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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
Despite being apparently nomadic the Uhar did seem to have surprisingly complex clothing and tools, though it didn't seem like they had any material nearby, perhaps they had more than one camp? They also seemed to have surprisingly little food stored, the... Syol? Had food everywhere, were growing and storing and hunting it, and likely saving some for winter, there was also a smell of... Burned flesh in the air? It was incredibly similar to the smell from the ruins... With the mixed in smell of rot, it was unpleasant and it seemed both of the tall companions and the Bull cat were not comfortable with it, so it probably wasn't normal, Lizzy seemed positively queasy!

Hin seemed to guess what Ratty wanted by looking at him and nodded the affirmative, Ratty could already feel something tiny shift inside as a word changed in their understanding, likely meaning that Pearl had updated their outdated definition with the new word, though it was currently not known whether it applied to all elven peoples or just that one particular group or maybe even certain sub groups of elves, something that would need to be resolved through further questioning when they were not engaged in an important quest!

Daoin decided to translate, seeing as they were closest to the Uhar's height, and they wanted to show off their ability to clearly convey a message in front of their new friends! Especially since as they knew the Uhar well, this might be one of the few times they would be confident enough to do so!
The Uhar's answer was strangely completely intelligible to Ratty, in fact it was exactly the same as the Syol language with just some minor accents and pronunciation changes.
"Elder was not expecting guests... We were... Surprised, by two odd humans, one was very ill, they tried to steal Sap, stole honey instead, Elder had to use flames to save the sick human's arm, she is now talking with spirits, to see if the arm will survive".
They explained, halting slightly, it seemed some of the words were more awkward.

That sounded familiar though, in fact it seemed Ratty may have found their missing idiots! Most likely they were the source of the smell, or rather the injured one was, and if so... Even Ratty knew that the smell in the camp was not good at all, it had only happened once, but an older rat had died with such smells around them after fighting off a large feathered flyer.
The Uhar were clearly better at fixing things but it was impossible for Ratty to know if they could save them, assuming Ratty wanted them to live anyway.
"Oh... I didn't know him well... But I hope that smell doesn't mean it's too late for Gora... He was nice enough to me..."
Lizzy commented, it was quiet, wouldn't be heard by a normal human most likely, of course everyone there seemed to have heightened senses.
 

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
The rodent took time to watch this metal stick-carrier after its question was asked, observing. Again, it didn't detect confusion in this person over communicating with a rodent, suggesting that he, too, had been aware of the situation. Or, perhaps a Syol group traveling with forest creatures was not an uncommon occurrence? In any case, it made this particular forest creature a little more at ease in conversation, listening to the guard's words and mulling them over. This answer did not match the question the rodent asked, but at the same time it gave so much more information than was expected.

After a quick glance from Daoin, to Lizzy, and back again, the overgrown rat tapped at its forehead a moment, piecing together what the reptile already had. It all added up, but when presented with the sheer coincidence of having the pair in a place where they could be approached on peaceful terms, the creature's nerves gave it pause: to approach as it did before, would they flee again? Charging into a stressful situation for them with magic on its hands couldn't have been that terrifying, could it?

No, no, that must have been the reason.

We should speak with the odd guests as well, but if that one is hurt it might be troublesome. If there is anything that can be done to help, again, we have time and some of us are not hindered by the peculiar forest hauntings. Might go alone if necessary. Sounds urgent.

Not that the rodent hoped for any sort of complication it could help with: this greeter offered up information that he shouldn't have known would be relevant, so the rodent offered its own information that wasn't being asked for. As for the offer itself? One of the humans' limbs was at stake, and while a rat might survive on three legs, for some reason that idea didn't mesh very well with what the creature knew of humanity. It already wasn't going to harm those two, and if anything, the reptile's words only made the decision easier.
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
The guard had in fact been informed, the Syol Elder having contacted the Uhar via her magic, so the guards were expecting a group accompanying an unusually intelligent rodent, of course it also helped that their own folklore often mentioned animals speaking, or even undertaking quests to aid the tribe! So really it was something they would barely have been surprised by anyway, after all, their Elder was right then speaking with the spirits of some of those wise old animals who had aided them in the past.
As for the off topic... Well it had started telling the visitor what they wanted to know... But they so rarely got prisoners that it was on their mind and they were, to be frank, proud of having had a part in capturing them, even if the healthy one had surrendered as soon as they grabbed the sickly one.

Pearl decided to comment on it, both confirming AND somewhat refuting Ratty's assertion.
"Magic... Scary for... No Magic... But, Ratty, also scary... After Big Fire".
That made sense, sure magic was likely scary for people who could not use it, just as a defenceless creature would be scared of one with big claws and teeth, but those two had travelled with someone who could use magic fairly well, what was just as likely was they feared what they thought was Ratty's part in the fire that claimed their previous employer, even if it WAS technically Lizzy's fault, though of course there was the chance they actually feared Lizzy.

"There isn't much we can do... The wounds are great, and they came seeking what we no longer have".
The guard admitted, he did at least seem somewhat saddened by it, the boys hadn't been evil or hurt anyone, and it looked like one of them might have trouble surviving at this rate.
"You would need to speak with the Elder..."
The guard reminded them, though was quickly spoken over by a new arrival.

