Moonspear blood makes atonement for one's life
All Welcome  March 20, 2020, 01:20 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
Maybe @Kukutux but open!

Hydra left him to fend for himself, allowing him a temporary window to visit the mountain and recover; she loved him despite his stupidity and he was greatful, but deep down there were wounds that could not be easily mended. He could walk with some struggle. Arcturus had torn his hindquarters effectively and the strain of balancing, walking, shifting his weight, caused spasms of pain to shoot up his lower back. He was cold despite this, appearing unaffected as best he could manage. It felt like being in the pit all over again - a comparison that unnerved him more than his wounds.

He sought out some birch trees, eager to strip their bark and begin chewing it to alleviate his pain. He managed to peel some lower, thin sections away - but they fell from his teeth and drifted to the dirt on the breeze, and were lost among the forest's detritus. Huffing in frustration, Revui rose up like a hungry bear and lunged against the trunk, feeling his lower back spasm and then faltering to earth, unsuccessful. Exacerbating his wounds led to some reopening, spawning blood scent and dizzying him immediately.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

March 20, 2020, 03:17 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
vaguepost

arcturus had gone. kukutux had not seen the raindark man since he and revui had vied with one another again. despite how like ice he had been to her before, the duck found she worried for him all the same.

to veil herself, kuktutux had taken to rolling anxiously in fallen pine-branches. she shook the needles from her pelt, crept through the shadows, choking to a stop at the faltering figure of revui. he bled; despite her reticence toward males despite the urging of her body, the waterbird dashed forward with worry straining her features.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
March 27, 2020, 06:59 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
He swayed in place, fell, braced himself abruptly against the trunk with his chest and then - as that momentum carried him towards the dirt - landed awkwardly on his paws again. He staggered off-kilter and felt his skin drag against the bark of the tree and grimaced. His eyes were shut. The world spun; he did not see Kukutux arrive in that moment, and when the whirlwind calmed around him he was startled to see her. More-so for the look of concern that plagued her face, perhaps.

I'm fine, he slurred, answering the unspoken question of her eyes with a lie. His breathing was ragged for a few moments but he gathered his bearings and sank to his haunches, head bowed.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

March 27, 2020, 11:58 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
what had come between he and arcturus? twice they had fought. a bad spirit must have entered one's soul. there were reasons for each to carry it.

where had the woman ying gone, kukutux wondered? should she not be revui's wife? perhaps she would seek her own husband, as had the duck. perhaps she would take no husband. it mattered little beyond her own curiosity.

"you are not fine, revui," kukutux hissed, emboldened by her new scent and her exasperation with it. she stamped a small paw. "and you should not be up. shall i call for lyra?" she threatened lightly, frowning though her concern shone with vague warmth.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 02:13 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
Her voice scythed, and he did not have the force of will to contend with her fire in that moment. He buckled. The childish stomp of her paw made his attention drift towards the dirt, but when she mentioned one of his sisters Revui's eyes lit upon the woman's features in brief contention. The threat of calling for one of his more brutal sisters was enough to make him huff to himself and otherwise do as commanded.

He drew away from the trees and settled on an exposed patch of eager little flower buds, crushing them beneath his broad chest as he sprawled in the dirt. A sense of relief flooded through his body thereafter. Revui remained somewhat guarded; nursing the emotional wounds that his loss had left behind more poignantly than the physical aspects he could not tend to easily.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 02:29 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
bearish as any of his siblings, revui slumped his muscular bulk against the earth. kukutux flitted after him, wary but determined to keep his wounds clean. 

if allowed, the duck would carefully explore his wounds with a grim eye, pressing along his side as she searched for infection. it was upon the tip of her tongue to ask if he wished for death, but she would not stir him further.

springjade gaze inspected the loam for more of the small flowers, wondering idly if they might be medicinal.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 02:43 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
She was small but swift, more akin to a dust mote than any bird; he barely registered her touch as she probed at his pelt, only wincing when Kukutux pressed too tenderly upon the exposed tear in his lower back where Arcturus had grappled. A hind leg kicked out, claws gouging the dirt, and though he tensed all over and bore his teeth like a grimace, he forced his head down against the dirt chin-first, fighting the urge to spiral and defend himself against that touch. It was not her fault. The gargoyle ached physically but it was his internal anguish that plagued him now; images of Arcturus' teeth plaguing his mind's eye, memories of Hydra's fangs against him.

