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Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael]

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Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Wed Oct 11, 2023 2:54 pm


Vibrant arrays bloom

On sand Luluhawa paints

Beauty stirs Tōga's soul

Order rigid as wood

Duty melts into freedom

On beach of bright hues

Twilight swirls descend

Peace found in belonging

With cherished friends' feast

Yozora no shita ni, hi wa hanahiraku

- Under a night's sky, a fire blooms

Tōga sat along the beach, his eyes wandering over the arrays of color that Luluhawa had laid out before him. Though his homeland of Joya was known for its striking symmetry - forested mountains lining the horizon, cities built on grids of iron and wood - Tōga found a different kind of beauty here. Joya's precision and order gave it an austere magnificence, but Luluhawa's vibrant patterns welcomed the spirit as well as the eye. Tōga felt his weariness easing as he gazed at the arrays. Joya's culture was not for the faint of heart, but Luluhawa's art spoke to his soul. Here, where land and sea mingled in fluid shapes and bright hues, Tōga felt something he rarely experienced in Joya - a sense of belonging.

The city where the Rune Knights were headquartered was a refreshing change from Tōga's homeland. Unlike Joya, which valued precision and order above all, this city hummed with motivated people dedicated to their duties. As a Rune Knight himself, Tōga appreciated the crisp discipline that shaped life here. Yet he often longed for the easygoing liberty of Mahalo Beach.

On his visit today, Tōga felt the rigid lines of his knightly life relax. As he traced meandering patterns with his eyes or gazed at the swirling blends of color, duty seemed to melt into freedom. The city energized him with its sense of purpose, but the beach awakened something deeper - a longing for beauty that stirred his spirit. Here, Tōga didn't have to be solely a knight, ruler, or heir; he could simply be. Luluhawa Island welcomed him to set down his burdens for a time and find belonging.

As afternoon melted into evening, the sky transformed like one of Luluhawa's arrays - from azure to orange to dusky purple. A brisk ocean breeze gusted across the beach, sending a chill through the lingering warmth of the day. Tōga remained unaffected, his inner fire warding off the cold. Neither frost nor nightfall could disturb the peace he found here with Luluhawa and her vibrant artwork. The sun slowly sank below the horizon, casting the beach in deepening shadow. Most visitors had retreated inland to seek shelter and warmth. But Tōga was content to linger in the shifting hues of twilight, as Luluhawa added swirls of color to her patterns in the sand. The three friends were in no hurry to let this magical day come to an end.

How do ya’ll like your hog!?” Tōga's voice rang out, shattering the hypnotic hush that had fallen with the dark. The day's languid peace scattered before the prospect of a hearty feast. The three had succeeded in their earlier  hunt - a plump warthog now awaited the fire's kiss. While the Blue Pegasus’s set to butchering their quarry, Tōga gathered driftwood to spark a robust blaze. The mage was in his element, constructing a pyre as meticulously as any city's architecture.

WC: 582

#2Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Thu Oct 12, 2023 9:33 am

Michael Winters
Once the quest was done everything was rather chill. Michael took it easy as they had hog for a meal and thus prepped for it. Never did he think that his life would turn the way it did. And he wondered what was the next step. He was now an accomplished Blue Pegasus member and he was close to the Guild Master. But like what does he do from here? Its like he had no goal and he felt like sleeping. Its like he had of motivation or a goal. He felt safe and protected. Thats all that mattered to him. He could live out his life in relative peace. Replace some dark urges with less dark ones.

Although he still has them even if he represses them. Every time he closes his eyes, he could see it. Him slashing and carving. But not some hog, but actual people. Spilling their blood and unleashing terror. He still bottles it up. But both Blue Pegasus and Paradise Dawn would help him out with that. Some more then others, but each in their own way.

The Rune Knights words pulled him out of his thoughts as he looked at the guy and nodded "Yep, all good" he wasnt quite sure what the guy asked him. But y'know... go with the flow.
Also since he was here, he might as well try and mingle. See how does this guy tick. Whats his name? Toga? He wasnt sure but he thinks that was it. But yeah, he gusees since he was with Toga here, might as well get to know him
"So what brings a Rune Knight all the way to Luluhawa. I thought you guys tend to stay there at Central Fiore, like Era and Crocus" with a bit of them sprinkled West and around. Luluhawa seems so out of the way, he was surprised this collaboration even happened



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Fri Oct 13, 2023 4:53 am



Understood!” Tōga enthusiastically replied.

Michael's vague response hovered on the edge of nonsense, but the dragon slayer simply smiled and pressed on. He knew that dark inner void all too well - the emptiness where a person's thoughts could drift into a prism of possibilities, detaching them from reality's anchoring familiarity. Michael's unspoken words mattered little, for Tōga already grasped his meaning. However you sliced it, seasoned it, or cooked it, pork could only be served one way: thoroughly seared.

As Samuel and Michael carried on with meat prep on the beach, Tōga roamed the edge of the forest, searching for dry kindling. This seaside landscape posed a challenge - the sea's proximity left much of the fallen wood soaked and rotted, useless as tender for their fire. So the dragon slayer ventured deeper into the trees, his footsteps light despite his large frame. He tread with care, not to damage the forest that provided their sustenance. Tōga listened for the crack of deadwood underfoot and scanned the shadowed glades for fallen branches. Before long, his discerning eye spied a brush pile left by some small animal. He gathered an armful of cracked and desiccated branches, their timeworn textures promising a ready blaze. The dragon slayer returned triumphant to the beach, where Samuel and Michael had space. Now, with Tōga's dry timber, the companions could ignite a proper campfire.