"Ahh, the guests... My many apologies for making you wait... You made quite good time and I am afraid I had another unexpected meeting..."
The newcomer was much older than the other Uhar around them, adorned in many old looking teeth from various beasts, and smelling strongly of dried herbs, her clothing also seemed bulky, much like Lizzy's old robes, but even less suitable for travel, though her head fur was pulled up into a tail like arrangement, keeping the almost completely white fur out of her face, this certainly LOOKED like the elder, sounded like it too.
"Come come, my tent is prepared, and I am sure you would appreciate being able to sit, even you Hin, despite how tough you may act".
She smiled at the last part seemingly familiar with the man in question, who oddly enough looked embarrassed.
 

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
When the pearly pinged in with thoughts of a frightening rat, the rodent responded with a similar ping: pride, or perhaps glee? The idea of being intimidating tickled the creature, but again, it wasn't like that sort of reputation wasn't well-earned, if the words of Elder Syol were anything to go by. At least that sort of reputation didn't precede word of its arrival to this settlement; it might get in the way of having words with them.

The rodent's perked up ears could be misinterpreted by onlookers; it wasn't amused with the circumstance of this uninvited guest's pending demise, but... well, it sounded like this was either an opportunity, or an exercise in futility. Something the settlement no longer had, was something these two intruders needed, and they were possibly confined? Or in another word, doomed! Hopeless! Their luck's run out! ...or has it~? If this item the duo required was no longer here, then the solution was simply to go get it back.

But just as the creature started thinking of how to apologize for asking the guard things they could not know the answer to, a new voice caught its attention: a... person with a fascination for teeth. The rodent nodded in thanks to the guard, curious about what he must have meant by keeping the group of them entertained while they were to wait, but decided that curiosity could be sated another time. So, without much fanfare, the creature waited to be led off to the tent, following near the front of the group and waited until everyone got comfortable before standing up and looking toward Daoin, then toward Elder Uhar.

Our apologies for the abrupt greeting, and any perceived rudeness with the sentry. Planned to be patient, we did, but did not realize a life was at risk. Many lives, but the matter of this other meeting sounds grave. But first! Many thanks for the host!

The creature looked at its accomplices. Surely they would not appreciate being dragged out into the sea of trees in search of whatever it was the two uninvited guests needed after their part of the journey. Sitting for a drink, or anything else that the Uhar may have prepared in anticipation was the least it could do, if by the end of this conversation it wasn't convinced to at least stay the night before undertaking a journey.

We are in-ves-ti-gay-ting the shroud that haunts this part of the forest, and would like to rest in the area between forays. In the meantime, if there is anything troubling you, we are here to help. Not sure how long Syol will stay, but Reptile and <squeak> are here. Is there anything the Uhar can tell us about the shroud?
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
The tent was larger than the others, though not by too much, and had a fire pit in the middle which fortunately was not lit as it would most likely make it uncomfortably warm, it did look to have recently been burning though, possibly having to do with the elder's previous meeting, perhaps it was magical like the round clear rock the Syol elder had used for her far seeing?
Once they were all sat on the large cushions arranged in a circle, these ones notably even more comfortable than the ones Ratty had used to gain extra height in the other village, the Elder would speak.
"There is no need to apologise, I was informed by my dear friend that you would be arriving soon, and I am sure Oth was happy to speak to you, he tries to hide it but does enjoy when we have guests".
She assured them before nodding.
"My meeting with the spirits of my people's guardians was indeed grave, however it was linked directly to this anomaly whatever the source of this disruption is, it is felt even among their world".
Her words conveyed the seriousness of that, Ratty might not have known much about spirits or the like but if even something Ratty couldn't see and hadn't encountered had trouble with the anomaly it must have been powerful.

While the Syol may not want to accompany Ratty, assuming that their elder didn't also want the missing items as well for some reason, it was more likely that Lizzy would, the poor woman seemed lost much of the time, and had no clear goals other than following Ratty around, it was honestly a little sad, though not exactly something Ratty had the ability to solve at that time, she at least seemed more or less functional while following them around though, and it wasn't like she was a dead weight at least.

The Elder poured more of that dirty water from the Syol village, (was it perhaps something elders drank in general?) before speaking again to answer Ratty after patiently listening to their words.
"You may of course rest here, we welcome guests, even those who are not actively seeking to investigate a dire threat against us all".
She took a sip of her hot leaf water, seemingly musing over the question.
"There are many things that are troubling me, but none of them matter as long as we are in such danger from the anomaly, perhaps...".
She looked Ratty over with a strangely piercing gaze.
"We may be able to assist each other in the future".
She left the topic at that.
"On the topic of the anomaly shroud, we likely know little more than you do, however it is most certainly old, the spirits were able to gather some information about it, specifically that it is mobile within a short area, and is drawing on the very energies of the land it infects, something no modern mage could achieve on their own, thus suggesting it's origin may be one of the many relics within the forest's ruins".

"I see... Our Elder had theorised it could be the case, though activating such things would be difficult, and would almost certainly not go as to plan... Assuming whoever did this even had a plan".
Hin commented, and interestingly earned a reply from Lizzy.
"I think... There were a few of the older mages who were adept at use of old, damaged relics, though I can't think of any who would use one for something as seemingly purposeless as this... The mage guilds do not seem to obviously benefit from clearing a forest of it's inhabitants, perhaps if it was one of them they did not mean to create such an effect?"
 

