Moonspear Show me your peace sign.
Duskfire Glacier

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#1
Joining 
Meerkat could still feel her mother's tears drying on her fur when she and @Bronco arrived at the foot of Moonspear. There was also a lingering twinge in her heart over those who didn't understand why they were doing this. In spite of all this, her lips were curved into a breathlessly excited smile as her dark brown eyes roved over the nearby mountainside.

She sucked in a lungful of air and faced her companion, letting it out in a rush as she beamed at him. They were here! They were really doing this! Well, it all depended on what her Aunt @Hydra would make of the situation, of course. (At the last minute, Towhee had quite nobly offered to come with them to vouch for the pair but Meerkat had insisted they needed to do this on their own.)

-"You ready?"- she asked, heart pounding against her rib cage. The early morning sun haloed Bronco, making him look a little like he was on fire. Meerkat chortled when she took notice, squinting against the glare. She was so glad he'd offered to come along, otherwise she wouldn't be here. With that thought in mind, she stretched out to nip fondly at his cheek.
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Mountains. 

As they reached the foothills, he tilted his head back to gaze upward toward the rising, tumbling, craggy slope of Moonspear which...To say the least, was intimidating. Wolves actually lived on those slopes? It looked like they were pretty much all sheer drops, with some green spaces that proved at least some plants could cling and grow on the mountainside. He swallowed hard, thinking of all the climbing he'd have to do, just to go from the borders back up the slope of the mountain where he could rest...For sure, leg day had just begun, and it didn't look like it was going to end any time soon. 

Still, he summoned whatever bravado he had when Meerkat spoke up, and he nodded. He nuzzled her cheek in return, and gestured with a tip of his nose. "They know you better; you do the honours," He insisted quietly.
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He was right, of course. The entire reason they were here and not anywhere else was because Meerkat had established quite the rapport with the legendary queen of Moonspear. She smiled against the golden fur of her brother's cheek, then drew back with a nod.

Drawing in another breath, Meerkat tipped her tawny snout skyward and requested an audience with her aunt. She kept the message simple and to the point, per Towhee's instructions. Her mother had told her to fully expect a patrolling guardian, so she was prepared for that possibility. In fact, she welcomed it, eager to meet her potential pack mates.

She was much too excited to take a seat, so while they waited, Meerkat remained on all fours, eyes expectantly combing the crags as her tail slowly waved.
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Desdemona was one of those guards, as often she would always linger around the border then stay within territory. One of the first to answer calls, regardless if it was for her or not. She preferred to guard in peace and ensure the safety of who was called, so when she heard for the Alpha, the spider diligantly followed forward.

Though she came before the Queen, and looked onto the two with a calm and solemn gaze, "I am Desdemona of Moonspear," she politely greeted, a slight look to the sandy one. She faintly recognized her from a previous time, "what is your business?"
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Edited!

Osiris was patrolling nearby when Meerkat, and quickly he re-directed his path to meet her. Once he arrived, Osiris was surprised to see that she was not alone. A strong-looking yearling kept her company, and for a brief moment, he admired Bronco's scars; he carried the mark of a warrior. Although he had been quick, he was not the first one to greet the strangers—Desdemona had already greeted them. 

"Meerkat, right?" he assumed, once he had stilled at his packmate's side. Osiris stood taller than the rest of the crowd despite his vague familiarity with the stranger. "I've heard your howl before," he added for context; @Hydra had told him about Meerkat and Towhee's visit, and how it was time to him to meet them as well. With a glance in Bronco's direction, Osiris added, "Though, I'm not sure who you are." There was no malice in his voice, as he knew that Moonspear and the Firebirds bunch were on good terms. Though, there was one exception of the allyship in his mind—Arcturus. Despite his conversation with Dirge, he still harbored a grudge towards his uncle.
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He was prepared to wait for a little while, before one of their hosts showed up. He felt a bit antsy, knowing that for the first time, he'd be the one asking to join a pack...And all he could do, really, was be his best self, and hope that the bonds between Hydra and Towhee (and therefore Meerkat as well) would also be extended toward him. He knew very little of this pack's customs, and had been raised in a bit of a bubble environment...Wolves were free to come and go, and trespassers were chased out- but not killed. Part of him wondered if he might find himself in over his head, if he'd ended up choosing to go to a pack that might be too tough for him. His mother hadn't opposed the notion of him going to Moonspear, so he realized, a moment later, that this was likely because she actually approved of the place. He wasn't so sure he wanted to live somewhere that his mother actually approved of. 

