Heron Lake Plateau Is it cool that I said all that?
All Welcome  May 07, 2018, 09:19 AM
Fiadh
Approved Members

She'd long since dragged herself out of the self-consciousness that had shrouded her regarding her rank—she was a hard worker and she was better than the low lives that lived at the fringe of pack life. She was Fiadh, a dedicated Redhawk wolf, loyal to her pack and family. It took a couple of days of moping and seeking validation for her feelings from Clover, who was equally immature given she was also a teen, let's be honest, but Fiadh was back to her usual self-assured self.

That didn't mean it wasn't still on her mind, though. She sloshed across a stream feeding into the lake, unperturbed by the water after several days of getting used to it, with a frog dangling by its leg from her jaws. When she reached solid ground again she dug a shallow hole and dropped the frog in, then covered it and marked the spot with a quick spray on urine. She wasn't up to date on the pack's official cache locations yuet, so leaving the food in odd spots was her way of storing it. She would probably dig it up later and bring it for Tywyll and Cinder, but she had another mission now.

She scraped her paws across the ground and headed off in search of @Elwood. If her levelheaded father couldn't help her on this, then she didn't know who could.
May 07, 2018, 11:37 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
After another patrol of the borders, Niamh's day was almost over. She'd developed a fairly strange schedule, which revolved around patrolling, hunting, and resting when she needed to. This way, her border patrols could happen at any time of the day or night- and the rest of her life- eating and sleeping- was more or less fit in around that. It wasn't too taxing, and she'd settled into a sort of routine that had actually proved helpful in satiating her wanderlust. If she was too busy to even think, she'd be too busy to need to wander and explore. She didn't mind patrolling whatsoever- it suited her. 

Having had yet another fairly uneventful patrol, she was as tame as a pussycat when she made her way toward the lake, but her interest was perked when she caught the scent of Fiadh nearby. Pausing and sniffing the air, she discerned that the young female was alone- which was encouraging. Had Clover been with her too, Niamh likely would have avoided her altogether. But if she could get her alone, her chances of avoiding a conflict would be even better, so she followed her nose until she caught sight of Fiadh. 

She wuffed a quiet greeting, to catch Fiadh's attention, and then, as Towhee had taught her, she used Ptero, Towhee's sign language, to speak. "Hey Fiadh, how are you? She signed, and watched for the female's reaction- hoping she'd be impressed, or in the very least, surprised.
May 09, 2018, 08:19 PM
Elwood
Redhawks
Retiree
Just wanted to note for my own timeline that this is before the rank shakeup :)

Heron Lake Plateau didn't quite feel like home yet, but Elwood was willing to give it time. He could often be found with his two youngest boys or patrolling the new borders, and he was somewhere in between those two locations when he spotted Fiadh. But he wasn't the only one approaching the girl, and he watched with an interested quirk of his brow as Screech's comrade drew nearer to Fiadh and then greeted her in sign language.

She seemed to be fairly proficient, at least judging by the single query she had conveyed, and the sight of the stranger using such familiar gestures warmed his heart. Maybe there was hope for the splintered family to grow together again; he thought there was a chance, if Towhee was taking the time to teach ptero to Niamh. When he was close enough to pause in his step and sign back, he smiled and, glancing between the two girls, "said," -Not bad.-
May 09, 2018, 10:09 PM
Fiadh
Approved Members

The last wolf she wanted to see was Screech's companion; she really was searching for her father, so when Niamh came into sight, Fiadh showed no sign of stopping even when the golden she-wolf called her attention. Only when her body and legs began to move in a familiar way did Fiadh stop, and she did so with a dark frown. That Niamh knew some ptero meant she was making an effort to integrate with the pack, which meant she probably wasn't a complete waste of air. Then again...

Fiadh couldn't, and hadn't, forgotten how Niamh had overlooked she and Clover's ranks and refused to listen to their command to get away from the pup den. They could have been more clear about their intent, probably, but as her lip curled subtly upward, she thought that it didn't really matter. Clover was way higher ranked and Fiadh was higher, too, but Niamh had overlooked it in her arrogance and need for an explanation, and had tried to lecture them, and so Fiadh wasn't ready to make nice yet.

Her shoulders tensed as she prepared to leave, but then Elwood was there and responding in kind, and Fiadh's escape was cut off. Her gaze on Niamh was cool for a moment, as if she blamed the outsider for somehow summoning her father here so that Fiadh had to be polite, but she quickly signed back I'm great, Nivea before turning to her father. Can we talk? she wordlessly asked, feeling somewhat confident that Niamh couldn't possibly understand all of it that quickly. She didn't want her sole subordinate involved in this discussion. Privately?
May 09, 2018, 11:27 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Holycrapola, 'Nivea' is like...The perfect nickname for her given that the sign for her name is close to the sign for bathing. GENIUSSSS. Now if only the wolves would get the joke...

