forum Ever Searching (1-1, Closed, Mature)
Started by @Serpentess health_and_safety language

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@Serpentess health_and_safety language


Here’s the one for De’Tearion and Valiel. If you want, you can just copy/paste her template from Feathers Anew here. Whatever works. I’ll get De’Tearion’s template up, then work on the starter. It may take me a minute though, because I’m going to be busy here in a little bit.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Name: Valiel Galcan
Age: 147, young adult
Race/Species: Northern Hinterlands Skin-changer
Eye Color: Icy blue
Hair Color: Rich Auburn
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 135 lbs
Basic Personality: Valiel is a gentle soul. She avoids fights if she can, and is quick to help others. However, she's been through some garbage which has given her a heart of steel, and she will not shy away from violence to defend herself and those she loves, if she must.
Other: She shapeshifts with ease, as most Skin-changers do. Valiel will appear human most of the time, but she also favors wolves and crows as go-to forms. She also has some magical abilities.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

(Waves. I’m back, lol. Here’s the starter)

The full moon barely showed through the thick trees. Creatures of the night snuck through the underbrush without a sound, hunting for slumbering prey. Among those creatures was De’Tearion, his eyes closed, his other senses drawn to all of the heartbeats around him.

His slow steps were silent and precise. And, though he towered above the dense vegetation, the leaves and vines slid off of him with little sign of being disturbed. He was a true apex predator, but he was also starving after nearly a week without a meal. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the forest that was appetizing to him, despite the dozens of heartbeats singing in his ears.

A faint sigh escaped him and De’Tearion contemplated climbing into the trees and sleeping. It’s not like he had much of an appetite anyway. It had been over twenty years since he’d last had a proper diet.

De’Tearion stopped, finally deciding he would end his hunt for the night. But, he didn’t move from his spot just yet. He simply stood there, listening to the music of hearts and blood. The different tones and tempos were nothing less than beautiful.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion tilted his head as he listened, overhearing the sound of a conscious heartbeat. It wasn’t too surprising, since it seemed to fit the sound of a feline predator, but something about the creature was off. The smell didn’t quite fit the usual feline.

De’Tearion lifted his head and opened his eyes to inspect the feline. His vision was perfect despite the darkness of the forest, and he easily sighted the panther lounging above him.

Taking a deep inhale, De’Tearion sensed that this panther was more than a mere feline. His eyes narrowed and he slowly headed for the tree, his second pair of arms growing out of his waist.

He started climbing up the tree, using all six pairs of claws to cling onto the bark. As he got closer, he closed his eyes again, quietly moving the rest of the way to the branch holding the panther.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Valiel had frozen, hoping the creature wouldn't notice her.
It definitely had.
It was climbing the tree, and Valiel was frantically thinking about her options. As it approached the branch she was on, she got to her feet and leapt down to the ground.
Something about the creature was odd to her, she couldn't say what, but it seemed… Malevolent.
She turned and faced it from her spot on the ground, and decided to push her luck.
"Can I help you?"

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion paused when the panther jumped down, listening to where it would run. However, it didn’t run, instead turning to face him. That was definitely not a typical feline maneuver. Then, it spoke. Or, rather, she spoke.

Questions whirled in his head. Was this female somehow a talking panther, or was she even a panther at all? Why didn’t she run? Did she even know what he was?

By all appearances, the female had no clue what he was. A cruel grin spread across his lips and he teleported, vanishing in a cloud of black smoke. He appeared a few feet behind the female, black mist quickly forming around his fingers. The mist gathered into a ball of energy about the size of his fist and De’Tearion threw it at the panther. The ball could only stun its target, but it was powerful enough to, at least, bring the panther to her knees, if not completely knock her out.

Had De’Tearion been in a better mindset, he likely would’ve questioned her instead. Unfortunately, he was currently so ravaged by recent mistakes that he didn’t even bother to consider the panther as anything more than a strange meal.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Valiel blinked as the creature disappeared. She glared at the surrounding vegetation, trying to pinpoint where it was. She saw nothing.
The hair on the back of her neck suddenly stood up, and Valiel moved, lunging to her left in response to an instinct honed from years in the harsh Hinterlands. Something whizzed past the spot where she had just been, and she turned to look at the creature. It was standing there, towering over her, and up close Valiel could see it had masculine facial features. She noted that he seemed to be leering at her, although the 4 arms were much more worrying than the expression.
Valiel immediately shifted from the panther to a dire wolf, standing 6 feet at the shoulder. She wasn't quite as tall as he was, but she was bigger than before by far. She didn't say anything else, just flattened her ears and watched him closely.
She wanted to escape, but every sense she had was telling her not to run from this man. So she waited for him to make another move.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

A gutteral growl accented by insectile chirps and clicks burst from De’Tearion when the panther dodged his attack. Another ball of stunning energy quickly formed in his hand, but he paused when the female turned from a panther into a massive wolf. His eyes narrowed in both confusion and caution.

