Moonspear i’m on the dark side of a hollow hill
Private  January 09, 2020, 07:36 AM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
arcturus had made it exactly two days back on summit, before his guilty conscience got the better of him. he had told no soul of his travails save wraen — but even then, what had conspired burned up within him.

there were many options the boy could pursue — all equally unpalatable in his eyes. fearful for the reproach of his family, and not close enough with most of the moonspearians to share his shame, arcturus trailed idly after @Dirge — knowing if he had but one friend on this stony peak, it was the man that bedded — and endured — arcturus’ inimitable sister.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

January 12, 2020, 11:49 AM
Dirge
Moonspear

He tore into the soft earth against a hill with vigor, having long cleared away ice ad snow alike to even touch the soil beneath. The fact that it was still snowing did little to bolster his efforts, but Dirge was determined enough to at least tuck away what he had captured some time ago. A string bean of a squirrel, not quite much to cure the ravenous of their hunger, but it was something.

Something was the name of whatever they had been foisting into caches here and there; the only benefit of the cool air was that they would keep longer, as spring would soon enough bring out the rancid. He only thought on this briefly, knowing already he would return to the spot later and retrieve the poor creature if for nothing else than to tease the children with until he lost it one way or another.

But for now, he was focused on carving a crater that would hide itself away soon.

At least until Arcturus inevitably found him.
January 12, 2020, 06:33 PM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
dirge was digging in the earth once arcturus came across him. arcturus spared the lean squirrel the briefest of glances, before he sucked in his breath and prepared for the well-practiced, but terribly inept, speech that was sure to come out of him soon. he hoped he would not sound stupid (he knew he had been stupid) -- it was that tangent of thought that caused arcturus to quail, and suddenly lose all of his carefully prepared speech.

"not much of a squirrel." he commented, trying to sound casual. it was likely dirge would pick up the tension in his voice - he was extremely aware of how tight his tone sounded. "did you.." he paused, scarlet rising to his burning cheeks: "was my sister your first?"

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

January 13, 2020, 11:07 PM
Dirge
Moonspear

As it were, Arcturus did in fact find him with relative ease. Dirge had no more reached a point where satisfaction and fatigue met over his handiwork, and a paw soon hovered over the stringy squirrel when he took in the sight of the swarthy in-law.

"Wasn't much when it was alive either," came his pithy reply, though he did not afford himself to explain what he intended with it. He would have, if not for the terseness and tension that betrayed a casual visit; he drug his foot along and pushed the squirrel in with a heap of soil, his gaze stayed settled on him. Something picked at him—clear then at a start and stop taper that Dirge did not find particularly becoming of the usually confident Arcturus.

The question almost humored him, but he did not smile.

As if the mildly mortifying question hadn't outed him, Dirge pushed for clarification: "My first what?" Too many variables in that question, though given the season one would deign he sought to drag it out of the younger wolf... and it provided him with the opportunity to gather himself for prying questions. Perhaps self-interest drove Arcturus to him, among other things, but he was not foolish to give away such easily.
January 16, 2020, 07:54 AM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
Arcturus’ features pressed to a brief but tense smile at Dirge’s wry response. The squirrel was something — and that was what mattered. Arcturus didn’t want to talk about squirrels, though.

His gaze flitted from the rodent to Dirge, a flicker of distress creeping across his features as he realized the male hadnt quite connected the dots. He needed context. Oh god, Arcturus didn’t want to go into the contextual details about his very sordid, very distressing first encounter with The Secks.

He shifted uncomfortably and looked away, his voice but a murmur as he pathetically answered: Your first ..sex. Brilliant, be extra awkward why don’t you, Arcturus?

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

January 22, 2020, 05:24 PM
Dirge
Moonspear

Abject horror seemed to ignite in the gazing wells that Arcturus held; humor flickered at the fringes of Dirge's features when the words drew light to just what the boy was rooting for before they caved in completely to a wry smile. He had never watched him struggle with words like this—in general, even if Arcturus did not immediately come round to a point concisely, the gist was there. He was a smart creature who carried himself in a way that cast him older than he seemed, and this delievered the reminder to Dirge that he was very young indeed.

Finding his composure, he worked to still his features and stow his humor.

"She is not," he decided to go with, finding no reason to be dishonest. She was far from the first—though what a twist it would have been had she been the first—and for all he knew, if the challenge arose, may not have been his last. But the opportunity had yet to present itself and for want of a nail, there was plenty to keep him busy and distracted.

