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 [TR] Who Let The Dogs Out?, Cullen & Freya | 3 Solace 9:36 Dragon
played by STAFF
CST    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GAdmin
A
ATHE MAKER
P230 posts

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Another round of jousting has concluded and a Knight from Antiva in deep red armor sees his hand raised to a chorus of cheers that ring out over the Tourney grounds to find you. At midday the heat is reaching its peak and you feel sweat forming over your brow beneath a glaring sun.

As stands empty, the bustle of the crowd has become deafening, families and companions share their favorite moments of the final rally as well as suggestions for what would come next. In the dying ruckus you can hear it — barking. The kennels are not far and it could easily be coming from across the way. But the sound persists. Through a crowd of youth denied the pets they were hopeful for, you can see a mabari bounding from one dismissive maritime goer to the next.

Undeterred, the dog has made his way to you, tongue out and chest heaving, he pants frantically between incessant yowls. His ears have flattened and you can make sense from constant looks back where he came from and his growing whimpers that the mabari is desperate you follow him.

There is no telling what he may wish to show you, but he has decided that your hesitation is all he needs to pad back towards the southern end of the trail in route towards what you can now see is another, less impressive, spectator's arena. For whatever awaits, your canine client appears to be losing his battle with the heat.

What happens next is in your hands.

played by Angel
CST    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GWarrior
A34
AHighever
P11 posts

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A smirk curved her lips as the victor raised his hand sending the crowd into a screaming frenzy of cheers. Some of dismay, some of triumph. The match was good, but she would have been better. It was one reason why she was here, scoping out competitors, judging who would be her strongest foes. So far she wasn't incredibly impressed or worried. Don't be over confident. Fergus' voice rang through her head causing her to roll her eyes.

Freya stood, her fingers instinctively curling around the hilt of her sword as she made her way through the crowd as they dispersed. The excited words of children and adults alike jumbled together into nothing but background noise. Absently, she raised a hand to wipe her brow of the sweat that had collected there. It was hot, far too hot for her liking and--

Barking.

The sound of barking instantly caused her to stop in her tracks, trying to pinpoint the sound through the bustle of the crowd. The sight of the mabari bouncing from person to person caused her chest to tighten. The dark grey that ran along his spine and faded out into the lighter color reminded her so much her own mabari that she was forced to leave home. Freya went into a crouch as the dog approached her, it was almost instinctual for her to do.

"What is it boy?" Freya spoke, reaching out to cup the dog's jowls briefly. She could tell that he was dehydrated, the harsh breath that left his lips and the foam spittal that formed around his maw had her concerned but before she could address it he had pulled his head away with a whined growl as he started back where he had come from.

Freya frowned, standing to her feet to follow behind. She knew enough about mabari to know that whatever was wrong she couldn't ignore. They hadn't moved far before the hound's steps began to falter and the heaved breaths became more labored. Damn it! She bolted forward, dropping to her knees to catch the hound as his legs buckled.

"Take it easy boy," Freya said softly, trying to keep the dog down even as he continued to weakly struggle, whining frantically. Even a weakened mabari was difficult to restrain. Finally, the hound stopped struggling, laying still in her lap as he panted. Another whine left the mabari's throat and he pawed at the ground in the direction of another area. She couldn't just leave him like this, but she couldn't ignore his demands either.

"Hey!" Freya called out, her tone sharp. "Blondie!"

CULLEN RUTHERFORD
played by CAT
est    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GWarrior
A33
Asoldier's rest
P88 posts

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It's what he deserved for taking eyes off of her. Paying attention to the event instead of his charge. Tallulah with her wandering mind and, apparently, wandering feet as well. The glaring sun worked as enough of an excuse, had he cause to use it, baking inside of armor that held heat close and put beads of sweat against his brow — miserable. Or, it would have been, had his pick lost and satisfaction'd not swollen up his chest to a point of bursting. Reason he'd turned to look for her, initially, at all, prepared to boast his superior selection and offer all of the evidence for why he'd known he was right.

In a sea of so many, she'd been impossible to spot, one too many wrong choices resulting in a shamefaced fluster after the last had screamed and swatted his hand away in surprise. With no sense for how long she'd been missing, his survey proving fruitless to the point where shielded eyes were abandoned by their visor, the walk to the designated booth'd narrowly been started when——

Blondie

Cullen'd have rather it'd been instinct that'd turned him, rather than a familiarity with the nickname. Gifted during his first year in training, used less frequently, now, the connection still raised brows in unspoken question. From across the way, the bodies between them dwindling, he could just make out the figure of a woman, hunched above what he only knew from experience was a mabari, toppled and panting frantically. If, at the end of all this, someone had asked him why he'd obliged her, rather than returned to his duties, he wasn't confident he'd have had an answer for them. Was it the desperation in her tone? Was it the knot in his stomach that said he had a duty to assist? Or, more likely, an unsung part of him yearned for the chance to let her roam. Let Tallulah do as she pleased, here, where no one was any the wiser.

He'd have enjoyed that freedom himself. Regalia gleaming, garnering more than a few sidelong stares and a series of whispers behind veiling hands. Everyone always had an opinion. At least here, now, his beckoner approached and a gloved hand lain atop the exhausted canine's hip, he could be more than a glorified babysitter.

"Is he yours?" Judging by the state of him, it was unlikely.

Her wear suggested nobility, dark hair sticky with a sweat that mirrored his own — stern but lovely. No reason to warrant his, very brief, stare, of course. Throat cleared, the ground around them were given sweep enough to know that, whoever the owner was, they weren't close, were they looking. "Where did he come from?" Assuming she'd seen, despite knowing the likelihood was slim and, had she, she'd not have needed his aid.

