Barrow Fields i don't fly around your fire anymore
Private  January 10, 2019, 06:59 PM

no rebuttal had come from the drageda hounds above the sound, though that did not stop caiaphas from scowling at their distant cliffs from time to time. no further intrusion had come to her doorstep either -- and it seemed with rosalyn released, they had lost what little advantage they had over the beasts scurrying in ankyra below.

caiaphas was not one to rest in times of peace or plenitude; she distrusted tranquility same as she would distrust the flat eyes of a viper -- and industriously, had set about scouring barrow fields for what little moss remained. collecting it was no easy task, for she was still heavily wounded. the repeated efforts of bending down to nimbly lift moss from its rocky roots, and place it in her ever-growing pile, was becoming painfully arduous -- and each time she released the bundle she collected she did so with a wince.

she had collected enough that she might as well return to ankyra -- casting a glance about her, caiaphas prepared to collect her meager wares and head for home.
January 10, 2019, 08:14 PM

        Her tirade for stores had taken her out to the Barrow Fields. It’s been some time since she passed through here; a month or so, actually. She was used to being hunted, haunted—used to doing the same, so the enigmatic, earthen mounds had ceased to unnerve her. So, heeding Roses’ tidings, she began her search for moss.

        The wolves of the Sound had been quiet, and for now, Aure welcomed it. The lull allowed her Drakru to take some sort of respite, to heal (lest they got themselves into a fool’s tangle and reopened the wounds she’d pored over.) Snowshoe paws carried her deftly from barrow to barrow, scarred muzzle wrinkling in disconfitute when none of the plush vegetation was to be found. When she did, though, a soft exclamation left her.

        The next time she darted around a winter rise, it was with a wad of moss, and an expression of bright focus—that froze the moment she scented, and saw, one of the Sound wolves.

        Quietly, she stilled where she wavered, barely breathing, moving, as she studied the keeled form, the sharp, frustrated eyes. Her snowy hackles fought to unfurl themselves, but she forced them to settle. Muzzle lowered, and despite it all, her ‘green thumb’ gave her cause to lurch forward a step—to tend to one who was hurt. Anyone.
January 12, 2019, 01:06 PM

the crunch of snow caused the sylph to freeze, her hackles already lifted in surprise -- stiffly the corne turned around, her lambent yellow gaze focusing on a small, scarred sylph of pearl white. the scent of drageda was heavy on her pelt and caiaphas flared outward like an enraged harpy, every piece of fur bladed and on end as she watched the vixen approach.

she would allow no such advancement; a guttural snarl bubbled in her throat and she hissed between mounds of moss. "the fuck are you doing?" she could smell no other wolf in the premises, but she refused to let her guard down -- particularly not when the enemy was so close.
January 12, 2019, 03:08 PM

        The withering words were spat, and her hackles fought to fluff up at the snarl. But she willed them down, and kept herself from approaching. Brows narrowed as her lips pressed thin, studying the Sound wolf with something akin to blasé bafflement; almost a sort of resignation to the situation she’d found herself in. ”Foraging for moss,” her tone was even and quiet, as if that explained everything.

        Like the one before her, she scented the wolves of the Sound on her. Rather than flaring with fury, all that she felt was... dumbfoundedness. And then, it struck her: a month ago, before a lesson with cheka, she’d glimpsed this same harpy traipsing the claim of the beach. The scent, she’d picked it from those Drakru she tended to. But as far as why this whole war started, the porcelain female didn’t know, and hadn’t asked since. If she were being honest... she may have assimilated into Drageda, but she was Rhaesuian through and through. She couldn’t give counsel on warfare, or even seek out the knowledge of why this or that happened for the potential of it to interfere with her workings.

        All she could do, and would remain to do so, would be to comfort all who were injured; give them a little heaven of a solace, no matter who they were. ”You are from... ze Sound?” Aure’s spine rounded, only a fraction, as she willed herself to stay, to relax for only a few heartbeats. Ever since sighting the dark sylph, she hadn’t truly caught the name; only knew her rank. By Drakru standards, this may make her soft and stupid, but she did want to know what drove these wolves to war. ...Maybe she should have asked why it all started.

