Sun Mote Copse seems every castle is made of sand
All Welcome  March 20, 2020, 11:26 AM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
set a few hours after this

arcturus had never been a runner.

his entire life he had always faced things head on. he had always fought, pushed, coerced his way through.

but now, there was something in his life that could not be fought. no matter where he sunk his teeth, it would never change what had just happened.

revui, dead.

no matter how many miles he put under his heels, he would never escape the image of his brother slumping to the ground.

it should have been him to defeat revui. it should have been him to defend his rank, to stay on the 'spear. he had never wanted his brother dead, and now that part of his life was seemingly sealed off forever.

he did not know why it was here he came. in truth, the beta had fled moonspear in a mental fog, his sensibilities overcome by anguish.

all of this, his fault.

if only he hadn't been so proud.

if only he hadn't been so stupid.

if only --

and so, the mountaineer found himself near the firebird's borders. maybe it was his unspoken feelings for wraen that drew him here -- or maybe, it was his need for support in an hour of absolute desolation. maybe, it was because this was the one area he knew his powerhungry, bloodthirsty sister could not corrupt: the sanctity of his hidden world.
March 20, 2020, 12:29 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She'd been forced to leave Meerkat in someone else's care while tending to her godparents' burial. Nothing terrible had happened (aside from the obvious), so the Regent decided to leave the two-week-old with another caretaker today. She headed toward the borders, her first patrol since before giving birth. The rhythm and routine of it comforted her in a time of grief so deep that Towhee almost felt numb. Losing both Blackthorns in one fell swoop was an unfathomable blow and it would take time—and many footfalls around the copse—to even begin processing the new reality.

When a distraction presented itself in the form of a dark lurker at the edge of the woods, Towhee seized the opportunity to put her mind elsewhere. Even when she recognized Arcturus, she didn't stop moving toward him. She did slow, her orange eyes narrowed as she ascertained his demeanor; he looked to be in a bad way. The fur along her shoulders and spine prickled warily, some inner voice choosing that moment to remind her that this could be Meerkat's father...

-"Arcturus? What are you doing here?"- she commanded brusquely as she paused a few meters away.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

March 20, 2020, 12:51 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
there by the borders, arcturus was left to simmer in his own self-crippling thoughts. over and over, a voice whispered: your brother is dead because of you.

the beta quailed into a defeated slink, his eyes dark as he waited -- hoped -- for wraen.

instead, his first and only conquest appeared. if ever arcturus felt reduced to nothing, it was in this hour. his deeds were being tallied and paraded before him -- not only had he caused the death of his brother, now he was looking at a woman that he had also done wrong by.

his ears fell to his skull and he lowered his body subserviently, gaze averted from the mercenary. "i think i need help." the man admitted, his voice reduced to a pathetic and voiceless whimper.
March 20, 2020, 01:07 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
He seemed to wilt in her presence, though Towhee couldn't hear the pitiful noises escaping him. She caught his words and her lips pressed together, wondering what had happened and why he was here. Before she pressed more questions on him, though, she tipped her head skyward and summoned @Wraen.

While they awaited the Sovereign, the Regent pinned her fiery gaze on Arcturus. -"Tell me what happened and what you're doing on our doorstep."- Her thoughts flicked to Hydra and, abruptly, Towhee wondered if Moonspear's queen had found out about them and punished her younger brother before sending him here. Surely not... though there was now trepidation written all over her face as she waited for details.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

March 20, 2020, 01:19 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
gods, this sentinel of the firebirds was stern. arcturus found himself wilting further under her austere glare, noting with shame the way her lips pursed in disapproval. he had earned many looks in his life, but he would never feel at ease when a wolf looked upon him with total and utter disapproval.

where to even start? arcturus hedged a sigh into the cold air, feeling a shudder wrench its way up his spine, through his ribcage, out through his throat and mouth where it took corporeal form in the shape of a drifting cloud of smoky air. "it's hydra -- my sister --" his voice took on a tormented edge, and pain flashed across his blood-rent features. "she's gone mad -- she --" arcturus could not speak of what happened - a cry tore through him as he breathed to life the cruelty he had witnessed: "she killed my brother."
March 20, 2020, 01:39 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Towhee's gut had been clenched ever since Penn had said the words, "They're gone," the day before. But they twisted all the tighter when he confirmed her fearful suspicions. There was one critical detail that threw her, however, and the Regent's face scrunched in confusion.

-"Your brother? Why?"- she asked, studying his contorted features. She should probably call @Eljay too, though Towhee wasn't sure her elder brother could come after yesterday's events... -"Why are you here?"- she repeated herself, simultaneously feeling bad and losing patience as her question went unanswered.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

March 20, 2020, 01:46 PM
Pippin
Approved Members

-barges in-
Upon the news of Towhee giving birth, Pippin had made himself scarce. Any time he had made to seek out the dark female, to question her, to catch a glimpse of the one thing she had informed him would not happen, she was always either with someone else or she looked to be in pure bliss with her arrival.

