Heron Lake Plateau now i’m free from what you are
All Welcome  November 06, 2018, 12:46 PM
Caiaphas
Rusalka

oh god bby what is u doin

there once had been a time where, perhaps, caiaphas would have been happy to keep her head down, to roll along with the sundry punches and bucks life among other wolves was oft given to propagate. that time, however, had long ago fled — the amazon had her children to think of. 

children she would refuse to raise weak. 

it had been no secret that as of late, certain rumblings in their leadership structure had occurred. caiaphas thought back to fire — where the hell was fire — as she thought of the last opening in ranks to occur. she could feel, in that bizarre and electric way, a shift in the atmosphere — the growling approach of a snarling storm black beyond measure. 

that it frustrated the sylph to witness such lax leadership was in itself an understatement — Caiaphas resented it entirely, the disdainful way one might resent the house centipede that stubbornly inhabited the dark realms underneath the sink. it reflected poorly on her - on the pack - to be housed in such poorly crumbling infrastructure. it made for weak, stupid wolves... and caiaphas detested both with equal measure. 

where the fuck was fire?

her halcyon gaze swept the empty plateau, rueful and contemplative. it was her impression what she was doing was right, but she knew also it would be poorly received. nevertheless, the siren threw back her head and howled regardless — a high, rippling note that challenged raven (and truly, any wolf that opposed) for alphaship. i am taking it, her howl seemed to say between the icy chatter of the wind: i am taking it and you cannot stop me. 

this house was my flowered heart,
but my petals have fallen.
November 06, 2018, 01:09 PM
Phox
Asterism Grove
Kilonova
After yesterday's trip to the island between the river, Phox had returned to the plateau and settled in for an early evening before the sun had even gone down. He had carefully re-buried the rabbits he had caught in the pack's actual territory, rather than the adjacent one before making his way back to the crevice he now called home. He did not know how long Towhee wanted him to stay down in the lower parts of the Redhawk claim, but he assumed (rightly or wrongly) that she would let him know when he would be more welcome among the rest of the pack. At least Niamh had been kind to him. That friendly social warmth had felt foreign and comforting at the same time.

He had risen early, before the sunrise, as was his routine since he had come back to the Teekon Wilds (and very likely his routine for the better part of the year he'd been gone). The morning and the sunrise had been quiet, and he had spent it sitting quietly watching the stars and determining whether or not he would stay nearby or venture further away when the sun came out in full force. As usual, he looked to the stars for answers, watching them as if they might give him some unknown knowledge that he was not yet aware of. In the end, he decided to stay at the plateau and hunt along its base.

The hunter was doing just that when the call rang out and caused him to stop dead in his tracks. It was not a wolf he knew, and it was not one who sounded pleased, judging solely by the tone. He thought instantly of the wolves Niamh had taken, not realizing that this was a dissenter from within their own ranks. Feeling a rush of responsibility, he chucked away any idea that he should stay away from the middle of things. He had to find Towhee. Or Niamh. Or Raven. Or anybody who could help.

Long, dark legs propelled him up the plateau's side, the path unfamiliar. Tracking had always been one of his strong suits, and it wasn't long before he found a napping @Towhee. He paused, watching her for a split second and fearing the worst if he should startle her awake, but there was no time to worry for his own safety. Still, he could try. Picking up a nearby stick, he flung it directly at her face.

-Somebody's trying to take over!- he signed as quickly and as emphatically as he possibly could. Being deaf, she had likely slept right through the call.

-speaking/signing- speaking
November 06, 2018, 01:29 PM
Towhee
Asterism Grove
Kilonova
If asked to give a percentage, Towhee might have said she'd regained about 50% of the sensation in her leg. Although it was only operating at half capacity, she also would've said she was 100% adapted to it now, or at least very close to that number. Only a very careful observer would even notice her limp and it only slowed her down marginally. She still didn't consider herself in top fighting shape but she'd really made lemonade out of these lemons. If not for her concerns for Tegan and Ceara, she might have even claimed life was smooth sailing lately.

But there was the matter of their still-missing pack mates, not to mention their absentee Alpha. It didn't really bother Towhee—Quixote, Niamh, her godparents and herself could steer the ship in the meantime—but it prevented her from sleeping restfully. Even after an exhaustive patrol, Towhee fidgeted in her sleep. She whimpered too, loudly, but of course that didn't wake her.

What did wake her was a stick flung at her face. Towhee jerked awake and rolled to her feet in a matter of seconds. She normally would've suppressed the guttural growl that instinctively bubbled in her throat, yet when she saw who'd thrown it, she went right ahead and unleashed it. She also ignored Phox's frantic signing entirely as she took hold of the stick and charged, planning to stab him with it.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of AG are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

November 06, 2018, 02:42 PM
Niamh
Firebirds

WC: 978
Soon, Niamh told herself. Soon.

Today was the day that Colt and Raven were meant to return from another trip out searching for Ceara, but Niamh had the same sinking feeling she’d had almost every other time they’d left- for some reason, she was losing hope that she would be found, likely because she knew Colt and Raven could only go so far before obligation brought them back to the pack. She wanted to volunteer, but Raven insisted that she go. Niamh might not have been the best wolf to send out anyway, given the fact that her heart wouldn’t really be into it. She would stay, as they needed a strong defense, and Quixote stayed with her so that there was at least one alpha around. Given the situation, though, Colt had gone off with Raven for each of the searching missions because Ceara was his sister, and because he would keep Raven safe.

Needless to say, there was a bounce to Niamh’s step as she left her den which she had just finished tidying up- making it fluffy and warm and soft, and she had left a nice fat rabbit inside for Colt for when he returned. She quite liked the domestic side of life, and sharing everything with Colt. She could hardly wait for him to cross the borders so that she could drag him unceremoniously back toward their den where she’d keep him trapped for as long as possible...A bit selfish? Sure. But they were newlyweds- and all this searching for Ceara business was really ruining what should have been their honeymoon. Of course, she was concerned about Ceara too- but Niamh was a selfish wolf, and she had been wanting a proper honeymoon for ages and wasn’t getting one. Not yet, anyway. She wanted Ceara back in the pack, but her motivation was, of course, selfish.

She’d been strolling along the borders, waiting to pounce her mate as soon as she caught scent of him when the call came up. It was Caiaphas, so immediately, her tail swayed from side to side and her ears perked. She was a proud wolf, and a capable fighter. Niamh had come to bond with Raleska, who was like a smaller version of Caiaphas, though she had yet to find the courage to let go of any self-consciousness she had. Niamh liked the adolescent, and wanted to train her to be an apprentice, the same way Tegan had taken Rory under his wing. Before the message could be interpreted, and in the moment of simply identifying the voice, Niamh felt a rush of energy- maybe there was something that needed to be chased out, and she, of course, would join her. But then came the grim, almost cryptic message that took Niamh some time to decipher.
She was taking it- and there was nothing that she could do to stop her.

