Moonspear take charge of your life
All Welcome  September 12, 2019, 01:02 PM
fwd dated like, a few days! @Andraste

Her guest had awoken, and Hydra felt inclined to check in on her status. Could she stand for long? Could she fight? Lyra did not tend to her, upon the lightningrod of a womans insistence—not that she minded, as it saved them their resources. Hydra was not so keen on permitting a stranger into her lands, but where the she-wolf rest was not so deep, and he was an expert of his field, the other had promised. Hydra knew Lyra could benefit from this, and if she were to be struck by lightning by some twist of fate, well, Lyra would not have to guess at what she was doing. To be sure, her sister knew plenty, and Hydra would always inquire if the other would like anything for the pain, or anything for the web that had been created upon her back to ease the healing of it.

The one-eyed mother denied any treatment at all, thus far.

Hydra moved into the den, bringing with her food for the other to eat. This time, it was a thick, meaty leg from a mountain goat Moonspear had just brought down. She dropped it to the earth, ear flicking as the falls trickled before her. The Queen sniffed at the air while her eyes adjusted to the new light, muzzle dipping idly over her throat as her gaze sought the form of the weakened visitor, who, due to the circumstances, Hydra had claimed for the time. If she was to rest in their halls and eat their food, it was the only way she could remain. It was the principle of the matter; pack protected pack. As an outsider, Hydra had no interest in the other, beyond what she had been given and in turn, had taught [in some measure]; life had shown her that kindness was only taken advantage of. Hydra did not think this to be too short-term a thing. Lightning would be nothing to the devastation Hydra would reap should the woman not think the same; she was not a wolf who would ever be taken advantage of again. Hydra was no savior, and Moonspear was no sanctuary—but they did right by their own. 

Inadvertently, the lightning-touched woman had become just that.

It was no mystery; Hydra had said as much. Some did not care to be repaid, but Hydra saw the value in quid pro quo. Nothing in this life came for free. Hydra had expected to repay the she-wolf for her own favor in an entirely different manner, but then the sky split and said, this is how it will be done. Life was ever what happened when one made entirely different plans, and this too Hydra knew well enough. If the pale, silver-tongued mother did not, she surely would now.

But it was all for the others benefit; Hydra shifted entirely in demeanor, when the other was amongst their ranks. It was not a waste of a resource any longer; she was pack. When she was well, she would carry her weight for a time—but the other had come from the same pack that the woman who was attacked had been, and Hydra would not keep her forever.

With a sigh, Hydra thought of sending someone to advise Kaistleoki of the womans status and situation. But with her children being as young as they were, Hydra did not have any desire to send her family. Moriko had not expressed any desire to become a scout, and Dirge she had no desire to send off in any hurry given she wanted him around for their children. Perhaps @Guildenstern she would ask; or perhaps she would see if the pack the woman came from would check to see how she fared themselves. If they had young, though, she did not expect as much; it was a question she supposed she would need to ask, to better understand what Kaistleoki could do.

These thoughts were but a succession of seconds in her mind. Only a moment after she arrived did Hydra ask, how do you fare? in a voice rich with concern, her eyes drifting over the contours of the invalid for any indication that the pain had worsened.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
September 12, 2019, 07:02 PM

tagging @Mahler just for visibility & @Lyra to jump in(?) <3
takes place before this

        Faerie had no realm in the forge; 
        and yet through conjurations within restless slumber she had wandered through the Fade; returned her to that midsommar altar. As she’d been informed, the starlit herself had given tell of the stygian beneath his spire a time before she had been struck down; and only when Hydra had been sated of the golem’s practiced greenseeing had the silver let herself blush. Blush then as she did now, balking into cavernwaters, as if the memory of their melding and not the skyscript was engraved upon her fair back for all to see. For hours, his breath had become hers; for hours, the scent of him had settled within her. 

        He remained in her blood — even lightning could not thieve that from her.

        But Mahler’s seat was in Diaspora, and surely too were those shaded souls therein that lent upon his attendance. He should have not parted from his kith! Not for one such as she; not when leagues now lie between him and his claim even if he wished it not. She, who feared now that his answering a herald would only give her faint heart further cause to pardon him the moment his eyes sought hers; she hasn't quite met them yet. But what she had said to the queen was truth: the priest was practiced.


