Private Tales Of Steel and Wolves.

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    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Maxine Steelborne

Grand Master of The Steel Legion
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Maxine woke covered in snow. She drew in a sharp breath pulling off her helmet with a wet sound she had not recognized.

Around her the destroyed remains of a carriage long burned to cinders lay directly in front of her as three bodies as well as scattered debris lay around her. Flashes of events passed through her mind to fast to place.

The council..

The legion..

What had happened..Dread settled at the events she recalled before they too were pulled away into the void like the others..

Her armor was shredded.

Metal bits of the wagon that had been sent flying were jammed into her plate from her legs to her arms. Sharpened splinters of wood that had not been deflected by the sturdy plate had lodged into her shoulder. One in particular. She pulled it free pulling off her useless plate armor leaving her in a fur lined jacket and wool lined leather pants.

Slipping out of her armor boots left her In knee high wolf skin shoes It was cold..But she wasn’t in the tundra...Was she? Her mind was hazy to everything before waking up.

Examining her helmet and the bloody dent in back of it. That explained the wet sound she hadn’t recognized previously..

Slowly pulling off her gauntlets and gloves she began feeling the caked blood in her hair on the back of her head.

She regretted the action almost instantly as her hand brushed the wound and her vision swam as pain arched across her body. She felt sick turning and falling to her knees to vomit before collapsing once more in the snow.

Her vision darkening once more.

Her mind thinking of a wolf..seeing a wolf? Her eyes must be playing tricks..
 
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Smoke billowing into the sky had caught her attention hours ago and though it was far away, she felt it worthy of exploration. Smoke meant people a lot of times, and people meant food and supplies and for a lone wolf like her, she was not one to pass the opportunity up. Her ebony paws sent her through the lands, over the snow, soundlessly as she kept her ebony head down, sniffing the air as she moved.

Hours past and she knew she was close. The scent of the wood burning hit her senses before her eyes could take in the scene. There were the ruins of a carriage scattered throughout the area, her wolven mind instantly thought dead horse meat and she drug her crimson tongue slowly over her ebony muzzle. She walked slowly closer, her sharply angled ears perked forward, twisting this way and that as she listened for any threatening sounds.

She stopped dead in her tracks as a humanoid shape moved. Her sapphire eyes stayed on the shape as it removed its helmet, the scent of fresh blood assaulting the wolves senses. Again, her tongue drew from her maw and drug across her ebony muzzle. She did not eat humans, as she herself had a human form, but she could not stop her stomach from growling at the scent of fresh blood. The wolf watched as the human took inventory of her wounds, the woman’s armor had seen better days, even Seph could sense that.

The amazing hearing her form gifted her with, blessed her mind with the sickening squish as the woman removed a large splinter from her shoulder before removing the armor. The wolf shook her head, this woman would bleed out with open wounds of that nature, that or she would freeze to death before the blood loss brought her to death, one or the other. Seph continued to step closer, slowly as the woman slipped out of the armor, leaving her in thick fur lined clothing. Seph lifted her ebony nose again, but her sense of smell was blocked by the smoke and she could make out very little about the fur the woman wore.

As she got closer she moved to have the ruined carriage between her and the woman. She stayed slightly behind, but to the side of the carriage so she could still watch the woman as she examined herself, and then her armor. Sapphire eyes caught the nasty dent in the helmet as the woman looked to it before removing her gloves and then touched the bloody back of her skull. Seph could tell this action had been a mistake, the look of pain that cascaded over the woman’s face said it all and the woman turned and vomited in the snow before once again succumbing to her injuries and laying in the snow.

Seph moved forward… her wolven instinct to ignore the woman and let her die was there, but the human side of her pulled at her thoughts and she could not do such. She shifted to her Anthro-form, her spine extending as she grew double in size, strong muscles and sinew rippling beneath her ebony pelt. The extreme shift in weight where she stood sent her sinking through the snow, sinking her to her knees in the icey cold wetness. Her much warmer body heat melted the snow faster than an average person’s body heat would.

