Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Common Room

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Duilliath
(@duilliath)
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Castor

He looked at the mess, frowning a bit, then he reached over and righted the table and the overturned stool.  There was something unsavory about having the place in disarray.  The heavy table with its thick planks was easy to shift with one hand, but to upright it, he used both.  He left a little bloody print on the surface as he did so, but it was just a smudge. 

Then he stepped back and rehid his hand behind the other. 

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Calen
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As Calen waited for any injured to come forward, she heard the Man Mountain speaking to her, his arm and hand extended as his sausage-sized finger pointed out two men half under a toppled table.   Calen thought she saw a flash of blood across the giant's knuckles, but before she could examine his hand, he'd pulled it back quickly, ultimately hiding it behind his back.  He struck her as a bit odd, but must have some goodness in him, since he was trying to help.   The two men on the floor waved the young healer away as they hauled themselves up, rubbing their sore elbows and knees.  Other than a bit of bruising and wounded pride, they would be fine. 

Calen was more concerned with the Big Man and the trail of blood he'd left when he reached over and one-handedly flipped the heavy table upright.  The feat of strength startled the young healer.   How could any man be so strong?   Yet, he did not seem dangerous to her; as he was now hiding his damaged hand from her and looking awkward, rather like a bashful child would do.   The unusual feline creature nearby seemed somewhat bored by it all as he relaxed against the bar with a bemused expression.   What was he, anyway?  He was intriguing to say the least.  She would have to ask Arcos later.

 
She looked back at the Giant Man, then gently touched his arm and spoke to him in a softer, calmer voice.   "Please let me see yer hand.  I only want to clean the cuts and scrapes and stop the bleeding.   I mean yew no harm."   She mustered a smile and then extended her open hand to him, hoping he would bring his own injured hand 'round front for her to examine.
 
Meanwhile, with things gradually calming down, Arcos looked across the room to see how the interviews were going.  He could see at a glance that the line for the Carpenter's job was no longer there.  His heart sank.  Apparently, the selection had been made.  Arcos looked for the Cook's line, and it too was no longer there.  Another selection had been made.   Lastly, he looked at the Healer line, and saw Oneshot talking to the well-dressed man with the fancy medical case.   By all appearances, interviews were about to wrap up.   "Calen," he whispered to his sister.   "Yew still may have time to talk to Oneshot, but yew must go now."
 
Calen barely glanced at her brother, shaking her head side-to-side.  "Nay, brother.  I have one more patient to care for."  the young healer gave the huge man a warm smile, her hand still extended.  "My name is Calen.  What might yer name be?"   "

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” Dr. Seuss.


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Duilliath
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Castor

He could hardly speak to her, she was so small and pretty. Wordlessly at first he held out his cut hand, and when he did, said, “I’m Castor, from the Bre’en Bayou. My first name is…” and he looked from side to side, leaning down to whisper, “Dunne.”  He never wanted that Bowl of Gruel Nool to know that because he would be labeled ‘Dumb’ Castor. That would have been hard to bear.

”I cut my hands.” He said simply. “I hit Nool and then he hit me with a chair.”

He moved a little awkward, as though he were aware that he was usually too large for whatever space he was in, and it made him seem tentative.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Calen
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"Well then, Castor," she turned his large hand over gently to inspect the scrapes and cuts. "I am glad to meet yew, though sorry to see yer hand so cut and scraped.   I shall need to clean the wounds, then put some powders on the deepest cuts to stop the bleeding."  As she spoke to him, Calen reached into her bag for more clean cloth, and special powder to stop the seeping of blood.   She was very gentle and careful not to bump the wounds.  "Now," she continued, "I shall put a healing agent, a type of cream, on each cut..."  she explained as she worked, "...and they should heal quickly if yew are careful, AND stay clear of bar fights."    She said the last a bit sternly, but with a smile, as she finished up the wrapping in neat strips around his knuckles and across the palms of his hands.

She looked over at the man's pet cat, still at the bar, seemingly unbothered by the earlier brawl.  Calen wondered if she might have a small treat in her bag for the pet.    She often kept little tidbits and sweetmeats for the children when she tended their scrapes, but there were none in her bag today.  A pity: he seemed such a well-mannered cat.