Was Caiaphas being defensive over a kill? It didn’t sound like something she’d do to anyone who wouldn’t back off right away anyway. Who in their right mind would have challenged Caiaphas for a kill? But then again...The recipient of the message- and that’s what really worried Niamh- was Raven. Niamh’s ears perked. At first, she wondered if that meant that Caiaphas had caught Raven’s scent, which meant that Raven and Colt were back already, and that she’d found them along a different part of the border, or somewhere else within the pack. At first, she simply felt excited- as it meant that Colt was home...But when she reflected back upon the message, she growled. Anything that Caiaphas had, and was trying to claim for her own, would never be claimed against Raven. Whether it was a kill or a den, anything Raven wanted, technically, Raven could have. But as Niamh thought for a moment, she considered a much more darker meaning behind the message- and when it came to her, she didn’t know what to think.
Caiaphas was challenging Raven for alphaship.

Naturally, this worried Niamh quite a bit. If leadership was decided by physical power alone, she felt that Caiaphas would have the upper hand. Raven was the sort of wolf who led with reason and trust, and Caiaphas...Well, she was a powerful wolf, but she ought to have simply been thankful that she and her two children had been taken in after going through hardships. Now she was challenging for leadership? Niamh was angry, but hurt as well. What would it mean? She didn’t want Caiaphas to win...She didn’t want a battle to happen at all. She didn’t necessarily want to lose Caiaphas from the pack either, as she was a massive asset, and one of their strongest members. And if they lost Caiaphas, they’d lose Raleska and Svalinn too...But if Caiaphas won...No. Niamh gritted her teeth together. She couldn’t allow it. Having finally made her decision, she launched into a gallop and made a beeline toward the area where Caiaphas had called from, and used her sense of smell to pinpoint the female’s location once she’d found it. She rounded on the female, hackles bristling and tail raised above her back. Even though she was challenging for alphaship, she was still of an inferior rank than Niamh, so she felt entitled to stand tall. ”What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” She challenged roughly, a growl in her voice, but a pleading tone too. She didn’t want any of this to happen. She wanted Caiaphas on their side, and she didn’t want to lose the bond she was forming with Raleska. ”Caiaphas, please,” She crooned, and shook her head. ”Stand down. Don’t do this.” In the end, she knew whose side she was on. But that didn’t mean she wouldn’t fight just a bit for both.
November 06, 2018, 08:09 PM
Caiaphas
Rusalka

a chilling quiet rushed around caiaphas following the last keen note of her cry. even the wind seemed to settle, as if waiting in that growing unease for the gathering of some terrifically immense storm. 

somewhere nearby, phox and towhee jousted; caiaphas’ sharply swerving gaze did not notice them. 

she could not deny an old energy had returned to her clattering bones - adrenaline, rent in righteous fervor and imprisoned fury — it crawled up her thin legs and set her mind racing. 

she knew niamh would likely be the first to come, and the golden blaze did not disappoint. caiaphas caught the indignation, the confusion, and the loyalty for a wolf besides herself in that intelligent, honeyed gaze. the siren queen was quite aware she would make little friends with this endeavor, but it did not prevent a funny emotion from seeping into her stomach. 

you would have thought she had just threatened to kill raven and execute her children — not just usurp her title. perhaps that was caiaphas’ failure to see that loyalty was sometimes devoutly blind — in her eyes, challenging a weakened leader was as natural as the cold autumn sunlight that spilled across her back. providence, even. 

for how many months had caiaphas been here, earning her keep — yet never clawing her way past the kappa rank. she had not only been sharing an idle observation with fire that day - she has been exposing a cancerous wound; in her eyes, she could do better. 

understandably niamh did not quite share that conviction. with a wearied sullenness caiaphas held the she-wolf’s gaze, though her tail remained limp and her posture unchallenging. i am doing what is right. caiaphas growled thickly, aware she might have sealed her own exile (or death) with her actions. we need strong leadership — wolves that fight and kill for their own — not just hide. there was a subtle insinuation there, and it glimmered venomously in her eyes. where was fire? it is not personal - and it does not need to fall to violence. she spoke deceptively calmly for a wolf that had just upended the order of an entire pack, and soon would taste the brandish of fangs for her insolence. she has been ... absent as of late.  i could make us stronger.

this house was my flowered heart,
but my petals have fallen.
November 06, 2018, 09:33 PM
Phox
Asterism Grove
Kilonova
The reaction he had expected had been the reaction he had gotten, but there was no time to lose. Instead of fighting back, he immediately slumped to the ground, turning onto his back with his eyes closed and signing the same thing in various forms over and over again. -Somebody's trying to take over! Towhee, listen!- He did not know any other way to get through to her, even if it meant scars for him later. Whatever damage she wanted to do, she could have it, but she couldn't let the pack be overthrown by somebody else. Not now, not ever. He had just gotten back, and maybe this was selfish of him, but he wanted a home now more than ever. If anybody could stop a usurper, it would be Towhee.

As he attempted to keep from getting eaten to death while simultaneously signaling his intentions to his sister. X happened to be nearby, and the red-tailed hawk swooped down between them. It was not Phox who stopped Towhee, but a mother fuckin' bird. Phox had not come out without getting gashed and scraped by the stick that Towhee had stabbed him with again and again. He was not sure if some of it had been teeth or not, but he was left with bruises, scrapes, and puncture wounds. Phox knew he would hurt for this later, but that did not matter.

The hawk seemed to remember him in some way or another, and it perched on Towhee's shoulder blades peering at him. -Something's happening,- he repeated again, -I don't know who, but somebody is trying to oust Raven from her spot. We have to stop them!- He paused, giving Towhee a pleading look. This was not for his own selfish reasons. He knew how much this pack meant to Towhee, Raven, and the rest of the Redhawks. -We have to try. Please.-

-speaking/signing- speaking
November 06, 2018, 09:56 PM
Towhee
Asterism Grove
Kilonova
By the third or fourth sharp prod with the stick, Towhee's desire to maim her brother lessened significantly. There was something about his helpless, submissive flailing that actually made her feel a little sick (to her stomach? To her soul? A little bit of both?). She began to back off him even as X materialized and alighted on her shoulder blade, his weight calming her and the subtle pinch of his talons grabbing her full attention. She withdrew, spitting the stick on the ground.

Only then did she actually process what Phox was trying to tell her. She blinked, slowly, twice. "Is it true?" she barked, the question not directed at the wolf but at the raptor seated on her back. He gave her flesh a telling squeeze. "Show us," she commanded, unconsciously including Phox even as she spun on a heel, her back to her brother as the hawk lifted back into the air.