She pushed through the snow to the human, whom she could see was still breathing. As she headed towards her, she stopped at one of the dead and pulled off the person’s armor and then pants to give her fabric to work with. Her eyes turned to the carriage for a second, she maybe able to get a fire going with the cinders still glowing red from it, but first, to try to stop the woman’s bleeding. She moved to the woman in silence, bending down and sniffing her slightly before lifting her head so she could wrap it. She placed the fabric in her teeth and pulled, shredding it into a decent size to wrap the woman’s bleeding head best she could without slicing the woman with her sharp claws. She then moved to the woman’s shoulder and did the same, though she wrapped this one tightly to stop the bleeding.

When she was satisfied that the woman would at least not bleed out, she lifted her head to look around. They were literally in the middle of nowhere, there was no tree to get firewood, no cave to hide in… Nothing. She snorted in frustration and moved towards the carriage to see how close they could get to it to steal its warmth without choking on the smoke. She moved to the snow nearby and began digging, making a slight cave that would protect them from the wind and anything else, knowing the snow would melt upon itself some and make it harder as it refroze. She moved to the woman and slid her arms beneath her to pick her up and bring her to the makeshift snow den.

She laid the woman in the hole before moving to lay besides her. The den was not big enough for them both, the woman herself fitting with just a little space to move, so Seph lay along the entrance, resting her head on the snow. She kept her eyes peeled, watching for danger as she knew too well other animals may seek out the fire for the chance at food. She lifted her head from the snow, looking to the woman before laying it back down. She knew, her much higher body temp would help keep the woman warm even laying in the snow. She also knew, she would need to hunt for herself and the woman, preferably before dark.

Maxine Steelborne
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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Maxine muttered strange words as she was moved and tended to. She struggled at the feel of the woman’s touch. Through the haze of pain it seemed a monster was taking her back to their den.

“Please don’t..” She muttered. But soon she was in a den. Bandaged. Through her gaze she moved forward hugging herself to the wolf on instinct. She pulled her close muttering thanks.

The steel legions patron was the black dire wolf. It was said the first grandmaster was raised by an elder dragon and a dire wolf after being found in the middle of a battle field by the wolf mother.

It was believed in times of distress grandmasters could often find a wolf spirit to guide them in times of distress. In her fevered state it was something she simply assumed. It made sense. Barring the fact that in all honesty most of the reports of this were little more than folk tales told to young initiates and legacies.

“Thank you..” She muttered into the woods fur.
 
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The Kimber

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The woman cuddled close to her, she felt odd as she wasn't much of a snuggler, though, to be honest, the opportunity hadn't really ever presented itself. She rested her arm over the woman, letting her bury her face into her fur as she lifted her head again, looking out over the "den."

“Thank you..” The woman muttered, Seph lowered her head to look to her again. She really did not know why she was protecting this woman, her natural reaction would be to leave her to nature, but something made her want to protect her. She mumbled "welcome" lightly, quiet capable of speaking in her anthro-wolf form just as well as she could in her human form.

Her ears perked as she saw a deer walking in the distance. She thought to go after it, but the woman was attached to her, curled up in her warmth and Seph didn't have the heart to leave her in the cold. She sighed slightly and looked to her wounds. The bandages were soaked with the females blood. Seph shook her head knowing she had to get the bleeding to stop.

Moving as carefully as she could she unwrapped the woman's shoulder, pressing on the wound with one hand awkwardly as she brought her other palm to her mouth. She sliced her palm deep with her sharp ivory canine tooth, blood spilling from the wound quick and sudden. She knew if she could get the woman to drink her blood, all wounds would clot much faster, but she doubted she could get that to come to fruition with the woman being so dazed.

She moved her bloody palm to the wound, covering the wound with her palm, closing her eyes as she concentrated on her blood flow as her blood seeped from her palm to the females wound. She whispered "Sana" as her blood, like a poison, seeped into the woman's bloodstream and began to race through the woman's veins. She kept her concentration on the blood, keeping her hand over the wound until she felt the pull of her blood cease as the wounds clotted with her bloods rapid reproduction quality. She hoped, as her blood coursed through the woman, that it would heal the rest of her wounds and possibly kill off any infection that was starting to take hold.

Maxine Steelborne
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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She tensed as the blood entered her wound. Discomfort plain on her face as it did it’s work. Before it relaxed and her eyes struggled open. Her memory still foggy but the pain wasn’t so intense. She felt much better.

“Where..Where am I?” She asked slowly. Almost to herself as she didn’t expect a wolf to reply. Her vision was still off but she remembered the wolf and feeling their fur. “So I guess you saved me eh girl?” She asked groaning as she sat up and rubbed her still aching though no longer painfully bleeding head.