        No sooner had a shiver simpered at her thighs had the Stricken swore, vicious and tormented, the breath arrowing swift and sure from her lungs as she strode from the waters at once; a pale wince sculpting itself beneath shorn features as pins pricked at the rigid, newly-clefted roping bedding her spine. There were places there which either retained too much sensation or none at all, she’d told Lyra—

        —who shrouded before her person, some quarry’s quartering in tow. Marred face filled with the same frozen flame which had dubbed her blasphemous, thin shoulders jutting in preparation to evade  (as she had become so wont to do)  ... until the voice presented itself as Hydra. Concern, almost unabashed.

        After some moment’s hesitance, the reawakened continued her own retreat from the cavern’s currents, the flecks of crystals dulled by gloom prancing on water.
 Ze pains have lessened, some,  an adamant fib!  but, I must beg forgiveness. I will replenish ze resources that you have brought for me.  ... Tried to use, anyways. She had only ever let Lyra minister the barest minimums.  I will not be without use.” 
September 12, 2019, 11:39 PM
The woman's resistance to any sort of help frustrated Lyra to no end; her heart did not bleed for the stranger's plight, nor was her patience unending, but the white fae was clearly in pain. She was as stern a healer as her sister was Alpha, and she had no time for those who put on a strong facade and resisted treatment, but she also would not let her succumb to her injuries if she could help it. If she died here, who could tell if this Kaistleoki she had come from would believe the death was from her injuries and not maliciousness. Even though they had plenty of capable mercenaries protecting them, Lyra did not wish for the pack to be assaulted due to a misunderstanding. Especially not with the children being as young as they were.

She shadowed Hydra as her sister strode forth into the darkness of the cavern that acted as a secluded refuge for the injured currently. Her thoughts echoed her mirror image's own, though with a touch more venom. When she had been graced with acceptance into the pack, the honour of being a mentor for Moonspear's newest brood had been placed upon her, however Lyra was sceptical. What could the pallid teach them that the wolves already part of the family - by blood, no less - could not? And how long after would she (and the man she had brought with her, as useful and easy on the eyes as he was) remain part of the pack after she had healed and regained her strength? How long would that take if she continued to refuse treatment?

Lyra came to a stop at a distance behind Hydra as she posed a question to the woman, judgemental eyes narrowed into slits. A reply came after a quiet moment, though the Ostrega was wary of how truthful her words were. She stepped forward just enough to come into view of the broken, one-eyed woman. "You should hope so," she murmured quietly in response, though it was ultimately up to their queen how best she would repay their favour.
September 19, 2019, 11:14 AM
The others reaction earned a faint warning rumble from Hydra that faded once the renamed realized her error. It was for Lyra to put the other in their place if challenged, but they both could recognize that the others microaggression stemmed from her wound, not from a desire to contest her position in this place [for now]. Her sisters words were not expanded upon beyond the chilling echo of them for a moment; Hydra agreed, after all, but only to a point.  

You have become one of our own, and so our resources are your own; though if you are to stay only until you recover, I would ask that you refill a cache prior to your departure, and you let me know once you go. I trust that you will, she said levelly, after all, you have agreed to take the abuses of my children and have done that, and to do this task is far easier than that, she hummed, her tone not without mirth. 

Hydra was quiet for a moment, her gaze adjusted as she observed the tattered, dreamwoven pattern that reached and found their ends near the renamed fae's withers. Your prior pack has not yet come to see your whereabouts, she informed, and her flank twitched as some insect rebounded against it, but we will explain, should they do so, your circumstances. Aurewen had not mentioned them, nor or her desire to even return; likely, her thoughts were solely on her recovery as the only thing she had desired was the caretaking of man called Mahler, who had come. She wondered if the woman had sent her dove to the pack from whence she had come, and thought to ask: or perhaps they know you are well? implying that perhaps the woman had thought of this already, and taken care to prevent their needless worry. Well was spoken loosely; here, she simply meant alive.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
September 20, 2019, 12:00 PM

        Lyra’s remark is spiteful, and so Andraste is quiet — only when the queen’s humor elicits the wisp of a smile at her shorn lips does the stricken eventually relieve the serpent of her fathomless eyes.  

        “Your trust has not been misplaced,”  words limned with a sigh of practiced peace; promise.  “I intend to depart within ze end of this week ... but it is not my intent to leave you unreplenished, regardless if I chose to stay on.”  Then the mountain’s matriarch speaks of a pack and a dove; and with a slow sense of vague recognition does the Marked know that of which Hydra alludes.