He was bordering on getting cold feet and thinking of what he might say to try and talk Meerkat out of their adventure when he spotted movement. She was hard to see at first, her charcoal pelt dusky and dusty in hue, and such a wisp-like thing...She had the same long legs as his mother, but had a body that was- if it was even possible- more trim and slender. Her ears were tall, and close together, makingher face seem sharp, and her gaze all the more bright for having been settled like two gems amid a puff of smoke. As Meerkat's guardian- though one suddenly somewhat faint of heart- he was about to speak and introduce his sister when another arrived. 

He still felt somewhat sheepish when placed under the faint pressure of knowing that first impressions were everything. He remained close by Meerkat's side, though his gaze lifted when the male spoke. His ears perked; and he found his own curiosity cause his gaze to lift and take note of the male's facial features- which were charming and friendly, perhaps a bit more easy to read than the whiplike female who had preceded him. When he was addressed, and questioned, he bobbed his head and smiled faintly. 

"Nice to meet you, uh, Desdemona," He said, having been waiting to reply and greet the spidery female first, with a courteous bob of his head. Of course, the first creature he had to meet here would be a female that would make him feel nervous. He could practically feel her even gaze settling upon him, as though she could summon an icy breeze with those sparkling eyes of hers. The male, though, spoke with a sort of kindness that put him at ease. "My name is Bronco, I'm Meerkat's brother and guardian; we come as friends, from the Firebirds," He said, before turning his muzzle slightly to Meerkat. As she was the one seeking to earn the ambassador trade, he simply hoped that she'd fill in the rest of the details.
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It was her nieces voice again; Hydra was surprised, although it wasn't the unpleasant sort. Still, she did worry some. The last unexpected visit came with bad news (that had turned out to be good, in the end), and she fret that this might truly be that this time. What if Towhee had been hurt? Who would she need to kill? She would find out soon enough if that was the case.

By the time Hydra had arrived, she was pleased to see both Desdemona and her son there before her. Meerkat stood with another this time, which did little to aid her worry. Hydra felt sure, though, that Towhee had approved of this visit... unless, of course, Towhee was dead. 

The thought caused her heart to sink, but she refused to believe it. Her gaze shifted to Bronco, her expression impassive and yet not at all cold for it. Hydra would have had her own children travel with an escort after all, and this one, for all of his soft edges, looked strong—that thought granted to him due to his own scars. Since the questions had been asked, Hydra was content simply to let them be answered for now, ears pricking forward.

When Bronco introduced himself as Meerkats brother, her expression seemed to warm some. Something of a nephew, then, though she could not then and there place him from Towhee's own discussions. She had a keen memory, keener than most, but the truth of it was that the day was hot and Hydra was content to show favor to those her own family favored. He was with Meerkat, and so long as she did not deny it then there was nothing amiss. Before introducing her own self, however, she did not want to overshadow those already here who were sussing out the information Meerkat had brought. Hydra's cool blue eyes, warm despite their glacial hue, turned to Meerkat.
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Duskfire Glacier

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It wasn't quite the welcome wagon from before, yet three wolves appeared in quick succession. First came a vaguely familiar she-wolf who could've passed for Hydra's shadow in many ways. Meerkat bowed her head and opened her mouth to reply to Desdemona's greeting when another wolf came along, a stranger this time. His manner was cordial and between this and his resemblance to her own escort, it endeared her to him immediately. He didn't give a name, though he said her own with a bit of familiarity. And then Hydra herself came, setting the pup's eyes to sparkling.

As the elder, Bronco spoke first, formally introducing both of them. When he finished, she quickly added, -"We're here to join as ambassadors, to help keep the alliance strong! We both want to work on our trades while we're here. He wants to become a better hunter and guardian, I wanna learn more about counseling and scouting. Mom told me you'd be really good at 'whipping me into fighting shape,'"- Meerkat finished, quite obviously quoting Towhee verbatim as she caught Hydra's eye before respectfully dropping her gaze.

