Hushed Willows a swell of smoke arose and filled the air [festival]
All Welcome  February 14, 2019, 12:51 AM
Olive
Elysium
Shakti
The pervasive cold snap that had deadened everything for the few weeks prior had petered out of existence. Instead, the earth’s frigidity was replaced with gentle sun and a melt-y dampness that spoke: spring is almost here! time for a party! 

At this time of the year, the buzz of energy was not strong enough to be overwhelming, but the shift was perceptible enough to be detected by those who cared about these sorts of things. It even manifested in more obvious ways for those who chose not to see or turned a blind eye to nature’s messages; it was the breeding season, and even for the most out-of-tune wolf, that was easy to understand. The desire to procreate was steadily overtaking the Teen Wilds and turning everything in its head — but that was the price paid for new life. For several months, wolf kind ran wild, and when it was all over, the universe was better for it.

Olive nurtured a very healthy belief that the turn of seasons needed to be celebrated. It was divine fate that placed with her other wolves that agreed — Lily had the idea for a Yule celebration after all, and no one seemed averse to the idea of a fertility festival to bless all of the existing and upcoming unions. As the sanctuary they were, packs and wolves from all around were invited, so several scouts had been sent to make the rounds, promulgate the news and invite all who desired blessing, company, or simply an evening upon neutral ground with others from the area. Packs and wolves who experienced strife would find none of the sort here. It was a time for peace, for celebration, and for wishing well upon those who needed it. 

While the scouts went ranging, the others busied themselves preparing for the festivities. There  was much to be done, and the recent cold had blighted much of the delicate greenery that they would have made use of. Using the ingenuity of all the Seraphim, Olive was quite proud with what they had scrounged up. There were small piles of hardy twigs, leaves and blooms which had been harvested from the nearby Herbalist’s Cache and could be used as decorations and jewelry for those who felt so inclined. For others, Olive had staved off her hungry tongue and crushed bark and berries into a fine paste that could be used as a crimson dye. She and her brothers had once loved to leave paw prints upon their fair-colored pelts, and knew others might find it fun too. 

There were snacks of berries and fish organized into bowls they had dug into the shallow earth,  seeds that had been specially cultivated for those who wished to plant them and bestow nature with another sense of fertility, and piles of logs and leaves for those who wished to play and show off their agility or strength. Making music, gift-giving and other festivities all played a role in the evening’s zeitgeist, though Olive figured the hosts might have to lead these endeavors themself. All of this was set amongst a small clearing amongst the willows — with the density of the trees, large open spaces were a rarity — but it was cozy and could support a decent-sized gathering. A lone willow stood in the middle, with its draping tendrils spread equally on all sides, acting more or less as the festival’s de facto maypole. Olive hoped that whoever attended might find it entertaining to dance around the tree, with a tendril in their mouth, weaving and dipping and diving around the other dancers to make beautiful patterns and find a sense of oneness in the chaos.

It was all ready. Olive surveyed the area, then nodded and looked to Seabreeze at her side. She  was proud of what they had built, with the help of countless others, and now it was time to return the favor and help the others build whatever they needed — whether that be a family, a sense of peace and calm, or friendships amongst coexisting packs. Olive tipped her head back and brushed her lips against the late afternoon sky, letting out an opening call to usher in any potential visitors into the willows. “Won’t you celebrate with us?” She crooned to the sky, and beckoned ever forward those who might be on their way.
 
Welcome to Elysium’s Fertility Festival!

Details: Set for late afternoon on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. The second round will start on February 21st. Please only post once per round; if you wish to post more often, please take your conversation/interaction to a different thread. 

All wolves from the associated packs, as well as lone wolves in the vicinity, are welcome to join this thread and post other coinciding threads in the Hushed Willows. For all other threads, please us the tag [festival] in the title.

@Lily @Delight @Khali @Stigmata @Mahler @Takiyok @Blixen @Dio @Vercingetorix @Caiaphas @Illidan @Constantine @Soltero @Kavik @Valette @Greyback @Terance @Rannoch @Treason @Coelacanth @Stockholm @Ford

Activity Ideas: Welcome to those who are hoping to conceive, and those who're simply joining in on the festivities. Have fun, meet new people, and see what happens! Please feel free to reference your character doing any of the following…

— Decorating oneself with twigs, leaves, flowers and natural dyes
— Snacking on berries and fish (and other food, if provided)
— Dancing around the maypole
— Planting seeds
— Exploring the grounds
— Matchmaking
— Drumming/Dancing/Singing
— Gift-Giving (and receiving)
— Leaf pile jumping, log lifting, racing and other feats of strength
— Pregnancy announcements, ‘guess-the-due-date’ games and giving unsolicited parenting advice
 

and all my days are trances, and all my nightly dreams
are where thy grey eye glances, and where thy footstep gleams
in what ethereal dances, by what eternal streams

February 14, 2019, 01:50 AM
Gannet
Lost Creek Hollow
Stalwart
being super vague about who he is with bc I have no idea! I'd love to break off and get some healery threads (maybe even a mentor relationship for him) so if I can assume some wolf would direct him to your char and you want a thread lemme know!