        She waits for the lull that comes with forgetfulness to crest; waits for a mother’s fright to flutter in her breast; waits for the misery and the melancholy;
        but all that remains in the hushed whispers of her deadened mem’ry is the murmur of a babe, or two, some delphic-sweet nothings. Listens to all with a significantly muted ear;
        and speaks the words of slumber:  Avinimnë lanye.”

        A ponderous lull. Then:  “No — ze heavens have spoken. To return to all that I once had and could not come to be would have myself struck down once more. To remain on ze Moonspire would only further tempt another undoing. I am Andraste. I will no longer be without such thought.”  With a furrowing of her shorn brow, words which she’s only whispered in the waters to her golem now returned:  “I must away. I must away, and I must bring to fruition a fortress that is mine. One of theory and of tutelage, sages, students.”

        Lightning or no, it has not occurred to her how her initial departure must have seemed to a son and daughter who had lived so long with early smatterings of such. Never had she foreseen her asking after alliance to become one of abdication. She would never forgive herself; has come to expect a queen-dam’s disdain as she had when Mahler had first sighted her;
        the last fragment of Aurëwen, therein as a quiver of moon jaw, a salted gleam of the silver eyes, and—
        mother nevermore, undeserving of such a mantle, even in blood and bone.

        Much too fey was she still; yet the figments of which she’s brought again before Hydra have drawn her soul back into the her own vessel, grounded; tethered now in the fashion she’s meant to be; for even though the earth shivers beneath them, it will not impede her.  I shall not return to ze riverlands.  Finally Andraste looks into the piercing eyes with a delphic glint. Drageda, Diaspora; Kaistleoki, Moonspear;
        there was now no horde that could claim her as theirs but her own. ... There hadn’t ever been. 

        It was essential.
October 02, 2019, 12:33 PM
Hydra listened to the other, renamed. If she would go when she desired and she replenished what had been used, fine. There was nothing more for her to say to that; Hydra would make certain the other found their true ruin should the words on her tongue be untruth. New, old—it would make no difference. Hydra would remake her again, only to unmake. All such things played out in her eyes as she nodded, though the violence within was quelled and calmed. I believe you, she decided here and now; Aurewen had been honest with her thus far, and Hydra did not suspect her to be a dishonest woman for all her actions. It caused her to soften a measure, and a truly warm look to cross her features—as though her previous thoughts had never been born. Hard to believe, for a moment, it was so simply by the look of her. 

Such was her hatred of those that lied; but the other had never been such, not to her, not yet. Not ever, Hydra hoped; the waif had a way with words, and even despite the crude accent Hydra liked to hear them. So she was glad for the lengthy dialogue, her charismatic way—up until the very end, until she could process it. 

And when she could process it, Hydra blinked down at the woman; weakhearted, weakwilled for those that depended on her most.  Stray sheep she would pick from the pasture before them! Passionate for her own pursuits, it sounded. Lightning, nor flame, nor the earths open-mouthed devouring could keep Hydra from her young; she would climb from the darkest dredges of the world if she breathed to ensure their wellbeing, their safety. What manner of woman was before her? Was it true, one could be so remade? 

Hydra did not think it so. Here before her was the same one-eyed woman as before, only with more marks to litter her person. Aurewen—Andraste, now... no, it mattered not her name. She was still the same, no matter her appelation. Hydra could admire a woman who worked hard for herself; she was a mother herself, after all, and her devotion was not simply to her cubs. But to abandon them; to forget them? 

Only if they failed her, she supposed. A gnarled knotch in her mind, an internal scar she could thumb over and deign it unworthy to remember. Korei Julia came to mind; sister no more. Before that, though? Hydra would sooner defy the Heavens and strike an accord with the devil himself. 

It is you that has spoken, Hydra hummed, lightning strikes when and where it will. We are the masters of our fate, she drawled, head tilting as she looked upon the pale, small woman. I am glad, though, you have found your willpower to create. I must know, though—has the lightning caused you to forget your children? To this, Hydra was uncertain, and so all of her judgments she reserved before her knowing.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
October 10, 2019, 12:25 PM

        Her claim upon replenishing that which she's used of the Moonspire was believed, at least; her claim upon her own claim, however, was met with perplexity; enquiry. ...Which was to be suspected, the stricken supposes, though she parts her lips once more all the same:  "It has not made me forget."