The tiny flowers had been crushed beneath his leonine shape, and when the pain subsided in a wave, he lifted his chin again and took note of how bright those tiny buds remained - but then his eyes dulled, and a ragged breath pulsed from within. He takes note of a subtle change to Kukutux' scent in that moment and his brow creases — he cannot determine if it is the similarity to Ying's scent that surprises him, or the fact he can recognize the scent of his brother Jarilo hanging lightly upon her coat. In the end he cannot look at her, and remains at her mercy.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 02:52 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
there was a great heaviness to revui. it began to speak in her spirit as she gently cleaned the caked blood from the edges of the jagged slashes in his flesh. arcturus was not one to forgive. nor was hydra. nor was revui, she suspected, in the end.

finished, the little waterfowl stepped back, lowering her own body only a foot or so away from the downed warrior. kuktutux somberly took in the sight of him, words gathering in a tangle upon her tongue.

"what is it you want? in your heart, revui," she pressed with a soft voice, wanting to understand. arcturus had not shared with her. she doubted the wildest brother would either, but she must ask all the same.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 03:27 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
When she withdrew the world grew still. His throbbing flesh, having flared with a burning pain while he had been standing, began to abate. That or Revui was growing accustomed to the liminal waves of sensation. Either way, he did not hurt as badly as before, and he could focus easily upon her soft voice as Kukutux probed him with questions. It is not a question he has an answer to - or, rather, if he does have an answer it is buried too deep for him to know it. Nobody has ever asked him that before. He is the instrument of Hydra's will, and nothing more. Except in this moment Kukutux is giving him a space to consider his options.

To come home, he states. The man draws a breath and softly shakes his head, not knowing if that's the truth or something he's conditioned himself to say time and time again. He knew - just as well as Hydra knew - that if he wanted to be upon the mountain he would have never left. He would have returned before the world shook, or after being released from his sentence among the Nightwalkers; instead he continued to defy those words and do everything except return home. So, his head shakes. To be strong, like.. Like mother and father, when they were alive.

This comes to him with striking clarity, startling him. The words flow softly. I want my family to be.. Safe, and united, and strong. But again and again I am the weak one, making the wrong choices. I wanted to be strong like father - I should have sought to be smart, like mother, instead. Maybe -- again, he shakes his head. The words falter and he cannot continue.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 03:58 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
slowly she was beginning to comprehend the weighted chain that hung invisibly upon the ostrega name. jarilo was so very careful. arcturus was brash, cold. revui was —

she thought of her time upon the mouth of the totoka, in her small round house and with all the solitude that was necessary for long times of thinking. a freedom that had ultimately been too much for kuktutux.

she lay her chin upon forepaws. "you must tell the spirits of your mother and your father that you will find your own way." a small smile. "do not live for them. do what is good for yourself."

do not be like me.

the hypocrisy was bitter upon her tongue.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 04:16 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
He did not want to admit to himself that she was right. As she spoke and the words seeped in to him, as he absorbed and ruminated, he knew she was imparting some great knowledge to him. It was not so simple for him to live for himself — it felt as though he had been doing just that for a long time; surviving among the Nightwalkers, then to become a lone wolf at the foot of this great mountain, going where he wished yet always called back to serve his family. Kukutux was telling him to forgo the familial connections and make his own way, and yet that was precisely what (he thought) landed him in his current position; trying to become his own man with the shadow of Moonspear hanging over him, the oppressive love of Hydra, the yoke of his parent's memories collared about his throat.

How -- he erupts, but scissors his mouth shut with a defiant click; as if to speak of this was somehow wrong. The mountain had many ears and eyes upon it, and Revui was well conditioned not to speak ill of his family where they might label it treason. Having lived for so long as a tool for his Queen-sister, the leviathan could not fathom being apart from the mountain even if it were in his best interest. He muses after a pause to gather his thoughts, If I do that, I may never return.

Ostregas do not take abandonment lightly.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 04:26 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
the slow parade of things that passed behind revui's somber face kept kukutux trained upon him. slowly he was opening, a mussel when the tide returned. so many of them tied to the roving ghosts that still haunted the mountain.

"we are given twelve moons to grieve," the girl said, voice hushed. "after that, even if our hearts hurt, we allow life to take its steps forward." pale ears twitched.

"arcturus is gone. moonspear is already changed." kukutux blinked, a small sigh shivering in her narrow chest. "home can only be where your heart is at peace."

