Blackfeather Woods phoenix; you can't touch her without burning
Private  October 13, 2018, 11:20 AM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
for @Fire

        the ravens are not quiet. they squack and caw at one another, squabbling and screaming at the frosted blue-black gamma as he moves through the woods with purpose set in each heavy footfall. their feathers ruffle and he pays them a cursory glance but otherwise pays them no mind aside from the snap of his jaws to cause them to take flight as they meander in his path. move or i'll crush you. they are sacred to these woods, he knows, but words has befallen his ears that someone new has come to the woods. against their will. rumors are fanciful and when carried on the wings of the ravens details are lost. wintersbane knows no details and thus he seeks to remedy that. the dark brother hopeful is cursed with never-ending curiosity and he is both curious and worried about what this will spell to mean for them. perhaps it is not his place to worry about such things; but he is apart of the woods. he calls it home and it's wolves family. as a warrior/guardian he feels that he has every right to be concerned.

        it is not hard to find her. it is dark deep in the jaws of wolfskull cave but her red pelage is like the defiant glow of coals and it is noticeable even though the shadows of the magick bearing woods try to conceal her. the gamma lets out a low chuff to announce his presence to her. his posture is stiff, weary; his glacial gaze assessing her in the distance he leaves between them. he does not recognize her but he recognizes the pack scent she carries and his mind's eye flashes briefly to tywyll and those that had came to greet the cub when he returned the boy home.

        was this woman one of the boy's family? and if she was how does wintersbane feel about her being held a captive? what did this spell for blackfeather woods? he remembers, then, relmyna's cryptic and chilling words at the altar. danger. monsters. was this the catalyst for the prophecy that which the listener spoke?

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 13, 2018, 11:34 AM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive





There is a single bar of sunlight that filters in as the sun rises, and she expects it is the most she will get so long as she resides here.  The towering stalagmites block most of what comes her way; she picks her way through the serrated fangs and settles closer to the entrance until the wind begins to blow, and then returns to the warmer depths of the cave.

There is nothing here to bide her time with. The few bones there are in here she is too afraid to touch.  Something tells her wolf, but something deeper tells her cursed.  There is something vile, dark and wicked at play here that she does not understand and somehow that is more terrifying than the corporeal forms of the Blackfeather wolves.

Speaking of which.  She did not expect to have this many visitors.  The coldness in this man's gaze chilled her to the bone.  It reminded her of (milky cataracts) — no matter.  I am strong.  I am resilient.  I will not be afraid.  Her chin tucks to her throat, hackles raising, the bite to her gunmetal gaze is venomous.  She makes it clear through her body language that she means no trouble; she will just not allow herself to be hurt.

October 13, 2018, 11:47 AM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
        she rouses at his chuff and turns to face him with steel in her grey eyes. the tundrian cannot blame her. would he not, too, retaliate and threaten those who dared to hold him captive? of course he would. she responds with a bristle of her hackles and the gamma takes it with a grain of salt. he is not offended; nor is his anger aimed at her. he does not agree with her presence in these woods ( but it is not his place to do so, really, he must always remind himself ). her presence here is only a threat to them and though he harbors a neutral feeling towards the redhawks and a soft spot of affection for tywyll himself were war to find it's way to their doorstep he would stand and fight against them. he would protect these woods against his own flesh and blood, if that was what it took.

        "i will not harm you." he tells her, breaking his silence. he understands that she might be weary to believe him but he hopes that his lack of movement might help to solidify his words. "you shouldn't be here." there is no accusation in the statement. just a simplicity that betrays his anger that she is. "how did this happen?" he asks, inviting her to tell him the story though the invite toes the line of thinly veiled command.

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 13, 2018, 11:58 AM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive





There is a moment between them in which she can imagine her pelt decorating the entrance of Wolfskull alongside the others, bright wildfire pelage glimmering in the low sunlight.  She holds her breath, trying to still her beating heart.  He does not move.  Instead, he speaks.

"I will not harm you."  His voice is metered and devoid of emotion.  His presence is commanding.  "You shouldn't be here.  How did this happen?"

She doesn't trust him, but she wants to.  There is something about him that reminds her of Llewellyn, of royalty and chivalry.  But he is Blackfeather, and everyone that resides here is the enemy.

She goes to speak and her words dissolve in her throat.  She can remember the stranger's rotting lips enclosed around her larynx, and she wonders that if the evil magick that is working in Blackfeather has stolen her voice alongside her freedom.

Slowly she shakes her head, unable to meet his gaze as she's filled with shame.  She can't tell him.  She can't tell anyone.  Anything.  She takes an apologetic step towards him and smells at the air, though if she's looking for something she doesn't find it.