Niamh had hoped for a better reaction. Though Fiadh didn't start signing to her immediately, she understood the body language and facial expression easily; she bristled, shoulders tensing and her lips quivered. She didn't even seem impressed in the least that Niamh had started learning Ptero, and that the wolf teaching her was their alpha. None of it seemed to matter, which disheartened Niamh quite a bit. She wilted visibly, ears turning back and tail slumping when Fiadh made a slight movement away from her- but she stopped when another joined them. 

Niamh recognized him, vaguely, as one of the two wolves who'd been protecting the pack's youngest members- and therefore, that meant that this was Elwood, Finley's mate, and mother to Fiadh. She crouched slightly, ready to scamper back should he show any aggression or resentment or even maybe if he thought she was going to attack Fiadh. It seemed all too likely that the Caldera wolves would rather judge her and assume she meant harm than anything else. Instead, though, he surprised her; and complimented her on her ptero. Her tail waved a bit, and she smiled, shyly. -Thanks,- She signed back, but wasn't sure if he saw her, as Fiadh, too, began to sign. 

She was addressed briefly, with deft and quick gestures and she realized that she might be in over her head if that was how Fiadh wanted to talk...There was no way she'd be able to keep up. She signed to her father, then, something about the word 'talk' and whatever the last word was, she didn't recognize the sign, but the body language and facial expression she understood immediately. Feeling like an unwelcome and unwanted presence, she turned her gaze down and stepped back a few paces. "I'll let you two talk, uhm, see you later," she said, and giving Elwood a respectful nod of her head, as well as an appreciative smile- hey, he'd actually been nice to her!- she turned and sauntered off toward the lake.
May 10, 2018, 11:56 AM
Elwood
Redhawks
Retiree
Elwood could tell from Fiadh's stiffened shoulders that she wasn't exactly pleased about Niamh's presence, but the young Blackthorn replied to her in ptero anyway before turning to address her father. Rather than speak aloud, she continued to sign, asking if she could have a moment alone to talk with him. His gaze slid to Niamh as he prepared to politely ask her to excuse them, but she seemed to have gotten the picture, whether she understood Fiadh's rapid gestures or not.

"Thanks," he called after her, then directed his attention back to his daughter. "What's up, Fee?" he asked, foregoing the sign language for a more comfortable and efficient method of communication. He had certainly improved his ability to use ptero, but still wasn't nearly as fluent as Towhee, or even Finley.
May 10, 2018, 08:56 PM
Fiadh
Approved Members

Fiadh watched Niamh go with an impassive expression. The gold-pelted she-wolf was clearly making an effort to involve herself with the pack, which softened some of Fiadh's negativity toward her, but she just wasn't ready. She had no idea how personally Niamh would take it, or how severely, but she wasn't going to do things on anyone's terms but her own. She didn't hold grudges, not really, but it took longer than a day and one effort at a positive interaction to regain her trust once it was broken.

"I wanted to ask about trades," she said, glad that Elwood hadn't reprimanded her for not being instantly friendly to Niamh. She didn't know if her father had heard about the incident at the pup den, but she was glad her parents were more-or-less on her side regarding these strangers. Brightening up, she seated herself on the damp loam and explained, "I don't really know what I want to do with my life. I like doing everything and I like helping everyone with their tasks, I don't really love or hate any of them, so I don't know which one to pick. Is there a trade like that for helping everyone? Or... can you give me one to go for?"

She didn't mention the reason behind her sudden interest in trades. Not only had she sort of banished her negativity surrounding it and channeled it into productivity as best she could, but Fiadh wasn't willing to invite another effort at joking around about it, even though she doubted Elwood would take it as lightly as Finley seemingly did.
May 14, 2018, 12:02 PM
Elwood
Redhawks
Retiree
Once Niamh was out of earshot, Fiadh shared her concerns with her father. Elwood listened, nodding thoughtfully as she expressed her trouble with picking a trade for herself. He remembered having a conversation with her on this very topic when she was younger, and at the time her indecision had seemed age-appropriate. While she was older now, he could still understand why it was difficult for her to decide what she wanted to dedicate her life to; it was a big decision, and as Fiadh herself said, she seemed to have many things she enjoyed or was good at.

"Well," he said, "there are two ideas that jump to my mind right away, just based on what you said. You could be a counselor, like Mom, who helps others with making decisions or resolving conflicts. Or maybe a caregiver. Eljay is a caregiver, and his specialty is taking care of puppies, but Raven is also a caregiver and she focuses more on the medical side of things. But in general, a caregiver does just what the name suggests -- takes care of his or her pack." He paused, waiting for feedback from Fiadh before providing her with more information.
May 20, 2018, 11:36 PM
Fiadh
Approved Members

She was grateful that unlike Finley, Elwood didn't laugh off her uncertainty or suggest a dumb trade that no one would respect. Seriously, what even did bards do? Dance around and twirl their paws? Your siblings would love that, snorted her inner voice. Thanks, mom. Elwood was clearly the winner of the Best Parent award for, what, the fifteenth year running?