Free hand sweeping the wrap from around his knees, the crouch taken allotted easier access to offer the mabari inspection. Dangerously overheated. Dehydrated. Panting to a fearful rhythm. For once, the weight of the leather skin hanging heavily beneath his sash was appreciated, as was the helmet he'd brought on the off-chance he'd need it, knowing well enough that the odds were unlikely. Not the best choice for a water bowl, but it would serve its purpose once filled and presented to a tongue that eagerly lapped away.

"What would you have of me?" Had he sounded more like a Templar, that'd have been the Chant of Light.

played by Angel
CST    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GWarrior
A34
AHighever
P11 posts

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Freya would have muttered a pray to Andraste that the man headed her call if she wasn't more concerned with the Mabari at hand. The bride of the maker would surely understand and if not, well that was her problem. Somewhere she was certain she could almost feel a cleric flinch at her words that could almost be considered blasphemy. She was Andrastian through and through, but in her eyes mabari were a little more important at current moment.

As the man approached, Freya realized that he was indeed a Templar and for a brief moment she wondered where his charge might be. Not a very good Templar if he was letting mages run around freely, now was he? Again, not that she cared as long as said mage or mages weren't causing a ruckus. Any other time, Freya might have made a comment on the way he stared at her, teased and flirted with no real thought of taking things further--well maybe with no real thought, he was cute--but she let those thoughts slip away, at least until later.

"If he was mine, he bloody well wouldn't be in this condition," Freya responded with a scoff and more than a bit of ire in her tone. Not directed at him, and innocent bystander that had come to help, but at whatever fool owned this majestic beast and would allow something like this to happen. And they should pray to the Maker she never found them or she'd give them an ear full and perhaps a few broken teeth.

"I didn't see where he came from, but I did see where he was leading. He seemed frantic to get to that other small arena over there." Freya jerked her head towards it, while caressing her hand down the mabari's side as she watched him desperately lap at the water presented to him. This Templar was a good sort, she decided, at least when it came to dogs, though by his accent she wasn't terribly surprised. He was Ferelden, that much was certain.

"Can you carry him?" Freya asked, raising a brow. Although he'd gotten water in his system he was still too hot, too weak to continue walking. She'd had done it herself if she was back to her own strength, but she wasn't yet--and that irritated her. Not that she was certain that she even could lift a mabari on her own, they were hefty dogs. Not that she wouldn't try, and probably break herself even more. Squinting one eye as the sunlight glinted off the man's armor, she licked her lips before asking.

"Do have a name? Or should I just continue with Blondie? Or if you prefer I'm sure I can think of something more exciting than that." Okay, maybe that was more teasing than she had intended, but the Mabari was more at ease now, no longer panting as hard as he had been and that alleviated some of her tension.

CULLEN RUTHERFORD
played by CAT
est    mature content? Yes    Offline
           
GWarrior
A33
Asoldier's rest
P88 posts

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Were he not so focused on his sudden duty, perhaps Cullen would have noted her stares. Perhaps he'd have had the mind to feign coy for them, as well. As it were, however, his hand patting against the mabari's flank, there wasn't thought to spare for that tickle against his neck. The one crawled up and around his face, familiar for having eyes so often upon him in Kirkwall. Here had been no different, of course. Templars from every nation present and, somehow, those of the Gallows always garnered more scrutiny than others. Well.. Tevinter's lap dogs excluded.

In his crouch, armor pinched and dug, adding further to the beads of sweat that trickled into his collar and made his uniform stifling. Fortunate, at least, that he'd not be needing chase maleficar anytime soon, her sharpened comments were swatted aside as the same frustrations he could take registry of in himself. Anger for the pup's neglect. Anger for the people who had let him wander between them, too drunk on their merriment to spare him time or notice. It was a familiar sensation and, for his ignoring that, Cullen was able to raise his head and meet her words forthright.

"Over there," he echoed, surveying the direction noted with an overall ease for the rapidly cooling urgency. Still present, but as the dog lapped clean the makeshift dish, his hands absently replenishing the offering, he could feel his shoulders slipping back into a careless slump that spoke confidence for seeing the chore to a well-coordinated end.

Months spent lamenting strategies had uses outside of mage hunting, after all.

As did all of his training, it seemed.

Her question earned her a grin, stifled as he could muster, but there all the same. Waiting for the mabari to register the suggestion, his hands already scooped beneath his hide, when the weight went from tense and unaccommodating to lax acceptance, Cullen hoisted him with the heft of the great weight he was. Sturdy beasts, the haul was difficult to adjust at first, hind legs kicking about for a position that wouldn't offer his belly and settling only once the compromise was reached and standing accomplished. No small feat by any standard, he'd hoped his enjoyment hadn't breached the outward calm he'd angled towards. After all, contrary to what Orlesians may have said, it wasn't every day a boy from Ferelden was gifted the chance to hold a mabari.

"Knig—..." She was no mage. Not another Templar or cleric. She wasn't a sister to his eyes and, for all she wasn't, he'd not be a knight, either. "Cullen. You may call me Cullen." Tasting foreign as it did, no title to bolster it, later, maybe, he'd segregate the time to understand why that weighed so hollow.

For now...

It wouldn't be far to walk, even as the dog in arms wallowed and woofed, his weight shifting and making itself uncomfortable all over again. Good for many things, to those who understood them, mabari were skilled vocalists who'd not let you traipse far beyond their goal. Judging by his snuffling, it wasn't going to take them long to get there. Fortunate, that.

"And you, serah?" Over a pointed, furry, twitching ear, eaves dropping on their conversation, no doubt, Cullen eyed his temporary companion with a grin that insisted he'd not let it idle for no reason. "Or should I start thinking of nicknames as well?"

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