08.26.3013: The Wandering and the Hunter
Summary: Darious is Hunting in the woods and happens across Ashleigh, only to have Talynne happen across them both.
Date: 26 Aug 2013
Related: 'None'
Ashleigh Darious Talynne 

Arborenin Woods - The Spine, Imperius
Tall, monstrous trees dominant the forests that take up most of the southern half of the Spine. Their trunks are like the legs of giants, and their dark bark is home to brightly colored moss and the broad steps of mushrooms. Natural light must filter down through broad leaves, casting much of the forest in a cool green glow. The forest floor is covered mostly in soft peat and rotting debris, creating a fertile bed for lush flora, which in turn become the habitats of diverse fauna. Nurse logs, hollowed snags, sink holes, and small forest caves adds layers of detail to the broad stretch of Arborenin woods. Toward the outer edges of the forest, the giant trees transition to smaller evergreens and firs, transitioning into mountain forests to the west and rocky beaches to the east.

Darious has taken his stallion Zeus out into the woods today to do some hunting and just to get out and relax. Its been a while since he's had anything to do alone. He is strapped in his armor. His bow in hand and his wicked little short blade on his hip. Strapped plainly to Zeus's saddle is his Guitar. He's already set up a small camp with a fire pit and everything including some bed rolls. He is about thirty feet from the camp looking around for tracks and something to hunt.

Ashleigh normally doesn't come out here but her errands have been done for the day and the items dropped off with her mother, leaving her with a bit of free time before she has to meet with Marah for a meeting. The beauty has her immediately distracted and she eventually happens upon Darious although she doesn't notice him yet, her eyes held up to look at the trees instead of down where she's going, putting them in danger of a collusion.

Darious finds some small tracks and begins to follow them. His footsteps slow and well measured as he Glances around an sees they head into a thicket and Darious's pauses. Thankful that his armor is set up for forest patterns so that he blends in better. He finds a stick and toss's it hard so that that it'll land in the thicket a ways from him.

He is rewarded by the sound(s) of many things fleeing from it a young buck which just gained his horns, as well as various rabbits and smaller critters. Darious nearly chuckles but catches himself as he takes a bead on the buck and gets ready to loose his arrow upon it.

Ashleigh comes around a bush just in time for the man to take aim. Thankfully she regains her attention span and her eyes lower just as she realizes what's about to happen. Sucking in a breath, she holds it then while she waits, not yet speaking, not wanting to interrupt.

<FS3> Darious rolls Archery: Amazing Success."

There wasn't much risk of Talynne interrupting any hunting when she'd started out in the woods today, she was busy wandering around and training herself in.. well something she didn't have at home. Dealing with the woods was it's own challenge when compared to the lush expanse of fields in the Vale. So she moved through them and was simply attempting to make sure she knew how to orient herself when she came upon the realization that she truly didn't know how. So, like the woman of intent that she was, she just started walking in a straight line, fully planning on finding the edge of the woods so that she could escape the millions of tall, disorienting bodies of the trees.

Darious smiles as he aims and just as the young buck lowers its head to take a bite of grass, does Darious loose his shot. The razor sharp tip of his arrow piercing the bucks skin just past the shoulder as it finds the heart. Truly a one in a million shot, as the buck startled make a jump and leaps twice before collapsing. Darious moves, slinging his bow across his back as he draws his wicked short blade and gets ready to bleed the buck before moving it back to his camp.

"Very nice shot," comes Ashleigh's voice as she applauds, the latter done to show appreciation of his skill as well as to show she's without weapon in her hands although she is not unarmed as the sword at her hip proves. "I must say. I admire anyone who can shoot as well as that. May I ask of the name of such an exceptional archer or will I be left wanting?"

The sound of humanity! Surely she can't be far from the end of the woods now. Slightly changing her trajectory, Talynne moved towards the noise created by Ashleigh's applause, a sense of relief, no matter whether it was displayed or not, finally creeping over her as she moved in a quicker fashion. It might still take her a little while to get there, but anyone being quiet would hear the footfalls coming their way. They weren't running, but moving at a steady pace.

