s6 - Onys & Rowan

Rowan
It had been roughly a week on the high road, and everyone seemed to be falling into a routine. They had brought plenty of provisions but in the interest of fresh meat and frankly to stave off boredom, every two or three days Rowan would go out into the forest on a hunt. She had mostly brought back rabbits and squirrels, one time they were near enough a stream where she could catch some fish. These were enough to feed the large group for only a short time, so she kept going out. She thought she had saw a deer two days ago. That would likely feed them the rest of their journey if she could manage to find it, although it may be difficult to take down alone. "I'm going hunting now," She said to the group at large "If anyone would like to join me they are welcome to."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys, sitting beside the wagon, fiddling with the fittings of her armor, the mass of chain laying as a pile in her lap, looks up. "I would be glad of the diversion, Rowan. I'll just be a moment…" she replies, lumping the armor into the back of the wagon and digging in her pack for a dark cloak—-more a poncho, but enough to keep her white traveling clothes from standing out—-and her longbow.

Rowan
Rowan was a little surprised at Onys' willingness to tag along. She didn't really seem the type to be sneaky or quiet, but she did at least have the sense not to wear her armor or bring her large sword, so maybe she had misjudged her. "Excellent, although I would bring a dagger with you just in case. We may have to go rather deep into the woods, and if something comes upon us, you won't have time to nock an arrow." With that she grabs her own equipment. She doesn't need much, she leaves her shield and heavy cloak behind. The weather is much warmer here than in the forest surrounding Neverwinter and the heavy fur will just slow her down. She does take her staff that doubles as a walking stick and heads to the treeline off of the road.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys nods, her braid bobbing along her shoulder with the action. "I have my handaxe. There is usually not much call for it apart from when I am collecting kindling, but it will suffice in a pinch." She follows. She's clearly not an expert woodswoman, but she's clearly spent at least some time in the wilderness, and only sounds to the experienced ear as a quarter of a herd of cattle stomping through the forest, as apart from a tenderfoot who'd emulate the whole herd.

Rowan
Rowan sets off into the trees, slowly at first so as not to outpace Onys, but as they lose sight of the road and the trees completely surround her, she feels herself relax so completely she forgets to be considerate and instead starts weaving in and out of the trees, moving almost silently. While her antlers frequently caused her trouble in Phandalin, she ducks under every branch effortlessly. This isn't her forest, but it reminds her enough of home that she can feel the stress melt away. It's only a few minutes later that she remembers to turn around and look for Onys.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys is slowly picking her way through the fallen leaves and deadfalls of autumn, doing her best to keep quiet and remain within sight, but the elf is still a number of trees behind. She watches for game and to keep track of Rowan, leaving the particular pathfinding to the druidess. With all that has gone on over the last few days, the monotony of the wagon ride is certainly enough to make anyone dwell on past mistakes, so the trip into the forest is a welcome distraction.

Rowan
Rowan sees Onys attempting catch up and feels a little embarrassed that she had left her so quickly. Doubling back she walks alongside her. "Sorry, I got a little caught up. Here, if you want to move softer, try walking like this." Rowan demonstrates how to lift and place your feet so as not to rustle the leaves as much as possible. "Do not overly concern yourself with making noise though, even mice and squirrels make noise in dead leaves. Besides, what I'm hoping to find is much deeper in the woods and we have a while before we may spot it."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys nods. As a practiced woman-at-arms, she is used to adjusting technique on the fly. "It is of no concern. I presume that, for you, it is preferable to escape civilization somewhat, and I could not gainsay that for any price. I am not particularly looking forward to returning…home, I guess." She shakes her head, realizing she revealed more than she'd planned to. "Let us carry on, then."

Rowan
"I miss home, personally. Although, I suppose I do technically come from Neverwinter. I'm not really looking forward to returning there either. No, I suppose the forest is my home. Coming here into these woods feels a little like it, but just enough for me to miss my own forest. I knew every tree, every rock, every stream in that forest. Here, because we are moving so much on the road, every day is learning a new path. I feel like I'm coming to know it better." She moves with Onys through the trees now, walking alongside her. "The smaller animals are everywhere." Rowan points out a squirrel several trees away running up into the branches. "There is a large wolf pack, but they are much further south than us right now. You can hear them sometimes at night. We may come across a lone wolf but they will likely not attack. I have not seen any bears personally, but I have seen their tracks. Do not worry, I will protect you if we happen across one. I believe there is a stream not far from here and I am hoping that when there we may find a deer, which would be an excellent kill."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys takes it all in. While she was raised in the comforts of a city home between the Twelve Hills, there is something in the elven character that looks for the lonely places in the forest. She says as much: "It is difficult for me, as I almost have three homes – Evereska, the place of my birth, Waterdeep, the place where I set my boots before the fire, and the wood, beneath the trees and the stars, as any elf might claim. In these woods, however, I am yours to command, Rowan. I could not see half the traces you follow, even with my arts of war and gifts of birth bent to purpose."

