Plains

Compendium Entry North: Mongolian Steppe
South: Great Plains

A stretch of predominantly flat grasslands and gentle rolling hills. This land is susceptible to mild humidity and precipitation with rainfall more likely in the warmer months. Due to the vast openness, high winds are a common occurrence followed by sudden changes in temperatures. The northern plains are harsher than the south.

P
oh what a shame


Late Evening Thunderstorms
#1
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This post contains content that may be unsettling to some readers, including:
  • Eating disorder
heat day #2

Why? Why was she so absolutely pathetic that she found herself crawling back to him? Annika didn't even know if he and Miriam were still around, but there she went jogging through the middle of a storm to seek him out. Stupid, stupid Annika. She hated herself more for every step she took towards him, her blood cold with anxiety. It was only when thunder rumbled overhead that she came to a pause, her icy gaze turning upwards as she recounted the weather upon their first meeting. How ironic, a storm and a damsel in heat. They would replay their first encounter out, wouldn't they?

She flinched as a drop of rain landed on her muzzle, hesitance radiating from every pore. With the weight she had lost, Annika wondered, would @Rosencrantz find her more attractive? More.. Miriam-esque. Although she still only saw how thickly corded her muscles were and how she could change this and that to do better, the reality was the shine had gone from her pelt. Her skin was beginning to lay uncomfortably across a frame that needed more weight, but that was alright. Annika would do whatever it took to be pretty, to lure in someone who would love her.

It was alright, she parroted herself. It was alright.
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#2
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They had spent quite some time in the plains, almost comfortable in the wide open prairies now as before it was barren and exposing. Now the tall grasses swayed in the breeze in a hypnotic dance, putting him in almost a trance on most days as he would watch them sway with the clouds rolling by overhead. Eventually they should move on and discover more of the world around them, @Guildenstern was often off doing his own thing while @Miriam opted to stay nearby for the most time.

Rosencrantz, well. He was the calm before the storm. Lazying about and lumbering around when the mood struck him to investigate their surroundings. There was little else to be offered in the plains. It was quiet for the most part, offering little other than serene days with strangers doing no more than just walking by silently except for the rare few who would approach to ask the usual questions.

This place was peaceful... and boring. And yet he felt tied here as if Annika would return any day now, which slowed down his rush to move on to the next location. But would she even come by or was this just wishful thinking? She must be happy elsewhere by now, and perhaps it was time to move on.

Maybe tomorrow he would suggest for them to find their way to the mountains and leave the tall grasses behind.

That was until her scent rolled in with the thunderous clouds overhead. Their angry, heavy, grey bodies threatening above with her scent mingling with the promise of rain to come. Had she finally come for a visit? Along with... a strange, familiar scent that tangled within her perfume. Even without her heat he was drawn in, to greet her. But what he saw as he approached, weighed down his heart like stones in the pockets of a child swimming out to sea.
 
“Annika.” He was glad to see her in general, but how would he address the sickly look she had now? “... I didn't think you'd visit.” To which he chose to not address at all for the time being. 
 

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#3
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Every fiber of her being screamed to turn back around, to rush back to the safety of her home and bury herself inside the den she had excavated until everything was over. She absolutely loathed how her hormones made her feel, but she had yet to put two and two together that it was not simply hormones causing her harm. It was herself more than anything, and she adrift on a sea alone during a storm. Annika moved through life blindfolded nowadays it seemed, and she couldn't decide if that made her happier or not. Or.. well, if she even understood the concept of happiness overall. If it marched up to her and slapped her in the face, would she recognize it? Probably not.

She should have turned around, left the poor man to his own life and allowed him the leeway to move like a ghost through her thoughts and nothing more. @Rosencrantz had not visited her, and she should have taken that as a sign. It was only stupidity that brought her damn near whimpering on his doorstep, but by the time she committed to leaving he was already there.

Annika paused, her cerulean gaze unreadable as she tried to process through the flurry of emotions that raged inside. The attraction was undeniable even without her heat, and her cheeks flushed a rosy pink beneath her chocolate fur as she studied him. He looked.. well, she thought.

"I wanted to give you space," she admitted truthfully, her eyes drifting to his paws before snapping back up again. Annika realized how awful it must seem for her to casually stroll up in heat after everything they had been through, but more than anything, she just wanted a friend. Nothing physical, just.. someone she could spend the evening with to take her mind off things. Hopefully.



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#4
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Should he offer her food? Was she starving? Would it be considered rude, as if he thought of her incapable of feeding herself? The questions brought a grimace to his already sombre face as he tried to figure out just what to do.

