Ocean's Breath Plateau taimma ➻
Private  April 27, 2020, 03:26 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
it was not the dark water of her home, floating with ice even beneath the sun. but from her place upon the round plateau, kukutux saw finally the sea again. it rippled in hues of blue and teal; her mouth watered for the surf that dragged slowly upon the sand.

she was far from moonspear, driven by a wanderlust that had replaced the early sickness. now kukutux wandered through the quiet lands at the foot of the mountain, straying ever farther. she was more than aware of her changing body, however, and how like a sitting chick she was, ready for skua-birds to carry her off. 

but the girl was not afraid as she looked at the sea, shoulders wrapped in a swathe of soft grey hareskin. she was not afraid. and she sang to the waves now, a low ululating melody that came from some mother's place within her soul.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 27, 2020, 08:21 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
Revui wanted to get a good look at wherever that Clay boy resided at the very least; however, as soon as the mountains were gone from his sight he found himself roaming more freely, and further afield than what was required of him. The trip was intended to be swift: a day or two at most. Instead it took Revui that long to reach the northern beaches, and another full day to eschew the imperious mountain range that cleaved between regions.

He had never been interested in navigation before, nor the study of the world around him despite all of his travels, and yet when he saw the sea for the first time he was awe-struck. Never before had a view been so overpowering to him. The rolling black water frothing at the rocks, ceaseless and roaring. He could not get enough of it once the taste of the air settled in his throat; the boom of the waves against the granite coastline reverberated through him in the same manner that the quakes had — and he could not help the flight of fancy that demanded he hunt for the creature responsible. There was no such creature, but sometimes while watching the shimmer in the water, he could have sworn he'd seen something staring back at him.

By the end of the week he knew he was overstaying his welcome; he should turn back, make good on his fealty to the Bruin-witch. He would stay one more night by the sea, Revui reasoned — cresting a rise that spat him out atop a barnacled plateau — just one more night.

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 27, 2020, 08:32 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
the last notes of her chant ended, kukutux stood for a long moment, buffeted by the lash of the unforgiving sea wind. she blinked back tears, telling herself they were only due to the playfulness of the air spirits. but her heart knew, the little whisper between exhale and inhale.

she would go back now, to moonspear, and there she would stay until the children arrived. and then kukutux would devote herself to being aaka and wife. perhaps then she would let go of these terrible thoughts that she could ever be a hunter, ever be stronger than what she had believed.

the girl turned, and on an intake her pale ears swept forward, and a breath from the mouth of the sea washed over her, pulling pale fur tightly against her body and clawing at the edges of her shoulder-wrap. and still she remained, silent, shoulder wearing the new scar of a hunter and springjade eyes gone haunted and flush with pain.

the trader, revui.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 27, 2020, 09:01 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
The stab of her breath was swallowed by the thud of his own steps, his claws tapping upon the stone, his weight displacing loose deposits. He did not need to get too close to recognize her. Wrapped as she was in her skin, she looked like a statue carved of marble stone, strong despite her size. Although the brine-scent was overwhelming he could still find her among the chaos of it, as if she belonged here with the sea rather than hidden among the crevasses of the great mountain. The pine that lingered upon her was a sharp reminder of home to Revui, but even if he had wished to resist the urge to stride to meet her, he would never be able to stop himself.

The closer he got the less sure he felt of himself. What arrogance he held as a prince of the mountain had been stripped away from him in his flight from it; but he only became aware of his nothingness now that he was near her. Halting with a measure of space between them, Revui looked across the plateau to where the ocean riled - further on, where the sea met the sky and twisted in blackness. There was a storm coming.

He could not fathom what to say, and remained still.

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 27, 2020, 09:17 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
as he approached, kukutux felt as though she must hide behind something, veil herself against the sharp edge of his seafoam eyes. but she watched him openly instead, dizzied by the naked expanse of the plateau and the figure of greystone nearing her. 

revui had never belonged among the dark figures of moonspear. he was rock beneath the changing skies, the cries of wheeling seabirds a backdrop for the remembered sound of his breathing. the roar of the sea filled her ears and in it the sound of his growl, the last ripple of sound that had beat in his throat as kukutux turned her back upon him.