Pleased with his haul, the pink-haired mage turned back down the beach, eager to meet his new comrades. A satisfied smile crossed Tōga's face as he pictured the feast to come. The day's foraging had proved fruitful - they would dine well tonight. With this bundle of dry firewood, the dragon slayer could build them a proper pyre to cook their spoils. His pace quickened at the thought of the crackling flames soon to be sparked and the rich smells of smoke and sizzling pork.

"I'm back!" Tōga called out cheerfully as he crossed the wide expanse of beach, as though his companions couldn't already see his approach. "In just a few minutes, you're gonna smell some mighty fine meat cookin', I'll tell ya that!" Joy radiated through his every word.

With practiced hands, the pink-haired mage began stacking the timber into a pyre, each stick placed with purpose. Tōga was a master of fire - he knew how to build for longevity and clean burning. The kindling was arranged to allow optimal air flow, laying the foundation for a strong and steady blaze. Piece by piece, his skilled fingers wove the cracked branches into an expert lattice.

The world is bigger than just Era,” Tōga smiles, continuing the perfect the wood structure. “I want to see it all, so whenever there’s a chance I can sneak out of the city to venture elsewhere, I’m taking it – knight or not.” He never seems to use that joyful hubris.

How about you? What brought you to this mission?

WC: 485 [1069]

#4Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Fri Oct 13, 2023 5:46 am

Michael Winters
"Welcome back" the exceed would say as he would sit down to write in his notebook.
As Toga said that in just a few minutes theres gonna be good meat cooking, Michael chuckled and said "Bet" he really could sink his teeth in something nice and meaty. He couldnt wait and was eager for it as he was getting hungry a bit.

But until the meal is done, he decided to start a bit of small talk to ask him how come he's here and not back where other Rune Knights are. And the man would give him his answer, which was a reasonable answer. And of course the next course of action would be asking him the same back.

"I dunno. The Guild Master said so. So I went along with it. Granted I have been recently to Luluhawa, so maybe I got chosen because of that. Tho I wasnt as familiar in the forest as I was with the general coastline area"

It was when he did the quest with Lumikki from Paradise Dawn, which was in a way another Blue Pegasus co-op quest. Only that one was less official as it was just two guildmates from different guilds tackling the same quest. Because why not. Besides, Lumikki was his lovely gem

"I was not around for that one" Samuel chimed in as he wrote something still. Michael looked at the exceed and said "Yes that one was shortly before you. I met you a bit after that quest"
To which the exceed looked up at him for the brief moment before looking down to continue his writing "Perhaps you got chosen to keep your temper cool. I have noticed you have been itching to use that knife of yours." and not to mention the insinuation he felt, that he was with a woman on his last quest here. He doesnt what to know what happened there. Perhaps Toga could make him a better and more civilized man. Although to Samuel, it seemed Toga was younger on the two and more innocent and naive in his approach to things.
"What is it like in Era?" Samuel asked the Rune Knight, curious how different it is from Hargeon and south Fiore.



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Fri Oct 13, 2023 1:21 pm


It took a few moments, but the small pyre Tōga constructed was finally complete. Looking outside, the cone-like wooden structure wasn’t all that impressive, however, the beauty came in it’s simplicity. The moment Tōga wanted to start his fire, the air would flow seamlessly through it, energizing the small embers into a wildfire that would roast the hog’s body full in due time.

"Sam, you're pretty cool flyin' cat," Tōga remarked, hoping the cat-like angel would take his words lightly. Samuel was a marvel to be sure, this magical being with a feline form but a keen intellect. Tōga tended to simplify matters - the natural world was complex enough without piling on mankind's formulas. But Samuel defied simple explanations. He was a walking wonder, and Tōga couldn't help but be fascinated by him. There was a glint of mystery and mischief in those slitted eyes. Tōga never knew quite what to expect from the winged cat, save that it would be interesting. He appreciated that about Samuel. Life was always an adventure with such a capricious yet good-natured companion by one's side.

Tōga nodded along as Michael explained the workings of his guild. Had it not been for the machinations of such organizations, their paths likely would never have crossed. "Sam speaks true - you handled that knife as fine as any mage wields magic," Tōga remarked with a laugh. Though spoken in jest, the words rang honest. Watching Michael take down the boar with nothing more than a common blade revealed a mastery that Tōga could not hope to match.

While Tōga had command of runic forces beyond most men, Michael's connection to his simple weapon was on another level entirely. When he struck, it was as though the knife became an extension of his very will - flashing forward with supernatural swiftness to always find its mark. What others might accomplish through magic spells or mystical arts, Michael matched with sheer skill honed to perfection.

Tōga knew the laughing comment betrayed his true thoughts. This unassuming man moved on a different plane, his humble knife hiding lethal skill that outstripped even the rune knight's pride.
You two, grab the hog and attach it to that wooden stick over there, I’ll get the fire goin’” Tōga said with a wide smile, pointing at the wooden bridge he crafted to suspend the hog’s carcass over the campfire.

Tōga drew in a deep breath, feeling the magical energy churn within him. With an effortless belch, a jet of flames erupted from his mouth, sweeping across the pyre. The tinder ignited instantly, the fire springing to life.

"Now that's how you start a proper fire!" Tōga exclaimed. While all fire magic had its appeal, nothing quite compared to the raw might of a dragon slayer's breath. Normal flames seemed tame, almost docile, next to the untamed power Tōga wielded. As the blaze grew, crackling hungrily through the wood, Tōga felt a thrill rush through him. This was no ordinary fire, but an extension of his own magic, called forth from within. It was a part of him, primordial and unpredictable. He could guide it, shape it to his will, but never truly master it. That wild, dangerous edge was part of its glory.

