Sun Mote Copse Caraway Tea
All Welcome  March 31, 2020, 09:25 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Where Sun Mote Copse met the Cricket Creek bog stood a little hillock that Wraen occasionally liked to perch on and spend a half hour or more, observing the surroundings and reading the scents that the wind brought either from the Heron Lake plateau, from the nearby thicket along with the melodic voices of grouse, from the mountains on the other side of the valley and occasionally even a breeze from the ocean reached her with smells of saltwater, wet sand and distant screeching voices of the gulls.

It was a good place to do your job (technically it counted as patrolling), have time on her own and travel the distances that she was unable to do now. In the past year Wraen had cris-crossed the Hinterlands, she knew most of the territories by heart and she needed only a tiny scent particle, a bit of a sound for her imagination to kick in action and conjure the whole image. And while she walked those dreamscape plains, to the rest of the world she was very still with a faraway look in her eyes.
March 31, 2020, 11:06 AM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
The days had begun to run together, fuelled by a solid routine that seldom changed but now, after Meerkat had been born, he found that the days edged toward excitement and change, knowing that very soon there would be more pups- and that he would have more responsibility than simply dropping food off at his mother's den, or digging it out to make it large enough for her, Phox, Towhee, Meerkat and whatever kids his mom gave birth to. He was a good hand, when it came to getting things done, and had become relatively complacent and optimistic about finding his place in the pack as someone who helped others, rather than simply patrolling and looking after only himself. Life had changed, and it had changed him. 

He was meandering along the borders when he spotted Wraen, seated, gazing out over the distance. He followed her gaze, but didn't see anything that really snagged his attention but he imagined, then, that she must be deep in thought. Something about her looked lonely, though, so he walked up the hillock, and gave her a docile, friendly nudge on her shoulder as a greeting and sat down, wordlessly, beside her.
March 31, 2020, 11:21 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen snapped out of her daydream world, when she felt someone nudge her shoulder. She blinked few times and shook her head quickly, then looked (up) at Bronco and smiled at him. "You have probably heard this a lot of times already, but you have grown up quite a lot," she told him in a voice that promised mischief.

"I remember that just last year you were the size of my paw," uh, underestimation, but let's give her that pleasure. "And now you are positively huge," she finished her thought. "How's life, Bronco?"
March 31, 2020, 11:42 AM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Bronco chuckled when Wraen, like many others, commented on his size. He liked the fact that he'd grown big- as it was one of the things he found that was so admirable about his father. Of course, Bronco didn't know, now, if he would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his father, and his perspective had been different when he'd been smaller, but he remembered his father as a legend, and in being a legend, one had to be mighty. He smiled fondly, and nodded. "Finally grew into these mitts," He said, lifting up one of his paws, and placing it beside one of Wraen's, which was smaller in comparison. To her question, he sighed, and shrugged, his face a mixture of confusion and doubt. 

"I'm alright," He said, though his voice was thoughtful and had a slight heaviness to it. "Kinda hard to know how to feel. I'm sad that Elwood and Finley are gone...But also kinda lookin' forward to having more little siblings...So I'm sorta in between, I guess, with some moments that're better, and some moments that aren't." He said. "If that makes any sense."
March 31, 2020, 11:52 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Welcome to the adult life, kid," Wraen chuckled, listening to Bronco, who was way more level-headed than she remembered him from the last time. Before they had hunted pika together and he had almost broken his foot. Just few months ago he had been full of himself and very annoying - the usual teenage phase - but now it was really strange that they could talk as equals despite the age gap.

"The two Blackthorns lived a long and very full life," she said, "and they had a chance to pass away peacefully without pain or suffering. That's an ending I would like to have one day, if I could choose." Not all were that lucky. "I miss Finley's stories and Elwood reminded me a lot of my father," she continued. "But life is, what it is. How are things in the yearling front? I haven't heard of any trouble that I should have interfered with, but I do not know all the details about the inside stuff." 
March 31, 2020, 12:07 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
To Bronco, old age didn't give death a reason to take away his aunt and uncle. It still wasn't fair, and he couldn't justify their loss with the fact that true, they had lived a long and full life. Of course, that was of some consolation, as compared to those (like Wildfire, like Colt) who had been taken before their time by something that was out of their control. He could not accept that death had any right to steal away those who held his heart, whether or not they had gone in peace, with their most faithful companion alongside them. Wraen seemed to believe that that was the way she wanted to go too, and Bronco could understand that. His Dad...Had been so sick, so weak, and in so much pain- he wouldn't wish death to take anyone after enslaving them to pain and sickness first. To walk hand in hand with death, peacefully, in a slumbering dreamland was probably the best way to go...But still, it didn't mean he felt it was fair that he'd lost more wolves that he loved. 