Of course he had caught glimpse of the little girl. The sandy fur wasn’t lost on him.

Having yet to decipher how he felt, the agouti wolf had withdrawn. Coward, his mind muttered at him daily, and so, with a steeling sigh as night had fallen prior, Pippin had gone to hunt for her.

Finally, he had come home with the plumpest pheasant he could find. The birds were close to their own breeding season now, and the males were particularly aggressive.

Coming to the borders, narrowed eyes fell upon what appeared to be a rather irate Towhee and a dark stranger. With Wraen being summoned, the Ostrega strode closer to Towhee, should anything go south—though not yet addressing her.
March 20, 2020, 02:11 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen's old shoulder injury had flared up again soon after her outing with Maia, thus keeping her not only confined to the copse, but also slower to move around. Luck would have it that, when Towhee rang, she was on the other side of the territory, watching the ice melt, break and being taken away by the river. Seeing that the ice blocks began to pile up further down-stream, she had planned to go and investigate there and... this plan was scratched from the blackboard, because the call sounded very urgent.

She limped as fast as she could to the source, more than once lamenting her aching joint and the fact that she was a Sovereign, whose duty was to attend all important stuff that happened around the pack. She could not see, who Towhee and Pippin were addressing from her vantage point and being near-sighted, could not make out the shape of the black wolf there, when she had caught the first sight of it. However, she recognized the voice right away and for a moment forgetting that her leg hurt, she closed the distance between herself and the group in several strides. 

She heard the last inquiry of Towhee's, borderline annoyed and stepped between her and Arcturus to ease the tension. "I believe that Arcturus is a welcome guest of mine," she told the Regent calmly, locked her gaze with hers for a moment and then turned to look at her friend. "I missed the beginning - what has brought you here?" she asked, gently smiling at him.
March 20, 2020, 02:23 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
arcturus' ears flattened once more as towhee spoke, reiterating a question he had tried to answer, but had failed. "because -- i need help." the ostrega fumbled, never feeling so low as he did in that moment. "because i don't know where else to go --" wraen, where was wraen -- why wasn't she here, saving him from towhee?

a flush of anger rose to his senses - did towhee think he was lying, or making something up? was she even listening (lol..)? his gaze slid to the side, having heard the approach of another. wraen! his heart leapt in his chest, only to realize this was a male with a grouse in his mouth, watching them both suspiciously.

arcturus turned back to towhee helplessly. he was at a total loss of words, and unless she questioned him further he'd be remain silent until wraen arrived. he set his thousand-yard stare to the woodlands, his eyes glassy with shellshocked grief.

arcturus was so overcome with inner turmoil that he didn't notice wraen's limp as she arrived. his ears roared and his mind reeled as he registered it was her at last. he had never been so happy to see her than he was in this moment. wraen's state of undeniable calm set his frayed nerves to a quieter pace, eventually drawing them to an unquiet ease. "wraen --" arcturus rose, his body tense. "i didn't know where else to go," he bit his lower lip, feeling a welt of hot tears sting his gaze. "hydra killed my brother. he --" the beta choked, unable to speak for a moment. "he came to challenge me for my position, and hydra turned on him. it's --" his voice became thick with shuttering grief: "it's all my fault. i shouldn't have fought him, i should have just let him take it. i don't deserve to be a leader anymore."

he had done the worst thing a leader could do: he had let one of his own down, and his own selfish actions had set off a constellation of catalytic events that could not be reversed.
March 20, 2020, 02:33 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She felt her frustration building more and more, though Pippin's arrival distracted her momentarily. Their eyes locked for a heartbeat as he made his way toward the two of them, her gaze sweeping back to Arcturus. He wasn't going to answer her satisfactorily, she realized, but in the end it didn't matter. Wraen appeared and stepped into the center of the impromptu gathering, calm and cool as she addressed Arcturus. For her, he veritably poured out answers.

Although vaguely annoyed, Towhee took a step backward, happy to leave the matter in the Sovereign's capable hands. She exchanged another look with Pippin, wondering if she should suggest they head back to her den with that delicious-looking catch in his mouth. But the Regent hesitated, not wanting to leave Wraen alone unless that was explicitly what she wanted.

-"You got this?"- Towhee asked at the first opportunity.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

March 20, 2020, 09:25 PM
Pippin
Approved Members

There was a certain tension in the air, but Pippin had missed the entirety of it. The youth was flustered, and Pippin began to settle his catch between his paws, his tail giving an idle lash through the air in consideration. He would have tried to relieve some of the tension—maybe talk to the boy who in that moment reminded him almost of a much, much younger version of himself—but Wraen appeared, asserting the dark wolf was welcome and a friend.

