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Narration (played anonymously)

The morning fog which hung over the ancient forest slowly retreated beneath golden rays of sunlight. It was the midmorning of a special day; the summer solstice. Many a village, town and castle on the edges of this forest were likely erupting with the beginnings of ceremonious celebrations. Here in the woods, however, all was silent. Most of the locals stayed out of the woodlands, and although this particular territory was claimed by a prestigious lordship, not even the noble lord and sons oft dared to venture far into it. This forest was not like many others; its thick canopies housed the husks and remnants of ancient civilizations. Stone ruins, telling long lost stories of peoples very different than those which walked the earth that day. Their memories, and sometimes even their spirits, still lingered.

There were several stone circles, pillars and vine-ridden structures which were shaped in alignment with the rise and fall of celestial bodies during solar and lunar events. Sometimes elders from villages or sages from far away would brave the wilderness to seek insight at one of these ruins. A common rumor among the more superstitious locals told of unrivaled spiritual enlightenment one might receive should they approach one particular structure; a mossy shrine, with a decoratively carved monolith in its center. The monolith's design centered around a depiction of the sun, with many figures standing, running, dancing or jumping around it. Pilgrims were to be expected at this shrine during the solstice, but none had arrived just yet.

This does not mean that the shrine was barren of life. Beneath the monolith, sat upon one of the fallen stones, was a strange individual clad in torn robes. Morning dew sat upon his shoulders, as well as his legs, forearms and the top of his head. For hours he sat, as still as the trees, with his eyes shut. Two tusks jutted out of the corners of his mouth, and his ears were long and hairy; though he was humanoid, he clearly was not human.

He waited, as the sun came and the morning dew finally started to evaporate.

(( OOC discussion thread here. ))

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Jade (played by Aardbei)

Early morning was a quiet hour, when all the forest's nocturnal creatures were turning in for the night, and the dawn chorus had just begun its song. When dew coated the leaves and grasses, and the mist had just barely lifted, was a good time to forage.

It was also, however, a good time to explore, and Jade couldn't recall ever being this far into the forest on her forays to gather herbs. The towering ruins created an aura of mystique, and she found herself wandering along a mess of broken stone and moss that might have once been a cobblestone path as the sun's first rays penetrated the canopy above.

She wound along the path, taking note of the odd circles that the path weaved around. Though she couldn't herself guess at the circles' purpose, she did recognize some glyphs as symbolic of the stellar bodies that she sometimes saw in books or woven onto sages' robes as designs. The path ended, and she spied the stone monolith from just around a large bush. She saw the design of the people dancing under a bright sun, and her eyes roved up and down the stone monolith until she noted the figure crouched before it.

What's that guy doing out here? Wait, is he even a guy? She noted his long ears, and curiosity began to override caution as she slowly crept from behind the bush to get closer. He didn't seem to be moving at all, and she wondered if he was even alive.
Narration (played anonymously) Topic Starter

((If you want to listen to this music while reading, (totally optional), start at 1:32.))
A bird chirped idly in one of the nearby trees. The leaves rustled as an errant zephyr passed through the forest. For several seconds her approach went uninterrupted. Hunched over on his seat as he was, the strange, still "man" looked quite humble beneath the ancient monolith. Afterwards, one of his pointed, hairy ears twitched. These ears were not soft or friendly-looking, as a dog or a cat's; they were sharply pointed, narrow and covered in a short coat of wiry black hairs. These hairs grew longer at the tip, giving each ear a bristly look. They stuck out particularly because this stranger's head of hair was long, but curly, whereas they were quite straight and wild-looking. If she was looking closely enough, it may occur to her that these ears rather resembled those of a boar.

Then, with the suddenness of a snake lunging at its prey, the stranger rose from his seat. As he rose, he turned, and soon his figure towered over her. The dappled rays of sunlight poking through the canopy bathed the top of his head in light, leaving most of his face shadowed, although his tusks and unusually long, ridged nose stuck out noticeably. His eyes were upon Jade now; despite the shadows, she may just be able to make them out, for they were an unnaturally bright yellow hue.

Leaves were kicked up briefly from the twisting motion of the stranger. The beginnings of his movement prompted the bird to take flight, its wings flapping loudly as it chirped and fluttered away. The gentle wind had gone, and stillness returned to the woods around them. This figure easily towered over her; he was very tall compared to most grown men.
Jade (played by Aardbei)

As she got closer, she picked out more details on the figure, noticing properly the unkempt appearance of his hair and the hairs on his ears. Just as she was beginning to wonder if he even spoke a common language, he shot up, and she took two steps back with a yelp as he faced her.

