGLE
"Oh?" Gurgle gave pause as the two tribals appeared at his side. With his blank, lidless stare he patiently awaited the question and carefully appraised the situation. The man was as familiar to him as anyone. Gurgle remembered his Tribe Birth, even the rebirth of his two parents who'd fallen to a particularly cruel set of bandits. Bandits who now, of course, fed the worms and perpetuated the cycle. Joints cracked as he got down on a knee to get on level with them. Slowly and deliberately he waved with his right hand over the woman's gut, about a half meter out from her body with each finger moving in succession as if picking at an instrument. There was a weak but regular second heartbeat vibrating through her body, and in his mind he could feel how the fetus was developing. His focus had shifted completely fallen on the woman, but all throughout he spoke "They will be treated appropriately by the leaders, don't be distraught child." in as soothing a voice he could fathom.

"The flesh will reward us for our diligent work in our time of need, just as it has blessed you with a healthy child." He spoke in little but a whisper and smiled to the two. "There is nothing to fear, between your faith and the capable hands of Cael." Once more he stood up on thin legs and continued his trek towards his own collection of items without really waiting for any sort of answer.

Cut
Suddenly stopped? Cut grimaced at Aze's sudden grasp of command but chose to abide. Sure, he knew his place, and this was something for Aze rather than himself, but the glances their guard kept sending him... They sent excited shivers down his spine and forced him to bite his tongue not to draw for breath too hard. He was being challenged, though his gaze didn't change from silent resentment when he met the poor fool's eyes. Just beyond the line of his sleeves a hook and a blade seemed to call to him, and the spine interconnecting the two that ran around his arms and across his back seemed to burn into his skin if he didn't loosen it now. But he held. He grabbed Aze's bow. Like a trained dog he followed ten paces, then stopped and maintained his visual contest with the Guard.

While awaiting the exchange he sent a glance back to Sinew. The gleam in his eyes betrayed bloodlust and warned Sinew of what might come to pass sooner or later. At this point it was really all up to them. The merchants, or, more importantly, the guard.​
 

ThaDruid

Bacchus
Aze could hear the merchant take in a sharp breath when she began throwing orders around, more like a leader than a simple envoy. Under his hood, the smile was gone. He turned around and began deliberating in whispers with his armed companion. It did not take them long to reach a conclusion. The guard took a few steps back. Four less than Cut. The trader sat down on the blanket with Aze, half his face still obscured, but his mouth crooked into a winning grin again. He raises both hands, trinkets of bone jingling with every movement. A long pendant of hardened fat lumps hangs from his neck.

"Very well... Our beast carries plenty life amber and tools to satisfy your needs. How much do you require, and what are you willing to exchange?"

The guard has his eyes locked firmly on Cut. Killer knows killer. At least now he looks noticeably more relaxed, letting his hand travel down the length of his weapon and leaning it on his shoulder. He spits on the ground, and continues frowning at Cut.

Behind this scene, the two other traders count out waterskins made from the thick intestine of some gargantuan beast. Their pack animal drags its tongue over the Fleshland and savours its disgusting taste. The beast then sniffs the air, and its head turns vaguely in Sinew's direction. It softly stamps its front legs, snorting.
[Sinew, spend 1 BRAIN to notice something peculiar.]

Meanwhile, between the tribe's rapidly-disassembled tents, Gurgle uses his gift to soothe the minds of the young couple. The girl softly tensed up when his hand passed over her growing belly. She immediately relaxed once he spoke his verdict out loud. She bowed her head, before embracing her mate. The two did not speak any other words, and quickly left to pack up the rest of their things.

A lone healer came up from behind Cael. He tapped her gently on the shoulder, and whispered close to her ear.
"We require your decision, First Healer. Concerning the wounded... How we should carry the one not strong enough to move. If we should bring him with us."


GURGLE. Answer me and you will be rewarded. What is it like to be held in a mother's loving embrace?


@Prizzy Kriyze @GrieveWriter @Osthavula @Meredith
 

GrieveWriter

U-Incorporated 2nd Class Type Unit
Sinew the Hunter
Sinew merely gave a nod to Aze as she made the call. No fighting... at least, not right away. As long as that guard of theirs stopped giving the eye to Cut, it was a fairly good assumption that they wouldn't be the aggressors this day.Sinew was fine with that, and allowed Aze to call for trading. She was definitely putting herself on the spot for if it went south, but Sinew would mark a pretty bone for her if such events came to pass.

The Trader acquiesced to Aze's demands and made for the blanket as well. Sinew stood off to the side, her eyes still going from her people to theirs again and again. This cycle was what led to her making eye contact with Cut, and Sinew had to fight the urge to roll her eyes. She might not have been in tune with Gurgle and those mysterious teachings of his, but she didn't need the eyes of a prophet to notice the emanating lust for violence which he had radiating off of him. She met his gaze up until her returned to glaring at the guard, and then had yet another internal debate. As much as she knew of his tendencies, she chose to believe that he would refrain from acting out. As overwhelming as his hunger for battle was, she was of the mind that his duty to Gurgle and the Tribe managed to outweigh it.

But if any of the Trader's companions made too much of a threatening move, Sinew was sure Cut would be the first to react.

Sinew returned her gaze to them as Aze and the Trader began talking. She at first looked to the Guard before realizing the futility of it, Cut had basically been boring holes into the man since they got there. If anyone was going to notice some foolery with that one first, it would be him. So her gaze went to the others with the pack beast. After all, if there really was some kind of trickery in the works, they would be the ones least expected to cause it. Yes, division of labor would see them through. Aze could keep track of the trader, Cut could maintain his stare-based battle of wills with the Guard and Sinew could keep watch over the others and the-

Sinew watched as the Beast suddenly raised its head, sniffing at something on the wind. Ah, so they hadn't excised all of its senses, just the ones that would make it a threat. But what was it sniffing for? It turned its head towards her for seemingly no reason and made several motions which caught her attention. Why was it suddenly distracted by her, what had changed.

Though Sinew tried not to display her curiosity openly, lest they have another tense stare down occurring, she grew more focused on what was happening back there with the beast [1 Brain spent]
 

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