"Has the season got you bothered? It didn't occur to me until now, but I suppose you were too young last year to get a taste for it." Or perhaps Arcturus had his eye on someone, though Dirge could not fathom who. Then again given how the previous year had gone... maybe it had simply been the mind's wiser decision of all that could have been made.
January 22, 2020, 06:31 PM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
arcturus' gaze smoldered, and he looked away -- for he had seen the simplest trace of amusement on dirge's countenance, and it set his heart aflame. throughout his burning sense of shame, arcturus was still invested in the answer. he grappled with the response, a slight o forming on his dark lips.

if hydra had not been dirge's first, was he not dishonored? arcturus' woeful outlook on sexual propriety was, well, terrible -- he had about the same grasp and understanding of sex and love as he had an understanding of the infinite cosmos. in summation, like other parts of him, it was pitifully small.

"is that not a bad thing?" arcturus mumbled, shaking his head in response to dirge's following query. it was not that the season had him bothered -- ok, it was that the season had him bothered. it was that he did not understand how to handle it. how to handle what had been done, and what had yet to come.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

January 22, 2020, 09:43 PM
Dirge
Moonspear

Was it a bad thing?

"Depends on the position you're in, I suppose," he answered with a roll of his shoulders. "Most wolves can follow the natural order of things and keep themselves in check. Others, well, not so much, and we know what happens with them." Case in point: last year. Unbridled chaos, clearly, though it had been so much more than that. A cleverly timed guise and a rise to power that so far Dirge did not see a repeat of, nor did he anticipate any time soon.

Yet he minded himself to stay humble—pride did go before a fall, after all.

"Do you think it's a bad thing? A little temptation keeps things interesting, especially if you have eyes for someone. I'm sure Hydra had her share of suitors way back when," though would Arcturus even know? He doubted it, concluding, "and perhaps you will draw your own wants for the future."
January 23, 2020, 04:28 PM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
did it depend on the natural order of things? could arcturus keep himself in check?

he listened with one ear pulled back, a constellation of worry settling across his features. the more he had thought (and believe me, he had thought a lot before getting the balls to talk to anyone about htis) about his particular encounter, the more he believed what he had done was wrong.

arcturus thought the answer dirge gave was fair, but wondered: was he giving a vague reply to protect himself -- or arcturus? was there more to dirge's past than arcturus had ever dared dream -- and could arcturus live with the ghost of dirge's past suitors -- could hydra?

he quickly chased such thoughts away, feeling no more clearminded than before. brow pulled down in confusion, arcturus admitted something he would say to no other soul. "it's all really confusing."

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

February 02, 2020, 10:01 AM
Dirge
Moonspear

"Only if you let it be," though really, that wasn't exactly the sort of answer that would dispel any confusion. Even Dirge knew it was more than just black and white in regards to matters of the head and heart; a significant peppering of gray was scattered in there too. It was a spectrum, like so many things in their world, and he struggled to find a way to make it all make sense.

"How you feel about it depends on what matters to you," he went on, thinking he found purchase in a thought. "For some, it's family. Others do it for political advantages, I suppose. And then you have those who put no thought into it at all and merely do what they think is right from experience learned or otherwise." Like everything else, really, and he didn't think it answered anything once it was out of his mouth.

He poised a different question.

"What do you want out of it?"
February 02, 2020, 10:25 AM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
it seemed matters of the heart, much like dirge had thought, were not so clear cut. arcturus was unhappy as he wallowed besides dirge, feeling he had either failed himself, his family, or wraen -- possibly even towhee.

after all, she had positively fled his presence the moment they had parted from one another. what did that say about him?

still distraught over all of this, arcturus stomached dirge's answer as best he could. it was a fair response, but the boy was near inconsolable -- even if he hid it well by a thin mask of composure.

what mattered to him? family. and what did he want out of it? "i want what you and hydra have." arcturus blurted, a secondary sheen of red rising to his cheeks as he admitted -- quite vulnerably, too -- a side of him that was far too soft to be carelessly exposed to the world.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

February 02, 2020, 11:07 AM
Dirge
Moonspear

Occasionally he was privy to these little snippets—the sort that determined the sum of their parts and implied whether they were whole or not. Occasionally, these same little snippets were the sort that also spun his own being into view, and it was that sort of scrutiny, however self-inflicted, that Dirge found he did not enjoy.

