Well it isn't amazing, or anything. The neighborhoods around here seem full of large, sleek, modern houses, luxurious additions and appliances, and a certain degree of class. By contrast, this place is a hovel- but if you removed the comparisons, it is actually quite... well, nice! not a shack, not a mansion- but cozy, homey, and approachable... assuming you went to the end of the road and up the long dirt path. A field extends to the main road, but strings of wire fencing and posts define the property line and, presumably, keep the resident beasts in and the strange ones out. Caution, Creatures on Premises a sign reads, nailed to a fence post about 200 feet from the front door. The porch is cozy, decorated by a small set of chairs, a table, and a simple fire pit. Though the front of the house is paned in glass, it is mirrored- presumably, one inside can see out, but strangers cannot see in. On the porch, often, lays a seemingly ordinary, pale Vulticus... except the clump of scars where eyes would normally be. Despite her obvious blindness, she is extremely aware of approaching visitors, and regards them with caution.
Walking into the front door would confirm any suspicions about the glass of the front walls- it is a very thick, two-way glass, allowing a clear view of the front of the property and opening the room to plenty of natural light. In fact, the entire house interior seems to be wood and windows. The inside is sparsely furnished- a plush L-shaped couch, a dark wooden coffee table, and a wood-and-glass shelf piece positioned behind the couch. It sports precious few items besides a decorative bowl (which seems to hold old mail, keys, and similar things), a framed picture of some young woman with dark hair, and a couple of other pictures- Vixen with a black-haired man, a pile up picture of baby animals, a group photo inside a club of its staff. On the couch often sits a bundle of thick white fur, blue eyes sparkling to size up any visitor.
Opposite of the front of the house and its windows, the rails of the upstairs loft was visible, but not the bedroom itself- the overhang is too far out. Stairs leading upstairs lay to the left of the entry. A stone fireplace sits on the opposite end of the room. French doors next to it open up to the back yard, and through them one could see the stable, connecting paddock, and a natural pond off to the side. On the other side of the fire place is a door leading into a small laundry room.
The open floor plan leads from the living room and into the kitchen, with only a wooden dining set acting as a barrier between the kitchen bar and the living room. The kitchen is updated and efficient, but fairly simple- wood-laid fridge and freezer, a nice oven and stove, a wide double sink and middle island. A blender and coffee maker sit in the corner, and a wine rack is built into the wall over the microwave. Towards the back of the kitchen, there's a inlaid shelf set with various liquors. A peek in the freezer would show a bottle or two more, along with some frozen meats, ice cream, and various other items. The fridge is stocked with a decent amount of food, depending on the day- salad mixes, fresh vegetables, meat, yogurt, and bottles of water are some staples. A row of fresh herbs sit in the window above the sink.
"You," he said, "are a very real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain."
Walking up the stairs open up to one, giant room. The immediately landing area is simple- a lamp and cushioned chair in the corner, with a unique bookshelf laden with a variety of books- animal anatomy, sketch books, novels, behavioral books. A small, leather photo album is pushed to the side. A little hay doll sits jauntily on top of the bookshelf, next to a single, dried white rose, propped up with the utmost care.
Doors that lead out onto a small balcony (pictured in the first photo) come up a few paces past the book shelf. The balcony is split in half- one side has a small table and chair, the other is commanded by a fairly large aviary-style cage, rich with perches and toys. Between the cage and the table sits a perch. Inside the cage, a beautiful bird flutters and looks around inquisitively.
(the bedroom is EXACTLY as pictured, viewed as if someone were to stand with their back against the loft rails) Back inside, the bedroom is minimalist and comfortable. A colorful rug, a low, wide, soft bed with drawers under it, lamps, a weathered wood chest of drawers.. there isn't much here that wasn't needed. Occasionally, clothes scatter the room, or a full hamper sits around for a few days, but overall it is kept neat. Beyond the bed and between the windows overlooking the back of the property, there's a window bench, and overlooking the rest of the house and against the rails sits another pet bed, this one long and low. Often there is a number of animals littered about the room, napping or watching the house. On the bed sits a huge stuffed Thundergug.
At the far end of the bedroom is the masterbath. Like everywhere else in the house, there are windows looking out- these in particular look out onto the pond. The tub is deep, wide, and equipped with jets; small bottles of essential oils and bath mixtures line the edges. The shower has a large, direct overhead shower attachment and is built into a corner of the bathroom. It is very large, enough for several people- not that it will ever need to. A towel rack stands between the bath and shower, and plants sit near the window- the bathroom overall is airy and nice.