He blinked at the next flurry of words that came about—something about a dead brother, a challenge… placing blame upon himself. He winced, once more reminded of his own discarded youth, though he had been much younger when he had killed….

He stopped the thought abruptly. Leaning down to scoop the pheasant back to his jaws once more, his eyes strayed to Wraen, waiting for her dismissal and assurance she would be fine before he followed after Towhee. He had his own drama to contend with, and the memories this current predicament were surfacing only frayed his nerves further.
March 21, 2020, 01:12 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Arcturus was more agitated than the last time Wraen had to take out a wildfire. And she soon found out the shocking reason why. Had it been her from two years ago, when her dislike for Hydra had been fresh and she would have attributed all kinds of crimes to he former friend, the Sovereign would have eaten every word the young Ostrega told her. She shot a quick inquiring "what the hell?" glance at Towhee and Pippin - unless that brother of his had killed anyone within the ranks (and - let's be honest - even in Titmouse's case the Cerberus had been lenient on their own terms), she saw no reason for murder. 

One thing was clear - this mess will take a long time to clear. But first things first. "Thank you, Towhee, Pippin," she told both. "You are free to go, please, inform others that we have a visitor from Moonspear who will stay with us for a while," with little Meerkat around and Niamh being due in a couple of weeks, and with the recent loss of Finley and Elwood she could imagine that no one would be happy to have a stranger in the ranks. "So - Arthur - as a temporary subject of my ranks I command you to come along," she beckoned him to follow her, away from, where the most pack gathered these days.

"And forgive me poking you in an open wound already, but are you sure that your brother is dead? I may know Hydra less intimately than you, but from what I have seen myself - family is above all. Why should she lash out at... what is the name?"
March 21, 2020, 07:19 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
even arcturus himself, who believed the world of hydra, could scarcely believe it..

but he had seen it with his own two eyes. he had seen how revui had fallen, how he had limply collapsed to the ground. and he had seen hydra, snapping at his brother again and again..

he fidgeted as wraen looked to her packmates pippin and towhee; he was eternally grateful to see them excused. standing before towhee made arcturus feel as if he were standing naked in front of a crowd -- a burning wick of shame still flared in his heart any time he looked (or was looked upon) at her.

he followed meekly after wraen, still shellshocked by the entire deal. it was not until she spoke again that the ostrega's ears perked abstractedly -- he had already had his mind wander.. "i saw it with my own eyes." he affirmed, feeling a choking grief smokily work its way up his throat. "his name is -- was -- revui. he had fought me the day before," arcturus canted his muzzle so wraen could see the ugly mess of his cheek -- the matted gouge, just barely beginning to scab over. "wraen.. i.." the mountaineer slowed, his voice pained. "i don't know what to do."
March 22, 2020, 08:38 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Towhee froze at Wraen's parting words. What? she thought sharply, though she did not speak aloud. The fur along her spine prickled warily, nonetheless demonstrating her disapproval, though she still said nothing. Instead, she turned and, forgetting all about Pippin and his delicious pheasant, she prowled back to the log where Meerkat slept. She climbed inside and curled protectively around her daughter, her teeth bared at nothing as any concerns about Arcturus were quickly subsumed again by her fresh grief.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

March 30, 2020, 08:29 AM
Pippin
Approved Members

The situation only became stranger as it unfolded. Stiff with the tension in the air, he looked to Towhee, who was annoyed or upset at the prospect of the black stranger staying within their borders. It rankled him for some reason, and he pushed that familiar feeling down. He watched as she stalked off, and with a weary nod to Wraen, the Ostrega scooped up his prize, trotting after the woman who had blatantly disregarded him once more.

As she curled into a ball, losing herself to whatever ailed her, Pippin did not question it. Now, clearly, was not the time for the talk they needed to have, and so he left the pheasant for her, for when she would be ready for it. For now, he offered her space.
March 30, 2020, 01:58 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Well, I suggest you have a good rest first," Wraen told him, feeling puzzled by the news, but deciding against pushing Arcturus to reveal more or prove him wrong. There would be plenty of time for discussions later, when her friend was in a better frame of mind. Now she was thinking about, where could she store the Moonspearan away. From the look she had received from Towhee, Regent disapproved of her decision to have a visitor within the territory. Which was also a matter she would wonder about afterwards. Now she wrote it off to motherhood and the perks that came along with it. 

