The Stone Balancer

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Disclaimer

Stone Balancer is my character and is played "IC" with the exclusion of circumstances in which his "IC" behaviour cannot fully communicate an intended meaning.

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Natural Rut Notes

The sangai—stone's species—naturally ruts from roughly late January or early February through May. Despite participating in the annual Rut Event in autumn, stone's biological clock dictates that he ruts naturally from mid-winter to mid-spring (Northern Hemisphere centric). Since he is one of the only denizens rutting in The Forest during this period to my knowledge, he may attempt to hide the behaviour, as it's mistimed in The Endless Forest. However, he still has all the instincts of a hart in rut, and it will often come out in his personality across this period.

The most violent months for Manipur Eld's deer are February and March, when the stags display and fight to establish territories and harems. Due to this, stone's temper is often short during these months. He becomes territorial and protective—even possessive, if it's allowed of him. His herding instinct becomes much stronger toward those capable of bearing offspring, though he also generally tolerates those capable of siring them, cognitively aware that they are (generally) not rutting and thus should not pose a threat. He is known to include infertile/non-cervine individuals within his herd, though he is generally only inclined to display for does. He is prone to mood swings, positive and negative, and tends to become depressed when left alone without conflict or company. To sum him up, he is quick to judge during this time, and while he seeks to form a group which he will protect at nearly all costs, he is also rather aggressive and prone to conflict. His prejudice toward any beings who are not feral or semi-feral deer decreases during this time; however, he may be more biased against any other strangers than usual.

Late March is the peak period of the rut for Manipur brow-antlered deer; after this point, mating has typically begun and males are generally less aggressive. Likewise, stone generally becomes more patient and docile, though retains his strong herding instinct through the remainder of his rut. At this point, his viewpoint is typically "the more the merrier," so long as the individual is friendly and doesn't make the group vulnerable. While during February and the majority of March he is quick to display aggressive behaviour, late March triggers courting behaviour in him. When welcomed, he will court most receptive beings, simply because it comes naturally to him. This means lavishing attention on others, often regardless of sex and compatibility, in an effort to "butter them up." While feral in this regard, he also possesses a notion of "honour," so anything unwanted need not be worried over. During this time, he lives to please. He seeks to impress, to be noble and strong and desirable. He makes every effort to expand the pool of individuals who like and admire him, and will do almost anything on their behalves. To sum him up, his herd is not a thing he possesses but rather a group of individuals placed on a pedestal, who he aims to impress and win over with every fiber of his being. Any previous notions of possessiveness were simply an effort to have an audience to pamper, and he dedicates himself to it entirely. His prejudice toward all beings who are not feral or semi-feral deer is decreased for the remainder of his rutting period, though he remains protective and defensive should a perceived threat present itself.


Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone Picture of stone

Basics

Name
Will never accept a name.
Nicknames
The stone balancer; stone.
Pictogram
Picto of stone StoneBalancer
Species
Panolia eldii eldi, locally known as sangai or Manipur Eld's deer.
Sex
Male. Hart.
Age

Seventeen years old, but no longer ageing past nine years and four months.
Born on November 11th, 2004; entered The Endless Forest in March, 2014.

Size
26. Alternative reference/without antlers.
Scent

Weakly of musk; grass, fallen leaves, and other dried detritus; humus; weakly of his own urine. Moderately of musk; grass, fallen leaves, and other dried detritus; humus; moderately of his own urine. Strongly of musk; grass, fallen leaves, and other dried detritus; humus; strongly of his own urine. Moderately of musk; mud and vegetation; humus; moderately of his own urine. Weakly of musk; mud and vegetation; humus; weakly of his own urine. Mud and vegetation; humus; weakly of his own urine. Grass, fallen leaves, and other dried detritus; humus.

Set
Barn Owl Antlers; Real Deer Mask; Light Real Deer Pelt. Barn Owl Antlers; Real Deer Mask; Noh Pelt. Noh Antlers; Real Deer Mask; Noh Pelt. Space Beluga Antlers; Real Deer Mask; Light Real Deer Pelt. Deer of the Dead Antlers; Real Deer Mask; Light Real Deer Pelt. Golden Butterfly Antlers; Real Deer Mask; Light Real Deer Pelt.

Quick Facts

  • Old. Given to long, frequent periods of rest partially due to age, mostly due to lethargy.
  • Wild. Largely a feral animal. Behaves according to biological needs and desires, primarily.
  • Proud. Strives to be respected and regarded as reliable. Confident and easily offended when dismissed.
  • Casual. Acknowledges others' presence by looking at them with no reaction, or sniffing them, then returning to what he was doing—this is a means of displaying approval.
  • Voiced. Speaks aloud to communicate, as a human would; has modified anatomy to do this, caused by Forest Magic. Overwhelmingly talkative with individuals he trusts, but often silent otherwise.
  • Natural. Still readily capable of communicating in a feral way, however is limited to "perfect" communication within only his own subspecies. Communicating between species usually results in limited conversational capacity proportional to the distance between taxonomic groups.
  • Purposed. Driven to be the protector and provider he feels stags are born to be. Protective to a fault.
  • Reserved. Does not bow, considering it too "unnatural." May use other "unnatural" gestures to communicate—such as nodding—though these actions are performed with an unusual curtness.
  • Enduring. No longer physically ages since entering The Forest; all biological characteristics are governed by his belief alone, be that to his favour or detriment. Unaware of this, but suspicious.
  • Nostalgic. Often found at the Pond or in the Birch Forest—they remind him of home.
  • Perceptive. Capable of spontaneously understanding virtually anything via Forest Magic.
  • Prejudiced. Distinctly hates having, using, or receiving enchantment spells, especially those which more drastically alter his appearance. Will never participate in Magic in any manner.
  • Mistrustful. Tends to avoid areas he associates with Forest Magic, such as the Twin Gods and the Old Oak. Also tends to avoid the Ruins without a real reason.
  • Companionable. Considers others around him to be herd-company, even at a distance. Often reliant upon socialization and camaraderie.