Tōga stepped back, admiring his handiwork. The pyre was now a pillar of writhing flames, radiating heat and power. This was fire as it was meant to be. Tamed by no mage, but working in harmony with one who understood its true spirit. This was the gift of a dragon slayer.

WC: 591 [1660]

#6Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Fri Oct 13, 2023 2:09 pm

Michael Winters
"Thank you" The exceed would reply to the Rune Knights compliment as they sounded sincere in their own way. Toga clearly had a similar and youthful vocabulary as Michael, but he also looked younger then the werewolf. So he was more lax to Toga about how he carried himself rather than Michael who was supposed to be more mature by now.

As Michael and Toga conversed what brought them here and such. Toga complimented Michaels knife skills. Though Samuel spoke "You're being too kind to him. Its best to not inflate his ego"
"Oi!" Michael said and growled to the exceed back. Though he looked at Toga and spoke more quietly "But yeah, thanks about it I guess"
Michael didnt see himself as an expert. It was just raw instinct and impulse. He had a killer instinct and lived for taking down people. He took a deep breath for a moment to calm his inner machinations. Dark thoughts that should be kept at bay. Thoughts not becoming of a Blue Pegasi.

Anywho as Toga told the two to get the hog. Michael decided to solo it. His strength made it so he didnt need anyones help. He was kinda good at this grunt work. So he attached it to the stick. Toga meanwhile showed off his fire magic and started a proper

"Impressive flames" Samuel spoke as he glanced at the fire and walked over to the two men. He looked at the two and jumped on Michaels shoulder simply to talk easier to Toga eye to eye. "I do think you have potential to grow your magic into something stronger" he then looks at Michael "Maybe you two should spar one day"

But Michael shakes his head "No. I had my fills of battling mages for the sake of sparring. Last time it happened my leg got messed up for a month. Im glad I can finally properly walk"
He was reminded of the time the Paradise Dawn Guild Master challenged him to a spar. Michaels werewolf form, versus the Seraphims spears.

Michael continued "I dont wanna be burned now" besides, he doesnt want Lumikki to hunt down Toga for vengence or something. "And I dont wanna.... ehm... show my cards just yet"
He was sure Toga must have been briefed on his partner and his capabilities. But he wasnt sure if he knew or read his brief or remembered it or who knows.
Still not like he wanted to spar and transform into a werewolf and scare someone or injure someone. He wanted to enjoy humanity a bit and just enjoy life. Battling with mages just was always miserable to him. There was a reason he feared them and avoided them. Yuurei scares him to death. He doesnt want to battle that man ever again. No amount of jewels can convnce him. He felt so weak, like an infant child facing a god. it made him question himself



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Fri Oct 13, 2023 3:44 pm


Samuel was a marvel, this winged feline. Those feathered appendages granted him an ability mankind had coveted since time immemorial - the gift of unencumbered flight. With a effortless flap, Samuel could soar aloft, cutting through the open sky and feeling the kiss of the wind against his fur. No reservation or hesitation, just the freedom of the heavens unfolding before him. It was a blessing beyond measure, one that most would never know. Even Tōga, dragon slayer that he was, could only gaze up. What must it be like, to live one's life unshackled from the earth? To rise and glide on whim, alone with the clouds?

Tōga looked on as Michael hefted the hog carcass onto the spit single-handedly. The man's impressive strength only affirmed Tōga's earlier impressions. A seasoned warrior's abilities extended beyond the battlefield into every aspect of life, major or mundane.

This casual display spoke of long years honing the body or perhaps an innate gift - whatever the source, Michael's physical power outmatched even Tōga's toned form. As a Rune Knight, Tōga was no stranger to training and discipline, but the muscular control Michael exhibited in that simple motion was on another tier entirely. With quiet efficiency Michael went about his task, no need to call upon Samuel's helping paws. Tōga studied the corded arms, the easy way they handled the weight. Another sign of the gulf between them. No magic enhanced that frame, yet it radiated coiled energy waiting to be unleashed.

Tōga had initially dismissed the knife as an unworthy weapon, but now wondered if in Michael's hands anything became deadly. Those sturdy hands could likely choke the life from a dragon bare-handed. Tōga made a mental note not to ever end up on the wrong side of those capable fingers. For all his ancient power, against someone like Michael, he was outmatched.

Tōga grinned as Samuel praised his fire-lighting skills. "Appreciate it! A little dragon's breath never burned anything down - well, unless it's a lot of breath, ha!" He laughed heartily at his own joke, hamming it up as if on stage. Life had been no picnic for Tōga, and the road ahead seemed likely to be just as harsh. But he knew his own strengths, few though they might be. His magic was a still largely unplumbed well, and his wit remained sharp as any blade.

As the flames crackled before them, Tōga felt a swell of contentment. With allies like Samuel and Michael, any challenge seemed surmountable. And he had confidence there were depths to his power even he didn't fully grasp yet. The dragon fire was a part of that, simmering in his belly, waiting to be unleashed. He imagined the inferno he could conjure if he ever released his full might. For now, these flickering flames would do...but one day. One day he would unleash the true dragon within.

"Let me help put that on the fire,” Tōga offered, moving to assist Michael in situating the hog over the fire. Together the two maneuvered the hefty carcass, angling the spit just so. Sparks whirled skyward as they worked in tandem, carefully wedging each end of the pole into waiting notches. Soon their efforts paid off - the hog was firmly suspended above the hungry blaze. Immediately the scent of searing meat filled the air, rich and mouthwatering. Juices sizzled down into the flames, fueling them further.

Tōga stepped back, admiring their handiwork with satisfaction. The pyre had become a radiant altar, paying homage to their quarry's sacrifice. The once truculent beast was now but an offering to a greater power - the ancient covenant of fire and flesh.

