Ankyra Sound a gunslinger knows pride - that invisible bone that keeps the neck stiff
All Welcome  February 20, 2019, 01:11 PM
Lone Wolves

Border patrol.

the boy was weary from lack of sleep, but he still rose from his den and ventured out to the edges of their claim in an attempt to rouse himself from the dismal existence that he lived in. he had imagined that if he were to keep himself busy, he could drown the thoughts that lingered like dark shadows in his mind. somehow, no matter how much he wore himself down, illidan could not shake his feelings of loss. even the festival that he had visited had not done much to lift his spirits. it had only confirmed to him how out of place he was in social settings.

the wind bit at him, but he trudged through it. there was a tired look to his lean frame, and his eyes had sunken into his dark features. he looked much older than he was. experience had shaped him into a man beyond his years. a disquieting old beast trapped in the body of a boy... but he would not have been a boy for much longer. illidan was months away from his first year of life. as he trailed the outside of their claim, he wondered how many more of those were in his future.
March 04, 2019, 01:27 AM
RIP Grezig
Approved Members

idk, man. it's 10:30pm, forgive me. Foreward-dated to March 3.

Grezig was very pregnant. I’m too lazy to go look up what a five-week pregnant wolf is like so whatever. She was five weeks pregnant. So, very uncomfortable and restless and swollen probably. Yay. Hell. It sounds like hell. Anyways.

She trudged through Ankyra Sound, grumpier than usual, having avoided doing much of anything for the past four weeks. The first week had been easy, the second not so bad. From the third on, she became progressively more uncomfortable and now she was just perpetually antsy and just wanted the babies out of her. She hadn’t seen much of Vaati since their initial conversation. Actually, she hadn’t seen much of… anyone, but she’d been actively avoiding everyone so that wasn’t surprising. 

The last wolf she wanted to see right now was Illidan. Somehow, some way, they had not yet crossed paths in these last few months. But he had to know she was here, right? Her scent was everywhere in the forest, so unless he actively avoided the forest in their territory, he had to know she was here. So maybe he was avoiding her, too. Well, that was fine with her right now. Because she was hella pregnant and did not feel like dealing with his mopey ass.

His slim form appeared before her as she trudged along. “Fuck,” she said, and turned around to leave.
March 11, 2019, 07:02 PM
Lone Wolves

he hadn’t spoken to her at all. even knowing that she was there, he hadn’t actively sought to find the woman. all he could imagine is that they would get into another disagreement and he would say plenty more thing that he might regret at a later time. even worse, illidan thought that he might find the nerve to say a few things that he didn’t regret later on. the last thing he needed was to drive someone away from his mother’s pack because he was too damaged to understand when he needed to stop.
that was until he heard the voice sound at his back. both ears swiveled to meet the curse that had been uttered. he wasn’t deaf – he wasn’t going to miss it. it was then that he instinctively lifted his skull upward to a suitable position for his rank and turned around to face her with an emotionless stare. “you’ve been hiding out,” illidan remarked with a frown and a single brow lifted upward in question.
March 13, 2019, 03:48 PM
RIP Grezig
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Grezig stopped when he heard Illidan respond. What had she expected? She’d said the curse out loud. He was going to hear it, and clearly, he had. She took a deep breath and sighed, debating. Then, defeatedly, she turned to face him. His raised head and the way he was looking at her immediately pissed her off. Maybe it was because she still thought of him as a boy. Maybe it was because she was pregnant. But to her it didn’t matter that his rank was higher than hers. She snorted at his show of rank and stared at him blankly. 

’You’ve been hiding out.’

“I’ve been pregnant,” she stated flatly, as if that explained everything. “It’s not as though you’ve gone looking for me.”