Calen turned to Arcos standing nearby, to let him know she was ready to go home now, her work seemingly finished here.     It had been a long day, and she dreaded telling their parents how the day's events had unfolded.   But, as she nudged her brother, she saw the stocky form of Oneshot bringing a sturdy chair out to the middle of the floor, and clambering atop it.   It seemed the Dwarf was about to make another announcement.

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” Dr. Seuss.


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Calen
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                                           ONESHOT

With the common room now back to a semblance of order, and the interviews drawing to a close, the large crowd that had been there in the morning had thinned somewhat.

Oneshot was pleased with his selections.   The new Guardsmen seemed to be a good lot; seasoned fighters all, many having served in various armies and wars across the many continents.   With his regular guardsmen that traveled with him year 'round, he felt more confident about the safety of the upcoming journey to Daelows.   The Scout he'd hired today was a lean, quiet man who came with good recommendations.  He was known and respected by most all the foremen who arranged these Caravans to the major cities, and Oneshot felt fortunate to have him scout the way.   
 
And what a stroke of luck that Widow Larkin was available as the Cook!   Oneshot knew the quality of her stews and breads and he admired her rotund figure as well.  He'd always liked a full-figured woman.   And she had a cheery personality.   Good food and laughter were good for morale on these long journeys.
 
Then he thought about the other two positions of Carpenter and Healer.   Today had taken an unusual turn of events with two candidates taking themselves out of the running when they gave up their interviews so they might help a seriously hurt patron of the bar.  Both parties were unknown to Oneshot, and they appeared quite youthful.   He had watched the whole drama unfold with a keen eye, even while interviewing the other candidates.  It seemed the two good Samaritans were brother and sister.  A most unusual day.  He began to make inquiries about the pair of siblings.
 
And that brought Oneshot to the announcement he was about to make to the remaining crowd in the inn.   He walked to the center of the room, dragging a sturdy chair, then climbed atop it to be better seen and heard.   He cleared his throat; "I need yer attention, please.  To those of ye here hired t'day, welcome aboard!"    The group of new guardsmen cheered from the corner of the bar where they were having celebratory drinks.  A few others laughed and clapped.
 
Arcos and Calen stood quietly, trying to smile and be glad for those who were hired, but finding it difficult to hide their disappointment.   Oneshot continued, "Be at 'ta town square by dawn, 'ave yer bag packed and be ready 'ta go.  Yew get half-pay at 'ta half-way point, when we git 'ta Terajin,  and 'ta rest of yer pay when we git 'ta Daelows.  Understood?"     The crowd stomped and whistled.
 
The well-muscled foreman raised his hands to quiet the crowd, then continued. "As ye all know, 'twas a bit of a ruckus here t'day, and it caused a grave injury ta one o' ta patrons" The crowd quieted down as he continued.   "And a young healer gave up her interview t'day ta tend the poor unfortunate."  A low murmur of acknowledgement ran through the bar.   "I watched with a keen eye how 'ta lass handled herself, and a better job I 'ave never seen."  He paused and looked around the room for the light-haired girl, whom he spied standing stock still at the far edge of the crowd, eyes wide at this turn of the speech.
 
Oneshot continued "'It proved to me she was indeed a skilled healer, (he paused again then raised his voice) and t'was the best interview she could 'ave given!   'Ta job be hers IF she be still available."   The crowd cheered and pushed Calen forward toward the muscular and grizzled Dwarf foreman.   She looked at her brother wordlessly.
 
Oneshot put his hands up once again to quiet the crowd, as he was not finished.  "And there be a young man as well, who gave up his interview so he might protect and help 'ta young healer, who happens ta be his sister.   He comes from a long line of skilled carpenters; I 'ave asked around and know this to be true.   But more importantly, his loyalty impressed me greatly.   I value a man's loyalty as much as his skill.   And so, I ask this young Carpenter ta join this Caravan as well, IF he be still available."
 
Arcos could not believe what he was hearing.   He had a wide grin on his face as he grabbed Calen's hand and dragged her forward to where Oneshot still stood on his chair.   "We accept!!"  Arcos fairly shouted it out.  Calen was still speechless but nodded her head vigorously in agreement.

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” Dr. Seuss.


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Lassroyale
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chatte(cheetah)1

Chatte

Catboy Courier, Smuggler, & More

 ╺ ✽ ╸ 

"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."

