It's a pleasant day for travel, and Deka's enjoying it - just enough clouds in the sky to cut the early summer heat, a nice breeze, birds singing in the trees, the clop of her draft goat's hooves on the trail, the twittering of her griffon friends as they flit from tree to tree overhead, keeping pace with her cart. She's excited, too: She's on her way to wizard college, but she's decided to check with any wizards she hears of along the way, as well, to see if she can find an apprenticeship, and the people in the last village she passed suggested she try here, at the arboreal mansion she's surely just a few minutes from being able to glimpse through the trees.
"Scared," comments the griffon on her back, consideringly.
"New," she replies. "S'ok."
He holds still, watching her carefully, but surreptitiously, again, obviously not sure what to expect here.
Rogeiros continues to watch the interaction curiously, although he flashes a slightly irritated look at the griffon on her back.
Well, if he doesn't object, she'll pet his cheek, very carefully. It's not that uncommon for an animal to need an example of being treated gently before they decide they like someone.
-Oh. That's...strange. And new.
He leans a tiny bit into the touch, and then pulls back the same amount, as though he's not entirely sure he should be pushing into the touch.
"You certainly seem to know your way around animals," Rogeiros observes.
"Mmhmm." She gives the little creature another stroke and sits up again. "Raised goats and dogs, growing up. Trained mine."
He stays where he is, although sat a little more naturally now, less stock still like a creature caught in a predator's gaze, although still making himself small.
Rogeiros hums. "An attention to detail, and the patience for hard work," he muses. Then he gestures to the creature again. "What do you discern of its nature? Can you tell anything about what it is?"
"Fire, obviously. Not sure species - not raccoon, moves wrong - mix, maybe? With... mink? Or otter, moves wrong for otter but if it's a mix, who knows." She clicks her tongue at the griffons and signs, and the one on the back of the chair chirps an acknowledgement and hops into the air to fly out the window. Meanwhile she shifts to sit on the floor to get a better look, offering her hand to be sniffed again before attempting to pet along his back.
He watches the griffon fly away, and then stretches out to sniff at her hand again. And when she attempts to pet along his back, his first instinct is to crouch lower, still unsure of the contact, but he shudders a little, and it doesn't appear to be in fear.
"It has been hypothesised that this species is related to racoons," Rogeiros agrees. "But it is a species in its own right. Although perhaps using a mix of creatures would, in fact, have been a wiser decision... Something to think on I suppose."
She pets him along the spine, shoulders to rump, watching carefully so that she can back off if he seems bothered. "Racoon I'd say - maybe train for tricks, spy, something like that - clumsier than a racoon, though. And not - fire, really. Hm. -could be just reagents, not really fair to ask me to guess it but could be."
He mostly seems confused, and a little wary, but not...distressed? Probably not distressed at least.
And although his fur and small size hide it fairly well, once she's stroking him she'll be able to tell that he is far thinner than could be considered healthy.
"No. And you got further than I would've expected you to." Rogeiros regards her for a moment more. "I have noticed in recent days that something is not quite right with it. It doesn't appear to be related to the magic, or to the hyrbridisation." A shrewd look. "You could consider it an audition, figuring out what plagues it. As much as this might be considered a failure of my purporse, it does represent a not insubstantial amount of time and resources."
"Wasn't done," she chuckles. "What does it eat?"
Figment reappears through the window as she speaks, carrying a small leaf-wrapped bundle in her beak; she swoops over, staying a polite distance from Rogeiros, and deposits it in Deka's hand.
"Mostly herbivorous, grasses, fruit, the occasional insect."
She nods, and somewhat clumsily unwraps the little bundle to reveal a bit of dried meat, a large dead cricket, and a couple of dried berries. She picks out a berry to offer to Figment, who takes it solemnly, and offers the rest to the mystery creature, including the leaves that made up the wrapper. "I want to see his teeth - gives an idea of - diet, how they live, kinds of thing."
He shifts a little at that, sitting back, stretching up a little and opening his mouth - his canines are sharp, but most of the rest of his teeth are flatter, looking designed for chewing something perhaps tougher to break down?
Well. "Grasses, bugs, yeah. Maybe more bugs than he's had. Doglike, in the front. Here, sweetie, eat."
His eyes flicker briefly to Rogeiros, but then he settles back down some and cautiously starts eating, watching Deka as he does so. There doesn't seem to be any impediment to his eating?
Yeah, something weird's going on here. "I'll need to see more to figure out what's wrong - hard to do without knowing the species, I don't know what's normal. But I can - guess, or tell you you need an expert, in a few weeks."
"Acceptable. And it will give me time to decide if I do wish to take an apprentice."