        ...Oh, well.
January 15, 2019, 07:01 PM

the woman's bald answer earned her a scalding glare from the battered sea-crone, who was perfectly capable of seeing that the alabaster female was foraging. what remained unanswered was why, of all things, a drageda cur dare approach its enemy?

she assumed it to be a trap, and her fur bristled. once more she glanced around them - the barrows provided cover, of course -- surely any moment now the frenzied hounds would come pouring out from the barrows' gullets like hellhounds loosened from hades -- caiaphas' claws dug deep the earth, ready.

her gaze flashed back to the she-wolf, a hissing inhale sucking through her teeth. "yes, i am with the sound. if this is an ambush, get it over with." she lifted her proud muzzle, ready to stare death in the face -- and possibly take a chunk of him with her when she went, too.
January 15, 2019, 07:58 PM

        A... ambush? What? To say that Aure was confused is an understatement in itself: she was properly baffled, more than simply taken aback. She was absolutely flummoxed. Her slim brows creased over as-big-and-bright-as-full-moon eyes, unable to help but stare. "Wh-... what?" Her graceful neck curved back, bottom lip quivering as she tried to comprehend why the Rusalkan regina thought— how?—

        No doubt because Caphias was of the enemy, the dark helm of it all; but not to Aure. Not when they were on neutral ground besides. She may have been a part of Dragda's ranks, but... she had yet since to add her inclusion in the words "our", "them", and "Drakru" above all. If there was anything she understood, it was the fact that she would have to spend the better part of her years vying her worth to them; at least, that was how she believed in her own mind, lest it be changed then and there. Aure understood she... served no true contribution to heda's people. As such, she deemed herself trivial, no matter how much she cherished them or her cheka

        She was undeserving of them. She simply beheld a mere penchant for healing and being a luna-tic. It was the truth, to her. The last thing she knew the Drakru would do would be to follow her lead—a spineless skayona!—and trail her into an ambush. The thought was utterly ridiculous to her, and bordered on the hysterical in her worn-out mind. For a moment, the Aure-who-once-wandered within her returned, and she, for a moment, wanted Caphias to take her throat up between those powerful jaws.

        She almost entreated her to do it. Instead, a quiet "Why..." flit from her lungs. It started as a wry, gentle laugh; as bright as moonlight and as worn as its surface. But her expression phased into one of despondancy, before shifting into inscrutibility. But some of her particular amusement lingered, at the corners of her eyes, her lips. "Why in ze world would you be ambushed? Huh," she gave a meek huff, ears flickering back before she veered away to scavenge at a mound nearby; still within talking distance, she hoped. "Nobody would dare to do so on neutral ground, much less follow an order of mine. I am a mere herbalist, regina."
January 18, 2019, 11:22 PM

aure's reaction, as genuine as it appeared, did little to cease the suspicion that caused caiaphas' hackles to stand out like quills and her body to be defensive. she routinely raked her gaze over the barrows as aure went from shocked to scandalized to, simply dismissive -- but her mention of being a simple herbalist caused the sylph's gaze to flash in condescension.

ah - so she was the field-nurse, the flimsy bitty too fragile or perhaps too scattershot for battle, relegated to a life of healing in light of her lack of battle prowess. yet these sculleries of flesh often attended with troops nearby -- it did not ease caiaphas' growing paranoia.

"what do you mean, what?" she hotly fired back, losing patience. if she was going to die she'd prefer it not be a long-drawn out ordeal -- she was sure she had many places to go and many people to see in hell, anyway -- what was the use of dallying? "you act shocked to hear ambush -- do you not know your dogs stole one of our members, kidnapped and mutilated and did who knows what? and you think that an ambush is out of the question? do you know how wars work?"
January 19, 2019, 02:54 PM

does the word “enemy” even exist in Aure’s dictionary omg-

        ”No, I didn’t know that one of my kept one of your own and, as you stated, mutilated and did ‘who knows what’ to. I was barely familiar with ze cliffs when I’d heard we had a captive!” Scarred skin drawn taught over the thin bones of her face, Aure snapped her head about to attention from where she knelt. ”And, no, I don’t know ze ways of war. Perhaps an ambush seems entirely logical to you. It would hinder me just as much as it would you.”

        She stilled for a moment, to study the heady skepticism that was threaded through every lean, toughened stretched of the Rusalkan’s form. ”Oh, for heaven’s sake!” her posture the epitome of exasperation as she wilted, shoulders curling, before she promptly rose and marched right back over to the hooded she-wolf. ”You’re not going to be ambushed, but you are going to be situated here all night if you keep this up.” There was no snarl on her face; only a weary thinning of patience in her eyes, her shivery voice.

