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AW for anyone who might be interested in a merc thread (also @Kynareth Deagon and @Simmik for reference)

The halfling blended well against the backdrop of the Strath in the midst of winter, a moving silhouette of snowmelt wandering along the banks of the roiling river. The light of midday glinted off the surface, playing hide-and-seek behind a cover of dovedown clouds, and occasionally lit her eyes with a similar hue of gunmetal. 

On this day, the fae actively searched for her pack mates -- thinking to start her combat training. She might have sought out Kyn or Simmik to take them up on their prior offer of mentorship but the tantalizing perfume of pheromones about the territory had alerted her to the fact that they were, ahem, busy. 

She (of course) gave the couple their space, burying herself in the process of forging Aerin, Acolyte and Saint -- determined no longer to be Awenfen, plaything of Aliroth. If everything was to be different now, then she would need to be different. Better. Stronger. 

The sylph kept her eyes peeled as she wandered with the brook as her companion, its bubbling melodies the only conversation, searching for a sparring partner. 
Set on knowing the new faces around, Nyra was walking the grounds, open and inviting as much as she could be, to finding a face she knew not. 

Catching a glimpse of the snow-waif by a brooke, the Overseer trotted toward her with a chuff to announce her presence. 
"Hello." She smiled, "I'm Nyra. I've been meaning to meet the new faces around, you included." The alphess waved her tail in a friendly manner then.

It was the great Amazonian woman that found her, the one Kyn had crowned shortly after her return. Nyra, if she remembers correctly. The Saluki's diadem of snowfall dipped respectfully to her ally's co-leader -- wondering what sort of personality she might find harboring in this particular Saint. 

"''ello," the wyvern chirped back easily, tail swaying at her hocks lightly. "I think perhaps I remember ye...ye vere a recruit -- an Underling that joined shortly after Donav found me." Here a smile would unfurl upon her blushed lips, happy to see a familiar face, before she explained further: "That vas before, in ze Canyon. I 'ad to leave ze Saints fer a time."

"Congratulations on your promotion by ze vay,"
she added, feeling a small swell of pride in her chest for Kynareth's Saints -- even if she had missed most of the major developments they'd undergone in the past half a year or so. "Ye must be very proud," she spoke her thoughts aloud, allowing a hesitant measure of camaraderie and warmth to thaw her icy features.
The Overseer tipped her head to the side as Aerin recalled seeing her in the canyon, when they lived there. And that she left for a time. Probably due to personal matters, no big deal. 
"I must have not paid close enough attention." She chuckled, "I don't recall seeing you around before, in the canyon, but I trust you were there, ghost-foot." She kept a smile on her lips, a light jest made in affections for her packmate, a member of her family. 
Ah, the promotion. Nyra beamed a bit brighter seeing the waif's approval.
"Thank you, yes I...I'm very proud! It took a lot of work to get to where I'm at, and even here, I didn't expect to rise so far." Clearly Nyra was still in some modicum of shock to wake up and realize she was an alpha now, a co-leader to Kynareth Deagon. 
A place she really never thought she'd succeed to be. 
"So, what brings you out here?" Nyra finally asked, having no clue why the midwife was wandering.
A breath of a chuckle escaped her lips, cheeks warming with a faint flush. A tendril of a smile curled over them, the feathery plume of her curled tail bobbing in a slight wag at her hocks where it hung neutrally. 

"Ah, yes," she agreed, head falling back slightly (and if she were human, a palm might have smacked lightly against her forehead) as if the Overseer's words had just reminded her of her original intentions. "I 'ave promised to make a varrior of meself, to become a combat medic fer Donav's vars." It was said very seriously, the northron fae's spine straightening as she drew herself up with purpose -- a Saint worthy of being feared, even if the sighthound was perhaps the least fearsome creature to inhabit Teekon thus far. 

"I vas looking fer a sparring partner, to begin me training," she added, before the pale jade-kissed gems of her gaze lit up with sudden inspiration as they met Nyra's hellfire orbs. "Ye are a varrior, no? Vould ye mind sparring vith me -- showing me ze ropes?" The questions came eagerly, an excited quiver shivering through her gamine frame as she supressed a soft, dog-like whine of exuberance. 
Interest sparked in Nyra's gaze. Sparring? 
The battlemaiden would need to be careful, or she feared she may snap Aerin in two on accident! 

"I wouldn't mind at all." She smiled, wagging her tail some. Nyra never knew how much she wanted to be a mentor, till now. Now, she was almost giddy to share her knowledge!