Nöel Coward

 

Chatte, like all of his siblings, is very good at parsing various streams of information and sensory input simultaneously, information moving beneath the focus of his thoughts and unconsciously filtered through his feline hindbrain.  It’s especially useful in his line of work, allowing him to be aware of his environment even if his attention is elsewhere.  He turns an ear towards a flurry of movement occurring around the blonde girl and her brother, some part of his awareness processing and cataloguing the events unfolding in his periphery even as he makes idle chit chat with the would-be Romeo.

 

Before touching upon anything that was said however, the smuggler made a quick introduction. “I’m Chatte,” he says, pronouncing his name ‘Kattuh’.  “And yew? What is yerrr name?”  Once introduction had been made, the Chatte felt more at ease to address some of what Castor had mentioned.   

 

After a moment of contemplative silence passes before the smuggler speaks again.“Firrred,” he repeats, giving the big man a small, sympathetic twist of his lips.  “That’s a rrrough brrreak, Budall.”  Chatte’s voice, like all of his siblings, has a certain magnetic quality to it that draws the ear with an almost irresistible allure.  His voice in particular is sleekly masculine, in turns both arresting and appealing, with an overall pleasant texture that easily holds one’s attention.   

 

As to the rest of the information Castor divulges, he initially only offers his reply in a simple shrug.  While it might not seem like much, those in the know understand a felinoid’s shrug is silently verbose, an astonishing amount of information conveyed in the subtle rise and fall of one shoulder.  In Chatte’s case, his shrug commiserates, replies, observes, advises, and dismisses.  

 

To Castor’s comments about his (former) job not being a good one, it means:  Yew’rrre betterrr off.”  Then: Yerrr boss is a birrr kurrrve.”   And:...yew should’ve hit him again.”    

 

To the big man’s  explanation of what his job had entailed and his proficiency at it, the catboy’s shrug said something to the effect of: Sounds borrring.”  Then: Lesh! I’d rrratherrr give up one of my nine (lives) than do that.”  Adding: I guarrrantee that yerrr boss underrrpaid yew.”  

 

For now, Chatte avoids addressing Castor’s last statement of needing to leave town, though he’ll freely admit that for the first time since arriving at the inn, his curiosity is genuinely piqued.   He has a few ideas for the giant man, though he knows not everyone appreciates unsolicited advice.  Still, he wonders if the Budall has even thought of what he’d had almost immediately upon hearing the words, ‘I need to leave town.’   The courier sweeps the giant man with his impartial gaze.  No, probably not.

 

Before he can ponder it further, the catboy’s exceptionally keen hearing zeroes in on a sound that he would know anywhere: the metallic clink of a fair bit of coin quite literally changing palms.  

 

The smuggler doesn’t fully turn his head and look, but instead takes a sip of his drink and tilts his chin down, canting his face the slightest amount in the direction of the two siblings.  His eyesight is excellent, and his hearing is even better, so when he swivels an ear in their direction and regards them out of the corner of his eye, he easily hears and sees what occurs…and when he understands what’s happening, he doesn’t give any outward indication of surprise, past the laconic twitching of the black ringed tip of his tail.  He finishes his drink and sets the crystal glass on the bartop, before turning on the stool to once more fully face the inn’s common room, his finely sculpted features conveying no more than a bored curiosity for, well, everything.  

 

Chatte rises from his seat with that easy, fluid and feline grace possessed by all of his siblings.  Now that he’s standing and not slouching, the catboy’s height is much easier to judge - he’s tall, his long legs and the long lines of his body making him appear even taller. Still, Castor is a true giant of a man, towering at least a head or more over the courier.  Either way, the courier turns part way back to the bar, a hip pressed into the rounded edge as he waits for the bartender to finish up with someone down the bar.  

 

He loosely folds his arms and in the way of felines the world over, somehow manages to look casual and loose, and he makes his sideways lean against the bar looking more at ease and comfortable than it has any right to be.   He turns his head and briefly catches Castor’s eye.  He raises an expressive brow at the big man, then shifts his visible amber eye to indicate the bar, before looking back.  He flicks a furred ear, the gold earrings flash dully in the dim light.   

 

His question is clear: Want a drrrink?

