Otter Creek You will kill or be killed, it's about progress
November 27, 2017, 04:40 PM
Étoille
Drageda
Rauna
@Vaati! B)

 The forest of blood and feathers is not far from the Caldera, but Étoille has the sense to not blindly plunge in. He has been away from Drageda long enough that the scent has long since faded from his fur and he has bathed himself in mud and snow to try and remove any lingering scent of the Caldera's alphas. To the outside eye he looks like, hopefully, any other mangy loner, albeit a well-fed one. 

 There is not much of a plan beyond find out what he can. He knows they are specifically looking for a man named Cicero, though the rest of their lot is to pay for their sins when Drageda returns. The Rauna does not come directly from the direction of the Caldera, but loops around, monitoring the line of the forest as he makes his way East. It seems quiet, peaceful, un-noteworthy but for the persistent smell of blood. From what he does not know.

 He finds a creek on the Eastern corridor and pauses to take a drink. There is a thin layer of ice he cracks through, then lifts his head, considering his options. He does not think it wise to approach the borders openly, though he could pass off, perhaps, as a loner seeking winter's shelter... hm. Taking advantage of the quiet before the storm, Étoille considers the best course of action.
November 28, 2017, 05:33 PM
Vaati
Blackfeather Woods
Dark Master
        The reign of Astrid comes to a timely end in the most unceremonious fashion, a simple disappearance of authority that left little to question than the acclaimed princess of the Night's cowardice. As he approaches one full year of existence, he is thrust into the position as the wood's Dark Master, a title he has neither sought out nor ever wished to have. It is a matter of availability that delegates his position, the lack of any other viable candidate to take up the mantle his grandmother built before him. There were only him and his damnation left to hold together what remained of the once victorious Blackfeather Woods. And yet, he alone was not enough for Blackfeather Woods was not his sole responsibility. Sure, he held the crown, but those within had a duty to themselves to see that the said crown still existed once he was dead and gone. The teen soon to turn adult was not equipped for such tremendous entitlement so suddenly, without the training and the tools previous rulers had at their hand before him. What he knows is only what tales he was told as a child of the Dark Brotherhood's way of life, a life that was severely lacking in what represented the Brotherhood to date. He would start there, reform the sect that had been lost to false leaders and unaccountability. From there, he is sure the dark woods would reclaim its reputation as a force to be reckoned with.

        Yet, he remains secluded to only a few acres of running distance in light of the bounty placed on his head. It is unfortunate, but survivable. He hunts what he can in the limited distance he has, and he holds a rather small hare in his jaw as he makes his venture back towards the looming patch of land in the distance. But still, he never fails to catch the scent of a lurker nearby, never void of the presence of those hoping to catch him in his weakest. His patience has run thin, and a low snarl formulates in the belly of his vocal chords, calling out those who lay ahead and venture far too close to the woods for his liking. The action of the other, as he watches, appears to be with purpose; detecting and aloofly observing the perimeter of his home with seemingly, a certain point in mind. It leads the newly appointed leader's snarl to grow in volume and meaning. But something rings to him as off, that the likelihood of this being a true loner whose first instinct is survival, would linger around the fringes of a pack who displayed its enemies' heads on their borders seemed all too uncharacteristic. Only those who had not been a loner long or who had a cavalry behind them stuck around as long as this one was. In all the loners he has made himself acquainted with (and that had been many, many whose blood now lined the borders of their woods), none were ever without the look and feel of desperation and Vaati did not receive either of those from the male who so stealthily surveyed his home, yet, there was always the possibility he is wrong. He has been wrong before. "What do you want."

"all men's souls are immortal. but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine."
socrates 
November 28, 2017, 06:51 PM
Étoille
Drageda
Rauna

 It seems he has let himself stray too close for he is quick to be intercepted. Étoille wonders if this is the so-named Cicero, this large beast marked by an impossible to miss scar across his face. He certainly fits the part visually of a dastardly kidnapper, but the man does not assume one way or another yet.

 Étoille is not a particularly clever man but he is in essence a blank slate, and so oddly his nature serves him well in this regard. The presence of the snarling boy does not unsettle him (his confidence, though likely to get him maimed eventually) and he does not worry about lying or passing himself off yet. He is not trying to infiltrate, merely gather information, though ultimately he has no real plan yet. 

 The titan dips his head politely, expression unbothered by the display of aggression. "Apologies," he murmurs, "I was... intrigued by the smell of blood." It is not a lie by any means - it is fainter here but persistent still, and he wonders what would enable them to maintain such a strong barrier scent. (Or: he has an idea, but it is.. unpleasant, if interesting.) He lifts his head again, absently studying the other's features. "I am Argent," Étoille offers easily, adopting the name he chose for himself on his way from the Caldera. It belonged to a brother he has not thought about in years; it will suit him well for now. "You are from the forest," he adds, asking in his not quite a question manner, expression relaxed and curious. Of course by the forest he refers to the pack within, whomever created that blood-smell-barrier.
December 05, 2017, 08:54 PM
Vaati
Blackfeather Woods
Dark Master
i forgot to say, thanks for starting!! :D
        The other is quick to apologize, rather uncharacteristic of those he had previously come across. Loners, scavengers, those on the line of self-preservation held no manners but the unruly ones they used to snap back in desperation. Yet, the excuse the other gives is very much believable, and Vaati accepts it for what it is. Either, a spy doing a rather poor job at his profession or a wanderer who had no wish to start trouble where no trouble needed to arise. "Ah, yes. The blood." He nods acknowledgedly, having forgotten the factor of pure intrigue that caused many to stop on their way and gape at the monstrosity they saw. He could not blame the other for observing the gruesome sight, it was magnificent display to behold that, if they lingered long enough, brought many to their deaths in turn. However, Vaati is presently in no business to make enemies of others, save if they should make war against him first. Unfortunately, the other gives him no reason to attack other than a close proximity and even then, that is not good enough. 