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
For some reason, the pearl's observations about the quiet lizardfriend aggravated the rodent, and it missed part of the elder's explanation about spirits: not enough to warrant asked again, as it did catch that this meeting was related to the anomaly, but enough for the creature to appear suddenly distant, or prone to staring off into space instead of paying complete attention. The hazard of being dual-minded in a nutshell (and scatterbrained even without the input of the peculiar stone) risked committing some sort of faux pas, but these people seemed at least forgiving enough just because this was a mere animal, or perhaps that pending calamity was a factor.

Sure, the reptile was silent at the best of times, but she almost certainly had a goal in tagging along for this adventure: she studied magic and had just been presented information about something at odds with what relative experts on magic knew, and she was going to see it through to find out just what it was. And even if that wasn't a goal? It didn't matter. The rodent might not be bothered to ask about its reptilian friend's personal life, but from what it had seen, having her ties to whatever brought her out here burned to a cinder was probably the best thing that's happened to her in a long time. What should have been a traumatic experience for any normal person had this reptile on her feet and helping strangers with disasters in a matter of days: it wasn't sad. It was possibly the bravest the rat had ever known a person to be.

Then again, the only other people this rodent had met were either scum, cowards, children, or people with jobs that kept them safe from such dangers. There couldn't have been anything useful to measure just why the creature was so defensive about its friend in recent memory, at least in regards to other people. At least the two could agree that the reptile was low maintenance: it took some effort to get her back to her feet, but she's done a good job of staying upright since the fire, too. The thought occurred that she might still be in shock, but it was quickly glossed over when she spoke up with more information. Given the account of specific mages, she'd clearly been thinking about what was asked of her yesterday! This reptile was clearly good for more than just burning statues and birds!

This is good information, the rodent signed over to Daoin, before looking between Hin, the elder, and the lizard. The creature felt odd, continuing to use its newest friend as a mouthpiece, but it couldn't be helped in this serious conversation.

We know of some ruins, but none that match up with the geography. <Squeak> nest already shrouded, but the only known ruins are beyond these settlements. Dangerous to enter ruins, but if the anomaly moves, it could be difficult to track. - It made little sense that this encampment would be the next to fall under the influence of the shroud, when the temple-nest already had, and it was closer to Tarkhal Enial. But, between those present with some connection to the forest's energy, a location would be easier to pin down. The rodent assumed this just meant it had yet another ruin to delve into, had it not already been excavated.

The creature suddenly perked up at the mention of relic activation. - Some magical oddities awaken near <squeak>. Had to break them down. Possibly a similar circumstance? There was a sleep-stone and a big stone guardian. Not sure if either activated on proximity or <squeak> proximity. - In any case, one of those was broken down via digestion, but they were both already broken in other ways. There was no way to test that hypothesis... but Elder Syol had apparently gotten past hypothesis and into theory! Clearly she must have known more than what she let on, for she was a scientist and a wizard!

And then there was Lizzy's input, perhaps the most alarming of all the recent additions to the puzzle: she knew mages who specialized in damaged relics. No doubt she would be unable to produce a name, but if someone of wealth and ties to wizardry already had an interest in the ruins, this was a pattern that could not be ignored. The next string of signings were directed toward the elder herself rather than toward the center of the room, the rodent locking gazes once more. - There are two people who might be able to place a name, among wizards with eyes for the local ruins. There was a third who definitely could, but he is not willing to speak. One is large, and has an open wound on his arm. The other is fast. They might have heard something from the one who dragged them here, but are just as likely to have heard naught. Did not get the chance to ask. They are shy.

...to put that last detail lightly. The rodent wondered if it should be this forthcoming with everyone, but it seemed like it should be everyone's concern, even if there still wasn't enough information to go on between the present group. Such a relic was just as likely to be damaged like the others the rodent found, and acting beyond its established parameters. With that in mind, the rat faced the center of the group again.

That person might be irrelevant though. Feels like our best chance of finding this thing quickly is to set out and find the part of the forest most disturbing to Syol friends, and search the silence from there. Can work out a plan once we have eyes on the source, or just rush in and start breaking things until the problem resolves itself. Artifact cannot swallow the forest if there is no artifact.
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
Pearl seemed to pick up on Ratty's discomfort at having to use others to communicate, though it didn't personally see the problem, after all, it used Ratty's mind to communicate, and Ratty had used Pearl to communicate before Pearl had managed to fully imbue Ratty with the understanding of the most common human language and what it knew of the elven language, even if Pearl kept needing to update words... It had no idea what a Syol meant but could guess it was more appropriate than elf, similar to how Uhar was a better word than Goblin.
Still though, it wanted to be helpful and so would do it's best to eliminate the need, it might not know how to say things in a way the Uhar could understand... But had some ideas.
"Noted... Will try and fix... Make Host, better at talk".
Pearl declared suddenly within Ratty's mind before going quiet, a new goal in mind, of course who knew how long it might take? It's magical resources were very limited, and it was already pushing Ratty's brain to achieve what it already had...

The elder seemed interested when Ratty mentioned the nest.
"It is?... If I am not wrong that would mean you have some innate immunity to the anomaly... I had assumed you would have some resistance but being able to live within it is quite curious... And very useful indeed".
She commented before retrieving a tightly bound roll from behind her and unrolling to reveal... A picture? It LOOKED sort of like a stylised overview of the forest, lots of empty spaces though and strange marks, and also a weird shape on it.
"This is a map... It shows much of the forests".
She explained, before pointing to one spot.
"This is the camp, where we are now... And this, is the anomaly, according to the best attempts and monitoring it".
She pointed at the strange shape, it was centered on a seemingly empty area, and extended randomly in all directions, tendrils wrapping around and twisting, and even having holes within them, it was clearly not expanding in any orderly or predictable way.
"The source of the anomaly is within the center of this mark".