Darious still filled with adrenaline Darious's spins around his blade coated with the bucks blood on it. He is crouched as he wasn't expecting company. Though he relax's just a touch as he spots the speaker. Darious's ears twitch a bit as he hears other crashing thru the woods, "You have a friend tromping thru the woods hmm, you get lost or split up?" his tone a bit wary as he makes sure he's not being prepped for an ambush. So he steps over the buck as it bleeds out, wiping his blade on its fur to clean it before getting it ready again. "I'd be delighted to reply lady but as you can see I'm out in the open and you may have an ally so forgive me if I just don't come out spilling who I am without knowing whom I'm addressing first.

"I am Ashleigh Grantham. But how do I know you're won't seek to hurt me? You are the one with the knife in their hand, after all." As she answers she holds her hands up and with their palms facing him, a further sign that she has no intention of drawing her sword.

It had taken her a little while, but when she came through the woods to find.. more woods.. she'd almost stopped her movement. Finally, though, she took note of the two figures and called out with a strangely relieved voice. "Hello there!" She obviously wasn't being stealthy, or even trying, and she looked at the two as she got closer, a smile on her lips, though it slowly melted. "Oh heavens, please accept my apology if I've in any way interrupted your days of hunting." Talynne sounded positively sincere, realizing now that her noisy footsteps could have easily ruined a hunt.

Darious is about to answer Ashleigh when the new arrival shows. He sighs, and then slips his blade into his sheath. "Lady Ashleigh is it, If I were going to hurt you I'd have done so by now, instead of making sure my kill was clean and conversing with you. " he looks down at the buck and makes sure its nearly bled out. " You are not my target for this day, though I'm sure many would be quite pleased to hunt such a lovely woman as yourself. " his tones level and even with maybe a mild hint of flirting in them. " I am out here to hunt and take some meat back to my family as It's been a while since I've done so. " he turns to look at Talynne and arches a brow. "Quite alright, your crashing thru the bush's will not cause this one to run anywhere. " as he gives a slight grin. Then looks to Ashleigh and adds, "As for whom I be, since you've given me your name, the least I can do is give mine."

"I am Lord Sir Darious Arboren, a simple man and scout. " as he shifts the buck now that its bled out and ties the fore and rear legs before kneeling back down and slowly yet carefully placing the buck across his shoulders as he staggers to his feet and shifts the weight a bit.

Ashleigh dips her head politely to Darious but whatever she has to say is forgotten when Talynne makes her presence known. "Hello to you both then," she responds, the Young Lady mindful of her manners. "I am sorry if I am intruding upon your house's lands if I am, Lord Darious. I found myself with a few hours to kill and realize I haven't been out to the Spine yet. Thought I'd take in the sites."

Knowing that she hadn't ruined a hunt allowed more relief than should be expected to shown on Talynne's face, and when she looked between the two of them she positively radiated a glad tone. "I am more than happy to see you both, even if I have to make amends for being lost on the lands of countless others. The forest is… more than willing to lose me, I'm afraid." She looked between them both. "My lady, Lord sir. I'm Lady Sir Talynne Rovehn. And I'm afraid that it might have been a bit on the overzealous side for me to attempt some of my own orienteering training this afternoon. I admit I likely should have waited until I found someone with the skills of either of yourselves to provide the education I so clearly require." She smiled apologetically again. "Would either of you be willing to accept my accompaniment on the way out of the woods when you have finished your time spent this day?"

Darious looks at the both of you and chuckles. "Sure, but I'm not planning on leaving just yet. " he then looks to Lady Ashleigh and adds, "While my family might own these land I believe they are for everyone to enjoy so no need to apologize to me. " as he moves back to his camp letting you both follow should you wish too. He walks past Zeus who's ground tied and yet shifts a bit as the smell of the dead buck but then is distracted more so when Ashleigh and Talynne arrive his large brown eyes focused on both ladies, as he gives a soft wicker of greeting. Darious lays the buck down a good distance from the camp. before returning to pick up a few things from his pack. The first a collapsible shovel, and the other a preserving sleeve, a high tech device to keep things fresh. He lays the sleeve next to the buck as he most past it to start digging a hole. The hole is carefully measured as its dug, This takes him some time. The fire pits got some coals in it and next to it covered in a plastic like covering is wood. "Would you mind adding wood to the fire while I tend to the buck, I will be needing to gut and clean 'im soon and will want a good fire going so that we can cook most of the meat and smoke what we don't eat right away."