Physical Description

Header Art:
I
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Picture of stone stone on August 1st, 2021
II
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Picture of stone stone on August 16th, 2021
III
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Picture of stone stone on September 1st, 2021
IV
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Picture of stone stone on September 16th, 2021
V
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Picture of stone stone on October 1st, 2021
VI
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Picture of stone stone on October 16th, 2021
VII
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Picture of stone stone on November 1st, 2021
VIII
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Picture of stone stone on November 16th, 2021
IX
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Picture of stone stone on December 1st, 2021
X
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Picture of stone stone on December 16th, 2021
XI
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Picture of stone stone on January 1st, 2022
XII
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Picture of stone stone on January 16th, 2022
I
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Picture of stone from Late January, 2016
I
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Picture of stone from Early January, 2015
II
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Picture of stone from Late January to Late August, 2015
III
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Picture of stone from October, 2015
I
Picture of stone from March to June, 2014.
II
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Picture of stone from July, 2014.
III
Picture of stone from September to October 2014
IV
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Picture of stone from November, 2014
V
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Picture of stone from December, 2014
Creator Art: I
Hum. (Featuring Stria, who belongs to Wind/Ammy.)
Picture of fawn!stone with Stria.
II
Hum.
Picture of stone with antlers.
III
Hum. (Featuring Rune, who belongs to Echosong.)
Picture of stone with Rune.
IV
Hum.
Picture of stone's butt.
V
Hum.
Picture of stone's face.
VI
Hum. (Featuring Murph, who belongs to Sprituelle.)
Picture of stone with Murph.
VII
Hum.
Picture of stone giving hard look.
VIII
Hum. (Featuring Stria, who belongs to Wind/Ammy.)
Picture of stone and Stria.
Others' Art: I
Starling.
Picture of Rust by Starling.
II
Echosong.
GIF animation of stone by Echosong.
III
Echosong. (Featuring Rune.)
Dancing deer by Echosong.
IV
TreeDancer.
by TreeDancer.
V
Sandor.
by Sandor.
VI
Echosong.
stonescan by Echosong.
VII
Aquilo. (Featuring the feral mule deer, "Summit," and the feral sambar deer, "Shenzi1.")
Picture of stone with feral mule deer and feral sambar doe.
VIII
Jin. (Featuring the The Red, the feral mule deer, "Summit," and the feral sambar deer, "Shenzi1.")
Picture of stone with the red and feral mule deer and feral sambar doe.
IX
Spirituelle. (Featuring Murph.)
Picture of stone with Murph by Spirituelle.
X
Paperflesh.
Picture of stone by Paperflesh.
XI
Echosong.
Picture of stone by Echosong.
Emoji of stone
Eye colour
Café noir.
Winter coat
Roughly mid September through late April.
Smooth bistre back and beige belly with a wenge base.

While fur is overall much denser during cooler months, the fur on the neck is particularly thicker and coarser than bodily fur, lending to the appearance of a "mane" which is also somewhat darker than the fur on the body. Colours are overall darker and desaturated; colouration is somewhat inconsistently "patchy" across the body.

Summer coat Roughly early May through mid September.
Fawn-like chestnut back and tan belly with a beaver base.

Fur is overall much thinner during the warmer months, as to be expected. Colouration is somewhat more uniform across the body, and there is a distinct presence of fawn-like pale spots on the flank.

Year-round coat qualities

Smooth, thin fur with thin and sparse underfur; uneven hair length resulting in a "shaggy" appearance. Fur inside the ears is very long and smooth, almost silky but still somewhat rigid. Fur is speckled with gray overall, having lost pigmentation over the years; fur continues to grow more gray over time due to stress, but this pigmentation loss is reversed in times of calm when body chemistry returns to homeostasis.

Weight
Average (kg)/(lb). Ranges from ~100 kg/~220 lbs to ~130 kg/~287 lbs based around season and activity level.
Reproductive traits

Antlers may begin being shed at end of June, and will be shed by the beginning of September; free of velvet between late December to early January. Rut period is from late January through early May, with the peak fighting months being late February and March—musk is produced through rut period.

Though he is theoretically capable of breeding with any fertile female deer through Forest Magic, I limit his reproductive capacity to his own species (preferably subspecies, though species is logical), though he's comfortable with mating with most "naturalistic" females of many cervid or cervid-like species. He will only mate during his own natural rut or The Rut event (as it sparks the same physiological reaction within him due to pheromones triggering his own hormones). He may still court outside of these periods, however.

Hearing
Despite appearances, deer hear roughly as well as humans do, and he is no different. A human's most sensitive range is from 2,000 to 5,000 hertz, and a deer's most sensitive range is from 3,000 to 8,000 hertz. However, deer can hear ultra-high-frequency sounds humans cannot, and can utilize the muscles in their ears to target the source of a sound with precision.

Vision

Due to eye structure, deer are basically red-green colourblind; based on my current understanding, he has protanopic colour vision. He can distinguish blue from red, but not green or orange from red. He also sees colours like light gray and tan better than dark reds, browns, or greens. On the contrary, he sees colours in the blue spectrum much more distinctly than humans can, most likely because this is the most prevalent spectrum of light during the crepuscular periods, when deer tend to be most active. He can also see further into the ultraviolet spectrum than human eyes can, though none of it appears to "glow," he simply has a broader access to that range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

His horizonal pupils allow for nine times the light absorption of the human eye, leading to incredible night vision and a roughly 310° field of view, including about 65° of binocular frontal vision providing depth perception, and lacking only about 50° immediately behind him. This also allows him to track the motion of anything within his field of view, which is about 85% of his eye-level surroundings, without moving a muscle.

His vision is processed at least twice as fast as that of a human, giving him hyper-sensitivity to movement and ample time for reaction. However, with little need for acuity of detail, his vision is only about 20/60, or a third as detailed as a human's.

Smell

Much like that of a dog, a deer's sense of smell can be up to 1000 times greater than that of a human, with deer being able to distinguish up to six individual scents at once. This sense can extend up to roughly 800 meters or half a mile.

Smell is a primary method of communication for deer, with species possessing several varied forms of scent communication such as urine or feces, salivary deposits, or a number of scent-producing glands called the preorbital, forehead, tarsal, metatarsal, and interdigital. Stone freely utilizes all of these to the fullest extent of his capacity with absolutely no regard for "social norms," and consequently may come off as a bit… Smelly.