"I see... I thought I had noticed a brief surge of magical energy... I had simply assumed it to be related to the anomaly, indeed it very well still might be related, it is comforting to know you have already experienced decommissioning such artefacts first hand, in honesty, I cannot help but feel a deep sense of guilt at needing to rely on and send you, a stranger to my people who owes us nothing, into such a potentially dangerous situation, please understand that if there was an alternative, it would have been used".
She seemed genuinely apologetic, not embarrassed at all, she saw no need to be embarrassed about being willing to use anything and anyone to save her people's way of life after all, but it was undeniable, this clearly intelligent creature of the forest would be put in danger for people it had no connection to.

The Elder raised an eyebrow at the mention of the two people, an expression that seemed to cross racial boundaries.
"I Suppose it was naïve to assume you did not know them, the two individuals you speak of are most likely the desperate pair we captured raiding our stocks, we have only kept them here due to the danger of the anomaly, we can not know if they are affected by it's influence, and one of them is already wounded beyond what we can currently treat... If you believe they may know something of use you are welcome to question them, the wounded man is however quite beyond coherent speech at this moment however".
She warned, earning a barely audible gasp from Lizzy, she couldn't help but feel some attachment to the two, they were after all effectively the closest thing to a tie to her old life within the forest.

Hin Nodded his agreement.
"A sound plan, with the Uhar's map we can avoid much of the worst areas, use the clear zones to get as close as possible to the center and use intuition to locate the source from there".
The Syol suggested, before sighing quietly.
"However, I am not entirely certain I will be able to be of much help on that front, no matter how close to the anomaly I get, after a certain point it is impossible to tell differences in it's strength... Which is why Daoin is here".
He gestured to his younger companion who seemed a little nervous at the sudden attention, having been sitting back and listening in silence, and sort of waved in greeting at the group.
"They are younger, less in tune, the anomaly affects them less and as such they may be able to feel the source of it's power more easily, and approach with far less effect from the anomaly".
 

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
If anything, the rat's main discomfort with using other people for communication was that it couldn't bring Daoin and Hin everywhere: they had lives to go back to, and the creature didn't want to risk dragging them into ancient ruins to risk getting skewered with bittersticks like that one fellow explorer. It flicked its ears, unsure how to feel about being referred to as a 'host' or that it could be 'fixed.'

A quick glance at the map explained the inconsistencies between the shroud's expansion and what the rodent knew of the local parts of the forest: if the shroud expanded like a tree's roots, then its expansion toward this encampment before it could reach Tarkhal Enial was plausible, at least. Of course, without reference points the rodent knew, the map was just a mere picture: not very edible, probably good nesting material? But one doubted anyone present would appreciate the scroll being used for such.

Regarding the elder's guilty conscience about using others for this task, as well as the fate of the two confined guests, the rat starting motioning again.

Worry not, this is everyone's problem, and we are joining efforts to fix it. Left alone, this shroud will drive people from their homes... and it will also drive away most of the wildlife. Without bugs and worms, soil will become more difficult for plants to grow in, flowers will go unpollinated. Not sure if the forest can fix itself, but we can worry about that once we've removed the source.

The two people... Would rather not ask questions of them while they are under stress. Is there a way to mend the broken one?



Upon receiving an answer, the rodent turned toward Hin, acknowledging his addition to the plan: instead of rushing in and breaking things, they now had a potentially safer route for the Syol to traverse... which was only helpful to the duo and their feline/bovine companion, but as much as the rodent didn't want to drag them all into danger, their presence was necessary. Whatever this source was, it could hide from magical senses, making it possible that even the pearl couldn't sniff it out.

If it gets dangerous, just say the word and we can split up. No sense in endangering everyone. Your help is important, as is your safety. We can find our own way back if necessary. Suppose all that's left is to decide whether we depart soon, or at dawn.
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
The elder seemed relieved that Ratty didn't seem to mind being essentially forced into such a difficult task, really she would have preferred to just be able to fix it herself but sadly it was impossible, her people couldn't approach the shroud, and had already been forced to move once by it.
"You are certainly incredibly intelligent, I doubt many of even the people of this forest would think of such things in this situation, save perhaps the growers and gatherers of course".
She commented, once again openly intrigued by Ratty, she would definitely need to dig deeper into this strange, unusually intelligent Rodent once the immediate danger had passed, perhaps if all her people were this intelligent there could be a new ally among the trees? If anything it would help keep the balance against the encroaching strangers among the periphery.

The sigh that Ratty's question drew from the elder was far from comforting, though she did nod, an odd conflict of emotions and signals indeed.
"There may be, at least, his death is not certain just yet, and with luck even the arm may yet be salvaged".
Well that was good news? Ratty seemed to have fairly good luck, a concept that had seemingly been uncovered by them at some point, and was understandable enough, of course there was more though and she continued.
"However, we currently have neither the tools nor substance we would need to properly treat him, I'm afraid the vast majority of our possessions are well within the shroud, of course it is possible the others of my people have some, but they are separated from us by the anomaly's influence, it would take far too long to travel around, and likely they would find their maps no longer accurate if they did attempt to move around".
It seemed the anomaly was causing even more trouble, and that this was apparently only some of the Uhar present in the forest, in which case it was another example of Ratty's good luck that this particular group was the one they managed to find.