She told herself to stop there. There was more to say, of course, but she should let the residents steer the conversation as they saw fit. Meerkat bit her lip, trying to keep her smile under control, and shot Bronco a silently exhilarated look. So far, so good, she thought.
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#9
can skip unless directly spoke to!
she just
guard LOL


Desdemona gave a polite nod to the introduction, and one to Osiris as well. She was relatively silent once the more socialable wolves came, believing her place was now dutifully as a guard in the back. She moved a few steps behind to take place exactly as she was, a 'shadow,' more-so once their Alpha came down to greet the two.
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"Bronco," Osiris repeated. "It's nice to meet you both," he said, regarding them both. "I'm Osiris—one of Dirge's and Hydra's—" She unexpectedly arrived as he spoke, taking place at his side. With the Alpha among them, Osiris re-positioned himself accordingly; his posture and gaze lowered after he reached over to greet her with a nip to her chin. Realizing that he hadn't completed his thought, Osiris grinned sheepishly at their guests. "son. I'm their son."

"But, Mom, Meerkat brought Bronco along with her on her visit. They wanted to join the pack as ambassadors," he relayed. Osiris knew that it was ultimately up to Hydra what would happen, but he saw no reason to reject them.
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After a brief re-assembling of posture and pose, the two subordinates showed their deference for their leader, making her seem all the more formidable and impressive. Bronco swallowed hard as there was something that he saw in that moment, in Hydra and in the way her packmates flanked her, that reminded him of something. He couldn't quite place what it was, but it made him feel a small tendril of fear tweak at his heartstrings. He passed it off, however, as simply being intimidated by the fact that he was meeting another pack leader for the first time. Wraen, in comparison, was a teddy bear- and he found himself missing her dearly already. 

Osiris had introduced himself, and Bronco flicked his ears forward when the male introduced himself meekly as Hydra's son. There was a tinge of pride there- but it was impossible not to notice the way he respected his mother, and the way he deferred to her...But he didn't sense fear. He could see that Osiris held affection for his mother, but that he was following border patrol protocol by not being too familiar with her, and maintaining a friendly, but protective guard. He found himself admiring the other yearling already. He wasn't intimidating, nor did Bronco feel like Osiris was boastful, pride, or arrogant. Somehow, he doubted Hydra would've tolerated having those characteristics emerge from her children in front of strangers. 

He gave the male a soft, sheepish smile, and felt pride blossom in his chest for his sister, who was already doing a wonderful job representing their pack. He nodded, and caught her smile, which brought a sparkle to his eyes. They could do this; Meerkat was a natural. "I'm...Niamh's son" He added, quietly. His ears flicked forward and back, signalling that he felt a bit unsure about adding on that fact. But as far as he knew, his mother was also on good terms with Hydra. "I've already been awarded the hunter trade, and a guardian specialty...I'd like to get my mastery, and...Would be honoured if I could do that here." He said.
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That there were no deaths (of anyone she cared for) was a relief. The reason Meerkat and Bronco came, though, surprised her entirely. Osiris was met with an affectionate nip in turn, and she regarded Desdemona with a thankful look as she listened. They wished to join Moonspear? As ambassadors, though Hydra was uncertain what that meant in full. Hydra had never had ambassadors within her ranks before, after all, though she imagined it might be to better solidify the alliance she and Towhee had agreed to. As Meerkat mentioned her mother, an amused twinkle came to her eye... and recognition that Towhee had accepted this. Meerkat was young, quite so—Hydra felt in her heart the trust Towhee must have in her, to permit this. 

Her gaze shifted to Bronco as he introduced himself more formally, and she brightened further. Niamh. She is a great wolf, your mother, she drawled, remembering her and her tenacity. Willing to fight for what was right, even though it was a painful fight to be had. Even though it hurt. Hydra remembered the pain she had heard, the heartache, in her laughter, back when there had been another wolf that needed killing. 