Age
Though he was born in 2004 and is a member of a species whose wild lifespan only averages ten years, stone is much older than this. Since he arrived in The Endless Forest at nine years and four months old, he has not truly aged. His body now is only affected by his belief, though he is unaware of this. When he initially arrived, he felt old, and so his joints were frequently sore and he grew tired rather quickly. When he is stressed, his fur grows in grayed; when he is injured, he limps and feels pain. However, as time has gone on, he's forgotten some of his age, and has come closer to how he once was in his prime. In times of peace, his fur grows vibrant; his body seldom aches; he finds himself energetic as long as he believes it true. Though unaware of it, he has become timeless since entering, and is only affected so much as he believes himself to be.

Posture
Head is generally held high, not in a challenging manner but rather with the stance of an individual already in a position of importance. Bodily posture ranges from tense but confident to relaxed and open; very rarely displays any form of submission. Ears are typically relaxed; back is never hunched; tail generally hangs loosely; hooves are splayed in a manner suited to walking through marshes and swamps.

Personality

Quite non-confrontational, he is content to lie down most of the time, watching younger deer participate in their endeavours. He is ambivalent toward the intellect he acquired upon entering the Forest due to its magical source: on one hand, he enjoys being able to reason to the degree he now can, to think and deduce and understand; on the other hand, he never asked for it, and he cannot forgive the Magic for putting it upon him. As a result of his contempt, he does not let his mind wander idly—that is when the knowledge comes to him in full force. His method for coping with and staving off the knowledge is to occupy his body and mind with rock balancing. Though not particularly good at it—he is, after all, using his mouth—he devotes much of the time not spent on the upkeep of his body and socialization to carefully constructing these cairns. He does not keep track of their height or even where he builds them, as this would be too mindful for his tastes. He does not mind if something happens to them, even while he's building them; he does not bond to his craft, only uses it as a tool of distraction. He merely collects some stones by his side and sets to work, leaving when he is satisfied.

Though he is often at rest, it is not purely because of his age. It's true that, for his species, he has passed his prime—however, his body is still more capable than he lets on. Any soreness is largely from his idle tendencies, and he can still outpace many with less experience. Ultimately, he's just fallen into a habit of lethargy.

Being a feral creature, his personality is greatly altered by his hormones and physiological state. He is at his most vulnerable when he is without solid antlers. He is prone to wary behaviour around others, but has calmed down significantly as he's gone on living in The Forest. He finds safety when in the presence of those he trusts, and will stand up for himself or others in proper company. When alone, he wanders about seeking trustworthy company, avoiding and fleeing from that which he does not consider to be such. Rarely though does he truly fear anything now that he has grown accustomed to the Forest.

In contrast, when his antlers are grown, he tends to be quite confident in himself, but not brash or overzealous. His confidence is felt as a certain self-possession, and he is as close to objective in his analysis of whether it is wise to fight, flee, or freeze as he can be in this physiological state. This state of mind is the closest to his most base personality of all those governed by his physiological states.

Continuing on to the extreme, when his rutting period comes about/the Forest about him is in rut, he goes from being docile and unassuming to audacious and uninhibited. While not a stupid being, he's more likely to make rash decisions when his testosterone levels are higher.

Along with his rut comes an amplified sense of his responsibility to fill his role as the "patriarch" of a herd. He is the guardian, the provider; he must always be steadfast and reliable, to help and protect those for whom he deems himself responsible. From his perspective, it is his legacy to devote himself to a cause bigger than himself: the safety and comfort of others, and the continuation of his herd. Even while not in rut, this is a constant aspect of his personality which will come out when others are vulnerable, or others try to help him—though he will always be grateful for efforts made on his behalf.

According to his feral history, he is a herd animal through and through, and welcomes company; whether at some distance or up close, he is far more comfortable and at ease with others. That said, he does prefer a bit of distance while getting to know someone, and may settle himself away from those so eager to befriend him that they do not give him personal space. He is also seasonally prone to preferring large herds, smaller herds, or occasionally even solitude.

Contrary to his usual attitude toward the intellect granted to him by Forest Magic, he enjoys conversation, learning about others' experiences and thoughts, and even enjoys speaking himself (he can be exceedingly verbose around anyone he is fond of, though over time his chatter has lessened). This is because it is not knowledge which truly upsets him, but the manner in which he comes to possess it: it is the Magic of the Forest, not his developed awareness, which bothers him. He is perfectly at ease with all things he considers "natural," including thinking, speaking, and manipulating his environment, as he did all of these things back home to the best of his ability. These things, to him, are rooted in the "natural"—that is to say, they are physical, non-magical things which are Earthly in nature. For this reason he enjoys learning about the world around him and possessing his new-found intellect. However, given that the origins of his reasoning are still seated in the Magic of the Forest, he finds himself burdened by conflicting thoughts and feelings—comfortable with the nature of the Forest, but repulsed by the Magic at its core.

It is of note that the stone balancer actually does quite literally speak, aloud, as a human would. Upon entering the Forest, his body was instantly modified to suit the demands which were put upon it: his brain became more complex, to allow room for more developed thought and storage; and his vocal cords shifted and grew to resemble those of a human, while his anatomy was modified to produce human language. He considers all spoken languages to be the same "language" cognitively, simplifying them to himself as merely "talking." In other words, while he can become instantly aware of the pronunciation and meaning of any word in any spoken language, he does not recognize words in different languages as being in different groups, and instead merely perceives that there are many equally valid ways to vocalize singular concepts.

When not "talking," he communicates in the feral way one would expect of a deer: scent, body language, non-word vocalizations, and the like. He is, however, only capable of communicating perfectly—albeit simplistically—with members of his own subspecies in this way. When communicating in a feral manner with members of other species, miscommunication is common due to differences between vocal, visual, and olfactory cues. Simply put, different species communicate differently, and he is still limited to his own feral capacity in this regard.

As he's gone on living in The Forest, he's worked on coming to terms with his circumstances, and his herd has been imperative to that. Though he will always resent the Forest Magic for taking him from his home (if it did—he thinks so), forcing intelligence upon him, and continually feeding him information without his desire or consent, he's come to love many of the beings he knows here, the fact that he can think to the degree he can, and what his life has become as a whole. He will never be completely satisfied, and he will always be disapproving of most residents of the Forest, but given a chance to go back now, if he had to give up his new herd and his intelligence, he wouldn't. That alone speaks volumes of how he's changed since he first arrived.