The pearl seemed to balk at the idea it couldn't sniff out a magical object... For one thing it did not 'sniff' it had no sense of smell after all so that wasn't possible, and for another, it already had experience with tracking and identifying really old magical things! Undoubtedly more than even the oldest of the elders in the forest, there was also the unmentioned but still known by way of shared thoughts fact that the Pearl considered itself a far superior magical tracking device than anything they could produce... Apparently Pearl had a bit of pride in it's own abilities.

Hin nodded.
"Of course, I wish no offense, but my priorities are Daoin, my people, the anomaly's destruction and then you, if I had to sacrifice myself or you to ensure their safety I would".
He wasn't being antagonistic, just simply stating the facts as he saw them, while he was incredibly grateful and respecting of Ratty's aid, and of course would avoid sacrifice of anyone if possible, he did barely know them and would always prioritise his people over others.

"I believe things should be more or less settled... The best time to head out would be dawn, the anomaly is enough danger without travelling at night, even with a lack of predators to trouble you".
The elder suggested.
"My people will gladly show hospitality and house you for the night so you will be rested for the upcoming task".
Lizzy at least seemed openly relieved at that, she liked beds thank you very much, and being warm and sheltered were instincts she did not want to ignore.
 
Last edited:

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
That comment about the rodent's intellect was not the first of its kind, but for some reason it only now got the creature doing more than questioning if it was a good idea to converse with people like this: if rats were not supposed to do this, word might inevitably spread. This one wanted to at least trust the first few people that were pleasant company, but the way the elder gazed upon it gave merit to the idea of hiding that trait. Perhaps not now, when it needed the trust and information of those willing to share such things, but later. Of the remark concerning growers and gatherers, a thought pinged across the mental space shared by itself and the pearl: where did that knowledge come from? It sounded correct, but it did not match with recent memory. Was it a grower or a gatherer in the dream world?

As for the pearl itself, the correction of its capabilities was also noted: it had yet to find another stone like it, and of the magical stones it had found, only one did not appear to be of singular purpose. The reminder inspired some confidence in the face of the rat's own hidden apprehension about trudging into a sort of danger it could not perceive. The two of them were clearly the ones for the task (and also their reptile friend). All they had to do was reach their destination.

Hin's words were met with bewilderment: the tall one was certainly a difficult read, especially compared to his smaller counterpart, but he might have been the first person to not trip over themselves to make themselves approachable for the creature in these settlements. His perspective was possibly the most valuable one of the group, and at the same time, the rodent wouldn't be able to see him coming, should betrayal strike his fancy. To sacrifice, for the sake of another. The thought hit a hard resonance with the rat's internal void, from which all the contradictory, nightmarish memories spawned, and for a moment the creature winced... but when it decided not to reach for whatever was there, the feeling stopped.

What was the measure of one life, weighed against many? Or, what was the measure of a friend's life, to be thrown away the moment a benefit presented itself? For a solid minute the rodent looked hurt: it couldn't find the words to respond, but only to stare at the tall guardian, trying to bear the gravity of what was just shared between them. It sounded like the words of someone not to trust, but such words were not spoken by a fool. Yet, the creature couldn't wholly disagree: the one person who shouldn't be anywhere near danger was Daoin, and the eradication of this shroud was a matter of great importance to many people.

The rodent ended up facing the elder once more, nodding to her suggestion. - Your council is appreciated, and this map is invaluable. It may prove the most instrumental object to our success. We look forward to meeting again, it signed up, before turning toward the tent's entrance and sauntering out. Another long conversation complete.... It couldn't wait to just unwind and spend time with Daoin, without the weight of everyone's troubles upon their backs. Only one hurdle remained.

A few meters from the tent, the rodent turned about to face the entrance, waiting for Hin's presence. Signing to him alone would not be an option, but at least the creature could spare Elder Uhar from hearing or seeing it.

Do not.

It didn't know how to sign 'sacrifice,' so it just didn't.

To carry word of death to Elder Syol would be unacceptable, and someone must protect the smaller one. Do not want to see them hurt.

No death gam-bit
(what was this word again?). Do not. We will obstruct.

It seemed the only proper response, to lay everything upon the ground between them, but as the minutes passed it started to sound like this was Hin's way of expressing trust. His own personal language, if one could call it that?
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
The idea of hiding was not a bad one... While the inhabitants of the forest seemed trustworthy more or less, or at least the Syol and Uhar were, if only due to their shared need of Ratty's assistance to secure their own existence in their homes, the human village and even the humans who had brought Lizzy with them showed that there was a world outside the forest with many seemingly less friendly and trustworthy people, if Lizzy was different enough for them to treat her so poorly, how would they respond to a rodent, seemingly a creature expected to be dumb, weak and not worth considering, suddenly appearing with knowledge of speech, magic and intelligence enough to possibly outthink many of them? Yes, it seemed they would need to be very sneaky about any travel outside of the forest at the bare minimum, unless a way for their intelligence to seem less strange presented itself.

Hin seemed to actively avert his eyes from Ratty after his statement, it seemed he did not want to look at whatever effects his words may have had, perhaps his admission, however truthful had left him feeling guilt? He did not seem like the type that was cruel enough to so casually say potentially offensive or hurtful things without a care in the world after all, at the very least the way Daoin seemed to like him suggested he couldn't be so cruel.
For the last portion of the meeting Daoin translated for Ratty, honestly seeming happy to be helpful with their ability, eyes lighting up literally as they translated, it was certainly a useful ability, and judging by Pearl's earlier words, one that was worth attempting to emulate, whether the magical pearl could so though was unknown, especially as it seemed to struggle with just basic communication between it and Ratty.