        Vaati nods stiffly, obliging the other's request of information with little hesitance. "Yes." It is information he deems of no value. By now, he is sure his misplaced reputation has spread far and wide, and the fact that he now takes responsibility of the woods as a part of him means very little in light of all the things that could be said about him. It is not as if he can conceal his identity any longer, that much is ruined for him for life. It offers him very little freedom, and much less, a hope for any future undisturbed by those he had foolishly made enemies of. Perhaps, in time he could blame it on youth. That was, if he lived long enough to reflect on the young age he currently lives. Yet the chances of him meeting another year is slim, and he knows it. Vaati is not an idle thinker, nor one to preserve a sense of hope where no hope could be found. He is a realist, unable to keep himself tangled up in ideologies of greatness and fantasies of his own pride when the threat of his extinction crawls ever so tauntingly towards him.
December 06, 2017, 10:14 AM
Étoille
Drageda
Rauna

 This is a delicate needle to thread, Étoille is realising, but he is also driven by his natural intrigue. The other possesses a reticence that rival's Étoille's own, it seems. The aggression he originally bore has been smoothed out (for now) but the Rauna is not exactly in a position to pry for more information. Nor does he want to give the impression he's prying. 

 "I see," he says, and looks over his shoulder, expression curious. "What is it like?" The titan asks impulsively. And he wonders: what is it like, to live surrounded by a constant reminder of death? Or perhaps a constant reminder of power, depending on how one chose to look at it. Truthfully, it unsettles him, but perhaps with time he could adapt. Étoille has never thought too deeply on things like this.
December 09, 2017, 05:56 PM
Vaati
Blackfeather Woods
Dark Master
        Vaati had not given much thought to how different Blackfeather was in comparison to the many other territories and packs that lived out there on the horizon. When one lived among the strange and twisted all their life, nothing ever seemed out of the ordinary. Perhaps that was good. It gave perspective, meaning to what individuality meant. He considers it now, as the other inquires, and he wonders just how different it may be, how strangers must wrongly view his home. 

        The yearling returns his gaze to the man before him, giving time for thought before opening his mouth. "Humbling." He speaks truthfully, for in the darkness did they learn the truth of their own mortality. Unfortunately, he had been too rebellious in his early stages of life, too detached from Blackfeather and its essence to take seriously the frailty of his existence. But the woods itself, lined with the remains of those too hot-headed to remain living served as a reminder that life itself was fleeting, and ultimately signified nothing if one was too careless with it. He is careful now, not to take for granted what he has, and it is difficult to live with the consequences of what he had done, but does so anyway. The woods has taught him that, to live with the shadows on his back and walk boldly into the dark. "It reminds us that no one is immortal, the perpetual darkness comes for us all eventually." The tone he takes is not somber, regardless of the mood it creates. Instead, it is simple honesty that coats his words, spoken as if he has lived and learned it. Yet, he leaves out the bit that scares most away. How that when they live in the dark and their eyes adjust to the absence of light, something takes over, something evil and hungry that demands blood for the life they choose to live.

"all men's souls are immortal. but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine."
socrates 
December 12, 2017, 05:00 PM
Étoille
Drageda
Rauna

The answer he is given is not the one he would expect from this bloodthirsty pack of urban legend. It is, he finds, an answer he can respect. Though there is the ethical matter of how to maintain the wall of death, but Étoille has never been... morally lawful good, truth be told. "There is a phrase for that," he remembers suddenly. "Memento mori." Something someone passed on to him in youth, though he did not find much use in the phrase then nor now. He is unconcerned with death - he will go peacefully into the night, when his time comes.

He does not wish to push his luck, and yet. "I am interested in your way of life," the titan admits. "I am sure you know there is talk of this forest. Of a.. bloodthirsty quality." He does not try to sell himself as a killer - Étoille is a follower, for sure, but he is not by nature aggressive or interested in murder. There is a difference, he thinks, between acting on orders (if given) and pursuing death on one's own terms. "I am not... how would you say, interested in urban legends. But it is intriguing," he admits, somewhat sheepishly, a hint of a smile on his mouth. "Are you looking to bolster your ranks for winter?"