Aah, the stables! The stables are the busiest area of the property. Rich, cedar wood, open design, wonderfully large loose boxes, all stocked with hay and water troughs. Grates between stalls allow the Equillion to see and interact with each other (for better or worse). The first box stall holds a large but refined-looking stallion with a thick black mane and wild red eyes. Small fangs sit in his mouth, and an eerie necklace made of a series of small skulls hangs from his neck. His wings are clawed and even folded, seem huge. He regards most visitors with a sour turn-around, tail clamped and ears lowered. The next resident echos the first- beige, winged, hints of black, red eyes- but that's where the similarities end. Her demeanor is much softer, relaxed, and inquisitive. She is petite and finely boned, easily a quarter smaller than her father in the next stall.
Yet a second Equillion bears resemblance to the first- hints of the same markings, in chocolate rather than black, and a whole mane of purple braids- a large leap from Voodoo's single adornment. While his left neighbor, Althea, is friendly and agreeable to him as her half brother, his father is generally ill-tempered towards him. Seeing one another through grates often elicits pawing, snorting, and head tossing. This resident, however, is calm and watchful, and isn't quick to anger. He is very odd though- the dreads and antlers, and all... The four resident breaks the family resemblance, with her delicate boning, silvery coloration, and spirited green eyes. She is the first Equillion to stick her head out to visitors with a friendly greeting, heavy black forelock cascading down her face. Though petite in build, she holds herself tall and sure.
The next two Equillion are robust and flashy. The first, a sassy mare, is chocolate palomino with bright splashes. She will typically thrust her head out at visitors- but tread careful, as sometimes she is friendly, but sometimes she nips. The second seemed her opposite- cool black to her rich bay, dark back dapples to her white belly splash. His eyes are green, soft, and his air is decisively tame.
The next pair matches- just a tad. The first stallion is gentle and easy- a rich blue, adorned with sweet-looking white and mid-blue markings, though one foot is a contrasting dark. Niu is likely to greet newcomers with an eager, soft nicker. His granddaughter near him, though, is noticeably more spirited. She paces and kicks at her stall often, and the battered wood shows evidence with cloven, curved marks. Helissa is friendly, of course- just impatient.
The final stall holds a large, rather intimidating looking Gallor, who raises his crest and throws his head back on approach.
"You," he said, "are a very real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain."
(Doop derp dip, just a bunch of boring level-grinding Aquatic Bond - +1 loyalty)
The civil unrest in the city had left Vixen thinking often about sentient pets. Personally, she had very few such creatures, save for a small group of fish and a homicidal beast- obviously one was a lost cause, and it left her wondering about her relationship with the remaining population of intelligent pets. That damn resistance group... "pet" was starting to feel like a dirty word to her. Do they know I like... respect them? The question had been keeping her up at night. The fact that they were cleverly disguised as the lowest maintenance pet type had clouded her judgement and attentions- she had spent time with them all, sure, but not an insane amount... Resigned that she had allowed it to get into her head, Vixen had brought her Seryn over from the kennels (was that even right, keeping them in the kennel? maybe it was time to move them to the house and share the pond with Adalric...) to her house pond, and now she was upstairs changing into her wetsuit top and bikini bottoms. Satisfied she could get into the water without freezing, Vixen slipped downstairs, out the door, and headed towards the pond. When she reached the gravel edges, she lowered herself to the ground and dipped her feet in the water, gently splashing the surface of the water until three large, svelte forms circled around the disturbance, their various colored, shiny scales breaking the mirrored surface.
The three fish were roughly the same size at this stage of their of their lives; Jayus had gone from a small tadpole to a four foot beast, matching Aglaia. Adalric, though similar in length, was much bulkier. The Seryn pair had a delicate, wispy look to them, with some of their length comprising of thin and translucent fins. Comparably, Adalric had little flowing fin length, as each foot was made of solid gold-clad muscle. Unsurprisingly, the Seryn stayed somewhat grouped together, connected by species, a common language (or method of communication, at least), and a gentler, less disruptive and powerful swimming style. Vixen leaned down, dipping her fingers among the ripples caused by the creatures below. The fish wiggled around her, and Vixen could feel additional differences- the scales of the Tat-lung were larger, with more distinct edges, while Jayus and Aglaia shared smooth skin with small scales, barely distinguishable with a casual touch. "Hey y'all," Vixen ventured, feeling somewhat awkward. Why did she feel awkward? "I talk to all of my animals... I just... I mean I don't think you guys can understand me, right? Not that I'm disrespecting your intelligence if you can- I just figured you don't speak Common, and... wow, what the hell am I saying?"