As the crackling song of the cookfire rose into the darkening sky, Tōga felt a deep contentment. The day's labor was nearly at an end. Bellies would soon be full, bodies warmed and wearied spirits revived. This was the simple magic of fellowship, the alchemy of fire and food transforming hardship into comfort.

We’re going to eat good tonight!

WC: 671 [2331]

#8Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 5:21 am

Michael Winters
The two set their meal on the flames so it can cook. They were all satisfied with their catch and looked proudly at their soon to be meal trophy. As the hog was cooking. Michael took off his suit, and tie and shirt and tossed it to his animal companion who got covered by the clothing, briefly saying and gesturing some angry stuff, before pouting and folding the clothes neatly. Shaking his head.

Michael meanwhile wanted to enjoy the beach temperature and the meal without dirtying his fancy pegasus clothing. So he even took off his shoes to enjoy the ground beneath him. He was still wary of the ground and his right foot. Still a bit psychologically uneasy about using the full pressure and weight of his body on it. He didnt wanna limp infront of Toga. He needed to re-teach himself to calmly stay still and use his foot properly. Its a wonder what the body can do to adjust to a new condition or predicament. Sometimes when walking barefoot, he'd subconciously slightly limp, because the last fight left him...broken. The soft insides of footwear would relax him somehow his subconcious so he could walk normally. But now he needs to fix his head

Michael looked at the hog that was cooking and looking tasty, then he looked at the Rune Knight that was his company. He figured they might as well do more small talk as the hog cooks to the perfect temperature or whatever the right cook term is
"So have you ventured anywhere else? Met any guilds?" granted he could ask the guy a lot of questions, but it was best to keep it simple. He could ask him also where is he from as he didnt look or smell fiorian. Michael could guess his homeland based on his scent, but didn wanna make those guesses just yet. Though he wondered, if he was from Joya like he presumes. Why didnt Alisa sent the joyan pegasi on the mission. Maybe the twink couldnt handle the hog. Hah, that was a fun idea

Anywho, back to guilds, he wondered what was it like now at West or East. Especially West since the area was unstable. Eternal Nightmare was the resident guild for a while there. And it was a Dark Guild. But it somehow collapsed and Phantom Lord rose to power from its ashes. Theres also another guild he knows nothing about there. Whats up with that



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 6:40 am


The hog turned slowly above the crackling fire, suspended from a wooden spit by ropes tied tight around its hooves. An experienced hand rested on the lever, gently adjusting the rotation to ensure the meat cooked evenly. The key was patience - continuously monitoring the process to create the perfect bark without any burned patches. Like an artist carefully crafting their magnum opus, the pitmaster tended the flames, using them to transform the raw pork into a masterpiece of smoky, succulent barbecue. The fire was both palette and paintbrush, allowing the flavors to meld into the meat with each slow rotation. A true artisan can coax depth and nuance from the simple meeting of flame and flesh. This was barbecue elevated beyond sustenance into an craft bordering on spiritual.

As the pitmaster lovingly tended to the slowly roasting hog, his scarred companion made himself comfortable nearby. Tōga's glance lingered on the man as he removed his shirt, revealing muscled features etched with the echoes of past struggles. Tattoos spiraled across his skin, each one a permanent reminder of the adversities he had overcome. Tōga knew the marks all too well - he bore plenty himself. They were brothers of a kind, bonded not by blood but by the shared hardships of their world. Together they had weathered many storms, carefully navigating around the sharpest edges of life. Now they reveled in this moment of respite, when food and friendship offered a brief balm to their battered souls. Though as it appeared, some wounds healed faster than others.

The fire continued its alchemical work, infusing the pork with earthy richness. The two men waited patiently, the aroma of sizzling fat and cooking meat mingling with the woodsmoke. No words passed between them - none were needed. A kindred understanding brewed along with the barbecue, seasons of kinship distilling into this shared ritual.

"Good idea!" Tōga responded, forgoing his own shirt. His light-tanned, chiseled physique shone in the moonlight and firelight, glimmering like a statue. Yet the lingering smoke threatened to dirty their clothes and leave an unwanted smoky smell. Without a way to properly clean them, returning home reeking of smoke would be a chore. The less work awaiting him in Era, the better.

When asked if Tōga had been anywhere else, his charming smile faded slightly. "This may sound silly, but I want to go everywhere!" he exclaimed, jumping to his full height and peering at the cool moon with bright chestnut eyes.

"I've only been to Era and here since joining the Knights. My goal is to visit every country, every city, and meet all the guilds. I want to see it all, know it all," he declared, his voice ringing with ambition into the night.

Have you traveled the world? You seem experienced enough. What’s it like?!

WC: 469 [2800]

#10Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:37 am

Michael Winters
Toga said that it was good idea that he took off his shirt. The werewolf tilted his head to the side slightly, in the same way a curious dog would, but only much less obvious, as he hid his canine antics. Anywho, Michael asked him if he met other guilds or has he been anywhere. He listened and nodded to his reply, before being asked the same thing
"I traveled across Fiore before I joined Blue Pegasus, I have been to every major city. But honestly its been a while. I joined Blue Pegasus like 5 months ago. Havent left Hargeon since then. Only traveled a bit with the guilds air ship to Orchidia. There I met members of Paradise Dawn"

"Ah yes, I remember that tale you met the guild master. I believe you threw a rock at him and called him a bug" Samuel spoke matter of factly
"LISTEN.... It was dark, he was flying high above and all I saw was a silhouette and a shape. Who in the right mind would think that a Guild Master flies at night" Michael said as he defended his actions and his misunderstanding. He then cleared his throat and said "Yeah that happened"

