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Messages - Audun Dahl

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Lys / Re: Traveling Too
« on: January 09, 2021, 09:52:48 PM »
"It can be," and would be, this time. Unless something sprang up that had her mentor summoning her back early, which. Was just as likely as not, at this point. She wouldn't put it past the world to throw something else confusing and obnoxious in their path.

In comparison, Koa was a straightforward curiosity. Audun knew better how to deal with people shaped questions than invisible, nebulous things like 'where are the winds?' and 'where did that power come from?' She hadn't been able to use them at all, anyway, there wasn't much change on her end.

But maybe this was a good change, the Darkness dropping a familiar stranger in her path. There were often strangers on the road, after all, and while most of them were of the 'tip your hat and pass by' type, there were always those who were memorable for their rudeness. Those individuals tended to easily outshine the strangers who were unique in their kindness -- rarely was there an individual who was both kind and interesting, and Audun was beginning to think Koa was one of those.

His statement caught her, sparked a laugh that made her avert her gaze to the wagon wheels. "They are often, I agree. I think of my work when I rest and of rest when I work." She hoped he hadn't thought her dismissive, as she hadn't meant to laugh, but it was something she'd felt herself. She was at once most at home in her work, but she liked the familiarity of her dorm in the Bureau's barracks, of her peers who lived around her, the regular trundle of bureaucracy and paperwork filing. Until it got too stifling, at least.

The next moment her breath stuck, the edges of her smile catching on her mouth. It sounded - it sounded like he worked for her mother. How often had she called her home a place for those who needed 'extra help' or 'different attention'? Always so careful to keep their truth hidden, their second shape a secret.

They had never discussed what to do if she ran into someone who she thought was a member of their - blood? Kind? Audun didn't even know her true father, beyond that he was likely Raejian himself and less likely Nissi, although who could say if bear craft would overwhelm horned craft. The desire to blurt out her suspicions barked against her teeth, and she clenched her jaw against it instead.

Carefully, carefully. Her mother would advocate caution, and Audun was inclined to agree. There were better ways to bridge the gap. "Really?" her interest, at least, was genuine, even if she felt she sounded strained while navigating her own words. "I was raised in a similar manner. My mother attends to children who require a more flexible education." Swallowing, she bit back her instinctive fear, hoping the thread of vulnerability would not be cut. "There are often unexpected shifts in their, our, learning."

Lys / Re: Traveling Too
« on: November 22, 2020, 04:47:33 PM »
All her nerves were in tune when Koa came upon the other side of the wagon and began to help push, and Audun felt that her attempts at fleeting glances in his direction were both obvious and at once impossible to stop. He felt - familiar almost, and it had been decades and decades since Audun had stumbled home and found a family changed and yet the same. Her mother had known, in that intimate way mothers simply knew things, and her siblings had shown her how to recognize it.

But how did one ask? Do you, perhaps, turn into a large carnivore? Are you, sometimes, a bear? It felt like madness. A lightning storm over taking her on the road would cause her less stress.

"Many have," she confirmed. Many had tucked in tight to their hamlets and their boroughs and begun to pray more fervently than they had since the time of Witch, if the elders were to be believed. "The roads are often clearer now, at least. I'm keen to see my journey end." Even though that promised several weeks if not months of travel, depending on the pockets of civilization that she ran into and what their problems were.

"Where do you see your journey end?" Perhaps this could pave the way to... some kind of confirmation. She would never lay the claim that she came from a creche of bear-people, but messages were often hidden in the layers of words. If she were wrong, then nothing would come of it. If she were right, maybe the damn prickling across her back would settle. "Are you returning to family, or to trade?" The wagon gave a little creak as it slid along, and Audun reminded herself not to bombard him with questions. He'd hopefully be less likely to throw up a wall if she skirted the matter.