October 13, 2018, 12:17 PM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
        the gamma draws in a deep breath and lets it out in a slow, measured exhale. the air in wolfskull cave is stale and in some far off place putrid. something has died in this cave recently, left to rot. a woodland creature that has gotten lost in the bowels of the cave, perhaps. he does not focus upon it for too long. not when he wants answers that fate does not seem so inclined to give him. she shakes her head at him. whether it is in denial or an inability to speak wintersbane doesn't know. she draws nearer; just a step, an apology weaved in the movement. he's gotten better at reading body language ( and lips ) since spending time in the listener and her dark daughter's presence. "you can't speak?" he asks as an idea strikes him. "that's ok," he assures her, if that's the case. wintersbane is only assuming at this point.

        he tries not to be so indifferent but this is a delicate situation until the dark council decides what should, if anything, be done with her. it's not up to him to decide anything but that doesn't mean he won't offer up his opinions on the matter if given the chance to. first, however, he needs information; and whom better to get information from than the victim? if wintersbane's learned anything it's that there's always two sides to a story and it's beneficial to listen to both before drawing any sort of conclusion. his anger and weariness is borne of the knowledge that her family and pack will no doubt come looking for her and with the actions of past blackfeather leaders still fresh in everyone's mind it could be their (attempt at) extermination part two (nevermind that he was willing to play a part in it the first time 'round).

        "i'm used to wolves who do not speak," he gives her a tidbit of information about himself. a small, if temporary, olive branch. it means little in the end, coming from a peon, however. "one of them mouths her words," he is careful not to give information about relmyna specifically. he's protective despite that the flame-kissed captive is not the one who is a danger in these woods; and if she is it is only because another sought to bring and keep her here. "maybe you could try that." he suggests.

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 13, 2018, 12:35 PM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive





This man is full of surprises.  "You can't speak?  That's okay."  She'd perhaps expected violence, but he'd rather try coaxing her to mouth her words instead.  She has experience exaggeratedly mouthing words for Towhee, and Wintersbane can likely see the gears turning in her head as she moves her face into the dim light.  Screech — Mou — was a Redhawk, once, she mouths, he attacked our alpha and killed her children.  One of the surviving might be permanently disabled.  

She had to compose herself.  Breathe in, breathe out.  We thought we had killed him.  Our best scouts threw him into the ocean and watched him drown.  But, obviously not.  She licks her lips and continues.  I got attacked recently and got dizzy, she mouths, leaving out the embarrassing part about the flowers, and that's the last thing I remember.

October 13, 2018, 01:06 PM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
        she takes to his suggestion and he focuses on exaggerated mouthing of words as best he can. the lighting isn't the best in wolfskull cave but he makes due. the words he reads are troubling. in some way, it fits right in with the reputation the wolves of blackfeather have built for themselves but instantly instills a deep distrust of mou or screech or whoever he was. he wants to think she's lying but he knows next to nothing of the scarred and pale male. they'd only had one interaction and during that time wintersbane'd been high as a consequence of consuming mushrooms. the tundrian'd wondered how he'd gotten all those scars but if the tale she tells him is true it would explain a few of them.

        he thinks of astara and her pale counterpart, mulling over the knowledge that screech-mou had killed the children of the redhawk's alpha. the listener's daughters aren't small children; soon they'd be reaching an age where they were considered adults to the pack but still. and then there is the consideration that wintersbane himself wanted to start a family of his own; the thought of not being able to trust his own pack-mates around children cause his hackles to bristle.

        it seemed that her captor had a penchant for complete and utter recklessness then. a total disregard to anything and anyone but himself ...at least, this is what wintersbane takes from fire's mouthed words. her presence here only serves to further cement his new founded beliefs about mou ( right or wrong though they may be ). a sound rumbles in his throat; partly a growl, partly a noise of frustration. "then he is not to be trusted." wintersbane concludes and begins to pace back and forth in the small area of his space, suddenly restless, suddenly filled with an itching to do something.

        blackfeather might have a reputation that mou's actions might fit but as the tundrian understood it, it should never be turned against their own wolves. perhaps he hasn't attacked anyone recently but if he could turn against his own family what was a bunch of wolves that held no blood of his? even wintersbane, despite how badly malliadh's words had cut him to the bone, could not bring himself to bring true harm to his sister ...and it wasn't because he was noble. part of him had wanted to kill her. wanting to do something and actually following through were two vastly different things.