        Being kept from foraging made her snappish—but as far as Caphias being deserving of it, Aure relented, humming a quiet apology. ”Forgive me. We both have been put in a position where faith has become but a myth anymore. I shouldn’t be losing myself upon another who is going through the exact same tiding.” Her brows were still knit, but she again studied the prominent wound(s) upon Caphias’ frame. ”Have you been tended to, yet?”

        The herbalist wasn’t even pissed; just fussy with a patient, as it turned out. Not scared for her life, or fighting for it, as she should be. No—she was intent to treat this harpy, no questions asked. And if Drageda would have her throat for it, then... she’d waited long enough to die for doing what she believed was right.
January 20, 2019, 09:05 PM

with a sour expression on her face, caiaphas listed to aure recant her own reasons - excuses - for being of the enemy's ilk. glum and still full of vinegar, the siren hissed and recoiled as aure finished her speech and advanced anew.

like a toddler refusing the last spoonful of disgusting baby goop-food, caiaphas stiffly turned her neck away from the healer, her gaze cut into a fierce scowl and her teeth set in a grimace. "no, i have not been treated -- i have been too busy, collecting those --" she motioned at the moss and sundry herbs she had collected before aure had ambushed approached her.

she did not for a minute trust this drageda cur, even if her exasperation was believable. setting on her haunches in defiance, the crone shook her head. "no," she growled as aure looked as if she were to inspect the wound -- "your supplies could be poisoned. i do not trust you. use mine instead."

the briefest of schemes came to the siren's wicked mind; what if she got this wolf within kiss or kill distance, summarily executed her, and threw her heads to the dogs?

wouldn't that make for a nice housewarming gift from their new neighbors?
January 20, 2019, 10:01 PM

        And like a mother more than prepared to nurse her stubborn whelp, it was with a knit brow and beseeching pout of her lips that Aure neared the harpy. ”Fine,” she lilted softly, deeming it better to at least appease to Caphias’ request so it may be fair to her own. Yet, she raised her gaze with a chiding of, ”But we will be doing this my way. And don’t think of nipping at me, domnișoară, or I will go right to ze sea for some salt.” Pale eyes creased with reprimand, and then she motioned for Caphias to sit down.

        And then, without prejudice or thought of consequence, she settled down before the Rusalkan alphess and began to work. Usually, she would have intended for a patient to consume properties prior to application, but not this time. These would be better served as topicals.

        Between licks of the gash that had lain her neck open, Aure’s own clucking seemed to have no end. ”Look at you, all torn up like this. Am I asking for world peace? Am I asking for less patients? No. But, good heavens, is it so terrible to ask that ze hoard of you could please refrain from lying another open to ze bone?” Her gaze glittered, tone forever scolding. ”I really don’t know how you have been able to keep yourself standing—no, not because you are ze fear-instilling lady of ze Sound. ‘Busy.’ Pah! Busy, she says! You really think you could have gone so long without attending to?”

        As she spoke, she moved further along Caphias, to where the rest of her hurts ran their course. ”Weeks! Weeks without attention. Look at this! Y-you are inconceivable! I simply won’t stand for it.” With a squeak of incredulity, she drew away, hefting some dried horsetail and beginning to work it into a poultice.

        Mouth full, she settled for fixing Caphias with an admonishing look, tail feathering reprovingly. Somehow, the pout was still there.
January 26, 2019, 03:38 PM

caiaphas endured the disapproving clucks of aure as she tended to her work, bustling to and about her like a mother hen collecting her wayward chicks. the siren made no argument to the contrary as she was admonished, though she watched aure so very tightly -- lest the pale she-wolf have some trick or poison up her sleeve.

she scarce hid it, either -- as aure turned around caiaphas often craned her neck to observe whatever plant was muddled into the poultice. she had not lived so long, nor been so lucky to not be killed, by blithely trusting the good-will of strangers.

keeping silent, caiaphas sulkily allowed the white woman her dutiful work, hoping she had not made some terrible mistake in the process.

at length, aure finished her ministrations -- and the siren, loathe to share gratitude with the enemy yet not all-together too far gone of a wretch to deny the pale mistress some token of thanks, simply dipped her head with a brutish grunt and turned for home.