"It's just that- I mean, you don't have a place in nature. Outside of the Labs is hostile living environment at best... I provide for you, right? I feed you. Give you shelter. Maybe I could be more, you know, interactive... but I'm here now, right? Oh man, I sound..." Vixen pursed her lips and glanced over her shoulder at her empty property, as if worried someone would hear her conversing with fish. Dismissing the ghost of her embarrassment, she scooted her rear closer to the edge of the pond and gradually slipped into the pond, sitting on one of the three wooden steps that had been built into the pond. It was twelve feet deep at the center, with a short-lived shallow area that was roughly four feet in depth. As she submerged herself, she was slightly startled at the slippery ghost of a touch of fins brushing her legs. These are sentient or better creatures, they want to interact. They aren't just fish, Vixen, she chastised herself. Briefly she touched the Underwater Amulet she had slipped over her head, and after a breath, she completely disappeared under the surface of the pond. After the consistent discomfort of her first underwater breath, she was left breathing as naturally as the creatures before her. Through the slight haze, a striped orange figure swam directly up to her, blue eyes bright and reflective. Upon reaching her, Jayus turned his side into her, stomach tilted slightly up. Aglaia and Adalric circled the pair of them, curious at their new pond mate, but content to watch from afar now.
Vixen hesitated briefly, then brought her fingers to Jayus' side, starting behind his pectoral fin and applying a gentle pressure as she trailed her hand towards his fin. Having less of an expression to go off of, Vixen was unsure if the clown seryn was enjoying her belly rubs, but he allowed his body to float against her chest, kept in place by the gentle circling of her scratching arm and resting lightly on top of her other one. Itchy scales, or maybe just feels good? Maybe just feels good because he hasn't had enough contact since he was a fry, you neglectful shit... Vixen glanced up, finding Adalric's shimmering gold scales first. He was drifting in short lengths back and forth, his long whiskers floating effortlessly around him, dark gold eyes trained on Vixen and the male Seryn. Abreast to him was the body of Aglaia, which was flitting closer and closer to Vixen and Jayus. It seemed that his reckless affection was enough to entice her closer. Briefly, Vixen wondered if "littermate syndrome" was a concern with Seryn as it was for mammals- of course, Jayus and Aglaia were not from the same brood, but Jayus had been raised in Aglaia's company, and though Vixen had socialized with them at a young age, they ultimately had kept one another's company. I hope they can function independently when they grow... codependency would be very inconvenient to deal with. When we train, maybe separate training sessions to help practice that?
Hopefully by involving herself heavily now, they wouldn't be yearning for one another's company if out with Vixen... As a matter of fact, what was she even going to train them? Vixen hadn't really thought through the role of her Seryn when she purchased them, and that thought alone was enough to make her judge herself. She had acquired two sentient creatures on a whim- what would she do, ride them? No, that felt... odd. Perhaps she'd get over that feeling, but right now, with the ethical quagmire of their ownership fresh in her mind, it didn't feel right... and besides, riding a large fish didn't seem intuitive, nor particularly smooth. Just the mental image was equally jarring and amusing. Cruising on a giant, magic fish as it swims through air... Magic! That was it. They were magical once grown... They could work on that, perhaps.
Vixen gave Jayus a final rub and withdrew her hands. He floated there for a beat on his side, uncomfortably reminding Vixen of dead fish she'd seen before, before he wriggled his tail and righted himself, playfully bumping against Aglaia, who, with her companion freed from his trance, swam away from Vixen with her orange counterpart. Damn it... no rush. She'll be back. Instead, Vixen turned her eyes to Adalric, who was swimming a couple of yards away from her. Adalric, on the other hand, had had his future imagined immediately when Vixen had brought him home. She knew precisely what he'd turn into- a fierce golden dragon. It was easier to plan for that.
Vixen had been drawn into the allure of Tat-Lung, though secretly she'd always been a bit intimidated by them. Her solution to the missed opportunity of original Tat ownership had been to simply acquire a rare Gold Tat-Lung, and antigrow it to re-raise at a younger stage. From there, she had the image of a shimmery gold body guard... and now, as she sat here and thought about it, she had the sneaking uncomfortable feeling that she had played the part of the entitled asshole in this story. Best not say that out loud; I'll be pegged as a Rights sympathizer and the Shield will turn on me... well, Ashe wouldn't, but... Vixen had stood up in the water, leaving her head and collar bones exposed to the cool air. "It wasn't ever supposed to be this complicated," she murmured, tracking the darting forms of the Seryn beneath the surface. Never in her wildest dreams did she think of a world in which these creatures, lab-crafted or not, would have sentience equal or greater than hers. The creation itself was immoral at its heart, yes, she could see that. Yet Vixen knew, with the same unpleasant certainty with which people held their worst secrets, that she was disinterested in taking the steps to fix this. She was consciously aware of the hypocritical lean with which she both critically analyzed and thoughtlessly encouraged the murkier traits of their life at the Labs.
