Redhawk Caldera Fwoosh
January 12, 2018, 03:44 PM
Nevouku
Approved Members


Nevouku couldn't believe it. He was here...and now that he was, there was something familiar about it. He was beginning to realize that he had in fact been here before. What had happened furing that time Nev could not recall. 

He stood just beyond the borders, and nervously looked to Lucy and Skwol. "S-So...this is it" he said. This is where they might break off from each other, it all depended how this meeting went.
January 13, 2018, 03:18 PM
Lucy
Approved Members

They had successfully traipsed through the dark wood and ventured to the other side. The caldera stood before them and Lucy felt a strange sense of knowing. She looked at the stretch of land and frowned thoughtfully. The words uttered by Nevouku caused her ears to swivel atop her crown and she looked to him with a strange expression before nodding. “Yeah,” she trailed quietly, but the dark girl drew in the scent of her surroundings and found herself perturbed by them.

The inky wisp turned her head to make sure that Skwol was not far behind them. She would feel better that he was there if they were to address any strangers. Drawing her head back, the ghoul called for someone to join them alongside the edges of the pack. The quiet youth was hoping that they would not have to wait long; she was eager to see if any of these wolves knew of Nevouku's family or his previous home.
January 14, 2018, 07:45 PM
Skwol
Approved Members

He was there. Several wolf lengths behind them. He caught the look that Lucy cast over her shoulder and nodded to her with a brief smile. It seemed to him that both of his companions were a bit unsettled. Nevoukuu he expected it from but not Lucy after she had confidently lead them here.

The white wolf came to stand beside her to offer his quiet support. She tipped her head back to howl for a leader and make their presence known, and he tipped his own to let his eyes travel the wooded slopes. Layers upon layers of scents told him that the mountain had been home to a pack for a long time. It was a promising sign for a wolf in need of a stable home.

"Hopefully this works out for you," he murmured to Nev.
January 14, 2018, 08:07 PM
Finley
Redhawks
PPC
Are you fucking kidding me... was Finley's first thought the moment she heard the call for attention at the borders. She had not enjoyed her last encounter with a lone wolf on her doorstep seeking shelter and she was not eager for a repeat. Were she human, there would have been signs posted all over the perimeter of the Caldera stating "NO SOLICITORS" in an effort to deter them. Once the conflict with Blackfeather was over, she would be happy to add more to her ranks. For now, they needed to just go the fuck away.

When Fin arrived, she saw that there were three of them and her immediate reaction was to think that Towhee would have her work cut out for her getting rid of this many. The thought faded as she neared the group, for there was one among them that ensnared her attention completely. Her chest began to tighten. Her limbs began to tremble. Her heart began to race. The world around her faded to a muted greyscale as she stopped before the trio, her eyes only on the dark girl who stood out in radiant color before her.

No passage of time could ever make her forget that face. No alteration of age could ever obscure her countenance too much for the mother to recognize her child. Not this mother. Not a mother who had thought of her daughter every single day since she'd been taken. Not one whose every decision since then continued to be swayed by the guilt and longing she had suffered from since her disappearance. Not one who was about to wage a war in an effort to ensure that no child of hers would ever be hurt again - a war that she was driven to fight out of some desperate need for absolution of the time she had not been there to fight for and save the one she had lost.

"Lucy..." Fin said quietly as she stared at the daughter she had been haunted by for so long. A ghoul, maybe. But always a ghost to the mother that never stopped loving her so fiercely she could rend herself into nothing from it.

 
January 14, 2018, 10:18 PM
Nevouku
Approved Members

Nevouku was gracious that they had gone all this way to get him here. Lucy sent up a call, and he waited. Part of him expected Sebastian to come running at his scent, but it was...someone else. Someone he did not recognize. But, they seemed to recognize one of them. 

He turned his head to Lucy, then to Skwol to see if he knew what was going on. Whoever they were, they must have known Lucy, and it seemed like a meeting long since overdue. So he kept his mouth shut.
January 18, 2018, 11:10 PM
Lucy
Approved Members

Skwol finally approached, making Lucy feel far more at ease on the borders of the unknown pack. She could not shake the familiarity of it – the scents that wafted through her nose. His optimistic muttering was lost on her ears, as the young girl tried her best to focus on the task at hand. No matter the fear that rose in the pit of her stomach, she knew that she was there to help Nevouku and that she had intended to see it through.

