Camping With The Hand - RPLOG
A soft rumble sounds, and soon enough, Katrina enters the area, wearing a black leather outfit today, and having left her cane at home. Her tail sways lightly, and she gestures for the smaller feline behind her to follow after, her ears flicking... "Come now. Hurry. We do have to put your new purchase to good use, hmm?" she rumbles, referring to the bow she had him spend the last of his money on...
Terry follows along behind Katrina. "Y-yes 'mam!" he says, sounding uncertain. In his hands he's holding a shortbow, bought used but still well maintained. He holds it awkwardly, seemingly trying to figure out how it's meant to be gripped in the first place. "How is this going to help? If.. if I may ask?" The ocelot's question is genuinely born of curiosity.
"We're going to hunt down some breakfast. Our assignments may take place anywhere, so you'll need to know how to fend for yourself," the she-cat rumbles with a smile, another tailflick. "Ever used a bow before? Air magic?" she questions, watching Terry with a curious eye.
Terry looks up at the feline lady, and shakes his head slowly. "N-no 'maam, I'm sorry. I've never.." He gently tugs at the bow's string. "I've never used one of these." He smiles. "And magic.. that's for smart beings, I'm not.. I've never gone to any kind of school or.. you know.."
"Magic is a skill many beings can learn, at least to some extent... We will see how you do," the she-cat rumbles with a smile on her lips, a flick of her tail, before looking back to Terry. "But first, archery... It's not that hard," she rumbles as the duo close in on a small clearing, where a single hay target is set up.
Terry nods quickly, agreeing with Lady Katrina's words, as he oft does. "Yes 'mam. I'll do my best." He smiles, even purrs briefly, before his attention is snapped to the hay target. "Oh.. hm..." He looks back at the bow, then reaches back to draw an arrow from the small quiver that came with it. "I guess it doesn't look too complicated.."
"Hold the bow in one hand, then nock the arrow. pull back to flex the bow, and aim. Remember that the arrow will fall in flight, so aim a little higher than the target," the cat notes, before gesturing for Terry to try it.
Terry wiggles his nose as he raises the bow and tries to follow Katrina's instructions. He nocks the arrow and pulls it back, then tries to aim it. His hold on the bow is solid enough, but as the feline lets the arrow fly it flits awkwardly off to the target's left, and slightly too low.
"You have half an hour to practice," the she-cat rumbles, as she pulls out a small object from her outfit, and moves it to her upper arm. Arm raised up, a *woosh*, and soon enough, a small black needle sticks out of the target, right in the bullseye. "Hit that, and you earn yourself twenty scepters," the she-cat purrs with a flick of her tail.
Terry jolts in surprise as the dart flies unerringly into the target, the small feline's jaw dropping. "Hit.. hit that small thing?" He asks, incredulous, before he remembers himself and nods at Katrina. "I mean.. uhm.. yes 'mam. I will!" He nervously nibbles on his tongue as he raises his bow again and nocks a new arrow, letting it fly. It misses, too far to the right this time, and far too high. He readies another arrow...
Katrina smiles and rumbles softly, while watching Terry in near-silence. In the mean time, she simply takes out a cloth from her bag and lays it out, taking a moment to prepare her own breakfast for the day... She's come prepared, after all.
Terry huffs, his tail flitting in annoyance as he draws and nocks another arrow, but this time takes it slow. He gently puts his aim on the hay target, then tilts the bow up to compensate for drop off, and... misses. The arrow flies up and back down, but lands on the target's side, sticking itself into the ground. Still, it's the closest shot yet. Another arrow...
"Take your time. There is no rush," Katrina rumbles, even as she readies a small gust of air-magic to knock the next arrow wildly off-target right before the haybale. "And remain aware of your surroundings, of course."
Terry blinks in surprise as his arrow flies completely the wrong way, almost turning in mid-air. He turns to Katrina with a look of awe. "Y-you did that?" He pauses, then catches himself. "I.. I mean.. that sounded rude.." He nods. "Yes 'mam. I will." He readies another arrow again, his last one before he has to run in and retrieve the lot, and lets it fly.
Another gust of air to knock the arrow off-target, Katrina's tail swaying lightly as she sets to enjoy her breakfast. Seems she's brought a loaf of bread and several slices of roast beef, along a few other items still in her bag...