The ball of energy dissipated into nothing when De’Tearion willed it to, and he eyed the female closely. He hadn’t expected a shapeshifter out in the heart of a deep forest, but now that he thought of it, he realized that he shouldn’t be surprised. Forests could hold a nearly infinite variety of creatures, and he knew that for a fact, simply because his own race was a kind of Forestfolk.

That left open a question though. Was she native to this particular forest? Or was she a rogue like he was? Neither reality had a favorable ending.

So, De’Tearion tried for a different tactic. He met eyes with the wolf, his gaze intensifying by a hundredfold. An aura of drowsiness radiated from his eyes, a hypnotic sensation that could send a full-grown human into a deep sleep within a few moments. He held her gaze, and slowly stepped forward, the sensation becoming more compelling as he got closer.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Valiel watched him as the shadows seemed to suck in around him, specifically his hand, before they returned to normal. He locked eyes with her, and Valiel suddenly felt tired. It got worse as he stepped closer, and she realized he was doing this.
Two can play at that game.
Her eyes blazed with a white light, and she pushed rage in his direction. If he was going to put her to sleep, she was going to rile him up. A low snarling escaped her muzzle, some of the anger overflowing to her.
Let's see how he handles this.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion yelped as he was momentarily blinded by the white light. A burst of sheer rage filled his chest, but his anger was never just that.

He teleported away, hiding behind a tree some distance back along his trail. Tears of black blood welled in his eyes and he pulled an amulet out from under his collar. It was a silver and light purple gemstone chain with a black glass pendant of a female goliath beetle. He cradled the pendant desperately, grief ripping him to shreds.

Moments later, De’Tearion screeched, the anger rushing forth. He whirled around and viciously attacked the tree he’d been against, carving deep gashes in it with all four arms. Then, he sank to his knees, leaning on the poor tree as he continued to cry. He wasn’t even aware yet that his anger was magically inspired.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Valiel nodded in satisfaction as he reacted, and watched him disappear. She heard the sounds of his anger a ways into the woods ahead of her, and turned to go, but something stopped her.
He sounds… desperate…
The mix of anger and sadness in the noises she could hear was a familiar one, and she wondered if she'd pushed it too far. She padded in his direction, and pushed a tendril of calm towards him, hoping to quell some of the feeliings she had inspired.
She decided that if he attacked her again, she would avoid the emotional attacks, unless he started it again. She knew what it was not to be in control of her mind and heart. Some of the Skin-changers back home had very potent magic, and had no scruples about using it to enslave people to their will, or drive people mad, or depress a person so much they took their own life… Valiel didn't know if she was that powerful, because she had never wanted to try.
But she'd had it done to her, and she knew it was intensely unpleasant, at best.
I hope he decides not to attack again…

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

As he cried, De’Tearion started to tenderly caress the tree with his free hand, his mind deep in memory. The other hand still held the pendant of his amulet, which once belonged to his dearest sister, Agatha. The day she died was the day De’Tearion had lost himself. He was nothing more than an aimless rogue now, even more so after the woman he loved had cast him out.

A calming sensation fell over him and De’Tearion’s eyes shot open. Magic. That affected emotions? He knew his eyes could hypnotize someone into falling asleep, but he’d never encountered emotional magic like this. Was that why his rage had abruptly surged to life?

An insectile chirp came from De’Tearion’s throat as he considered that thought and he straightened, composing himself shockingly fast. He then eyed the marks he’d made on the tree, sighing sorrowfully. He didn’t like hurting trees, but sometimes he couldn’t stop himself.

After a moment, De’Tearion stood and quickly climbed up into the tree, stealthily crawling along the branches and spying on the she-wolf as she approached. Only his softly glowing eyes gave him away.

He pondered why she was heading toward him, a definite threat to her life. He was still starving, and he could easily overpower her with his strength. Was she… concerned? A mocking snort escaped him. He’d only known one women that had ever truly cared about him, even with his shortcomings, and his beloved sister was many years dead.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Valiel padded closer, till she heard the rustling of leaves up ahead at the same time the desperate noises stopped. She glanced up and across, not looking at ony one spot, but did notice the reflective eyes up in the tree cover.
Good. He's in one piece. She stopped pushing anything his way, leaving him to his own emotions, before turning and running off into the woods. She hoped he wouldn't follow her, that had been an unfortunate encounter.
Although with his powers, she stayed wary. Any creature that could teleport was not something she wanted to tangle with, but. She was well-fed at the moment, and if she had to, she would indeed tangle.
The Skin-changer was really hoping it wouldn't come to that. She didn't feel like mauling anything tonight, and certainly wasn't in the mood to get mauled.
She headed west, before turning south, which was the initial direction she'd been heading.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

The moment the calming magic stopped, De’Tearion started to growl. That this woman would manipulate his emotions, then run off without giving him a decent fight, infuriated him. He immediately started to follow her, crawling along the branches with great speed.

