The Heartwood starts soft and sweet and turns them to hunters
All Welcome  December 30, 2019, 07:57 PM
Isilmë
Moonspear
Kappa
it is twilight. above, the sky is cast in shades of gunmetal, blowing snow obscuring the distant outlines of barren trees clawing at the heavens. silence settles thickly on the heartwood; aged, darkened remains of a once might woodland jutting through the snow. through this wasteland walks the girl. she moves without direction, threadbare and skeletal. ribs and hips press at thin skin and patchy pelt as if they are in danger of jutting out of her skin entirely.

she halts, swaying a moment. the girl dips her head, scent the earth at her paws. she does not know how long she has been lost, how long she has been hungry. at least she knows now what is real. she remembers vaguely the sickness, the woman, the way she'd chased her desperately. she'd promised something. she'd known something. she did not know if she had truly existed. 

she straightens, every limb protesting, and walks on.
December 30, 2019, 08:48 PM
Dragomir
Moonspear
Delta
The arrival of the Roangeda wolves at Moonspear drove Dragomir back out into the wilds, for with them came a resurgence of concern for his missing sister. Some of it by now had turned to anger, to blame—surely she didn't just up and leave him like their parents had, but what if? Dragomir wouldn't believe it, but doubt was insidious. Its reaching tendrils only grew and grew.

He'd searched the area around Moonspear thoroughly as he could already, but now that his legs were back to full strength, he ranged further. He pointedly avoided the woods to the north where he believed Aurëwen could be found and knew going south was equally pointless, for the Roangeda wolves had not spotted her. East, then. He would go as far east as he could go, walking well into the night.

And there she was. It was so completely unexpected that, with the wind at his back and her scent blown away from him, Dragomir didn't recognize the skeletal wolf in the trees. She wasn't close enough. Of course, his heart jumped at the sight of silver fur bright in the night, but this had happened so many times and never been her that he squashed it back down. Just another lone vagrant. That thought didn't stop him from pausing to squint at her from afar before asking, are you okay?
December 30, 2019, 09:02 PM
Isilmë
Moonspear
Kappa
she is not long alone. she has grown used to other crossing her path; they seek prey, homes, not her. most of the time, they simply walk on, rarely, are they cruel, taunting. this one pauses, calls out. the wind whips toward her, and the girl tenses against it, blinking through the snow. the scent it bears is familiar, gut-wrenchingly so, and yet the silhouette is not. her brother is small and hurt. 

the thrill that arches along her spine is infused with dread, doubting the legitimacy of the figure before her. tongue slips over her lips, confusion settling like a fog. "you're big. tall." she can not trust what she sees, can not trust scents in figures in the snow.
December 30, 2019, 09:30 PM
Dragomir
Moonspear
Delta
Dragomir was struck not by the strange words she spoke, but by the voice that spoke them. In the intervening days he had not forgotten his sister's voice. He'd once listened raptly as she spun sorry stories upon the wind to entertain him when he could not move. To him, they were the most wonderful of stories, and hers the most wonderful of voices. For a long time he stood there, saying nothing, merely staring.

Because that voice could not belong to this haggard and starved creature. It would confirm not his worst fears, but his second worst—that she had been taken against her will in some fashion, to return so dilapidated and worn.

Yet the glint of grey in her eyes was unmistakable, and there, the twin fangs that snagged her lower lip. Dragomir's heart beat unsteadily in his chest as he stumbled a step forward, then another, choking out a sorrowful, Isi?
December 30, 2019, 09:52 PM
Isilmë
Moonspear
Kappa
the man - no, boy, stumbled forward. she remains rooted, replaying the name as she'd heard it. her name. her brother. finally, she moves, racing to meet him on limping gait. "drago! you're real, you're—drago!" caution is neglected as she careens into him, unable quite to stop her momentum. breath coming quick, both in excitement and exhaustion, she presses herself to his side, drawing in his scent. 

it's dizzying, and she blinks rapidly against the snow, leaning half against him as her thin tail beats a staccato tempo at her rear. she wants to say more, wants to examine him, but can only squeeze her eyes shut and press against him as she reassures herself that he is more than a figment, but flesh and blood and breathing.
December 31, 2019, 07:52 PM
Dragomir
Moonspear
Delta
A sob wracked Dragomir when she recognized him, said his name, and crashed into him with such a slight weight that he worried she would blow away in the wind. He was mindful of the powerful swing of his tail as it picked up in a joyous wag, and did his best to keep from buffeting her with it. A whine crawled up his throat as he threw his neck around hers and clung tightly to her. It was as much out of fear that she would go again as it was out of love.

I thought I'd never find you, he rasped, pressing the side of his muzzle to his sister's cheek and pressing soft touches of his tongue against her dirty fur. He didn't want to think about the matted and threadbare quality of her coat and he didn't want to think about the jut of her ribs and pelvis through her skin. He didn't want to think about how he hadn't been there for her like she always had for him. The pain of that was too much for Dragomir.

You tried to find her, one side of him reasoned, while the other admonished him for allowing Isilmë to get to this state. What happened? he asked hoarsely, pulling back just far enough to search her sunken face with a pang of guilt and sorrow.
January 01, 2020, 08:19 PM
Isilmë
Moonspear
Kappa
she leans into him, eyes closed, and wishes she could simply drift into sleep now and then, into calm. only her fierce desire to find her way back had kept her on her paws, and now, after the thrill of finally seeing through her goal, there came a swift decline into deep-set contentedness, and finally the bone-deep exhaustion grasped firmly hold of her. "I-" she falters, moving to sit, leaning besides him still and tiredly planting a kiss on his cheek, eyes flickering open. 

"I was hunting. I got sick, I think, I didn't know—" pause, breath, "know where I was. there was this woman, I—" again, she pauses, longer this time, blinking gaze closed again. "—followed her. she wasn't, drago, I don't know she was real." all that had happened in between; the way she'd found herself in lands utterly unfamiliar, those she'd met, the deer; it all seemed too much to articulate. "I'm tired." she finished, jaw agape as she pants lightly.
January 05, 2020, 12:22 AM
Dragomir
Moonspear
Delta
As soon as he asked, Dragomir regretted it. He desperately wanted to know what pulled Isilmë away from him for so long, but hearing the way she clutched for breath after every few words tore his heart asunder. How selfish of him to demand answers now rather than shepherding her to safety, which is what he should have done the moment he realized who she was.

Yet, even knowing that, Dragomir allowed her to prop herself against him and listened. And when she finished, seemingly frantic about whether or not the wolf she'd followed was real, Dragomir pressed his chin to her scalp and quietly whispered, shhh, it's okay. I'm real. This is all real. I'm so sorry, Isi, I should have been there for you. I failed you.

But he could not allow himself to succumb to those nasty voices in his head, so he nudged her panting neck lightly and asked, do you think you can make it back to Moonspear? I'll support you. It occurred to him that she might be interested to know Praimfaya, Dacio and Opalia had recently joined, but he opted to leave that for later. Preferably after she was out of the cold and had some food in her belly.