“The horses didn’t make it. You could eat those if you wish. Or you can come help me hunt.” She said ruffling the wolf ears and removing a gauntlet to give her ears a scratch. “Your gorgeous. I’d be hard pressed not to make you a coat of you hadn’t saved me.” She said with a joking chuckle as she ran her hands gently through the wolfs soft black fur. Still blinded by her anthro form she didn’t seem to notice the hands and other abnormalities that would be changing how she was stroking and talking to the woman dramatically.

She stayed close looking out over the tundra from their little den entrance. “Not much out there to begin with huh?” She asked again not expecting a response.
 
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Seph watched the woman as her eyes opened as the blood did it’s work. She lifted her head about the den entrance and looked around cautiously again before looking back to the woman.

“Where..Where am I? So I guess you saved me eh girl? The horses didn’t make it. You could eat those if you wish. Or you can come help me hunt.”

Seph held silence, now that the woman was healing she would be regaining her senses and a talking wolf would possibly freak her out and send her into a panic so she kept her mouth shut for now. The woman raised a hand to her head and ruffled the fur between her ears, scratching her “Your gorgeous. I’d be hard pressed not to make you a coat if you hadn’t saved me.” Seph snorted slightly, an ivory gush of steam escaping her ebony nose as she did so. She was not blind to the fact that her kind were used for their coat, and she herself had used pelt in many a thing, so the statement itself didn’t bother her really, just the idea of being part of someone’s clothing disturbed her.

Seph scooted herself from the den entrance slowly as the woman went to try to look out. Sephrenia pushed herself to her feet, before shifting back to her pure wolven form as the woman’s back was to her. Her body shrunk greatly into the much smaller pure wolf form, without a sound. She watched the human through cautious sapphire eyes as the woman surveyed their surroundings.

“Not much out there to begin with huh?”

In this form, Sephrenia could not speak. The total absence of any humanoid features included her vocal cords. She looked to the woman quietly and thought .oO(Nothing…) though she did not expect the woman to be able to “hear” her. Seph had never really tried to communicate with humans while she was in her wolven form, so she did not know how or even if it worked. She lifted her head to the sky, sniffing the air again to see if anything was around but sensed nothing.

Maxine Steelborne
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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Maxine smirked at the wolfs snort. Almost as if to say “You could try.” She liked this girls attitude. She gave her another stroke as she turned back. She blinked. Had the wolf shrunk?

Maxine concluded she hadn’t.. had she? She shrugged as the girl answered her question with a slight muted howl that seemed to confirm her suspicions that there was indeed nothing out there. She even have the air a sniff once more as if to double check. No reaction. So not only was there nothing but there was STILL nothing.

She might be joining her wolf friend in eating those horses if dear didn’t show up..Deer.. Maxine silently stood and grabbed her sword. She whistled twice with a small click of her tongue as if to call the wolf to heel and follow her. If she did so she would see Maxine make her way to the burned remains of the wagon. Inside was a small singed box of oats and corn for the horses. She took it and began to walk back to their den. Once there she began to walk away in a straight line about 4 yards away. Walking a small circle in the snow she scattered the mixture a bit before dumping the rest of the contents in a small pile at the center. She then was able to pull a metal case from the rubble and ash dragging it to the dens entrance. Once there she would pop it open and draw a crossbow as well as a small pouch of bolts.

Once finished she would use the crate as a steadying table for the crossbow as she aimed at the pile she had just made further outside. “And now we wait. You can pull it in once it’s dead if you wish.” She said to the wolf. Already feeling a friendship beginning to form with the animal. Maxine had always had an easy time with cats and dogs, but this wolf seemed..Intelligent.
 
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Seph watched the woman stand and grab her sword, her sharp ears catching the whistles bestowed upon the wind from the woman’s lips. She tilted her large head to the right slightly as she watched the woman walk towards the wagon. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to follow like a trained pet, but then she thought about it quickly and this woman could help her, as much as she could help the woman. Many years ago wolven ancestors found reason to befriend humans… who was she to deny that there was a reason for it. Granted, humans now murdered her wolven brethren for little reason, but this woman was not one of those people or she would have tried to kill her already.