 

When he doesn’t receive a reply after a few moments, he lashes his tail in mild irritation, but maintains his air of bland interest.  With a small sigh, he unfolds an arm and indicates the bar with a somewhat mocking gesture, executing an elegant twist and flourish of his wrist, that was more suited to courts and the estates of the aristocracy, than The Seven Oaks Inn.  He soothes over his somewhat derisive manner, with a quick half-grin, his teeth a brief flash of white in the smoky interior; if his eyetooth looked a little sharper than the rest, the smuggler would probably shrug and ask how long you’ve been day drinking?

 

Nayka palchk - my treat,” he says. “The offerrr stands, Budall,” he adds, as he sees OneShot pull up a chair, clearly meaning to make some sort of sweeping announcement.  The smuggler rolled his eyes, reading the pleased anticipation in OneShot’s bearing, as if the text were tattooed across the foreman’s weathered skin. Chatte slid an intense gaze over to the Sant Siblings while they were focused on the OneShot, for the first time that day subjecting them to a hard, yet impartial, scrutiny. 

He recalls their shockingly sincere act of earlier charity and shakes his head, giving each of them another once-over before looking away.  It’s not even the charity aspect that makes Chatte wary - if they wanted to be philanthropic to the point of poverty, he’s not one to stop them.  They can do what they want.  It’s rather the complete lack of awareness they seem to have for the world beyond their own noses; when Arcos had poured his coin from his pouch into his hand, Chatte clocked at least 4 pairs of eyes hone in on the pair like vultures.  The sharp edge of such…inexperience? Naivete? Is as likely to hinder as to help, and their black and white, clear cut, ‘Good Intentions’ are just going to get someone hurt the first time their morals are pushed or tested in the wrong situation.

 

Ultimately, it’s no matter and not his problem if the burly dwarf wants to hire the Saint Siblings.  He just wonders if he understands how truly green they are, not just to adventure but to life.  As OneShot starts his speech, Chatte slides over to Castor and speaks to him quietly, his voice remaining under the boom of OneShot’s voice, though he spoke clearly to the Budall.

 

Castorrr,” begins Chatte, waiting until the other man makes eye contact.  “If yerrr trrruly looking to skip town soonerrr and not laterrr, then perrrhaps yew don’t need to look farrr forrr an answerrr both of yerrr currrrrrrent prrroblems.” He doesn’t gesture outwardly past a flick of an ear towards those gathered around OneShot.  

 

Therrre should be a spot on the carrravan forrr a,” the catboy fishes around for the correct word.  “Forrr a teamsterrr,he finishes.  He looks meaningfully at Castor.  “Perrrhaps if yew demonstrrrate yerrr strrrength, it might help to assuage any angerrr frrrpm earrrlierrr.  It kills two pilsin with one stone, Budall: worrrk and a way out of town.”  Chatte offers another of his shrugs and lets Castor mull over what he’s said.  Though, after Arcos and Calen tearfully (well, Calen at least) accept their spots in the caravan, the smuggler leans over to Castor.

 

Ask forrr double.

TOM-CAT: A Stab in the Dark - Pounce!(1/2) - Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle(1/2/3) - My Prey - Botched Massacre(1/2) - Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - Sparring(1/2) - Kidney Punch - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - ☆Stolen Kiss - ☆Overwhelmed by Intimacy - Returning to Her - ★Bath Time Bonding - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories - ★Laughter & Kisses - Eros & Hormones -Cat-Tom: Rescue Kitty! - Cat-Tom vs. Skaven - ☆(Forced) Shift Back - 9-1 Lives - ★A Beast in the Darkness - ☆Bored Nihilism - Cat vs. Dragon - ★Emotionally Exhausted Bath - Catboy, Interrupted - All For Her - ☆Bellissimo Gato
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate(1/2) - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Soul Searching - Into the Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Heart of the Maze - Before the Storm - Thunder & Honey - ★Ripped Gowns - ★Sensual Poetry - Warding Sigils - Hedonistic Filth & House-Sized Party Crasher - Confronting Maarazaar(1/2/3) - Ash Bunny Irihi
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Duilliath
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Castor

If yerrr trrruly looking to skip town soonerrr and not laterrr, then perrrhaps yew don’t need to look farrr forrr an answerrr both of yerrr currrrrrrent prrroblems.”

Castor worked through what the cat man was saying, then he nodded.  “Yeah, both my hands…” then he shook his head, “that’s not what you mean, is it?”