Though he prefers the company of others, there are some beings which he may be wary of, or in some situations, even reject outright. These sorts include: his natural predators, or animals which he recognizes as formidable and omnivorous/carnivorous; beings intent on instigating ruckus in play or otherwise; beings which are in some manner a specific degree or beyond "unnatural," including human-faced beings, "unnaturally" coloured beings, beings with accessories or other decorative features which are not an aspect of their own body, hybrids of two or more species which cannot reproduce without the aid of Magic/science/etc, highly deformed beings; extremely large beings, even if appearing neutral; beings which appear sickly or somehow dead/undead; beings very deeply rooted in their intellectuality and/or strange societal traditions (human-like or otherwise); beings who highly associate themselves with Forest Magic; etc. Especially considering the length of the list, this is merely an example of beings which he may initially be wary of, but can easily warm up to over time. He is not usually mistrustful due to others being somehow "wrong," but more specifically is made uncomfortable by how their appearance and/or behaviour may negatively impact him. (E.G. an animal with a very bright pelt would, where he's from, attract the attention of predators, and he's initially hesitant to associate with such a "target" animal.) It is important to note that, like with other aspects of his personality, he's become much more open-minded since his arrival, and is tending toward more and more acceptance all the time, with regard to life events.

Contrastingly, he is to some degree or another drawn to some entities upon first meeting them, including: benevolent or neutral spirits/deities/mythological creatures and the like (I headcanon that animals on Earth are generally innately aware and at peace with such beings, and that these beings are entirely separate from the Magic of the Forest/Twin Gods); exceptionally peaceful beings; "natural" beings—especially but not limited to deer—which are generally herbivorous; female two-toed hoofed beings (particularly cervines), for obvious instinctual reasons, as well as that a good portion of his Earthly life was spent protecting his harem and their offspring; etc. Again, obviously, this is only an example of the sorts of beings he'll find himself drawn to.

He will, generally, treat all in-forest actions and appearances as they seem to be in-game. For example, when he receives any form of Spell, he experiences that change literally, to some extent. (E.G. The peacock pelt results in him being covered in peacock feathers in the same pattern as an actual peacock.) He can remove all Magic by some means or another (E.G. taking off masks, breaking off antlers, pulling out feathers) and this process is always painless. In fact, Magic produces no physical sensation for him, but can be quite time-consuming to remove bit by bit. As soon as the Magic is removed, it disappears—unless it's willed by him to stay. Rather than meticulously groom Magic off of himself, he often uses the Pond to "wash off" Magic, as he's observed its tendency to remove spells. Ultimately, he perceives the Forest thus: all "unnatural" things (E.G. spells, glitches, etc) are viewed as some form of Magic; he generally perceives a being to look like its set implies due to his poor eyesight, and is only granted clarity if I elect to research the character (understandably, this can lead to some interesting misconceptions, and his behaviour will reflect his current understanding); we assume the least detrimental result of his actions until shown otherwise (E.G. if he bares his antlers to a character, I assume he is merely trying to intimidate them and they have not been harmed, unless the player chooses to have their character suffer a wound); etc. On top of that, movements such as tripping or walking through trees are also perceived literally. (Basically, I only alter his perception of The Forest to suit his character and when I'm not certain how to translate it.)

Interestingly, despite his distaste for Magic, he is exceedingly fond of the Pond and, to a lesser extent, the Crying Idol, despite their obviously Magical ties. This is due to the fact that the Pond is capable of removing all Magic, and that the Magic granted by the Crying Idol differs from all other Forest Magic (Spells cannot be cast upon those who bear its pelt). While he still prefers things of a non-Magical nature, this area of the Forest is distinctly different to him. He has come to regard De Drinkplaats with mixed feelings; while it does remove Magic, it also generates its own. Despite this, he is especially fond of the area it occupies—particularly the most grassy areas of the Birch—and has come to tolerate it for this reason.

Having come from essentially a swamp, he spends much of his time in or around the Pond and stream. At the Pond, he occupies himself with drinking, eating water plants (a personal favourite of his), and wallowing in the muddy shore water. He may at times spend hours just laying or even sleeping in the water at the shoreline, and has grown fond of watching some of the smaller animals which frequent the area. His homeland also strongly resembled the Birch Forest away from the water's edge, and thus he is happy to spend days simply wandering through it. In general, he may be found bathing in the Pond, resting near the Crying Idol, grazing the blueberries in the Blue Bowl, lounging in the tall grasses near De Drinkplaats, or observing the Forest from Red Hill.

Vocabulary

Where-the-Sleeping-Ones-Go

Having maintained the canon aspect of the Forest in that deer who have logged off disappear in a puff of purple mist/smoke, this is the written form of how stone explains to himself where others go when not present but not aware of where they are.

[The] Dark Place

This is stone's personal "Where-the-Sleeping-Ones-Go." Though at first unaware of his own existence when not in the Forest, eventually stone came to be aware of the place in-between Forest manifestations. As "time" progresses from his arrival here in each visit, he is able to perceive more about it. It seems to differ greatly visit to visit, not unlike the landscape of a dream; however, it is always comforting, infinite in possibility but conforming to desire, and generally utopian. Though he does not physically age while he is present here, his body does continue to go through its other natural processes accordingly, E.G. he sheds and regrows his antlers consistent with his natural cycle in accordance to real-world Earth time. He is otherwise put into a state of physical stasis in which he is kept in perfect health—which is to say he is perfectly nourished, hydrated, and rested at all times—and thus heals very quickly here. It is, basically, a dream-like pocket dimension which shifts based upon his perception and keeps him perfectly healthy.

Limbo

The state in which stone is in the Forest, but alone. Though a bit lonely, he finds this state to be very peaceful, and actually experiences this place as different from the connected Forest in that he does not hurt here at all and his Pictogram can be missing. He finds himself here whenever I cannot connect or get disconnected.