As the woman rummaged through the wagon she pulled a small burnt box from the ashes. Seph lifted her nose, she could smell the contents and she wagged her tail lightly, lifting her right front foot then her left in an excited wiggle. She padded after the woman as she moved back to their makeshift den. When the woman headed off, Seph did not follow. She had a good idea what the woman was intending on doing, and having her scent all over the area would only scare away any deer that possibly did come forth.

Seph’s sapphire eyes never left the woman, though she lowered her haunches to the ground, sitting quietly as the woman drug a metal case from the rubble, bringing it too, to the den. As the women popped the case open and withdrew a crossbow, Seph’s muscles tensed and she stood slightly, avoiding the urge to growl, but the unease was obvious. She watched cautiously as the woman settled the bow on the crate, pointing in the direction of the corn pile she’d left for the deer.

“And now we wait. You can pull it in once it’s dead if you wish.”

Seph nodded her head in response. She lowered her flank back to the ground before slowly lowering her upper body as well. She slowly crawled to the woman’s side, keeping her body low as she did so, to avoid being noticed should anything come near this quickly. She laid her ebony head on her paws as she watched where the bow was pointing, keeping herself low as possible, by the woman’s side. Every so often she took a deep breath, her damp ebony nose taking in the scents around, waiting, watching.

Maxine Steelborne
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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“Ah you..” She said with a smirk at the wolfs excited wiggle. She understood what was happening.

Maxine grabbed a small pouch for something special as she pulled the crossbow she noticed the discomfort. Not wanting an angry wolf next to her in a confined space she gently handled the crossbow slowly. No sudden movements were made as she pet the wolf with her free hand gently.

“Easy girl...Easy..” She said calmly hoping to soothe her companion as she seemed to accept her gesture and lay next to her patiently. The slight nod caught Maxine off guard but she took it in stride. Many wolves held their dire wolf ancestors intelligence. Maybe this big girl wasn’t so far removed from that family. She had the size and color. Even the intellect. Soon their wait was rewarded as a deer crept out slowly. Well suited to the cold it sniffed at the corn before gracefully bending to eat. “Alright girl. Steady now.” She whispered to the wolf readying to fire. “On my whistle take the beast.” She muttered before she fired with a quick twang of the crossbow string. Th bolt zipped through the air and found its mark in the deers side. She let out a sharp whistle singling her wolf companion to soring into action and take it down as it let out a groaning call and took off leaving a trail of blood. Maxine would not be able to catch it in her best day.

Wounding the animal was her part now she only hoped the wolf would do the rest. Drawing a knife she would follow after her friend to catch up and finish the beast once she took it down.
 
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Seph waited patiently, tail wagging slowly as she looked to her counterpart, her crimson tongue lolling out of her mouth as she panted faintly, steam rising from her mouth. She looked from the woman to the corn, then back patiently. A deer crept forth from the mist, sniffing the air before it lowered its head to the corn and began to nibble.

“Alright girl. Steady now. On my whistle take the beast.” Seph watched as the woman released the arrow, it went soaring and found solace in the deer’s side. The deer let out a faint cry before it turned tail and bolted. The whistle hit her ears and she bolted forward, sharp claws digging into the snow as she ran after the deer. She didn’t catch up as fast as she would like and so she shifted into her anthro-form, mid stride instinctively. She grew rapidly and her speed increased substantially and within seconds the space between her and the deer was gone.

She slammed herself into the beast, knocking it to the ground and easily wrapping her jaws around its throat, snapping her head to the side which in turn snapped the animal’s neck quickly, painlessly. It was over before it began, not a sound escaped the deer’s throat as it died in her jaws. She turned back to her counterpart as she panted around the deer’s throat, realizing suddenly what she’d done, remembering this woman likely did not know what she was. Her tail wagged faintly as she started to walk back to the woman, hoping the woman would not flip out.

Maxine Steelborne
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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“Atta girl! Get em!” Maxine said with a cheer that died on her lips as the wolf shifted into a lager, more human form.

“What the..” She said stumbling backwards and falling to her butt as the larger more human wolf began to approach her once more wagging her tail. “W-what are you..” She said trying to scoot backwards and regain her footing. She looked almost like a were wolf in the woman’s eyes.
 
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The Kimber

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“What the..” She thought to herself, awe fuck as she watched Maxine struggle to get away from her. “W-what are you..”

