Sawtooth Spire sunlight
Joining  February 12, 2020, 03:47 PM
Ikkuma
Approved Members

She came loping through the lowlands, due south. Before her was the mountain range: an immense jawbone with spires in place of teeth; it was mighty, like the cliffs of her childhood. The white-wash of snow implied a sense of ethereal beauty, but for all of its softening, Ikkuma only saw what she wanted to see - the imperious presence of an obstacle worth facing.

As she picked her way among the conifers and climbed - with some semblance of ease - along an outcropping of frozen slate, she did come to realize that someone else had found the mountain before her. There were signs of life all along the border of the claim; scents too, heavy and fresh. The law of the wolf forced her back among the trees. She knew she could not cross without angering whatever force lay in wait upon the mountain.

Ikkuma could turn tail and leave. It was just a mountain. Instead she chooses to tilt her chin and raise her voice - alerting the wolves who lay claim to it that she is here and that she is waiting. Perhaps she can appeal to them in some manner? Her days of roaming have brought her nothing - not family, not alliegance, not loyalty to, or from, anyone - and maybe the allure of the mountain isn't the mountain itself, but the chance to start fresh among her own kind.
February 12, 2020, 07:59 PM
Mahler
Sagtannet
Eisen*
        it was the flash of cardinal red that rode the stranger's shoulders which had caught mahler's eye. lilac gaze followed the woman as she rose, rose, rose; then paused.
        while the borders of sagtannet were jealously guarded, their claim was still new. with cubs soon to be born, the gargoyle saw no bother in being overly cautious.
        and so he watched, and when her silvered voice pealed out, mahler coursed through a small copse of heavy old birch and stalked to the borders.
        she was more powerfully built than he had realized, but since the founding of their clan upon sawtooth, the man had become harder, more aloof. and so his hackles bristled proudly upon his spine; his amethyst gaze was unforgiving, impassive, silent.

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February 12, 2020, 09:45 PM
Ikkuma
Approved Members

If only there were a way to do this privately. She hated the spectacle of it all; the display, the waiting. Mostly it was the begging. Too many rogues had come to her own doorstep with claims that they were worthy of running with her. Twice she had given in, and twice she had regretted it. Now the tables were turned.

Ikkuma wasn't like those rogues, she reasoned. She was of Tartok after all. Not a fully fledged member of that militaristic cult, but close enough. She would not stoop so low as to beg anyone for anything —

Ah, but her mind was getting ahead of her. Meanwhile, the mountain waited. Within its shadow lurked a stranger who came striding closer, yet remained poised a moment later just beyond her reach. He was familiar, but she could not place why; Ikkuma hasn't been this way in years and in the life of one wolf, that was aeons. The stern expression on his face suited him. It suited the mountain too, she mused to herself.

She was silent too. Waiting. He did not break the silence and with a hitched sigh nesting in her chest, she finally gives in and looks away from him. A crack in her own armour, a momentary weakness. Submission was not something she took lightly even if her display of it was brief. As her gaze returns to him she states cooly, Got room for one more on your mountain?
February 12, 2020, 10:09 PM
Mahler
Sagtannet
Eisen*
        mahler too felt the remembrance of her face, but the memory was blurred now, lost to the long months and hard seasons that had passed since then. he focused upon her brief display, and noted it was one that his bearing commanded. had he approached the woman in a more affable way, mahler did not know that she would have submitted.
        her tones inquired after a place in sagtannet, but the gargoyle lowered his head until it sank low between muscular shoulders, and tested her with a step forward.
        no locale for those who could be seen to challenge — even a slight bit. he would not tolerate the seed of foreign males within his ranks; he would not tolerate another wolf who might turn out to be similar to the fool zarya.
        but in that instance, it had been mahler which had made a jester of himself.
        he would not repeat his mistake.

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February 14, 2020, 01:17 AM
Ikkuma
Approved Members

Silence spoke volumes. She watched the lowering of his head with interest, tensing slightly as he moved towards her. This primitive dance was what she knew, what all wolves relied upon, and she accepted his behavior with the acquiescence of her own posture. Downturned eyes, slackened shoulders, an aloof turn of her ears.

The closer he got the more pronounced her submission became. It was grating to her, irritating, but she had to do it. Ikkuma could curb her own impulses if it meant finding a fresh start. Presuming that he was coming closer to investigate her, she did not let her first instinct overwhelm her: that momentary pause between baring teeth or sinking back; she chose to relent to his presence, going so far as to hold her tail against her hocks with purpose.

These were subtle shifts - but since he had not answered her verbally, Ikkuma could only assume he would react to her lax attitude and subservient posture.
February 14, 2020, 02:38 AM
Mahler
Sagtannet
Eisen*
        her posture flagged beneath his approach, and mahler found that part of him was sated by the display, the minute scatter of small signals that appealed to their shared wolven nature.
        at his leisure, the gargoyle exploed scents tangled in her scarlet withers.
        the she-wolf was muscled, hale, with no claim to her feral pride. mahler silently appraised her clear capabilities, and when he had quelled his curiosity, the shadowpriest stepped back.
        "this is sagtannet. i am mahler, your eisen here, vone of three. and you," he went on, lavender eyes trailing across her subservient posture, "vill be our newest thrall, if you accept."

