Sun Mote Copse Relationships and politics should not mix
Private  August 03, 2020, 02:55 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
@Towhee 

Few days had passed, since Wraen had spoken with Towhee last and under excuse that she was still under the weather, the former Sovereign had avoided everyone. Save for Maia in the evenings and occasional "hello"s, when her path happened to cross with someone else's, but she did not stop to talk. She was quiet, reserved and deep in thought. Today she had stopped at her favourite look-out spot on the borders - a hillock, from which she could the vast expanse of the bog. Here she loved to come, when she needed to think.

And think she did need a lot. First, Wraen revisited that cold winter day, when she had come here first and met Wildfire, who had offered her a home. She relived the first spring here - so happy, so full of hope and joy - followed by sorrows of summer and the very difficult autumn and winter months. Only to see the spring bloom again and bring life back again.

This had been a very beautiful one and a half year. It had felt like a lifetime, she had learned a lot, done more growing up, more maturing (she hoped) and discovered that at the very core she would always be the same person. Having never been in a committed relationship with anyone, Wraen formed attachments with places and packs she lived in. She had loved this place dearly and had given everything to it, she had truly believed that this would be her final place to settle. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. 'till death do us apart. She fell in love with them slowly, gradually, sincerely believing that if she was good enough for it, worked hard enough, that would be it.

Yet still that beloved face had manage to become cold and foreign to her and with this happening for the fifth time she had finally learned that happiness did not reside in either places or other people, it came from within her. That warm flame inside her heart that had been love for Firebirds and everything they had represented had begun to wane months ago, until last week it had died completely. Wraen had hoped that she would be able to rekindle it somehow, that she only needed time and calm, but by now it was clear that just the same way as her prior relationships this too had run it's course and turned into dust. 

She felt a little cheated - how could it be that she had given up a quarter of her life for this place and ended up at an abandoned feast table, where only crumbs and dirty dishes were left? Where was the fulfillment? Where was the pat on the head and praise for job well done? So much time in order to end up exactly, where she had begun. Unhappy and homeless. Wraen wanted to blame it all on the new alliance with Moonspear, but it was only the last drop in a cup that had almost been full before. Change had happened much earlier and she could trace it back all the way to that November day, when Towhee had arrived here to stay. She had realized then already that her power here was only formal, because if ever disagreements arised, the Redhawk girl would have had most of the pack on her side.

It had simply been a matter of time. Add her own inability to have children and make her claim valid and she could easily see, why she had never succeeded in staying at one place for long. Never would. The ties that she formed were not strong enough - they were fragile - and the older she became, the more difficult it was to form new and meaningful friendships. Once family life got in the way, you lost even the most valued friends. Wraen tried to list all of the people that had come in her life and left afterwards and it hurt to think that nothing was constant in the world. Change came and surprised her, when you expected it the least. 

So, perhaps, the wisest thing for her was to conclude things, while she could still do it with the remnants of love that still remained, and move on. Either to the next thing or something entirely different. With this thought in mind she got to her feet and walked through the copse to find Towhee.
August 03, 2020, 03:07 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
[ominous music plays]

You get my 2400th!

For reasons Towhee could not explain to herself, much less anyone else, she did not fall into wallowing in the days after Meerkat's departure, like she thought she might. Instead, she grew angry. Rather than resent her own child (impossible!) or even Phox and Niamh, she directed it at the likes of Wraen and Arcturus. Why would Wraen insist she didn't question Towhee, only to demonstrate she didn't trust her judgment at all? And who was Arcturus to think he could tell her how to rear her child and conduct pack business?

By the time Wraen came looking for her, she was practically seething with it. But the actual sight of her comrade herself had Towhee sucking in a loud breath and trapping it in her chest. It was so temping to lash out at her, a delayed reaction from their last encounter, but she knew that wasn't exactly reasonable. Besides, Wraen was still recovering. Towhee herself was rather wretched these days, though she hadn't yet hit the point where she would abruptly pounce an ailing friend, verbally or otherwise.

With that said, she couldn't bring herself to greet the former Sovereign with anything more than a long exhale and a questioning look.

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

August 04, 2020, 12:44 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
When Wraen finally found Towhee, she could see from afar that the latter was not happy. The echoes of their last conversation were still loud and the former Sovereign had not yet been forgiven. But rather than feeling sorry for voicing her concern and being very honest with the fellow leader, she felt and odd sense of certainty about her words and actions. They were of equal weight and value as were Towhee's and Niamh's decisions to let their children join Moonspear. And there and then she knew, how pointless it would be to begin their conversation right, where they had left it the last time, because neither of them would be able to convince the other about the truth they believed in. 