When Towhee arrived, she saw Niamh first and her heart jumped into her throat. Was Niamh attempting to usurp Raven? Before Towhee could possibly process that, she noticed Caiaphas positioned just beyond the Beta female. Oh, thank fuck, Towhee thought a little insanely when it became clear—mostly by the Theta's body language—that her Person wasn't the one attempting to unseat Raven.

That Caiaphas was gunning for the matriarch's rank was nearly as perplexing, but in entirely different ways. Who did she think she was? Even if she could make a case against Raven, there were half a dozen much more eligible wolves between the Theta and the Alpha female rank. Although everyone in the pack was technically a Redhawk, she wasn't even part of the two families that comprised the pack's legacy. Towhee couldn't help but curl her lip and suddenly think of Caiaphas as, Outsider...

After taking a few beats to assess the situation and deliberate how to react, Towhee moved forward, stopping beside the Beta. She'd helped handpick each of the current leaders and she didn't take kindly to Caiaphas's bid for leadership. Raven wasn't perfect, yet the mercenary would absolutely defend her. Even if the rank was unoccupied, Towhee wouldn't stand for Caiaphas as Alpha. She respected her, yet in that moment, the yearling realized she would never accept anyone but a true Redhawk or Blackthorn in a position of power in this pack. #ElitistAF

Orange eyes boring into Caiphas's haunting yellow eyes, Towhee grated out, "No." She made the ptero sign simultaneously. "Just—no."

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of AG are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

November 06, 2018, 11:33 PM
Niamh
Firebirds

WC: 490



There was a calm and composure to the way that Caiaphas held herself, but this was nothing unusual for the female, who was normally just as cool as ice, and stoic in a way that was easy for Niamh to admire. Now, though, she found it incredibly irritating that she spoke with such conviction, turning against the kind alpha female that had let her and her two suckling children join the pack. What else should she have expected, given the fact that she’d been allowed to join in those circumstances- Caiaphas’ own babe had moved forward to greedily suckle on Raven the day they’d joined, and he hadn’t been discouraged. They’d given everything to Caiaphas and now that her pups were old enough, she was just going to change their situation- as Niamh knew full well no wolf in the pack was simply going to roll over and let Caiaphas take charge.

Well, Niamh wasn’t, anyway. If anything, Raven’s children or Towhee were next in line to take over- not some stranger, even though Caiaphas probably wouldn’t have made a bad alpha. What she was doing now, however, was in poor taste and Niamh couldn’t accept it. She shook her head, frowning deeply at Caiaphas’ comment, that she was doing what was right. She growled softly. ”This isn’t right, trying to usurp alphaship from Raven; she’d out looking for a valued member of our pack- and has left perfectly capable substitutes in charge in her absence,” She said, hackles lifting. If Caiaphas dared to challenge her on that, then she was challenging Niamh directly. True- another alpha might have valued the safety of the pack over that of an individual, but she hadn’t left to go searching for long stints, she’d always come back when she’d said she would, and she and Colt couldn’t ever go too far. Niamh knew first hand what Raven was up to- simply because her mate was with the alpha every time she went out searching.

”She’s not hiding, she’s searching. And how dare you, seriously, after we took you and your two suckling children in? If Raven’d been anything like you, she would have sent you and your kids away the day you showed up.” She said, reminding Caiaphas of the assets that a kind leader offered, as she seemed to have forgotten. When Towhee showed up, Niamh took solace in her support, and snorted, nodding, as her Person spoke. She took one step toward Caiaphas, ears pricked to show she meant business.

”Not a single wolf in this pack is going to follow you.” She said. ”Not today, not ever.” The same conviction that possessed Caiaphas had seeped into Niamh’s frame as well, and the growl had left her voice. This pack was built on the foundation of family- and she’d be damned if that was about to change.
November 07, 2018, 01:20 AM
Quixote
Frosthawks
Alpha
Quixote was obviously not first on the scene, and to a certain point that was probably a good thing.  It gave a chance for the flare of temper to burn out.  He was, unsurprisingly, with the pups, just your average, ordinary day.  He did wish that he was one of the ones out searching instead -- partially because he still saw himself as somewhat expendable in comparison to Raven -- but since he couldn't convince her otherwise, well... Here they were.

When the howl happened, it quite reasonably scared the litter, and @Owen tried to scatter to go... Oh who the hell knew what that kid was doing, but a very terse shout of his name finally snapped him out of it, thank goodness.  After wrangling his daughters as well, Quixote took a moment to explain that things would be okay, it was just someone being stupid and he was gonna go sort them out.  They were going to be fine, their mom was going to be fine (and would be back soon!), and they should just wait at their little thicket for a while.  After a quick howl to @Eljay to get him over to sit on the bunch (literally, if needed), Quixote finally headed towards where Caiaphas was.


Honestly he was furious that she would even try to do that.  Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.  The fact that Raven had been willing to let in the other pups had irritated him at first -- he'd been worried about how young their own pups were at the time and didn't want the competition -- but by the time he knew, it was too late for takebacks.  It would have been a reasonable choice  either way, and he wouldn't have felt bad telling them to move along.

Quixote was normally a pretty causal guy when it came to posturing for rank.  He took up a fair amount of space naturally just because of his build, and as long as people knew their place, he wasn't going to flaunt it.  Normally.  But this time when he appeared on the scene, it was like he actually cared. Though not quite overbearing, he was definitely in "Yo, I am actually an alpha, don't freaking forget I exist, you noobs,"-mode.  Because holy crud did she really just expect the other alpha would just say "Mmkay, sounds good"?

His words were...  probably the best description would be a cold sort of calm where you know that they've had enough time to think things through and just really were not pleased with whatever nonsense their target was up to.  I'm sure when Raven spoke to you about the pack, she mentioned that it's very familial.  You seem to have forgotten that, because that howl moved you from a member in reasonable standing to be the most untrustworthy sack of meat within two weeks' travel. 

He looked between Towhee and Niamh specifically then, continuing in a pretty self-sure manner, I assume you've also told her what a bad idea that was, and that it was real classy challenging a wolf that's trying to find a missing packmate, yes?  Because he trusted them.  They were reasonable, and he was sure that if she'd voiced some really stupid opinion, they'd probably already tried to set her straight.  But given Caiaphas didn't look ashamed at all, it probably didn't work.