It did not take entirely long for another wolf to approach them. The female was cloaked in grey and silver. Her eyes shone like copper pennies in the light. It seemed that she had intended to meet them with a brisk step, but once her gaze fell on Lucy, she had faltered. The ghoul watched her with tense posture and bristling fur. She did not know this wolf, but something on the other's face spoke of familiarity. The dark girl's heart began to thrum inside of her chest and she took a single step backwards, hoping to press herself against Skwol's figure.

“Lucy...”

The woman's voice struck the air almost out of disbelief. Lucy squinted at the female and frowned. Fear was burning a hole inside of her and she did not know what to do with it. Her pale gaze roamed the other wolf – up and down – over and over until she latched on to the grey woman's face. The strange cognizance that had settled over her still lingered like a cloud. It felt as though she could scarcely see through it.

“W-who are you?” she whispered.

I do not know you.
January 19, 2018, 05:20 PM
Skwol
Approved Members

The arrival of the pack's matriarch brought an unexpected turn of events.

There was — for him —an unmistakable look on the female's face. That of a mother beholding her daughter for the first time in a long time. Had he not seen such a look before he might have missed it, as he thought Nevouku did, judging by the questioning look he passed to Lucy and Skwol. Unfortunately for the greying male, his appeal for a home and for answers would have to wait.

Skwol did not turn his head. His attention was forward and rapt, but he watched his companion from corner of his eye and moved himself minutely ahead of her as she retreated step and tucked in to him. He pressed back, to comfort and to let her know that he was there for her. Her uncertainty — her fear — roused a deep need to protect and this was how he did so, without completely taking over the situation. He recognized there was no need of that, and that this was between mother and daughter. Instincts might demand that he shield Lucy and remove the source of her upset but Skwol was in control of his faculties — it was rare, now that he had matured, that he was not.

The white wolf's stance was noble. His deliberate positioning declared his intention to safeguard Lucy but he demonstrated a humble respect for their position as outsiders by averting his eyes, allowing his tail to hang loose, and inclining his ears towards his broad skull. He offered no challenge and no threat. He was but a cavalier in service to the matriarch's daughter.
January 19, 2018, 05:29 PM
Nevouku
Approved Members

Nevouku looked back and forth between the two as Lucy asked back a question to the female. He was very confused, till he spotted Skwol avert his eyes and take a respective stance. He too did the same quickly, thinking it was the right thing to do rather than what he was doing before, looking back and forth between them. Right now, he felt much like a third wheel in this situation.
January 20, 2018, 09:29 AM
Finley
Redhawks
PPC
CODEZ U SKIPPER U lol

Fin had never felt so empty in all her life as in that moment when Lucy looked at her as though she were a stranger. It wasn't heartbreak. It wasn't overwhelming sadness or pain or.. anything. It was nothing. There was no air, no feeling. There wasn't even a heart or stomach or lungs inside of her anymore. It was just an empty void, as though the three words her daughter had uttered had poked a black hole right into her chest and all that Fin was had been swept away into it, leaving only an old shell behind.

The moment passed. Her eyes shifted as Lucy stepped back into a wolf almost blindingly white against her black. She noted the protectiveness in his gesture as he shifted forward. He needn't have given the signs of his submission to assure her there was no threat there. He was inconsequential, as was the other one. Only Lucy mattered. Lucy who didn't know her. What had happened?

She pushed the questions away abruptly, not wanting to waste time on them. There were many, of course, and they were screaming to be heard. They were for later though. Her daughter - or maybe the ghost of her daughter - had asked her a question. "I'm Finley Blackthorn, alpha of this territory," she answered softly with a calming confidence in her voice that she did not truly feel on the inside, "This is Redhawk Caldera." It felt so unbelievably wrong to answer as though this were just a stranger stopping in to say hello. But maybe that's all this was to them. But how? What were they even doing here if not to bring Lucy home?