"ilitnayuutigaa aglalchita," the duck ground out now as the shifting of the skies brought her flesh alive, her gaze sharpening as the memory of anger gripped her now. relentless; relenting; her slim jawline tensed in frustration.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 27, 2020, 09:25 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
He felt her eyes upon him - or maybe he wished for them in part - but he did not turn to look at her immediately. They had shared an intense moment and some sharp words; before that, though, they had not needed any. He found himself wondering if the rain would come and melt away the tension between them, as it had before.

She spoke. Her tone was sharp, although the words were meaningless to him. Maybe she was cursing him. He would have deserved it.

This is what draws his attention, and for a flicker his gaze rests with her own, seeing the anger there, the tight spooling of muscle as she tenses, and diverts his eyes - slackening his shoulders too, for the added meaning behind his posture. Sombre, perhaps a touch soft, too — as much as he could manage. Repentant, even.

His voice is like a rolling tide. A rumble of thunder plays off in the distance but it might as well have come from within himself. Are you afraid of me? Revui does not know if she is merely angry (which is something he can work with) or afraid (which he has limited use for) and hopes she is neither - but before she can answer he drawls: You never have to be.

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 27, 2020, 09:32 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
her body answered his own before she could form an answer; the duck's shoulders unknotted, the muscles along the back of her neck slackening gratefully. a breath; a second; she did not expect his question, nor the turmoil that followed. "i am afraid of you as man, revui," for within her body new lives grew, and if he was not moonspear, why should he care for them? "but i do not fear you."

kukutux did not mean to be confusing, but desperately hoped her statement would be understood. she was unfurling at the edges with tension and tiredness, torn between the feral teeth of the windswept plain and the forbidding promise of the mountain beyond revui, away from the sea, where her mate hunted and prowled the slopes of his birthright.

the duck shook her head, small paws finding hesitant surety in the cold dirt, the lick of new grass against her ankles. "you were cruel to me." her voice shook, but found a resolution behind the nervous bobbing of her throat. "i wish that you will tell me why."

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 27, 2020, 09:43 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
The answer flows from her like a riddle and he detests the way it twists and turns in his head, and presumes by the way she speaks that she has no answer worth giving to him. He watches the horizon again, staring after it like a petulant child while a flare of his own frustration simmers. Revui's age-old hatred of the spoken word rears its head.

You were cruel to me, Kukutux trembles.
                                I wish that you would tell me why.

Is this another riddle? His eyes are like polar ice, frigid and distant, and he is slow to react - which for Revui was not uncommon. The darkness on the horizon appears to deepen and a salt-riddled wind pulses across the plateau; but still he does not speak. Petrichor mists around them; he looks down finally when he notices the stone has taken on a pattern not unlike a robin's egg - irregular and spotted.

I was angry, is all he offers, finally.

Although he's watching the stone his brow furrows. I don't know why. I know that... I was wrong to say what I did. His words had hurt her, which was a power he never thought he'd have, and one he had misused. There was a deep tension in his chest as he spoke this, which he ignored, unfamiliar with such a thing as heart ache.

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 27, 2020, 09:57 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
so much she wished to say in the flowing clipped syllables of her tongue. but revui did not understand. her own husband did not. kukutux kept it all within the shell of her heart, molding it into a desperate pearlescent thing she hoped one day would dissolve into her own children and become part of their heart.

lonely; and now she was trembling, from the vivid bite of the moment as much as from the cold snort of ice from the nostrils of some winter spirit, howling from beyond the warmer sea with a voice of dark ice. his apology was welcome, but it was not an explanation; it did nothing to quell the yearning search beneath her breast.