It made his eyes water and his lips tremble for a moment to dwell on his loss, but Wraen thankfully changed the subject, and asked what the other kids his age had been up to. He shrugged and laughed ruefully. "Nothin' too important. No real shit anyway, aheh," He said. "We're just not-so-secretly plotting to take over the pack some day but that ain't news, no big deal," He joked.
March 31, 2020, 12:20 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Ooooh, that's great news," Wraen replied and laughed. "I will be old and cranky next year, so I will need a replacement crew," she continued, still smiling, not revealing the fact that she really meant, what she said. Towhee was ready to take over from her any moment, but that did not change her mind that Firebirds also needed to raise and nurture a new leader to stand side by side with the old one.

"Who are the plotters? So that I can prepare?" she teased him for more information.
March 31, 2020, 02:20 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Bronco snorted, and looked at Wraen with his head tilted back, canting his whiskey gaze toward her so he could look at her skeptically out of the corner of his eyes. "Pfft. Old an' cranky? Not likely," He laughed. Wraen wasn't that old, and he hardly figured another year would make that much of a difference, would it? And she certainly wasn't the type who seemed to get cranky easily- she'd put up with him when he was moody and angsty, so he had a hard time thinking she'd get anything but softer as the years went on. 

She asked who might be involved with whatever sort of political uprising he was involved with, and he shrugged one shoulder and clicked his tongue. "You're not askin' me to be a rat, now, are you, Wraen?" He said, teasing her in return. "I wouldn' wanna jeopardize my position 'cause I'm the one what's set to be King," He said, lifting his head slightly as though to bear an imaginary crown.
April 04, 2020, 02:24 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Yeah, yeah, Bronco, keep hitting on the lady thrice your age and come next year - maybe - you will be able to become a legal second Sovereign," Wraen teased the young man, when he dismissed that she was old in any way. "Becoming a queen by marriage would be the path I would choose, if I were to plot my career in the ranks," she chuckled. "So, you might keep that in mind before you go for the whole coup thing."

"Which leads me to the second important thing,"
 she smiled cunningly. "I see that you and Maia get along... Care to elaborate on the situation in the front?" it turned out that Wraen had learned a thing or two from Niamh on how to be cheeky, direct and extract information from unsuspecting subjects.
April 04, 2020, 02:50 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
"Apffft. You're not thrice my age," Bronco muttered, interrupting Wraen as she spoke, but he clamped his mouth shut and listened to the rest of her advice, amused. She seemed fairly certain that the best way to get to the top was to marry into it, which made Bronco snort and roll his eyes. Sure- gain power by marrying it...In his eyes, just mooching off someone's power and rank by marrying them wasn't the way to get respect. He didn't want to have himself hauled along by someone else- he just wanted to make a name for himself and get what credit he was due by his own actions, not by marrying someone else. 

He tilted his head when Wraen led to another topic, and gave her a very confused look when she mentioned Maia. Dumbly, he missed the point entirely, and assumed, then, that she might be considering Maia as her successor. "You think Maia's gonna be the next Sovereign?" He asked, curiously. "I like Maia; she tells good stories," He answered honestly; still not quite catching onto the fact that Wraen was fishing for jucier information than that.
April 04, 2020, 03:12 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"The last time I asked her about this, she told me quite plainly that my job in general is neither cool, nor awesome," Wraen laughed, though Maia had said no such thing. Not that directly anyway. "But - who knows - when I was young, I also did not think that I ever wanted to be a leader. And here I am," she said.

Bronco had misunderstood her hidden notion ladden question and Wraen realized that Niamh had yet a lot to teach her son about the cunning ways of women. "I thought that there was a bit of liking between you two," she remarked.
April 04, 2020, 03:54 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
He wasn't terribly surprised to hear that Maia didn't hold being a leader in high regards- she'd mentioned that she didn't find anything too alluring about guarding and hunting, either. The tasks that he would, by nature, feel to be tough and therefore cool were the ones that she didn't think were unique at all. Maia saw the world differently than he did- but coming from someone as kind as she was, he didn't mind it. Perhaps he was biased as well because he found her pretty cute- but he wasn't about to admit it. 