"I usually spar with Donovan, but he and I have different advantages than smaller wolves like you, Arlette and Derg do. Firstly, you are lithe in build, so speed might be more your thing where mine would be brute strength." Nyra explained, "I do not recommend taking a bigger canine head-on. Instead, keep most of your weight shifted to your back legs, like this-" The Overseer shuffled to show her flank so Aerin could see her lower her back end a bit, so her weight was mostly on her haunches. Little did Nyra know that Derg had had a similar conversation with Arlette at one point. If she had known, perhaps she would think to call Derg before now so he could help.
Aerin grinned joyfully when Nyra agreed wholeheartedly, tail wagging with new intensity. "Thank ye, truly," she murmured gratefully, elated to have found someone to teach her -- or help her get started with her Mercenary trade at the very least. She was sure Nyra was very busy with pack concerns, especially now that she had been promoted, and may not always be available to teach the healer.

She schooled her features into an observant expression, ears rising as she listened carefully to her newfound mentor's words -- trying very hard to commit them to memory. When the Battle Phoenix shifted aside to demonstrate her own stance, Aerin's moonstones trailed to her legs before she glanced around at her own hind limbs with a rumpled brow of concentration. 

"Like this?" the gypsy inquired after a moment as she turned back to face Nyra, lowering herself into a defensive crouch -- a familiar position for the submissive halfling though it felt foreign due to the new intentions behind such a movement. Her stormcloud gaze moved back to Nyra, waiting for her confirmation (or denial).
Nyra watched as Aerin looked to her hind legs, then mirrored the movement. 
"Yes!" She confirmed, keeping the defensive crouch herself. "And keep your throat covered as much as you can, by lowering your head to just below your shoulders." Nyra furthered, lowering her head in the way she meant so the waif had reference. 
"This is important, because our throats are a vulnerable spot. If teeth are in the way it'll be more difficult to get to your jugular yknow?" She smiled some, looking to the fae again after a moment.
Perhaps a Cameo if you are not ok with Whrist joining Aerin

Whrist was doing her daily rounds when she heard Nyra’s voice and just had to investigate she padded close by and smiled as she watched the white woman move her ear cupped to catch each word 

Firstly, you are lithe in build, so speed might be more your thing where mine would be brute strength.

Whrist couldn’t help up snort at that, she had tried the brute force tactic to many times with Nyra and found herself on the losing end to many times, so she listened intently as Nyra gave tips on how to defeat herself

Whrist pointedly ignored the one Nyra was speaking to, instead her gaze moved along the Overseers bunched muscles and taught body enjoying the view as much or more then she was enjoying stealing a free lesson. Whrist too shifted her weight to her haunches and lowering her head, subconsciously testing the movements experimentally, her eyes upon Nyra’s body mimicking the white warrior's movements, all the while she continued to appreciate the femme’s body
it's all good my dude, get in here! :3 Keeping it, somewhat, vague about their spat/spar for now but going off the basis that they did fight in their last thread. Lmk if anything needs editing! <3

A quick smile flashed over her features and her tail gave a little jump, as if it wished to wag but the Saluki was striving to remain focused and stern like a true warrior might. Milky opalites flickered up to Nyra, mimicking the way she tucked her chin lower. 

"Aye, zat vould be very unfortunate," she chuckled along with the Overseer's quip, knowing that her own muzzle was scarred from such an occurrence -- though it had been instinct that told her to protect her jugular then, not the teachings of a fearsome Saint. 

Just then, the wind shifted ever so slightly and brought a vaguely familiar scent to her rosebud nose. The stance Nyra had taught her tensed, becoming more natural, as the milkmother turned -- cold silver coins landing on Whrist. 