He looked from Chatte to the dwarf and then his eyes fell on the girl, and he smiled slightly with a little shyness. He tried to be smooth and *wink* but the effect was more bilateral, like a blink.    “I know what to do,” he waded through the crowd and grasped the chair on which the dwarf stood and lifted it and the dwarf up in his uninjured left hand.

He turned with his unusual burden in a circle, displaying unusual skill in controlling this mobile and unbalanced live burden. 

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
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Joined: 11 months ago
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chatte(cheetah)1

Chatte

Catboy Courier, Smuggler, & More

 ╺ ✽ ╸ 

"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."

Nöel Coward

 

Past a twitch of his ears and a thump of his sturdy tail,  Chatte didn't show any outward sign of surprise at Castor’s rather awesome feat of strength.  He purses his lips thoughtfully as he watches the giant man balance both chair and dwarf aloft, without any apparent strain and thoughtlessly making tiny adjustments with an ease that can't be taught.  That type of easiness came naturally, and  personally, Chatte has never known a normal Uman to possess it. He's only seen  that sort of natural strength combined with finesse....

The courier doesn't finish the thought, instead tucking away the information under the file he's started in his head labeled, 'Budall (?)'

The catboy studies the crowd for their reaction to the big man's sudden and admittedly quite outlandish actions.  That hadn't really been what he'd been thinking when he'd suggested that Castor demonstrate his strength, but at least it's entertaining. Depending on how this turns out, the smuggler has some decisions to make.  He's not worried, either way; he has time and if necessary, he'll make his own luck. 

TOM-CAT: A Stab in the Dark - Pounce!(1/2) - Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle(1/2/3) - My Prey - Botched Massacre(1/2) - Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - Sparring(1/2) - Kidney Punch - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - ☆Stolen Kiss - ☆Overwhelmed by Intimacy - Returning to Her - ★Bath Time Bonding - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories - ★Laughter & Kisses - Eros & Hormones -Cat-Tom: Rescue Kitty! - Cat-Tom vs. Skaven - ☆(Forced) Shift Back - 9-1 Lives - ★A Beast in the Darkness - ☆Bored Nihilism - Cat vs. Dragon - ★Emotionally Exhausted Bath - Catboy, Interrupted - All For Her - ☆Bellissimo Gato
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate(1/2) - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Soul Searching - Into the Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Heart of the Maze - Before the Storm - Thunder & Honey - ★Ripped Gowns - ★Sensual Poetry - Warding Sigils - Hedonistic Filth & House-Sized Party Crasher - Confronting Maarazaar(1/2/3) - Ash Bunny Irihi
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Calen
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   Oneshot

 

There was an audible intake of breath by the crowd gathered 'round Oneshot, who was still on his chair after his announcement when, with no warning, the very large man at the bar dashed to the center of the room and swept up the chair, dwarf and all, carrying him to and fro, while holding him high above the crowd for all to see.   The giant fellow was remarkably agile in this feat of strength and appeared quite cheerful and pleased with himself.

 
"ARRRGH!"   Oneshot growled in surprise, as he held onto the chair for dear life.   "Whaa....?"  With one hand he reached for the small axe he carried on his belt, but then heard the crowd laughing and cheering.   Apparently, the giant of a man meant him no harm.
 
"Alright big fella, ye ken put me down now.  I think I might be gittin' a bit seasick."   This brought another round of laughter from the audience and Oneshot as well.  "Ye be a strong one, fer sure."   The stocky Dwarf was already thinking this fella might be useful on the trip to Daelows.  Wagons were always getting stuck in mud and ruts, and heavy cargo often took two strong men to load and unload.   "Tell me lad," the Foreman asked as he peered down from his perch at this seemingly "gentle giant.  "Are ye employed at the moment?"

                                             

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” Dr. Seuss.


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Duilliath
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Castor

Feats of strength and balance aside, the husky man’s natural lack of showmanship manifested when he took a few seconds to think about what he’d done.

Suddenly, he looked a little alarmed at being the center of attention.  He put his bandaged hand out to brace the dwarf as he lowered the small stocky man.

”Employed?” He chewed over the word. He looked around, there were so many searching gazes.  He never liked being the center of attention, it usually came with abuse of one kind or another. “I…” of all the places in the common room he could look, he saw professional interest by the dwarf, sympathy from the young man, concern from the girl [and he looked away, his cheeks flaming].  As fate might have it, he turned straight toward the feline man-form, and in his eyes he saw no scorn or judgement, but he saw some kind of calculation.