Michael returned his attention to Toga. "So you wanna travel everywhere, eh? Whats the first major city you wanna visit?" he asked the guy. Michael would say south is a boring option since only Blue Pegasus is down there. The West was the most curious choice for him if he could go and travel. East was a hit or miss. Granted he had lived in Magnolia when he was younger, but he left that place behind. He wondered how things might have changed or if they did.
He then looked at the Hog and noticed it was done and he told that to his partner here so they can prepare it and dine in a fine meal. He was getting hungry and he couldnt wait to eat.
The Exceed was doing well, but noticed the werewolfs hunger rise. The smell was very nice and captivating, so he could understand why Michael is like getting all hungry and such. It seemed their conversation for now would end as the main focus would be the food for a bit. Samuel wanted to see what the fuss was about, so he was curious to try it too



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 9:19 am


The flames danced and crackled, perfectly controlled by Tōga's skilled magic. He tended the fire with care, maintaining just the right temperature to transform the raw meat into a mouthwatering feast. The raging inferno below was tamed into a gentle heat, not so fierce as to char the meat, nor so mild as to leave it underdone. Tōga knew that the slightest variation in temperature would make all the difference. Too hot and the meat would dry out, becoming tough and leathery. Too cool and it would remain pale and unappetizing. Only with the ideal fire, steady and strong, would the flavors fully develop, rendering the meat succulent and tender. Tōga kept a close watch, using his magic to regulate the blaze. When the meat was cooked to perfection, the fire had completed its critical task, its duty fulfilled. Now it was time to enjoy the fruits of its labor.

Though skilled in the culinary arts, even Tōga did not wish to waste the entire night tending to the giant hog roasting over the fire. Its massive size would normally require many tedious hours of cooking to render the meat flawlessly cooked. But Tōga was no ordinary chef - with his Dragon Slayer magic, he could accomplish in minutes what would take other men half a day.

Where normal men would require at least 12 long, grueling hours rotating the entire hog, basting and monitoring for doneness, Tōga knew he could finish the job in a fraction of the time. Perhaps just one hour, if his magic cooperated. Soon, Tōga knew, his friends' patience would be rewarded with a feast worthy of their appetites. His magic had turned an hours-long ordeal into a brief one, but lost no love nor mastery in its haste. The proof would be in the juicy, tender meat they were so soon to enjoy.

As Tōga tended the final sizzling pork, amused laughter bubbled up between his words. "You hit a guild master with a rock?" he exclaimed with a grin. He could scarcely believe the young man's audacity. Though Michael seemed plenty strong, provoking a guild master felt akin to a death wish. Had the man been any less forgiving, Tōga doubted the boy would've lived to tell the tale.

"You're either very bold or very lucky, my friend," Tōga chuckled, giving the meat a final flip to ensure even cooking. He imagined the guild master's shock at the sudden blow, then subsequent rage. It was a wonder Michael hadn't been burnt to a crisp on the spot. But Tōga also respected the lad's courage, whether born of bravery or foolishness. He himself had challenged authority in his youth, for better or worse. And Michael too would learn when to temper his fire, with time and guidance.

Tōga pondered how to eloquently explain his aimless approach to adventure. "The world is deeply interconnected. Though I know not where to begin, I trust that each step will lead me to the next," he mused.

He lacked finesse with words, but felt the truth of it deeply. Like nature itself, the world moved in symbiosis, each living thing linked to the rest. his philosophy baffled some, but Tōga understood it intuitively. The world was too vast and wondrous to experience if he limited himself to human conventions. He would tread where his soul beckoned, one step at a time.

Still, suggestions were appreciated. "Have any suggestions?” Tōga smiled humbly. His path may seem aimless, but it held an inner logic beyond words. He hoped his friend could glimpse the heart of what he tried clumsily to convey. That to travel hopefully, for him, was to travel well. Wherever their talks led, he knew the journey itself would teach him more than any destination ever could.

WC: 629 [3429]

#12Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 9:50 am

Michael Winters
Michael shrugged "Not really, he flicked it back at me and came crashing by the speed of a bullet. I narrowly dodged it. He made it much more deadlier" he was the one who got into weird shennanigans. If anyone had the audacity to do anything, it was Michael. He was a wild card. Very impulsive.
"Not like I chucked it on purpose. I really did thing he was a bug." though months later he realized "Though perhaps if it was a bug I should've tried to squish it. Then again, bug corpse blood on your hand is kinda gross"

Toga spoke about his travel idea or lack of, which Michael didnt really understand but accepted the answer. Samuel meanwhile was the one with suggestion
"Why not travel West where the new guild is. And just go clockwise. West, North, East and lastly south." his idea was, that if he wanted to adventure and experience new stuff, it was best to go clockwise, starting with west which would lead him to the newest guild. As a Rune Knight he can see if that guild is good or not as well as meet new people. Same with going then north and east. Which leaves south last because Michael is there and well he's not a new person to meet at that point since he had an idea or a vague one about Blue Pegasus. It is best if he went to other guilds and towns first.
"As for abroad I would need to look at the map to chart out the perfect and most effecient route"
Michael chimed in "If it goes by the clockwise logic. Then the next ones would be either Seven or Bosco which border Fiore in the east. Caelum is south across the ocean boarder"
Though he dropped the travel talk soon enough to get the food for them because he was starving.