Hydra looked to Meerkat, then Bronco once more, with a swaying plume. We would be happy to have you, she started, her gaze holding the boy for a moment, and I would be pleased to instruct you so that you can achieve your goal, she hummed aloud, wanting to see it so. Her gaze shifted to Meerkat, licking her chops. Fighting shape, hmm? So, do you have ambitions of becoming a guardian yourself? She wondered aloud, curious as to whether or not the girl took after her mother. In any event, Hydra took a step backward. You both are welcome here. Meerkat, I expect you might wish to visit your mother from time to time. That is alright with me so long as you let me know, and do not go alone. There are unkind wolves in the Wilds... they take advantage of those they believe to be vulnerable, she forewarned, looking to her son. Hydra had been sure to instruct him more on self-defense since then... and she was aware, now, that she had two more pupils to the six brought up upon the mountain this year. 

Come, let us get you integrated, she drawled, circling to exchange scents with the duo before howling to make Moonspear aware of their latest additions. She sang loudly, only wishing Towhee could hear to know her daughter had made it, and to know that she was welcomed and loved... perhaps Niamh might, and know that Bronco had, in moments, become another wolf she would surely kill for should any bring him to harm.
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Her features brightened impossibly when Osiris introduced himself as Hydra's son. That made him one of her cousins. Meerkat laughed lightly when Bronco saw fit to mention his own mother by name. She hadn't even thought about whether her aunt and her Neema knew one another, though she was happy to hear the Alpha's words of praise. She beamed at Bronco, then momentarily fixed her attention on Osiris.

-"I'm Towhee's and Phox's and Niamh's son,"- she quipped cheekily, not because she was particularly aware of the unconventionality of their family dynamic but because she was a girl, of course. -"Good to meet you too!"- she remembered to add.

Now Hydra addressed her directly, saying seven words that would change Meerkat's life: "We would be happy to have you." Her tail began to wag, knocking against Bronco's haunch with every swing. She wanted to let loose a joyful bark, yet instead she ducked her head and listened to the rest of what Hydra had to say. She wanted to know if Meerkat aspired to be a guardian, then mentioned visiting Towhee. She nodded her head eagerly in silent agreement: yes, she wanted to see her mother (and the rest of her family at the copse) as frequently and possible and, of course, she accepted Hydra's terms.

-"Thank you, Aunt Hydra,"- Meerkat said, nudging Bronco so they could walk in tandem into their new home. -"We won't disappoint you,"- she said brightly, falling into step with the rest of the group even as she admitted she wasn't particularly suited to fighting or guarding. But, naturally, she would happily do whatever was asked and expected of her. She would make both Firebirds and Moonspear proud.
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Despite not knowing Niamh and Phox, Osiris was able to confirm what he had assumed. The Moonspearians were in good company, and the Firebirds were easily admitted membership; their alliance was fortified. 

"I'm training to specialize in guarding and hunting, too," Osiris said. "I would be happy to help you out however I can—," a brief expression of mirth shone in his gem-like eyes, "—but it seems like you'll be helping me out more, given your experience." He was amused by his quip, even if it wasn't particularly comical. 

When Hydra stepped towards the others to integrate their scents, Osiris followed suit by circling her opposite. Once the exchange was completed and the Alpha howled to announce Meerkat and Bronco's acceptance, Osiris tipped his head back and joined in.
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Last post for meeee <3

He did his best not to show the fact that Hydra's comment soured the contents of his stomach. Great- another wolf who thought the sun shone out of his mother's ass just because she was so valiant. But he tried not to hold it against her, after all, this was a wolf who came so highly recommended by Towhee...And that had to mean a lot. So when she accepted the both of them, he gave a grin to Meerkat, more or less simply ignoring the constant thwap thwap thwap of her excited tail against his flank, and perked his ears whilst he listened to Hydra's howl.

Somewhere, off in the distance, there rang a reply- a short, but positive one from Niamh- acknowledgement of receipt and that she would pass the word on to Towhee. 

His eyes gleamed when he realized that both he and Osiris would be facing the same challenges and tasks, and he gave the guy a brazen grin, baring his teeth in play. "Maybe we'll have to spar sometime," He said, voice gurgling with mirth, before he softened back into his usual self, with a shrug, sheathing his fangs behind a kindly smile. "If you want." He sent a glance to the tall, sooty warrior who had first met them at the borders, assuming she might come with them- or continue on their patrol, but Meerkat was his priority, so he fell in line just behind her, a silent shadow protecting her flank as they made their way up the slope and into the interior lands of the pack's claim.