Why was she so angry? This had to be more than just his pulling rank on her in his stature. Normally she was deferential to those above her, so this was something else. She was hurt that he hadn’t tried to talk to her before now. Hurt that it had been months and it was only an accident that they were speaking at all.
March 13, 2019, 04:58 PM
Lone Wolves

she snorted at him, but he did not back down from her. it mattered very little that she had helped raise him from puphood into a young adult. there were things that could not be accounted for. he imagined that she would always see him as a boy, but he wasn't about to give into such silly mindsets. he had done well with himself in his growth. he had overcome a great deal in a short amount of time, and no matter what role she had played before... well, things were different.

the hair along his neck and back bristled before standing like jagged quills. he drew his crown higher still, fixing her with a daring expression in the hawkish yellow of his eyes. the frown did not leave his dark features. she claimed that he hadn't exactly gone searching for her, and the boy did not argue this. instead, illidan shrugged his shoulder and made an expression that seemed to say 'so what.'

“you hold yourself to the same rules, or was it always supposed to be me doing the searching?” the dark-hooded young man asked her. it was a two-way road, some would say. she hadn't exactly gone searching for him either – pregnant or not. illidan didn't care that she'd gotten knocked up. it didn't cripple her. it wasn't an excuse, so he wasn't interested in hearing it. “i talked to your brother, so he let me know you were here. spent some time looking, but you should know that i can't do that every day.” it wasn't an excuse, just a recounting of what he had done. he didn't think she'd care anyway. she was just as good at playing the victim as he was, if not better.
March 13, 2019, 05:27 PM
RIP Grezig
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Grezig noted the hackles raising along his neck. She sat down, an outward show of peace. Sitting down meant she wasn’t looking for a fight. She kept her gaze neutral. What he said was true, she couldn’t deny that. Her mouth thinned as she tried to explain. “I wanted to go to you many times over the past few months. But… Well, I wasn’t sure what would happen. I wasn’t sure that this—she motioned with her muzzle to the two of them—“situation wouldn’t occur. I was… trying to avoid it for as long as possible.” 

She sighed, studying Illidan with a sad, if resigned expression. “I never know what to say to you,” she admitted. “You’re… like a thunderstorm rolling in. The rain hasn’t started yet but I know it will soon and I’m only half sure I want to be around when it does.” She shrugged, and then shook her head, surprised at her own eloquence. Grezig was not normally a poetic wolf, but Illidan always brought out the sides of her she didn’t know were there. “Thunderstorms can be beautiful sometimes. The way the lightning forks the sky. But they’re also dangerous and sad. They can make one feel… lonely.” This was the best she could do without out and out telling the boy that she felt unappreciated and depressed around him. She wasn’t sure he would get the message, though.
March 13, 2019, 11:28 PM
Lone Wolves

it was strange how his return to the coast had inspired a strange sort of honesty in others while referencing him. for a moment, the young man thought it wildly odd that grezig would compare him to a natural phenomenon. his mind pictured the crash of thunder and the rippling of dismal grey across the endless sky. she said that she wasn’t sure that she wanted to witness the storm that arrived with him. for a moment, this admittance rooted him. he repeated the words in his head like a disc stuck on the same track.
all that he could remember was the white woman. you have no soul, he reminded himself inwardly. and then he realized that he could not blame grezig for wanting to keep her distance. it seemed that she had found a family for herself. she was creating the life that she wanted, and he really did not have a place there now that he had been reunited with his blood mother.
“perhaps that is an apt description, then,” he agreed with her in a solemn tone. the dark-hooded young ghost turned his head away from her for a moment, trying to regain some of his composure. “imagine how it must feel to carry that storm inside of you,” illidan then stated in a gravelly tone. when he turned back to her, his features were firm and sad. there seemed to be a permanent state of misery that clung to him. it had become so deeply apart of him that he was not certain who he would be if it were to vanish.
as if it were crying out against the confines of its ribbed cage, illidan swore he could feel thunder booming from inside of him. “you found yourself a mate, then?” he attempted to ask, trying to change the subject away from himself. he had never been fond of speaking about his own ways.
April 04, 2019, 10:19 PM
RIP Grezig
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WOW THIS IS SO LATE. Also what even is this post, this went like 1000 different directions.