Behaviour

Due to Manipur Eld's deer being so endangered, little research has been done on their social behaviour; his extended body language is thus, unfortunately, most likely not technically accurate, considering the variation among species. However, until enough data has been collected on these animals to tell me otherwise, I'll be using data based on the behaviour of other deer. (If you find any scholarly articles on Manipur Eld's deer, please don't hesitate to share!)

Typically, the stone balancer will behave amiably (especially while I'm not certain who he's interacting with), maintaining a sort of cautious acceptance. He does react negatively to certain set items (E.G. Zombie set items, DotD set items, etc.), which is an assumption about the character based on the items which are used to represent them. I will generally try to locate the character's biography via the map prior to/during interaction, so his behaviour may change to reflect his current perception, which is limited—of course—by my knowledge.

His behaviour is a combination of his natural behaviour as an animal, what he finds reasonable with his intellect, and certain social body language he's adopted from other members of the Forest. He is, however, very picky about body language, and absolutely will not use certain gestures, such as bowing.

He may come off as rude, abrasive, or aloof due to his tendency to err on the side of caution. He far prefers to run or be standoffish if he knows it will keep him and others safe.

Body Language

Initial Response:

Upon first meeting another, he will look at them from his current bodily position, moving only his head while doing so. He will hold a stare for a few seconds while he evaluates them based on their behaviour, set items, company, and biography—if I've seen it.

= Ambivalence/Impartiality:

Often times, he neither accepts nor rejects another outright. In this period, he'll exhibit somewhat in-between signals, though none are intended to be ambiguous.

Indecision: Body held at about a sixty degree angle toward the other, neither aggressive nor fearful, but not comfortable.

Respect/cautious acceptance/”I don't want trouble”: Standing with his side to the other at about a ninety degree angle, his gaze averted.

+ Acceptance:

If he accepts the other but their acknowledgement is brief, he will then return to what he was doing, reassured that he does not need to pay close attention to them.

If they express friendly behaviour (bowing, sniffing, any other amiable behaviour), he will return with a sniff and maybe a curt nod if he thinks the sniff does not suffice. If no further action is taken by them, he will return to what he was doing, even more assured than he otherwise would have been.

If they attempt to engage in further amiable behaviour, his own behaviour will be his version of that same degree of acceptance. He welcomes all friendly company, to varying degrees. He never ignores a friendly being, and will only turn one away if he thinks they are truly dangerous and he cannot trust them, though he may also be aloof with those who he takes qualms with but does not fear.

Trust: He will graze, drink, and bathe around the other, putting himself in positions of vulnerability.

Complete trust: He will lie down and sleep around the other, and feels no need to observe their actions whilst awake. (Take with a grain of salt, as I also inadvertently let him fall asleep.)

- Rejection:

Things can go negatively in two ways: a flight reaction (cautious/fearful), or a fight reaction (defensive/aggressive). Stone sets his own health above virtually everything, and thus will almost always flee from any perceived confrontation. His exceptions to this rule are: when defending another being, when he is in rut or a pseudo-rut, and when he knows that fleeing will not help him.

Flight:

Alarm: Facing the other, side turned fully toward the other.

Snort: Side turned toward the other + Dancing (cut short) (+ Sneezing).

Stomp: Side turned toward the other + Dancing (cut short) + Head shake "no" (+ Taunt).

Flee: Any of the above actions + run!

Fight:

Ear drop: Facing the other directly with head and body.

Hard look: Picture example of "hard look". Facing the other directly with head and body + Head shake "no" + Taunt (+ Sneeze).

Sidle: Picture example of "sidling". Standing with side at a thirty degree angle toward the other, head facing toward them; walking an advancing circle around the other while keeping that posture, pausing to look at them. Taunting periodically.

Boxing: Picture example of a "forefeet" stance. Rear; Rear + forward. Taunting periodically.

Antler threat: Picture example of an "antler threat" Antler.

Rush: Picture example of a deer rush. Antler + forward. May kick up dust as an act of intimidation.

Surrender/loss: Cower; Cower + Head shake "no;" fleeing.

Victory (the other displays submission and/or flees): Roar; Taunt; Listen; etc.








History

Origin

Documentary.

Manipur, India—the southeastern portion of Loktak Lake, among the phumdis.

Heralding from a protected area (Keibul Lamjao National Park) created due to the low numbers of Manipur Eld's deer, he and his herd rarely faced predation by humans, and were given some protection by them from other natural predators as well. As one of the older members of his herd, he had given up his place as one of the dominant stags in the breeding season before coming to the Forest. Despite this, in his prime, he sired many fawns and led his own harems. Though past his prime, his antlers are still quite impressive due to his age, and he's had a fair deal of experience, so he knows plenty of tricks if need be, and has certainly not given up on courting and showing off.

While he was originally a purely feral deer led almost entirely by instinct and qualia, upon being brought to the Forest he was granted intellectual awareness of the world by "Forest Magic," resulting in essentially a human level of cognition. In the Forest, he finds himself aware of language, logic, complex cultural beliefs and behaviours, a gist of the overall nature of the world, the greater implications of cause and effect and the problems which may follow current paths of action, and other general data-based knowledge. So long as he keeps his mind idle, busied by unimportant tasks, the knowledge will not come; however, if he focuses his attention upon something, awareness of details relating to it come flooding into his mind via that Magic. Though he has come to terms with the nature of the Forest and his new-found intellect, he still strains to keep touch with his feral past, and to resist embracing the knowledge and its source.