She silenced herself again and watched for some spark or glimmer of memory on Lucy's face, her desperation for it masked beneath her eyes.

 
January 27, 2018, 03:16 PM
Lucy
Approved Members

Skwol was there and he had pressed himself against her with a gentle but firm push of his body. The dark young girl found herself grounded by his presence, mustering the strength to continue her reason for reaching these pack borders. The grey female introduced herself and stated her rank within the territory – it was moderately surprising that the first wolf to find them was the leader of the caldera. Lucy almost felt as though there was a reason for this, but she did not want to pry very far into the details of why Finley had found them there. Instead, she held fast and attempted to remain focused on their task.

“Well, uh... this is Nevouku,” she introduced and gestured her muzzle in the direction of the male with the faded coat and sad eyes. “He used to belong to Broken Antler Fen, but he found out that none of his family is there anymore. I guess he's looking for someone who might know what happened and I promised I'd help him.” Her eyes trailed over Finley's figure for another moment before she swallowed her fear and took a single step forward. “Do you have room in your ranks for his type? He's real sweet.”

For a moment, she felt a fleeting familiarity that seemed to shake her. The ghoul shivered before she drew her gaze back up to the alpha of the caldera. She searched the woman's face again, still finding that she did not know her. It nestled inside of her gut like a roll of thorns, stabbing into her insides with a defiant urgency. While the dark young girl was there for Nevouku, she was beginning to realize that she could find some answers. If this Finley knew who she was – was able to identify her on sight – the thoughts crept back into her mind and she could feel fear bubbling up inside of her.

“H-how do you... how do you know who I am?”
January 27, 2018, 06:26 PM
Skwol
Approved Members

It was a peculiar reunion — Skwol stood by his estimation that that is what this was. The conversation shifted to their frosted companion with a distant formality that made him uncomfortable. The white wolf had been taught the consequences of avoidance — and with a pang he was reminded of his own situation. Lucy needed to confront this and he... he needed to stop running and looking for distractions.

He said nothing though he wanted to, and was surprised when the conversation turned back. The white wolf glanced at his dark furred friend and then looked back to the alpha female for confirmation of what he believed.
January 27, 2018, 06:40 PM
Nevouku
Approved Members

Nevouku dipped his head quickly as soon as he heard this female was in fact the alpha of the pack. Then Lucy introduced him. "Y-Yes, I-I-I was hoping to f-find someone named S-S-Sebastian. I was t-told he was h-here? H-H-His sister told me" the stuttering wolf explained. "I-Is he?"

He had to admit that his face did warm a little as Lucy spoke of him as sweet, and he did try to hide the nervous smile at hearing that. Lucy then asked something to the alpha, and he was wondering more and more the connection between the two.
January 28, 2018, 10:49 AM
Finley
Redhawks
PPC
Lucy began to explain why she and the trio were here, though the tension remained palpable. Fin could barely listen to the actual words coming from her daughter's lips. She was more focused on the voice - so much older, so familiar still. How was it possible that Lucy didn't know her. What had happened. She'd been five months old when they'd parted ways in the Woods so long ago, well old enough to be able to retain at least the important memories. Had it not been important to her? Had the terrible moment she'd been reliving in her mind ever since truly not meant enough for her to remember? What had happened to her to cause her to lose hold of the memory of her family? Her home?

Fin glanced at ...what's his face as she remembered she wasn't supposed to be asking herself all of these questions yet. She was supposed to be remain in the moment, which apparently was intended to have more to do with this guy than the reunion of mother and daughter. He was sweet, and wanted to find his family. How absurdly ironic. "The wolves of the Fen moved here after discovering their water source was tainted and making their members sick," she answered them both, "Sebastian is here, and Andalusia and Ben. The rest left. I don't know where." She hadn't really cared, though she did think that Elwood knew where Sebastian's parents had gone, or at least the direction they'd headed.

It still felt so wrong, but Fin resolved herself to keep quiet and address only the concerns they had brought to her, not the ones she had for them. She didn't want to scare Lucy away and she sensed that she was on the verge of doing just that already. But Lucy, fragile though she seemed, broached the subject directly, and Fin found herself turning her gaze back to that sweet, scared little face.