It was a major coincidence in Gannet's mind that not long after meeting Lily and hearing her offer, her pack threw a festival and invited them! In truth he had no clue what a festival was, but the idea of trespassing wasn't new to him. He'd passed through many a claim on his own; sometimes to be chased out, others to join them for a time. He practically exuded non-threatening after all. This time it came with an invitation, though, so at least the former wouldn't happen.

Gannet was eager as he joined the gathering of strangers, his ears upright and his tail low, unassuming. He didn't outright approach anyone yet, but waited, watching. At some point in the near future he would ask someone who he could speak to about learning more, maybe even ask after some of the names Lily had given him. For now he was happy to observe.

Gannet's face and body are open books; you are more than welcome to distinctly notice any emotion written in his posts.
(Most thread titles come from Into the Fire from the Scarlet Pimpernel)
February 14, 2019, 08:29 AM
Sunny
Elysium
Seraph
Funny that the celebration was that day. Hours ago in the fresh morning air Sunny had experienced his first sexual encounter with the one he loved. It had been great and Sunny was definitely satisfied and because this is Sunny we're talking about the way he moved and glowed and had a dopey grin on his face made it quite clear what had transpired. He strode onto the scene body all relaxed and that obvious grin on his face, carrying an offering of a goose that he had gone out of territory to find. Spotting Olive and Seabreeze he walked over smiling around the goose and gently dropping it at their paws "For you two. Happy festivities. I hope you're feeling better ma'am. You both look amazing" he greeted them in a friendly manner, figuring it polite to show appreciation to the folks who started the gathering first before eating or socializing.
February 14, 2019, 09:02 PM
Dawn
Lone Wolves


she kept pace near @Rannoch's side, having volunteered easily to come alongside the small group when she learened of their destination. only when they came into view of the rest of the group did she pull away with a soft chuff and a dip of her chin to Rannoch, gazing at all that Elysium had gathered with a kind of rapture. it was amazing, all they'd managed to gather, though she did not know the purpose of much of it. she saw Sunny after only a moment of search - or rather, his backside as he spoke to two women she guessed to be the pair Rannoch had spoken of. she did not approach immidiately, but called to him as she paused in her step. "sunny!" she hoped to talk, if only for a moment, before the rest of those who sought to celebrate arrived. [would you be up for a side-thread at all?]
February 15, 2019, 12:03 AM
Lily
Elysium
Satori
She had only ever heard of the concept of a fertility festival; she'd never been to one herself. It was with great excitement and merriment that Lily entered the gathering, stomach quite round now. Obviously, she'd been blessed already--but perhaps her presence was a sort of good luck charm? In any case, she wouldn't miss a party for the world.

Hallo, lovelies, she chirped to Olive and Seabreeze, giving them both affectionate nuzzles. She turned to Sunny, who looked undoubtedly pleased with himself, and her face changed from excitement to mirth. Hallo, Sunny. You seem like you've had a good day, she giggled, grinning.

Her eyes swept 'round the clearing, looking for familiar faces. No, no, no--and then-- Gannet! she called out, moving toward him, the smile still on her face but softening to one of welcome. I'm so happy you're here! She was fond of the kind man from Lost Creek Hollow, and it seemed that he'd brought friends! Unfortunately, she hadn't seen Pema in quite some time, which was kind of sucky, because she had promised him an audience with her. Oh, well. . .

You'll have to introduce me to your friends, Lily insisted gently, wagging her tail. Many of who had accompanied him were unfamiliar to her; she didn't see Terance or Treason here.
February 15, 2019, 01:03 AM
Sanguinus
Blackfeather Woods
Izula
        After bribing the gossiping birds into pointing him in the right direction, Sanguinus had spent the majority of his early morning trekking across fields and weaving threw forests, eventually landing himself close enough so that when the howl announcing the rumored festival's commencement was tossed among the wind, he had actually been close enough to hear it. His ears swiveled atop his crown as his paws were quick to move on their own, carefully guiding him threw the willows and towards the hustle and bustle in the distance. 

        A colorful array of vibrant dies and peddles caught his attention first, though his gaze quickly fell upon what he assumed were the welcoming hosts and in a gentlemanly fashion, lowered his head in greeting. He'd never met such accepting company before, for the idea of inviting strangers into your home was not a thought he would have ever entertained and yet here he was, tossing himself admits the friendly chatter of those who had gathered while he nosed through the aesthetic pile of flowers, eyes ever watchful for those who were yet to join in the festivities.  