There was no aggression in her gaze, nor anything definitive really. Only a wary detachment, an edge like that of a flint spear. I'm watching you, you crazy bitch. 
Nyra chuckled as Aerin spoke, agreeing with her words. 
But, as the wind changed just a tad, the battlemaiden took notice of the fae's sudden change, a more natural defensiveness to her stature. 
Though her look wasn't definitive, the Overseer followed the snow-waif's gaze to Whrist, who seemed to be trying to steal a free lesson from the shadows. Had Aerin not seen her, Nyra probably wouldn't have noticed the shadow in the background. 
Pointedly staring at Whrist, Nyra felt an amused smirk pull at her lips "If you wanted lessons, Whrist, you could have asked." Though her words were genuine, Nyra had taken the assumption the shadow was too proud to ask for help in her chosen trades. 
"Come." She coaxed somewhat firmly to them both, though the word was more a suggestion than an order, despite the firm tone. With a sway of her tail, Nyra gestured with her head and began to -at least attempt- to move the two women to a more open area, where they could practice without hurting themselves on something like a tree. 
Experience with combat in different terrain took time, and Nyra wanted to teach as best she could, with the trust those she mentored would voice when they wanted a change of terrain to train in.
Whrist cringed as she was noticed and she quickly averted her gaze from them both. She was thoroughly confused by her new desire for the large white female when she was the embodiment of her past come to life. She looked like the male that had sired her in her size and white pelt even in the way she fought and could hold her without a second thought. So why she could also look at the femme, as something else, as something desirable made her emotions a horrid mess.

She stood for a few minutes, her skin crawling with shame, the shame of what had passed between herself and the mini white wolf and the shame of what she felt for Nyra. If it wasn’t for her pride she’d had turned and fled then.

She gritted her teeth then ever so slowed walked up to the pair taking care not to look at Aerin very long showing the female difference even though her rank was higher, this was all the apology the wisp would get from her. 
She kept her ears back as she had back in the caves when she had told her story and sat still her head turned away from Aerin. “Thanks Nyra, I have clearly been using the wrong tactic's so far when fighting bigger opponent’s” At this Whrist’s eyes finally lifted and her eyes roamed Nyra’s body almost of their own accord appreciating the broad chest and thick legs.

With and deep breath, she stood and got back into position her weight in her haunches and her head level with her shoulders, ready for the next bit of advice or command of position change.
Silver coins of blank observation continued to bore into the shadow as she approached, wondering what exactly she wanted -- more intel on her own packmates or one to use as a punching bag maybe. Whatever her motivations, Aerin didn't trust her. Still, she merely watched as the inky femme slunk closer on sheepish steps -- the healer's auds of pale wisps piquing with curiosity when she drank in the subtle body language of submission she was offered. It was not blatant but a slave knew submission like the second skin of a favorite pullover or the worn cover of a treasured paperback in one's hand. 

She must have been more suited to the Saints than she knew, perhaps finding her place amongst them with more ease than she could have imagined, because as unaccustomed as she was to seeing another show her due respect (okay, so, they had kicked each other's asses but they both knew Whrist had been in the wrong) -- the gentle sylph found that she liked it. 

At Nyra's bequest, the midwife silently fell into step with the alabaster Amazon and the smaller, darker woman who could have been her winter-eyed shadow. She said nothing as she trailed after them, expression held in careful neutrality just as her posture was. 

She stood facing the other two, slipping back into position much as Whrist had, when they reached their destination -- interest glinting in the steel sheen of her gaze as she waited for further instructions. 
The Overseer stopped a good thirty or so yards from their original location, a small but decent clearing among the trees. She turned to face her students, an approving smile winning over her muzzle as she saw Whrist already in position, and a kind, also approving smile as Aerin awaited further mentoring. 

"As I said, we all have different advantages. You must find yours. Sometimes this isn't easy to do, but, by knowing your strengths, be it speed, wits, even brute force...you may come to find that your opponent's weaknesses in combat are your own, or maybe they are different. Maybe they have a mix of both. Each opponent is different, and as warriors we must be able to judge them as best we can." 
Nyra spoke, audible and clear, as a true queen might. 
Her gaze met Aerin and Whrist's as she continued, tail swaying gently, and pride swelling in her chest. 
"For example, look at me. What weaknesses do you two anticipate I may have in a fight?" The Overseer offered the question, her gaze expectant but not pressuring for the two to offer their insight. Nyra would offer the same for them both once they finished.
Whrist barely glanced at her impromptu classmate still to ashamed to look at her or engage, she was however was invited to look Nyra over from her well formed muzzle, her eyes which at this moment seems warm and inviting, her muscular neck, strong shoulders, tapering to her feminine hips and long tail. Whrist could find no fault with Nyra’s body but for the lack of any color.

She narrowed her eyes trying hard to reign in on her rampant wildly ranging emotions, something she was finding harder and harder to do as of late.

She knew for a fact, for a damn clear fact Nyra’s weakness was not in her neck or shoulders, nor her power she wondered is she should try and go for the weakness since she was in a ready position but found herself swallowing against the remembered feel of those teeth clamped about her own throat.