Therefore Wraen didn't. "I am not here to argue with you," she told Towhee. "But, if you want to say anything to me now, I will listen patiently. And in return I would be grateful, if you would spare just a bit of your time to hear me out too."
August 04, 2020, 12:58 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
When Wraen spoke, Towhee realized her heart was pounding in her chest. Her brow furrowed at that but she did her best to ignore it, focusing her attention on the Honoree's lips. Wraen invited her to say her piece and, just moments before, she'd had quite a lot to say to her, at least in her head. She also mentioned wanting Towhee to hear her out too. All of this was met with a blink as heat simmered beneath her skin and Towhee wrestled with herself.

She tried at a joke. -"I can't hear anything out."- But it came out more than a little grumpy and her eyes suddenly squinted as she added, -"Did I not 'hear you out' the last time, when you came at me?"- Towhee knew she probably should've omitted those last five words but she couldn't just ignore the anger in her veins. As a matter of fact, once she got started, she apparently couldn't stop. -"When you accused me of trading my child? When you said you didn't question my judgment while questioning my judgment? When I offered to discuss, like you wanted, and instead you walked away?"-

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

August 04, 2020, 01:11 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen met Towhee's anger with calmness that even surprised her. Few days ago she too would have flared up in anger and answered something just as heated, now, however, she understood that the decision she had already made, was the right one. Things get easier, when you see the finish line. The Sovereign's justified anger did not bother her anymore, she only felt sorry for choosing the wrong time and place to bring up her past with Hydra. 

"I am not going to stand between you and Hydra. I am not going to try to convince you of my truth. I said all I had to say on the matter the last time - if it hurt you, I am very sorry, but I still stand by my words," she replied, paused and in her mind picked out the next thing she wanted to say. "I had time to think about all of this and... you once said that relationships should not mix with politics," Wraen went on. "And politically Firebirds have got a powerful ally and in the bigger scheme of things... past qualms of some poeple should not affect the future of the pack" she paused again. 

"With your daughter and Bronco being at Moonspear a new chapter for Firebirds has begun. Probably a better one too," it hurt to say this now. "But I have decided to take no part in it. We had a good run, Towhee..." and I am sad that this has come to an end.
August 04, 2020, 01:16 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Rather than counter Towhee, Wraen largely ignored the accusations, taking the role of diplomat where the new Sovereign couldn't. As soon as she apologized, the fire burning inside Towhee died. There was still a lot of smoke in the proverbial air, yet she cooled considerably as the gray she-wolf continued... only to get worked up in an entirely different way by the time she finished.

-"What,"- Towhee spluttered idiotically, -"what the fuck? What do you mean? What are you saying to me right now?"-

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

August 04, 2020, 01:34 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
I realized that you got my 400th thread! Yay for round numbers. :D

"I am leaving," Wraen clarified. "I thought that I had got over my dislike for Hydra, but I haven't been able to leave past, where it belongs. It still burns strong," she explained. "And I know that this inability to let go is - perhaps - childish and immature, but Hydra has done morally questionable things that I can neither understand, nor accept," she said. 

"At the same time she is your best friend and you know her far longer than I ever had the pleasure to be acquainted with her. You probably know her demons just as well as her good sides. And I don't want to pit you against her, I do not want to stand between you and her. Worse even - make you choose," she smiled here, as if she could make Towhee do anything. 

"If you can make a better future for Firebirds with Moonspear, I do not want to be in the way. Meerkat and Bronco will learn much there," and I sincerely hope that there would never come a day, when they regret it. "Yet I do not want to live here, knowing that I am allied, I owe or am indebted to a person, who I cannot respect. It does not sit with me well and I have been through that once already. It was enough," she added. 

"I figured that it is better for me to leave now, while we can still talk as friends about this, and not let it escalate to a point, where we can't stand each other. Because this ghost will always be here," she finished.
August 04, 2020, 01:46 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
*CLAPS*

But Wraen was the true Sovereign. Towhee was only keeping the spot warm for her. And as she reasoned at length, it was clear to Towhee that she was better suited to the role of a queen. Towhee had always been better in a supporting role, using her power to uphold those worthier of the crown, from Raven to Phox to Wraen. She had always intended to pass the throne back to Wraen when she felt up to it and, instead, she was going to abandon it.

Of course, it was much more complex than that. And as Wraen made an airtight case for herself, Towhee found herself at an utter lack of words. What could she say in the face of such eloquence? She really had thought this through carefully. It had all the elegance of a prepared speech while remaining calm and somehow heartfelt. There was so much Towhee wanted to say in response, yet for all of Wraen's words, she couldn't find a single one.