’Imagine how it must feel to carry that storm inside of you,’ Illidan said.

Grezig opened her mouth to reply, but she had no idea how to respond to something so sad. She closed it and sighed, studying him as she always seemed to. It was odd. Perhaps he wasn’t exactly like a son to her, but maybe a nephew? A much younger cousin? Certainly some kind of family. She remembered his much smaller self, back when she’d followed him out to the middle of nowhere. The day he’d found his father’s dead body and refused to respond to anything she’d said or done. 

She had cared for him the only way she knew how. She had been loving; she had been tough; she had come close; she had given him his space. Nothing seemed to affect his hard outer shell. He did not want her. It was something that pained her to admit, but she needed to get over it. He had a mother. And it was not her. 

’You found yourself a mate, then?’

“What?” she asked, distracted by her own thoughts. She cleared her throat. “Oh. A mate. No, not exactly. Vaati is not my mate. We agreed not to become a pair. We know almost nothing about each other. That seemed… foolish, much like my spur of the moment decision to have children with him at all. But it is done now. Well…” She glanced down at her pregnant belly. “Almost done. A few more weeks.” She looked up at Illidan again. Then I will have pups to replace you. But no one will ever replace you. Even if you hate me. You are not my son, but you are. Always.

She turned her gaze away from him and towards the ocean, which she still hated. “What about you?” she asked, and then realized that that made no sense in that context. “I mean—do you have any… interests in anyone? Romantically?” Now she was straying into awkward mom territory and wanted to back out quickly like a cat with its head stuck in a tissue box, but she had no idea how to retreat, so she just sat there and said nothing, keeping her face firmly aimed at the ocean. Oh, boy.
April 05, 2019, 10:45 PM
Lone Wolves

grezig did not seem to want to comment on the storm. she had opened her mouth, but he supposed that she opted to keep her words to herself. he wasn’t sure if he was grateful for that or disappointed that she did not just speak her mind. illidan had never imagined that she’d held her tongue before around him. they had said some nasty things to each other in the heat of the moment. somehow, they always made their way back to that awkward in between stage.
when he’d asked about her mate, she distractedly mentioned that she had simply made a spur of the moment decision and it had resulted in her expecting a litter of kids. he thought that was almost silly, but illidan knew that he didn’t understand enough about mating to really comment on it. he wondered if the father would want to be in his children’s life or if he would rather keep his distance.
“is the father going… to help you take care of them?” illidan asked her stiffly. his brow had knitted into a tight knot on his forehead. he wondered how much easier or harder his life would have been if he had never even met his own father. he imagined that losing the figure would have hurt him a lot less. he also imagined that he would not have been plagued by the same images of that death. perhaps it would have been better.
when grezig inquired as to whether or not illidan had found someone that he was interested in romantically, the dark-hooded wildling drew his crown upward and appeared shocked by the question. he supposed that he was just reaching the beginning of his adulthood. “no… i,” he paused and frowned deeply, wondering if he could find a way to word an appropriate response. “i don’t know if i’m capable,” he finally admitted, voice soft.
April 11, 2019, 01:30 PM
RIP Grezig
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Grezig nodded at Illidan’s question, though her brows furrowed at his stiffness. “Yes. At least, I hope he will. I told him he would be allowed to. I think it’s important for my children to have both parents around—

Grezig stopped with her mouth open and looked at Illidan, and then shook her head. “I’m sorry, Illidan,” she said, her voice gruff with some unidentifiable emotion. “I didn’t think… We don’t have to talk about… fathers.” She cleared her throat and looked around, hoping he would change the subject himself or show a willingness to continue the conversation.

His next words, his response to whether he was romantically interested in someone, knocked the wind out of her. ’No… I… I don’t think I’m capable.’

