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Private  - but thinking makes it so

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Played by Offline Sunny [PM] Posts: 8 — Threads: 3
Signos: 265
Dusk Court Scholar
Male [He/Him/His] // 9 [Year 495 Summer] // 14.3 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A

The bison was a huge brown rock in the middle of the jaundiced colored plains. Its legs seemed comically short for how massive and jagged its bulk was; like a chunk of carob-colored granite fell off of Veneror, rolled all the way down to Eluetheria, sprouted nubs, and mosied away. It then split into a hundred more, each of them repeating the process, and on and on until there were enough to trod whole swathes of earth into mud.

The beast lowers its great head and lips at the grass, snorting, and farting and making other guttural, obscene-sounding noises as it takes its sweet time eating and pooping on everything from here to the big mountain in the distance. Atlas could only look out from under slightly raised brows and give an almost imperceptible nod of appreciation. There was something to be said about the wilderness within them, though they did not match up to the usual perception of wild: fast, free, and slightly angry.

He had no doubts about their potential danger, however. Back in Zukai, it was common for the middle-class merchants who were wealthy enough to own and sell goods, but not people, to foist around camels strapped with their products; camels were also docile-looking pooping and eating machines, but when they would get mad, watch out. Once, Nashira took him to Market Town to watch how those who couldn't just outright buy everything (or, in his case, get it for free) bartered, and he had seen a cutpurse slice too close in an attempt to lift a leather satchel and prick the camel's flesh; their strange, swivel-hinged hind legs stuck out and crushed the thief's chest in. They stumbled away in stunned shock as their bones sliced through their vital organs. They did not survive long enough to be arrested.

Imagining the repercussions of ticking off one of these bison, seeing his whole form crumbled up like dry paper, was not a pretty sight. It certainly cut down on the whole 'majestic king of the plains' effect he had in his mind. Still, they seemed peaceable enough; he avoided the mothers with their growing spring calves and averted his eye contact with the big bulls-- discernable by the male flesh hanging low between their legs-- and plodded along.

Traveling amongst the herd afforded him more safety than picking around the edges of it. While the bison were the largest things here, they were certainly not the only big animal wandering the plains-- tawny lionesses blended far too well with the grass, stalking the unwary, and earlier in the morning, Atlas had heard wolves howling to each other from the far-off peaks of Veneror. It was summer, and he was sure prey was plentiful, but what he wasn't so certain about was how far down the mountain they would range; his wife's family had been in the business of gambling, but Atlas had never put much stock in it.

The thought of Sadal made him frown. It was an expression of consternation, confusion; her memory was not a painful, heavy one, like Nashira, or one that came on the edge of a blade, like Nathely. He had Sadal had never been anything but cordial to each other; he liked her well enough, and she liked his money well enough, but there was always the big issue of him not having any interest in putting a child in her, and that tended to drive a wedge in even the best relationships built on mutual respect.

Still, the thought of her out here with him-- gods, that would be her deepest ring of Hell-- picking footfalls amongst the bison shit and having to swat away flies instead of them being fanned away by a servant with a palm leaf made him wonder as to her fate. Dead, probably. And his son-- his nephew, truly-- probably was as well.

Atlas snorted through a small patch of purple dew flower and wondered how his train of thought had become so grim; it scared him that he was unbothered by the thought of Sadal's death.

Gnats spun in the summer air around him; grasshoppers launched between from tall stalks of seed-headed grass; flies, bees, and locusts filled the air with a persistent, but not overpowering, buzzing noise. The hot summer sun baked the ground and filled his nostrils with the smells of hot dirt and cattle. In the distance, heatwaves warped the cloudless blue sky.

Eventually, the grass would thin and die and give way to bare ground which would shift into dancing sands. That was where Atlas was headed; that was where he had to get to.

The dry grass cut at his hocks and now and again he had to dodge a prairie dog hole that was perfect for tripping in; his going was slow but patient. For a being on an adventure, Atlas was not the adventurous sort.

"Atlas" | ruminations on love and bison  | @Emersyn


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