        Perhaps it was nothing more than abandoning her own brood. Perhaps it was her unwillingness to further strive to provide when it had become so keenly known how unfit she — Aurëwen — had been for such. Perhaps, then, the lightning truly had struck her into an enigma of whoever she had once been. Perhaps she meant to not return for fear of the sky opening, come to cleave her once more; yet, her return may have not been at all welcome, either way. Perhaps all three might despise her until the ends of their days, for it. Perhaps it was all of these things, bleak and blunt; perhaps still it was none of them at all.

        Nothing was ever certain.

        But with reawakening had come the ideal that reputation is merely speculation of the assumptions of others by word of mouth. And if the queen thought her a brainless, blighted fool as well ... Andraste felt no stirrings of indignation that she once would have. She was simply ... awaiting.

        "My dove has told me that ze seas have drowned ze coast. There is a weald that he has in his sights, which I will depart to, then."  Eyes listed to the quieted Lyra, before resettling upon the queen.  "It remains to be seen if the world will fracture beneath those hinters as well. But, I would not be against further tutelage of your children, should you wish it so."
October 10, 2019, 12:55 PM
She remembered them. 

The children were better off, then. Hydra would not do as Mahler did and advise her to tell them; it would be a waste of breath. How could she do so, if she refused to return to the Riverlands? Why would she, if she was so selfish as to pursue what she wished without recognition or regard of them? Hydra did not think of her as a bleak, blighted fool; she found she thought nothing of her at all, in that moment. All thoughts, all regard, all esteem—dashed away by six simple words. Perhaps some disappointment, but even that was fleeting. This was not her life, but the life of Andraste. She did not know or understand the circumstance, her Heavens, her will to abandon and move on—she did not need to. 

Aurewen went on, speaking of the Weald; Hydra only knew of its nearness due to Dirge. It had once been a conquest of his, that Weald—she did not like the thought of Aurewen taking residency there. She would have to think on this. The woman who Hydra thought of in shifting thoughts as Andraste and as Aurewen was one Hydra was not certain of; this was a sort of woman who was an enigma to her. If she was not loyal to even her own children, how could Hydra trust her evermore with her own? Such a thing she was uncertain of, though it was a thing that could be earned, given time.

No—my children, I think, have already learned several valuable lessons from you. I thank you for them, Hydra spoke in earnest. As for the weald, she drawled, perhaps you might rethink your residency there. You would need to answer to me, fight for me, as I need; the late kill-brother of your Mahler and I share a dream, you see, she revealed candidly, I seek to become Queen of this Wilderness, as he sought to become King General of the Sunspire. Her tone was absent of judgment or even coldness; it was matter-of-fact, so that Andraste might understand Hydra's own purpose. Hydra did not think Andraste a woman who wanted to answer to any longer than she must—and that was fair.

But in her Wilderness, she would need to.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
October 10, 2019, 01:35 PM

        A flick of the ear; better to move on from matters of children, as it were.

        Where Aurëwen had dreamt to be a mother, and she could no longer uphold that vision; she was Andraste, now, and the responsibility of Andraste was to found some manner of her own fortress. As the queen before her went at length about some shared dream ... ah, Stigmata. A ghost of a curl at her lips; a mistaken vision on both their parts; a judgement that hadn't ever needed to take place. She had understood this early, and also, not. Airly:  "Should I acknowledge your claim of ze Wilderness, what then? What of my own wolves? We will be sages, more-so than soldiers."

        The resilience that had stood against the spirelord was a mere murmur in Andraste's proposition; what-ever had caused her to have brought about such conflict was now paltry. Most might say that she had been remade well enough, all for the worse.

        Gods — please let there be no tithe! 

        "As for ze matters of Diaspora,"  the stricken resumed, lashes heavy, pensive,  "do you mean to strike bargain with them? Draw them from ze spires which, I presume, they remain so covetous for?"  Mahler  (Mahler!)  had not brought up such machinations with the silver — but, then, who was she to be told the diplomatic affairs of those she had banished herself of? She was an inpatient, twice-over exile.