"Because..." she answered, feeling her words catch in her throat, "Mothers never forget their children."

 
February 06, 2018, 02:02 AM
Lucy
Approved Members

all aboard the pain train
Finley and Nevouku took a moment to share their news with each other. Lucy listened with swiveling ears and a slowly turning skull. She pointed her muzzle toward whoever was talking and then returned to the other for their reaction. It was almost as though she was studying them, but she did not know why. Still, the young girl felt an unease that crept through her and pricked her skin like nettles. All this while, Skwol stood behind her like a stoic guardian, but he did not say a word. Part of this bothered Lucy; she wanted him to speak. The ghoul had found that she felt far more grounded when he was near, and even more so when he attempted to quell her fears with a quiet rumbling of his voice. Nothing seemed to be able to calm the fire that was burning inside of her.

When at last, her question had found its way to the grey-furred female's ears, Lucy watched her with baited breath as the Alpha of the caldera faced her. There was a curious sort of sadness in the woman's eyes. The ink-cloaked girl was capable of recognizing it, but she did not understand where it had manifested from. Yet, when the Alpha finally spoke, something crumbled inside of the girl. There seemed to have been a fortress that stood quite tall and guarded any vile, dreadful things from approaching her heart. Lucy did not know that it could have been demolished so quickly.

Mothers never forget their children.

The ghoul became rigid where she stood. Her legs were pressed so tightly to the earth that she believed she might be sucked up inside of it. How could she have forgotten? Like crashing waves, memories rolled through her mind and churned her gut. Lucy was starting to remember. She remembered being swept away by the wicked Marbas. She remembered finding herself on the edges of Neverwinter Forest, and the kindness of the Frostfur wolves. She remembered the bright glow of Rannoch's gaze, and the sweet and soothing rumble of Cypress' voice. Even then, she could recall showing up on the edges of Duskvale – half starved and shattered – and finding a temporary home with the roaming wolves.

A final memory lingered in her mind. She evoked at last when Finley had come for her and found her in the wood, scared and alone. Lucy could still hear her mother's voice, asking her to return home, and in her anger... Lucy had refused. She had been so hurt by her own loneliness that she had not been able to swallow her own pride. The wisp of a girl had been so destroyed that it had taken them that long to find her. Lucy had wandered on her own through the wilds, relying on those around her to survive and she had barely done that well enough. Now, she stood before her mother again, but she did not have the words to address such a significant happening.

“But you let me go.”

It did not seem like her voice had conjured the words. It felt as if they had come from somewhere else entirely, but Lucy knew that she had said it and that it would likely cause some degree of pain. Still, she could not help but to feel that same hurt that she had felt more than a year ago. Then, she had been so malleable and she had relied so heavily on those around her. The ghoul had witnessed more than she ever cared to, and she had endured the harshest of life's realities. Many of them had been blocked from her mind, and she knew that she had forgotten her own family in order to stay alive. If she had not, the pain would have killed her.

Yet, in that moment of flooding cognizance, Lucy wished that she could forget again.
February 06, 2018, 07:38 PM
Finley
Redhawks
PPC
Time seemed to freeze after Finley said those words. She half expected them to mean nothing to Lucy, or to simply confuse her more. Maybe both. But it wasn't confusion that passed across her daughter's face, but realization. She felt her heart stop as she watched the emotion write the story across Lucy's face, each chapter something new, and ending with only pain and accusation.

But you let me go.

Her heart fell. 

"You ran," Fin answered, hardly thinking, "After what happened.. I didn't want to force you..." She had spent so much time since that day replaying everything in her head and hating herself for not doing something differently. But her daughter had been a ghostly, scared, broken thing even then when she'd found her in the woods. She hadn't known how to get her to come home, and she hadn't had the heart to make her when so much had so clearly already been done to her against her will.