She opened her mouth to speak but it took another moment for words to form as her gaze continued to search Nyra’s body. “Flanks, getting behind you, speed will get us there and keep us safer from your teeth” She pressed her teeth together hoping her answer might acceptable finding her desire to please Nyra surge from somewhere deep within
Aerin's argent gaze trailed over Nyra's goliath build in a similar fashion, though she didn't struggle with the same desires Whrist did, searching for answers as if her pale coat were the pages of a book and the black lines of text might surface at any moment to whisper their knowledge to her. A cursory glance might make one think Aerin to be David, nothing more than a puny human with no chance of felling the giant before her. But the combat medic was determined to puzzle out a sling and stone to use to her advantage.

"Ye are bigger, 'eavier. A smaller opponent is faster -- if zey can keep ye moving, zey are less likely to be 'urt in ze fight. Zey could slow ye down, tire ye out vithout 'aving to pummel ze snot out of ye first," the halfling murmured softly  with a hint of humor, her tones touched with a hint of diffidence -- as if uncertain that she was correct, even if the logic seemed sound to her. She imagined that was one of the only ways to best the Amazonian woman, by outsmarting her or kicking her ass (which did not seem an easy feat in the slightest).

She glanced down at her own tiny paws and wispy curves, thinking that it was not hard at all to guess what her weaknesses may be. The needle-thin Saluki would have to be even more clever, faster, fiercer than her opponents if she was to stand a chance at all in battle. It would be all too easy for a larger wolf to overpower and defeat her. 
Listening to them both, to their careful observations, Nyra smiled approvingly "Correct, to you both. I am bigger and heavier, thus, I'm not made for speed. While I can be fast, it's not my strongest suit. The two of you are smaller than wolves like Kynareth and I, therefore, alongside being swift, you must also outwit your foes at any given chance. After all, the goal in most fights is to win, and with outsiders, winning often means having to severely injure or kill another. " She explained. God's, she could cry. The overseer was very proud in this moment. 
With a happy sigh, she continued. 
"Once you have a killing hold on an enemy, don't let go. They would almost certainly never let go if your opponent was able to get a lethal grip on you. That's why you must do so first, and increase pressure until they stop breathing." 

From here, Nyra settled into a ready stance, facing Whrist. 
A reassuringly soft smile met her features.
"I won't eat you. For now, when I charge at you, remember the posture we covered. I want you to jump out of the way before we collide. Aerin, you'll be up next." 
The Overseer then nodded once to Whrist and broke into a sprint right at her. 
Nyra had every faith the shadow would move in time, so she didn't slow down. This was a move of encouraging faith, not meant to be bullying.
Whrist's white blue's went almost comically wide and she gasped, she wanted to just fling herself  away however she was already in a ready posture and found that launching herself out of Nyra’s path was easy, her already tense haunches didn’t have to adjust to make her ready to move,  she just sprung to the left  and allowed Nyra to pass close by like a matador would a bull.

She was then able to spin easily and get her weight back upon her haunches with ease and in far less time then  she’d had taken normally, she felt like every other time she had been nothing more then a pup blundering through life, right now she felt as powerful as she wished she was.

She grinned and licked her lips watching Nyra and prepping for anything else Nyra might throw at her, she felt elated like she could take on the world and win. Her eyes flicked the Aerin wondering if the small with wolf would be Nyra’s next target or if she would be again.

She found a small part of her wishing that Aerin would be run over and sent sprawling but she also felt bad for thinking so, every saint needed to be strong so she clamped down on her first instinct and cheered Aerin on. Quickly she turned her full attention to Nyra incase the large woman would came back at her just to mix things up. She made sure she was in a good ready position.
Aerin nodded along, her features intense and focused as she committed what Nyra had said to memory. It could mean her life or death after all. Despite her general disposition -- sweet-natured, timid, submissive -- killing was not new to her. Rajhan had required her to get her hands dirty occasionally, when she was the girl they called Hui. That was worse than what the Saints would ever ask of her, those people innocents -- Rajhan's enemies, not the slave-girl's who simply wanted to survive. These wolves would be trying to kill her in return, trying to kill her friends and family. 

The sylph of snow nodded, curling porcelain haunches beneath her. Silver coins watched with a detached curiosity -- neither caring nor hoping that the darkling would fall -- as Whrist braced herself and Nyra rushed her. As the Battle Phoenix slid past the raven, hardly ruffling the shadowed plumage of her pelt, the fae found herself nodding in subconscious approval -- admiring the shadow's quick reflexes. 