"And come tomorrow we can put our heads together and decide, what should you do next," - if it was up to me, I would keep you here forever - she thought to herself. Away from Moonspear and it's stiff hypocritical traditions. Somewhere, where Arthur could realize that life had way more to offer than a giant rock and a tyrant cooped on top of it. "Don't worry, Arthur, I will be here and you won't have to face it on your own," she tried to cheer him up. "And I will keep Niamh and Towhee in check as well."
March 31, 2020, 11:23 AM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
arcturus fell to a shocked silence, his lip contorted in a grieving frown as wraen brushed him away from towhee and pippin. he did not spare a glance to them as he went, following as demurely as a lamb in his friend's wake.

what was he to do? suddenly, the problems in his life seemed enormous and insurmountable, like an unclimbable crag that was threatening at any moment to come tumbling down atop him. had it always been this hard to breathe?

arcturus didn't even smile as he would have normally at wraen's last little joke - it took all of his willpower to keep his boiling emotions tightly lidded in this moment; he feared if he spoke, it would all come loose in a torrent of pandora's-box style plagues and maladies. and what would wraen think of her friend, simpering and crying like a little boy?

steel up, came a firm and unkind voice somewhere in the back of his mind. no one likes a crybaby. not wraen, not nobody. the mountaineer lifted his chin ever so imperceptibly, his doleful gaze resting on wraen as he waited for orders on where to go like a lost little soldier.
March 31, 2020, 11:34 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Arcturus did not say anything, but did not decline her offer either. Wraen brushed gently against his shoulder, as if to say "Cheer up, soldier!" and then led him to the Eastern edge of the Sun Mote Copse, where she knew that no one had taken a perminent residence at the time and, where the river formed a natural border and therefore patrols were also less frequent. 

"Forgive Towhee's misgivings - she recently gave birth to a child she had not expected and she is very, very protective of her. Don't expect her to be friendly with you, but don't take it personally either," Wraen filled the silence with useful information Arcturus might want to know, if he was to stay here fore a while. "Niamh is about to be due too - so, if you meet with distrustful glances from her, don't take it personally either."

"As for the rest - we have a lot of good-natured yearlings, you met Pippin already, Phox, who is Towhee's brother, and there is Eljay too - our resident medic, midwife and expert child-carer - and my sister Maia," 
Wraen continued to tell. "She will kill me for not telling her about you, but she will be over the moon to get to know you. Besides - she is awesome. That's about sums up of, who we have here," she finished and looked at Arcturus fondly.

"And - remember - even if others don't treat you just as friendly or make you feel welcome, I am very glad to have you here and I will make sure that under my wing no harm will come to you," she added confidently.
April 02, 2020, 12:13 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
arcturus' stride faltered as wraen bumped his shoulder -- he did not look up as the silence pooled about them. shortly after wraen shared news of towhee's child (his?). arcturus' throat hiked at the news, and he buried such thoughts deep.

even niamh wasn't spared much thought -- arcturus found he had no energy to do anything besides force one foot in front of the other.

wraen continued, detailing the names of wolves with no faces to arcturus' mind. a sudden rush of gratitude tormented the ostrega, who realized for all of her hospitality, he did not deserve a friend like wraen. "wraen -" arcturus murmured finally, after she had told him of most of the wolves in her care. his tone was exhausted, but emphatic. "thank you."
April 04, 2020, 02:11 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen would have countered the very idea that Arthur did not deserve a friend like her. She would not be able to fathom why, when it was so obvious that without friendly guidance and encouragement the young man's first steps in life without Moonspear were going to be very difficult and disorienting. 

"Don't mention it," she told him and thinking that maybe Arcturus was too tired to talk with her more, she led the way in silence. Near the place, where an earthquake had caused a rockslide that had changed the course of the river, she came upon an abandoned badger den. Wraen peered down to make sure that no one else had taken residence there, then she measured her friend with a glance, as if to calculate, if the guy fit in there.

"You should be fine here," she finally said. "Sleep as much as you want. I can't offer you any food though - kids and moms are a priority, but there are plenty of nice mousing grounds here, you can even try your luck in fishing," Wraen explained. "A-a-a-and that's about it for now," she waited to hear, if Arthur wished to know anything else and then would take off to share the news with Maia. 

Last one from me - you could add a tasteful conclusion in your next post.
April 07, 2020, 05:48 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
as was customary for the pair, they began to walk in silence. eventually wraen lead him to a den freshly upheaved -- he smelled no recent visitor to its quarters, and looked upon the dark hole abstractly.

now was the time she would leave -- how he would hate the feeling of sudden total isolation that would anchor to him. he pushed such thoughts deep down and turned to his friend. "thank you for everything. i'll contribute to the cache in the morning." he thought hunting might put his mind at ease, and give him some sort of purpose -- even if he was not able to do too much in light of his injuries.

seeing wraen go, arcturus waited for that flood of desolation to enclose around him. when it came and he felt truly alone, the mountaineer curled tight into an ebony ball, nose to tail, and begged for blissful sleep to take him to some reality far away, and free of such mortal troubles.