3-3-3
9/10 threads
monthly goal - reach 100 posts
February 15, 2019, 02:06 PM
Rannoch
Lost Creek Hollow
Leader
Just in time for the festivities, Rannoch, @Dawn, and @Gannet arrived at Elysium's meeting-grounds. Although they were not late, a few wolves had already assembled—most of them he had yet to be acquainted with. With both Dawn and Gannet's attention grabbed by others, Rannoch was left to his own accord. He wasn't without an interest long, as he noticed that Sunny, who he knew was Dawn's brother, was talking to @Olive and @Seabreeze; he felt as though he hadn't talked to them in ages.

Not wanting to disrupt the conversation, Rannoch sought to lock eyes with Olive so that he could get her attention.

a crime so old as the sky and bone
he came untied, solid as a stone
all is almost lost and it starts to show
February 15, 2019, 04:00 PM
Aurëwen
Diaspora
Geist
tl;dr aur shuts her brain off have fun folks


        Earlier, Aure had been sifting through which manner to don herself in for the festivities. Should she attend with the same garment of "The Undimmed" that she'd met Lily in? After a heartbeat's consideration— No, she'd mused, and rid herself eagerly, clumsily, of those mournful airs. Eager to dismiss all of what she'd come to know, the ever-changing skayona alit in favor of a mood more suitable for tonight. For every night, until she had no other choice but to return to herself and the reality of her romance.

        But, no. Not tonight. Tonight, she swathed herself in a gossamer of pointed ignorance, of aversion, of a fey revelry. Limned with listlessness, she spirited away the Luk @Isleña with her, intent for an eve of revitalizing their sembalence of sorority — at least, she’s wondered such.

        She would forget those happenings, too, and how they made her heart ache. She would forget how her night-of-life had once lain with this Luk; she would forget her being so bashfully unbeloved; she would forget how the Blood Queen had damned her. Aure would forget all of this, and fill her heart instead with the company of strangers and a night of her own making.

        It was with this way that she approached Elysium, and the beckoning from the willows is what made her soul shiver in answer. Disregarding all and everything that wasn't before her, that wasn't hers, Aure winged and wisped herself down down down into the willows; until she drowned herself in her whimsy. When she saw @Sanguinus, she flit from her course towards @Lily and soared for him with a delighted slurring of his name.

        Tonight, she was "Lady Starlight", and one would be hard pressed to find solace from her absolute sprightliness. Tonight, if she looked back, she would be lost.

ᴇɢʟᴀᴛʜʀɪɴ ʀᴏᴍᴀ̂ɴă     Hover for translations
                        ― Verx, Isi & Drago may PP Aure in any thread 
 
February 16, 2019, 06:36 PM
Isleña
Approved Members

Isleña followed Aure to the rumored festival amongst the willows. Her participation had been tentative and timid — she wasn’t sure if her friendship with the white women would persist, nonetheless her party invitation — but it seemed that the two had each swallowed their pride and were attempting to work it out. Well, they were trying to work it out if ‘work it out’ actually meant ‘ignore it and pretend like it never happened.’ That was Isleña preferred mode of dealing with the shitty parts of life, and the weird silence they traveled in suited her just fine. It was all a part of the process of moving on.

She entered the territory on tiptoes, overly-cautious that she was entering another pack’s land. Though she heard the borders were open, especially for the festival, Isleña could not help but muse how silly of a policy that was; they were almost asking for trouble, and if Isleña were not such a gentle-lady, she might have to take advantage of this. But Aure seemed intent on having fun this night, so the cocoa-dipped banshee scattered any thoughts of takeovers and tried to follow her friend’s lead.

The runty woman attached herself to Aure’s hip and allowed herself to be steered amongst a crowd of wolves she didn’t know. It seemed that Aure knew everyone though — this was not a surprise at all — and had trouble settling on who to speak to. Ultimately, she settled on an unknown male who looked woefully out of place amongst the elegant milieu, @Sanguinus. Isleña wasn’t quite used to not being the center of attention, so even though she barely spoke the language, she took the opportunity to strike up a conversation. With her tongue trying to manage the thick syllables, she pieced together the question “How, are you?” — a phrase taught to her by her many, many language tutors — and then stared at him expectantly. Okay I said something, now you say something back.
February 17, 2019, 03:53 PM
Ruenna
Pledged
Nauthiz Vale
Although Rue's upbringing made her no stranger to inter-pack celebrations, this was the first time she had attended a Fertility Festival. Her parents had insisted she was too young to participate both of her previous springs. Rue moved through the willows with confidence, somewhat familiar with the Elysium territory after visiting for the Yule celebration. 

