So far, the owl seemed to mind this much less than the direct contact with her back. The thrusters blew air at her, but not so directly that it pierced through her down and onto her sensitive skin. The feather pulling was something she could tolerate from her owner too; he did it in such a way that the force was spread out and mitigated. Even as his weight increased over her shoulder, she didn't mind it too much. It wasn't even half of his weight that he bore down on the Alurook, but he would have to test that limit. For now, though, he relieved the bird of any of his weight and praised her. That attempt was much better. And it gave him a plan - to increase his weight in her shoulder, then shift it onto her back. That seemed like it could maybe just work. Only one way to find out.
After the short break of praise, Xentus continued on with his efforts. Using as gentle a hover that he could manage with Papilio, he positioned himself carefully over the golden owl's shoulder and picked some different patches of feathers to pull at. With both hands set into the plush fluff, he lowered a knee down into the equation. He kept as much weight off the avian as he could, but once a knee was on her somewhere, he could increase the weight a bit.
Mashiik was mostly ok with this much. As long as he wasn't ripping any feather out. Her large, fixed eyes carefully assessed the man and his actions. He seemed to be trying to find the best place to stick his knee. It was eventually settled over part of her wing, the person equivalent to the back of the arm. It wouldn't be the best place to try to hold on while flying, but it wasn't a bad spot just for clinging.
With three of his four limbs situated on the owl, it was time to increase the load. The thrusters on Papilio dimmed as he reduced their power further, very nearly completely turned off, but it still took some of his weight. Mashiik loosed an odd clicking noise in response. She definitely noticed the shift in weight. It was uncomfortable, but not unbearable.
"Good Mashiik, you're doing so well", the leopard cooed to giant golden avian. It was one part praise and one part an attempt to calm her down. It seemed to work enough, though the disdain stemming from the bird was palpable. She didn't like this. All that time preening was gone away, soiled by the leopard and whatever it was he was trying to accomplish. The owl puffed her feathers up and shook her body in a reflexive maneuver. Not the best move by her. A few of the looser feathers in the leopards clutches fell out at the sudden motion.
Immediately, the leopard released his grasp before he ended up ripping out the owl's glorious plumage. The thrusters on Papilio picked back up, carrying the majority of his weight once again. He still had a knee on the bird, for balance, otherwise he may have been shaken off completely. A bit of fluffy down stuck to his fingers, but thankfully it seemed these were only the looser ones. The owl was fine, simply annoyed.
Time to try that again. Perhaps a bit quicker? In a faster, more confident motion, Xentus clutched a new bunch of feathers and increased his weight on the giant avian, swinging his other leg around for a place on her back. The jetpack dimmed its force, and he was mostly on his mount-to-be. Mashiik shuffled under his weight, but it seemed she wasn't too terribly perturbed by it Not any more so than she already was, that is.
"Good, Mashiik, it's alright", he called gently to the golden Alurook, praising her patience despite the clear annoyance. If an owl could grumble, she would.
Xentus felt a little unsteady up on the owl's back. Their upright stance was much like a wiurn's, when they were taking off. Having to hold onto something that was upright all the time proved to be a bit odd, but not something he couldn't manage. Gently now, he turned off all power emanating from Papilio. His knees were nestled in the 'armpit' area of Mashiik's wings, legs resting behind him on her back, and his hands clutching the feathers of her neck. The owl below shuffled some more, getting used to the uncomfortable added weight.
Alurook were certainly strong, but it was surprising how much smaller her frame was under the layers of feathers. He felt like he was sinking into the shiny, golden plumage around him. But oh, it was soft. So very, very soft.
Now, for just how long could the owl put up with his weight upon her back? He would give her a bit of a stress test. If she could handle it for five minutes without tossing him off, he'd be delighted. The goal would be ten minutes, though if she surpassed that, he would be thrilled. There wasn't any sense in having a mount that would toss its rider off after a short amount of time, after all. The precise timing was arbitrary, only a rough measure so that he didn't overstep his bounds with the bird. He didn't want her to build some kind of resentment to him.. But, she did need to prove she could handle this.
Xentus whispered praise into the owl's neck, leaning in to press the soft plumage against his face. It tickled his nose and almost made him sneeze, but the supreme quality of her downy fluff was unbeatable. He could've fallen asleep and stayed there for hours..
How could someone not fall asleep on this impossibly soft and fluffy bed? Er, well, aside from the whole 'hold on to whatever feathers you can grab' ordeal. Mashiik was kind enough to lean forward a bit as her master dozed off on her back, her head twisting around so that she could eye him curiously. Even with his grip loosened by sleep, the leopard managed to stay up on the owl's back. His face was burrowed into her plumage, only his horn and a half poking up from the golden fluff. It was certainly a spectacle.