In this case, the revelation to him was just how immature Arcturus was on matters that came more naturally to Dirge, and the caveat in the footnotes also told him just how much Arcturus was turning him for a guidance that he was ill-equip to give. But who better to go to than a confident creature who seemed to have it all together? He wondered if for a moment he was being imprinted upon, if he seemed that fatherly before all else, but ultimately recoiled at the fact that Arcturus had skillfully, unknowingly probed too close to something Dirge did not have full confidence in.

And he couldn't have begun to explain to Arcturus that what he had was not at all that simple; it was complicated, one-sidedly so, and Dirge had long passed through his confidence of the known for favor of simply fabricating reality until it winked into existence and could be grasped. In the silence that surely burned his younger counterpart, he let go of a sigh and found a thin smile he could have stolen from a charlatan. No, there was nothing about the territory he was in socially, politically, or otherwise that was confident for himself. But at least it looked that way.

That was all that mattered, he decided.

"Then you will find a woman who captures your attention like no other," he stated, only beginning. "And you will learn what it means to carry a passion and a lust that is not so easily fulfilled by another. She will complicate every plan you think you have, she will relentlessly pick at you and tease, and yet welcome you with familiarity every time you see her. It will be those little things that permeate your thoughts until you can no longer see another way, nor will you want to."
February 09, 2020, 10:03 AM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
in dirge, arcturus had forged a brotherhood. day by day these tendrils of tentative friendship came to thick vines creeping, growing. ensnaring. until those bonds became kinship, and in turn, a new shape of idolatry. for while arcturus revered his sister for all she had accomplished, his respect for dirge ran deep: after all, what was more magnificent? the lion, or the intrepid soul that tamed it?

he listened rapt to dirge's words, his expression shifting from keen interest to something a shade darker as dirge continued. the alpha spoke of his love not in flowered poetics, but in a grounded realism that had arcturus frown in response. for someone so juvenile, and so naive in matters of love, that was not what arcturus depicted.

a part of him was relieved he did not feel any of what dirge transcribed for towhee. no, some other she-wolf had his heart -- and thinking of her caused a titter to stir in his chest. "that is love?" his brow furrowed, and he sucked in a deep breath. "it sounds exhausting." perhaps it was more the nature of who dirge had selected, versus the nature of their pairing. arcturus doubted he would ever have the mental fortitude to be relentlessly teased.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

February 09, 2020, 10:16 AM
Dirge
Moonspear

A chuckle escaped him—"Like many other things, I suppose it can be."

To a degree he could not claim that he understood any better, but he would pretend. For both of their sakes and souls, he would pretend he understood. Perhaps on the grand scheme of it all, it did not matter, and it would not have surprised him any.

"It is a very subjective thing, Arcturus. Love takes on different meanings for us all." Whatever it would eventually mean for him, Dirge could not say. Perhaps he would find someone who would drive him mad in the right ways, and perhaps he would find someone who did a better job of complimenting him where he felt he lacked. He liked to think that he matched Hydra in some aspects, but he knew their differences were just as numerous, if not more, and she had given him the taste of something he had wanted without knowing so.
February 21, 2020, 09:32 PM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
not even arcturus could say what love meant to him now. he mused on dirge's answer, lulling as a pensive silence moodily stretched its fingers between them. love took on different meanings for them all -- did that mean that his love would not be as strong as his parent's, nor as steadfast as dirge and hydra's?

such thoughts he could never entertain for long. his mind was not meant for that kind of arduous process, and his stamina for such what-ifs was indefensibly weak. he sighed after a time, tail uncurling to his hocks. it was strange -- dirge had redirected arcturus' teeming anxiety into a reserved and broody acceptance -- of himself, and of his place in the world.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

April 22, 2020, 02:08 AM
Dirge
Moonspear

The silence extended between them, leaving him to think back on the past.

"A long time ago, I had wished to steal your sister away from this place."

He let the statement dangle in the air purposefully, recalling their chance meeting among the evergreens. When nothing more had extended before him but an open road and limitless possibilities. Where the road had parted between he and his siblings and their great unknowns. He knew not what of had become of them and doubted he would, but like the reserved acceptance of his counterpart, he had come to believe that was the way it was to be.

"There was something about her that I liked when we first met, perhaps that indomitable spirit she has. She seemed the sort who I thought would add a splash of variety to my life, someone who would make the journey all that more interesting. This was not the idea I had in mind the first time I let her bring me here... I am not, or I was not, one particularly fond of being held in one place for too long." But things had changed; he felt as though he did not need to say so in so many words.