His figure cast a looming shadow over her as her bright green eyes met his stark yellow. She noticed his tusks for the first time as they gleamed in the sunlight like monstrous fangs. She swallowed hard to regain her nerve, then asked as calmly as she could muster, "Uh, you come here often?"
Narration (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Jade's innocuous greeting was met with further silence on part of the large stranger. His expression hardly changed except for the slightest quirk of his eyebrow. The air seemed to grow colder within the stranger's proximity, though there was no noticeable change in the weather around them. After a few seconds he frowned, although the expression may have been difficult to see behind the man's tusks and scruff. Then, slowly, his eyes drifted away from her and examined their surroundings. He said something in a low, rumbling voice, in a language nothing like those spoken in the settlements nearby.

The stranger turned and stepped toward one of the stones to the monolith's right; each step was enough to lightly shake the ground, though he did not seem quite so big as to warrant it. And although his body seemed slow, his movements were eerily smooth, and in only a second or so he was shifting to sit at one of the other stones, a bit further away from the shrine. At that distance the sun shone on him; making it easier to see some of his traits; most importantly, that part of the robe was torn, showing a few slashing scars along his upper chest, shoulder and neck. He kept his eyes fixed on her but moved and said no more, for the moment. He didn't even blink.

A leaf drifted down from the threes to land soundlessly beneath the monolith. Just beneath it were a few items of note; a small, plain clay pot containing wildflowers, a half-torn loaf of freshly baked bread, and a passively smoking stick of incense (myrrh), comfortably standing in its burner.
Rene (played by Leighoflight)

(Fantasy AU version)

The beast slowly wandered its way through the forest idly without any particular direction or goal in mind. Last had been a successful hunt along the forests edge and for now they where relatively content. They knew there wouldn’t be many in these particular woods due to rumours and myths so he saw no need to hide in their humans form. Said human was still conscious but had no need to comment or protest their actions for the time being.

A large, long limbed creature with course dark blue fur with it growing thicker into dense mane around their neck. Their head comprised of the skull of a large elk with equally impressive antlers any buck would be jealous of. Long, slender fingers that ended in vicious claws, their hands where shaped more like a mans rather than beast. The wendigo was an emaciated mixture of both man and animal.

Walking through the forest on all fours throughout the early morning, passing by various animals without much fuss or notice from them. Most animals would simply take note of their presence and then carry on with what they were doing.

Large stones broke up the tree line, there was some sort of clearing up ahead. They paused as from the clearing came a number of startled birds. They let out a grating bark, a mimic of a much smaller cervidae as both a warning and to see if there would be any response. Something upset the birds.

Lowering down to the ground as best they could they’d creep closer to have a look.
“I think I have the trail.”

A secluded forest. Ancient, humming with a deep energy that seemed to echo down their spines. The brothers often ventured through, though like the others that day, never making it quite this far. Sora wasn’t allowed too deep, and it’d been years since Xi even thought of making such a trek. Telling Sora it’d been a pilgrimage would bore the youth to tears- it was easier to tell him to track a scent. And he was stunned when the boy had actually found something, though neither of them liked how... off it smelled. Like a deer, but... foul.

It wouldn’t deter the older shifter. Not when something felt right here, letting a bit of excitement bubble up in his chest. The morning dew, the sunlight that managed to filter between the thick foliage overhead. Xi wasn’t old, at least not for his kind, but the nostalgia such a trip brought to him made him feel a bit younger once more. Though they had no cultural ties, for a period of his childhood, his clan sought refuge among the ruins of these forests, and here he learned not hunting or foraging, but the value of the world around him. Even among ruins and silence, you could feel the wisdom in such a place, and he spent much time with his father, meditating, exploring the history to the best of their abilities. Xi hoped bringing his reckless (for lack of a more compassionate term) younger brother here would instill that same nature he’d found.

Of course, this would not be the case immediately- the boy had shifted now, hearing the strange barking of the “deer”, and began creeping through the underbrush.

“Be careful, Sora...” Xi whispered, but the boy had gone further ahead than he could hear. He listened for a moment, then sniffed, turning his head away from the scent they’d been following. A human... and something else. He straightened up, pulling the furs around his shoulder tighter, his ears perking up to listen. A fleeting glance toward his brother… Sora was 16 now, a capable boy. He’d hunted alone before, leaving him to take care of a strange deer would be alright… so he turned his head away, making his way towards these new scents.