As Rue approached the group, she could already tell tell that the overall atmosphere was a little different than it had been at Yule. The very air seemed to hum with what Rue could only identify anticipation. Rue's eyes landed on the one familiar face in the crowd, and she began to move toward @Lily. As she walked, she allowed her hips to sway in a very un-Rue-like fashion, caught up in the spirit of the gathering. 

"Hi Lily," Rue chirped to her acquaintance. She then shifted her attention to the fresh-faced young man at her side. "I'm Ruenna Redfern, of Disapora," she introduced herself to @Gannet with a demure smile. [Psst Rue dabbles in healing, jus sayin.. >.>]

Realizing she might need to explain her recent pack-switch to Lily, she added, "Blacktail Deer Plateau disbanded, I'm sorry to report." Although it was sad news, Ruenna remained upbeat. She had a new home and a bright future, and she wouldn't dwell on what she had lost-- not here, where the very air seemed to vibrate with possibility.
February 17, 2019, 04:27 PM
Mahler
Diaspora
Kapitän
        to say that mahler was uncomfortable with the presence of so many wolves was an understatement. to say he was doubly disgruntled at the idea of a 'fertility festival' was a harsh undercutting of his true feelings. he did not know why he had come, for the last time he had been at elysium, it had only ended in shame for the sea-woman and her dark counterpart.
        but the gargoyle inched stiffly forward all the same, hard lavender eyes cutting around at him for any recognizable individual. elysium was neighbor to diaspora — it would do well to have a leader of theirs here at this gathering.
        ruenna, yes — his discomfort softened somewhat at seeing her, though the sway in her slender hips as she approached the sable lily and a man he did not know caused a prickle of unwelcome heat beneath his dark fur. the woman isleña was here also, accompanied by a pale wraith of a she-wolf. 
        it was sunny who caught mahler's eye; the shadowpriest fought the urge to lift a lip in response to the sight of the unfortunately happy young male, who seemed to have healed well from their battle. no matter. this was a time of peace, and the gargoyle took himself off to the side of the clearing, quietly investigating the seeds that had been laid out for planting.

[Image: 2711649b07fc604164cb120b1b417fa3cf47bccc_00.gif]
February 18, 2019, 06:46 AM
Soltero
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon
^-^

He felt terribly torn.

Ruenna's departure from the creek had left him a little lost, unfamiliar in his own steps - he was too inexperienced to understand just why, but as he watched from afar, she didn't appear to be as troubled as himself - had she thought of him, as he had her? It was this very plaguing thought that kept him from approaching, instead peering to the figure of a charcoal male, who's gaze stroked the youthful figurine of the very girl who'd set his mind into turmoil. A flicker of unease licked at his stomach, forcing his emerald glance away, away, so that he might focus on something else.

He'd already thought of that - of the herbalist moving on so easily. But Soltero had only just become attached, and whatever their fleeting relationship had been, he missed it.

Uncomfortably aware of his confidence dissipating, the smoky beta chewed at the inside of his cheek and pretended to watch the sky, internally at war with himself over why he'd come - he'd known there was a chance of seeing her, but perhaps he'd still been hopeful. Now he just wanted to hide, and pray she hadn't seen him - even engange in conversation with a stranger, whether he was a fan or not. Anything would have been better. His eyes trekked every nook and cranny of the festivities, studying each wolf with a fidgety quickness before settling himself down only a brief few strides away from the main bustle, wondering if he ought to simply wander back to the creek's tense domain.

This was a happy gathering, and he would curse himself for ruining it. His lips remained sealed, attempting to absorb whatever gleeful emotions were left scattered like flower-petals.

I tried to write your name in the rain
But the rain never came
February 18, 2019, 02:42 PM
Kazimir
Diaspora
Optio
She went to the festival though she arrived shortly after Ruenna and Mahler, having decided to trail behind the pair and make sure nothing was stalking them. It was also simply the fact that despite Diaspora being a group that travelled together...she didn't like travelling with a group all that much. She had no idea why she bothered to go except for the knowledge that she was no longer fertile and therefore could flirt around and perhaps get the itch that remained taken care of. The babbling noise of lots of chatter could be heard from afar and as she arrived she took it all in, her eyes narrowing as the information gatherer in her made notes. There were plenty of wolves here, possibly allies and if that was the case there was a possible problem if Stigmata and Mahler ever wanted to poach the group or simply boot them off their mountains. She roused herself from her thoughts reminding herself why she had bothered to come and allowing her gaze to travel around the party.