He could long for that notion of freedom all he wanted, but even he knew that it would be a long time before he ever graced the open road again. If ever, though that did not occur to him. Dirge didn't know how the journey would end and rarely entertained such; he was content with his lot in life in that precise moment, could not imagine turning away from it. Least of all her and the children—he strove to be better than his father before him, and thought he had managed so thus far.
April 23, 2020, 11:52 AM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
how different his life -- and all of the spear within it -- would have been if hydra had been whisked away that fateful day.

arcturus contemplated such roads in silence a moment. it was strange how fate worked; how one little detail could change it all forever. it was staggering to think about. arcturus preferred to not think of such heavy things at all.

"you would have an easier time moving stone." arcturus remarked dryly. it was not meant to be jest or insult - he believed hydra was every bit made of this mountain as stone, and the idea of her leaving it unfathomable. "and here you are, in one place now." maybe dirge's life was like the roving acorn or pinecone -- its traveling days short, and yet, once rooted the depth and quality of its life became immeasurable as it grew from reedy sapling to impressive and immovable giant.

"it's not so bad here. we got good food, and better company." he was of course referring to himself there.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

May 06, 2020, 12:20 AM
Dirge
Moonspear

"Perhaps," he murmured with a hint of persistent humor. Stones could be moved with time, he wanted to contest. Yet now there was more than just one stone; there were pebbles too and even he knew the strongest of wills could sink with them in their mouth. Seeds took to root and grew invasive, anchoring them to that one singular point until they could no longer. Upheavals fractured things. He needed not to be told.

And yet—he found he still desired it, minutely.

"The company does help, I will concede that point. There is comfort in knowing that more than just two of your sisters are fond of me," he went on. "I suspect things would be very much different if all of you were disapproving of me." While he had accepted that Alya may never come around to enjoying his company, she was apart of the minority that thought little of him.
May 19, 2020, 10:36 AM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
stones -- and mountains -- could be moved given reason enough. even arcturus was astutely aware of that, though he knew his life would never span long enough to see much change at all. that kind of change was slow in accruing, over thousands of lifetimes.

but dirge's stone was perhaps not so different: the change was small, yet over the years staggering in how different it had become. perhaps dirge was more like a river then; trickling in slow, and eventually filling in all the little cracks, alya included. arcturus did not know alya at all, and so gave a shrug of his shoulders in answer. it was hard to like someone if you were never around them. "what really matters is that hydra likes you." he gave an approving grin, for he wouldn't have cared what anyone else thought so long as his mate liked him. "the rest have to step in line."

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away

May 24, 2020, 03:46 AM
Dirge
Moonspear

His words provoked a scoff from Dirge, who meant it in good faith and humor. He didn’t quite see it that way, that falling in line. There had never been a particular need of him to capitalize on his rank within Moonspear—Hydra more than likely saw to it with the way she often dropped his name with titling, with the pride that she exuded. But it meant more to her than he, perhaps; it was there that their raising was a very different thing. Her ambition was a right and his, well… his was perhaps more guileful.

“Be that as it may, a gentleman does not hide behind his wife,” though he had, in a sense, perhaps only to himself. “Your sister can like me all she wants but it’s a far easier go of things if I have the favor from the majority. You’ve all certainly been through enough and deserve more than being entrenched in hostilities constantly.”

He didn’t know that this was a cyclical sort of thing—it should have really been a family trait by now, if it wasn’t already. Not that he claimed those titles by any means either; he could have denied it all he wanted to, even to the point of duplicity in what he did and shared, but he was very much one of them too. It was inescapable.
June 05, 2020, 11:18 AM
Arcturus
Firebirds
Tradesman V
in moonspear, it was your birthright that defined you.

followed by your title.

but that birthright -- the legacy behind the true blood -- was what put hydra above thousands of others. its what would always keep her head above the current of a hundred legions, for she was the product of a carefully curated patrimony's zenith.

the trueborn heir to greatness.

arcturus wondered how a man like dirge felt, to be entrenched in the thick of that kind of unmatchable power: his legacy enshrouded and as misty as the distant peaks. did he find he could reconcile his bloodline with that of the mountaineers? or did he hope from his own forging, a better legacy would surface?

arcturus was silent, as he was often prone to be while ruminating over a troubling thought. not for the first time did he catch a bit of carefulness in that answer; a carefulness that seemed crafted.

he overlooked it. dirge was his friend, and he adored the man as both mentor and kin. their conversation may have drawn to a close, but dirge had given arcturus plenty of fodder to think about, and think the mountaineer did -- heavily, in his own worried gloom.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away