Terry looks frustrated, but doesn't dare to raise his voice or even glance at Katrina as the second arrow is knocked out of the air in front of him. He reaches back to find another arrow.. and his quiver is empty. He runs in, retrieving the previously fired arrows and returning to his firing position. He raises his arrow, nibbling on his tongue as he aims it veeeeery carefully. He glances sideways at Katrina.. then fires!
Another gust of wind blows the arrow off-track, and Katrina rumbles softly. "Feel the winds. Anticipate where they'll blow your arrows, and only when you're certain, let loose," she informs the ocelot, before causing the gusts to change direction once more.
Terry huffs softly. "How am I supposed to do that? I can't feel the wind and it keeps changing direction!" He laments, tail whipping annoyedly. He once again remembers his place, ears pinning down apologetically. "Um.. I mean.. " He pipes and raises his bow again, readying another arrow. He tries to follow Katrina's advice, trying to figure out the.. whereabouts of the wind, somehow...
"You'll figure it out," the she-cat rumbles, letting the wind blow in the same direction for a while, before turning the spell around again, her tail flicking lightly. "If you can't read the winds, there'll be no hope of ever hitting your target at anything beyond this range. Let alone hitting them with a dart like this," the she-cat rumbles, holding up another black dart and throwing it at the target, hitting the bullseye once again.
Terry raises his bow once again and takes careful aim, both tilting his aim up and somewhat against the wind as he tries to figure its direction. His tail flits quickly from side to side as he lets this arrow fly and quickly nocks another one, and takes aim once again.
Katrina smiles and rumbles as the arrow flies past the target again, taking another moment, before, once again, turning the winds around, this time blowing in Terry's direction. At the same time, the feline takes another bite of her breakfast, silently watching on as the ocelot struggles with the exercise.
Terry doesn't complain this time, although as the wind blows directly into him he huffs and shakes his head, caught by surprise. He raises his aim at the target again, aiming high, and pulling back hard on the bow to put a lot of power into it. He lets the arrow fly with a little yelp, the string having been held so taut by the untrained feline that it nicked him lightly. He seems undaunted however, and quickly nocks another arrow.
A small smile, another flick of the tail, and Katrina watches the arrow fly up and forwards... Then up and backwards... And then very quickly downwards, only barely missing Terry's own tail... And meanwhile, Katrina simply watches on, seeminly amused by the events...
Terry hisses briefly as the arrow flies up and above him, and yips as it narrowly misses his tail. He pouts, but directs his anger at -the target-, quickly nocking another arrow and aiming it at the target with an intense stare. He once again very carefully tilts the arrow up, and a bit to the left.. and pulls the string further back.. and a bit to the right... and lets loose!
A hit! A modest one, but a hit none the less. The edge of the target now has an arrow sticking out of it, in the right orientation. Katrina smiles, and once again, the wind abrubtly changes direction... Or rather, starting to swirl around unpredictably, or at least, seemingly so...
Terry cheers with joy at the very, very modest success. He blinks, however, as the winds begin to twist and turn in front of him, whipping the grass and his fur as they lick him. He hisses briefly at the wind, but takes the challenge head on as he nocks an arrow and does his best to read what exactly the swirling winds are doing. His aim flits left to right as he tries to line up the shot.. and fires!
And the arrow wobbles through the air, twisting, turning, before flying off into the distance on a strong gust of air, embedding itself in a nearby tree. "Still haven't figured out how to read the winds, hmm?" the she-cat rumbles with a smile, a flick of her tail...
Terry mewls pathetically. "It's so hard when they keep turning and changing like that. I don't know what to do!" Despite himself he grabs his last arrow and nocks it, trying to line up another shot. This time he waits however, patiently trying to read the wind by looking for any clues. Swaying grass, flurries of dust. Anything that could help him at least get close!
"Patience. Figure out how the winds blow, figure out where the arrow will go, and then, adjust your angle to make it go where you want it to be," she continues softly. "Imagine a moving target... Do you aim at the target, or do you aim at where the target will be? Right now, your target is stationary, and you only have to deal with the wind... But it's not at all dissimilar."
Terry nods, tilting his bow to the right.. and a bit up.. he tries to picture the arrow's path through the air as it gets flurried around, trying to imagine it as it arcs up and back down, battered to the side by a gust of wind, then thrown off course. He nibbles on his lip before letting the arrow fly.