As far as he was concerned, she wasn't even worth a fight.  She'd be trying to lead a pack where it'd be in a constant state of coup d'etat, with fellow leaders also wishing she didn't exist.  How she could be so daft as to not see that, Quixote wasn't sure, but apparently she was.  At the same time, he was also fairly tightly wound, just in case she did something even more stupid.  If she was actually wanting a fight, he wasn't going to be caught off-guard, but he also wasn't going to encourage it.  Again, it was pointless.  You are going to turn around, leave, and take whatever trouble you've gotten into recently with you.  Bridge was burned, don't come back.  He didn't know what she'd done to get the new array of wounds she'd been sporting recently, but he'd been wary of its existence to begin with -- it looked like fight wounds with another wolf to him, and surely if it was from some crazy loner, that would have been worth reporting to the pack.  It smelled off to him, but apparently he wasn't going to have to ask about it. 

But well, she wasn't alone, was she?  Your children will be given the option to stay or go with you, because that hole you've dug isn't their fault, but I'm not going to stop them if they want to jump in too.  Which seemed fair to him.  And honestly, he'd find it kind of hilarious and fitting if the kids ditched their unstable mom for a secure home.
November 07, 2018, 06:21 AM
Caiaphas
Rusalka

not surprisingly, caiaphas’ actions had an unsavory ripple effect. she watched as more wolves arrived,  noted the disgruntled and disgusted looks — the total lack of support for doing what as a wolf came as natural; eliminating the weakest link. 

towhee was spared any sort of loathsome comeback, though caiaphas fancied she saw something akin to superiority flicked in the wolf’s arresting gaze. it made her think back on what niamh had just spoken- of how if the roles had been reversed, she might have been turned away to the dogs. patently, that was untrue — caiaphas had founded saltwinter, after all — and had taken in just about every wretch to darken her doorstep. though the wolves of redhawk knew very little of the past life caiaphas had lead, perhaps for the better.  it had come to her once, that dark tendril of a thought that bloomed into a hostile realization: these wolves knew nothing of her except for what she had told them - and they cared little to learn more. 

still, she was ironclad in her belief that the matron that had found it in her heart to let such a wretch in was not fit for leadership; perhaps now raven would know the true sting of biting the hand that fed. 

Quixote was next to arrive and caiaphas studied him with a distant sort of tiredness. the revulsion in his tone was bitter and brought forth unspoken bile. that was the rub, wasn’t it — that she wasn’t family? but he wasn’t family either, was he? he shared no more relation to them than she had — save, of course, that he happened to be presently boning the wolf in the very position caiaphas was hungry for: if he was part of the deal, she would of course have to make arrangements to change that. is shared blood the only definition of family? the siren queried, her tone rather pointedly dark as she glanced upon the alpha male. 

but wasn’t it the duty of family, to pursue that bloodline’s best interest? 

it occurred to caiaphas too late that these wolves would not see the forest for the trees. her platform would not find merit here. she had been in redhawks for several months now - and had been reliably more present then many. and still, like fire, caiaphas would find she would never be actualized here.   it is not in the last week alone that she has been absent. caiaphas returned, daring to meet the vengeful eyes of her opposition despite the prospect of death. she thought back to the last time she had seen the alpha female — not recently at all. in fact, caiaphas suspected more than any the she-wolf had been scarce and in a more bloodthirsty, unsympathetic pack would have been dethroned sometime prior to caiaphas’ insurgence. it is the duty of family to protect its best interests. weak leadership is no asset.
November 07, 2018, 08:49 AM
Phox
Asterism Grove
Kilonova
Feel free to skip me next round! I'll be out leading a bike ride, and Phox won't be doing anything beyond backing up his fam bam.

The wolf attempting to claim the throne was not, much to Phox's relief, somebody not within the Redhawk ranks as he had at first suspected. His head had immediately gone to the wolves Niamh had spoken of, and he had worried that somehow he had not acted quickly enough on her not-so-subtle suggestion to seek out more information about the nearby settlers, even though it had only been a day since they'd had that discussion.

Wherever Towhee moved, Phox was at her shoulder. He would back her up in any capacity that he could. Three against one was not good odds for this potential usurper, and he knew the rest of the Redhawks would not allow it to happen. Or at least he thought he knew. The poor wretch had only been back a week, and now all this was happening. Same ol' Redhawk Caldera, even if they now lived on a plateau instead of a mountain.

It was Niamh and who Phox could only assume was Quixote who filled in some of the backstory of the wolf, Caiaphas, who attempted to assert herself into Raven's seat at the helm. She had come with young pups (something the previous generation of Redhawks never would have allowed) and now she thought the leadership was weakened. She spoke of weak leadership, and yet Phox saw two strong leaders standing tall and proud before him. Even if his wet nurse/sister was nowhere to be found, it made no sense that this wolf should assume the position—especially without the blessing of the current leadership.

But alas, the Mu did not speak. He stood beside Towhee, bracing himself for whatever (or whoever) might come next.

-speaking/signing- speaking
November 07, 2018, 09:25 AM
Towhee
Asterism Grove
Kilonova
Quixote arrived, righteously furious as he told Caiaphas what for. Towhee stood there, solidly planted between Niamh and Phox, and did her best to catch every word she could. It occurred to her that Quixote wasn't a legacy member either and she realized her elitism went even deeper. But now was not the time to assess these matters. She shook her head lightly to clear her thoughts, eyes sharpening to a laser focus as the Alpha male rebutted Caiaphas's ill-advised attempt to claim esteem.

She swallowed a growl at Quixote's closing words—it was better for everyone if the wretch's pups went with her too—and then shifted her gaze to Caiaphas. The she-wolf queried about the definition of family and the former leader's eyes glittered. It was an oversimplification, yet not entirely off-base. All the same, Towhee didn't deign it worthy of a response. It was much easier to peg Caiaphas as "not family" than define "family" right now.

But Towhee did have a response for Caiaphas's next question. "Are you fucking deaf?" she snapped. "And blind?" she added, making overly emphatic gestures in the directions of Quixote and Niamh. She then looked back to the would-be usurper and moved toward her. As mercenary, she was fully prepared to enforce the Alpha male's decree. "This isn't going to happen. Now let's go." Because of the woman's otherwise fair history with the Redhawks, her words were slightly less forceful than they might've been otherwise. But Towhee bared her teeth slightly to show she meant business.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of AG are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

November 07, 2018, 09:49 AM
Colt
Firebirds
Sovereign
Colt was indeed set to arrive that day, and arrive he did.  He was ahead of @Raven, perhaps so she could stop in to see her children, perhaps another reason. The moment he arrived, though, solidly dejected after another failed round of searching, he had the only intention of finding Niamh.  As time stretched on, the failure only got worse.

When he found her, it wasn't alone like he hoped, but instead a massive group of tense packmates.  Luckily he arrived in time to hear Caiaphas' last remarks.  Context was easy after that.

Funny thing about Colt.  When he was upset, he tended to be more honest than usual.  Probably the last vestiges of that everyone-be-damned personality.