For the alurook, the options of what to do now were plentiful Shake off her master, perhaps? Though truthfully, she didn't mind him there. Rummage through the treat bag? Certainly tempting. But after spending all this time with her owner, she was feeling a touch tired..
The alurook decided to settle in for a nap as well.
Dreams of floating through the air on the back of a golden cloud played in the leopard's mind. Drifting, taken wherever the wind decided to blow. Softness of the current on his cheek.. The sky swirled in pastel hues as he flowed betwixt jet streams. Free. Simply free..
Xentus's catnap lasted a good half hour or so. That was not something he'd intended to happen, but it was a well deserved break. Within his dreams, the cloud below him parted way and let him fall to the ground far below... Or not so far after all, as he woke with a start, falling off the storey tall bird. The ground came a little too close, but thanks to quick enough reflexes, he was able to whip Papilio on to save him. A dirt cloud formed directly before his face as the blast of air disturbed the earth. Better than kissing the ground, at least.
What a way to wake from a nap.. Xentus stopped the power to his robotic wings, landing perfectly fine on his feet. He took a moment to brush the dirt from his eyes and fur. A cough or two escaped him to get some earth out of his lungs. A courtesy full body shake to get rid of anything else clinging to him- felling a stuck down feather. Ok, all good. Though he would definitely need to groom himself later.
A set of blue eyes turn to the owl, making sure the blast of air hadn't disturbed her too much. A pair of groggy looking paly yellow eyes returned the favor. She was fine, seemed like she had dozed off as well. How could birds even sleep standing up like that? The pair yawned in dis-synchrony. After shaking off the last few remnants of sleep, the leopard moved towards his pack, looking for a little something to eat.
From snooze to snack in only a few moments. Xentus wasted little time resuming normal activity: there was still plenty more to be done. Or well, he would take Mashiik back to the kennel and spend some time with one of his other pets.. Decisions, decisions. He could give his Alurook the extra time she needed to fly or learn some mount maneuvers, which was certainly an alluring idea. Or perhaps bring out one of his many wiurn. Kyrio was one he'd been intending to bond with. Hiatus too.
After a bit of rifling, the leopard fetched himself a sandwich and a good few raw hamhocks for the owl. Mashiik was thrilled to bits at her lunchtime meal, and eagerly ate piece after piece with a simple toss of her beak. xentus was much less enthusiastic about his meal, but food was food. A bit of bread, lettuce, ham, and cheese. Classic.
Being of feline nature, one might think that he too would be an obligate carnivore. But no, the horned leopard was very fond of grains, vegetables, fruit, and cheese. Kalenshaar, the land he hailed from, favored heavy spices (often to mask the taste of off or unpleasant meats). It was typical that the beast blooded of his tribe ate meat nearly exclusively, and he did have a preference for it, but whats a little bit of variety in diet going to hurt? One of the joys of travelling from wanderlust was getting to try the foods of many different cultures.
That being said, the leopard was rather meticulous when it came to feeding his pets. Each of them had their own dietary needs that he wasn't going to ruin with something like poor quality kibble. Ok, the treats may be something that was something he wasn't supposed to feed giant owls, but who could resist that sweet round face? Mashiik deserved every last bite!
After some time passed for their lunch break, the leopard decided to pick back up where he left off. There were two more things he had in mind for his bird before he called it a day; to get her to be alright with being touched, and to fly. There were some deliberations on whether or not to bring Nazura out here to help with the flying thing, though he wasn't exactly sure if the two giant beasts would even get along. Sure, the wiurn was somewhat trained, but he was a fickle drake who had a fiery temper. Xentus shook off the thought. No, Papilio would have to do.
First things first, the bird had to be alright with being touched anywhere, especially if he were to clamber up onto her back for a ride. He approached the giant owl, who was busy preening, and reached out to touch her sensitive, fluffy belly..
Instantly, the Alurook recoiled from the leopard's hand, sounding a trill of alarm from her throat at the intruding touch. The golden owl was just about ready to give a good peck to whoever dared to do such a thing, but at seeing it was her master, she lightened the punishment to a nibble on the glove. A disdainful stare locked onto the mammalian man, letting him know he was edging into dangerous territory.
"Shh, calm down, Mashiik", he cooed gently as he withdrew his hand, "It's ok.." Tentatively, the leopard reached out again to touch the bird, but she reflexively backed away. She was not very keen on belly rubs. A stern 'stay' from the leopard swayed her to remain in place as he approached, though the displeased trill from her throat was warning that he should do the same.
"Shh, Mashiik", he cooed again, and pressed onward. The owl did all she could to intimidate the much smaller man, but it was nothing to prevent the dreaded touch of his palm to her belly.