Another hit, this time at the bottom-right of the target... Still no bullseye, though, and Kat's gusts of air show no apparent signs of stopping, the feline clearly enjoying the training-session... Or possibly just the fact she has food.
Despite the very slight success, the ocelot still cheers, happy that he at least got it in the general vicinity of the hay target. He runs in, winds be damned, and retrieves his arrows to set up for another shot. The little feline seems to be having a whale of a time!
"And people call ME an Ass," comes a voice from the treeline, "Honestly, Kitten, how is the boy supposed to improve if tou just slap his fingers every time he throws? It's honestly offensive!" A well dressed Ass stands at the edge of the clearing, smirking at the picnic. "I hope you at least brought palatable wine instead of just filching what looked expensive?" he sighs.
"Of course... And something about tough love, eh?" the she-cat rumbles with a smile on her lips, a soft purr as she pulls out a bottle of wine from her bag, before gesturing to Terry. "Donovan, Terry. Terry, Donovan. He's an ass," she purrs with a smirk, before flicking her ears. "And he'll be teaching you in the art of killing. We start with hunting, of course. Or poaching, rather," she purrs, before flicking her ears.
"He's got you for the weekends, I have you during the weekdays."
"Oh, and Donovan? Do try to remember this time. This one's mine. No dragging him along on -your- missions."
Terry had just finished running back with his stash of arrows when his attention was caught by Donovan's voice. He looks between the two beings - first with confusion, then with a smile as it becomes apparent that the two know each other, and are apparently friends. "Nice to meet you Donovan!" The ocelot says rather cheerfully. He listens to Katrina's words, nodding at her comments. "Yes 'mam, I'll be with Donovan on the weekends." He repeats, before turning to Donovan again. "You'll be teaching me to hunt sir?"
"Creators, NO!" Donovan says disdainfully, "If you have the aptitude, I will teach you to kill. There is a difference." The Ass looks around at the clearing. "Not my first choice for a training ground," he says, "But I suppose one must work with the tools one has." He casts a sidelong look at Kateina and rolls his eyes at her possessiveness.
"What? I remember the last being I handed off for you to train. And so does your target's family. Well, did, before we had someone clean up that mess," Katrina rumbles, before shaking her head. "As for why we're here, it's simple. Animals are... Less risky, especially when one is merely getting started in our line of work. A charge of poaching ia -much- easier to deal with.
Terry looks between the two other beings, keeping quiet as they talk at each other, but his wafting tail betraying his eagerness. He nods at Katrina's words. "I suppose you're right 'maam.. but I'd rather not get caught at all, of course." He turns his attention to Donovan. "I uh.. I've never done this before sir, but I'm willing to learn."
"I only passed along the orders, Kitten," he says as he removes his coat, hangung it from a tree branch and revealing the form fitting clothes he wears beneath. The Ass is strong and lithe. "Alright, Spots," he says, "let's start. What is the target and how do we find it?"
"'cept it was your job, Donovan, and you know it," the she-cat rumbles. "I'm all for a bit of live action experience, but any such things will go through me from now on. Clear?" she rumbles, before watching Terry with a piqued eye. "Our lunch," the she-cat simply concludes, before she tosses half a bun Terry's way. "As I told you yesterday, you will always at least get a bread a day, so long as you make progress. Anything more will have to be earned."
Terry looks between the two again. He's briefly confused by the nickname Donovan has given him, but quickly stammers out a reply. "I uh.. target is a game animal I guess? Rabbit? Deer maybe?" He turns to Katrina and nods, catching the half-bun as it is thrown. "Thank you 'mam!" He says with genuine gratitude before nibbling on it. He chews down a bitefull before returning his attention to the two.
"And as ever, despite your recruit's poor self control, my assignments were carried off flawlessly," Donovan says with a sniff, then turnsall his attention to Terry. "Wrong," he says simply, but not harshly, "We are here for the 12 point stag that the king plans to hunt next week. We will take him unaware or not at all. Lesson one," he says, "Always know your target. Come along." The Ass turns and swaggers off between the trees down a game trail.
Katrina smiles and rumbles softly, before flicking her tail. "Don't let him get into too much trouble, Donovan. I'd like to have him back in roughly one piece by the end of the day," Katrina rumbles with a smile on her lips, a flick of her ears as she simply remains seated, taking another sip of her wine, and preparing another slice of bread. "I'll stay here, do some target-practice.