He ignored Towhee and cut in next to Niamh, though Caiaphas was the focus. You're right. He replied, and his voice was neutral.  She was.  Raven was searching with him instead of leading.  But if anyone has the right to step in while she searches, it's Niamh.  Not you.

He was aware he might be putting himself straight in the proverbial doghouse with this statement, but hell.  He'd just wanted lunch and a cuddle.
November 07, 2018, 02:19 PM
Raven
Frosthawks
Alpha
Made some assumptions (re: Eljay filling Ray in) so we could keep things moving instead of going through a round of "what's going on here?" Hope that's OK Iris! <3

As she and Colt returned from yet another fruitless attempt to find any sign of Ceara, Raven had silently decided that this would be the last such excursion. If they hadn't found her friend's trail by now, they weren't going to find it. She felt no small amount of guilt for the fervency with which she had searched, placing Ceara's welfare well above the other priorities which demanded her attention -- chiefly, leading her pack.

Granted, it wasn't as though they were left with no one in the captain's chair. Quixote handled things well in her absence, even with the added burden of assuming almost full-time care of their litter of rambunctious and headstrong five-month-olds. Niamh had proven herself a strong and capable leader as well, and Towhee, Finley, and Elwood were all there to back them up as well. She felt confident her pack was in good hands, which was why she had thrown herself so fully into the search for their lost packmate. Still, it was time they accepted the situation as it was. Convinced though she was that Blackfeather was behind her close friend's disappearance, Raven couldn't do much about it without further proof. Finding that proof was coming at a high cost to her family and her pack, and those were priorities she could ignore no longer.

But now, as she returned, trouble stirred. She had stopped by the rendezvous site to see the pups and to catch up with Qui. Instead of her mate, however, she was greeted by @Eljay, who filled her in on what he knew of the situation. Caiaphas had howled some sort of claim a short while ago, and Quixote had gone to deal with that. Was the enigmatic she-wolf of salt and iron attempting to usurp Raven's position in the hierarchy? Anxiety immediately began to seep like icy stormwater beneath the doorjamb of her ordinarily calm, collected mind. She was not a fighter, and if it came down to a fight with the battle-scarred female, could she rise to the challenge? Did she even want to?

The mantle of leadership had been abruptly and unexpectedly thrust upon her by her sister earlier in the summer, and Raven had never wanted it to begin with. She had struggled with her role as alpha for several months afterward, never feeling she was strong enough or smart enough for the job. But as the seasons had come and gone and the pack had continued to thrive, Raven had begun to understand that she was a good leader, that her packmates did respect and follow her willingly. She had learned how to lead with a gentle but firm hand, and while her attention had been on other matters of late (mainly Ceara), that still didn't change the fact that she was passionately devoted to her pack. But did her divided loyalties make her unfit for the role? She wasn't sure how to answer that question. Personally, she felt that her job as leader and caretaker of the pack obligated her to ensure the safety of each individual, but perhaps others didn't see it the same way.

Her feet carried her like the wind as she tracked her mate's scent, and it didn't take long for her to find the small gathering: Niamh, Colt, Quixote, Phox, Towhee, and X -- all facing off with Caiaphas. As she approached to stand between Quixote and Towhee, her posture was solid, confident despite her inner turmoil. Her mane bristled like so many black quills as hawk-yellow eyes involuntarily met those of her challenger. The mental struggle with which she had struggled on the run here, all the anxiety and self-doubt and fear she'd been grappling with, was blown asunder by the winds of her anger as she stared down a wolf who had come crawling to her doorstep so many months ago, starving and desperate, begging for a home. Raven had taken her in despite the warnings and admonitions of her fellow leaders, and this was how she was repaid for her kindness. She had recently learned a thing or two about those who bite the hand that feeds them, but this was perhaps the bitterest lesson yet.

The sight of Caiaphas, puffed-up and posturing, asserting an authority she had no right to claim galvanized the alpha female. If it came to a fight, could she rise to the challenge?

Yes, absolutely.

Unmoved and unblinking, Raven Redhawk bared her teeth and growled sinisterly.
November 07, 2018, 02:57 PM
Niamh
Firebirds

WC: 1217
--------------------------------------------------
With Towhee by her side, and Quixote now on the scene, Niamh’s confidence soared. Everything Caiaphas had said about the pack being weak was being torn to bits- what kind of weak pack would stand to let some middle-ranked wolf challenge the alpha? Niamh held her ground while Quixote confronted Caiaphas, and turned her head silently to nod when he asked if she and Towhee had done their job. Damn straight they had; she and Towhee had both stepped in to let Caiaphas know how wrong she was,. And how cowardly, to challenge a wolf for their authority when they were out on a mission.

Unlike the others, though, Niamh did struggle with the situation a bit. Unlike the others, those closer to Ceara, Niamh did not agree quite as whole-heartedly that the length to which they’d gone, searching for one member, had been necessary. She knew Ceara to be brash and impulsive, and part of her didn’t especially miss Ceara...But at the same time, she was an extremely dedicated pack member and as she’d explained to her own brother, Bruges, Ceara  wouldn’t have just wandered off without anyone knowing why. If she’d been in a fight with a pack member, it would have been Niamh- and they’d actually been starting to get along.

Aside from that, Caiaphas was a significant wolf, in Niamh’s books. She was tough, and backed down from basically nothing. She had courage, that was for sure, and conviction, and she did indeed possess a great deal of qualities that would make her an excellent, and exceedingly strong leader. Perhaps had Niamh met Caiaphas at the same time she’d met Raven and Towhee, she might have elected to follow her instead- but had she done that, it likely would have made her too confident and likely would have gotten her killed. Living with the Redleafs and Blackthorns had tempered Niamh quite a bit, and had made her more thoughtful. She could quite easily have been groomed into a hunting and killing machine under Caiaphas’ guidance, but that wasn’t the path that would have been best for Niamh. She knew that the moment that her mate stepped to her side.

Colt said something that she found both endearing and a bit foolish. She understood what he meant- that Niamh would be the next female in the pack to step up and take responsibility while Raven was away, but Quixote was still ranked above her, and she would never think to undermine his authority. She melted a bit when he spoke, and found her ire cooling considerably with him at her side. If any wolf could take her temper down without even trying to do so, it was Colt. She touched her shoulder to his appreciatively, and gave Caiaphas a look that was probably so smug it would make her look immature...But that was Niamh for you. She was proud to have been a former ‘outsider’ who was now one of the highest ranked wolves in the pack- and matched with the fact that she’d married into the pack as well, she had twice the reason to feel as though she belonged. What Caiaphas was trying to do was only separating her further from what the Redhawks valued.