 
February 08, 2018, 01:37 AM
Nevouku
Approved Members

Quickly throwing in, with permission since he about to go inactive

Nevouku was so confused, but slowly he began to understand. This wolf, and Lucy. They did know each other, and he realized this upon the last words Lucy spoke to the female. She was Lucy's mother. He wondered what she meant, what happened to Lucy and shot the girl a worried look. He knew what it was like. To be broken, to have to just run away.
February 13, 2018, 11:18 PM
Lucy
Approved Members

Lucy out. <3 Stevie I love you with all my heart. Thank you for this emotional fucking rollercoaster.
 
You ran.

Lucy did not want to hear what she had to say after this. Her dark ears swiveled atop her crown and flattened against her skull. The ghoul peered at her mother with wide blue eyes and a half-gaping maw. The dark wisp was young, and she had no real reference for how life should have treated her; she knew only that she had endured enough to wither away years of her life. Still, youthful emotions were still potent – violent – in their own right, and they crippled her to her place. Dark and crooked fingers seemed to latch around her ankles and pull her to the ground with such force, such anger, that she did not know if she could move.

Run.

A voice inside of her head urged her to leap away from them; escape that harsh reality before it becomes too much for you to carry. The weight of it was already agonizing against her shoulders. Still, if she ran, would that not reinforce her mother's word? The young girl felt only turmoil. And even though she did not want to hear the words, Finley's voice flooded in through her pinned ears. After what happened... but she could feel everything that had happened, just as she had endured it the first time. The pain and grief rushed through her system like a wicked river, and Lucy was drowning. I didn't want to force you... The words hung in the air like heavy fog. They were heartfelt – motherly, even – but Lucy did not recognize this. The love of a mother was wasted on her.

“But you should have,” she growled angrily. “You should have forced me.” Articulating was difficult and growing increasingly so, but the ghoul had lost a portion of herself that she would never get back. Both ears drew forward, fixing on Finley. The cool blue of her gaze remained locked with the bronze of her mother's. “I was so young; too young to know any better. I was angry at you. I was furious with you. How could it have taken you so long to find me? What kind of a mother lets their daughter go after everything... after all that happened? It doesn't matter what I said, or what I did,” her voice cracked like lightning against the leader of the caldera. The fur along her neck and shoulders bristled like shadow come to life. All of her rage and pain that had been pent up inside of her for more than a year had found a leak in her guard. Lucy was gushing everything that she had held locked within her, but she did not care. “It doesn't matter...”

“You let me go.”

Lucy had often thought of what she would say to her mother if she should ever see her again. She did not imagine that it would have been anything like that. The fire was dying inside of her, but her limbs still quivered and shook with an unrecognizable force. In her mind, the dark wisp saw only a woman who had made a choice and that choice had cost her all of her childhood. The action that Finley had taken on the day they had last seen each other had shaped the entirety of Lucy's life, and it was not for the better.

Finally, the dark young shadow pulled her gaze away from the grey woman. She fixed her eyes on the earth beneath their feet, praying that she would be grounded by this. Her hopes were not in vain, as it were, but the flood of emotion had sobered her. Her thin shoulders shuddered and dropped. Lucy appeared defeated and shattered, but she had been in such a place before. The shadow had walked through every fire that had burned in her path, and she knew that she would be able to withstand this weight. “It's a good thing that I'm not a child anymore, isn't it?” she asked, still holding her gaze with the frozen ground. “I know better, now.”

Just as she had come, Lucy Blackthorn turned and slithered away. The cloak of ink that shrouded her figure wrapped her in darkness and tucked her away from any watchful gaze. She took to the brush, vanishing from sight with paw steps that left to sign of her body having been. There was no chance for any of her comrades to catch her; she did not want to be found. Just as she had come, the ghoul had disappeared.
February 17, 2018, 06:01 PM
Finley
Redhawks
PPC
I shall see u again someday damnit!!

Finley remained stoney and sad as Lucy reacted to her words. Some small part of her had hoped that maybe this time, her daughter might see the love and the honesty in her words. Apparently, it had been hoping too much. Lucy reacted just the same - with venom and stubborn hurt that was buried too deep to be pulled from her veins so easily. And there was nothing she could say to defend herself. Lucy had every right to the anger and betrayal she felt. She had failed her daughter long before that day in the woods when the girl had run away from her - she had failed the moment she'd let someone steal her little spot away from her in the first place.