Relationships

  1. Rune
    "My charge. My reassurance. My son." Comfortable with; considers an ally; feral company; exceptionally fond of; grateful toward; interested in; protective of. Thinking fondly back to when Rune, barely older than a newborn, first snuggled up to him for warmth at the Pond, stone considers him a son. He feels a special tie to him not shared with his "sisters," since stone was the first to bond with the buck. Stone takes comfort in his very feral appearance and is comforted by his cautious nature, in that he ought to do well for himself with it. Like many, Rune is a scarce but welcome blessing, and will always be held dear to stone as one of his most rudimentary herd-mates.
  2. Stria
    "My onus. My young equal. My daughter." Present for and bonded since Stria's birth, he witnessed a good portion of her growth in her early days before his increased absences, and considers her a daughter. Though he's not always been the fondest of her decisions in company or life progress, he's always supported her the best he can even where he cannot understand her. Regardless of his concerns, she's grown to be more physically capable even than he, and he's finally come to realize she does not need his protection anymore; regardless, whether she wants it or not, she still has it. She is constantly there to press at him and force him to face the world, encounter new things, and challenge old ideas; he is there to impart his own knowledge upon her and guide her where he can, if needed, though not always wanted. It is no longer about what he should do for her, and is instead about what they will do for one another.
++
  1. [Mule deer]; "Summit"
    Comfortable with; feral company; fond of; interested in; protective of. He's comforted by their feral form, and would love to be around them all the time. Took to them right away, and appreciates the simplicity of the deer. Admires their vigilance and distinction between instances which call for fight and those which call for flight.
  2. [Sambar Doe]; "Shenzi1"
    Admires; attracted to; comfortable with; feral company; fond of; interested in; protective of; respects. He's comforted by her feral form, and would love to be around her all the time. Feels the constant need to please her and keep her happy. Hers was a species he encountered back home, so she brings a special comfort. Highly associates her with the feral mule deer, who he usually sees her with.
+
  1. Elliot
    Admires; comfortable with; considers an ally; feral company; fond of; interested in; protected by; protective of; respects. The gentle giant's quiet nature immediately won stone over, and he's done nothing but provide a bit of stability and comfort to stone's life since.
  2. Kerosene
    Bewildered by; frustrated by; fond of; hesitant about; interested in; protective of. Has no idea what the being's about, but they seem innocent enough. Because of their general demeanour, stone's taken to them. He remains surprised but quite pleased that the being has settled themselves and made a family, and is honestly impressed by how quickly they became established. Also the fact they're always warm doesn't hurt, no siree.
  3. Runn
    Admires; comfortable with; considers an ally; entertained by; feral company; fond of. Despite knowing relatively little about him, stone is entirely biased toward red deer as a species now, and Runn appears to be about as feral as himself. Each chance encounter he has with the stag tends to result in a delightful run (living up to his name) about The Forest, which stone finds refreshing. That, and simply to be around a like-minded and otherwise so similar being, are a pleasant reprieve.
=
  1. Circe
    Biased against; hesitant about; interested in; learning from; wary of. Biased against her because of her tiger heritage, but she's never demonstrated herself to be anything other than a sister to Stria. Due to this, he sees no reason to not be amiable toward her, but he struggles with his innate anxiety toward beings he perceives as predators, particularly those with tiger-like patterns due to experiences in his home region.
  2. Nélida
    Attracted to; somewhat comfortable with; interested in. Met her through Stria and was immediately taken with what she appears to be. Hasn't gotten to know her, but seeks her out when presented with the opportunity for company to sit with.
  3. Ronra
    Biased against; hesitant about; interested in; learning from; wary of. Biased against her because of her lion heritage, but she's never demonstrated herself to be anything other than a friend to Stria and mate to Circe. Due to this, he sees no reason to not be amiable toward her, but he struggles with his innate anxiety toward beings he perceives as predators.
  4. Rossamund
    Fond of; hesitant about; interested in; protective of. This is a pretty cool kid. No idea what he is, but he's definitely something. Also he's always so sweet with those around him. Seems like a good.
  5. Talla
    Admires; fond of; interested in; protective of; respects. Feels kinship in her likewise flighty nature. Fantastic company for a skittish mood—if she's comfortable, nothing dangerous is around.
  6. Yasu
    Comfortable with; fond of; interested in; protective of. Connected the dots that she is Kerosene's daughter after an admittedly long while, though to be fair, she's done a lot of growing since she was a newborn fawn. Thrilled she's become as big and strong as she is.
  1. Greitai
    Completely abhors; frustrated by; wary of. Absolute threat he hates so much it's surpassed his fear. Thinks she'd be better off dead. Will attempt to hurt or kill her given the opportunity.
?
  1. Alain
    Admires; comfortable with; feral company; fond of; interested in; possibly protected by; protective of; respects. Appreciates what he did for Stria and admires him for surviving with a white pelt. Thinks of him kind of as a young version of Red, with his own quirks. Definitely very impressed by him.
  2. Åsa
    Comfortable with; feral company; fond of; interested in; protective of. Witnessed her birth and considers himself close to her mother. Wants, for whatever reason, to make a difference in the fawn's life.
  3. Åsleif
    Attracted to; comfortable with; feral company; fond of; interested in; protective of. Very curious about her history and actively seeking to continue fostering a relationship with her. Wants her to feel good and be happy. Really likes her blanket.
  4. Cassiopeia
    Djinn
  5. Iah
    Comfortable with; fond of; interested in; protective of. Unmet grandson.
  6. Kauna
    Admires; attracted to; comfortable with; feral company; fond of; interested in; protective of; respects. Finds her quite charming. Admires her for thriving with a white pelt and passing on her genes so successfully. She is definitely an amazing hind. After his long time away, she serves as a reminder of his old herd in the Forest, and consequently she holds a newfound importance to him.
  7. Kaze
    Attracted to; comfortable with; feral company; fond of; interested in; protective of. Encountered her on a sort of lonesome day and took to her immediately when she invited him to sit, and then they frolicked together. You really can't beat a good frolic.
  8. Khuna
    "My charge gone astray. My scarcity." Feral company; distantly fond of; interested in; protective of.
  9. [Jos]; "Everafter"
    Attracted to; comfortable with; feral company; protective of. What a cute.
  10. Laoise
    Hesitant about; interested in; wary of. Mmmm... That's a dog...
  11. Maelgwn; "Mae"
    Comfortable with; fond of; interested in; protective of. My gracious, it's a grandson! And so small, and so pink!
  12. Mischief
    Hesitant about; interested in; wary of. Not sure how he feels about water kirins. Probably alright, but definitely a new concept. Helps that they share a mutual friend. Thanks Ross!
  13. "Murph"
    Comfortable with; feral company?; fond of; interested in; protective of. BABY CHILD. She just appeared nearby one day after he'd already been strongly experiencing what I can only describe as Dad Vibes, and suddenly he decided she was perfect and he would die for her if need be. So guess his mind's made up.
  14. Nilo
    Peregryn
  15. Rhiannon
    Attracted to; somewhat comfortable with; frustrated by sometimes; entertained by; semi-feral company; fond of; grateful toward; hesitant about; interested in; learning from; protective of; respects. Admires her spunk but is off-put by the fact she's a predator. Somewhat over his earlier hesitation due to his increased overall confidence. Still not exactly his first choice in friends, but happy to have her all the same.
  16. Shahla
    Biased against; displeased by; hesitant about; interested in; learning from; respects; wary of. Biased against her because of her tiger-genes, but appreciates what she's done for Stria enough to try to fight his biologically-programmed response to her.
  17. Sloane
    Admires; fond of; hesitant about; interested in; learning from; respects; wary of. Really appreciates her sweet nature, but finds her inexplicably disconcerting, even beyond her unusual pelt colour. The fact that her child looks so much like a wolf doesn't help. But she is SO NICE and it pains stone that he hasn't been able to let her near, seeing her try SO HARD to make him comfortable.
  18. Yoko
  1. [The Red]; "RedHart"
    "My friend." Unaware of his death. | Admired deeply; was comfortable with; considered an ally; was feral company; was exceptionally fond of; was interested in; was learning from; was protected by; was protective of; respected deeply. Cherished every moment he got to spend with the red deer. Trusted none in battle more than he. Would have done virtually anything for him, including make exceptions to his strict viewpoints and personal codes. The only male he allowed himself to be dominated by out of respect rather than fear. Was an extremely close friend.
  2. Rhona
    Was comfortable with; considered an ally; was frustrated by occasionally; was entertained by; was feral company; was fond of; was interested in; was protective of. Was a fiery young thing, stone was almost surprised at her parentage considering their temperament; then again, he never knew them when they were young. She reminded him of Stria in a way, but more distanced, different. She seemed very capable.
  3. Saosin (The Inferno)
    Was frustrated by; was entertained by; was hesitant about; was interested in; respected; was wary of. Found him interesting. Though their relationship was forced due to a shared friend, stone came to appreciate it. Never got over how odd he was, but did his best to look past it.
WayfarerHart's picture