What he saw there made him a bit stronger willed, “I’m not ‘employed’, I’m a Drover and a teamster.  It was his idea to show you… was it a good one?”

”I think it was a good one, at least. Don’t you?” He looked without guile at the felinoid.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Lassroyale
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Chatte

Catboy Courier, Smuggler, & More

 ╺ ✽ ╸ 

Is your fairy godcat with leather pants and cat ears, here to grant your wishes with a swish of his tail & look damn good doing it.

Spoiler
Fairy godcat in leather pants
chatte(cheetah)1

 

As he watches the crowd respond with astonished delight at the spectacle of Castor effortlessly holding Oneshot aloft, chair and all,  Chatte can't help but feel a small, genuine, albeit somewhat distant, swell of happiness for the Budall, only some of which is misplaced.  He can't imagine that life is always easy for the kind-hearted man, with the nature of his slow-turning mind combined with his intimidating size, causing people to immediately write him off as dull and stupid, when he's anything but.  The courier has watched people condescend to the giant man all morning, and it bothered him.

Normally, he wouldn't get involved, wouldn't offer advice, and he normally wouldn't have… nudged someone into action, in such a direct way.   As a rule, the courier tries not to leave his fingerprints on things - proverbially or otherwise.  Lesh! He normally wouldn't have stayed once his delivery was complete, typically leaving after having one drink in order to not look suspicious or stand out any more than he usually did.  One of the only exceptions to his one drink rule, was when he sought to quench his other thirsts (He never needed to look far or try hard in order to have his pick of willing partners happy for his attention, be it for only for a few hours or a few days...even if it meant that their partners found themselves locked out and far from pleased. Let's just say that Chatte rarely left the same way he entered, and has managed to fit through some shockingly tiny windows in the past.)

At least that's what he would've done less than a year ago…but things have changed.  Rather, something in Chatte seems to have changed over the last year, though it's still difficult for him to think about.  The guilt in him is old, but the sharpness of it is what's fresh; his remorse is what's new, this bitterness in the back of the throat when he thinks about…  It doesn't matter (it does), because all of the What if's? and Should have's and Could have been's in the world won't change the past, no matter how disgusted he is with himself in the long silence of his thoughts. 

 All Chatte knows is that he'd changed the minute he'd agreed to help Cheshire with…to help him, all those months ago.  Ever since, he's had this intense need to balance his ledger somehow, as if he might counter years of selfishness with kindness or generosity, even if it's small, or anonymous, or even just once in a while.  Maybe it's stupid.  Maybe it's only to soothe himself.  Maybe he's ultimately still being selfish.  Maybe.  He doesn't know.  This sense of wanting to occasionally help sometimes makes his lip curl with such disgusted cynicism that there's days where he just hates the ever living sh*t out of himself and everyone else.  Days where he's overcome with just too much…everything sparking through his veins until there's nothing to do but burn it off, running until he no longer wishes to claw, bite, scream, snarl, at anyone who draws too close. 

Chatte is roused from his thoughts by the feel of eyes on him, the sensation like a physical touch of fingers down his spine.  He lifts his dark-rimmed, amber-eyed gaze to see Castor looking at him expectantly, the big man's scrutiny also drawing the curious eyes of others along with it.  The felinoid courier has to brutally suppress the immediate urge to flatten his ears, draw back his lips, and flash fang as he snarls in angry displeasure at having undue attention drawn to him. He manages, somehow, though he can't help the dull thump of his ballast-like tail against the side of the bar as it lashes once in irritation. 

He doesn't immediately answer Castor's question, arranging his features to reflect offhanded, contemplative expression as if he was taking a moment to consider his answer.  In truth, Chatte was mentally weighing the pros and cons in his head regarding the caravan and whether it was worth traveling with it or alongside it; with his passage paid or unpaid. 

Hmm. 

Well, the catboy and Haven native knows an opportunity when he sees one, though it might take a little bit of finesse to work out the best terms for if not himself, at least for Castor.  There's something about the Budall that, in some way, makes Chatte want to look out for him.  It's almost the instinctual protectiveness of older brother for their younger, somewhat naive, sibling.   

The thought makes something tighten in Chatte's chest.  He makes his decision. 

