Kridina dropped lightly off the small boat to land easily on the dock. Without thought, her nose was already raised just a bit to test the air. For some reason, it always surprised her how clean these sea-side fishing towns smelled. Some would blame her feline heritage and a love for fish, but she actually despised the stuff. Casually, she slung her bag over her right shoulder and made her way across the creaking boards of the pier.
The occasional murmur or stare as she passed by was something she took in stride these days. She had stopped worrying months ago at the reactions of others. Sure, her people we not unheard of, just none had seen golden stripes in so long some doubted they had even existed.Their curiosity was no match for hers, however. Her first memories came into being just over a year ago. Everything before was a blank. And not just a blank slate. There was a void within her so full of emptiness it was nearly painful. In the beginning it felt endless and unbearable. These days it was merely an ache. Something she just lived with.
As the slosh of water against boat-sides began to be overtaken by the squawks of goods-men and townspeople, Kridina carefully made her way through the throng on the wide sand-packed street leading from the piers. The day was already well in hand, the sun quickly running towards the first true heat of the day. Her tail tucked close, people had a tendency to smack into it without looking, she turned left at the fork towards what appeared to be an area suited for lodges and some food.
Good food, she surmised as her eyes darted quickly about and her nostrils flared with appreciation. Just as every other town she had come across since she was first awoken, this one was neat, clean, and kept in excellent repairs. This experience conflicted with the scrolls and books she had come across in the scattered libraries during her travels. It seemed most towns described in stories were dirty, full of wretched souls, and with smells known to bring tears to your eyes. And not tears of joy. It was a mystery that nagged at the golden striped Kridina, along with wondering where she came from and what her purpose was. She did not even know what kept her moving. All she had was the name provided to her, and she had no security in that. She did not remember that name, or any name for that matter.
Tossing such thoughts to the side, the grim looking tigress slid through the swinging doors into the welcome coolness of the tavern. The sign had declared it The Tigress’ Den and she had been unable to withstand that call. An amused smile flitted across her face, causing the golden stripes of her body to glimmer for the barest moment. So quickly did both the smile and glow fade, not a single patron that might have actually caught either would have thought it more than the lingering brightness of the shifting sun of a swiftly closing door. Not even the tigress herself would have believed it.
Except, one did notice.