Ankyra Sound shoop da whoop (alpha challenge)
Random Event  July 02, 2019, 10:53 AM
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Raleska still hadn't returned. Nor had Caiaphas, whom he fervently hoped was dead. The status quo was murky. Why was he still here? Why did he hang around wolves that basically had called him a big liar after witnessing something horrific?

Oh yeah, because of doing right by his kids or some shit. Also, the fact that he was a serial dumbass.

It was time to shoot his shot. He couldn't wait around any longer. Put up or shut up was an old tired doctrine. Blackhead's irrationality had obviously bled down the ranks. If the culture couldn't change by itself, he'd have to do it by force.

Vercingetorix cleared his throat and howled for @Illidan, as if to say, "Like, no hard feelings bro but I'm coming for your job."
July 02, 2019, 11:22 AM
Lone Wolves

in any other scenario, the challenge call that sounded overhead should have been alarming. after all, illidan was the only member of rusalka who had consistently done what he could to stand up for the former drageda wolf. he had pushed the other members to be more accepting. he had tried to make a home for someone who might have been considered a former enemy – a current enemy to others. through all of it, the young ghost had only realized just how deep he had found himself.
illidan had grown to care for his pack and the members within it. he had learned how to keep a level head, even in times of duress. the wildling had curbed his thirst to wander and focused it instead on the growth and development of rusalka. all the while, he questioned his position within the pack. the more that went wrong, the more he felt as though he was the fault for these things. perhaps his place was not among others… perhaps, he was destined to be alone.
following the sound and scent of the man who had called to him, illidan moved with the pace of a man walking to his grave. he did not need to know the outcome of this challenge, because he had already decided it for himself. the ghost knew that he did not have the strength to fight another of his own pack members. if the instinct to survive had not been so strong, he likely would have allowed vercingetorix to kill him.
the ghost drew his crown upward and regarded the other man with a somber expression. “you believe that you could lead better, vercingetorix?” he asked quietly, painfully. then, so be it.
July 02, 2019, 11:42 AM
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He'd prepared himself for a fight. Relished it, really. But this? This was just fucking sad. He watched Illidan approach with a furrowed brow, and shook his head with a sigh in response. Couldn't the disgraced leader just rip into him a little bit? Just a tiny bit? So that he didn't feel like such a dick?

It's not that, man, he explained in his ragged whisper, the sea breeze catching his dark ruff in a sudden gale. Like a cape. . . You're a fine leader, Illidan. But I don't trust you to keep Caiaphas out. I can't let her come back and stay here. I won't allow it.

Verx drew himself to his full height, staring down at the young man, who was pretty sizable himself. At least skirmish for it, bro, he prodded, cocking his head. C'mon. Don't go down without a fight. Give me all that fire your mom and sister have in spades.
July 02, 2019, 11:59 AM
Lone Wolves

the young man did not think that his dark challenger would have been so relaxed about his position. in fact, illidan feared that he would be met with hostility and anger. alone, vercingetorix was not likely to succeed against the rest of the pack. the wildling could not blame him for trying. it must not have sat well that there were hardly any others within the ranks who would allow for verx to really be a member of rusalka. they all treated him poorly as it was, without the premise of leadership weighing over them.
and as much as he did not wish to admit it, the dark wolf was right to distrust his ability to keep caiaphas from the sound. a quiet breath slipped from his lips at the realization that he had failed to provide for those who were most important to him. he had failed to bring his pack to a place of success and had allowed his own love for his mother to cloud his judgement. she still had not returned, and illidan wondered if she ever would.
vercingetorix attempted to coax something out of him – tried to rouse a fire that had long since been extinguished. once, he had possessed the same spit and vinegar that his mother and sister had. tragedy had a way of dousing most of that. “it would mean my death,” he admitted almost absently, eyes looking past his challenger and into the distant terrain that was not claimed but existed on its own. blinking a few times, illidan fixed his sights back on the face of the other man.
“it is yours. i do not have the strength-“ his voice cracked, as though it had been hinged on the back of his throat. then, he attempted to make it seem as though he was okay. there was a halfhearted wave of his tail from between his hocks, but the dark circles around his eyes betrayed his attempt at putting on a good face for the man who had taken his rank from him. “maybe i’ll spar with you another time,” he then added with the softest curling of his lips. the smile did not meet his gaze, though. there seemed to be a storm in the hawkish gold there.
“please be careful, vercingetorix. you do not have many friends here.”
July 02, 2019, 01:13 PM
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Aw, jeez. Kid really was down in the dumps, and who could blame him? Life in Rusalka had been topsy-turvy lately. Vercingetorix had never had a great attachment to his own mother, but he could understand how Illidan might be feeling with her gone and being accused of heinous things. Still. . .this was the way of things.

Please do, Verx said in response to the spar comment, giving Illidan a weak grin. At the warning, though, the expression faded, replaced by something much more serious. Oh, he was well aware of his tenuous position here. He knew that Raleska wouldn't take this laying down. He couldn't think of many Rusalkans who would follow him into battle against her.

Hoping that'll change, he muttered, shrugging. His eyes flickered toward the nearby sea, watching the waves, before turning back to Illidan. I just want what's best for all of us. I think this is probably it. And with time, I think I want you leading again—but not with Caiaphas still at large.
July 05, 2019, 07:39 PM
Lone Wolves

illidan was done with their talk. he did not wish to speak any more with the man across from him, only just so that he could seek silence. in that moment of feeling so close to all of them, he sided with his impulse and turned to the entrance of the sound. glancing back over his shoulder only once, illidan drew his gaze to the other man. “perhaps your plan will work, but i am going to seek answers in the meantime. i do not know when i will return,” he entrusted the words with the man, hoping that vercingetorix would be able to let the others know. when he had answers to the questions that had been tossed around, he would be able to face them again. his intention was not to leave the pack fully, but he knew that he needed to get away. they needed someone else to take charge. and he needed to find his family.
it was all that there was left to say. the lean ghost aimed himself for the mouth of the sound and was through – into the wilderness – before he even realized how far he had gone.
July 05, 2019, 11:12 PM
Approved Members

So that was that. Verx nodded silently in response, having no other words to give the young man. He may have misinterpreted Illidan's message, though, for in a couple of days, when he had still not yet returned, Verx began to panic. He just assumed the former alpha would go blow off some steam, and return when he felt better.

For now, Vercingetorix watched him walk away, bicolored eyes fixed unblinkingly on the retreating figure. The gravity of the situation hit him all at once, like a blow to the stomach. Euphoria would set in later, when he'd removed himself from this scene. . .

But all he could think about in the moment was pity and sorrow for Illidan, which was completely, mind-fuckingly out of character.