Lys / Re: Traveling Too
« on: October 27, 2020, 03:23:32 AM »
She hadn't considered she might be the more forward of the two of them, but the more the man talked the stronger the feeling grew. He seemed as reluctant as she to bridge the gap, at at least as cautious, even if their reasoning was different.

"It's straight enough that way," she reaffirmed, tilting her head behind her as she watched him descend. Civility and curiosity restrained the caution in her, and she slid from the wagon on the in-road side, allowing for the change in distance even as her instincts strained in too many directions. The hair on her nape stood on end, and she kept him in the corner of her eye as she patted Grit's flank to alert her to her presence. There wasn't enough room between her and the hitch to kick easily, and she seemed calm enough as she investigated the man - Koa - and his team.

But Audun needed the reassurance, and didn't want to take any chances of making a fool over herself and spooking her mount.

She unhitched the wagon, resting the hook of the chain on the crossbar to keep it from irritating Grit, and laid narrow shields beneath the wheels. The wagon itself was still fairly heavy, weighed down with her things, but there was less resistance as it began to ease slowly backward.

"She's as like to find your treats as to take a finger," she advised, one hand on the side of the wagon and one on it's foot plank while she extended the shielding little by little. Fingers pressing into the wood grain to grip without making it look too obvious that she was grabbing it out of tension. Slow, small steps as it moved back. "Are you out here for work? Seems to be the only reason anyone's leaving lately; work and running messages." Perhaps he was a courier; there were enough of them about now that Audun had used the excuse herself when she'd faced contact on the road she didn't particularly care for. Darkness, but she couldn't get a read on herself enough to suss out what her instincts were saying. Koa, at least, didn't appear to have any ill intentions. Yet.

Unless he was planning on snatching her mule, which. She'd like to see him try, for the comedy of it.

Lys / Re: Traveling Too
« on: October 21, 2020, 11:29:31 PM »
She had not been expecting to come face to face - or mule to mule, as it were - with someone else on the road. To be fair, she hadn't actually seen vary many people outside the boundaries of their homes in general, everyone caught in clusters worrying over things they could feel and not see.

Well, Audun was seeing and feeling what had had her hackles up, and the what was a who. A man with his own mule set and wagon. A man who felt strangely... home-like.

This, coming from a stranger, caught wide-eyed from the opposite end of a back-road, wasn't something that sat well with her. The state of the world had everyone in odd sorts, and Audun didn't think herself above that, but she couldn't account for the weirdness of an unknown someone in the forest.

"Hello," she called, gathering her composure to lift a hand in brisk wave. It was her 'sorry for showing up at your door at this odd hour, I'm friendly, you've been expecting me' voice. She tried to soften out the surprise and whatever obvious caution that had crept into her face. "I'm sorry, I can't imagine you have much room." Not that she did, either, but she could at least get off the turn. One mule and a smaller wagon would be easier to move than his pair, if she had to guess. Flicking a quick glance backward, she eyed the road, judging the distance between her and the closest stretch of shoulder not choked in grass.

Eyes back on her company, she said, "It'll take a bit, but I can back up, let you pass." She'd have to unhitch Grit and push the cart backward with Craft, but a careful application of physical shields beneath the wheels would make sliding it easier. Faster. Get her back on her way and ease the unsettling familiarity of the man.

At the same time, she couldn't quite convince herself to look away from him, and it wasn't fear that stayed her. She knew she hadn't met him before, but couldn't shake the sense of recognition that kept her in her seat. The urge to move Grit closer was waylaid only by the knowledge that it could make navigating with their carts even more difficult. "I'm Audun," came belatedly, unable to shake the curiosity in her voice.

Lys / Traveling Too
« on: October 19, 2020, 03:11:03 AM »
Audun's job had only gotten weirder since the 'Event'. It was something she'd had to take mostly on faith, those first few days after it happened. She'd had some unsettling dreams but could never remember them, and, stationed in Hjerte after submitting her most recent assessment, she wasn't actively looking for things that were wrong.