Samuel looked at the Rune Knight curious what he had to say to the travel plan idea he gave him. He knew the West was in a more precarious situation, while the other regions were stable. Although rumours circulated that there were problems rising in the East as well. What would Toga decide to check out first now that he had a bit of information



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 1:21 pm


The more Michael and Samuel talked about the diminutive Guild Master, the more bewildered Tōga became. Just how tiny was this mysterious figure? A miniature human? Some sort of sprite or imp? Perhaps he was an odd hybrid of natural evolution and sorcery. While Michael seemed normal enough in stature, the idea that someone could be flicked away or swapped like an insect was perplexing. Tōga's imagination swirled with possibilities - was the Guild Master merely ant-sized? Or even smaller? The cryptic hints from Michael and Samuel only deepened the puzzle of this Lilliputian leader. Tōga was determined to solve the riddle of how someone so small could wield such power. There had to be more to this story than meets the eye.

Tōga's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "You smacked the Guild Master? They must have been tiny!" He tried to restrain his shock, not wanting to accuse Michael of exaggeration if the tale was true. Still, the size difference intrigued him.

Turning to Sam, Tōga gave the exceed-kitty a warm smile. "I'm trusting you to guide me, my new friend." Though they had only just met, Tōga tended to trust easily at first. He believed life was too short for suspicion - people's true nature would reveal itself in time. This limitless journey held infinite possibilities, but finite time to experience them. Better to approach it with optimism, following those whose character rang true.

Clockwise? I could definitely try it out. It doesn’t hurt to take advi-----” Tōga’s nose twitched in excitement.

The food’s done!

WC: 258 [3687]

#14Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 1:34 pm

Michael Winters
"No you misunderstand. He said that because the Guild Master was flying and up in the air, he appeared smaller. Because after all, the further something is, the smaller it appears. And once you get closer it appears larger" Samuel then points up to the sky, specifically the moon "That natural satellite appears small. Almost like a pupil in your eyeball. But if you were to actually travel to the moon. It would be as if you are on a planet, because of how big it is"

Michael meanwhile shook his head as Samuel overexplained things to Toga. Like it was just a misunderstanding. The guy saw a silhouette up in the sky and thought it was a bug. If he tried to squash the bug, he would see his mind was playing tricks on him as it was not a figure that was close to him physically.

Anywho the food was done and it was time to eat dinner. They would all ut up the hog and serve it on their respective plate or whatnot.
"Bon apetit" the cat would say. And they would finally be able to enjoy the food.
It was a long day and now they finally get to rest



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 2:00 pm


"Ahh, I see," Tōga said with a nod, a smile creeping across his face. He felt a swell of amusement at his own foolishness just moments ago, now rectified by Samuel's patient explanation. Of the three, Samuel clearly possessed the sharpest intellect, or at least the inclination to flaunt it. Either way, Tōga found it heartening to see the rapport between Samuel and his human companion, Michael. They bickered like brothers, coming to each other's defense at the drop of a hat, bonded not by blood but by mutual affection. There was an undeniable warmth between them that made Tōga believe they complemented each other perfectly.

Michael, famished from the day's exertions, was first to the spread of food, and Tōga did not begrudge him. The Blue Pegasus mage had fought valiantly and deserved to sate his hunger without delay. Accepting a loaded plate from Samuel, Tōga waited politely for his own turn. When it came, he carved a thick slab of juicy meat from the hog's thigh. It fell away with barely any resistance, releasing a cascade of hot juices into the fire below. Flames erupted with renewed vigor, licking hungrily at the tender morsel. Tōga's mouth watered instinctively at the sight and scent of the freshly roasted pork. A satisfied chuckle escaped him as he imagined sinking his teeth into the succulent meat. For now, he would let Michael enjoy the first serving, knowing his patience would soon be rewarded.

Tōga turned to Michael, an inquisitive look in his eyes. "I hope you don't mind me asking, but I've noticed your scent is quite different from most humans. Why is that?"

He knew it was an odd question, but Tōga's sharp sense of smell had picked up on Michael's uniqueness from the start. Curiosity had been gnawing at him throughout their mission, though he had not thought to research Michael's background beforehand. Tōga relied more on his primal instincts than paperwork. Now, he felt compelled to solve the mystery, hoping Michael would indulge his impromptu probing. Tōga meant no offense, but simply wished to understand what made this fellow so singular.

WC: 353 [4040]

#16Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 2:34 pm

Michael Winters
Michael let the two talk as he focused on food. Although as they ate, Toga asked a question. Quite the unique one. Apparently he didnt know he was a werewolf. Michael felt inclined to keep it a secret as he was never comfortable just flaunting that fact. Years of seeing how werewolves were treated and hunted made him not want to really say that fact about himself. But he knew he couldnt keep it a secret per say. Its something that would be found out eventually. So he might as well rip off that bandaid. After all, he is with Blue Pegasus now.

He sniffed the air a bit to get Togas scent and once his mouth wasnt full, he spoke. "Mmm. For a human you got a good sense of smell. You're not moon born, so that must mean you're a dragon slayer. Heh. Decent sniffers, but not as good"
"I hear a distinct lack of answers and I hear a lot of deflections" Samuel chimed between his own small bites of the hog
Michael shook his head at the exceed, but sigh and looked at the guy "Im a werewolf. Thats why I dont use magic. Its kinda more taxing on werewolf and doesnt pay off if you ask me. We burn more mana to do a spell a human can do. Besides, Im not talented at magic, cant do it."
Which now explains to Toga how the guy is physically strong. Sure, he did training, but there was some natural werewolf physique that was not natural to humans



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sat Oct 14, 2023 4:32 pm


"A good guess indeed!" Tōga remarked, duly impressed. While Michael's deduction was based on careful observation, it was still remarkable how he had pieced together the clues. Tōga's distinctive scent had led Michael not only to identify him as non-human, but to accurately pinpoint the lineage of his magic. It spoke of hard-won experience and wisdom, to be able to paint such an insightful picture without direct knowledge. Tōga found himself intrigued by how broad Michael's worldview must be, to call upon context from seemingly unrelated events and details. The insight and intuition needed for such leaps of logic was astonishing.