Without any great fanfare, the lithe catboy  pushes away from the bar and prowls forward, his movements reflecting the smooth, easy elegance of a feline who owns their environment.  Chatte walks through the room with a calm, sure, and easy confidence that's immensely appealing, and while the crowd doesn't part for him, you'd never know it.  Though he doesn't look at anybody in particular as he comes closer to Castor and Oneshot, he fluidly and automatically shifts just-so, curves his tail just at the right time, or smoothly rolls his shoulder at the exact moment it appears as if someone might touch him or he's about to make contact with some part of whomever he's passing.  He shifts his amber eyed gaze once to regard a group of young women as he goes by, passing them a brief, feral grin that leaves an eruption of whispers, giggles, and longing sighs in his wake. 

The courier comes to a halt a bit ahead Calen and her brother, though he doesn't pay them any heed. He catches Castor's eye and offers a small, albeit genuine twist of his lips.  "Verrry imprrressive, if rrratherrr unexpected indeed,  Budall," purrs Chatte, his sleekly masculine voice seeming to reach out and snag one's attention.  "Though perrrhaps yew should put the good dwarrrf down, orrr he might find himself looking to hirrre his own rrreplacement."  He says this with a faint burr of humor twining in his dipping and purring cadence, which earns some chucking laughter, although nothing in the courier's expression indicates that he cares about the crowd's reaction whatsoever.   

Once Castor sets the Oneshot down, Chatte moves closer to the burly foreman.  He openly regards the dwarf, his visible amber-eye intense but ultimately impartial.  "Hm," he muses.  "Perrrhaps it is yourrr lucky day," he says, now talking directly to Oneshot. "I am a Scout - of a sorts - and I know my worrrth." He pauses, considering. "Yew arrre unlikely to meet anotherrr Scout with my parrrticularrr skill set." Coming from anyone else, it would have sounded like a brag. Chatte, however, speaks with such deep assurance that it's difficult to think of his words as anything but 100% cold hard fact. He continues.  "I am usually too busy to hirrre out my serrrvices to anyone outside some verrry exclusive clientele, but I currrrrrrrently find myself both frrree and trrravelling in the same dirrrection as yerrr carrravan."  The courier speaks in a straightforward, no-nonsense and non confrontational manner; there is absolutely no smugness in his tone.  His gaze wanders over to the man hired as the caravan Scout, then he looks directly at Oneshot and meets his eye.

"Herrre is the plain fact: therrre is no one herrre who can afforrrd my serrrvices - at least not at my usual starrrting rrrate."  Though the words might be considered outrageous, Chatte states it as a simple matter of fact and with the kind of deep-seated confidence, that those listening knew in their bones that it's true.  There's nothing boastful in his voice or expression.  "Though maybe therrre's a way forrr each of us to benefit." He straightened.  "I prrropose that yew hirrre me as yerrr Scout, but I want yew to pay him," he points to Castor, "double the rrrate yerrr offerrring.  In rrreturrrn I will not ask forrr my usual rrrate, and will accept whateverrr yew offerrred yerrr currrrrrent Scout."  Chatte ignores any outbursts from the crowd, keeping his gaze on Oneshot.  "Howeverrr, if yew hirrre me as a secondarrry Scout, instead, then I shall only take half of whateverrr yerrr offerrring as my full pay.  Eitherrr way, he will be paid double, because he can easily do the worrrk of two men."  The smuggler pauses and fixes Oneshot with his feline stare.  "Yew arrre a canny man," he continues, "I can tell that yew rrrecognize talent when yew see it. And yew know what that intuition tells yew."  He gives the dwarf a meaningful look. 

"Howeverrr, I underrrstand it's a bold rrrequest.  Yew seem to like demonstrrrations, so I'll prrropose one.  I am a verrry fast rrrunnerrr, and therrreforrre I prrropose this: a rrrace against yerrr hirrred Scout."  Chatte pauses for a bit of dramatic effect;  he can almost feel the crowd lean in, giving him their full attention.  After a moment, with his purring intonation, he baits the lure and states: "He shall race on horrrseback vs. myself on foot."

Chatte leans back and continues to meet Oneshot's steady gaze, as the room around them dissolves into an uproar of disbelieving shouts, calls for the demonstration to go forward, and people placing their proverbial bets. 