Honestly, she'd gone rigid at the first three: "I am leaving." And long after the former Sovereign finished, Towhee remained not only silent but very still. It took literal minutes for her to unlock limbs and find her voice, except her throat had closed and gotten stuck somewhere along the way. So Towhee was left with only her ptero, her forelegs moving clumsily.

-I didn't want for any of this to happen,- was all she managed. And that was true: she'd certainly never meant for any of this to happen, nor anticipated it in any way, from the hornets to the impromptu alliance. -I don't want you to leave...- And, perhaps more importantly—in fact, significant enough that she finally croaked this last bit aloud—"But you aren't well."

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

August 04, 2020, 02:07 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Towhee, none of this is your fault. Nor anyone else's," Wraen said this with sincere fondness in her voice. Her friend may not be able to hear it, but she could read it in her expression. There was warmth in her gaze, when she regarded the other wolf, and a tint of sadness too. Though she had let Towhee in her life with some initial reservations, she knew now that once she left the Sun Mote copse, she would miss this tough-as-nails and bluntly honest girl very much. Time and distance would not change, what they had gone through together. 

"Life happens. Try to see it as this - there is time and place for each Sovereign at the Firebirds," she told. Wildfire had been there to put the foundation stone and Colt to keep the pack together, when it had lost direction, to pass the crown to Wraen to guide it through the famine months. And now metaphorical spring had come again with different challenges that required a new leader. "I raised to the occasion, when it was needed, and served my time here and I would have loved it to keep it the way it was forever, but recent events have shown me that Firebirds need to move on.

You cannot continue to live in a dream, oblivious to the demands of the real life outside," 
she said. "And Firebirds need to grow and develop, they need to make a name of themselves, I can't take you there, but you can," Wraen looked Towhee briefly in the eyes and smiled encouragingly.
August 04, 2020, 02:19 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Wraen did not reply about her well-being, instead reassuring Towhee about the circumstances. Once more, Towhee was stuck dumb and motionless. She wanted to argue, just like the last time they'd had a conversation like this, yet instead her lips remained glued together, her forelimbs limp. Wraen painted such an uplifting picture about how this was all just a matter of course, yet Towhee felt her insides burning, scorched by the proverbial smoke.

-"But you're not well,"- she repeated. -"Where is it you plan to go? Will you be by yourself or..."- It hit her like a slap to the face. -"You're taking Maia. Arcturus too?"- That came out a lot more plaintive than she ever intended, though fortunately she didn't realize that. She tried to suck in a breath, bring some fresh air into her system to get rid of this fuggy sensation.

She was so caught up in the conversation, she hadn't even noticed the sky darkening overhead, as if to provide the appropriate atmospheric backdrop. Towhee flinched when the clouds opened up with a sudden deluge that immediately soaked through to her skin, the cold rush of it doing nothing to cool what now felt more like acid choking up her insides.

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

August 04, 2020, 02:29 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"This is not my first time out on the field and I am well enough to fend for myself," Wraen tried to reassure Towhee, but she did not believe she would be able to convince her. It may be so that she would be better off by staying a while longer to make a full recovery, but she was not a person, who liked to drag out things that could be done quickly and as painlessly as possible. Staying here any day longer now that she knew she had to go would be beyond difficult. It was hard enough to have this conversation here with Towhee. It would be far more uncomfortable to have it repeat it to every member of the pack. 

"I am not taking anyone with me. If they choose to stay, I won't try to convince them otherwise. If they choose to go, that is their decision, not mine," despite this she did feel a little guilty. For if the two were to leave, the numbers of Firebirds would be very low. It felt all to much like stealing people away, when in reality she had no ill intent to do so. Soul-searching journey was hers and only hers. "But, if you have your concerns, I can ask them not to follow me. I understand that the loss of one member is not as difficult of a blow as it would be, when losing two or three."
August 04, 2020, 02:48 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
The rain made everything blurry, so it was a little difficult to follow what Wraen said next. Towhee did her damnedest, blinking her eyes and shaking her head to keep her vision clear. She missed a few words, though still managed to get the gist of it. Wraen was saying all the right things and the anger was gone, though there was still something corrosive inside Towhee, eating its way up and out of her.

-"If you're well enough to leave, you're well enough to take back leadership and annul the alliance with Moonspear,"- she said, remembering to raise her voice to be heard above the rainfall, gesturing more emphatically too. -"My offer to talk to Hydra still stands. It would be awkward as hell but fuck, Wraen! Fuck it! I'll go right now."-

And she turned, spitting rain from her mouth, fully prepared to head to Moonspear if that's what it took. She had no idea what she'd say to Hydra but she didn't doubt that her lifelong friend would understand. Maybe they could drag Meerkat into the middle of it. It had been her idea in the first place and she wanted to be an ambassador, didn't she? Towhee barked a sharp (and possibly slightly hysterical) laugh.

