Ankyra Sound Any rain softly kisses us on the face
All Welcome  December 07, 2018, 11:11 PM
Ephraim
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Any Drageda folks wanna do a quick walk with Ephraim for merc, scout or naturalist?

Down the winding towpath to the sea went Ephraim, buffeted every step of the way by powerful gusts. The sky's ink black appearance was an ominous portent, but the naturalist in him calculated that it would be at least an hour before rain hit. That was plenty of time to quickly scour the cove beneath Dragoncrest Cliffs and ensure they were still empty. With the nagging familiarity of the beach and its proximity to blame, Ephraim felt prickly about anyone lingering there ever since finding Eurycrates. There was no reason to believe it was a popular destination for travelers, but all the same, he felt a need to check it now and again.

The scents of other Dragedakru criss-crossed the sand and put him at ease while he plodded along at the base of the cliffs with his ears erect and his sharp eyes searching. The strand seemed as deserted as ever. He didn't know about the bear that Drageda had faced here previously or he might have walked with more caution; he was still just a young fool, though, and felt himself invincible. Part of him knew better after his time in Trigeda, but that being mauled by a bear could possibly happen to him was no concern of his.

Thunder boomed in the distance, drawing his gaze to the sky with a quick snap of his head.
December 11, 2018, 07:35 AM
Mallaidh
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Even though she keeps to herself, she still keeps up with her duties as gona. She attempts to still her feet most days but as she rounds the southern border, just before the cold-hardened terrain turns stony, she finds the pull too hard to ignore. Mallaidh finds the familiar path from Drageda down into the sound, following along with the cliffside to her right.

As much as Drageda feels like home, especially when she and Blixen are getting along, Heda’s return makes her stomach turn into knots. What if she’s seen as natrona, despite all she’s done? One mistake earlier in the seasons (something that wouldn’t even happen again!) and she’d been away for months in cowardice. They haven’t chased her out yet, or even approached her about any of it, so she lingers in limbo until... something happens, I guess.

Mallaidh yawns, inhaling a fresh scent. The only real familiarity is Drageda but several wolves had returned with Heda and though she may not know her standing, she doesn’t know what else anyone else knows. With caution, she proceeds, until she sees the small form of another wolf. He has pointed features like she does but that ends ends the similarities with their coyote bond.

Thunder booms on the distance, catching her off guard and jerking to attention. Glancing out to sea shows the danger in the distance but she doesn’t retreat. The ocean rears up with angry waves and strong wind but Mallaidh carefully comes up to the side and chuffs to announce her presence.
December 12, 2018, 07:51 PM
Ephraim
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Mallaidh pulled Ephraim's attention back from the sky with a sound and he swung to face her, narrowing his eyes for a beat while he appraised her. She wasn't someone he recognized, but like her, he noted the strong Drageda pack scent and relaxed a little. Not someone he needed to attempt to chase away, then, which was good because she was significantly taller than he and he wasn't sure he would win in a fight. That was all without knowing she was Gona and had the skill set to kick his ass if she wanted to.

His eyes drifted down to her pale chest and then up to the dark splotch high on her shoulders. Her coat certainly was unusual, shifting from dark to light in ways he had never seen before. He chanced a glance up at her eyes, a rare green shade, and his stomach flopped. Frowning, the coywolf shifted his legs as if to hide the sensation and said, hei. You patrolling too?
December 13, 2018, 03:47 PM
Mallaidh
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The other receives her kindly and she smiles, dipping her head a bit as she trots up to match his gait. She doesn’t know much about him, other than he’d returned with Heda, but he may as well be a stranger to her. If she’s avoiding a lot of the wolves in Drageda (and now that she spends more time in the sound), it’s easy to miss running into one another.