"I am a shapeshifter..." she said lightly as she dropped the deer near the den, it was easy to carry in this form and she made up the distance between them quickly, though she slowed as she got closer so as to not scare her more.

"I won't hurt you, if I had wanted to, I would have already..."
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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“S-same to you..” Maxine said lowering her defense a little. Thinking back to snuggling with this..Person? She blushed heavily. “Y-you could have said something sooner..” She said unable to hold the sapphire gaze of the wolf now person. Her blush only deepening when she thought back to how much she enjoyed it.

The grandmaster rarely rested in the comfort of feeling truly safe. And yet in that moment she had. The wolfs own gaze held little of anything let alone embarrassment but Maxine couldn’t really tell if she held any expression or opinion on the matter. Maxine slowly and carefully began to help her carry it back to the den entrance. Pulling her knife out she began to


“I wouldn’t have..T-talked to you the same. You must have felt talked down to at the very least.” She said pausing for a moment and correcting herself as she almost said cuddled. “Cuddled.” The very idea of the word leaving her lips. She was no school girl and this was no domestic dog.
 
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“S-same to you.. Y-you could have said something sooner..”

Seph chuckled slightly as she shook her head. “I was not sure, injured as you were… that you could handle the shock, hence my changing back to my wolf form though I knew it would make communication much more difficult.” She noticed Maxine’s blush and her inability to make eye contact now. She did not understand what was wrong and she tilted her head slightly as she looked at the woman. Maxine moved to help her with the deer, pulling her knife to begin working on the deer.

“I wouldn’t have..T-talked to you the same. You must have felt talked down to at the very least.”

Seph shrugged faintly, she didn’t think too much into it. “You did not know, I can not expect you to treat me differently than you would treat what you thought me to be. I hold no ill feelings as such.” She watched the woman work quietly, pondering. “I would offer to shift to my human form, however, I would probably freeze to death quickly, lacking my natural fur and any clothing. So forgive me that I do not shift into a more, natural form for you to speak with.”

She drug her crimson tongue over her blood soaked muzzle slowly as she looked around, checking for other scavengers possibly seeking out a meal. She turned her gaze back to the woman. “What happened here? To your… Wagon?”

Maxine Steelborne
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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“I understand..Just a bit much to take in. I’m..My name is Maxine. Grand master of the steel legion.” She said offering a hand. After wards she began wrapping the meat and placing it in a special pocket of her bag.

Once finished she rubbed her head thoughtfully at the next question. “I’m..I’m..Not sure..Just fire..and screaming...” had it been raiders or a monster? She didn’t remember. “Once it’s light out we can leave. There was a safe house we were heading towards not too far from here but with the sun setting and the weather being how it is..It would be best to wait until morning.” She said finally pulling free a pouch she had snagged when she had gotten the corn box and her back pack from the wagon.

“So we can eat this tonight.” She said tossing the wolf a couple of thick pieces of dried fish and beef jerky. She ate single piece of fish before throwing the other pieces of beef her lager carnivore friend.

“There will be extra clothes and supplies there so you can shift to human form if you wish.” She mentioned
 

The Kimber

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“I understand..Just a bit much to take in. I’m..My name is Maxine. Grand master of the steel legion.”

Seph offered her much larger hand, taking the woman's slowly, gently to be sure she did not scratch her as they shook hands. She lifted her eyes away from Maxine Steelborne again, scanning the horizon cautiously before looking back to her. "My name is Sephrenia... outside of the obvious, I have nothing special about me." she chuckled, unsure what the Steel Legion was, or what a Grand Master of said organization meant, but she could find out later. Her sapphire eyes watched the woman as she rubbed her head, pondering the question she had asked.

“I’m..I’m..Not sure..Just fire..and screaming... Once it’s light out we can leave. There was a safe house we were heading towards not too far from here but with the sun setting and the weather being how it is..It would be best to wait until morning.”

Seph nodded lightly in agreement as she again looked around. The idea of a monster having done this set her even more on edge. Her sharply angled ears twisted this way and that as she looked around, slowly lifting her muzzle to the sky to make sure there was no scents she did not recognize. There was something, but what that was she was unsure of. She frowned a little at the thought, wondering how far exactly it was to this safe house...