Rowan
Not accustomed to such formal speak, Rowan tries to interpret the meaning of Onys' words, eventually assuming that she means that she trusts her. "Thanks. I mean, I wasn't very good at first. I just have a lot of practice. I've lived in the woods for more years than I can count. I didn't know anything when I was first brought to the woods, but with some guidance and a lot of mistakes I learned how to survive. Now it's like I'm part of it as much as it's part of me." Rowan pauses for a moment and she can faintly hear the sound of bubbling water. "The creek is nearby. We much be as silent as possible now as we approach it. We should still be downwind, so that anything that is there will not be able to smell us."

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys simply nods, already taking the suggestion and putting it to action. She follows behind, eyes wide, scanning around her, stepping softly through the underbrush.

Rowan
Rowan approaches silently. Years of hunting have trained her to do this without thinking. She can see ahead the trees part and the glimpses of a shore. Staying several feet from the treeline, she crouches low as she surveys around. She doesn't see anything, the water is moving fairly swiftly over the rocks and there may be some small fish, but otherwise there is nothing else here. She can see from across the shore there are hoof tracks. There are deer here, and they do come to this stream. She silently points them out to Onys and indicates that they will simply have to be patient.

Onys Kiirnodel
For all Onys's faults, patience is a virtue she has in spades. She slowly draws her bow and nocks an arrow, not drawing back, but merely crouching to the side of Rowan with the weapon ready. She's actually a bit excited to be out in the woods with no real pressure on her but that of comradeship and the necessary business of life in the wilderness, the edges of a smile creeping around the corners of her oft-frowning mouth.

Rowan
Rowan scans the treeline. She falls into a kind of trance, where she is both aware of her surroundings and yet feels outside of her body. Her mind wanders as it often does when she is in moments like this. She thinks of her own home, and of how much she will enjoy returning there. She considers whether the others would like to see it. Onys may, as she seems to be enjoying the hunt, although she recalls Erys looking a little less at home in the forest. She thinks of the conversation earlier and whether she will one day return to Neverwinter, and whether she will recognize anything there or if it will be as foreign to her as Phandalin was. She is brought out of her thoughts by movement across the stream. After a moment the rustling becomes the form of a large buck emerging from the trees. It looks around before dipping its head to drink from the water. However, it is quite far away from where they are. Much, further than Onys could hit with her bow. Onys had been learning well, but would almost definitely scare it away if she moved. Leaning over to her ear she whispers as softly as she can. "There, about 200 feet away on the other side of the stream, do you see it? I am going to sneak around and herd it towards you. When I do, can you take your shot?"

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys nods, eyes not moving from the deer. Her reply is murmured. "I will be ready."

Rowan
Rowan moves back slightly and concentrates. She feels her form shifting, becoming sleeker, more powerful, and faster. Her new wolf body complete, she pads away from the stream to the North. She will have to move quite a large distance around the deer so as not to scare him back into the trees. Several minutes later she finds herself at the edge of the water up a hill. The deer cannot see her and she is able to cross the narrow stream. With her improved vision she can see Onys at the ready, with the animal between them. As if a spring was released she breaks into a run, charging the animal. It attempts to disappear into the trees, but she moves around to bring him back along the shore. They are approaching where Onys is hiding.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys draws. Proper form would be to stand erect and fire in an arc, but she's taking a deer, not sacking fortifications. In fact, the lower limb of the bow nearly scrapes the ground in its ready position, as the elf remains in her crouch. However, she rises, hoping to gain a shot at its shoulder when it finally sees her and turns aside. Her drawing fingers touch the corner of her lip as she brings the bow to bear upon the buck.

Rowan
Rowan is losing speed, she can run but not as fast as the deer and not for long, when she sees a slip of light appear from the far side of the stream. The deer is knocked to the side by the impact, the arrow sticking out of its chest. Rowan catches up to the fallen animal, it is not long for the world, and not wishing it to suffer any longer than it has to, she bites and holds its neck until it is dead, which takes only a moment. Changing back to herself, she removes the arrow and motions for Onys to come across. Her breath is heavy from the run and she wipes the blood that remains around her own mouth where the wolf's teeth punctured the skin. "Well shot, a clean kill. We should have meat for the rest of our journey!" Rowan pulls out a knife, cutting through the animal's skin and muscle and begins to clean it. "It's more than we can carry, so once I am done I can be a horse and you can put it on my back. We won't be able to speak on the way back, so I wanted to say thank you, I could not have done it alone!" Rowan grins with satisfaction as she does her work.

Onys Kiirnodel
Onys comes over to assist Rowan, quite glad of the outcome. "Thank you. It was my pleasure, Rowan." She places one hand on the tiefling's shoulder with a smile. "Do you need assistance with the cleaning? Because I can certainly assist with the eating."

s6 - Onys & Rowan

Phandelver + Storm King and beyond CapitalistPig hexwren