And what she had wondered at through his tears, she ... no, no. She was no longer pionier. There would be no worth in telling one so unloyal to claim and country as she. None!—

        Bitterness on the tongue; 
        "Of course, I suspect that I will ... accomodate my sages to ze weald's terrain, in some fashion. As for any terrain where battle must be had ..."  quiet; adrift, in labyrinthine thought. Perchance her striders could investigate the lands around them, or—
October 10, 2019, 02:50 PM
Hydra's ears flicked, and a foreboding look crossed her countenance: should you accept? she inquired darkly, muzzle draping over her throat as she looked down her snout at the injured woman: if you wish to settle here, there can be no refusal. Your sages livelihood would depend on that, Hydra informed. Better for her to know the consequence of not, but she supposed the true question would be, or had been, how would this benefit me? She would get to that, once Andraste understood that much, and regarded the fae's second question with a shake of her head. Behind her, she could veritably feel the bristling of her sister, but the flick of a notched ear was all it took to settle her. The approval of Hydra was required, else she and her hounds would seek to end Andraste's campaign; Hydra considered, with a measured look, ending it now before it truly began...

But Hydra had faith that the woman before her, though thoughtless and selfish, was not without a brain. All that she did was for those that she loved; any threat to resources she could otherwise have should they not live there was all she could, selfishly herself, think of. Her children, her family; she would fight for them, with them. And she had others who would fight with her, if enlisted—but she did not think it would be necessary. 

If that was Stigmata's ambition, and Mahler's true desire is to uphold it, I would not seek to defy his own purpose in removing him from the Sunspire to answer to my claim here, she hummed, though truly, Hydra wished it were not so, for selfish reasons not without their purpose. She did seek to expand her claim, after all, and he seemed a reliable man who would uphold his duties should the need ever arise. War was not something she would ever go to without reason, but she knew now there were reasons for it. For her, there was no Matter of Diaspora; she simply sought to enlighten Andraste of her own plans. The queen had no idea of the Lightningstruck's history with Diaspora, or her exile, else she would not suggest as she presently did with a playfully impish gleam igniting in her eyes as she looked to her then (an utter contrast to the look given but moments ago): Though perhaps you might settle nearby to him, where you might see him more; of all the wolves for you to summon to your side for aid, it was him, after all, a strange, flirtatious little lilt came from lips more used to providing crueler things, and she added: and he, a General, came for you! Hydra marveled at this; Andraste was not, had not been to her knowledge, his subordinate. She was, for all the time Hydra had known her anyway, a wolf of Kaistleoki. 

A bemused expression crossed her countenance. I will give you time to consider, and myself, as well. You should not come to such a decision due to fear; I am a protector. All that acknowledge my reign, I will protect; I would not have you answer to me for fright, and I would not take you into my Wilderness without some thought myself. It is not a decision either of us should make lightly, the Queen determined, wanting Andraste to come to this decision for herself—what was more, Hydra had her own decision to make, and the weight of it was one she wished to carry to discover its substance.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
October 10, 2019, 05:52 PM

        The dark intonations, the disheveled disdain, the biting words; Andraste could manage, entire.

        But when the queen simpered and teased, and spoke in that gentle, laughing, female language of life and love ... Hydra's supplication promptly diminished whatever makeshift nest of aristocracy sat on the silver's tongue. Hearthfire melted the unweildly guise of Diasporan austerity that she  (none!)  could never hope match. Heart fluttered into the halls of waxen throat, irregular; Andraste turned a scarred cheek to the lady of the spire with lamblike aversion.
        "W-well—"  she most certainly could, could she not? She could roam the fracturing earths, be nearer to he ... and those Diasporans who remained in contempt. To be under the sovereign of strangers, no matter their word of sheilding; or to be under the sovereign of the General whose own visions lie with upholding the ironstar's. To offer her would-be atheneum to those she had yet to entirely trust, as they her; or, to offer her workings to the only male who might find her favorable of such pack-partnership. The same one who was meant to be with his people as General — but had roamed all this way.
        That very same male had kissed her, held her; revealed the glimmering soul-fragments that she would not presume to think had been whispered to many else.

        Would it be so selfish, after all?
        To wonder with all these thoughts at the Weald? To gather those who might follow her, and then?— if?— 

        "Y-yes,"  was the bashful stumble of the word; thin ears aquiver  (every segment of her figure aquiver!)  in the moonchased ruff. Any endeavor to meet the queen's eye was a challenge in itself; how to regain whatever dignity she once had?  "Yes, I will consider. Carefully,"  the queen; the General,  "and I will alert you of my decision,"  who she must also now talk to. Or throttle.

        Nevermind that her heart already had decided, without her say!
        and her mind was half inclined to drown her in the bathing waters.

        Matters settled  (for now)  the stricken thus excuses herself from Lyra's lair; a needy, needling impishness flickering at her lips as she seeks to evade her reachings once more.