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February 14, 2020, 01:37 PM
Ikkuma
Approved Members

It was rare for Ikkuma to be interested in anyone beyond herself, or those she had a vested interest in. The man was curious of her scents but she did not show the same curiosity of him; what really tugged at the back of her mind was his familiar face, if only because she could not place it, and that was unnerving. They might have met in passing. Perhaps he had come to Sedge Bay while she had been aligned with them? No; he did not seem the type to disperse from whatever region he deigned to own. Another time, then. A long forgotten previous life. It didn't really matter.

When he had finished with his inspection he finally spoke, and while Ikkuma's ears pivoted with attentive focus, she remained bowed to him with submissive posture. From his admission this place had a name and was held by a worthy trio of wolves; Ikkuma wanted to test that claim, but knew it was not the time to do so. He called her a thrall - not a term she was accustomed to - but Ikkuma presumed it was somewhere on the lower-end of the food chain, which was to be expected.

Ikkuma, thrall of Sagtannet. It didn't have the best ring to it, but if she were to challenge herself against this mountain she would need to start somewhere. I accept. She responds. I am Ikkuma. Her posture slackens a bit when she speaks, prideful of herself. The dance is over, and now she can start fresh.
February 16, 2020, 06:11 PM
Mahler
Sagtannet
Eisen*
        her pride returned, and mahler listened to the tone of her voice as she gave her name. ikkuma. it put him in mind of takiyok, the pack she had helped to lead once, before he, before stigmata, before diaspora. and the thought rankled him, but he focused his attentions upon the newcomer before him.
        "tell me something of yourself, ikkuma," mahler invited, stepping aside so she might cross the border and find a rocky trail upward. in this season, the eisen was more welcoming to female joiners. it was not that he wished to add more children to the balance of his plate, but that a rank occupied by a woman meant one less male in sagtannet that might need the persuasion of fangs to stand down.
        silently he waited, legs prepared to move alongside the fierce woman if she so chose to move into the territory.

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February 17, 2020, 01:00 PM
Ikkuma
Approved Members

He moved aside, and then matched her strides as she passed over the invisible boundary denoting his land from the wilderness. Although the terms he used were new to her, the relationship of dominant-to-submissive was not, and relaxation came easily as she walked alongside him up the mountain's lower reaches. She knew how to conduct herself around those with power - having adapted to living among her own people years ago - and while she did not like being at the bottom again, Ikkuma knew sacrifices were inevitable when starting over.

Just as she knew his question was inevitable. Perhaps she had anticipatd it earlier, thinking he might require more details before accepting her among the ranks of Sagtannet - so some of what she said next sounded rehearsed.

I am a ranger first, a warrior second, and an apt hunter. Most of my life has been spent alone, but for the past few years I was living in a bay-area pack. With the season turning everyone lovesick, I was seen as a threat and driven out by the other women. There was no emotion to her tale. It did not wound her as it might have wounded others. Ikkuma had expected it to a point; except that it had not been the alpha female who had driven her out, but the others banded together. Rather than fight them Ikkuma had dispersed.

The woman glanced to the swarthy eisen as she finished her script, adding more genially:
                Will I have the same problem here?
February 17, 2020, 06:21 PM
Mahler
Sagtannet
Eisen*
        it seemed as if she had prepared a rote recollection beforehand, but this did not affect mahler's opinion of her. a capable wolf, driven out through jealousy. such a concept was insensible to the man. was this the truth of what had happened, for it felt nonsensical that a strong woman of breeding age might be thrown from her pack.
        perhaps she did not wish to speak of it. mahler pressed on, charcoal ears flicking with interest. "another of our eisen carries my children," he revealed conversationally. "respect her, and i see no problem arising."
        wylla was a thorny sort, and would put ikkuma through her paces, of that he was certain. but she was devoted to her pack, hard-working, and recognized this in others. the woman alongside him seemed similar in demeanour.

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February 18, 2020, 01:57 PM
Ikkuma
Approved Members

Ikkuma is satisfied by his answer. It made sense that a healthy pack would take advantage of the season. She gave no physical indication that his words affected her save for the flick of an ear. It felt as if they had discussed all that they required. Although it would take time for Ikkuma to acclimate to this place and its people, she would do her best to keep the mountain secure for this man's offspring - at least for a little while, lest she be tempted elsewhere by a greater challenge.

After striding alongside the man for a few minutes she finally does speak. Her tone is clipped, business-like. Is there anything you require of me? A task I can busy myself with? Ikkuma has barely been present enough to taste the thin mountain air, yet here she was, prepared to get to work. The woman held an over-active spirit that could not fathom stagnation. She looked to Mahler thereafter, amber gaze more intense than necessary, only to catch herself and divert her gaze lest he take it as a challenge. She meant only to stay busy, stay distracted - and stay out of everyone's way.
February 21, 2020, 09:44 AM
Mahler
Sagtannet
Eisen*
        mahler saw little wrong with pride, insofar as it was both earned and displayed where necessary. the intensity of her gaze, therefore, did not perturb the gargoyle.
        "this is a relatively new claim," he stated simply. "the territory is large. on the southvest side, coyotes have attempted to infringe several times." ikkuma would understand what he was saying, mahler believed. "i killed their lead male, but his vife is persistent."
        a flag of his tail; he stopped in the snow. "i vill leave you here, ikkuma. i look forvard to vhat skills you bring to sagtannet. velcome," then with a nod, he was loping off into the snowy weald, one ear backcocked to pause if ikkuma had more need of him. 
        it was unlikely. she was capable. he would not have admitted her otherwise, he thought grimly, pondering how ill-fated his mercy to zarya had been. no more of that nonsense. 
         sagtannet, it seemed, had made him more a wolf.

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