        "i can't do anything about him, or about your situation. it is not my place," the gamma admits to her. "the dark council are the only ones that can make the decisions ...but they must know and they must know the truth." it wasn't like fire's presence could be kept a secret for long. he'd smelled her mixed with the others on the borders. if kove and relmyna didn't know about her yet they would soon. it was only a matter of time; and yet how long did they have until the redhawks showed up on their doorstep filled with fury and ready for war?

        "vittu." the tundrian profanity tears itself from his mouth in a low snarl, though whether it was for the situation as a whole or his inability to do anything about it wintersbane isn't sure. perhaps, he acknowledges, a bit of both.

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 13, 2018, 01:18 PM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive





The frustrated sound that forms within Wintersbane's throat rattles around them, and she shrinks beneath it.  She thinks it is at her, that he thinks her to be a liar... and then he says something she has had to remind herself over and over.  He is not an innocent boy anymore.  He's a monster.

The man begins to pace, and she cannot help but to be filled with discomfort.  There is not much room in the cave, filled with stalagmite and stalactite.  She curls up against the wall to allow him his space, and listens as he addresses her again.

They will kill me, she mouths, the line of her lip flattening in frustration.  I am too dangerous to keep alive.  It is with horror she realizes she is right.  She can hear her pulse in her ears.  Will you help me?

October 13, 2018, 02:14 PM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
        she frets; understandably. she fears for her life and perhaps she should ...but wintersbane cannot begin to assume how the dark council will react to her presence here. he is silent and his pacing slows to a stop as he swings his head around to face her, drawing nearer with a curl of his lip. she calls herself too dangerous to keep alive. why does she think that? "why?" he asks. "what do you know?" he demands roughly, wondering what has been said to her, or what has been said in her presence. what does she know that is so dangerous to demand a call for her death?

        or does she just assume; as wintersbane himself does? will you help me? he studies her for a long, silent moment and replays her question in his head. help her? it was true that she should not be here but that did not mean he was going to betray his packmates or the gods for her. wintersbane feels that anger and distrust towards mou is justified; but that does not mean that the dark council will feel the same. helping her would mean going against kove.

        it would mean going against relmyna.

        "no."

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 13, 2018, 02:56 PM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive





Keeping her here would lead his family to death.  This she knew; hoped.  She had told Towhee she was going on a short trip and it had been days since her expected return.  If her family cared about her at all (and she assumed that they did), they would be sending out scouts.. and from then it was only a matter of time.

But she would not tell him if he would not help her.  She stares at him long, unafraid of the curl of his lip or the heat of his breath... and then rolls her shoulder, reclining back into the shadows.

October 13, 2018, 06:32 PM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
for my own reference so i don't have to keep typing it all in "mephala speech"

        the captive stares at him and then shrugs her shoulders and reclines back into the shadows. he stares at her silhouette for a long moment in return and turns away with a frustrated huff. she refuses to speak to him because he will not help her but he cannot help her without risking betraying the woods. he lets out a low snarl and starts to walk away. "tundrian," the whisper soft voice of mephala causes him to freeze in his steps. a shudder of both excitement and reverence slithers down his spine. he thought only the listener could hear her. "is it not the path of the digital pads, of the speakers, informants and snitches that you seek to follow?" mephala's whispering tone is soft in his head, as if she is amused. "am i not the goddess of lies, tundrian? does the weaving of half-truths and false words not fall within the duties of a spy?" her words are not a question despite that she poses it as such. wintersbane isn't inclined to answer aloud without the risk of sounding mentally unhinged to the captive. "she wants to trust you, prince of ice," because of course mephala knows who he really is. "prove that you have your mother's skill, prove to the dark master and listener," mephala croons the title and wintersbane feels his skin heat beneath his pelage at the blatant mention of relmyna. "that you have what it takes to be apart of the brotherhood."

        wintersbane is uncertain and visibly hesitates, pivoting with one paw mid-step. it's risky and he can't proceed without the knowledge of the dark master or listener. but ...then again, every minute she spends as their captive is a minute that the drums of war advance upon them. he turns around abruptly and moves back towards the flame-kissed captive. this time, he closes the distance between them so that he might see her even as she is veiled in shadows. "if i did agree to help you ...what could you promise me in return?" he inquires for surely her stubborn silence earlier meant that she thought she had a hand to play.

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 13, 2018, 07:19 PM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive



Silence comes for a beat after her retreat into the shadows, then he turns heel to leave.  She's fine with this — he is under no obligation to help.  She'll just have to work him a while and see if he will crack.  So far he has been the most assuring and helpful aside from Maegi (although that is not saying much considering she has had all of three visitors).  

Then he freezes, a shiver rippling down the length of his spine.  Fear flows through her as she wonders if he has changed his mind; if now will be the time he chooses to hurt her.  The silence between them continues.  He turns around, hesitantly.