Completely thankful for the fact that she'd at least be able to get herself out of there and likely even to her home again tonight, Talynne nodded to Darious gratefully. "Of course, Lord Sir Darious, I would be more than happy to do so." She smiled to him, then moved towards the wood, gathering a few pieces that would made a decent fire. Moving back, she rested on her haunches and began building it up, but only after tying the mass of her hair back behind her head to keep it from going to light. "If you need any help with the tending of your animal, I will also be more than happy to lend a hand there." She made the offer with a smile, Talynne obviously not unwilling to provide labor in turn for learned directions home!

Darious looks over at Talynne as she starts to help out and grins. "Oh Zeus he's a softy. a bit of grain and water and he'll be fine. As Lorelei found out a week ago, give him an apple and he'll be your friend for life the glutton. " he says with love and affection for the large stallion. It takes him a while but eventually he's got the pit dug to the proper depth as he uses a bit of water to wash his hands before he opens the preserving sleeve and then moves on to gutting and cleaning buck.

<FS3> Darious rolls Survival: Success.

<FS3> Talynne rolls Animal Handling: Amazing Success.

Ash got distracted again, the trees something she's not used to seeing. Now if there were lava pits and such she'd be less inclined to look around herself in awe but the greenery, a novelty as it is, draws her attention and she finds herself unable to draw her eyes away. "Oh… sorry," she utters as she too tries to busy herself with whatever tasks needs tending to.

Talynne raised her brows slightly at the mention of Lorelei giving apples to the horse, but she turned her attention to the horse and grinned at him. "Hello there beautiful." Her attention was on Zeus for a moment before giving Darious a grin, Talynne nodded. "I'll go check in on him and see if he needs anything after I'm done here." Sure enough after she'd completed work with the fire, she moved over to Zeus and gave him a soft whisper as she was closer. Her movements with the horse were uncanny, and she was soon chuckling with him like he was actually answering her softly spoken queries. Not much time later, she was petting him, and giving him a kiss on the snout, carrying on an entire conversation in motions and hardly spoken content.

Darious is a bit busy filling the sleeve with the choice meats, heart, liver ect. Once he's placed all the things he wish's to take back with him into it. He seals it and activates the unit, while the rest gets toss'd into the pit. He then lays out a large tarp and places the buck on it as he begins to skin the creature.

Zeus wickers at Talynne and seems quite pleased to have the attention, even pressing his massive head against her chest as he wuffs, and gives off soft wickers. He is a well tended too and hearty stallion, Quite possibly one of the best the house had to offer him when he earned the large stallion. Though to a trained person Zeus isn't young by any standards yet his muscle tone and mass is that of a stallion half his age.

Ash crouches down by the hunter, allowing for Talynne to tend to his horse without interruption from her. "Is there anything I can do to help?" Darious seems very well practiced in this so she's not sure if he'll need her help or not but she does want to help somehow and she doesn't know anything about horses.

Obviously completely enraptured by the horse she's working with at the moment, Talynne didn't seem to remember the fact that there were other humans around for the longest time. When she finally broke off conversation with the horse, it was with a very fond, warm hug and then a soft knicker at him. Then she walked over towards the other two, smiling widely. "Your Zeus is a lovely marvel of a creature, Lord Sir Darious. He's decidedly good of spirit as well. You're lucky to have the blessing of such a thing. I know riders that wait years to ever find even a mockery of such a wonderful animal." She complimented his horse with a purely honest remark. "A very good representation of the breeding we've done in the Vale." A broad smile curved her lips.

Darious turns to looks to lady Ashleigh and then lady Talynne. he chuckles, "Oh him, pay him no mind. I've had to work him hard due to the fact he's taking a lov'n to apples like a babe to candy. " as he grins. Then looks to Ashleigh and nods. "Aye in that pack is a bunch of collapsed poles and a mesh frame. Could you set it up so that when I'm done skinn'n him we can stretch and dry it out properly."

She might be heir of a house but this is not her first time helping with hunting and she is able to get the frame up and the mesh ready for Darious in no time at all. Ashleigh returns to the others, then, her hands tucked behind her back. "This is fun. I haven't done anything like this in a very long time."