She rose then as Nyra likely circled back around before launching herself in the healer's direction. It was the halfling's engrained instinct to hunker low to the ground, pin her ears, anything that would portray her unyielding submission as the larger woman charged at her like a wild stallion protecting his harem. But those were the teachings of oppression and such would get her killed. The Saluki forced her mind beyond her momentary panic, calling to mind the Overseer's recent tutoring instead. 

As if of their own accord, her hindlegs lowered into the defensive stance she had been shown just minutes ago -- the elven nymph darting aside in a blip of speed that could belong only to any of her close relatives -- Greyhounds, Azawakhs, and other sighthounds. Her paws ground into the dirt as she wrenched aside of the pallid shieldmaiden, sliding slightly as she stopped herself -- bottlebrush tail sweeping side to side in a slow wag as a smile of similar leisure spread over her proud, stunned features.
As she charged the shadow, Nyra grinned approvingly as Whrist ripped out of the way and leveled herself into a ready position again. 
With a still-proud smile plastered to her features, the Overseer rushed Aerin just as quickly, laughing aloud in delighted glee as the sighthound-mix blipped to the side and safely out of the way of her large mass. 

Slowing and skidding some as she finally stopped, Nyra turned around and returned with a fast-wagging tail. "Well done, both of you!" She breathed excitedly, looking upon her impromptu-students with obvious pride in her hues. 
From there, Nyra shook out her fur. Gods, how she could hug them right now!
"I'm very proud. Do either of you feel like sparring? Perhaps a two on one, if you'd both like to team up on me?" Nyra suggested with her grin still there. She had very clear faith in them both, especially while suggesting the two work together to take her down. 
Perhaps afterward, she could suggest they spar together and/or watch while one another sparred with others?
sorry so short I have to get to the gym but I wanted to throw something up

Suddenly Whrist felt like up and leaving, her body shifting uneasily as she was too embarrassed to work with the tiny white witch, however the thought of winning a spar against Nyra was also to enticing to pass up. Her blue eyes flit to Aerin then back to Nyra. "I'm game" she nodded affirmatively waiting to hear if the other femme would join her in the spar without actually looking at her. She got back into ready stance.

She hoped Nyra wasn't going to force them to work together to closely. But she'd try to follow any command the overseer would give to the letter
A sardonic smirk twists her lips with something ironic and devious. A flash of pink to be seen as her tongue swiped along her jaws, frosted diadem canting to Nyra's bequest obligingly. She moved to stand alongside the black pearl, casting a bemused glance over at her would-be opponent before facing the shieldmaiden again -- waiting either for some signal that they should begin or for Whrist to make some sort of offensive move towards their Overseer.
sorry for the delay!

The two females seemed to be in agreement. Proudly, Nyra kept her eyes upon them, taking a readied stance for when one of them would attack.

"Let's begin." 
darn it I had a nice reply done up and the internet went out as I clicked post have to refresh the screen I lost my beautiful post, normally I copy my post so I can paste if something goes awry but I didn’t this time apparently. So attempt two is less pretty -.-

Ok.. ok.. she had to work with the white wolves, that wasn’t so hard was it? There were so many around that it would eventually come to pass anyway. But could she trust them? She had no idea how to win a fight if she could not go for the most vulnerable target but she had finally since learned going for Nyra’s throat was not the way to win it had just the opposite effect actually and so she found herself attempting to make eye contact with eh little white witch and gesturing as subtly as she could for her to circle to opposite way to herself. There was no way the White Warrior turned teacher could keep them both in front of her when they circled.

Once (and only if) an opportunity arose for Whrist to dart in and bite Nyra’s hind leg. She’d dart in and nip not to break skin but to quickly deliver a blow and dart back out of reach if she could.
Aerin had to admit that some pettily defiant aspect of her being was reluctant to follow the shadeling's lead, yet, when the corvid gestured for her to pace around the battle maiden; the halfling followed suit. Wordlessly, the waif rose and circled in the opposite direction as Whrist -- moonlight gaze flitting between the Overseer and the dark wolf she was forced to call partner. Whenever Whrist chose to attack, Aerin would follow her lead once more -- diving forward with open jaws to attack whatever part of Nyra's  body happened to be closest. Though, of course, her intent was not meant to be overtly aggressive since this was just a sparring session after all. 
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