Blackened nose sniffed the air to take in her scent. There was a package to unwrap here... not only was he glad to see Annika here, to smell her again and perhaps move beyond their past once more and continue on the path of recovery - but there was a scent of a pack on her back... and heat. Even now he knew what that scent was. Intoxicating if he wasn't so damn confused with other things that was brought to his attention.

And to not repeat past mistakes and fuck things up even more.

He was a bigger man than that, to give in to primal urges. Even if his body betrayed him just a little between his legs with mild excitement. One that was easily ignored, as he was not a teenage boy anymore. It didn't matter if his body said 'go', he had more control than that.
 
“Why?” He questioned as if the idea of giving him space was preposterous. “Are they not feeding you, your pack?” And there he goes, opening his big damn mouth and having no class. What else could he do? He thought she was starving! 

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#5
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Why? Why?

Annika could do nothing but stare in response, the confusion evident on her features as she tried to articulate some sort of meaningful reply. Why had she given him space? The dark woman shifted her weight, considering things, trying not to snap that he had legs and was just as capable of visiting her as she was him. But he had Miriam, so.. it made sense. Why would he trudge all the way across the map simply to visit a woman he didn't even remember? The man had a beautiful companion day in and day out, so the idea that he sought additional company would be ridiculous.

Still, her ears wilted against her crown. "I.. don't know how to navigate this, Rosencrantz. I don't know what too much and what not." Annika shook her head. "I thought give space would be kind, but.." Was she wrong, then? Spirits, the next time she planned on doing something, she would do the opposite. That seemed to be the only way to keep her from doing anything ridiculously stupid.

The question about her pack caught her off guard, and it showed. "They feed, yes." She shrugged, glancing over herself. "Look bad? I thought look better now." Her jaw clenched as she tried to see what he was referring to, but Annika saw only the things she desperately wished to change.

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#6
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The mood here took a serious nosedive.

Good job Rosencrantz, you silver-tongued devil you. It seemed they both were rather awkward about navigating this situation.“I thought you up and forgot all about me.” He said with only a little awkward humour in his tone. Honestly, humour wasn't really his thing. His tone fell flat, his delivery just sucked in general. There was a reason he didn't often opt for humour to defuse situations. 

Because of course she would rather forget about him, it would have probably been for the best yeah? As much as he would have liked to move on from the awful things from the past, he couldn't promise he was any better, or any different. There was no memories to go off of in order to promise change after all. Who's to say he wasn't stuck in some disgusting rut, thinking he was above it all?
 
“No, you don't look bad.” Shit, how was he gonna navigate this one now? “Do you truly think so?” A pause, the archangel unfortunately wasn't certain if he was making things better or worse by continuing to talk about this subject. “If this is what you want, then I am happy.” After all, whatever the fuck she did with her body was no business of his.

Even though the muscles looked far better on her.
 “The visit is nice, did you travel far?”

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#7
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Although humor wasn't necessarily Annika's strong suit, she did manage to pick up on the tiniest sliver of it in his voice. Or maybe she was just imagining it, forcing it to be there because she couldn't comprehend the fact he could possibly think she would forget him. "It hard to forget someone like you," she offered in response, offering a slow and steady wag of her tail. Compliment or truth, she would never tell.

Although he reassured her she didn't look bad, Annika wasn't entirely certain how else to take his previous comment. Why would he ask if she was being fed? It simply didn't click for the woman, but that was alright. "I need lose bit more weight, I think. Want to be.. dainty, yes?" Annika lowered her head, tilting uncertainly. "Dainty women are beautiful, want that." It made sense if you squinted -- or looked the other way.

"Not very far, over by mountains. Need to.. get away from them for while. Elysium. Still not sure I stay for much longer and now guy there that I want avoid. He join pack recently." Annika frowned, settling onto her haunches with a sigh. Being chased from her home by a man would be embarrassing, but she knew in reality she was simply looking for a reason to escape.

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#8
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“It's the scar isn't it?” He continued. A joke at his own expense? Maybe. He knew how horribly disfigured he was. Even if some have tried over and over to explain that it wasn't all that bad, that it was charming in its own way - perhaps even distinguished, Rosencrantz couldn't help but miss that other part of his face that showed just how handsome he truly was.

That thing he saw in the reflection of water just wasn't him.

And after waking up in these new lands, it felt as if he had to get use to it all over again like a fresh wound. If only she knew of his own insecurities.
 