There plenty of each gender, plenty of different sizes and shapes to fit whatever taste she had but for some reason her eyes landed on Mahler. Her ego of course made her yearn to go for the powerful ones and while she was definitely more attracted to Stigmata, Mahler was fascinating just the same. It was then that the air of the festival came over her and she sauntered into the path of his vision, her hips swaying without any shyness to display her curves as she curled her tail in a suggestive manner, eyes focused on the berries so he wouldn't assume she was after his attention. As she reached the sweet fruit she lowered her muzzle and took a mouthful, the dark juices running over her chin as she lifted her face and glanced around her gaze pausing briefly on Mahler as she licked her maw before flitting away again. Even if the tactic of "i'm not particularly interested in you" didn't appeal to him, she was sure that someone would. Plan B was to pick an attractive face and go flirt if someone didn't step up themselves.
February 18, 2019, 11:30 PM
Cortez
Elysium
Seraph
oh, shit, there were a lot of wolves in the willows today. he knew about the festival but wasn't aware elysium was gonna draw this kind of crowd. he didn't mind gatherings, really, but he did prefer small group interactions to something like this. multiple bodies just increased the tendency for calamity. things tended to fall apart quite quickly when you lumped a bunch of predators together and—yeah, he thought he smelled some fermented stuff.

so lump a bunch of predators together to celebrate fertility and ply them with fermented beverages. yeah, this could either be a legendary night of revelry or the next day's front-page headline.

cortez strayed into the midst of the party, giving his sister a kind look and a nudge before clearing his throat. uh, folks? he called out, nasally tenor carrying over the din. i've got some stories about love and marriage and babies if, uh, you're interested in hearing 'em. if this isn't really your scene. . . the vagabond trailed off. yeah. so, i'll be over there. he jerked his chin in a random direction.

point thus made, he headed that way, out of the clearing and further into the trees. hopefully someone would follow him. man, he'd really look like a loser if he ended up sitting out in the leaf-dappled moonlight alone, talking to himself.
February 19, 2019, 04:16 PM
Ford
Stormrift
Aegaeon
The premise of celebrating fertility was not something that Ford bought into. He understood the importance of having youth. In fact, he looked forward to the arrival of the young that would fill the pup ranks within Stormrift. Still, he did not understand the idea of having a festival in order to celebrate such things. He had contemplated the idea of it for several days before the call had sounded for their gathering. As with most things that he did not fully understand, the titan knew that the wisest way to overcome that was to go anyway – to learn from experience.

Trekking across the stretch of beach and through the twisting woods that existed near the edge of the world, the warhound moved without urgency. He relished the taste of the saline winds up until they had faded away to the fragrance of willow trees. The dark man of the sea already missed the sound of the waves beating on the shore, but he did not turn back. Ford knew that his visit to the stranger pack was something of a political move. He needed to be sure that they were aware of the rift and those who settled there; he needed to make a name for himself.

Once there, he could almost taste the presence of others. There were enough of them, from a mixture of homes, that they all melted together in a pot of diversity. One thing that he noticed upon arrival was that there were no familiar faces to him. So, the titan watched from the side and searched for an opportunity to insert himself into one of the unknown's conversations. The sharp glint of his mismatched gaze lingered on each face – all of them unfamiliar to him. It was truly the first time that he felt out of place since he had arrived to the wilds. When a man offered the telling of stories, the dark warhound moved toward him so that he could listen.
February 19, 2019, 04:32 PM
Illidan
Rusalka
Beta
the boy was nervous to visit the pack in the willows again. his first visit had been entirely formal, and while lily had been kind to him... he didn't know that it was appropriate for him to accept their offer and to join in on the festivities. he had deliberated on going since he had woken that morning. his mind had taken him to wander the edge of the water before he had decided that it would be a good thing for him to meet new people and to better familiarize himself with the elysium group.

so, he had trekked out of the sound and followed the memory trail that he had created to get back to the sanctuary pack. on his way there, the boy had been fortunate enough to secure a hare in a quick-paced hunt. he imagined that it would make a good gift for them, and that it would shine a positive light on him for having thought to bring a gift. with his catch clasped tightly in his teeth, the ghostly boy raced to the pack in the trees and found himself in a world that was entirely unknown to him.

there were many others there, and illidan felt a very intense feeling of being overwhelmed in that moment. his sharp yellow gaze wandered from face to face in hopes that he would recognize someone there that he could talk to. he saw lily for a moment, but she seemed as though she was speaking to someone that she knew and he didn't have the audacity to interrupt her. for a moment, the young man saw the scarred features of the pale cliff wolf. in desperation, he thought to approach her, but his nerves overcame him and kept him rooted to the ground.

to no one in particular, the harrowed young man swallowed heavily and placed his gift on the ground at his paws. “i don't know... where to put this... it's a gift,” he said quietly. it was likely that no one heard him speak at all.
February 20, 2019, 11:48 AM
Charon
Moonspear
Alpha
After @Sanguinus had told Charon of the festival, it hadn't fully left his mind. Honestly, it seemed to come at the perfect moment. Amekaze needed all the help she could get on her fertility -- she was getting older and he detected a certain disinterest in her about the whole thing. As if bringing another generation on the earth did not matter as much. Charon therefore decided ultimately when he'd heard of all the details that it'd be a good idea for them to go. @Amekaze had agreed and so they'd gone on their way. It was quite out the way but maybe they could wager a visit to Easthollow to come and see Alya and her boy, too? @Arcturus, @Yama and @Lyra were invited to join them if they wished for the journey (though Charon made clear that at the festival, they'd each go their own way) and @Hydra had already offered to stay and guard the fort.