However, she was faster than him, mostly because she had more open ground. De’Tearion paused, thinking of a better way to chase her. He chirped thoughtfully when he remembered his wings. He just hoped they weren’t torn from neglect.

Angling himself right was tricky, but his dive took all of his concentration. At his command, his beetle wings unfurled from two slits in the back part of his exoskeletal armor. He quickly pulled himself upward a bit, so that his flight had a shallow downward angle instead of a complete dive to the ground.

He caught up to the she-wolf quickly, but her turn threw him off and he was forced to sheathe his wings and roll to the side to avoid slamming face first into a tree. He ended up crashing on the ground, his body half buried in a dense bush.

With an annoyed growl, De’Tearion kicked his way out of the bush, rolled onto his belly, stood, and sprinted after the she-wolf. He closed on her, but there was still some distance between them because of his fall.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Valiel had thought she'd heard something, but she was too busy looking for signs of his teleportation to even think about him just… following her. It wasn't until he crashed behind her and came after her, snarling, that she realized he was just going to chase her down.
She turned as he caught up to her, and shifted forms as she did, shifting from the wolf to the form of a 15' red-furred Hinterlands stonebear. She stood on her back legs, towering, just as he got within distance, and swung at him with all the strength you'd expect from a 15' creature called a stonebear. She had paws the size of dinner plates and retractable claws several inches long.

He was heavy, and clearly very strong, but Valiel managed to bitch-slap him into the nearest tree.

She did not push the attack, just stood there, waiting.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion tried to dodge the attacks from the now she-bear, but only avoided one slap before getting thrown into a tree. The poor plant shuddered with the impact, and loose pieces of bark showered De’Tearion as he crumpled to the ground in a daze.

He groaned, curling his limbs in preparation to strike in defense. But, the bear didn’t lunge at him like he was thinking. She stayed where she was, watching him. Why? It genuinely confused him that this shapeshifter, particularly since she was a bear shapeshifter, would spare him.

De’Tearion groggily sat up, a bit short of breath, and eyed the bear suspiciously. It was a trick. It had to be. He had chased her. He had attacked her. Was it not logical that he should be attacked back?

“Give me the dignity of battle, if you have any merit,”he hissed in the common tongue, his voice raspy from neglect and heavily accented by chirps and clicks.

A bitter look crossed his face before his expression turned emotionless. He didn’t stand, instead just watched the bear right back.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Valiel didn't move. She almost didn't respond, but he was making an effort to talk instead of just attacking her, so she decided to see where this would go.
"There is no dignity in slapping you around like a wayward child." she said. Instead of her own voice, she used the bear's voice, which was a roaring, snarling rumble, like quiet thunder, or the sound of rocks grinding together in an earthquake. "What do you want and why did you attack me?"
She stayed reared up, kept her paws spread and at her sides, ready for him to attack. He was faster, and probably stronger if he managed to land a blow, and she couldn't run from a teleporter, even if he seemed content to chase her down.
He'll pay dearly for my skin, if he tries to take it.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion turned back, mildly surprised that the she-bear had actually replied. He knew few shapeshifters that could speak in their animal forms. Though, he snorted at her words.

“You greatly underestimate me,”he replied.

He chuckled bitterly at her questions.

“What I wish… ‘Tis a long list. Why I attacked you… I was hunting,”he replied vaguely.

He was unfazed by her pose. He was used to battle, to posturing, to biting his tongue else he be stabbed in the back. That was the price of being a Goliathan commander. Good thing he didn’t need to worry about leadership anymore.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

"I might underestimate you, but I also didn't hit you very hard just now." She gestured at where he was sitting next to the damaged tree.
"And if you're going to hunt, there are plenty of things that won't fight back so much. These woods are full."
He clearly wasn't intimidated, and Valiel was bluffing him, hard. She knew full well if it went to a pitched fight with a creature she didn't know, she would likely lose.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

De’Tearion chuckled mockingly,”I have yet to hit you.”

“I like a challenge. Most forest creatures are too easy for me,”he mumbled.

He was half lying, which wasn’t something he did often, considering that he actually hated lying in general. He truthfully did like a challenge, but he simply didn’t have the appetite to hunt for typical creatures. None of them were appealing, despite the sheer number of animals available.

De’Tearion heard the way her heartbeat sped up every time she spoke. She was nervous. She was lying. She was afraid of him. How he loved it when his prey knew they were outmatched.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

He wasn't backing down. Valiel was waffling between nerves and frustration. He was irritating her, but she sincerely didn't want to fight him. He also didn't seem like the type to shake hands and start over, not when she'd already belted him one.
"You're right, you haven't hit me, and you're not likely to." I hope. "And if you like a challenge, you want something more difficult, there are forest trolls everywhere. Hunt those instead." And you're welcome to them! The 7 foot trolls looked like small, sentient trees, but were viciously fast and very strong. They weren't plenteous, but they had crossed Valiel's path several times, and she hadn't tried to tangle with one yet.
The creature in front of her would have no trouble with them, she was sure.