Curiously he eyed her with the one, dull golden eye. Listening to her desires to lose weight and be "dainty".  “Strong women are just as beautiful Annika, did no one ever tell you that?” The shift from his somewhat joking tease of earlier came off a little more serious, as though all of this was a new shocking revelation. 

“You are more than welcome to stay here as long as you need.” An awkward pause, his own eye roaming away into the fields as he wasn't quite sure what to do. If that is what you need.” Although he couldn't ignore the desire to know who this man was that she was avoiding and why. After all. He felt almost obliged to make sure she was well after all the torment he had put her through in a life before this.
 

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#9
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It likely would have been inappropriate to argue with him and say there were other parts of his body she was less inclined to forget. His face, while lovely, hadn't done the things for her that others had. For example, his dick had gotten her pregnant, and she was more keen on that part of him for the moment. "Among others," she commented dryly, shifting her weight to sink her toes into the mud below.

Her brow furrowed as he dared to call strong women beautiful, to which she shook her head. "Strong good to take physical hits from angry men. Dainty good to be pretty." Besides, she didn't want to draw the conclusion that he had been complimenting her in some fashion. Absolutely not. "No one ever say strong is beautiful before," she shrugged. No one had told her, anyway.

"I not want to impose, but would like stay for at least night. If you not busy, that is. Just need some time to clear head away from," she gestured towards the mountains with a paw, "whatever that is." Her tail wagged slowly, once, twice, three times, almost like a child hoping her mother would agree to a sleepover.


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#10
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Among others. Now, Rosencrantz wasn't sharp enough to catch her drift honestly, it also didn't help that he didn't remember anything from their life before this to remember that yes, they did 'fuck' at some point. So he was easily unbothered by it as his mind drifted to and from her scent that intoxicated him so. How was she not already in the arms of another man - he would not know. With this heat of hers and wandering away from home, surely someone else would have caught her trail.

Just the thought alone had the hairs along his spine rise. Ready to fight off any other men lining up behind her as if he alone had the rights to the fruits she bore. Apparently it was hard to kill the Birserkir within the man after all as he would always have some ties to their ways and basic instincts.

As she continued, ignoring his blatant compliments to boost her self-esteem, Rosencrantz frowned in response. Casting his single-eyed gaze back onto the thing woman. “Strong is also good to raise puppies. To help when shit hits the fan.” He corrected in a brute sort of way. “Just because the stars shine, it doesn't mean the flowers are less beautiful without their own twinkle.” The analogy would make more sense to wolf-kin who knew what stars were - more than just little lights in the sky but GIANT BALLS OF GLITTERING STONE LIT BY THE RESIDUE SUNLIGHT. 

Oh but Rosen too was ignorant to that fact. 
 
“You can stay as long as necessary. The plains are full of prey, if you're hungry, I can bring you something. Rest is easiest with a full belly.”

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#11
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Strong was good to raise puppies. It was an unintentional shot straight through her heart, one that made her ears fall flat against her head in grief of the life she would never have. Children were not for her, it seemed, and she would forever be cursed with a rotten womb that bore nothing but the scars of abuse. Annika knew he hadn't meant to cut her so deeply, but children were.. a sensitive subject. "Yeah," she said with a shrug. "For raising puppies." As for when shit hit the fan.. well, when did it ever stop? Annika couldn't recall the last time she'd ever not been in a shit-covered fan. What the hell was he talking about? Everything he was describing pointed her to being useless.

And then he said some confusing mess of words about stars and flowers and twinkles, to which she pursed her lips in thought as she tried to decipher the codex. "I not understand what you mean," the Russian admitted meekly, the corners of her lips twisted into a barely-there smile that faded as quickly as it came.

But, anyway.

"If you think food good idea, then okay. You not.. you not think I too big, yes? Can eat a little more?" Was she really asking for his permission to eat supper? Yes. Because that's how bloody damaged her poor brain had become.

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#12
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Stupid be what stupid is.

Of course puppies was a sore spot for her and yet it didn't quite seem to click in Rosencrantz's man-brain of his. He simply thought that a strong woman would make a great mother, a wonderful caregiver and a ferocious protector while the father would most likely be off doing something else... whatever it is men did during that time.

Clearly Rosencrantz had plenty of experience in being a father himself.

What he could tell was just how down she was - again. Like this pack of hers was not making her feel better or bringing out the best of her since she had joined. Whatever had happened with this "male" she spoke of, it had clearly done a number on her. Well, perhaps that among other things. 
 