The travels seemed longer than what he was used to. Charon made a point out of stopping by the sunspire. It still felt like part of their legacy somehow, where it had all started. Everything was different now but this place was still a lot like he remembered. He was just happy that Rannoch and his wolves no longer inhabited it. The nerve to claim it in the first place.

They arrived eventually when a great deal of wolves had already gathered. Charon brought a piece of the star that had fallen down on the ground in Moonspear recently. That had been a sign from the stars, and now he wondered if it was meant to inspire this, meant to make him meet Sanguinus... All of this, it meant something. Of that much he was certain.

His eyes fell onto @Olive first. A ghost from the past, though he did not remember too well how long ago it'd been that they had last seen each other. Her children he had seen but recently but her... He did not even remember why she had left them in the first place. Maybe she hadn't told. Hey, didn't know you moved to this place, Charon offered to a Olive in surprise with gritted teeth through the piece of star. He offered her a surprised smile, though then decided to move on before things got too awkward. Sanguinus was offered a smile -- he'd shown Charon the festival, and for that he was grateful. But before he could make his way over to greet Sanguinus and talk to him, his eye was caught by more ghosts of the past.

Next he noticed @Rannoch who seemed to be trying to get Olive's attention. Charon glanced at Amekaze, and then decided it'd be easiest to just ignore Rannoch altogether. It wasn't like they had much to say to one another.

Many other wolves were gathered that he did not know. The most notable of the others was @Gannet. He had left to... Whatever, find himself or some other bullshit excuse. And now he was here with... Rannoch, Charon could only assume? Are you fucking kidding me?! Charon thought bitterly. They'd even talked about Rannoch's abandonment. Charon had told him he was almost like fucking family and now this? He cast Gannet a sharp look as he moved to the maypole to place his offering to the fertility gods while he contemplated directly confronting Gannet. Whoever else he might know in the gathering was lost on Charon for the moment.
February 20, 2019, 03:48 PM
Wintersbane
Blackfeather Woods
Merei
        word of the festival reached the sotaherra even in the frost-touched lands of the taiga and he spent a few days mulling whether he should attend or not. there was a lot to do for the vartija yet. caches and borders and recruits and regrouping with those sworn to the cause; wintersbane's time is valuable these days, dedicated to the strict agenda set in motion months ago. he sets out for elysium nevertheless, stretching the invitation to those that follow him without being sure what lay in store.

        it felt strange to enter claimed lands; wrong. like trying to force two magnets with the same polarity together. it goes against everything he, as soturi believes in. borders are sacred, they protect a claim and the wolves within. the fur at his nape bristles and he readjusts his grasp on the antler he carried as a gift. it was a prize taken from a large, old stag that had been good eating for the adding to the caches. he isn't sure if it's necessary but it seemed like ill manners to come without.

        he follows the scent trails, all intermingling and mixing in a way that he wants to rebel against. what was he doing here really? seeing what the festival was about? seeing if it was possible from wolves from all over, from other packs to temporarily co-exist within the dwellings of a pack not their own? curiosity was what drove the sotaherra. it is not hard to find the crowd and when he does his approach slows, errs to the side of caution as his glacial gaze studies those gathered. he recognizes only three besides the two of his own that flanked him: charon, illidan and aure.

        his gaze does not linger upon any of them for long, roving to study the others as he moves nearer, setting the gift he brings down at his paws hating the 'lost lamb' feeling he's suddenly and uncharacteristically been struck with ...but he does not like being in the territory of another on principle alone, despite that it was an open invitation.

stand among the ashes
of a trillion dead souls and ask
the ghosts if honor matters —
February 20, 2019, 04:17 PM
Derg
Pledged
Nauthiz Vale

Derg had followed Wintersbane here. After being explained to that this was a festival for fun. 
How one could have fun with so many unknown characters in a place where a potential threat of war could be the worst case scenario? He didn't know; but he'd asked @Keen if she wanted to join, but doubted so as she was timid but, even so, a large gathering could prove useful for finding her family, right?

His eyes scanned the gathering, looking for anyone familiar. There, the dark face and hawk eyes. Illidan. Was the old witch here too? Grezig? His search became more frantic yet he kept to Wintersbane's side. He wasn't about to go wandering off especially if, in case the man had any ill greetings, didn't want to be outside the fight if anything went south.
His nose twitched, telling him Grezig wither wasn't here yet or wasn't coming at all.
"Quite a gathering, eh."  He murmured to the Tundrian beside.