Rather than tackling it, Vixen folded the thought up in a neat box, tucking it away in the back of her brain. No, she had too much on her plate to play superhero and attempt to break down a sociological construct in her environment. Instead, Vixen's thoughts offered her a glossed over, more immediately reparable facet of the problem: she had to bond with these fish. Stop just calling them fish. Ah, hell. It was just so hard to attribute a whole world going on inside of their heads- it wasn't fair, to have such complex brains attached to relately unemotional faces. Maybe you're just not trained to understand them? Ouch, that was a bruise to her ego... but not entirely untrue. Adalric's features would change dramatically in the near future, but she'd have to put the effort forward for Aglaia and Jayus. Their future, right... The future, when they'd be large, flying fish who she didn't have an exact plan for... Hell, they could fly now. The realization had been an alarming one to her when she visited the pair and saw them nimbly slicing through the air above their aquarium in the kennels. She was a bit surprised they were remaining in the water now, but perhaps Adalric was shiny and new enough to them to be of interest. Vixen wriggled her fingers towards Aglaia, as she was closest, and attempted to entice her forward. It was hard to see her monochrome form under the surface of the water, but Vixen could see that the Seryn was facing her, slowly drifting in her direction as Jayus chased Adalric in an orange blur, seeming to be nipping at his fins.
Fiera Ferella: You absolutely got the vibe I was going for when designing them lmaooooooooo
Dec 2, 2022 9:21:17 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh my god Alma that drawing is freaking AMAZING. XD
Dec 2, 2022 9:21:01 GMT -6
Silver: The Winter Solstice contest will start taking entries as of the 1st! Make sure to get in if you want those unique prizes!
Nov 27, 2022 17:55:55 GMT -6
Renathan: What a neat development! :3
Nov 24, 2022 15:34:25 GMT -6
Riku: So excited to someday make a mind crystal monster. -drool- Thanks again for the new goal, Silver. <3 Also, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m so grateful for this community and magical world. :’)
Nov 24, 2022 13:37:16 GMT -6
Renathan: I cackled, that is amazing Alma!
Nov 20, 2022 1:17:20 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: No problem!! They came out so very anime. XD I'm looking forward to seeing which ones everyone picks!
Nov 18, 2022 6:41:02 GMT -6
Riku: Gee, thanks for doing such a great job on those. It’s hard to choose! >.< I’ll probably just decide later on when I’m back in the swing of things and inspired…
Nov 17, 2022 0:12:16 GMT -6
Morgan: The Sparkulves look great FF! :3 Thank you for all the hard work on them. c:
Nov 16, 2022 19:00:17 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: roleplayer too right? I feel that is the most important thing to have on the site when your writing your own short stories with your character and pets.
Nov 16, 2022 15:43:01 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Life happens, I haven't been posting all that much either these past few months, so I am more than happy to just see people visit the site. And Fiera? Don't feel guilty about not contributing anything, I mean, your here to have fun on the site itself as a
Nov 16, 2022 15:40:33 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah sorry, I've been stupidly busy lately and art block has made me... really guilty to be hanging around here while not contributing anything. Looking to get back into the saddle soon though!
Nov 16, 2022 9:44:18 GMT -6
Jack: Life has been absolute chaos this year guys ;-; sorry I've been quiet for so long! I'm hoping I'll start things up again here in a month or two, we'll see. I might post something later if I remember, there's a lot that's gone on.
Nov 16, 2022 8:18:04 GMT -6
Flare: Moving and lurking discord
Nov 12, 2022 23:42:42 GMT -6
Alma: Think most folks are on the discord if you are looking for more activity or anyone in particular.
Nov 12, 2022 0:08:42 GMT -6
Morgan: Still doing artwork offsite these days, myself. c:
Nov 11, 2022 13:27:13 GMT -6
Riku: (Where is everyone?)
Nov 11, 2022 9:40:42 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Hope Halloween was fun for everyone, I only celebrated it with the google game that was up for Halloween. X3
Nov 1, 2022 16:40:44 GMT -6
Morgan: Happy Halloween to you too, Flare!
Oct 31, 2022 5:24:09 GMT -6