Then she'd come to in the Maintenance Bureau's barracks after a dream that vanished the moment she opened her eyes, and everyone had been in a tizzy. Every Blackwidow in the building had been called into the office of the director, while couriers ran at speed into and out of the bustling halls. Her peerage, those who's skills lay in assessment and preservation, gathered in drifts in the yards and windows, waiting for some kind of update. Those who had reached out with curious psychic touches to their mentors had been quickly rebuffed, the sense of urgency only heightening the longer the silence held.

When the news broke, it wasn't what Audun had been expecting.

Power, pure Craft, had come across the Askavi border in a wave that flattened trees. What had the entire Bureau buzzing wasn't the impressively renovated forest, however, but the influx of reports of changes in Raej's foundation webs. Already letters and psychic communications were bouncing across District and Province borders, all funneling toward Lys and the current Court residence. That the Winds had apparently been ripped apart was secondary: the cornerstone of Raej's peaceable trading, tourism, and immigration had been touched in a way no one could understand. And that had everyone scrambling.

Which was how Audun found herself sent out on a long assignment. Her mentor, who commanded several teams in addition to a dozen assessment contractors, had sent all but the newest and the currently occupied into the field. To all corners they went, working their way from town to town, village to village. Checking every foundation web, reinforcing where they thought necessary, cataloging every detail. She found her artistic abilities greatly increasing, at least those pertaining to mapping web structures. More and more of her reports were returning with preserved sketches of webs, describing as best she could the difference in the feel of them when there wasn't any physical change.

It meant, too, that each stay was longer. She'd left Hjerte with a one-man wagon and a mule, supplies enough to see her through several weeks, and a map of stops with good markets. Those provisions had lasted the trek out to Skygge's joint border with Dena Nehele and Askavi, almost as far as Murm Hontum, only because she was spending almost a full week at each settlement, every web given hours of consideration. Take as much time as you need, her mentor had said, more serious and solemn than Audun had ever seen her. We need to know everything we can, and if that means a week in a hamlet looking over every single web they have, then so be it. But don't dally, either. We must move quickly, and you have a lot of ground to cover.

Ultimately she'd circle back to Hjerte along the River Walk, but what that meant now was that she'd crossed into Lys with Askavi at her right, several weeks behind her and even more before. Between towns the forest was quiet, hushed in a way that had her nerves twanging with tension. She'd encountered the carpet of trees and turned away from it, instructed that different contractors were already scouring the wood. The change couldn't be seen from where she was on the road but it didn't change that she knew it was there, a specter in her peripheral.

That tension was what had her stopping dead in the middle of the road, ears straining, breathing deep. Something was... off. A sound, a smell, a particularly misplaced bird noise. Her mule showed no signs of disturbance, and instead had the gall to look back at her with one dismissive brown eye, jostling the bit in her mouth to express her distaste. Grit, as a travel companion, wasn't terribly fond of stopping in places where there wasn't cover readily available, and Audun took a moment to frown at her before scanning back out into the trees. There wasn't anyone on the road, at least not on the bend she was on, but her sight was limited by the relatively dense branches to either side of the path. There was a network of Nissi footpaths that ran higgly-piggly over and beside the roads, but Audun didn't travel them and didn't quite know what to look for if she wasn't on top of one.

Senses still straining, she clicked her tongue and the reins, and Grit gave a huff at starting on again. "Hush, you," she chided, straining in her seat as though the angle might grant her the ability to see around corners, "I'm the one who'll have to save your hide if we get attacked, not the other way around."