He too was on high alert but promised himself to be tolerant at least with the ones who invited them here. So, keeping his head up, a ghost f a smile on his face, and tail waving in greeting, Derg hoped everyone here would walk away scot free.

217 words​

5/10 threads
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February 20, 2019, 04:24 PM
Faeryn
Approved Members

The bustle of a festival was not her favoured atmosphere - though the sylph could appreciate the meaning behind such a gathering, none of the faces were even a touch discernable to her, beside that of the Sotaherra she accompanied.

Faeryn was among a growing sea of unfamiliarity, svelte figure gliding up beside the bulky appearance of Wintersbane (alongside Derg), sliding her seaborn gaze over the crowd before settling on his own glacial demeanor. "You know any of these people?" came her murmured enquiry to both men, tail flicking in aprehension at her rear. She ought to spread out, converse with those strangers and convert them into friends, perhaps gain some knowledge of the world outside of her mismatched, indecisive bubble, but she failed to conjure an array of topic starters, and decided swiftly against the idea.

Better to leave herself open, and allow others to tip-toe her way if they thought to greet her, and traverse from there.
February 20, 2019, 05:14 PM
Keen
Approved Members

She doesn't know why she'd agreed to follow birdboy to this festival; some sliver of hope, perhaps, that she might spot her family among the wolves gathered. Maybe she'd hoped, too, to let loose a bit — have some fun for once. But now that she's here, all she feels is regret and anxiety. She lingers anxiously near her companion, hovering closer than usual to his flank as her gaze scans the crowd. There is nothing familiar here, and she wishes she hadn't come at all. Her eyes flit to him briefly as she hears him speak, but promptly drop to the ground and remain there. She decides the only thing to do is avoid eye contact and hope no one speaks to her until it's time to leave.
February 20, 2019, 11:04 PM
Amekaze
Moonspear
Alpha
Urged by the news of a festival Charon had picked up from in the wilds, their travels had spanned across the valleys, and through the mountains. She had agreed easily enough to attend, but maybe not for the exact reasons that her mate might hope in his preoccupation with seeing their next litter in a hurry. Still, endeared enough to him and curious to scope it all out for herself, she went with, and despite those initial pangs of homesickness, she enjoyed the trip more than she had anticipated to. They were free to set the pace and although winter still reigned, the road was tempered enough for them.

After stopping by the peaceful, abandoned Sunspire, she was still in light enough spirits. Charon had brought a piece of their fallen star, and from their brief stop by her old stomping grounds, she came upon a ram horn worth toting--although she believed the alien stone their real statement piece. The horn was just a little something extra, and at least she did not have to carry it far now; a dimly familiar forest of willows approached, tucked away in the crook of the range. It had been a long time since she had hunted near here last.

Nevertheless, they threaded past the boundaries and from there, she truly began to grasp the variety of wolves gathered. A few stood out to her more than others. She scented several already, a prickling handful that she did recognize, and countless more unknown to her beyond that as they moved upon the gathering in place. The size of this, paired with a watchful eye, kept her close to Charon's side once their gifts dropped off and left them free to attempt to settle in, whatever that should entail exactly.

Amekaze admittedly felt a touch out of place so close to sea-level and among such a vast menagerie, but she was taking it in, listening, and watching this unfold for now.

[Image: 5ifpFkc.png?1]
i want to bleed in the 「r a i n
February 21, 2019, 04:54 PM
Olive
Elysium
Shakti
Thank you all for joining! Let’s start the second round — third round begins on Feb 27th

No need to respond if you’re already in a side thread, but y’all may want to come back in a round or two for the official ‘blessing’ :)

The festival is still open for wolves who want to come; round here, there’s no such thing as ‘tardy to the party’

To Olive’s delight, more and more wolves took heed of her call and began to trickle into the willows, coming from all directions but funneling in through the single opening at the base of the mountain range’s embrace. They were beings of all shapes, sizes, colors and packs; their scents were as varied as their coats, their voices, as well as their reason for being at the festival. Some she knew, but many she did not know. Either way,  each wolf that arrived received a smile and a bow from Olive and Seabreeze respectively. Despite this being Elysium’s ground, they were all equals here. They were all welcome.

The wolves of Moonspear arrived, and Charon approached her directly. Had this been the Olive of a year ago — or even two years ago — she might have seized up and assumed the worst. However, Olive found that time easily erased the incongruousness of their families and she greeted Charon with wonder that the universe might happen to reacquaint them.
“Yes,” she greeted with a smile. “We hope to offer hearth and home to all those who are in need — much like the generosity you gave to my family, all those years ago.” Without much ado, Charon moved on, and so did Olive.