In a slightly surprising moment of foresight Lizzy seemed to have caught on that Ratty intended to speak to Hin, and as his earlier words had already had a negative affect on Daoin, decided to distract the child by showing them a small, contained little flame that danced and sparkled in unusual ways, drawing the child's attention and giving Ratty a window to communicate in relative privacy, as the two Syol's ability seemed to need direct line of sight in order to function.

Hin's mouth moved in an odd way as he seemed about to retort with something... Before rethinking it, apparently he had understood what Ratty meant, even if they had not known the words themselves, truly the world would be a better place if all had this ability...
Okay that was a strange thought, surely Ratty didn't know enough of the world to guess that... It seemed like something from the 'other' memories, or perhaps an unconscious interjection from Pearl? Either way the momentary distraction the thought caused seemed enough to allow Hin to gather his thoughts and formulate a response.

"I... Thank you".
That was probably not the expected response, and he seemed distinctly uncomfortable with it for some reason, he was also, notably, signing the words rather than speaking, Ratty had never seen those signs before but Hin's ability made it seem as familiar as the various sounds and body language used to communicate with the other rodents.
"A sacrifice is not my intention... Merely my resolve, Daoin has lost enough and I will not abandon them with no cause, that I will promise... But if the time comes where my sacrifice is needed to ensure theirs, or the village's safety, please do not intervene".
He seemed to have a remarkably low value attached to his own life, a sad fact, even the oldest of the sickly rats at home at least knew they had value as teachers, or barring that, warmth during the cold nights.
 
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Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
This meeting was certainly giving the rat a lot to think about! Of course, that was no surprise: elders were smart, and from them, great wisdom flows like a river.... even if that wisdom is 'do not wake, am sleeping, will bite.' What was a surprise was that Hin could leave this creature at a loss for words not once, but twice in mere moments: truly, that one had much to teach as well, even if the lessons were harsh. He was like someone who thrived in serious conversation like this, or at least this sort of thing was his comfort zone: a horrible existence that sounded like the opposite of fun, but given the nature of what loomed just around the corner for these people, a necessary one.

But, was that relief on the tall one's face, when told not to go putting himself in harm's way when it could be avoided? Or frustration? In either case, it didn't match the facial expressions this rodent could understand: this fellow was impossible to read, even when his words sounded like they were meant to be a threat. And again, his words appeared to resonate with the abyss across which the rodent's forbidden memories reside, but once more the rat didn't reach for them: too much was at stake to go wiping its energy reserves, be it mental or physical.

So again, the creature stared for a minute, and then it paced back and forth for another, trying in vain to form the correct response to this dilemma. In the end, after wracking its little beastly head against a metaphorical wall, it signed something back: will consider. Such a concept of sacrifice was not unheard of to the creature, after all. The elder rats, in times of danger, would do all they could to protect the smallest ones, but Hin was no elder, and something still felt off about this notion.

Once done, the creature walked right past the strange bovi-cat, still confused by the smell, and up to Lizzy and Daoin's. The reptile's leg got a quick hug, but soon after letting go of her, the creature looked up at the weird leggy one, getting up on its hind legs and extending a hand out and down, toward the ground. Whatever preparations needed to be made by the Uhar, it looked like there was still some daylight left, and the rat had decided it wanted nothing more to do with any serious discussion today. It had traded in information, and the people of the Syol and Uhar tribes would likely be calmed, at least a little bit, with the knowledge that this looming disaster was being looked into. For now it just wanted its friends, and maybe to see a little bit of the local culture or cuisine. And what better vantage point, than from atop Daoin's shoulders?
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
It was certainly good that the Uhar and Syol at least were led by elders, showing they trusted wisdom and experience over raw strength, even in their rather limited experience, Ratty knew that many animals tended to be ruled by the strongest, and for some reason humans seemed like they might be similar to that, perhaps it was based off of what little they had seen of humans, or even something Pearl or the other memories had provided? The dreams showed that there were humans in whatever strange place they were set in at least.

Hin simply nodded at Ratty's last words to him, before stepping back to watch the group from a slight distance, it was a very subtle movement, but one that suggested he was finished speaking for now, of course if Ratty bothered him long enough he'd probably acknowledge them and answer, but probably wouldn't be too pleased about it.
At least he didn't seem as uncomfortable as he had a minute ago, perhaps, despite his strange power making him incredibly suited to communication with anyone at all, he simply disliked speaking with people? At the very least he didn't obviously dislike Ratty so it wasn't just him avoiding them specifically, he had barely even said a word to Lizzy and nothing that wasn't prompted in some way which was evidence of his antisocial tendencies.

By now the Bull Cat's smell had started to shift to something a little more natural, though the other scent was still there, most likely it had been something picked up in the Syol Town, perhaps the Cat had eaten something that left the smell on it? Now though it needed it's normal scent since it was in the wild, and was doing it's best to lick it's fur clean of the clinging smell between shooting glances at Ratty, purely inquisitive, it had never been allowed into important meetings before after all, no animal usually was, therefore that made this smaller fluffy thing different somehow.