"If I did agree to help you ...what could you promise me in return?"

A thin smile forms at the edge of her lips, a sinister and definitively uncharacteristic glimmer in her eye.  There are dark hands at work as she leans in and mouths, We won't kill your family.  Just Mou.

October 14, 2018, 03:54 AM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
        wintersbane's never been the gullible sort; probably because he's always been rather good at lying and deception, even if he did it under the guise of 'protecting himself' or whatever else he told himself. wintersbane watches as she gives him a thin-lipped smile. she leans in instead of shrinking away from him as she had before. she was growing bold. too bold given her position. even if her family came for her it is unlikely they would be able to find her down here. the web is a network of tunnels, of dead ends and turnarounds. it would be easy to get lost in them. a low warning growl vibrates from deep within his chest.

        "how do i know you aren't lying to me?" a captive would do anything, say anything to be free. he doesn't exactly trust her to keep her word ... and wintersbane does have his own card to play should the redhawks show up on their doorstep. he saved tywyll. he nursed the boy as best he could and took him back home. that was before he'd re-joined blackfeather but as far as the tundrian cared to see it he was owed a favor.

        granted, he'd never intended to use it as a bargaining chip but if it would keep war from erupting wintersbane had no qualms about using it to his and blackfeather's advantage. "that is an audacious promise," wintersbane drawls carefully, glacial gaze assessing her face studiously. "are you of a rank to guarantee me such a thing? would your leaders and warriors listen to you?" did they have a valuable piece of the chess board or was she, like him, a peon; the ultimate decision not up to her?

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 14, 2018, 10:22 AM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive





His growl does not frighten her, but she does alter herself.  Still, she feels that she's telling the truth, and there is nothing more convincing than someone who believes they're being honest.  The only one who has hurt me so far is Mou.  If they will want anyone, it will be him.  And he will deserve it, for everything he has done.

She rolls back onto her haunches.  I am leader.  I am warrior.  Our other beta is my sister, our alpha is my best friend.  Everyone else is sister or brother by blood. Now there was a lie, but it was delivered smoothly — with all the work she did, she might as well have been beta instead of delta.

You're asking a lot for someone who hasn't offered anything.

October 14, 2018, 10:53 AM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
        she tells him things that, if they are the truth, make this situation even more grave than he presumes it to be. and yet, easily wintersbane is affronted by her continued audaciousness. she is in a captive of blackfeather woods and he is currently the highest ranked wolf beneath the dark council. not to mention ...she asked him for help. and yet she speaks with a command to her tone as if she is in control here. he doesn't need to her; not truly. if there is one thing wintersbane doesn't tolerate it's placing all of his bets behind one option. the whole tywyll situation was purely coincidence but ...was it? had the daedra of the woods led him to the boy only to lead him here, to this very moment?

        "leader of the redhawks or not," he snarls the word at her, tail rising over his back and lip curling back. "your rank has no bearing in these woods. especially not in this place," he is keen to remind her. "you are in no position to demand anything of me." he hisses with a low rumble resounding deep in his chest. "you need my help if you ever want to leave this place alive." but she was not the only option available to the blackfeather's, despite what she — so arrogantly, the tundrian considers her words to be — thinks. still, her information could be useful. but how useful? useful enough to deal with her bossing him about like she has any right? "i could easily leave you to rot in here. they won't find you down here." he promises her cruelly with a cold sneer.

        mephala is frustratingly silent, her whispers absent from his mind. so, wintersbane assumes he's left to handle the captive without the night mother's council.

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back
October 14, 2018, 10:58 AM
Fire
Blackfeather Woods
Captive




Her body shrinks, but she offers a defensive curl of her own lip.  Perhaps if she were in top condition she could fight him and maybe even win, but she was still injured and disoriented.

I wasn't demanding anything she mouths, lingering over the word demanding with her lips since she has no tone or inclination to back up her words.

I don't need your help.  She just needs help.  And she thinks that she would rather take the chance with @Maegi than deal with this arrogant prick any longer.
October 14, 2018, 11:09 AM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Gamma
        wintersbane lets out a low snort. he had intended on speaking to the listener about her but the intention is gone, now. "it sure seemed like you were." in the end, she means little to him other than trouble ...but if her words are to believed she is not the source of the trouble. only the unfortunate soul caught in the web. "then so be it." the gamma speaks slowly. he glimpses over his shoulder as he makes his exit. "i hope you don't regret this." are the words he leaves her with.
exit wintersbane. feel free to reply once more or archive as is.

and that was the thing about him.
he kept on surviving
with bullet holes in his lungs
and knife marks etched in his back