When Raven arrived, she didn’t speak a word. Niamh’s eyes drifted to their swarthy leader, and for the first time, she felt concern coil up inside her, like a snake readying itself to strike. Did Raven intend to fight Caiaphas? And what would happen if she did allow a one-against-one combat to ensue? It wasn’t Niamh’s place to question her leader’s decision...But between the two female wolves, Niamh couldn’t help but feel that if it came down to a physical fight, that Caiaphas would win. And if that happened, she still did not believe that she could make herself follow a leader that she didn’t like.

Niamh was conflicted yet again; she wanted to have faith that Raven would win a fight, but at the same time, the stakes were too high for her to want to risk it. She didn’t want to intervene or disrespect Raven by stepping in at her side, or to undermine her authority by offering to fight as well. It was unlike Raven to strike such a pose, so Niamh was left slightly bewildered and unsure of what she was supposed to do. She wanted to show she had faith in Raven by allowing her to fight if that was what needed to happen, but at the same time, she feared the worst if that was what the outcome was. At the same time, she wanted to assert the fact that Raven was not alone, and that she would refuse to follow any other wolf, even if they’d won their way to the top by fighting. There was another way, of course- she could always divert Caiaphas’ challenge, and see if she would instead fight for the beta position...But Quixote had already made it clear that Caiaphas wouldn’t have a battle, that she would simply have to leave, and her children could choose to stay or go. Niamh didn’t like that either- she’d taken a shining to both Svalinn and Raleska, and didn’t want to lose them.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Niamh had to choose what she would do. She could leave Raven to fight Caiaphas, if that was what she wanted, and more than likely lose against the tougher, wilder wolf. If that happened, Niamh couldn’t bring herself to follow Caiaphas, so did it even make sense, then, to allow Raven to fight? She could also step in and challenge Caiaphas herself...But doing so would be to go against what Quixote had already set as options, as he simply wanted Caiaphas to pick up and leave, either with her children or not. No matter what the outcome was, Niamh knew that Caiaphas could not remain in the pack, and she could not follow Caiaphas. With that endgame in mind, she too lowered her head, flattened her ears and growled.


A pack wasn’t meant to be split up into individuals, but there Caiaphas stood, on her own facing the pack. ”You’re the weakest link now, Caiaphas,” She said quietly and calmly. A wolf isolated, after all, was the weakest it could ever be. The line of wolves that stood before her were the representation of what a pack ought to be- unified and strong. The one who dared go against their cohesion was the one who could potentially tear them apart- and Quixote had been right to sentence her to exile. If she should put up any kind of a fight, Niamh would be one of the first to leap into action, but for now, she held back, snapping her teeth together as a warning. Caiaphas had her options- she could get out unscathed, or fight the pack. Still, Niamh had one more thing to say.

"If you choose to leave your kids here, we'll bring them up right." And though she meant it in a kind way, simply to reassure Caiaphas- as she truely did care for Raleska and Svalinn- she couldn't help but regret those words when she realized the sting they might have possessed. 
--------------------------------------------------
November 07, 2018, 03:27 PM
Cinder
Frosthawks
Zeta
feel free to skip cin! he's mostly just watching

Trouble was brewing.

He could feel the tension as he approached the scene, and the silvery fur on his neck bristled with uncertainty - he'd never seen the adults angry. Not really. He'd certaintly never witnessed whatever the heck was going on here, and his bronze eyes had widened as he emerged from the shadows to join the line of his family. His jaws remained firmly shut, but the space between his brows creased with confusion, and his gaze flicked back and forth between each wolf, feeling the nerves grow like a sickening pit in his stomach. He didn't like this.

The young blackthorn did not know why they growled, but he could follow their line of sight toward Caiaphas, and he knew instantly that she had done, or said, something to upset the others. His ears pricked, listening in as an attempt to gauge the context behind this... unfriendly meeting, but the only thing he was able to pick up on was Niamh's last comment, about the other woman's children. That could only be... Raleska and the boy, right? Were they leaving? A frown cursed the edges of his lips, and he blinked with disappointment. But... he liked Raleska, even though she could be touchy. He didn't want her to go.
November 07, 2018, 04:04 PM
Phoebe
Frosthawks
Gamma
She had heard the summons arise for her mother, but didn't make much of it. At least until she and her siblings had been left with the sitter... again. At first that was all right but she was feeling far too cooped up and simply not wanting to listen to all the suggestions of things to do that would keep them occupied. There was only so much play pretend and bug hunting they could do and now with the cooler temperatures on full blast, even trying to persuade any living soul that going to the lake was a good idea was buried in the ground with last night's leftovers.

So Phoebe's thoughts turned to the summons and in her usual, calm demeanor, she slipped away first chance she got to investigate. Beating a hasty retreat through the woods, it was not hard to follow the tracks of others to where a small grouping had started. She nestled down in the weeds and reeds of the locale, shimmying her way up to where heated words were being exchanged between a small list of recognizable faces.

Nary a peep was made as she stayed to her shadowy little patch beyond the outer ring of watching participants—she found her father and mother there, saw the rise of hackles and wondered just what was going on. It was all very new to her, things so idyllic in her little world that she had no idea just what she was witnessing, let alone what else she was about to.

this is literally a cameo post—feel free to ignore phoebe in posting orders altogether. she's just nosy.
word count: 255
November 07, 2018, 05:02 PM
Quixote
Frosthawks
Alpha
The problem was the long see she stood there, the more his irritation at her continued existence started to show.  The fur along his spine slowly started to raise and his expression sharpened.  If his acidic eyes were more like the name of their color, she'd have been burned to unrecognizable.

With a dark chuckle, he had only one question, You're telling me this is how you treat your family?  Wow. Did any more need to be said?  Then you really don't have a place here.  Quixote wasn't going to stand by and let those attitudes fester here at his new home. Just no.  And he wasn't about to go having a big discussion about different meanings of family or anything like that either.  It was simple. 

He had tried to be reasonable. He gave her a chance to turn and leave without too much hostility. Now? She was running out of time. Raven herself had even joined them, and as much as he wanted to ignore the rest of this and say hi to his mate, he kept his focus on the target of his ire. So I'll say this one last time.  Get out of my pack. By then it was a snarl. Perhaps if he knew there were a few pups lurking he'd have been more controlled, but he really didn't give a damn without that knowledge.  He'd lurched forward a step for emphasis but otherwise held his ground, giving her one last chance to scram with her hide intact. His face was clear enough: Caiaphas was unwelcome here and he'd prove it if he had to.