Sora slipped closer, the scent growing stronger and stronger…. And stronger than it should’ve been, for the barking noise. It should’ve been small… the wolf peeked ahead, and his tail slipped low. That was no deer, and certainly not anything he’d hunted before.
Jade (played by Aardbei)

The boar-man's language wasn't one she recognized, but before she could ask him to repeat himself, he'd already turned back toward the monolith. He seemed occupied with whatever this thing was, and she thought she might leave him to his business just as she felt a sudden chill. Huh? But it's summer... She clasped her hands over her forearms and shivered as she looked up at the sky for any signs of sudden hail.

Instead, she saw several birds flying and calling out. She didn't need to focus too hard to know they were alerting other birds in the area to a threat, and the stir they were giving the canopy sounded like a familiar threat. Birds and other small animals tended to have words for "wolf" or "bear" or "deer rut", but none of those words were present in the birds' frantic calls. The only word she did recognize was "big."

Maybe I should hide? The glade was a wide-open space, the worst place to be if some unknown beast was on the loose. She turned to tell the boar-man that he might want to take shelter as well when a deeper chill made her freeze.

It wasn't so much a sight, or a scent, but an instinct she'd adopted from the animals around her after spending so long living with them, and to animals, being able to trust your senses was a matter of life and death. She opened every sense that she had on impulse, scanning the forest surrounding the glade. There, she spied a darker shape looming in the underbrush, creeping closer toward the glade. Was it curious? Was it waiting in ambush? What would it do if either of them made any sudden movements?

Though its dark coloration offered it some camouflage in the deep shadows of the forest, she did note the silhouette of its prominent antlers, and thought it must be twice as big as any deer she knew of locally. In spite of its size, it might've been difficult to spy if someone weren't looking for it, and its slow approach certainly seemed like it didn't want to be noticed.

She fought the instinct to run. Bolting might initiate a chase she might not be able to win, and besides, what she could make out of the creature still made it seem like an herbivore. Perhaps only its size and exotic appearance had frightened the birds? But if something spooked it, she doubted its eating habits would matter much if she ended up on the wrong end of its antlers.
Narration (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Somewhere further into the wilderness, a wolf gave a lonesome howl. Nearer to them, along the bark of a tree, a squirrel tilted is head back and froze a moment. Then, after a few seconds of apparent observation, it scampered up the tree and into the branches.

The boar-man kept his eyes on Jade, at first, but her shift in attention must have drawn his curiosity, for he turned his gaze to examine what she had noticed. He squinted at the shadow in the brush, also opting not to make any sudden movements. Those strange ears quipped up, turned toward the source of interest. And although the nostrils of his prominent nose twitched to take in the many scents of the woods, it seemed he hadn't picked up any sign of the brothers' arrival just yet.

The light which poked through the gaps in the canopy's leaves continued to shimmer and shift along the forest floor, especially as another breeze rolled through and gently shook them. The soft hiss of the shaking leaves further obscured the figures in the brush. Despite this, it seemed the day was only growing brighter. The monolith stood as still as it had for ages, an image in stark contrast with the trees.
Rene (played by Leighoflight)

Whatever was in the clearing ahead they had stopped moving, taking a deep breath in to see if their scent could be picked up further.
Then the beast paused briefly as a new scent came to them. A wolf?…. No…something close to that. But only one? It wasn’t a wolf then as there should be more. The scent wasn’t leaving so the beast turned around, remaining low to the ground and backtracked from where they came from.

There was very little that was stupid enough to attack them but they wouldn’t dismiss that some from the village along the boarder came to track them down out of revenge.

It wasn’t a villager but a wolf and a small one at that, tucked away in the bushes. Why was a pup out here? Not wanting to cause a massive scene the beast emitted a low, deep growl as a warning.

He wouldn’t be surprised if he’d been spotted by now. In the dead of night it was easier to hide compared to the morning which only continued to grow lighter. Wanting to explore the clearing but if there was something here stalking him that took priority.
Well, they’d be right in believe there was very little stupid enough to attack. However, they would find that among those very few things, this one seemed to think himself big enough. There was a fear response of course- the fur along its neck hackled and it let out its own growl, moving out from the underbrush. His tail was still low, ears folded back- he was scared, but stubborn enough to stand his ground. But he didn’t move- only baring his teeth and keeping his eyes on this beast ahead of him.