She felt herself deflating like a balloon. Imploding. Somehow Illidan was never good enough for himself. This had been a problem from the beginning. “You’re capable,” she said, her voice quiet but strong. “You don’t think you are, but you are. You just need to… get a grip on who you are first. Who you could be.” She shook her head, unsure of what else to say, since nothing she ever said to him seemed to make a difference. “Why don’t you think you’re capable?” Maybe if he’d talk about it, she could help him through it. Maybe.
April 11, 2019, 04:36 PM
Lone Wolves

the confirmation that he would be allowed to see his children was relieving to illidan, though he couldn't have explained why. the ghost nodded his head thoughtfully before offering her a shriveled smile. “that's good. not that it's any of my business, but... they should at least know who he is – they should at least have that option,” the dark-hooded young man answered her. that would the last thing he would offer her in regard to her kids. she would know how to raise them better than he ever could. illidan had only just emerged from his own youth and into adulthood. he couldn't imagine trying to offer advice to a woman expecting an entire litter of kids.

when she apologized and offered to move the talk along, he glanced to her quickly. she was trying not to alienate him. grezig was trying to make sure that she understood why he wouldn't want to talk about fathers. his sights fell from her features and to the dirt. it was here that he furrowed his brows and clenched his jaw. “it's alright, you know. i'm not gonna talk about it, but your kids are different... you can talk to me about them and their lives without feeling like you're going to trigger something awful in me,” he assured her. for once, he seemed as though he was level-headed enough to have made such a remark.

as for love, well... the ghost did not know how to express the doubts he had. he certainly did not want to overindulge to grezig and find out that she found him a coward and weak for the way that he thought about himself. in truth, illidan did not think that he was worth much; he never had. why would there be another creature out there who could find love for him? how could there be such a thing?

“i may not ever know those things,” he admitted to her honestly, shrugging his shoulders as though it didn't really matter if he ever found out. it wasn't intended to be a saddening statement. it was as genuine as he'd ever been. many nights he had kept himself awake with the fear that he would not like who he was meant to be. if he had taken all of the things that had happened to him and shaped himself around those things, he would have been a terrible monster. part of him believed that he already was. the idea that anyone with goodness in their heart could want to kill their own brother was foolish. “i wouldn't want to bring someone into my life when there are things i'm unable to face with you, or my sister... or myself. how selfish it would be to subject someone else to deafening silence when that storm exists inside of me.”
April 24, 2019, 10:23 PM
RIP Grezig
Approved Members

Inspired by “Nightcall” by London Grammar

As Illidan continued speaking, Grezig came to the realization that this was, perhaps, one of the longest actual conversations they had ever had. This made her happy to some small degree, yet the subject matter of the conversation made her feel a deep sorrow, the feeling of staring down into an abyss on a dark night and being unable to see the bottom. His soul seemed so… hard to reach. Grezig had grown emotionally so much since coming to the Wilds and she wondered now if she had been this emotionally unavailable when she’d first arrived… How sad…

I’m giving you a night call to tell you how I feel…

“I’m glad I can talk about my children with you,” she admitted quietly. She took a breath. “You know I think of you as my son.” She let those words sink in for a few moments before continuing, “Some months ago, I think when I told you I was leaving the Plateau, I lashed out. I told you I was not your mother. Well. I’m not. I won’t take that title away from Caiaphas. But… But I am, all the same. At least, I think of myself as your mother. One of them, anyway. I did not birth you, but I helped raise you, alongside Kavik and Liri.”

I’m gonna drive you through the night, down the hills…

“There’s something I’ve always wanted to tell you, Illidan. But I’ve always been afraid it would push you away.” She looked up at him, into those yellow eyes that often avoided her gaze, or looked back at her with defiance instead of softness. She took another breath.