revuii had been angry. there was no more to what had transpired, and kukutux sensed she must be content. this was the lot of women. an accepting nod of her slim muzzle; her verdant gaze trembled away from his own. despite the fact that he was not moonspear, despite the ache of his words inside her soul, despite his word of apology, he was man. but kukutux winced at the wither of hope that revui had meant something beneath the shadowed words cut her way.

she felt suddenly very small as kanik rimed the darkening world around her, chilling her shivering flesh until it seemed cold as her soul in this moment.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 27, 2020, 10:04 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
The silence sweeps between them once more, and she quails, the slight shift of her body catching in his periphery and drawing his attention from the lightly spattered stone beneath their feet. He sees that she clutches the skin across her shoulders tightly, and that she is shaking, and without considering how she might feel - moves abruptly closer so that he may share the plush of his coat. Revui swept to her side as if imbued with the force of the storm, himself a gathered cloud, eager to stave off the worst of the bitter wind.

It struck him suddenly that she was here, in the nowhere-space where he belonged, rather than upon the mountain with -- he could not finish that thought. The pang in his chest came again, a pounding, like a war drum.

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 27, 2020, 10:22 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
it was not the growl now that kukutux remembered as revui swept her close: it was the remembered echo of his heartbeat, now reverberating in her spirit. for the smallest of moments she allowed herself the respite of his hardened warmth. laced into the flintgrey furs were the fragrances of many things, many wolves, but through it the ostrega himself bled.

and here she filled herself with the scent of him, faltering palms pressed against the jagged rock of a scarred temple wall. her heart flailed as if it were a bird within a bone cage, and kukutux tasted seawater glinting in a thin rill along her pallid cheek. closely, eternally; her inhale was on the knife-edge of a sob and finally she pulled away, clutched the end of her hareskin, failed to cloak the anguish of her gaze.

"i am your ukuaqtaaraapik," the duck whispered in a mingling of confusion and misery. but he must know. he must not allow himself — "i am with child," kukutux stated, waiting for the contortion of anger upon revui's face. "you will be their family." 

a twist of her mouth, the inability to keep the deep sense of ruin from her soul, and the duck was turning, thin shoulders hunched against the storm gathering over the sea. if he spoke, she would hear, but kukutux did not expect revui to stop her this time.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 27, 2020, 10:38 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
They were together briefly, though their spirits would remain tied inexplicably, which Revui felt as he stood so close to her; this fawn-thing of a woman, so utterly unlike the sisters he grew up with or the mother he had adored and idolized. And soon, she would be a mother too; she said as much, with an admittance that should have made his blood run hot.

She pulled away from him - she ran from him with fleeting steps, but even as she did so, he pushed from the stone and swept to block her escape; a flash illuminated her from on high, and after the faraway boom came thick drops of rain.

Yes, he knows - he may be slower than his elder brother, not fully aware of all that children entailed, but he knew of wives and husbands and what came next, and he found it did not matter. In one way or another, yes.

Was it his turn to speak in riddles now? He looked at her wholly, then — watching as the rain streaked down and melded with her pale coat, softening the pelt upon her shoulders but otherwise leaving her unblemished. He felt it touch upon him too, and it would likened him to the plateau upon which they stood. He felt the chill of the rain dully.

Come with me. He could have demanded it - he was arrogant enough to make that choice, and strong enough to make her bend to his will if he wanted, but there was no threat inherent to those words. There was something much more volatile: weakness. Revui was not one to beg for anything, except in this moment he would, he did, and to him it made all the sense in the world.

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 27, 2020, 11:04 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
this time she did not think him petulant; revui curved around her in a sinuous movement that engendered danger in kukutux, and for the first time she looked at him as a stranger. the consternation was replaced with a flash of fear, followed by the ire from an earlier moment. "you cursed my children when i told you no the first time that you asked me, revui ostrega," kukutux snapped in a flurry of shock and terror for her butterfly lives.

what did he mean, the spirit whispered belatedly. in one way or another? she had not heard the arrangement of words before; she did not see the maze beneath the grit of his voice and the way he stared down at her, as if she were a skin and he a hunter with a skinning knife. 