Xi’s scent would be harder to place as subhuman- he was heavily fragranced, and it wouldn’t be until you got the chance to look at the man that he’d register as odd. But unlike his brother, he wasn’t one to go in making enemies. Of course he wouldn’t be making friends either- he moved only as the trees did, masking his footfalls with the rustles before his nose twitched. Even over his oils and incense, he could pick up on the heavy stench of fear, and lowered himself closer to the ground. Cupping his hands by his mouth, he let out a strange noise- at least from a man, the deep rumbling growl was much more fitting of a wolf. It was louder than it should’ve been- to those listening, another beast was close by. From where he was, he couldn’t see whatever Sora had found- he only knew it had put him in such a state quickly.

The “pup” seemed to respond to this nearby sound- it lowered its head, slowly backing away, though it kept up its growl.
Jade (played by Aardbei)

The creature turned, skulking away, and Jade felt herself take a breath. Whatever it was, it didn't seem to have any aggression toward them for the moment.

However, the calls of wolves drew her attention again. Wolf cries wouldn't be uncommon in the forest, but she did pick up some wolves she didn't recognize. They didn't even sound local, but also also didn't sound like mountain wolves getting too close to the forest, or the large wolf-dogs some people hunted with. What's going on?

First, a strange man who looked like a boar. Second, a large beast of unknown species, and third, some howling she couldn't recognize. It was turning into an eventful day in the forest.

She turned toward the boar-man, who at least did not seem hostile. She wanted to ask him if he knew anything about the strange happenings in the woods today, but he did not appear to speak her language, so instead, she pointed to herself. "I'm going..." Then pointed to a tree where she'd noted a squirrel chattering with another. " ask them..." And finally, she pointed to where the creature had vanished. "...About that." She didn't know how to mime the next part, and opted to speak as clearly as she could. "It might not be safe here." She hoped he understood a little of what she said before she sprang away and clambered up the tree.

Once there, she opened her heart and listened carefully. Squirrels were fast talkers, and it was easy to lose the thread of their conversation. However, she didn't even need to go through the arduous task of interrupting them - which could be difficult, since few things got squirrels to shut up - as they were already talking about all the strange visitors.

"Here now. They come now. They come this time. Time of year. Not many. Never many. But like him." And she knew the first squirrel meant the boar.

"But these are not man. Their scent. Their walk. Two howlers. One tree-head, but not. Not like other tree-heads."

Two wolves, and a deer? But not even the animals knew what kind of deer. Now Jade was intrigued. She slid down the tree to a sturdier branch and leapt to the next tree, then the next, following the path the odd creature had taken from a safe vantage.
Narration (played anonymously) Topic Starter

A pinprick of light pierced the canopy and momentarily drifted down through the hole in the monolith. With the shuffling of leaves, it disappeared as quickly as it came. The stranger leaned forward a bit further when the sound of growling came from the brush. Then, when Jade tried to communicate, he looked back toward her and his eyes followed the directions she indicated. As she started to move, so did he, although he was neither as quick or spry. He simply stood again, his expression unchanging as he stepped forward to stand in between the monolith and the growling sounds coming from the underbrush. The stranger's chest and shoulders rose and fell as he let a deep sigh.

The boar-man examined the foliage in which the creatures hid, though his eyes did not settle on any one of them in particular. He did spare a glance upward to observe the girl while she climbed and leapt, however. If he was concerned about the aggressive noises coming from the woods, he gave no indication of it.

A tiny, white sparrow fluttered down to rest atop the monolith. With quick little movements, it adjusted its wings, tilted its head towards the large man and chirped with seemingly no care for the deep growling nearby. If Jade listened closely enough to it, she might just realize that the brave little creature was amused.
Rene (played by Leighoflight)

Rene’s beast took note of the second wolf growl, wherever that one was it would be close by for the little one. They would watch the ash coloured wolf back up and they would not follow. If the wolf was retreating then he’d let them and snort as if to say ‘yeah you better walk off’ throughly unimpressed as he turned back to the clearing.

It was too strange for a wolf to be out alone, expecting more to arrive the beast headed through the brush up and around to the northern part of the clearing. Keeping low to the ground as best they could until they stopped in their tracks.

Whatever scent that came from the clearing was now closer and higher up. Head turned in Jade’s direction but they didn’t immediately see her. Another, much louder and more annoyed verbal warning was given, they were in no mood to fight at the moment. If others were intent on following them they wouldn’t hesitate to become hostile if shown aggression.