Lizzy had not expected the hug and looked down at Ratty for a moment, the dancing flames in her hands flickering out of existence as the concentration needed for the useless but complex spell was broken, she didn't seem to mind though, and neither did Daoin, who had been distracted from watching it by Ratty's approach anyway, they liked the fluffy friend! Even more than the Bull Cat, since ratty was more affectionate.
"Oh! You want up again?"
They asked for confirmation before picking the large rodent up to place on their shoulders, it was still shocking how strong the Syol were, that even a youngling could so easily lift Ratty, who while nowhere near the weight of a human, was still a very large rodent! At the same time they were so gentle, showing self control with their friend.
"Umm... Are you hungry?... I've been here before with some friends and the Uhar have really good food! They did a lot of cooking before coming here ages ago and they kept the tradition... Well, not HERE here... But I've visited other places with Uhar!"
 

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
With Hin further from the spotlight, and the rodent in much the same situation... or, at least, in pursuit of a perch that would discourage conversation, one might find amusement in noting the similar limits of their patience for social activity. The rat certainly would, were it not still just a smidge upset about being told it would be sacrificed for the benefit of those it was already trying to help, should the opportunity arise. The lesson in that was simple enough: nobody would lie about that sort of thing, unless they wanted to teach someone to be on their guard even among friends, but the words themselves still stung, and if Daoin's ability to sneak was anything to go by, Hin could even make good on his boast.

Once atop Daoin's shoulders, the creature stood closer to eye-level with the reptile, perched in a precarious manner across the young elf's shoulders, at least until it bunched itself onto one side, possibly dangling its hind legs down their shoulderblades. It was strange, being so close to the human-like faces of its friends, and not in any sort of situation that called for an assault. The vantage point felt more befitting of one of those strange dreams the creature had been having lately.

It seemed food was on its friends' minds? In truth, the creature had worked up an appetite scurrying through all the the brush this day, but it still had the energy to go look for its own food. Perhaps it wouldn't find enough for everyone, but at least two of the four companions looked like they could find their own? Though, that assumption did rely more on just how nervous the rodent was about the bullcat, than any measure of observation.

In any case, the rat brushed its fur against Daoin's cheek and let them decide which direction to proceed, since they were more familiar with these people and their culture.
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
At the very least it seemed Daoin had been distracted enough to not hear, or rather, see their conversation, though it was unknown what they had overheard in the tent... At least they didn't seem to be affected by it, which was good, they seemed to be a child, and while Ratty had been exposed to things no child should have to deal with, that didn't at all mean other younglings should have to deal with scary or depressing things, of course this whole little adventure that Daoin had somehow convinced their brother to let them go on had a high chance of being scary, though they either didn't realise or didn't care about that.

Lizzy couldn't help but wave as her face was now almost level with Ratty's face, she wasn't really sure what to say, she had thoughts about their quest, but most of them were likely unsubstantiated, she didn't want to make guesses with so little information, perhaps she would be able to figure out the identity of their target if they learned more somehow? She was quiet and kept out of the way at the guild, so had the occasion to observe many powerful mages, she just hoped it wasn't one of the grand casters... She doubted they'd win in that situation.
"Umm... Be careful okay?..."
She managed to sputter out during her thinking.
It was hard to tell if she meant that about climbing up onto Daoin, during their quest or just in general.

Daoin seemed to more or less figure out they were responsible for deciding the group's next actions, and smiled, eyes lighting up and not in the magical way this time, they seemed excited.
"Oh Miss Rat! I really wanna show you the Uhar's cooking... Umm, they use some spicy plants... I don't know if you know what that is, but it's really tasty and not too overwhelming, if you don't like it they have milk".
Daoin had so far been the first to gender the rodent, and had done so seemingly without a thought as they began to march towards the center of the camp, where an open tent sat, a large solid looking pot sat upon a flame in a pit, the smoke escaping through a series of holes in the tent's roof, as they got closer the smells overwhelmed the various other scents in the camp, hitting Ratty with a mouthwatering scent of meat and something vaguely nostalgic, almost fiery but somehow good.
 

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
Between a quick wave to its reptilian friend and the brush against the young one's face, the rodent at least appeared content from the height it shared with its friends, but once more the look upon the reptile's face was one of worry. Truly, she had watched this rat stumble into a number of dangerous situations without a degree of caution, so it made sense for her to worry, even if the cause for some of that recklessness was her presence overriding the perceived benefit of sneaking through the trees.

But this was different, no? And Daoin mentioned cooking again, so quickly after the last mention of it. Could it be that the perch was hungry, but too embarrassed to say anything about it? Even so, the rodent's ears flattened: there had been too much conversation for the creature's tastes. Two big, serious discussions in the span of a day, and the closest friends couldn't pick up on this one just not wanting to speak anymore. Of course, the solution would be to just tell them... right?

The rat looked at its young, bright-eyed and eager friend, and then its human-faced lizard friend. She liked food, too: meat, if the words of that one person held any merit. And, spices for vegetables sounded interesting too, and the excitement in Daoin's voice slew any notion that the rodent could convince them to talk less outright: it didn't want to upset the kid who was risking great danger to be here.

Onward, friend. Sounds tasty. Perhaps there is meat, too?
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
On the question of whether Daoin was hungry... The answer was most likely that they were, after all they were a growing child, and had not eaten much if anything that day, the embarrassment was strange though, at least it would be to Ratty, in Ratty's colony if one was hungry, they were generally quite vocal about it, especially the younglings who were not yet allowed to forage on their own, or the elders who were no longer athletic enough to move far from the nest, honestly it had been a halfway miracle that they even made it into the ruins, likely they had only managed to due to a mix of the promise of a safe home, urging and aid of their kin, and in several cases because they were being carried, perhaps Daoin was embarrassed BECAUSE they were seemingly old and athletic enough to hunt and forage for themself and yet had not done so?
A moment later Daoin's hunger was confirmed, it was barely notable, and Ratty only noticed because of their perch, but Daoin's stomach was quietly rumbling.