When it seemed as if all the wolves who might arrive had already done so, Olive strode to the center of the gathering. She felt all the eyes upon her, but bloomed in the spotlight of so many different energies.
“Welcome, all!” the sylph called out cheerily, waiting a beat for the side conversations to cease. “Thank you for being a part of this peaceful gathering. The gods have smiled upon us this evening.” She glanced around at the group of relative strangers, seeking to meet each one’s eye. “Please — eat and drink your fill, talk and laugh with others, even dance if you please. If you’ve brought gifts of food, they can be placed with the other dishes. Other gifts can be placed around the altar.” With a flick of the chin, Olive indicated where all the different things she referenced were to take place — as if it weren’t already obvious. 

Olive hauled in breath, trying to quell the rapid beating of her heart.
“Tonight we celebrate fertility and abundance in its many forms. To the mothers-to-be, we wish you health and happiness. To the fathers-to-be, we wish you many offspring to carry on your namesake. To the earth, we pray for a fruitful and nurturing spring seasons. This is a time of light and life, of happiness and joy. Celebrate in whichever manner calls to your heart.” As long as no one meant harm or ill-will, almost anything would be tolerated here. “Make merry and meet others — there will be a formal blessing in just a little while. We will announce it just before, if you would like to take part.”

With the welcome done, Olive gracefully bowed her head and exited the limelight, allowing all the different interactions to commence and resume. She kissed Seabreeze’s cheek as the woman went on to entertain her own guests, and Olive sought out a wolf amongst the crowd who’s gaze had caught her own: Rannoch. His large size and stark coast stood out from the many others and she wove her way to him, stopping by the pile of flowers to pick out a pale blue one and tuck it into the soft, downy fur on her chest. Then, she picked up another between her lips and offered it to Rannoch when she drifted ever closer. @Rannoch, come dance with me, won’t you?” she offered, almost too eager to grab one of the maypole’s ribbons and begin her exuberant dance with her friend.  

and all my days are trances, and all my nightly dreams
are where thy grey eye glances, and where thy footstep gleams
in what ethereal dances, by what eternal streams

February 21, 2019, 06:03 PM
Lily
Elysium
Satori
whew *cracks knuckles* let's see if i can remember to respond to everyone i need to

They began to arrive in droves, some faces familiar, some not. Aure began to approach, accompanied by a packmate, but as soon as Lily began to wag her tail in greeting, the pale Drageda wolf slipped away, eyes locked on someone else. Ah, well. A lot going on. And there wasn't much time to be disappointed, for--

Ruenna! she exclaimed, beyond relieved to see the young woman. She'd not heard anything of the plateau wolves since their old packmate had come looking for them. I'm so glad to see you! I was so worried when Illidan came to our border and told me you all were gone, she said anxiously, eyes wide. She looked around, searching for her old friends. Is Kavik with you? Liri--?

The sight of Mahler disconcerted her; last time they had met, she was fleeing from the scene, overwhelmed at Mali's disobedience. She hadn't wanted to see him again, at least not so soon. And then Olive's brother promised a story elsewhere, and a few followed. Perhaps Lily would join them, but not yet. There were still greetings to be made.

Speaking of @Illidan. . .here he was now, with a hare as gift. Excusing herself, she left Ruenna's side and padded toward the young man, beaming. Illidan, she greeted, eyes soft as she noticed he looked a little nervous, out of place. She didn't mind keeping him company, at least until he felt more comfortable. How are you? Thank you so much for bringing a present!

Olive eventually began to speak again, and her ears perked as she listened, the excitement prickling over her body like gooseflesh. The atmosphere was undeniably electric; she could feel the stirrings of life anew, both within her womb and all around the willows.
February 23, 2019, 01:13 PM
Gannet
Lost Creek Hollow
Stalwart
He beamed when Lily approached and nodded, telling her the names of Rannoch and Dawn. She swiftly moved on to other conversations, though, and Gannet watched her leave with a friendly smile. He didn't mind, the gathering was a tad overwhelming anyway.

He circled some, around the group, listening. He'd intended to perhaps find a mentor in healing, but he now found himself unable to approach anyone directly. A shy sort of silence swallowed his voice, so he sat down on the outskirts, silver eyes tracking the mingling and conversations of the group before him. A woman introduced the gathering, then began to dance with Rannoch, and Gannet glanced towards Charon, then away. He'd told Sarah that he felt lonely still, sometimes, and he supposed this was one of those. It wasn't a bad feeling, just an odd one. Like he was missing something in the way others were, some key piece that would help him to speak and dance as easily as so many here were doing.

Gannet's face and body are open books; you are more than welcome to distinctly notice any emotion written in his posts.
(Most thread titles come from Into the Fire from the Scarlet Pimpernel)