With growing agitation, Mashiik uttered a hiss and backed away as the leopard touched her soft, sensitive underbelly. She puffed up and spread her wings to make her already large frame appear even larger. To anyone else, this threat display would be enough to send them running for their life. But not the leopard. In fact, Xentus even chuckled at the sight of the giant beast doing what it could to scare him. Had she not already favored him, though, it would be a much different story. He knew his limits with animals, and wish Mashiik, he could push further.
"Easy now, shh", he whispered gently, keeping eye contact with the Alurook, "It's ok, Mashiik"
Time to try again. Slowly, the feline approached the owl and placed his hand atop her plumage, rubbing ever so slightly. All the while, the bird huffed and hissed and puffed. But she didn't do anything much more than make herself look threatening.
Mashiik had all the size and strength to tear the mammalian man down where he stood. But her favor for him was enough to overpower the desire to maim the threat. And so despite the threatening appearance, she didn't act upon it. No, instead he got a nibbling beak to that accursed hand. With a smile, Xentus too the opportunity to rub the sharp beak and praise his oversized pet for its efforts so far.
"You're doing so good, Mashiik, very good Mashiik", he softly murmured, stroking her face gently. It was almost to the owl's confusion to receive such praise. Good for showing off how big and not-actually-bad she was? Strange. But the affection was enough to calm the owl down momentarily. Enough of a calm to take advantage and go for the belly again. Cheekily, Xentus reached around her large, round head and to that sweet spot on the underbelly, ruffling the area with both hands.
Fiera Ferella: I picked mine because ive always wanted to write an amphadron tbh. :0 I'm eager to see how it'll turn out!
Jul 11, 2020 22:00:43 GMT -6
Riku: Oh, I see what you mean now, Nerius. Dang...that’s a good point. How do we get around it? Naturally we will look at the opponent’s stats - which can’t be done IC. Hm.
Jul 11, 2020 14:30:04 GMT -6
Èdan: Not necessarily, there's stuff that can affect a foe's aim in the same turn
Jul 11, 2020 8:51:23 GMT -6
Nerius: The lack of suspense. I slogged through them all for the points, but it got super tedious to write. (This isn't specific to mosca, just a general 'why I'm eh on this tourny'.)
Jul 11, 2020 6:40:13 GMT -6
Nerius: And it's not about "winning", rather I was referring to the disaster that was my attempt at the petite tournament. And how one glance at the stats made me go 'yep, gonna loose this one', and be proven right in every single round. It's not the loss, but..
Jul 11, 2020 6:39:31 GMT -6
Nerius: Yes, the dreaded auto-hit or auto-miss can strike at any time, but what I mean is the only way a mosca is loosing is if there's a un/lucky dice roll.
Jul 11, 2020 6:36:02 GMT -6
Èdan: Don't forget there's moves and abilities that halve dex or affect the opponent's aim. Not to mention, never underestimate the cruelty of a natural 1
Jul 11, 2020 6:16:47 GMT -6
Riku: High dex can miss. I had an unbroken brown who won like three fights by sheer luck of the enemy missing over and over. Lol Besides, not to be cliche, but...it’s not all about winning. You can come in second place and still get 23 pit points.
Jul 11, 2020 0:48:50 GMT -6
Jack: Don't forget to PM me your intent if you're entering! I need to know before training!
Jul 10, 2020 17:29:29 GMT -6
Fanged: I'll be going with a huntress mosca build I have in mind.
Jul 10, 2020 17:12:28 GMT -6
Xentus: I'm the one who's entering fully intending to utilize the 9 dex flighty mosca. Curious to find what might beat it
Jul 10, 2020 17:07:55 GMT -6
Flare: In opinion, I have a kakum baakir set aside for Flare's usage, but I've never worked with it. It'll be a new species to work with. Just because soemone enters a 9 dex creature doesn't 100% mean they'll win.
Jul 10, 2020 17:04:42 GMT -6
Nerius: Would use one myself, but I don't want to waste a re-growth on something I'll never do anything with outside this tournament, especially since there's no guarantee there will be enough people for it to run.
Jul 10, 2020 15:53:52 GMT -6
Nerius: I was looking at the stats of the creatures that could be entered, when it was first announced. Someone enters a flighty mosca? They're going to win. There's nothing that can move faster, and nothing that can survive a hit from wing buff while in flight
Jul 10, 2020 15:52:37 GMT -6
Nerius: I've considered it, as I do want the pit points, but I dunno. My last attempt at tournament rush training uh, did not go well *coughwhiptailcough*. Plus I suspect someone's going to enter a mosca and basically auto-win.
Jul 10, 2020 15:49:29 GMT -6
Riku: Hopefully more people do. Counting myself, I think there’s only 4 right now. 🤔
Jul 9, 2020 17:21:27 GMT -6
Flare: I'm gonna enter
Jul 9, 2020 14:48:47 GMT -6