Lizzy's face lit up for a moment at the mention of meat, she couldn't help it, she loved meat... Partly because of biology, as her race had originally been a primarily meat eating one for much of their history, and partly because she so rarely had access to any, ironically even if she did hunt, she lacked the ability to cook effectively, burned meat just wasn't as good.

"Yeah! There's meat in a lot of Uhar cooking, they eat more of it than us since their farms aren't as good yet, but they were making lots of new ones before now!"
Daoin happily explained, they seemed enthusiastic about cooking and farming and food in general, their shyness overcome as they spoke of it.
"I personally don't know much about farming... But it's really cool how food can be made from the ground, and I'm learning to cook slowly though I'm not very good yet".
They seemed unable to catch onto Ratty being overwhelmed by all the conversation, whether it was because they couldn't see Ratty's body language or if they were somehow stopped by something else was unknown however.

Either way the food tent was blessedly empty of all but one middle aged looking Uhar stirring a large pot.
"Daoin! Child! It has been long since we last had you as a guest".
They seemed to be familiar with Daoin at least.
"I'm sure I can guess why you are here, come come, there is nothing I enjoy more than feeding guests, and we have more than we need right now besides".
The cook declared, already starting to fill bowls with the admittedly delicious smelling stew.

Meanwhile, Pearl seemed to have decided that while Ratty needed less conversation, it could maybe help a little by speaking it's mind.
"Host... Tell Friends. Need quiet, rest, they, understand".
It assured with slightly more confidence than usual.
"Child, Similar to, Host, Lizard, Kind, understanding".
It was hard to tell but the Pearl's speaking seemed to be slowly becoming less stilted and broken, if only by a little.
 

Fyrra

Edgenoble
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
It wasn't just Pearl's speaking habits, but its translating capabilities: just a day ago the rat couldn't make sense of the language these people shared without help from one of its translators, and now it was picking up similarities between them, accents... the little stone was working hard with linguistics. Pity, then, that its suggestion of telling everyone to stop talking had to be declined: Daoin made for an excellent guide, and for some reason the rodent just couldn't bring itself to say such a thing to them specifically, and Hin and Reptile were quiet enough on their own that anything spoken at all was both unusual and likely important.

Also, this talk about cooking? Fascinating stuff. Apparently growing things from the ground rather than foraging for them was an idea novel enough to spread beyond cultures: even the inhabitants of the nesting grounds in the temple, from however long ago that was, had figured something out with this idea, and if brunch with the Syol was anything to go by, cooking made food taste better. The rodent's gaze upon the stew at least spoke of its own curiosity, and possibly its hunger as well.

While the bowls were being prepared, the creature jumped down to wait for its own, forgetting that it wasn't very good at carrying large objects. In the meantime, it signed something up to Daoin, flicking its ears about: for a creature that didn't want to talk, it wasn't making a very good case for that. But, this was different, less serious and dire. Perhaps it could try tapping into its forbidden memories to tell this one something unusual about cooking?

Farming and cooking sound important. Might need to learn these. You have friends here as well?

Maybe it should save the void-diving for another day, the rodent decided.
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
Though still concerned, and letting a little of it bleed through since by necessity of needing to work so intimately with Ratty's mind to allow for a lot of functionality and critical thinking to even be possible, Pearl decided to just stay quiet and not force the matter, after all, if it's host felt up to continuing conversation then it would not stop them... Though... It might just turn off it's own awareness of the outside world for a while... It was not quite used to so much stimulus and was so tired all the time from lack of magical energy that it couldn't really deal with too much at a time.
"I... Rest Now, return if, Danger".
It informed Ratty before going off to do... Whatever it did when not actively assisting and communicating with Ratty.

While Daoin was the first to be served, probably due to being seen as a child and therefore needing the most sustenance while these humanoids seemed to not realise Ratty was not an adult, Lizzy was second, much to her surprise, and Ratty had a bowl set aside for them as well, the cook having recognised that they were no mere stray rodent or pet, it was odd how people so readily seemed to realise and accept such things, though with the Uhar at least they could have reasonably seen them communicating earlier.
Hin was fed a bowl last, with the Bull Cat being gifted a bit of leftover meat to chew on, and it seemed to be entirely content with that.
The bowl was wooden, and easy to grip, plus it wasn't filled to the brim so less likely to spill delicious chunky soup within.
The liquid had a faint burn to it, different from heat, but not unpleasant.

Daoin had immediately starting eating upon receiving their food, and quickly swallowed a mouthful before they could answer, leaving a notable bit of liquid on their chin.
"Yeah! I have lots of friends among the Uhar, though most of them aren't here... I think everyone back home has at least one Uhar friend... We're always trading and visiting and then there's the Sanctuary Festival every year... It shouldn't be hard to learn that stuff either, I dunno if anyone is really good at teaching people farming, it's fairly new to most of us too, but the Uhar have the best cooks in the forest and they're really good teachers! They show me things sometimes".
Daoin seemed to open up around Ratty fairly easily, becoming more expressive and perhaps just a little louder than in the village, though not to the point of it being painful or annoying thankfully.