She stood silent under the weight of Lucy's fury. She had no words that would comfort the girl - none that would be listened to, and none that would change what had happened. On some level, Fin thought it had been better for Lucy to leave her then. She couldn't imagine what being around the family that had let her be kidnapped would have felt like for the poor girl. Guilt had made her decisions for her that day, and they made them still. When Lucy inevitably turned to run, Fin once again didn't follow.

The alpha watched her daughter's sihlouette grow smaller for a few moments. The presence of Lucy's two companions didn't register to her, still. There was only Lucy, and the hum of thoughts that would not cease inside of her head.

 
February 18, 2018, 04:57 PM
Nevouku
Approved Members

Nevouku just stood there, reamining still as the conversing continued. Then, Lucy ran off. "Lucy!" he called after her, but it was too late. He turned to Skwol, looking quite worried. She could get hurt alone out there. Or...worse. He shook his head, he could not think about that. Then, there was her mother. How worried would she be? "Uh...Miss? I um...I'm s-sorry" he said, stumbling over his words. He had no idea whether to stay and try to comfort the mother, or give chase after Lucy.
February 21, 2018, 11:46 AM
Skwol
Approved Members

It was heart wrenching but it was over as quick as it had begun. Before Skwol could hardly process all that had been said between mother and daughter, his dark companion fled from his side. Dumbfounded, the white wolf did not immediately pursue her. He glanced from Nevouku to the caldera's matriarch. He wanted to tell her to give her daughter time, but it was not his place and he scarcely knew the story. So he bowed his head to excuse himself and then turned and headed down the trail after Lucy.
February 23, 2018, 07:35 PM
Finley
Redhawks
PPC
The sound of her daughter's companion brought her slowly back into her own body, where moments ago it had been running away with the black spot that was quickly approaching the horizon. She tore her gaze away, looking at the one who had spoken first, and then the one who said nothing with his voice, but much with his eyes. She stared back at him for moment, silently begging him to go find her and take care of her. She had sensed that there was something between the two of them, in the protective way he had moved forward, and in the nervous way she had stepped back towards him for security. Fin knew she couldn't give her daughter what she needed right now, but that didn't mean no one could.

The white wolf left, and Fin looked again at the remaining wolf. She had no desire to speak to him or anyone about what had happened just now with Lucy, so she grasped for whatever had been said before that. Something about Sebastian. And. I dunno. "You.. were looking for Sebastian?" she asked, then paused, shook her head, and sighed, "Look.. We're marching on the pack to the East in a few days, us and an ally pack. They're kidnappers and murderers, and we're going to drive them out of the Wilds, or kill them or whatever. All that is to say.. Now's not a great time." She looked again in the direction that Lucy and now her white knight were disappearing into, hoping that they would stay away from the Woods on their way to wherever they were going.

 
February 23, 2018, 07:43 PM
Nevouku
Approved Members

Nevouku watched as Skwol left as well, and he very much hoped he would find Lucy to take care of her. She seemed so kind and sweet, volunteering to bring him here. Then he turned back to Finley as she spoke, mentioning Sebastian. "Uh, y-yes. Sebastian. He's my...he's uh my b-brother." He still saw him as much.

He bowed his head, Aviana had told him of this. "I understand. I-I can remain inside a n-n-nearby territory" he said. He waited about for a bit, then suspected she'd have a lot on her mind. "I-I'll go now...come back another t-time."
February 23, 2018, 07:56 PM
Finley
Redhawks
PPC
His brother? Fin quirked a brow at the male in surprise, but otherwise said nothing as he excused himself. She felt a little bad now, but was still too distracted to feel all that bad. "I think it's probably for the best... I don't want you to get caught up in this. Just... stay safe. I'll keep an eye out for you," she said, forcing a smile that was meant to be reassuring. She would watch him go now, but only for a short while before her eyes would again move to that place on the horizon where her daughter had disappeared. And then she would sit and stare and think, and feel every emotion under the sun from overwhelming joy that Lucy was alive and well after all this time, and terrible grief that she had once again failed to be the mother her girl deserved.