Terry blinks at Donovan's words. "A-a stag that the King wants to hunt?" He instinctively peers around before returning his attention to the other being. "Isn't that.. uhm.. " He was struggling to find the appropriate word for it when his train of thought was interrupted by Katrina. He nods. "Yes 'mam, as you say." He smiles briefly at her before returning his attention to Donovan. "Won't we be risking the Good King being very, very upset if we do this?"
"Without a doubt," Donovan says, "Which is why we cannot afford to hunt it in a traditional manner. We must find and kill the beast without a chase and without a fight." The Ass sniffs the air. "When did you last bathe?" he asks.
Terry nods at the other being's words. "Yes sir." He gulps to himself, just now realising what he's getting himself into. He blinks at the question, then says with slight embarrassment. "Last week Sir, the Lady forced me to before she took me to get a suit made in town. I uh... I don't usually bathe sir." That's one way to put it for the little street urchin...
Donovan shrugs. "It gets rid of some of the more distinctive smells when we stalk our client," he says, producing a small vial that he passes to Terry, "Deer musk. It only takes a little."
Terry takes the proffered vial, unstopping it and taking a small whiff of it before recoiling. "Ugh..." He dips the tip of his finger into the substance and dabs it lightly across his skin and fur, hoping that he's doing it correctly.
Donovan sniffs and nods, taking the vial back. "Good," he says, "Now we need silence from here out." The Ass then takes a couple of hooping steps, then leaps upward to haul himself into a tree and starts to move along a thick branch.
Terry offers the other being a brief smile, which is quickly replaced with surprise as he bounds off. The ocelot almost breaks the command he was just given by asking what's going on, but stops himself in time. Instead he follows after him, climbing up the same tree and following along the branch several paces behind him.
Donovan is surprisingly light footed for a traditionally slow and plodding race and moves smoothly along the thick, intertwining branches of the old trees. After a short jaunt he stops and crouches down, and waits.
Terry follows along the best he can. The lithe feline is aided by his size and natural inclination, but slowed down by inexperience and lack of confidence. He does manage to catch up after Donovan stops, and crouches down next to him, peering out to try and see what he sees.
Donovan points downward at the grassy area below. There, in the semi clearing is an enormous buck with great, spreading antlers. Donovan looks to Terry with arched brow.
Terry peers down to look at the creature, seeming to admire it for a moment, jaw slightly agape. He looks sideways at Donovan, blinks, then quickly retrieves his new bow and a stack of arrows, glancing at his fellow being for a sign of approval.
Donovan pulls a long knife from his belt, then nods at Terry. He holds up a single finger and mouths "One Shot."
Terry raises his bow, slowly, gently. He nocks one arrow and pulls the string back as he lines up his shot. The distance is considerable, so he knows he will have to aim higher than he was before on the hay target. The wind seems to be blowing constantly here, towards him and a bit to the right, so he adjusts his aim slightly to the left. He takes a few deep breaths, correcting his aim again and again as he feels the wind shift ever so slightly, and then... he fires, letting the arrow fly free towards the animal.
Donovan watches carefully as Terry lines up his shot. The ocelot's arrow slams into the deer's shoulder, and the animal tosses its head in pain and surprise.
Meanwhile, Donovan drops from his perch in the tree onto the deer's back and jams his blade hard into the back of its neck at the base of the skull before twisting it hard! The creature slumps to the ground before it can even bugle a cry of alarm. "Good," Sonovan says, "You did not hesitate.
Terry re-slings his bow back into its place before dropping down to join Donovan. He looks down at the buck briefly before returning his gaze to Donovan, smiling, tail flitting playfully. "Thank you sir! But I only did as you told me, really.." He looks back at the buck. "I can see why the Good King wanted to claim this one as a trophy... he's going to be really annoyed..."
"Perhaps," Donovan says, "But he should never know where it went." The Ass carefully wipes his blade clean on the grass and returns it to his belt. His clothes remain largely unspotted, not a trace of the deer's blood on him. "A kill must be quick and clean," he lectures, "A professional always gives his clients that courtesy."
Terry nods quickly. "Quick and clean. Got it sir." He smiles. "Should we return now? The Lady might get impatient if we take too long." The small ocelot didn't add that he was also looking forward to any potential reward, especially of the edible kind...
Donovan nods and quickly trusses up the stag, hefting the great beast over his shoulders. He is stronger than he looks. "Come along," he says, "We shall return you to Kitten's loving care."