“What I am trying to say is that you may not be dainty and small, but just as beautiful.” Frankly he thought what he said was really nice, and yet it fell as flat as paper. So perhaps he had to take the more direct route with this one - back to the basics for a basic-brained male like Rosencrantz.

At least she accepted the offer for food without taking any kind of insult from it. So quickly he began to walk toward one of the caches that were hidden around their camp, to share with their weary visitor for the night. “You don't need to any less than you did before.” Once the cache was dug up, he stepped aside to invite Annika to take what she wanted. “Whoever said you needed to lose weight should have gotten bit.”

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#13
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While an absolute mystery as to how she still seemed so magnetized towards the man, Annika wanted to believe it was because there was.. more. More to him than just the unintentional punches to the gut -- and they were unintentional, she knew. No one on any plane of existence would have been able to tell a grieving woman that she looked prime for puppy-bearing after a conversation that she had lost their litter. Not with a straight face, anyway. Some part of them would have fractured at the mere thought of it, would have given away and been a tell. Rosen? Naw, he just didn't realize it, bless his soul.

Annika wondered if maybe their litter had died because they simply hadn't known how to breathe, based on the obliviousness of their father. Okay, no, no, she was being far too harsh on him.

She had already begun walking by the time he mentioned something about being beautiful, and truth be told, she thought it was a joke. Hah, very funny. It was only when she glanced at him from across her shoulder that she realized he may have been being truthful, and she paused mid-stride to stare him down. Say psych right now, her narrowed gaze seemed to say, but Annika did feel a stain of warmth blossom across her cheeks. "Oh, uhm," the woman mumbled, clearly flustered. Had it been the first time anyone had ever genuinely called her that? Yes, yes it had. What a sad little life she lead.

Anyway, back onto the discussion of food.

"I say that, not anyone else. You going bite me like old times?" Annika teased, forcing a small laugh to indicate yes, here is where we laugh because it is a joke. Context clues and all. Annika sifted through the cache until she'd selected her meal of choice and promptly settled down beneath a nearby tree, her stomach growling in anticipation. "You share?" It was only polite to ask before she devoured it, after all.

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#14
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Oh how he had changed since his time in previous lives. Ever since coming across little frightened Miriam, he had grown... softer? Careful. The sharp edges that still lingered on his frame were ever so present still, waiting and willing to bite into anyone who would dare to cross him and any of those who travelled with them. There were no lands for him to guard this time, no people other than the one woman as @Guildenstern would most likely turn on him if he stepped in to assist unless requested. 
 
“If it would make you believe me, perhaps I will.” Golden eye, sharp and stern shifted to take in Annika's own gaze. If she needed a little push in the right direction to make sure she was not trying to fit a square piece into a round hole, then so be it. Call it tough.. love? Maybe a little too soon to be tossing around that word, but it seemed like what she needed above all else. As she took the meal he followed, just close enough to keep the conversation going but remaining far enough to not impose on her meal.

With a shake of his head, he refused the offering. “No, you eat.” The cache was theirs after all for a reason, to eat whenever necessary and so he wasn't needing it like Annika was right now. Plus, he was certain @Miriam would want the same, she did ask about their meeting last time after all. Made sure he pursued Annika before that as well.

Speaking of which, if Annika did stay here for a night or two before returning to the mountains of which she came. She would have to be aware of the others who would most likely return as well. “Miriam would be happy to see you.” Smooth.

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#15
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It was strange getting to know a ghost, particularly when said ghost had amnesia. Deep down she was nearly offended that he had managed to forget someone quite like herself, but she supposed it fed merrily into her claims of being forgettable. Whatever lands they now inhabited, the gods had stripped some of memories and not others. It made no sense and for a change, she felt homesick for the before-realm.

At least the food tasted the same.

"Hah," she chortled at his comment, wondering how much of his ferocity had bled into this dimension with him. "Perhaps we spar soon. Many bites, then." Bites and bitchslaps, Annika's favorite game -- or it had been, once. Now she wasn't entirely sure who she was or what she enjoyed.. was fighting one of them? She couldn't tell.

Her ear twitched towards him as he commented on Miriam's theoretical happiness at seeing her. Yes, yes.. she was certain the silvery woman would be downright delighted to set eyes on Annika's disastrous self. There were those who could befriend anyone, but Annika knew she was a difficult nut to crack. She nibbled absently on her food, doing her best to pretend all was well and normal and good between them.

"Is nice woman, be happy see her. Happy see you, too," the woman offered with a soft clearing of her throat, cheeks flushing as she returned to chewing at her food.


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