“So we can eat this tonight.” She caught the dried fish and jerky, nearly fumbling it though, chuckling. She brought a piece to her mouth, eating it slowly as she looked around again. Then Maxine tossed her second piece to Seph and she smiled. "Thank you."

“There will be extra clothes and supplies there so you can shift to human form if you wish.” Seph smiled lightly, then shook her head a little.

"I think we are safer if I remain in this form through the night... I can keep you warmer as well. Should this monster, if it was a monster, come back... every second may count in fighting back."
She smiled again softly, the corner of her muzzle lifting, showing off her sharp ivory teeth, somewhat awkwardly as she tried not to look menacing.
 
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Maxine Steelborne

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“Well met.” Maxine said with a smile. “As to there being nothing special about you..” She looked up and down her new friends form. Her eyes lingering for a moment before they snapped away. “Agree to disagree.” She said with a small chuckle. “Not many I know can shape shift so fluidly.” She finished.

Maxine nodded in agreement. “I see your logic. I meant you could shift back when we got to the safe house.” As darkness began to claim the landscape around them Maxine yawned. Her eyes were heavy with the damage and healing she had sustained she felt drained. Remembering this wolf was a woman she recalled what she had said. “Help keep you warm.”

“Oh nononono no..I..I’m fine!” She said her cheeks flushing as she scooted away slightly. Then with a blink she seemed to realize how she could be coming across as rude. “S-sorry.. It’s a kind offer I just don’t enjoy being touched by others..When I thought you were an animal it was different..” She said pulling her knees to her chest. Her shoulders already shivering with the chill seeping into her bones.

Her eyes began to close and soon she slumped into a real sleep. Outside of their shelter something large moved past. Covered in white fur red eyes glowed to indicate a creature large enough to pick up a wagon easily. But it’s exact nature and form we’re shrouded in the white of the snow and the black of night.

It sniffed the air and picking up on Maxines scent it began to approach before halting at the scent of the wolf. It didn’t like these odds at the moment.

The human had been trouble enough.

Such strength and hatred in such a small snack. It had caught the monster off guard. The heavy blade that had burned it with sky fire was still in it’s back.

The wire hooked into its handle and trigger cut an odd weapon it had not seen before.
This did not matter it would not underestimate this foe and rush in. It had plenty of time to make it’s move.
 
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Sephrenia

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Seph laughed at the woman's comment about being special. She supposed she was somewhat special, but she was just herself and nothing about herself seemed special to her. She smiled and nodded at the woman's discomfort with the idea of them sleeping close. She did not think the woman was being rude.... to each their own. But her keen eyes caught the shiver as the woman was falling asleep and she knew, beyond the strong exterior, the woman was cold. So she would wait for her to sleep before moving somewhat closer.

Seph rested her head on the top of their makeshift den, sniffing the air slightly. There was something on the air... she did not know what and a soft warning snarl played across her vocals as she stood quietly, ears flicking back and forth as she looked around in the darkness. When the scent faded and she saw nothing she lay back down quietly, scooting just slightly closer to the woman so her body heat would warm her slightly, without Seph touching her. She sighed gently, taking in a deep breath before resting her head on her hands and letting her eyes close slightly as she stayed cautiously between sleep and awake-fullness.

Maxine Steelborne
 

Maxine Steelborne

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Maxine began to toss and turn in an agitated state almost as if her subconscious sensed the same presence. She rolled over and latched to the shape shifter.

It wasn’t fearful. But as the moment passed she relaxed and rested against her. Her body enjoying the warmth too much to distract her brain with the details of how it was achieved. “Don’t..Please..” She whimpered in her sleep.

“I can’t..Im not ready..” She pleaded with the unseen person of her mind. “Don’t leave me here..” She seemed to finally accept. Her expression held true hurt and pain never even close to breaking the surface in her waking moments.

She was a leader. She was to be strong. Unbending. It was why she slept alone. The idea of being this vulnerable with another let alone a subordinate was appalling and flew in the face of everything she had ever been taught. “You can’t leave me here! I won’t let you! I won’t let yo-!” Her eyes snapped open and she rolled away. Sweat clung to her brow despite the cold. Breathing heavily she relaxed once more and settled next to her new found fur blanket. Her sleep calm and even.

Once the sun rose she woke at the dawn. She seemed to notice what had happened and rolled away gently. She knew the wolf was still alert.