Raej / Dahl, Audun
« on: September 03, 2020, 11:19:38 PM »
Audun Dahl

The Basics

Full Name: Audun Dahl
Age: 114 as of AW 103
Gender/Pronouns: she/her

Ethnicity: Angnuk
Birthplace: Stjerne, Lys
Current Location: Raej
Profession: Apprentice Web Assessment Contractor

Caste: hearthwitch
Birthright Jewel: Yellow (Cut 10)
Offering Jewel: Rose (Cut 10)

Face Claim: Raffey Cassidy

The Body

Height: 5'5
Body Type: Narrow, wiry
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue

Long brown hair, arrow straight and sleek, often wound up in a braid to keep it from her face during work. Big, blue eyes, high cheekbones, strong jaw. Handsome perhaps, later in life, but delicate now. Soft mouthed, stern browed, Audun looks her age: young. It often means she has to work harder, flex her knowledge more obviously, to be taken seriously, but it's something she's grown to accept if not like.

Narrow and lean, while she hasn't quite stopped growing, she's not likely to get much taller. Travel and work have kept her firm and fit, if not particularly well muscled. Her clothes are those that put up well with wear and tear, easy to patch and difficult to stain. She prefers to look like part of the background, rather than stand out. It makes it easier to go crawling around beneath someone's home if she doesn't care about what her clothes look like, too. Both Birthright and Offering rest on delicate necklaces hidden beneath her clothes.

The symbol that casts her as other is secreted away, five curving lines under her left breast. Almost disguised as stretch marks save for their perfect symmetry, Audun can only just see their ends without a mirror. She knows their placement intimately, eyes having raked over the skin when she'd been young, before... before.

As a bear Audun is still on the smaller side. Heavier, muscled where her first form struggles with it, black furred and dark eyed, the only spot of color being her tan snout. Easier to hide in the shadows of the trees when she looks the part of them.

The Mind

Craft Strengths: 15pts
Psychic Probes
Preservation Spells
Vermin Warding
Spell Weaving
Swift Shifter
Craft Weaknesses: Heating and Cooling, Cushioning Spells, Witchfire

Stubborn. Cautious. Audun's job depends on her making quick, accurate, sure assessments of tricky craft and having a keen eye for flaws in the framework of buildings, webs, and people. Mild, mostly, it's easy to overlook her. She's not very tall, she doesn't dress loudly, and she's very direct and to the point - nothing lending to her being remarkable in anyway, except for her skill, which serves her fine. She would rather be known for her work than her eyes or her hair or some snide comment she made.

Not that there aren't snide comments lurking behind her teeth. There definitely are. Audun has dealt with all manner of people in her travels doing work for the territory, and can be quite mean when she wants to be. Picking apart people is easy, when you're good at finding the hurts. But unhappy customers mean an unhappy mentor, and Audun prefers to retain her position. So she keeps most of her comments to herself and works on being good at her job.

In between work, she likes to walk the forest. Not as a bear, but as a girl. The world is very large, and Audun struggles with her place in it. Struggles with her other, larger half, even if she no longer fears it.

The Backstory

  • Name | Mother | Purple Dusk to Opal Blackwidow
  • Name | Sibling | Tiger-eye to Summer-sky Caste
  • Name | Sibling | Tiger-eye to Summer-sky Caste
  • Name | Sibling | White to Yellow Caste
  • Name | Sibling | Summer-sky to Purple Dusk Caste

CW for minor depictions of character death

There was nothing significantly unique about Audun. A bright youth, often found causing mischief with her agemates. Not demanding or drawing enough to promise a Queen, not intuitive enough for the Widow paths, or inclined enough toward the healing arts or the Darkness, it was evident from a young age that the obligations of Caste would not weigh on her.

The youngest of the Dahl children, Audun's greatest struggles were being coddled and sticking her nose into everyone's business because of it. Several years the junior of her closest sibling, she often felt left behind, patronized to, or dismissed. It didn't help that their mother was often absent, traveling for 'work', although none of her children or neighbors knew what exactly she did - only that her returns to the village were accompanied by a child. The assumption was that they were all hers, fathers ranging wide, but none could say for sure.

So Audun sprouted, grew stubborn, spitfire, and rebellious, keen on proving her independence, that her elder siblings cossetting was unnecessary and that she could handle herself.