Somewhere inside Quixote was a piece of the monster he was always afraid to become, but this was one of those cases he would be happy to harness it.  She wanted an alpha that would fight and kill for the pack? That job description was already filled.
November 07, 2018, 09:05 PM
Caiaphas
Rusalka

another ugly ripple passed through the group: impatience, ugly and wearing close to the wire. white-hot and thin as the high whine of electricity snarling through the synapses. if she was standing over ice, it was perceptibly thin: one wrong move, and she would be no more. caiaphas kept her gaze defensively on towhee first and foremost -- the former beta loomed in her vision, outrage in those sharp jack-o-lantern eyes.

outrage that the sylph had put there.

if caiaphas was to survive this, or even make her packmates understand her position (unlikely) she would have to be careful with her words. great pains were taken to stifle those old currents of rash anger, which rose unbidden and constricted her throat.

it took more than she would have possibly estimated to remain still as towhee menacingly came towards her -- it was colt's surprising (and frankly, unprecedented) support of the she-wolf's words that caused caiaphas to tear her gaze reluctantly from the black and russet menace before her. "then make niamh the leader --" she snapped almost dismissively, a hastiness in her tone.

caiaphas was not being greedy to demand raven's rank -- she was doing what, in her own twisted way, she believed was right; the redhawks had grown lax, in her eyes -- the natural order had been disturbed well before caiaphas had ever set foot on the plateau.

she might have stirred again to speak, but a new spectre loomed on the congregation, its' back risen in a pronounced and clear posturing: raven.

caiaphas had not expected the guilt to snake into her heart as she returned the rightfully outraged stare of the alpha, but all the same, it settled there hateful and dry as black smoke. she was doing what was right, she reminded herself, steeling her resolve despite finding it slipping away.

as she looked into the striking eyes of her once leader, caiaphas found she hadn't wanted to hurt raven - at least not physically -- perhaps this coup was poorly planned as well as poorly backed, for the sylph had earnestly hoped whatever came of this would be bloodless and quick; it appeared now it would be neither.

she could stand down, and if she was smart, she would - but that wouldn't solve the fact that redhawk was helmless in a way that made caiaphas think it was destined to run aground: already fractures had appeared in the foundations, small cracks of divisiveness that would only grow in time. like timber, any pack needed to be bound by strong fiber; else wise, it collapsed under the mighty weight of its own reach.

niamh spoke next - calm despite the turmoil caiaphas believed she had detected in those honeyglaze eyes. the discomfiture grew, and the guilt roiled like a black snake in her gut up until the very end of niamh's words. the siren queen's ears flattened in umbrage, and something close to wounded hate briefly glimmered in her hawk-yellow gaze. how could she say that?

caiaphas was unaware of the children that collected along the fringes of their tense encounter - she was aware mostly only of the cold, unwelcome faces. she wanted no pity from any of them, but a sense of injustice grew and grew, cradled then by the sense of frustration and heavy guilt -- and finally, stoked into a smoldering furor by the sharp sting (albeit unintended) of niamh's cutting words.

quixote was spared only a cold glance: caiaphas had very little loyalty to him, though once upon a time she too had fought alongside him. his tone was sharp and accusatory, but even then carried none of the lasting damage niamh's words had inflicted. 

he was wrong -- sacrifice was the true duty of family, and she felt that conviction simmer in her gut. she was placing herself willingly in the ugly, uncomfortable position of receiving the entire pack's scorn -- all for the better of the pack, and her family. no wolf had shouldered that burden, and like a mule obediently to the yoke, caiaphas had stepped to the mantle to address the unsavory topic in the room all other wolves were too unwilling to expose to sunlight. that she was willing to stick out her neck under the sharp scrutiny of their bared fangs should have been enough for most wolves to understand her motives -- but instead, he perceived it as an assault. "yes -- this is how i treat my family - by honoring them and their future - and doing anything at all to ensure that." she hissed now, little rows of fierce teeth bared. "duty above self."

in a way, perhaps her intentions and motives were more trustworthy than any  -- or perhaps, the siren queen was simply quite mad.

she would not find her words received kindly here, and perhaps more ironically than anything, would find she made a poor voice of reason. they would not move or bend to reason anymore than a mountain would move. caiaphas, without ever ever raising a paw, had been defeated.

it would do her no good to strike against raven now -- even though the siren queen was confident in her victory if she did so -- it was still not the message she wanted to convey. it was not her intention to inflict physical harm, and for once, she kept her pretty teeth sheathed. and even if she did defeat or kill the she-wolf, she would quickly be ripped from limb to limb there-after by a berserk and grieving pack. that was not an outcome she wanted either -- it was either reform and remodel, or simply give up and move along.

and it was obvious she had no choice on the matter.

"my kids." she remained stubbornly where she was, her voice thick and gritty. "they come with me." only then would she leave the plateau -- and none-too-happily too, as she fully expected in the next few seconds things were going to get bloody.

this house was my flowered heart,
but my petals have fallen.
November 08, 2018, 09:46 AM
Svalinn
Approved Members

Unconcerned at first by the ominous witch-call, Svalinn had taken his sweet time in investigating what could turn out to be the death of his mother, for lack of a better term. He came upon the scene casually— ignoring the waves of hostility permeating the atmosphere— until he saw that nearly every bared tooth and rippling pelt was directed at Caiaphas. The most egregious of mistakes.

His reaction thereafter was blind; a golden spear darting to his surrogate's flank like an embattled Roman. Lankiness detracted from his overall menace, but the way his fur stood on end, and the manic look in his eye, promised those riotously congregated that he would die before he let anyone harm a hair on her head in front of him.

Ears back, chin tucked, the boy snorted— obstinate despite his shrieking fear.
November 08, 2018, 10:00 AM
Towhee
Asterism Grove
Kilonova
Towhee scowled at the delay as the leaders got in their last licks and Caiaphas felt the need to rejoin as if it made any difference. "Move," she said in her overly loud timbre, "now." Her lips skinned back even more and she growled in warning. She didn't want to fight the former Theta, she just wanted to remove her from the territory as quickly as possible. Accordingly, she moved nearer, bodily crowding into her space to make herself crystal clear.

When someone rushed up from one of her many blind spots, Towhee's growl escalated into a savage snarl. It was one of Caiaphas's young, pressing close to her. Luckily for him, she was able to check the reactive instinct to attack. Towhee couldn't care less if he went with Caiaphas. There had never been any love lost between her and the outsider's brood.

After recovering from his abrupt appearance, Towhee continued to press close to the exiled. Hopefully they would cooperate, though if they failed to do so, the mercenary wasn't afraid to use her teeth, even on the pup.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of AG are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

November 08, 2018, 10:06 AM
Colt
Firebirds
Sovereign
Maybe it was unsurprising that, even as Caiaphas' mind worked over her own reasons for doing what she did, Colt's own thoughts echoed hers.  He too had stood where she stood and questioned the Redhawk name... and he too had been cast out for it.  Once again he found himself somewhat put off by the blind loyalty the clan seemed to employ for their own.  Colt had a great deal of respect for Raven, but he saw justification to Caiaphas' claim.  Apparently, though, he was the only one here.  Blackthorns were loyal to a fault, sure, but they were also nearly notorious for calling each other out on their shit.  Not a trait the two families shared.