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

August 04, 2020, 03:23 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen had not expected this turn of events, but just as sure Towhee was of her going to Hydra, so was the former Sovereign in her resolve not to let it happen. She got quickly to her feet and blocked the path so that she would not do anything of the kind. 

"Don't be stupid, Towhee," she said, her voice stern. "A true friend does not make their closest to choose. I would be no friend of yours, if I told you to quit on Hydra, forget all the years of sisterhood you have shared. True friendship is difficult to find, so don't spoil it, hold on it tightly," Wraen argued. 

"Don't spoil things between you and Meerkat. She is your blessing, your miracle - give her that freedom. Don't value happiness of me over that of your daughter's. What I want or wish, does not matter - after all I won't have to live with the consequences. But I would feel awful, if I was the reason Meerkat grew to hate you. There is only one Meerkat for you in this world. Don't you dare losing her over me," she told, now tears running down her cheeks. "Don't you bloody dare."

She realized then that she had been standing too close to Towhee and retreated somewhat: "My decision is final."
August 04, 2020, 03:34 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
I'm losing it, Towhee thought and stopped, right before Wraen moved to block her path. "Don't be stupid, Towhee..." Now tears blurred her vision even further and much of what her friend said was lost. They were much hotter than the rain, burning her cheeks. It felt like blood was pouring from her eyes. It was cathartic, as if shedding these tears was drawing the corrosive from within her.

She caught a few words in there and the final four, despite her crying and the rain. -"You're wrong,"- she hisspered through clenched teeth, -"you matter. Your wants and wishes, your dumb jokes and stupid stories, it all matters! To me!!!"- But if that was true, Towhee knew she would have to accept and respect Wraen's decision.

So, she was leaving. And there was nothing Towhee could do. What else was new? She slumped in defeat. One might think it'd get easier when it happened so frequently, yet every single time one of her loved ones chose to leave her, whatever their reasons, a little part of Towhee died. Today was no different. At least Wraen was saying goodbye, that was more than many could say. But there was also no "see you later" in there. There were no guarantees in life and, after today, she might never see Wraen again.

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

August 05, 2020, 12:48 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Relationships and politics should not mix," Wraen replied, feeling moved by Towhee's sincerety, even if the words were said in anger and disappointment. "Though the two can't live without one another either," she added softly after a while. "Towhee, it might not seem like this now, but in long-term Firebirds cannot live in a bubble without any allies. I am not bold enough to look past my reservations to that one pack, which lies closest to us, but me and Arcturus aside no one else has a bad past with Moonspear. You can all gain from the alliance. You can create a future, where I see nothing but dead end."

"I am not saying that I will no longer be a friend of yours, nor that I will be gone forever," she said, though probably both knew that the latter part of the speech was chosen to comfort both of them. Not that it was necessarily true. Teekon wilds were a large place and, even if they happened to live within the range of the same map, the odds of them meeting each other were not high. After all it was two years since she had spoken with Terance last, though she argued that they had become distant before already. 

"I gave this place all I had, ever since I joined and there is nothing left now that I can do to improve it. You need to move forward and my path lies elsewhere," she sighed. Goodbyes were the most difficult part. Always had been.
August 05, 2020, 01:07 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Just as quickly as it had begun, the downpour abruptly tapered. Towhee swiped a foreleg over her face to rid herself of the rainwater and tears alike. When she blinked back to a focus, she stared fixedly at Wraen's rapidly moving lips. Where her insides had been burning earlier, now they ached hollowly as she began the painstaking process of coming to terms with her friend's decision.

-"Just..."- she began haltingly, drawing in a breath of damp air, -"just take care of yourself, all right?"- And there was only one other thing left to say (aside from the final farewell itself): -"When will you be leaving?"- Towhee fully anticipated it would happen right away, based purely on recent experiences, though she quietly and selfishly hoped for longer notice this time.

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

August 14, 2020, 02:32 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"I will be fine, don't worry about me, Towhee," Wraen reassured her friend and felt glad that the worst was over. Now the only route left was forward. She would be lying if she said it did not scare her, it had been a long time since she had felt the road under her paws and faced an unknown future. But at the same time there was excitement for adventure. She was not Maia's sister and best friend for nothing after all. 

"In few days time. I need to talk with Maia and Arcturus to find out, what they wish to do, but after that I will be on my way," she said. "In fact, I think I will find them now. Thank you for hearing me out and..." Wraen paused and with a whimsical smile did a little bow, "... long live the new Sovereign!" After waiting a bit to hear anything else her friend might have had to say, she left to find the two people in this pack, who mattered to her the most.