Natural curiosity and a penchant for analytical problem solving drove her to seek answers from any in the village who would humor her, Blood and Landen alike. Dirty, bruised, scraped, and gaining scars from sticking her hands places that she wasn't ready to, Audun kept her own counsel and balked aggressively at those who tried to curb her. Everything was contested - what she wore, what she studied, when she took her Birthright.

Twelve - almost thirteen - when she at last gave in to the pull and went to one of the village priestesses. Sank down into the Darkness to rise with a Yellow as warm as the sun.

Jewel strength changed little for her; she still dug her heels in at the edicts of her elder siblings, still fostered a a resentful longing for the mother that wasn't there. Hearth Craft came easy, swiftly, Birthright adding an edge to what she already felt in her bones. Made exploring and pulling lessons easier. Even the most elaborate of the foundation webs in their village needed protection from the weather, from animals, from time. Eventually she was accepted on as an apprentice to the local maintenance crew that serviced not only her village, but several surrounding hamlets and burroughs as well. Travel suited her.

On one such outing, pushing thirty-three and established enough in her role to travel alone for assessments, Audun sought a partner for the first time. She could feel the tell-tale shift that heralded readiness to descend, and found herself eager for the idea of a new chapter of her life. Perhaps she would understand better what the other women spoke of with hushed giggles if she experienced it herself.

Assessment completed, report sent home, she used the opportunity of a harvest celebration to find her match. A young man, a touch older, with hands that moved in what felt like experience and eyes that warmed. In the dancing shadows of the revelry she lead him into the trees.

When he proved to be less experienced and more forceful, the shifting thing in Audun revealed itself to be more than just the next step toward her Descent.

Teeth. Claws. Blood. No chance to scream when her shifting hand tore through his throat. Her own cries lost in the joy of the night. Black haired, round eared, tawny muzzle stained red. Feet that stumbled over broken limbs and themselves in an effort to flee both the fire behind her and the scene before. Senseless, lost, Audun ran.

Suddenly the forests were not welcoming, shadows writhing with the memory of fire, the tang of smoke and blood, a fever dream of gore and teeth. Scents tangled and ensnared as she tore across the woods. Home was beyond, somewhere, and she had to find it.

Dawn, cresting cool and damp, found her stumbling to her own backdoor. Naked, shivering, muddy. The eyes of her family turned to her with despair, cries of alarm, weeping. The hands of a mother that she didn't know how to hold, a mother returned too late. Audun wept, and for once accepted their touches without reserve, their staggering worry, their hushing. Different, but not alone, second skin a known truth among her siblings, her mismatched family.

Training under her mother went slowly, after. The memory of her first shift a screaming beacon in her mind. But it came, cautiously, until she no longer feared it. Descent delayed but not hindered, she welcomed her Rose without the specter of her furred half at her shoulder.

No matter the stability of her family, the road called to Audun. She lingered as long as she felt she could before parting from them, heading first toward the sea and Bardh Doram. Lingered there, too, learning the ways of boats, of different fortifications for the foundation webs. Then down, along the border, cautiously testing her claws as much as her knowledge. Sharpening her skills in both, gradually winding her way toward the cities.

There, one skill set was prized above the other. Her experience with the foundation webs made her an easy pick for the teams of maintenance crews that patrolled the more densely populated areas, and her willingness to travel made her ideal to send into the farmlands on long trips. Among the cobbled streets and beautiful buildings, Audun found herself aching for the woods; among the trees, she yearned for the sculpted walkways and noise of the city. Caught, pulled back and forth, she continued her training, and began to become known for her accurate reporting and keen eye. The head of her team, a Blackwidow with a discerning eye, often sent her out on little missions, gathering information both in the cities and the farmlands.

And so Audun gets to roam.

The Writer

Player Name: Kay, Kayndred
Player Pronouns: she/hers
Timezone: -8
Contact: Discord, PM

Inactivity Instructions: Archival, write out, adoption, death

Roleplay Sample:
See Michael Villiers

Pages: [1]

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