Tōga smiled appreciatively at his new companion. Already he sensed within Michael a deep well of understanding - perhaps even empathy. Here was someone who sought always to expand perception, to uncover new angles, new truths. Such an approach bespoke compassion and openness.

Tōga was just biting into a juicy hunk of roast pork when Samuel's teasing prodded Michael into revealing his long-held secret - he was a werewolf.

"What! A werewolf?" Tōga blurted out through a comically full mouth. Bits of meat tumbled back onto his plate as he bolted upright in dramatic surprise. As the initial shock faded, a wide grin settled on Tōga's face. Mysteries still surrounded Michael, but an intriguing picture was coming together. Tōga settled back on the sand, eyeing his companion with new awe and eagerness. What fortune to have found not just a fellow warrior, but a werewolf! With such an extraordinary alliance, their quest ahead promised to be truly exciting.

That’s so cool! Where’s your fur? Do you pee outside?

WC: 269 [4309]

#18Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sun Oct 15, 2023 7:48 am

Michael Winters
After the initial shock of surprise which was the expected reaction, the other half of the reaction was much less expected. Honestly, the next train of questions just made Michael look at him unamused, while Samuel was amused by the questions
"Im not a DEMI human to be a halfling. Im a WEREwolf. I have a complete human form and a wolf form. Two seperate things. And I use the bathroom like you do."

As a human, he has the same traits as a dragon slayer, sharper sense of smell and the teeth. The only difference was werewolves also had sharper nails in human form. But Michael usually trimmed that to fit in more with humans. Like the dude had a Blue Pegasus fancy suit just to fit in, even tho that dress code didnt fit his aesthetic which was more rebelious and wild.

Michael shook his head though as he wasnt like the others, completely moronic and animalistic. Just because he's a canine in his soul, doesnt mean he has to like sniff dog butts or piss outside. He's completely capable of all things human. Sure he has animal impulses, but they are different than what Toga imagines and they are very much repressed. Yea sometimes he'd show his canine nature, but it was only in small and subtle gestures, not on the nose like he saw some demi humans do. He was the real deal and didnt have to prove to anyone anything



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sun Oct 15, 2023 8:06 am


Tōga nodded along attentively as Michael launched into an impassioned explanation of the differences between his werewolf physiology and the demi-human breed Tōga had mistakenly conflated it with. Though Michael spoke with an edge of irritation, Tōga listened carefully, intent on truly understanding. He caught every word, not wanting to risk insulting his companion again by misusing terminology.

As Michael elaborated on the nuances, Tōga's face remained neutral, but internally he chided himself for his lack of knowledge. He knew an apology would only salt the wound, so he conveyed his regret through thoughtful silence and engaged listening. Michael's frustration was palpable, but Tōga weathered it graciously, allowing his friend's words to wash over him. He absorbed Michael's lesson with openness, making a mental note to tread lightly in this area in the future. Though Michael's tone was sharp, Tōga recognized the value in his counseling.

"My bad! Didn't mean to offend," Tōga replied, a radiant smile still lighting his face. Though far from stupid, in this moment Tōga recognized his own lack of understanding. Sheltered and inexperienced, his worldview was limited to the sparse interactions granted by his mere nineteen years. Well-traveled among only two countries, he had seldom crossed paths with those outside the human race. Thus, despite his keen intellect, he remained unaware of the intricacies and nuances of cultures beyond his own. Yet what he lacked in exposure, he made up for in curiosity. This encounter only strengthened his yearning to see the world, to meet its diverse peoples, and to learn from all. Tōga dreamed of expanding his horizons, grasping perspectives far greater than his own. So, he accepted the misstep with grace. After all, ignorance was merely a starting point along the journey toward wisdom. There was no shame in being taught, only in refusing to learn.

Though, I bet it’s cool being a werewolf!

wc: 314 [4623]

#20Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sun Oct 15, 2023 8:26 am

Michael Winters
He did apologize to him and Michael did calm down. His expression was much more neutral. The next thing Toga said was that he bet it was cool being a werewolf. Michael shrugged
"I mean, if you ever wanna abandon your humanity, you do realize I can just bite you and make you one?"
He wasnt sure how much the rune knight knew. But he imagined just some stuff was like general knowledge. Werewolf bites you, you get lycantropy and become one yourself. Just like how vampires do that and make you a vampire if they dont drain your blood and kill you. Then again werewolves can also kill you if they just eat your flesh.

He was curious
"Say, how much of the world do you know?" he looked intently at the man, wondering what he knew or didnt know. What was his education level? What was it like growing up for him? Michael had a hard time believing he was actually knowledgable about something. He always believed everything he knew was just general common knowledge. Was that not the case? Well, he decided to not go too deep into it. Still this trip to Luluhawa was something. He'd want a nap when he returns to the guild



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sun Oct 15, 2023 9:40 am


With a polite smile, Tōga waved off Michael's invitation to join the werewolf hierarchy. "Oh, no need! I'm quite content being human," he said gently. Though his words could be misconstrued, they came from a place of pure intent. Tōga appreciated the unique beauty of all the species that walked this earth - werewolves, vampires, demi-gods - each offered their own distinct advantages and disadvantages that made them special in their own way. Humans, however, held a particularly unique charm to Tōga's eye. Their fragility and finite time on this earth made every moment precious.

Unlike the supernatural beings around him, humans lived on borrowed time, their brief lives filled with the bittersweet beauty of aging and impermanence. This vulnerability gave meaning to each experience and relationship, intensifying the value of every minute. While others searched for power and immortality, Tōga cherished the exquisite humanity of a life defined by its imminent end. To him, it was this fragility, this awareness of death, that made the human spirit so precious.