"Mom's a counselor?" she asked as he finished in a voice coloured with disbelief. She suppressed the urge to giggle as she added, "mom sucks at giving advice. She told me to be a bard and made fun." Of bards, specifically, not of Fiadh, but it was totally sort of the same thing to a sensitive pre-teen. Liffey would have agreed with her. Too bad she didn't know who Liffey even was.

"Caring for the pack sounds good," Fiadh mused. "Then I could hunt for anyone who needs it or help out on the borders or just help everywhere, I could do a little of everything." It really sounded like the perfect job for a jack-of-all-trades like Fiadh. Only... "Would I be stuck babysitting all the time?" It wasn't that she didn't like kids. Really, she did. She just didn't want to be on den duty all the time while her siblings got to do cool, fun stuff. They'd make fun for sure.
May 21, 2018, 11:54 AM
Elwood
Redhawks
Retiree
At Fiadh's proclamation that Finley wasn't a good counselor, Elwood bit back a smile. Fin's methods were...let's say "unorthodox." Although Fiadh had taken offense at her mother's advice, Elwood would be willing to bet that Finley hadn't meant anything mean by what she had said. She probably just hadn't realized how seriously her daughter was taking this choice.

He remained quiet as she thought aloud about the benefits of being a caregiver. It seemed like it could potentially be a good fit, and he nodded his encouragement, only to change the movement of his head into a back-and-forth shake when she asked about babysitting. "Not at all. If that's not what you're interested in, then you don't have to spend all your time with the puppies. You can care for the pack in different ways; like you said, hunting for someone who can't, for instance." He then retraced his steps slightly and mentioned Finley again. "And remember that you can change your trade if you need to -- Mom wasn't always a counselor. She was a scout first," he said. He lowered his voice conspiratorially and added, "She was probably a better scout than she is a counselor." (Although that may not have been true, either -- she had gotten herself into a lot of trouble while out scouting.)
May 24, 2018, 12:52 PM
Fiadh
Approved Members

Fiadh felt guilt wash over her about what she'd said—how could she not love spending time with her baby brothers? They were precious, their smiles infectious, their tough guy attitudes too cute to be taken seriously. They made her heart a soft fire to gently warm her soul when she was around them. No doubt she would love to look after them sometimes, just not all the time. She opened her mouth to emphasize that she just didn't want to be stuck in dens every day and was happy to help sometimes, but ended up not saying anything as Elwood offered other suggestions.

Including the possibility of changing her trade if it didn't end up suiting her. Her eyes widened as Elwood explained that Finley had once been a scout, then gave it up to be a counselor. A smile threatened to curl the corners of her lips up but she gave them a subtle twitch instead and asked, "why'd she quit it, then?" Maybe, thought Fiadh, her mother just didn't realize how bad she was at her current job.

"Do you think talking to Raven about being a caretaker would be a good start?" she asked next, although she already knew the answer to that. After this discussion she planned to seek the dark-haired Alpha out and get more information on the trade and what it entailed. She reckoned she would need to speak with Eljay, too, about his position as a caretaker for comparison, but that could happen later.
June 01, 2018, 12:10 PM
Elwood
Redhawks
Retiree
She asked why Finley had given up her job as scout to become a counselor, and Elwood rolled his shoulders thoughtfully as he replied. "Once our family started growing, she was spending a lot more time at home. She decided that it would be better to help the pack in a different way, since she wasn't doing nearly as much traveling," he said. "You should ask her about her adventures sometime, though -- she's got some good stories," he encouraged in the next breath.

As for talking to Raven, Elwood nodded his agreement. "Yeah, I think that's a great idea. Obviously she can tell you a lot about medicine, but she helps in other ways, too. I'm sure she'd be more than happy to help you."
June 09, 2018, 12:18 PM
Fiadh
Approved Members

Mind if we fade here? I'd like to take a little break and PPC Fiadh for a few weeks 'til things in the pack start to calm down, since I'm struggling to keep up with it all and it's becoming very overwhelming!

She couldn't say she really felt like going to ask Finley about her expeditions at the moment, what with her mother's light mockery still fresh in her mind, but Fiadh pocketed the idea for another time. Scouting didn't interest her so much—how could you stay on top of the pack's gossip if you weren't there?—but stories always did. Maybe she'd learn something new about Finley that way and would find a way to reconnect. But not today.

"Thanks, dad," Fiadh gushed. There were other caregivers in the pack worth speaking with, but Raven was the primary one she could think of. She would visit her elder brother at another time, perhaps, after learning more about the trade itself. "Do you mind if I go see her now?" Assuming she had time, of course.
June 12, 2018, 08:31 AM
Elwood
Redhawks
Retiree
No problem! I'm having a hard time keeping up with it too, lol.

His daughter seemed to be happy with the information he had given her, which, in turn, pleased Elwood. Of course, he would never pressure her to take up one trade over another -- and, honestly, if she never settled on one, he would be okay with that, too -- but he was glad to see her excitement begin to grow. When she asked for his permission to go talk to Raven at that very moment, he nodded his head quickly in agreement.

"Sure, that's a great idea. Go ahead. You can fill me in later," he replied with a grin, then watched as Fiadh loped away in search of Raven.