A little lot belated, but

A little lot belated, but here's a track.

Hum's picture

Hey, I'm just happy you

Hey, I'm just happy you elected to, my friend.

For the most part, it's just inane touch-ups/coding testing bumps you'll see. Occasionally though, I'll get off my tuchas and actually write an entry.
Kaoori's picture

'cheering on kimi' -ahh you

'cheering on kimi' -ahh you guys are too sweet. I keep missing you in forest, hoepfully we'll meet up. ;_;
Hum's picture

Hell, having her be yours

Hell, having her be yours alone got Khuna bumped up to +. We have so much faith in you I'm not certain you're even aware at this point.

I know right omg. I'm really bad at pictograms tbh so most likely I've stared one of yours right in the face and went on my way. For what it's worth, we're so boring in game. On one hand, I want SO MUCH INTERACTION; on the other hand, I am too lazy and inattentive to actually play. It's why I've ended up gunning for so many RPs. Despite my anxiety, still not enough RPs. Never enough RPs.
Kaoori's picture

i'm always open for rp no

i'm always open for rp no matter what. be it here or in skype. Smiling
Hum's picture

I feel you. We may have to do

I feel you. We may have to do that at one point. My moronic anxiety tends to limit me to Para. Post (rather than Script Real-Time). But aside from that, I'm flexible.

Quite honestly, stone makes kind of a boring character-partner (then again, with my overuse of florid prose and tendency toward calm, that's sort of a trademark of my style at this point). I feel like I'd have to dip into something to make that worthwhile. Not to be self-depricating—purely as an observational opinion.
Keyblade's picture

/flops in here Such a nice

/flops in here
Such a nice old fart
Hum's picture

You're a nice old fart.

You're a nice old fart. (Thank you.)

I'm so happy things have gone as they have.
Kaoori's picture

suddenly Stria was all up in

suddenly Stria was all up in his business. (Stria pls don't be such a cockblock u ho.)

i cannot
---

^^^
this actually even saved what I was trying to post! (this is only gonna make sense to Hum. ;_;
Hum's picture

Stria pls. RIGHT THO

Stria
pls.

RIGHT THO GMSuerte is literally the best.

Marvels at his work.
hb-k's picture

perhaps Muiel wasn't so awful

perhaps Muiel wasn't so awful after all


oh yeah, she is the most awful actually
/ and hi there
Hum's picture

Oh, he'll sure find out one

Oh, he'll sure find out one way or another. Thankfully, I'm not particularly perceptive, so I haven't been able to discern enough about it/her (since she prefers it) to be biased from a player perspective, if I'm unskilled enough to do so. (I probably am.)

Hi there friend. \o/
thelittleraven's picture

I think he's so very cute. I

I think he's so very cute. I love all his mannerisms and how he perceives things in-forest.
Hum's picture

Oh, thank you! I tend to be

Oh, thank you! I tend to be rather literal myself, so I thought it'd be interesting to have a character perceive the game as literally as possible without being aware of its true nature. Minor alterations here and there for my convenience, but I digress.

You're very sweet! I was just looking at one of your character biographies from its Pictogram this morning. Elias, it was. He's very cute himself. ♥
thelittleraven's picture

I like that about him, yes.

I like that about him, yes. It's very unique and fitting for a feral deer transplanted to TEF, I think.

Awh, that's very sweet of you, hehe. He's a pleasure to play, too. Thank you!
TreeDancer's picture

he sounds alot like my newest

he sounds alot like my newest lady. My Fallow doe. Smiling I see him near her too.TRACK
Hum's picture

That was the primary reason

That was the primary reason for the immediate attraction. The likenesses are uncanny. Can't tell you how delighted he is to meet her.
TreeDancer's picture

Yeah I can't believe I havn't

Yeah I can't believe I havn't seen this bio ;u; I feel so dense haha XD I was reading through the bio and yeah how similar they are is uncanny. I love it lol. I really look forward to more meetings with him . and this bio gave me ideas of what to add to hers
TreeDancer's picture

double post XD

double post XD
Hum's picture

I do too! For IC knowledge,

I do too!

For IC knowledge, his friend is Rhiannon (in his herd information, the positive section). She is actually a predator—evident in her physical appearance (very top-heavy and muscled) and likely in her scent, though she tries to hide it with flowers.