 

TOM-CAT: A Stab in the Dark - Pounce!(1/2) - Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle(1/2/3) - My Prey - Botched Massacre(1/2) - Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - Sparring(1/2) - Kidney Punch - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - ☆Stolen Kiss - ☆Overwhelmed by Intimacy - Returning to Her - ★Bath Time Bonding - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories - ★Laughter & Kisses - Eros & Hormones -Cat-Tom: Rescue Kitty! - Cat-Tom vs. Skaven - ☆(Forced) Shift Back - 9-1 Lives - ★A Beast in the Darkness - ☆Bored Nihilism - Cat vs. Dragon - ★Emotionally Exhausted Bath - Catboy, Interrupted - All For Her - ☆Bellissimo Gato
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DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate(1/2) - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Soul Searching - Into the Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Heart of the Maze - Before the Storm - Thunder & Honey - ★Ripped Gowns - ★Sensual Poetry - Warding Sigils - Hedonistic Filth & House-Sized Party Crasher - Confronting Maarazaar(1/2/3) - Ash Bunny Irihi
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
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[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Duilliath
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Patrons of the Seven Oaks Common Room
 

"He shall race on horrrseback vs. myself on foot."

The display to this point had been both entertaining and enjoyable. Everyone likes a good fight and this relatively bloodless and without a lot of property damage.  Not to mention it was a long time coming that Nool had his mouth bloodied.

But this had an air of spectacle now.  

“Wager! Wager! Wager!” The patrons chanted.

Beleaguered barmaids struggled to keep up with demand and the kegmen and tap boys hustled new kegs into place as fast as they could.

The stage was being set for a showdown, all turned an ear to the dwarf to hear him respond.

 

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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An Excitable Boy

The tension in the room raised as the shouts and stamping reached a crescendo.

A small fellow took the initiative and ran out to The Public Square and began passing along the news of the upcoming race.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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                                             ONESHOT
 
The burly dwarf Foreman found himself on solid footing again in the middle of the room as Castor carefully deposited Oneshot on the floor.   He was impressed with the Giant who had held him aloft in a chair and paraded him around the bar to the cheers of the patrons.  The giant's strength and agility could be of use to the Caravan, and Oneshot, hearing him say he was no longer employed, was about to hire the big fellow on as an extra hand, when a lithe feline figure appeared quietly and seemingly out of nowhere.  The cat-creature spoke to the Foreman in a low, calm, purr of a voice, and was apparently a friend of sorts with the big man.  And it appeared they came as a pair.
 
The feline's smooth-talking proposition to race on foot against the just-hired Scout on horseback, was certainly a novel and gutsy suggestion, and his bold demands of double the pay, was impressive, if not just a bit annoying to the dwarf.   But Oneshot grudgingly admired someone who was confident in their worth and was willing to back up their claims.  He thought for a moment, rubbed his full beard, and looked over at the experienced Scout, one he felt fortunate to have.   He was known and tested, whereas this fellow was a wild card (in the truest sense.)     But with the crowd now setting wagers, cheering loudly, and clamoring for some action, Oneshot agreed to the race, then spoke.  "But I cann'ae dismiss my current Scout.  He's a good man and I know him well.  But if ye win th' race, I'll take ye on as Forward Scout, and he can watch th' rear.  A sneak attack from behind has taken many a Caravan before."    
 
"And if ye win the race, and ye be as good as ye make yerself out 'ta be, ye shall have yer double pay."     Oneshot turned to the Big Man next, "And yer hired too, big fella.  Welcome aboard."
 
The Foreman waved his current Scout over, explained the race, and the lean, quiet man laughed out loud as he agreed to what he viewed as just plain silliness.   Then he good-naturedly went out to mount his horse while still shaking his head and chuckling at the folly of the catboy.  It would be over in a flash.
 
Oneshot turned to the crowd; "Now ladies and gents, let's get this race goin'.  Everyone outside."

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” Dr. Seuss.


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The Patrons of The Seven Oaks Conmon Room

Uoon hearing the agreement made, the mass of patrons began to empty through the door.  They stamped and whooped and took small beer to go.  

The barkeep, the eyepatch wearing Mug, shooed his wenches outside, with pitchers and cheap mugs. There would be more to sell, certainly.

Some sharps started ginning up the bets as they flowed out toThe Streets.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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