I’m gonna tell you something you don’t want to hear…

“I love you, Illidan,” she said, forcing her voice to remain even. Kavik had been the only other wolf she had ever said that to in her entire life. As pups, her parents had never said such sentimental things. She supposed it had been known instinctively that her parents had cared for her and her siblings, but no one had ever said it, and she made the choice then to always tell her children that she loved them. “I love you,” she repeated. “You are my son as much as you are Caiaphas’, and I love you as any mother loves her child. And I think, one day, you will find your happiness.” That was her hope for the boy who was now a young man. She just wanted him to be happy, to feel love and to feel loved. That was all.
May 02, 2019, 05:26 PM
Lone Wolves

the ghost listened to her as she spoke and as she shared with him the things that she had never said before. the longer she talked, the larger the lump in the back of his throat had gotten. after a moment, he wondered if it would prevent him from breathing again. he could not swallow. he could not breathe. she had done so well by him in one of his most difficult times. grezig had given him everything that he had needed as a young boy. liri and kavik had done well by him too.

it did not matter what they told him. illidan knew that he had not deserved the love that he had gotten from them. he had been a rotten little child who had locked himself in a dark room with no intention of letting anyone else inside. he wondered how different his circumstances would have been if it had been ephraim that kavik and liri had found. what if his brother had been fortunate enough to fall into the hands of protective parent-like wolves instead of the drageda group. would grezig have shared the same conversation with him? would she have loved him just as much?

'i love you, illidan.'

his eyes closed slowly. he breathed in the scent of the ocean in an attempt to ground himself. there was a burning in the pit of his stomach that spread like wildfire in the middle of summer. as though it could hear her admit it, the small voice in the back of his head seemed to snicker. you don't deserve her love, it reminded him coldly. he knew that to be true. he had not been kind to grezig. her own children would give her more than he ever did, he knew.

“you have given me more than i deserve. i hope your children understand how fortunate they are,” he said softly, finally glancing to her again.

as much as he would have liked to tell her that his odds of finding happiness were very slim, he couldn't bring himself to be sour to her again. he did not have the strength that he'd had when he was younger. too many things had been taken from him. he felt that he had gotten all that he deserved in his life. for grezig to wish that he could find happiness, well... that was just another act of her kindness that he could never repay her.

“and i hope you are right, but only the future will tell.”

the ghost knew that he should have told her that he loved her too. he should have been capable of sharing that moment with the woman who had assisted in raising him. illidan did not know if he was capable of loving anything, though. he did not want to offer her a lie. she deserved more than that.
May 17, 2019, 01:37 PM
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Grezig did not know what she had been expecting. Was she going to tell Illidan she loved him and then he’d say it back and they’d embrace like mother and son and everything would be hunky dory? No. Obviously not. But, still, her heart hurt at his next words. That he didn’t deserve what she gave him. He did not repeat her sentiment. He did not say he loved her too. Her body seemed to droop a bit, as if she had been deflated for the second time during this conversation. He was tough to get to, her stormy son. He didn’t give in easily. She had hoped… but alas. He told her hoped that she was right, that he would find his happiness, but all she could now was nod.

“I am tired,” she said, which was true. “I must lay down now.” She turned away from him without meeting his eyes, too exhausted to fight for his happiness anymore at this moment. 

Exit Grezig! Thanks for the thread and sorry I’m so bad about replying quickly!
June 01, 2019, 03:47 PM
Lone Wolves

grezig admitted to him that she was tired. she did not chose to respond to any of the other things that he had said to her. illidan didn’t blame her. he felt how cruel it must have been for him to respond the way that he had. the young ghost simply did not wish to lie to her. he felt as though he owed her more than that. she had helped in raising him when he had no one else around. she had pushed him to be better when he had been at his worst. still, illidan was not certain that he had ever felt a thing like love. when he admitted that he loved someone, he wanted to mean it.
bowing his head, the ghost watched as she disappeared from view. he wanted to wish her well rest, but he felt as though speaking up would only hurt her more. instead, he had set his mind on searching for a way to make her children feel welcome in the pack. he planned to hunt in order to provide teething equipment from antlers and to offer plush pelts from his fallen prey. he could still show that he cared without having to speak on it.