“Sha,” she quips easily. Their language isn’t as easy for Mallaidh as it is for some but she shies away from it if she can. “I’m not that great at it,” she tells him, hoping he’ll find it easy to speak in a shared (she assumes) language.
December 13, 2018, 07:20 PM
Ephraim
Approved Members

As far as he could tell, the cove wasn't overly large, so he chose a relaxed pace as they headed down the strand in the shadow of the cliffs. Now and again Ephraim paused to lift a leg and leave a splash of urine on the sand. When he found Eurycrates down here, the man seemed unaware that anyone considered the sound to be their property. Ephraim hoped to remedy that so in the future, wanderers wouldn't be caught unawares if a guard from Drageda stopped them in the sands.

Me neither, he admitted, secretly relieved that Mallaidh chose the common tongue over Trigedasleng. He liked the language of the Dragedakru well enough but it sure didn't come easy to him. Sometimes it was nice to converse without thinking about which words went in what order, as he had to with some of Drageda's core. I learned a lot in Trigeda because everyone spoke it there but I still get mixed up a lot. He paused to inspect a clump of dried out kelp, then marked that as well.

My name's Ephraim, he said, smiling shyly. I don't think we've met, I was away for a while.
December 15, 2018, 06:35 PM
Mallaidh
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Mallaidh breathes a sigh of relief when her new friend admits to not being so great at it. By the sounds of it, he’s much better and as he describes his learning, it only confirms it. If she’d been in immersion of the language, she would know more by not but she’s really only been able to pick up pieces here and there.

“Blixen was teaching me a little but we haven’t had a lot of lessons,” she explains, licking her dry lips. “I’m Mallaidh and I don’t think we did either.” She hasn’t really figured out how to explain her time away without being honest or totally lying. Can she avoid it entirely? “Did you go to war?” She can at least take the attention off herself.
December 16, 2018, 12:15 PM
Ephraim
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Mallaidh was an unfamiliar name, but so were many names in Drageda's hierarchy. He chocked their meeting up to simply being confined to Hougeda, where some of the adults had never gone while he was there. Sha, he answered succinctly, but quickly followed with, but not officially. I wasn't allowed to fight. At the time he'd been put out by the restriction, but in hindsight, it was a good thing. Ephraim was smaller than most pureblooded wolves, and on top of that, he'd been an uninitiated child. He likely would have died in combat had he been permitted to go. I was trained to fight and taught about our way of life instead.

Maybe because she spoke the common tongue more readily, or because she struck him as someone who wouldn't mock him for it, Ephraim assumed she was kind of like him. So at length he admitted, I wasn't born in Drageda, so I'm kind of a newbie still. I'm loyal! he insisted, turning his head to look at her in case she thought he had doubts, but I have lots to learn still. How long have you been here? Perhaps he was wrong in his assumption. Maybe she'd always been in Drageda as well and just preferred to speak a common language with the rest of the world. It was possible Ephraim just so desperately hoped to learn that he wasn't the only "outsider" in the pack that he was reading too far into things again.
December 22, 2018, 09:09 PM
Mallaidh
Approved Members



Ephraim hadn’t been allowed into war, same as she, and she offers him a bit of a smile. She’d volunteered foolishly for the war but Antumbra hadn’t put her anywhere she really could have gotten in trouble. Sure, the enemy could have slipped from the territory where she and Artaax had been standing but they hadn’t and she’s thankful for it. She was a bit older than he when she went with them to the caldera and she’d only asked to go because Blixen had.

“Um, well… Eske found me last summer and brought me here. But I left for a little while in the spring and I came back a little while ago, before Heda came back,” she says and shifts her weight. Her avoidance of the leadership makes things a little weird, whether or not it was okay in the grand scheme of things. Blixen will fight for her, won’t she? “It was complicated but, I’m loyal too,” she adds though she feels a little weird for saying it, that she has to prove it to the others. Ephraim has to work just as hard too but he hadn’t left them entirely for a while like she had and so her smile turns a bit awkward.
December 26, 2018, 04:46 PM
Ephraim
Approved Members

Perhaps it was due to how hard Tux took his family's abandonment, but Ephraim's eyes flashed when Mallaidh revealed that she had left Drageda. The first thing he wanted to do was demand to know how she wasn't branded a natrona like Wildfire and Kiwi—maybe there was some hope for the rauna's family to return and resume their life in Dragedakru, healing his friend's heart in the process. Part of him knew better and recognized that he was jumping to conclusions. He forced his mind to quit its racing.