So when Wraen mentioned there being something between the two of them- a "liking," she called it, he did his best to play it cool. "Oh?" He asked, though he couldn't stop his voice from rocketing up an octave and cracking slightly. He cleared his throat and shrugged, to try and look non-chalant, but he didn't realize that he was also somewhat wide-eyed, and had the look of a dog who has just been caught having destroyed its owner's pillow. "I uh, Iunno. She say something to you?" He asked.
April 04, 2020, 04:52 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"No, not really. I am just a nosey old lady, who fishes for the freshest gossip," Wraen replied and bumped her shoulder against Bronco's in a good natured gesture. "It does get a little boring in the upper ranks. Everything's straight and proper, and decent," she told him. 

"But in all earnest - is leadership something you really consider as a future career choice?" she asked him, now done to tease and confuse the boy.
April 07, 2020, 10:56 AM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Bronco snorted and rolled his eyes again, shaking his head. "You ain't old, Wraen," he insisted yet again. He looked at her with one eyebrow raised- he didn't see a grizzled, greyed muzzle, nor did he see a rack of bones poking out from under a dull pelt. To him, Wraen looked healthy. Older than his Mom, maybe, but she couldn't have been that much older. He didn't like thinking about anyone getting older, anyway; it meant there would be less time with them. "Nosey, though...Yeah," He chuckled, and leaned toward her to gently brush his shoulder against hers. 

When she asked him about being in the leadership, he nodded his head. "Oh, yeah, for sure," He said. Of course, he didn't know exactly what he was in for- or how hard the decisions could be, but he liked the idea of it. "I mean, 'course, long live the Sovereign, and Regent, an' Mom an' Eljay, but whenever y'all wanna retire, I'll be ready to step up," He said with a grin. He didn't want to step on any feet, nor did he want those ranks to become available due to death- but he did very much like the idea of leading.
April 10, 2020, 04:50 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"There are places in the council still," Wraen said, without mentioning the exact number or the reason, why they were vacant. Bronco would guess without her saying. "So, if you ever feel like seriously considering climbing the peak of hierarchy, approach me and we will start training and assessing you right away," she explained. 

"There is still time for that though - I suggest, enjoy the freedom and life as much as possible, before you decide to tie yourself down permanently," Wraen told. "Who knows, if I had in my time ran around and dated guys, I wouldn't be an aging spinster now," she laughed and gave Bronco a conspirational wink.   

"Would you like to take a walk?" she offered, raising to her feet and stretching.
April 13, 2020, 07:06 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
It was sort of surprising that Wraen might actually bring up the fact that there were opportunities available for him to potentially step up, someday, as he hadn't expected anyone to have that sort of faith in him. He was honoured and touched. He couldn't help but wonder what his mother might think...But he doubted very much she would automatically support the notion of having him ever be King. But even just to be a part of the council would've been enough to make him feel like he was really starting to find where he fit in. He nodded. "I, uhm, I do," He said, shyly. He got the feeling Wraen wasn't really expecting him to admit so soon to his ambitions- and he was a bit nervous about the idea of being assessed. 

Wraen gave him her own advice- to perhaps live a bit more wildly, for the time being, but unlike others his age, he felt he'd grown past the pranking anti-adult sentiments. Yet again she referred to herself as being old, and once more, he shook his head and chuckled. "You ain't a spinster. Dunno how many times I gotta tell you that," He said, "But you ain't," He said. She gestured for them to walk, so he nodded, and moved alongside her. 

"So...What kind of like...Assessments are you talkin' about, then?" He asked, his mind still lingering on the prospect of learning to be a leader.
April 18, 2020, 04:19 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Just to hear you say it again, darling," Wraen told him with a glint of laughter in her eyes. This had not been her purpose at all, but, when challenged like this, she had to appear more clever in the situation than she had actually intended to be. Honesty was not always interesting.

"Leadership means may things to different people, but in the very core it is about making the right friends and connections, having people trust and respect you, being diplomatic most of the time, but not hesitate to use authority and be stern, when it is necessary," she explained.

"Besides difficult times may call for a different kind of leader than the one you can afford to have, when all is going well," Wraen continued. "It also depends on the people, what kind of person they elect to be their leader. For example, I am surrounded, by very strong and independent-minded individuals - they would not tolerate anyone, who would try to curb their freedom.

Whereas you might and will find people, who put up with a tyrant, they find safety in the knowledge that someone else does the thinking for themselves and that they have to contribute very little,"
she said. "A rowdy group of bachelor wolves would choose a different leader, perhaps, based on the physical strength and cunning. And then there are those, who formally have a leader, but in reality someone else is doing the plotting."
April 23, 2020, 10:53 AM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Bronco liked talking with Wraen. He liked how easy it was to flatter her- and that she practically begged for it...But at the same time, he knew she wasn't nearly as vain as she was putting on. He found himself feeling more comfortable around her, and realizing that she wasn't nearly as 'boring' as most adults were. Despite the fact that she wasn't a warrior or mercenary- Wraen had a lot of other things to offer, and Bronco found her interesting and easy to listen to, finally. Good thing she'd been patient with him, for nearly a year now. 