but his voice did not hold the feral rasp of his stance. it lacked the barbaric spearpoint of his eyes. kukutux looked at him wonderingly a long moment, slowly straightening as her plume arced up with the confidence moonspear had bestowed these past months. pelt smoothed to hackles; she was mother now. "i will go home now," and her voice smoothed into a courteous plead, for she was so very tired and suffused again suddenly with the tangled sensations of the moment, how he always galloped over trails she would rather not take.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 27, 2020, 11:25 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
He would have done anything to sweep her away in the gale of his greed, for that was what held him in place as such a great obstacle. This sense that she could be possessed, that if his damnable brother could so swiftly take her from him, he should be able to do the same; he was strong, he was as entitled to the mountain as any other Ostrega, entitled to a future upon his home mountain with the woman of his choosing — even Hydra had agreed! It was her decision to send him out after Ying; what did it matter if he had eyes for another? Was might and will and ferocity discounted when it came from a prince rather than a queen?

Revui was angry. He could not hide that as the feeling rolled through him, cajoled further by each denial Kukutux uttered. Her refusals, her demands — and who was she, to demand anything of him? A womb, a vessel only, to replace the servants that Hydra had driven away. All these things flashed through his mind so rapidly he could not make sense of them, and certainly could not voice them, but his jaw set firm and he looked about ready to snap, the icicle edge returning to his every inch.

It hurt to hear her betray him, again.

It hurt that she would not even consider — —

In the end, he stepped aside. The storm rippled the air while the rain sluiced, but he was silent, he was like stone. If she wanted to return home so badly then he would let her do so unharmed; but he felt something inside himself splintering to pieces, and in order to save her from his wrath he focused every ounce of it upon his silent brother, Jarilo.

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 28, 2020, 01:36 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
there was one way, but kukutux had only ever heard of it. a trader could claim the rights to the wife of the ulaq in which he sheltered for the night. only certain men were given this privilege, and if she forced herself into the honest grain of the rain-soaked moment, she would not have minded revui being given a trader's welcome in her home. 

such practices kept dissent from flowering among the men, and much honor to the women who were chosen for such roles. her body carried children, and kukutux was newly married; she would not have been a choice. but the anger that poured from the stone-cut ostrega brother scorched the duck's wings, and not for the first time in a handful of moments did she wish for him to give a true reason.

she would not submita and she could not abandon moonspear, nor jarilo. revui was selfish to ask; he cared not for the babes in her belly or for the spire where she had made her home. tears stung her now, released by the tension of the moment, burned by the cold fire of his turning-aside. but despite all this, kukutux did not wish to leave, and for a long moment stood rooted in her silent weeping.

"come back to the mountain, revui," her wisped voice lilted in a beg. "take a wife. raise your children with mine." she could not be what he wished, but in her heart there was a seed of affection that might take a plainer form. the little bird belonged to the mountain and to its wolves; let him belong also, and tame his anger with the gentle ministrations of a mate.

a lingering glance into his eyes, daring, and then she fell away and turned, ears laid back against the rain and steps unsteady as tears blurred the pathway home.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
April 28, 2020, 04:47 PM
Revui
Ursus
Ironfang
He said nothing, only stood aside so that she could depart as she wished, and found that not even the growing torrent of rain could cool the magma of his anger; he would hold this close in the coming days, feeding it, fashioning something out of it. He could not take her away with him now - and had vowed to never hurt her - but the rest of them, those that claimed his mountain and lorded where he felt entitled to lord, they would feel his rage instead.

Kukutux' words therefore fell on deaf ears. As she slipped away, Revui began the long journey home to the rabble of Bearclaw - much on his mind.

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 29, 2020, 01:55 PM
Kukutux
Moonspear
Gamma
wonderful as always :D

revui said nothing as he stood sentinel in the rain, turned utterly cold and stonewalled to the duck. she would have reached out to touch him, a woman brushing the flat of her hand over a statue. but the rain filled her gaze and when kukutux looked back, the man was gone.

[Image: kukufoot.png]