They met during the Rut which is why he tolerated the fact he knows she must hunt at least small game. He's having mixed feelings about her now, though they've never discussed her diet, so he's still living in a bit of denial. She's the first vaguely-deer-like new herd company he's formed in some time, so the attachment was probably partially desperation.

He'd very much like to just have everyone be a fun herd and play nice, but he'll understand if the fallow cannot tolerate a predator. He can hardly believe he does himself.
TreeDancer's picture

Its all new to her for now. I

Its all new to her for now. I can see as the magic of the forest itself becomes familiar she may be open to tolerate others that have predator like tendencies. It doesn't help that she's a mother either. The fawn player has been busy but eventually she'll have a young one and probably till she's older won't tolerate any predator like deer but she will let stone approach her if he is alone or with others who have no predator in them. She's still getting use to the fact that she has more intelligent thought. Its a weird sensation that will take her some time to get use to. Smiling But with help of friends which to her will be like herd mates as well, I see her getting use to the differences that the endless forest has compared to her natural world.
Hum's picture

Boy oh boy does he feel that.

Boy oh boy does he feel that. Sounds like as long as they keep bumping into one another, it will all work out. Boy, I'm sure excited to see he has a feral female deer friend now. All the others had some aspect about them (beyond intelligence) which made them not quite like home, be it wearing a mask or flowers or being another species of ungulate or a strangely coloured pelt. With her, it's like a female, fallow version of him. It's great. :D

He's actually surprised (delighted, too) that she's stayed this close. Had he met Rhia any time but for the Rut, I think he would have been spooked. (Looked back at the window only to find a lack of Rhia. Might be connection issues. Or she ran off and I didn't notice.)

-smears bio in berries- It

-smears bio in berries-
It was missing something, we thought.

Signature by Terabetha
Hum's picture

Damn it, StriaWind. I was

Damn it, StriaWind.

I was just cleaning this up. 8l
TreeDancer's picture

She was wary for sure but she

She was wary for sure but she had a few she felt comfortable with and figured if someone so like her was comfortable with that doe then she'd be ok, but sit waaaayyyy over on the other side haha. Also I plan to add him after she sees him more. She still has a rather flighty memory since her body and soul is getting use to the new magic. I bet he'd like her fawn too ^^. Also her winter pelt will be coming late as she died around May. She'll need some friends to keep her warm till her body adjusts to the new seasons XD. And she can talk but she is unaware of it at the time.
TreeDancer's picture

I looked up the size of

I looked up the size of fallow females. They are roughly 75cm at the shoulder which is just a little over 3 feet tall. So I assume she's just a bit over 4' to her head. Think a mini spell would show that better in game?
Hum's picture

Good call on her part. He'd

Good call on her part. He'd make a similar decision. His age is definitely evident, so he'd trust something as old as himself to an intense degree.

Sounds like they have a lot of stuff to do ahead of them.

I was just looking at her size. So cute and itty-bitty! At least in comparison, lol. (Thank goodness for it too. So tired of a billion "larger than size 15" characters. That or dainty characters who are based merely upon their small stature, and even worse, those who make their size one of their most defining traits when it isn't even that small. <o>

Reply was because I'm obsessive and even though we're Skyping now I can't be stopped from spamming my own post.
TreeDancer's picture

Haha lol its fine XD I have

Haha lol its fine XD I have to reply on posts usually too even if I discuss it on skype at the same time XD
BrownLupine's picture

This is our pretty boy from

This is our pretty boy from before on Red Hill, right? Time for a trackety-track Smiling

I love his looks and especially his color pattern. He will be one interesting guy to have around with his mixture of natural and forest behavior.


What nature divides, the spirit unites.

Hum's picture

Absolutely! (Though I'm sure

Absolutely! (Though I'm sure we've clarified. I just didn't notice you found us in time!)

Oh, thank you! I, erm, had an excellent reference that I'm certain I overused, hence why I credited it even here. I tried t make everything about his appearance and general mannerisms as feral as I could. The developmental aspect is purely from him coping with the non-natural aspects he's found within himself upon coming to the Forest. He makes for boring company, but he's certainly reliable, and has a penchant for guarding.
Rouda's picture

I really need to park my butt

I really need to park my butt here. ♥
Hum's picture

Aaaaaaaaaaa. &hearts; Happy

Aaaaaaaaaaa. ♥ Happy to have you!
TreeDancer's picture

Miss seein ya stone!

Miss seein ya stone!
Mahj's picture

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.
TreeDancer's picture

Oh well that is ok OUO just

Oh well that is ok OUO just wanted to make sure all is well (and I totally get being sucked into things hehe thanks!)
Hum's picture

My character is almost level

My character is almost level fifty.

track

track
Hum's picture

Why thank you! It's been

Why thank you!

It's been awhile since this got attention—although, I must admit, I didn't expect any during one of my off-periods!
Kaoori's picture

my character is lvl 80 and

my character is lvl 80 and has special magicks. u cannot defeat me
Ametat's picture

Track! I am so interested in

Track! I am so interested in this character. Smiling
turvyflower's picture

Nice to meet you too! Sorry I

Nice to meet you too! Sorry I couldn't stick around for long, was getting late in my part of the world. Hope to see you around again, though!
Hum's picture

No worries! I understand that

No worries! I understand that all too well.

I'm sure we/they will. c:
TreeDancer's picture

STONNNEEEE

STONNNEEEE <3 yay that took longer than I wanted but yay missed talkin to you and this adorkable buck
Hum's picture

No worries! This old hart's

No worries! This old hart's all about the patience, lmao.

Maybe one day alhainen will have a hang-out session with him without a scare!
Salome's picture

ahaha that update is so damn

ahaha that update is so damn cute ♥
We would never share our blankie with you Stone Cool
Mahj's picture

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Hum's picture

Bae. &hearts; But are you so

Bae. ♥
But are you so sure.
Summit's picture

Dropping a track here so I

Dropping a track here so I can stalk his bio keep up with this fella!
avatar by the wonderful Shenzi1!
Summit's picture

Oops, double post. );

Oops, double post. );
avatar by the wonderful Shenzi1!
Mahj's picture

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