Slowly he would walk backwards in the direction he wanted to go in but remained focused on the direction of his stalker.
He could change back to human, but if the wolves came back he’d need to be fast to get away and as such remained as he was for now.
The “little one” didn’t take too kindly to that noise, even while he backed up. Though he didn’t exactly have a pack to back him up, it was clear he had an issue with this. This time his body language shifted, showing more teeth, his tail shifting straight out. There was less fear, his eyes direct on this predator. He was a wolf. Whatever this thing was, he’d fought of hunters with bows and swords and even challenged the old pack they’d run with. What was a giant, mildly terrifying deer-monster with reach probably twice his- oh gods don’t think about that Sora, focus.

Xi grimaced when he realized this wasn’t going to calm his brother down. His eyes shifted carefully towards the clearing, wondering about those other scents. Was it safe to call out? Did he even want to? It felt almost sacrilegious to make much noise here- he was certainly experiencing a bit of second-hand embarrassment with the way the younger one was acting. When he’d come here, his father made it clear this place was not for fighting among their kind. He didn’t know the history others attached to it, but having this boy act a fool in these woods was enough to make Xi want to crawl home and never leave again.

Still. There was the issue of Sora biting off more than he could chew- hopefully not literally, though if it dragged out he feared his temper would get the best of him. The strangers, or whatever Sora had found? Which was a bigger threat? He swallowed, standing slowly. That foul scent certainly was too much, and finally, he let out a barking yell, “SORA, HERE. NOW.”

The smallish wolf stiffened at the yell, but it’s eyes narrowed towards this creature. ‘This isn’t over,’ it seemed to say, before turning tail, dashing into the trees once again toward the voice. He’d shift back to his humanoid appearance when he made it to the other, and promptly there was a gasp from the trees, and a cracking sound followed by some yelling, “WHAT WAS THAT FOR-“

“Be quiet!” Another snap and a figure came crashing through the trees to the ground, clutching at... a tail, held close against his body to the best of his ability. A boy, with unruly grey hair and ears that definitely were not human. He’d liked to have argued back at whoever had hit him, but instead, he looked up, far up... at a stranger in a tree, and whatever was going on with that one guys face. Were those tusks? What a weirdo.

Not far behind him was seemingly the other voice- thankfully on his feet, holding a cane in his hand that was probably what he’d used to whack the other one. Xi let his eyes sweep over this stranger with a scent he couldn’t pin down, to the one in the trees. Down to the monoliths, then over to where he could smell that strange deer. He wasn’t going to speak, that much was clear, and the boy on the ground was too busy glancing between the weirdo in the tree with the squirrels, and the other weirdo with the tusks.
Jade (played by Aardbei)

At first, the dark shape was difficult to spot in the forest's gloom, but part of that was because Jade hadn't expected what she'd inevitably found; a towering, emaciated monster with the head of a deer and claws like some monster out of a folktale. Its proportions were so difficult to believe at first that she thought at first the shadows were playing tricks on her eyes, but now that she beheld it, she wasn't sure what to think of it.

Its aggressive warning made her back up along the branch. She wasn't sure what kind of reach it had, and didn't want to find out if it could get to her. She held up both hands and looked away, trying not to make eye contact. "E-easy, I'm-"

Just then, she heard a crash from behind the monster, and then saw the two figures behind the creature. One was on the ground, shouting at the other, who stood with some kind of walking stick. She blinked, as though they both looked human, their ears betrayed them as something else.

Out the corner of her eye, she noted the boar-man had also come to see what was going on. Given the monster's apparent irritation, she wasn't sure crowding it was a good idea, but given that the other two arrivals looked like they had wolf ears, she guessed they were who the squirrels had mentioned. In a small effort to diffuse a fight before one broke out, she called out to them, indicating the deer-monster. "I don't think he's got a lotta meat on him! You might wanna hunt something else."
Narration (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Once again a pinprick of light pierced the canopy and sent a ray through the hole in the monolith. It faded out, and then back in periodically, not sustaining itself for more than a few seconds.

Although he lingered between the crowd and the monolith, the large man did not seem keen on getting too close to the unknown creature. As it crept closer to the monolith, its back came more and more into the boar-man's view. He frowned once again, although he was not so nervous as the others emerging from the forest. He simply stayed put, allowing the cursed man to keep retreating.