You were away on a mission? he asked instead, for this was the more likely assumption, even though she sort of muddied it by saying it was complicated. Like Tux, he didn't find it very complicated at all—you were Drakru or brana, you were a total outsider, or you were natrona. That was all there was. He didn't consider that there could be extenuating circumstances or little nuances to these three possibilities, if only because he had never considered leaving himself.

These wolves had saved his life and filled in the role of family when his was long gone. Where else would he—or anyone, he passionately thought—rather be?
December 26, 2018, 05:19 PM
Mallaidh
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Okay, well, that wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to get out of one railing of questions and slammed right into another. It’s one question but she can tell it’ll open up to more, regardless of how she explains. She wills for something to happen to keep her from answering but there’s nothing and the longer she waits, the more awkward she’ll become.

“Yeah,” she says and looks ahead of them. It’s a half truth, at best. “I um, wanted to be steltrona so I left for a little while to practice. It’s hard to pretend to be someone when they already know you,” she says. To be fair, she did practice (though unintentionally) the skill and the reason behind it… sort of fits. But a half truth is a full lie, anyway, and he could probably dig for information that might not line up with everything she says but she clings to the hope it’s good enough. I mean, a good steltrona would be able to pull it off, right?
January 06, 2019, 11:55 AM
Ephraim
Approved Members

Huh. All right, that made sense. Were you able to trick anyone into thinking you were someone else? he wondered, interested now in what Mallaidh had done while she was gone rather than why she'd been gone at all. He was still young and naive in the face of deception. If she said she'd been out practicing then that was surely true. A pack mate wouldn't lie to his face, he reasoned, not yet understanding the value of a little white lie.

So you're the Steltrona? he assumed, having already accepted this as fact. He didn't know a lot about the upper ranks but he knew that one; it had belonged to Etoille before, if he wasn't mistaken. Is it hard to be ranked that high? If Mallaidh looked closely at the pale yellow eyes fixed on her, then she might see a brief flash of hunger there that would fit better in the acid yellow gaze of his ambitious dam, a brief suggestion that below the surface, Ephraim had inherited some avarice after all.
January 06, 2019, 08:27 PM
Mallaidh
Approved Members



Part of her hadn’t expected that to work so she feels a bit scrambled when he asks a follow up question. She awkwardly shook her head in a vague sort of answer. “I got a lot of practice like, sneaking around, spying. I listened to a lot of conversations when they didn’t know I was there.” It’s not technically a lie. She did listen to Saarthal, once, with another female. She’d learned a lot though not necessarily all to help out her skill. Still, she’d gotten away with it.

“No, I’m gona. I’m not surprised with everything going on, I’ve hadn’t really had a chance to show it off or tell them what I’ve improved on,” she says. Also, they probably wouldn’t give her anything higher for a while. Besides, there is a lot going on.

Too awkward for the conversation, really, she doesn’t notice the look in his head. Instead, she looks ahead of them, then over her shoulder. “Maybe we should head back?”
January 14, 2019, 11:59 AM
Ephraim
Approved Members

Fading here!

Oh. So she wasn't ranked any higher than he or Tux or Dacio after all. Feeling a little disappointed that he wouldn't get any insight into the higher workings of Drageda, Ephraim dropped his head and watched the sand flying by under his paws for a moment. It's still cool you got to spy and stuff, he said at length. Maybe that was something he wouldn't mind doing, if being Skayona ever became boring. Was that something you could do? Change your lifestyle and your role in the pack?

A question for another time, he decided, as Mallaidh pulled his attention back to the cliffs. Yeah, let's go home, he said, pausing one last time to scuff his paws possessively on the sand before he fell in behind the masked Gona for the return journey to Drageda's cliffs.