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 04:35 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
He almost glanced her way when she mentioned moons - having temporarily forgotten that she meant months, seasons, - and diverted his attention when he remembered. She sounded as if she held all the answers for him. A place where his heart felt calm; that was certainly not Moonspear as he saw it now, not while he persisted among its slopes. As desperate as Revui was to be reunited with his family and to uphold their values, it was his own fault that he'd missed his parent's last moments; his fault that Arcturus had fled the mountain; his fault, too, that Hydra felt the need to intervene during a challenge between brothers. If she trusted him - if he was trustworthy - she would never have bothered. Anywhere Revui went, damage followed. It was in the best interest for his family if he depart once mended, and never look back.

As he came to understand this, what Kukutux had said about his heart and about peace took root in him. He finally looked to her properly, tracing the shape of her face as if perhaps he would soon forget it, or at least not have another chance to see it again - and that's when he said, I am at peace with you here. It was an innocent enough statement; Revui was no wordsmith, nor did he understand how it could be misconstrued as romantic or some other form of interest - and maybe he was letting that sentiment hang there because, somehow, he knew something had changed for Kukutux. Maybe it was the lingering scent of Jarilo that urged this confession.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 04:57 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
revui spoke little, but his words carried a finality to them all the same. kuktutux took them in stride, though there were several meanings for what he implied, and at last she was staring at him for a bright, bare moment of clarity. 

consumed by the notion that he had meant it in the way a man might, her fickle body responded. and yet she was still, watching revui, wondering why he would state such if moonspear could not be his home.

"i am at peace with you also," kukutux responded lightly. "you remind me of a seal hunter. he spends long weeks alone upon the ice; he weaves songs and stories. but he returns, even if his paw is empty, because he wishes to come back."

she meant it lightly, but her tones were wistful, for she thought of the man in the dancing lights, of jarilo, and now of revui.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 05:17 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
Her words flowed. She had a story for him, and while he did not know what a seal was or how the life of a seal hunter was anywhere near his own, he listened and appreciated the sound of her voice. In the quiet after, before either of them could take stock of the evolution of the conversation nor even take a breath, he had come to a decision.

Come with me. He drawls, as if it is an easy feat. Revui has no knowledge of Kukutux' ties to his family - the arrangement decided between herself and Jarilo - and he is not mindful enough to piece this realization together by the scents she carries. She says he would be better off finding his own way and seeking peace in his heart, but they have found that peace together - so why not remain so?

He watches her. Bold, focused entirely upon her, with much of his ire from earlier melted away. You say I need peace, but with you I have it. I need to go my own way, but I don't have to go alone.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 05:40 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
the breath whisked from kukutux at revui's response. the man was so very bold, and she felt herself recoil. not from revui, not from the feral essence of who he was, but from herself. her careworn ways. her utter weakness. 

her body spoke in its perfumed way, and she felt shame's great sweep across her frame. was that why he wished her? no. no — revui saw in the duck something she could never give.

such a wild man needed a fierce wife. kukutux was not that, and lamented that revui should hang his peace upon her. she had wandered long; moonspear had breathed a sense of home into the girl that she had not experienced in many months.

"i —" did he not know of jarilo? of course he did not; it had been so swift and silent; the gentle tread of the gentle brother, hydra's delighted appearance, and then they had been alone and —

but somehow despite all of her pride and dedication, kukutux found the words nipped her mouth like the end of quills.

"jarilo" was all kukutux could manage before she drew away, terrified that she had misled revui, a lingering look resting upon his own features. "i would only tie you here, where you are unhappy," she murmured, desperate for him to undo his want, ears wilting against her skull. "i wish a home. children." to be done with wandering.

why then did her eyes suddenly sting?

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 05:57 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
She broke the connection first. A wave of allure swept between them, shrouding around Kukutux and telling Revui to come closer; but he was prone against the dirt, and he was disciplined enough - and hurt enough - to remain there. Her body shifted and told him an answer before her words could; suddenly tongue-tied, eyes glossing, she murmurs -- jarilo, but Revui does not see the significance of his quiet brother.

A home - children - she had wants and needs he could not fathom, but in the moment they did not matter either. Whatever she wanted, she could have. Revui's devotion was one of the strongest bonds; he would not give up on his family easily, but in place of them he would serve her just as intensely. Whatever she wanted, he would provide -- except, deep down, he remained oblivious to what that would entail.