He didn't realize that the method she'd used, to keep a bunch of hooligans together, was to let them have their freedom. He liked the idea of being chosen simply because of his size, and 'cunning,' whatever that was, but he wasn't led to believe that was necessarily the best option- given the pack wasn't a group of rebellious teenagers. He couldn't just fight his way to the top- that wasn't the way the Firebirds worked. "So, I guess here, then," He said, assuming she'd hoped he'd make some connection as to which dynamic they had at the Firebirds, he paused- and then grinned. "We obviously have a tyrant," He said, and chuckled, shaking his head. "I guess you did just kind of let us brats sort things out on our own, rather'n trying to punish every stupid thing we did. Mom kind of did that," He chuckled softly. His mother was a control freak, in his opinion- but at least he saw now, at this point in his life, that he'd needed someone to lay down the law- otherwise, he could have turned out much worse. "But I kinda respect her decision to be tough on me. She was only as tough on me as she had to be, for as long as she had to be." He said.
April 24, 2020, 04:11 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Well, I couldn't be tough on you, even if I wanted to," Wraen remarked. "Because you would probably not take seriously a small-sized angry she-wolf, who - in order to yell at you - has to crane her neck back to catch a glimpse of your chin," and over-exaggeration, of course, but not far from truth. Bronco was an imposing character already. 

"But your mom is an extraordinary woman - I have seen her take down opponents larger than her and stronger too with well-chosen words and feminine charm," here she thought of Arcturus and, how confused and embarrassed he had been after encountering Niamh. Well, it could be that it was him only on whom those tactics actually worked. Women kind in general was his Achille's heel. 

"And you are a charmer as well - I just can't decide, which one - your mom or your dad - you take most after. But just as well you could be a fine mixture of both," she smiled at him.  "Getting your way around people is a valuable skill for leaders too. Everyone has their weak points that you can press on - gently, of course, so that they do not notice - to get the best results."
April 26, 2020, 11:38 AM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Bronco's eyebrows lifted when Wraen mentioned that she felt he wouldn't be intimidated by her- he opened his mouth to say something in response, because like many others...He'd heard that Wraen had taken Towhee's unruly woman-time behaviors into her own control and had inflicted a certain amount of damage to Towhee's vulnerable parts. But the whole idea made him feel squirmy, so instead, he decided not to bring that up. "You wouldn't hafta be tough on me," He said, instead. "Someone like you'd only havta ask me an' I'll do what you want." There- that was more charming, then reminding Wraen that he really didn't want his man-bits ripped off if he stepped out of line. He felt that that went without having to be mentioned. 

When she highlights his mother's charm, he simply nodded, but gave her a look of disbelief. His mother wasn't exactly well-spoken or charming, in his eyes. She'd yelled at him practically non-stop as a kid, and even though he'd probably deserved it- he saw nothing charming about his mother who was quick to anger. Then again- she had somehow managed to snare Phox, who seemed like a pretty reasonable guy. He doubted very much that Phox was the type who could be charmed by yelling and screaming and manipulation- so his mom must've had some tricks up her sleeve. 

His silence extended, then, when Wraen mentioned the similarities between himself and both his parents. A sad, but warm smile crossed his features, and his eyes softened. It touched him, every time someone mentioned that he reminded them of Colt, especially now that Finley and Elwood were gone now, too. There were two less wolves on the planet who'd known his father- and it was a shame. "Thanks, Wraen," He said softly. Thoughtfully, then, he asked. "WHat do you think are my weak points?" It troubled him to think that he might have one...Or a few of them. And he wasn't sure he wanted to hear what they were- as weak points were the sort of thing that he liked to avoid...But if he was to be a better leader, he would have to reckon with them somehow.
May 02, 2020, 03:26 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Someone knows, how to flatter women," Wraen responded to Bronco's statement that she would only have to ask and he would do, whatever she wanted him to do. She would have broken out in laughter, if the fellow had told her this few months ago, but then his obnoxious self would probably not have said anything like this. Now, however, she believed him to be honest, but it was still weird to think that the boy had changed so much.