<FS3> Darious rolls Survival: Good Success.

Watching Ashleigh to make sure she needed no help, Talynne checked the fire a time or two, and made sure it was properly warming up to what it would need to be to cook the meal that Darious was planning. "Indeed, this is very lovely. And you did a fine job, Milady." Talynne grinned to her, after looking at the preparations she'd accomplished.

Darious manages to do a a great job on skinning the buck. as he leaves most of the meat on the animal and carries it over to the frame as he has to make minor scrapes to clean off what bits of meat that needs to be cleaned off as he secures it. He then moves to the pack to pull out the rubs and things required to give the skin a basic cure as later he'll take it in to be properly tann'd and dress'd.

Darious give Ashleigh a warm smile as he moves back to the buck and begins to cut up the meats to be smoked and what will be for tonight's dinner. Handing them over to Ashleigh and Talynne as needed.

There is a soft chirp from a watch like device on Ashleigh's wrist. It's a reminder that she needs to get home. Being in the woods, she just might be a bit late as she went a little further than she had meant to but she shouldn't be so much so that Marah will have kittens. Excusing herself, she turns and runs the way she came in, disappearing after a few steps.

Accepting the role she was asked to fulfill, Talynne took the pieces of meat she was handed and did as instructed. When Ashleigh made her way out, she received a warm smile and a nod, before Talynne looked to Darious. "I can likely follow her path if you would like to be left alone in your camp, Lord Sir Darious?" Talynne made the offer almost as soon as she could, so that it was understood she wasn't attempting to overstay her welcome.

Darious smiles, "if you wish to go you may, but I will not be the one to ask you to go. Sure I came out to hunt and stuff but I've never been one to turn away company. So your more than welcome to stay as long as you wish.. Lady Talynne." as he cuts up all the meat he'll need to smoke and then the rest of the meats that will have to be cooked or at least charred so that they don't spoil. Later he'll take the carcass a good ways away so that the scavengers and the like can finish off the parts he wont need or use, Which is very little, seems Darious is quite skilled at eating or using most if not all of the buck. He will also cover up the pit to mask the smell and parts of the buck that were discarded.

Talynne chuckled softly and shook her head. "We are both knights, here, Lord Sir Darious, so please, refer to me as Talynne. This is as close to some of the scenes I've recalled from my past few years as many can get, though with far more of the trees." She motioned to the woods around her and shook her head. "I would likely be best suited to waiting for you to be ready to go, when you are, and leaving with you then as opposed to possibly wandering off and making the foolhardy mistake of being lost again. Then I would end up back in the same situation as before, with far less hope." She smiled to him and nodded at the job he did stretching everything to tan. "Lovely butchery." She motioned to the now reduced animal.

Darious smiles softly and nods. "As you with Talynne. " he moves over with the last of the meats to be cooked and help arrange them. He then pulls out a packet of dried vegetable and add water to pot to rehydrate them. "Its not fancy but should suffice for our needs tonight. " as he sets a wire rack over some of the coals to place a second pot with water and dehydrated fruit as he adds some sugar and other things to make some kind of desert. He then sets out some cheese and bread on a sheet so that for now they can snack on that while the meat cooks.

"Thank you, as well, for allowing me to dine with you. I only have a few dried peaches and some apricots, if you wanted to include them in anything?" Talynne took a sealed bag from her pocket, offering them to Darious. They were definitely good, dried at the peak of ripeness and still supple of texture. Of course, only good dried peaches and apricots came in sealable, waterproof cloth wrappers, right?

Darious smiles at you and nods. "Sure you can add them to my fruits.. " which consisted of strawberries and dried cherries. The meat takes time too cook and to smoke but those he's got over the lower coals while their dinner is over the hotter ones otherwise it'll be on the marrow before they dine. As night falls, its the glow of the coals and the reflector panels he's put in to keep the camp lite up a bit as soon the foods ready as he starts to carve off slices of meat to place on the metal plates he brought with him and then spoons you up some rehydrated mixed vegetables and then some nearly caramelized mixed fruit. "I hope it meets with your approval."