Here is the gambit. Ét-- Argent, yes, there is no elegant way to gather information without a little infiltration - at the very least he'd like to see the borders for himself, but he thinks: he is large and healthy and perhaps they need numbers (and if they do not, that is important information for him to deliver, anyway). 
December 19, 2017, 02:38 PM
Vaati
Blackfeather Woods
Dark Master
        It is intriguing to hear that a certain reputation had passed around pertaining to the nature of Blackfeather Woods. Intriguing and concerning, opening up doors of unwanted invitation to their enemies and imposters alike. Unknowingly, he dealt with that very thing at the present moment, but regardless grew suspicious when the other claimed simple "talk" had led him to gather information that once could truly only know first hand. All packs were bloodthirsty in a sense -- when one's survival depended on it. Blackfeather's heightened tendency to solve everything via. threats and death was something someone could only really speak for if one had experienced its wrath. It leads him to deduce that whoever had told him such a thing had either lived it, or the stranger he currently faced was a direct enemy of the woods, and in that case, had made a very foolish mistake of coming. Perhaps it is a reach, but the serpent within him coils at the thought of not pressing the matter further; a voice at the back of his mind warned him that something was not quite right. Vaati tenses, noticeably following the other's interest, "Where did you say you come from again?" His tone is dipped in venom, slight to the ear but audibly unfriendly. To expect anything and everything and to question above all is standard knowledge among those who live in the shadows, knowing the facade of good-will is an easy one. Vaati does not expect the other to roll over and profess his secrets, but give him a reason not to believe that he should be welcome in the dark woods.
December 19, 2017, 03:52 PM
Étoille
Drageda
Rauna

He does not blame the other for his suspicion - without that it is unlikely the blood-and-feather wolves would not have made it this far. But he is unfazed; if this stranger will not have him, if he fails here, it makes little difference. War is upon them regardless.

Argent smiles just faintly. "I do not believe I said I was from anywhere," he says, shoulders rolling, as if sharing a secret. He wonders if the other expects him to elaborate, and considers doing so for a moment, but holds his tongue, falling back into the reticence that marked his words before the companionship of those at Drageda eased his tongue. There is, after all, not much more to add - if he is not from Drageda then he is still the man who aimlessly spent the summer weaving across the Teekons following Gnarled Oak's dissolution. He does not pull more than the stranger pushes; the game is afoot for now.
December 20, 2017, 06:27 PM
Vaati
Blackfeather Woods
Dark Master
        The man does not give him an answer, not an informative one anyhow. It speaks volumes, however. Perhaps the other was simply a private man, yet, in the face of those who would decide your fate, one was generally honest. It seemed no more than that the stranger had something to hide, nefarious ambitions or not. Something to hide was always a liability. Perhaps, that is why Vaati accepted him. "Right. Come," He indicates for the other to follow, turning his back to him as he leads the way to Blackfeather Woods. Something about the man irked him, as if an unknown force was knocking on his conscious in a frantic attempt at warning him that something was simply not right. More often than most, his conscious was right. But that did not bother him. Of this was a spy, there was nothing to hide even in the depths of Blackfeather Woods. Everything that was a secret, kept hidden from sight was spread only by ear and to the select few. If this man had come to gather intel on their grounds, charged with the task of scoping out their grounds: he would never not be watched. If his task pertained to learning what he could from them, their numbers and their weaknesses: there was little hope he would make it back across the territory line to report to his superiors what he had learned. Blackfeather was a fortress, not only in physicality but by the adeptness of those within. It was easy to get in, but took a lifetime to escape. And by then, most resigned to themselves to the shadows long ago. Or, perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps this was simply a bored individual with little clue exactly what he was getting into. It does not matter to him. With a cruel smirk does Vaati march on, stepping over the head of an aunt thrice-removed, pausing only once he reached the center of the territory.
December 20, 2017, 09:03 PM
Étoille
Drageda
Rauna

He does not know what to expect, but it appears that for now he has passed the boy's inspection. He dips his head and follows silently. Argent had not had a plan from the get go other than to gather information. He is surely meant to rendezvous with Heda at the Caldera prior to battle but he does not know yet how... tenable that is. He does not know when Heda is returning, or how long they will spend before descending upon the forest. All he can do is play it by ear and look after himself.

As they step over dismembered flesh and bone he inhales the scent of blood deeply, acclimating to the acrid taste of it. "What is your name," he thinks to ask, finally, as they pass the threshhold of no return. There is, of course, only one name of interest to him - but he does not allow hint of that to pass through his calm features. There is time now.
January 12, 2018, 05:02 PM
Vaati
Blackfeather Woods
Dark Master
sooo sorry for the wait. last post from me. i'll leave you to end or archive 

Vaati looks back to the other, briefly. "My name is Vaati Melonii." Before returning his gaze to the mainland, the heart of the dark forest. He doesn't ask for the others -- assuming it will come up in a later conversation. For now, he will advise the other on the dangers of the dark woods, the physical and the political. The fact that they take prisoners, and many never leave. That if one abandons the woods, they are subject to immediate death; unforgiving and unmerciful. That no one cons the woods where killers dwell, that they are the judgment hand of life and death -- all are expected to play that role. He assures the other that if he can keep up with the demands of the shadows, he will do just fine. Kill or be killed, one could even say.