As he awaited the conclusion of the standoff, the boar man idly brushed some specks of pollen from his shoulder and adjusted to tighten the sash around his waist. The conversation between the two wolf-folk caught his attention for a second, just as Jade's discouragement of further aggression, but neither kept his attention for very long.
Rene (played by Leighoflight)

Eventually he found the creature hiding in the trees, a young girl? He stopped yelling at her when she raised both hands. He wasn’t a complete monster despite appearances and was intelligent enough to know that she wasn’t much of a threat. That is, if she didn’t run off back to where she came from to tell others. The beast sighed heavily, he just wanted to be nosy and wander around the forest before retreating into a hole when it got too warm.

As the girl looked at whatever crashed behind him head turned and the thick mane around his neck stood out on end, hackles up. At the sight of the other two the wendigo grunted and then bolted. His size belittled the fact that he could move preternaturally fast and he was in the clearing in less than a few seconds. Running around and behind the monolith if nothing got in his way.

What was this place? he quickly glanced around if only to get an understanding of his surroundings. Stone circles..a shrine? He was curious but also wary of present company.
“Thanks, couldn’t tell.” Xi grumbled, though he spoke at such a low volume it was likely no one heard him. That thing moving though seemed to light a fire under him- he didn’t like how quickly it moved but he darted forward himself. He didn’t chase it though, stopping to stand in front of the boy with his eyes narrowed; he was crouched almost, holding his cane in front of himself. But this body language only stayed for a few moments- he’d straighten up, glancing back at the boy while he pulled himself from the ground, before raising up his hands.

“We had no intentions to go eating that, don’t you worry.” He said, with a wrinkle along his browline- this time he spoke louder, a husky sounding voice that didn’t seem to find use too often, “Forgive my idiot brother.” The assumption they’d even think of consuming whatever that was seemed to mildly offend the man. Xi couldn’t tell it was cursed based off scent, and frankly hadn’t seen anything like it. He could’ve gone his entire life without ever having to see it.

The boy didn’t seem to let his grudge go, on the other hand- he stayed glaring at the creature from behind the taller man, his tail bristled now that he stood. He didn’t like how fast it moved and he certainly didn’t like that boar man, and he was starting to not like this little girl either, for no other reason than being in a mood. Wasn’t this just some hunting trip, why were all these weirdos around?

He’d let himself look around once he saw the creature doing the same- inspecting the weird monoliths with a cross between confusion and dissatisfaction. A hunting trip... of course Xi had some weird stomping grounds. Funky looking places and rocks were kind of the old mans things. He’d just wanted a good hunt and dinner, and now he was here. With rocks and bushes, and not one but two weird guys who smelt faintly like food and left a bad taste in the back of his throat, not to mention some little human kid, “Speak for yourself, I was gonna try-“ He found himself on the receiving end of a jab with that cane and shut his mouth again, rubbing at his stomach.

“We’d come here for nostalgia’s sake.” Xi grumbled- he decided to speak with attention on the girl. He figured that creature was just that- only a beast, and the strange boar man didn’t seem like the chatting kind. Plus children were easier to handle. He settled his weight on his cane with a frown, examining the creature from the distance, “I’ve never seen a beast like that in these parts... though it’s been a while since I’ve ventured here.”
Jade (played by Aardbei)

"I've never seen one either." Jade watched the creature as it hid behind the stone monolith, and found her eyes drawn to the monolith itself now. Contrasted with the creature, she took in again how it seemed to dominate the clearing, and how the sunlight casting it in radiance starkly contrasted with the dark looming shadow of the creature behind.

She crouched, resting her hands on the branch in a position like a sitting dog, and tilted her head as she glanced back toward the strangers. "But I've also never seen you." It was stated frankly, but with a great deal of curiosity and no hostility. She'd lived in the forest for as long as she could recall, but the few wolves she did know did not change into the shapes of men. "Where are you from?"

While asking her question, she kept an eye on the beast, and the clearing in general. Something about it seemed strange. The animals seldom lingered here, and only part of that seemed to be the human scent that hung around the man-made constructs. This place, and the monolith, held some power she could not name and barely understood, but which she felt instinctually in the air and through the trees.
Rene wrote:
He wasn’t a complete monster despite appearances and was intelligent enough to know that she wasn’t much of a threat. That is, if she didn’t run off back to where she came from to tell others.

((This gave me the mental image of an AU Jade that actually lives with humans running home and shouting "I found this weird dog! Can I keep it?!"))

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