“Sorry if I woke you.” She said simply already readying to be off. “Safe house is a days journey at least. I understand if you do not wish to travel further, but your company would be acceptable and more than welcome.” She said to the wolf.

Giving her a gentle scratch behind the ears before seeming to remember the woman beneath the furry exterior. “Oh..S..sorry.” She said pulling her hand away. “It’s still hard to believe your a human in there..Even of your a bit big for a wolf.” She said with a smirk.
 

Sephrenia

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Seph rested quietly, opening her eyes suddenly, blinking as the human was tossing and turning and suddenly had grabbed her, holding onto her tightly. This did not bother Sephrenia, she lowered her head lightly and nuzzled the female comfortingly, moving to rest her arm around her.

“Don’t..Please.. I can’t..Im not ready.. Don’t leave me here..” Seph rose a brow, unsure what battle was ensuing within the woman’s head, but there was nothing even Seph could do to help within her mind. The only thing she could do was comfort her, and their closeness did not bother her at all.

“You can’t leave me here! I won’t let you! I won’t let yo-!” She pulled away suddenly, Seph blinked as she looked to her, eyes open, sweating and panting. Seph tilted her head a little as she watched the woman, who was, not awake? Seph couldn’t tell for sure but the woman settled back down next to her, back asleep quickly, calm now.

Seph rested her head slowly on the woman’s side as she rested, her own eyes falling closed for a moment until the woman rolled away, startling her awake,

“Sorry if I woke you. Safe house is a days journey at least. I understand if you do not wish to travel further, but your company would be acceptable and more than welcome.”

“A day by human foot? I can get us there much faster.” She said lightly. The human scratched behind her ear lightly, causing her eyes to fall closed and a soft purr like groan escaping her muzzle, the woman quickly pulled away. Seph blinked, raising a brow.

“Oh..S..sorry. It’s still hard to believe your a human in there..Even of your a bit big for a wolf.”


Seph laughed, shaking her head. ”You worry more about offending me… than I am actually offended.”

She shifted to her pure wolf form, shaking the snow from her ebony pelt as she walked to the woman. She could not speak, she hoped the woman would understand the offer for her to ride upon her back. She lowered herself slightly to make it easier on the human to get to her back, her tail wagged from side to side slowly.

Maxine Steelborne
 
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Maxine Steelborne

Grand Master of The Steel Legion
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“I appreciate the offer..” Maxine began as she understood completely what was implied.

“There is simply no way I could ask you to-.” A long howl rent the air. Further behind them something moved behind the tree line. Maxines hand moved to her sword as she turned towards it. A tree fell and then another.

Silence...

Maxine looked back at Seph with a curious look. A rush of wind made her jump back as a full sized pine slammed into the dirt before her like a massive spear. She turned to run as a second slammed with enough force to throw her off her feet leading her to fall to the ground and slide a few feet in a flurry of snow.

“Then again what’s a ride or two between friends..” She said trying to dig herself out of the newly made snow drift. She was obviously not at a hundred percent yet though she was trying her best to look at her full strength.

She didn’t think she was fooling her blue eyed friend but if it was a creature that was hunting them a weak foe was one that encouraged attack.

With a nervous look over her shoulder in the direction of the howl. Clambering aboard she made sure she wasn’t squeezing the willing mount to tightly with her legs reaching around her neck as opposed to pulling on her fur. Holding only tightly enough to keep her self aboard. “Head north.” She said tensing for the speed.
 
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Sephrenia

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“I appreciate the offer.. There is simply no way I could ask you to-.”

Seph was about to say that Maxine Steelborne had in fact not asked, that Seph herself suggested it, when a loud howl tore through the surrounding air. Seph's head shot up as a deep growl pressed forth from deep in her chest, her sharply angled ears perked forward as her eyes scanned the trees that had fallen. Then silence cut through the tension and she tilted her head for a moment before tilting her eyes towards Maxine.

A massive tree came careening towards them, slamming into the dirt before them and they both twisted and ran. A second tree slammed into the ground, the hit upon the ground hard enough to send Maxine stumbling off her feet. Seph moved to her side quickly and demanded "GET ON" with a snarl.

“Then again what’s a ride or two between friends..”

Maxine pulled herself onto Seph's shoulders and wrapped her arms around her neck, sharp claws dug into the snow and Seph was off quickly, her ears pressing tight against her skull to make her even a little more streamline. Her muscles worked, clenching and writhing beneath her ebony pelt as she ran as fast as she could.