Revui adjusts so he's sitting up a bit, straining his wounds but not enough to curtail the enthusiasm he feels for this new idea. Tendrils of a new hope netting them together in his mind. A home we can find, a family we can build. Kukutux— he has not said her name aloud in a while (perhaps ever) and it catches in his throat. Unable to put his thoughts, his wants, his needs, in to any coherent framework of words, he is struck silent, but his eyes plead with her.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 06:19 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
revui straightened, and his eyes bored into kukutx. she felt her throat constrict, but felt herself too weak to rise, to do more than lift the eyes her father had once compared to ivruiyak upward. but she did not look at revui; kukutux finally pulled herself to mirror him and gazed at a flock of sparrows winging their way across the cold heavens.

"did i tell you why i am here, revui," the girl breathed out, even as her cheeks began to dampen. in the corner of her mouth, the sea. "i wanted a husband and jarilo offer ... jarilo is that to me, now." oh, she could not look at revui. she could not begin to comprehend the way the weight of his stare upon her would change.

but still, kukutux knew she must, and shifted at last the haunt of her barren gaze to the hunter, the sound of her name in his throat splintering her brittle heart. "i cannot be who it is you want." nor could she ever. words struck themselves from her jaws; lips only trembled mutely.

he would hate her now, and she would bear the shame of it in a deserved quiet.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 06:27 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
He recalled why she was here as she outlined it again for him, but that changed nothing. The intensity with which he watched her was unabated, even while she dropped her own eyes and could not lift them; his ears twisted at the sound of something moving distantly but cupped forwards to hear her stuttering over her words, and finally Revui's stare broke. He huffed and shook his head, wanting nothing more than to silence her as she spoke of his brother again.

There was a solution to all of this — Revui latched upon it in his mind and lobbed the words at her like a grenade. You tell me to seek peace and I have found it. I don't care who your husband is, he can come too if he is so tied to you. He knew even as he said this however, that Kukutux would never leave the mountain now that she was tied to it. She was wed in to his family; just another sister, now.

Still he persists: You know your children will never be anything, here. He does not mean to sound so barbed - he does not know that her refusal has burned through the last of his soul, that the ache he feels is a deeper betrayal than anything he's ever faced before. She gave you a husband. It does not mean she will give you children. This is her mountain and she will always put herself first. If you come with me --- they could start over in peace.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

April 02, 2020, 06:44 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
"i care!" kukutux cried, but her words were drowned out by the grating intensity of revui's thunderstorm words. her tears burned into nothing as he changed from roughened man to cruel brute, spearing the pale girl through and unlatching the bones that lay over her heart until it too lay open and exposed.

your children will never be anything here — revui rent a wound in kukutux far greater than anything arcturus had ever done. even the betrayal of the cold sable man could hold no moonlight to what the trader exacted from her now. there was such a cruelty within him, and she saw the silver-facet pain of it glittering like a vein of iron.

silently her mouth worked, and then all at once kukutux was upon her feet, shaking with rage and anguish. her gaze had gone to green stone, and pale ears flatted against her delicate skull as she searched for words to hurl at this man. an intake of breath, a trickle of last frustrated tears, and then kukutux swallowed, lifted her chin.

"it does not matter, revui ostrega. you will not be their father." 

and then she was turning, lunging blindly away from him, pale figure nicked by swaying branches as she bit back her sobs and clambered desperately in the direction of her den.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 02, 2020, 06:54 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
It does not matter, Revui Ostrega. you will not be their father. The fowl woman hissed in the face of his petulance, turned, and removed herself. It was foolish to turn one's back upon someone as barbaric as Revui and as he witnessed her attempted escape he could not help but feel the flood of instinct telling him to chase; as the scent of Ying had driven him to brutalize his own brother, now the presence of Kukutux - coupled with the betrayal in his heart - made him rise up and lunge after her. He only made it a step before her fleet footwork swept her out of his range. There was a searing pain his back that caused him to buckle, faltering long enough for the woman to escape from his undue wrath.

And there he sank against the dirt. All the peace had lit aflame and burned away to nothing. When he could, Revui would rise and he would stagger his way down to the fringe of his sister's claim, and upon crossing the boundary in to the lowlands, seek out some place separate from Moonspear to recover. All the while the betrayal burned deep in the pit of his chest where his heart once thrived; peace having been revoked from him — stolen, by none other than his unassuming brother, he concluded — then let there be a war upon them all.

The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.