"To be honest, I don't know too much about the wider world. I spent a large part of my life in Joya, and just recently learned of Era when I joined the Knights," Tōga replied thoughtfully when Michael questioned his understanding of life beyond Joya.

Having spent a large portion of his life sheltered in the kingdom's borders, the nuances of the outside world still eluded him. Even his recent induction into the Rune Knights had kept him confined within familiar walls. Though eager to expand his horizons, Tōga's journey thus far had been one of protected naivety. Like a bud yet to unfurl its petals, he had only glimpsed slivers of the world's true complexity. Still, he harbored no shame, only an avid curiosity and hunger to experience life's rich tapestry for himself. The coming spring would undoubtedly draw him further out into the depths of the unknown. For now, though, Tōga could but admit his inexperience with an open mind and hopeful heart.

WC: 335 [4958]

#22Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sun Oct 15, 2023 10:01 am

Michael Winters
Michael nodded "Well, if you ever change your mind, invitation is open I guess" he shrugged it off and focused on finishing his tasty meal. Though as the wolf asked him about his own experiences and knowledge, he learned that the other party didnt know much of things outside of Joya. He looked at him curiously "So whats it like in Joya?"

To be fair, he knew so few and so little about that place, he knew there was recently a war. He took no part of it, but heard the rebel faction or whatever contracted the Fiorian guilds for help and won. And the rebel ruler is the new ruler now. But his information is very vague. Anywho he finished his meal and was ready to see what Toga had to say. He didnt know how much time the two had before their ship arrives to take them to the mainland. But he figures he can learn something about this unique Rune Knight



Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Sun Oct 15, 2023 3:39 pm


Tōga nodded thoughtfully at the werewolf's offer, though he knew the chances he would accept were practically nonexistent. Still, the gesture was appreciated. "I'll keep that in mind," he replied diplomatically.

"Oh, I can talk about Joya all day!" Tōga declared enthusiastically, pausing between hearty bites of hog meat. His eyes remained fixed on the present, but his mind wandered back to days gone by in his homeland. Vivid memories paraded through his thoughts - the magnificent art, the breathtaking geography, the welcoming people - all the things that made Joya great marched across his consciousness like a masterfully conducted orchestra. Joya was music to his soul, an endless composition of beauty waiting to be relived through story.

"It's like no other place, really. Joya has mountain ranges that stretch beyond what the eye can see, seemingly into the heavens themselves," Tōga recalled wistfully. "The food is delicious everywhere you go and the people are so modest and welcoming. It was perfect, until tensions arose between ruling bodies and conflict broke out."

He remembered the insurrection vividly, as if it were yesterday. The Shogun and his armies sweeping through the lands, imposing their might on the weaker citizens, forcing loyalties and demanding tribute. It was sickening to witness. Tōga's mind involuntarily conjured images of the ruthless invasion - the cruelty and devastation imprinted forever in his memory. Though years had passed, the wounds on his homeland still felt raw. Joya's peace and beauty had been ravaged, leaving scars no amount of time could fully heal.

But Joya is strong, and so are her people. They survived and preserve till this day.

WC: 271 [5229]

#24Michael Winters 

Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Mon Oct 16, 2023 3:35 am

Michael Winters
"What are the people like?" he'd ask Toga, not sure on the population there, he did know that there were very little amount of werewolves on Earthland. Granted Michael too wasnt fiorian,he was caelish. Truth be told, he had no idea if Fiore had their own werewolves or are they extinct. He did meet Kana, but he was sure that girl was Joyan. Come to think of it, he doesnt believe he met a fiorian werewolf.

It was a lonely fact that crossed his mind. So he skipped that train of thought, maybe one day he'll bring back the numbers, but that would mean either infecting people or just reproducing.
Anywho after enough Joya talking, Michael spoke "You should meet this one guy from the guild thats joyan, maybe you two will bond more. But other then that, whats the plan chief?" he wasnt sure were they going to the mainland together or going seperate ways


Over an Open Fire [Social ft. Michael] Empty Mon Oct 16, 2023 5:14 am


I can’t speak for everyone, but I only remember pleasant experiences with most of the Joyans I know,”

Tōga treaded carefully, not wanting to overgeneralize about his fellow countrymen. But in his experience, the people of Joya were known for their kindness and generosity. Their homeland fostered community, where neighbors looked after one another. Folks lived modestly, providing for their families while still extending a helping hand to those in need. Joya was a place where people uplifted each other, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The land itself seemed to cultivate this spirit of togetherness and mutual care. Joya produced so many wondrous things, from its bountiful rice fields to its intricate crafts, and Tōga believed its people were just as remarkable. At least until the heavy hand of the Shogunate disturbed their way of life. But the goodness instilled in the Joyan heart was not so easily dispelled.

Honestly, I have no idea! Maybe I’ll go back to the Rune Knights and pick up another mission. Maybe I’ll start that journey we were discussing and find someone else who’d like to tackle a mission with me,

Tōga rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he pondered the open road ahead. Though he was a man who lived in the moment, he knew a decision on where to wander next would soon need to be made. Returning to the Rune Knights and picking up another sanctioned mission was one option. Or perhaps this was the perfect time to embark on that journey they had discussed, finding a like-minded partner who would join him in a collaborative adventure. The possibilities were open before him. This recent mission with Blue Pegasus had proven the Knights were amenable to inter-guild cooperation. Why not seize that freedom and see more of the world from new vantage points? Wherever Tōga's travels took him next, he was sure to meet the road with an open heart and keen eyes, prepared for any unexpected delights or mysteries the path might reveal. The winding future called to his adventurous spirit.

But whatever happens next, don’t be a stranger!

WC: 353 [5582]

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