“Head north.”

She adjusted her position slightly and headed north, her feet quick as they plowed through the snow heading towards the safe house she assumed, doing her best to listen through her breathing and footfalls, for noise behind them.
 
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Maxine Steelborne

Grand Master of The Steel Legion
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Something was following them.

Well not them.

Her.

If it wasn’t for Maxine the black wolf would be in no danger.

Maxine wasn’t sure why this person was helping her as much as they had, but she held tightly. Calling direction when needed she felt the speed at which her new friend ran.

It was impressive.
Soon the came to little more than a shack. The structure looked to have been abandoned long ago, and in all honesty the fact a gust of wind hadn’t put it out of its misery seemed to be a miracle of the gods. “This is the place..” Maxine said patting seph as a signal for her to stop.

She moved quickly hoping off of seph and shouldering open the door. Inside was barren. A rug was all that was there. Maxine removed her glove and placed her hand on the floor. A rune glowed on the back of her hand as one appeared on the floor. The rug slid back to reveal a trap door.

“Come please.. Should be safe in here.” She said beckoning for her friend to follow.
 

Sephrenia

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Seph ran full throttle from whatever was after Maxine. When they finally reached what appeared to be a shack she rose a brow, slowing and looking around. She turned her eyes to Maxine quietly and nudged her hand. She was surprised when Maxine removed her glove, opening a trap door to let her inside. Upon the woman's hand was a rune, which glowed, which is what had slid the rug back and opened the door. She tilted her head and shifted to her human form, she'd have to to get down.

"Sorry" she said softly, as as usual she could not shift into her human form with clothing intact, so she apologized for her nudity. She headed down, then shifted into her anthro form, for the sake of being mostly covered, yet still able to talk. She looked curiously round the hidden room before turning her sapphire eyes to Maxine, tilting her head to look to her hand for a moment.
 

Maxine Steelborne

Grand Master of The Steel Legion
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“I-Um..It’s fine! After you..” Maxine said with an awkward chuckle. Sneaking a shameful peak she instantly chastised herself for taking as the woman went in first. A blush flushing her cheeks once more at the woman’s bare form.

This discomfort disappeared as she went inside and shifted to her more modest anthro form.

Maxine kept her slight sigh of longing from reaching her friends ears. She had been quite good looking. Damn it. What was she thinking. What did it matter what she looked like. Shoving these thoughts from her mind aggressively she foucused on the tasks at hand. She noticed Seph looking at her hand curiously.

“Legion mark.” She said showing her the rune. “My people have many of these places. Facades for what lays within.” She said as she touched a wall in the dark room. Once more the rune lit along with several lanterns.

Their ghostly light revealing a quite a nice set up. A long oaken table. A side kitchen and even a few weapon racks. Two doors were at the back. One a bath house and the other a barracks. To the left wall another door led to an infirmary. Each had a small plaque above it stating it’s function.

Maxine soon realized the wolfs eyes were on her. She felt a strange sense of dread that came with being in a small room with a barely known stranger that could suddenly decide they were hungry. She didn’t think that would be the case. The feeling remained regardless. She felt the same when speaking with dragons. Maxine was a powerful warrior and still felt strange when she realized she was being allowed to live by something or someone.

At least this woman was human on the inside. Many monsters didn’t even have that going for them. This made the feeling subside. “Thank you for everything. If you wish to stay you of course can...but you owe me nothing. If this beast is looking for me you will only be putting yourself in needless danger..” she said. She found herself hoping the woman would stay. Something about her had left the grandmaster infatuated. She had never been saved before. She had done plenty of the saving in her time. She was a strong beautiful woman, and many had courted her.

She had always been too busy for any suitor that had tried their hand, be they man or woman she had always ignored them. In hindsight it was more than likely the fact she thought them too weak. Not in a narcissistic sense, she did not think herself “above.” Or “better than.” She had simply not wanted to attach herself to someone she could lose in her line of work. Something about this woman made her feel differently. She kept this thought to herself.

Stuffing it further down she felt her stomach growl. Food. A perfect distraction. “While you decide I can get some food going as well. The deer should heat up nicely I think.” She proposed moving towards the door labeled “barracks.”