Naturally, when allowed to, she pours the rest of her dried fruits into the desert coffer, making it something with some other notes than the berries. Settled down onto her rear, sitting with her legs crossed, Talynne offered Darious a wide smile of thanks and accepted her plate, resting it on her knee carefully and waiting for him to finish dishing up for himself and join her in the restful pose. "I have no doubt it will be wonderful, it looks absolutely delicious. Thank you, Lord Darious."

Darious grins and says " while were out here why not drop the titles hmm. I'm just Darious.. " as he pours some water into one of the field cups and hands it to you, then fills up the other. He then samples the food and realizes a few spices were missing but other than that it wasn't too bad. as he loves to chew on the hard bark crusted ends of the meat almost jerky like quality as he then eats some vegetables, before adding some cheese and bread to the mix. Then at the end eats the caramelized mix of combined berries.

Talynne grinned to him. "Oh I'd suggested the same, but I'm never one to do so until all parties agree, Darious." Talynne gave him a playful wink before she started in on her own dinner, eating in steady, precise process as she finished bites of each of the offerings, then continued to eat throughout them methodically. Once she was finished, she gave a happy, fulfilled sigh. "That was actually quite delicious, thank you Darious. One of the better meals I've had camping, ever."

Darious colors slightly, though with the reflective glow of the coals its hard to tell. "Ahh thanks. I am no cook but at least it was .. umm Edible. " he grins. as he looks at you and collects your plate. "I'll be right back. " as he looks to the bed rolls and says. "if you wish to relax there are some bedrolls over there. I've laid out one as at the time I wasn't expecting company but I always brings spares as I never know who the ground will be. " he moves a distance away where he knows where a small brook is and uses sand to wash the pans before rinsing them off. His armor and helm allow him to see quite well in the dark as he makes it back to camp without incident. He does announce himself first as his camo on his armor helps him blend in too well especially at night.

Talynne chuckled softly and shook her head, remaining seated where she was. "Oh no, if were to lay down now, after filling my belly? I would end up sleeping and you'd have to wake me at some point. I wouldn't want to put that sort of a burden onto anyone, least of all someone I've only just run into and has already done me so many kindnesses." Talynne stayed where she was, seated, until he returned. She seemed pleased at the announcement of his impending arrival, even if it was more of a callback to the times she's been on active duty. "Please though, don't let my presence stop you if you would like to rest for a bit." She motioned to his sleeping mat.

Darious chuckles softly. "the food will be ready by morning, so no sense in us both staying up all night. I'll bank the fire so that it'll continue to cook, and keep up warm. "

As he speaks even Zeus walks over to Settle down by the fire and bedrolls, Giving off a small wicker. This gets Darious grinning. "alright you lazy lout you can rest with us.. " as he moves over to lay down on his mat, then unrolls another one and tossing a blanket upon it. He pats the stallions broad back and neck. "Should you decide to sleep, use the roll and blanket, as I'd be remiss if you got cold. It seems its not the first time he's slept in his armor. Though he does remove his helm allowing you to see his face for the first time as he sets it up on a rock near his position. His bow laid out along with his quiver and only his blade is close by should something happen.

Talynne watched him remove his helmet and nodded to him before she looked at his horse and grinned. "Come here you, we'll chat a little before I succumb to the sweet nothings of a bedroll." Her tone was quiet, as was she, while she stood from the ground and wiped herself free of any debris she picked up from the ground. Unlike Darious, she wasn't dressed in armor. She had on a simple pair of leather breeches, leather boots laced up to her knees, and a burnt umber colored silk shirt that laced up the front. It was, in fact, entirely likely that she pet and snuggled against the softness of Zeus as much to stay warm as be comforted in her unfamiliar surroundings.

Darious is also pressed up against Zeus's side, his hands lightly caress's the stallions back as he snuggles up to his friend. Loving the scent and warmth the large stallion provides. He's heard movment on the other side and figures that its possible Talynne's grabbed the mat and blanket to sit up on the other side.

Eventually, she gets the mat after having a soft, gentle conversation with the horse in hushed whispers. Laying it down, Talynne curls up on the other side of the horse from Darious, and snuggles in a completely relaxed state as she curled up into a ball to make sure she stayed warm. Soon enough, she fell into a light doze and at least got some rest.

The rest lasted for a few hours, long enough to recharge their personal batteries, before Darious and Talynne broke down his camp, and hiked out of the woods back to more familiar territory for the plains dweller.

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