"Well... I can't tell you that, because I do not know you inside and out," she replied earnestly. "And, frankly speaking, I have learned that, what are flaws of character in one person might be virtues in the eyes of the other," she elaborated on the subject. "Of course, while we are young we think that our opinion and way of thinking is the only right one and other's are in the wrong. Then you get older and realize that... you have been wrong on many occasions too. And no longer feel proud about it."

"I have also observed that we are at our best, when we are on our own. However, when it comes to co-existing harmoniously with other people... we may either turn into jerks, because that particular personality type just rubs us in all the wrong ways possible. Or we find a person that compliments us perfectly. We are better, we shine," 
Wraen told.

"So - in a nut-shell - be patient and open-minded with people you have to work or live with. And meet as many different people as possible, because that way you will find out, which characters work with you the best and which do not at all. Feeling annoyed, frustrated, short-tempered or angry with someone is part of being you after all. Just as all the good stuff," she finished.
May 05, 2020, 11:11 AM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Time had allowed Bronco to take his focus off himself, and his change in attitude had seemingly come somewhere around when his sister had returned. He still missed Sugar Glider- but was beginning to see that not all who left, never came back. His instincts pushed him toward hunting and patrolling, and he found that with the increasing amount of responsibility he was given, the happier he felt. Growing up had its challenges of course- and Bronco was by no means perfect- but he had at least matured through his sour phase. 

He was curious to see what Wraen would have to say about his weaknesses- and in the end, he didn't feel like she'd really answered his question...Until she began to give him guidance about how to be involved with packmates. Without saying it, of course, she turned his memory to the incident with Elfie, and he realized then that he was still harbouring a good deal of resentment within him, for Elfie's selfish actions. He felt similarly about Penn, who was kind of fun to taunt, and easy to push around...And he realized that he did still have a bunch of weaknesses when it came to treating his packmates fairly. 

"I think I definitely turn into a jerk sometimes," He admitted, with a shrug, though it wasn't meant to make him look any less ashamed of his feelings and actions. "I just...Don't get along with everyone, all the time, 'specially not when they're inconsiderate." He said. "An' what're you supposed to do then, when someone does something that's stupid?" He asked. He'd only ever learned, from his mother of course, that you could shout and beat stupid down- and that it felt good to do that...But he was beginning to get the feeling that perhaps that wasn't the best way to handle an interaction that made him frustrated.
May 05, 2020, 01:53 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Oh, we all do. That's the funny thing. As I said - when we are on our own, we are at our best. It's the other people that brings out the worst of us," Wraen laughed at the thought, but there was a lot of truth behind it. Not all people were meant to click well together or at all. One person's gem was the other's garbage. And vice versa.

"Well, I have had people, who I do not like for no particular reason. I just do not and end of story. As much as you try to build a bridge between you and them - it just does not feel real. You are better off without them than trying to bond," she said and thought about Seabreeze, thought about Terance and many other people, who she had once considered her friends, tried to be with them and it had not worked out in the end. 

"Depends on the level of stupid," Wraen said. "If it affects themselves only - no problem. People learn from their own mistakes more readily than from people, who try to prevent them from doing something stupid," she mused. "If it is entirely different, if it is wrong-doing on purpose or with an aim to hurt someone."
May 09, 2020, 03:43 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
He was perplexed about the idea of some wolves having some sort of innate polarity which made them unsuitable for each other. He remembered his strongest feelings about Elfie- and he knew he felt better not having the other boy around. But then again- Elfie had been Sugar Glider's friend, and did that not complicate matters? He frowned softly, when Wraen mentioned that even she had wolves she did not get along with. He was quiet for a moment, in thought. 

"What do you do, then, if one of 'em's in your pack?" He asked. "Couldn't it like...Divide a pack if someone did something that like...Half the pack thought was stupid, but that the other half didn't mind? What're you supposed to do then?" He asked.
May 09, 2020, 04:19 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Though it is not easy, I try to see their point of view," Wraen replied after a little thought. "I try to understand reasons, why I do not like the particular person or what others enjoy about him or her. And... to be honest, it is always better to be on good terms with people, who are powerful enough to split a pack," as she said this, she thought about her initial sense of inferiority, when Towhee had joined the pack. Especially, since she had stronger ties to the majority of the pack than the resident leader. But it had all worked out in the end and, though the two were very different people, they complimented each other nicely. Or so the Sovereign hoped.

"Though... I think that it is very important that you build respectful and long-lasting relationships with your pack-mates beforehand. So that, even if there are differences in opinions, you would still and always be their first choice," Wraen summarized, though it was not exactly the answer of Bronco's question. "Were you referring to anyone in particular?"