His ears tipped back when Niamh gave a response, and he glanced down - he disagreed heartily with that.  But not enough to argue, because in the end, his agreeing with her wouldn't change anything.  The pack had spoken, and the woman seemed to have read the writing on the wall, because the fight seemed to have left her.

With Fire missing, and his own attempts to find her unsuccessful, he wasn't much in the mood to watch what came next.  Still, he couldn't keep his mouth shut, of course.  As the last one booted for having an opinion on leadership, I'm gonna go on record as appreciating packmates who care enough to give a shit about how leaders are spending their time. For what it's worth. With a half-hearted smirk, and a brush against Niamh, he turned and walked away, back towards the den they shared, smile fading as he left them behind.  She could find him there once this nonsense was over and done.
November 08, 2018, 04:32 PM
Raven
Frosthawks
Alpha
Faced with an unyielding wall of resistance, Caiaphas's determination seemed to wither. The woman's words struck a nerve in Raven and a low growl rumbled deep in her chest -- how dare she call into question Raven's dedication to her pack? How dare she insinuate that Raven placed herself and her own motivations above the greater needs of her pack? True, her personal bond with Ceara had indeed driven her to keep searching far beyond the point where others might have given up, but was Ceara not family too? Was she not a Redhawk? Was her life not worth every bit as much as the rest of the Redhawks'? "If the life of an individual means so little to you, then it's no wonder your own pack disintegrated," she stated flatly, lambent yellow eyes continuing to drill into the face of the would-be usurper as anger and indignation churned beneath the surface. The circumstances that had led the bedraggled she-wolf to their doorstep made a lot more sense in this context. Maybe it had been a bear. Maybe her mate had drowned. Or maybe it had been her.

The more sensitive side of her wanted very much to launch into a heated tirade in the wretch's face and explain exactly where she stood on this incredibly shitty accusation, but the more rational part of her knew such a thing would be a waste of time. And frankly, it didn't matter. Caiaphas was ousted already. Gone. No longer relevant within these borders. Later, it would linger on Raven's mind and bring her a great deal of regret and questioning -- much of it directed inwardly at herself -- but right now, there was no room for those emotions. She sheathed her fangs and said nothing more as Towhee moved to literally force Caiaphas to leave. Svalinn's aggressive entrance was marked with only a fleeting glance from the wolf at whose breast he had once fed. He had grown strong and handsome in his time under the Redhawks' care, but perhaps now he would starve again. Winter came quickly and his mother had penned his fate in Redhawk blood she might have spilled.

The sea wolf had demanded her children come with her, and Raven would not interfere. She cared little if they stayed or went; truly, it was better that they all left, lest the children aspire to follow the example of the mother in a few seasons' time.
November 08, 2018, 05:34 PM
Niamh
Firebirds

WC:430
Niamh was probably being quite shortsighted, but she perceived Caiaphas’ rebuttles to be hypocritical, especially when the presence of this many pack members in so short a period of time disproved almost every claim she made. Raven was a capable alpha, and in her stead she made the decision to leave capable wolves in charge while she and another searched for a lost packmate. Not all wolves in the leadership were Redleafs or Blackthorns. Sure, she and Quixote had happened to marry into the family, but it wasn’t like they’d been born into it. They’d earned their place. 

She felt disappointed when Caiaphas said she would be taking her children with her, and she frowned even more deeply when her little lookalike raced to his mother’s side. Though Niamh wouldn’t have shed any tears to send Caiaphas out into the wild, or even harmed her to the point where they knew she wouldn’t survive, part of her wanted dearly to demand that Svalinn and Raleska stayed with the pack. As of yet, Raleska was nowhere to be seen and Niamh wondered if the swarthy girl would also rave to her mother’s side...Truth be told, she hoped not. Not because she wanted to spite Caiaphas, but because she’d taken a shining to the quiet girl, and would hate to see her leave. 

What surprised her the most in that moment was her mate’s failure to keep his opinion to himself. He’d been kicked out before for doing as much, and it irked Niamh greatly that he chose to speak up now. He was going to get them both in trouble- first with his comment of her being capable of taking over the pack, which at first she’d just taken as a comment to mean that she had more of a right than Caiaphas- but she certainly wasn’t going to be stepping up anytime soon- but he had to go and play the devil’s advocate. And in a cheeky sort of way. She gave him a stark what the hell are you doing?! look, but by then he’d given her a coy nudge and had sauntered off like a thug. She snorted roughly. So much for being a unified front. She’d have to speak to him later. Fuming, she gave a glance to Quixote as though to assure him that she did not feel the same way. 

To reiterate, she advanced as Raven did, snapping and snarling. She was done with hearing Caiaphas’ lame excuses. She wanted her out so that she could go home and deal with her unruly husband.
November 11, 2018, 12:17 AM
Quixote
Frosthawks
Alpha
No, her actions did not strike any righteous chords with Quixote.  Maybe in a different pack, but not the one he now called home.  Honoring them by doing something that'd piss people off and get you kicked out, then dragging your children back into the unknown with you.  Uh huh, he spat. From his perspective, there were wide gaps in her logic.  If she had such a problem, why not be civilized and discuss it with the people involved?  At the very least, it'd be a first step that was low risk.  Instead, she went for the option that had a snowball's chance in hell and she was in turn now making her children pay.  If she cared about them, she wouldn't have taken the risk.  He pitied the pups, they didn't know any better, but apparently at least the one was blind to what was happening.

Quixote, too, moved forward with a not-too-kind expression to encourage her to turn and leave, You can start moving.  The other can catch up to you if you insist on both of them sharing your punishment.  Move.  He was tired of letting her linger.  If she stuck around much longer it would end up bloody -- she had been told multiple times to leave and he was tired of not being listened to.  Svalinn seemed to have made his choice as well.  He would not argue.  He would pity the boy and his blind loyalty to his mother, but it was his choice.  Wherever the girl was?  Who knew.  She'd show eventually, or she wouldn't.

It was a sure thing that ripples would be left in Caiaphas' wake, but hopefully those would settle as she put more distance between herself and the pack.  If there were problems?  Quixote trusted his actual packmates would have the guts to just talk about them, to have a rational discussion and attempt to fix it instead of jumping to the nuclear option.  You know, like he and Colt had done.  Things hadn't gone the way they were expecting but at least they tried and things worked out okay in the end -- or at least as far as he knew, they did.