Sun Mote Copse I heard the news today oh boy
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Ooc — Jess
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And so it rang. 

A chorus of voices lifting up into the air, rising beyond the lone peak to the Southwest, and Niamh, having been patrolling along the borders near the bog, stopped and frowned. They'd decided not to follow her advice to go to the East, but she couldn't fault herself for at least trying to lead them astray. They might've been inbred, religious fanatics in her books but at least one of them had decided not to trust her wor,d and follow that damn bull elk across the ridge beyond Nimbus Summit. At least they were further away- but between them lay hunting grounds that Niamh did not want to share. 

So she uttered a low call to summon her mate and her Person so they might discuss any future actions they might need to take, and met with them at the Rendez-vous site so they might discuss the matter.

-"We have neighbours"- She said, her expression and gestures conveying her disdain as easily as her snarky voice did. -"I met them just the other day, in the Glade. They're elk-worshippers, as in they follow them, call them Gods, an' get this- don't eat them."- She uttered an incredulous laugh. -"They asked me who the elk cater to and I was like uhhhhh- ME,"- She cackled. She'd thought it had been a good joke, but apparently none of the Kingslend wolves had a sense of humour. -"Anywho. Yeah. There were four of 'em; a fanatical crone, a deluded leader who calls HERself a "King," and two cronies- a pretty one and a mean one, both of 'em dumber'n bricks. Pretty sure they're imbred. One of them- the mean one- said somethin'...Talking down to me, like he was better, an' said something about my kind of wolf-"- She said, and hesitated as a thought occurred to her. -"Oh. So maybe they're not imbred. Maybe they're racist."- She shuddered hard at the thought. 

"-Prolly both. Anyway, my point isn't that. It's that we have neighbours, an' if they're not hunting the elk, then they'll be hunting something else. I informed them of our hunting grounds but I'm pretty sure that whistled through their ears."- She said. -"I vote we find as many dead elk antlers an' skulls as we can an' leave 'em along the borders of our hunting territory as a sign to keep 'em out."- She said, lacking sincerity and couth as per usual.
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Ooc — Kat
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She didn't hear the summons, naturally, though she happened to be resting at the rendezvous site when Niamh appeared. Phox soon joined them and the Sovereign pushed into a seated position, shaking the chill from her coat as she settled and fixed her eyes on her Regent's face. She listened carefully as Niamh spoke, resisting the urge to shoot her brother a sideways glance a few times during the soliloquy.

Towhee really couldn't care less about neighbors, so long as they weren't right next door or otherwise bothering them, though something in Niamh's speech made her squint in confusion. -"They were in the glade? I thought they were setting up camp in the strath..."- She thought on her brief foray past there the other day, the scents which had flooded her nose, letting her know several wolves were inhabiting their former territory. This time, she did look over at Phox, oblivious to the fact that everyone but her had heard the founding call come from another direction entirely.
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Phox listened as Niamh gave him and Towhee a recap of her encounter with these elk-worshipping racist weirdos. His hair pricked along his spine, and Phox was glad he hadn't been there. Anybody saying anything nasty about him was fine, but saying nasty things about Niamh? Well, that was reserved for a very few amount of close friends, none of which were outside the Firebirds (except perhaps Wraen, who could take care of herself if Niamh ever caught wind of any mean words the former sovereign might say).

Not only that, but it appeared these weirdos (now their canonical name in Phox's head) were setting up shop too close for comfort and disregarding any sense of ownership that the Firebirds had over the glad. -I guess I've been busy reworking all the caches; I've missed all of this somehow. Are they trying to claim the glade, or just hunt there? Hunting... eh, not the greatest, but if they move there, I'm not okay with that at all.-

His ear twitched when Towhee mentioned the strath, even though Phox had always referred to it as the grove. If they set up there, they wouldn't be around for long. Phox was convinced that place was forever cursed, and he wouldn't go anywhere near it.
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Niamh's ears pricked when Towhee implied that she had met them too. It must have been recent, given the fact she felt that Towhee might've had something to say about those particular, peculiar wolves as well. Overall, Towhee seemed pretty relaxed, and didn't take to Niamh's rallying attitude, instead simply commenting about where she'd seen the Kingslend wolves. She didn't chuckle at her comment about the elk antlers, and she didn't even make a comment about the wolves being inbred. Her focus, it seemed, remained with the wolves moving through the Strath- a place which had nearly killed the wolves of Asterism Grove. 

-"They may have been passing through. Kind of on their way West. I tried to send 'em East, past the mountain so they wouldn't be anywhere near here, or the Strath,"- She said. That might get her a bit of Towhee's favour, if she admitted that she'd at least tried to roust them from her former packlands. 

Phox seemed to get where she was coming from, and she smiled fondly at his apology. She could forgive him, of course, for being busy- their caches had been decimated during the floods, so she reached out to nudge his cheek reassuringly, so that he knew that his job was important and that he ought not feel bad that he'd missed out on checking out these clowns as they passed by on their way to the King Elk Forest. She felt the dangerous serpent in her chest, which wound its way around her heart, swell and coil happily when her mate empathized about the potential for their hunting grounds to be compromised. 

"-I informed them  where our hunting grounds were, an' their King's response was just 'well we can't smell you here' like duh, no you can't, there was just a huge flood, helloooo,"- She shook her head. -"So if they're willing to ignore the fact that our scents were cleeearly there- especially in the glade- they may choose to hunt in our hunting grounds. An' considering how bad this summer was, I dunno, I got a feeling the winter's gonna be a rough one too. Since they don't eat elk, they'll be looking for deer."- She said. 

She breathed in a breath and sat back on her haunches a bit. -"There's no tellin' how they'll handle it when we go elk hunting, either. If they catch wind of us hunting elk, or find remnants of a kill we've made along with our scents, they might go bonkers on us. They may choose to interrupt our hunt, or they might harass us for having killed one of them. They think elk are some kind of deity, and I don't think they'll take it nicely if we go about eating them."- She said. There was potential for conflict, to be sure, on a few fronts.
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Ooc — Kat
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Both of her Regents seemed pretty combative about these potential neighbors, which made Towhee wonder: why didn't she feel so riled? She wasn't quite sure, though she squinted when Niamh mentioned they might've just been passing through Hideaway Strath. How exactly did a pack of wolves pass through a fucking stonewalled prison, exactly?

She didn't voice that thought out loud, letting Niamh air her very low opinion of these wolves. Towhee certainly agreed with Phox's sentiments about the glade, though what really mattered here was where they ended up settling. If they were just passing through, what did any of this matter? Niamh seemed very up in arms about all these hypothetical conflicts, though the Sovereign just hoped it was all moot.

-"Well, fuck 'em,"- came Towhee's eventual, sardonic reply. -"Hopefully they keep moving and we don't have to worry about any of this at all. If they hang around and cause problems, we can definitely take them."- For whatever reason, she simply didn't feel threatened by any of this. It helped that, -"Moonspear always has our back too."- Although they were having troubles of their own, according to Niamh's recent report.

Her lips pursed as she wondered if maybe she should switch gears and take a more proactive approach, like Niamh seemed eager to do. Her orange eyes flicked sideways, catching her brother's gaze, brows raising a little to prompt him to share his latest thoughts on the matter.
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In classic Phox fashion, he let the other two make the calls, and he didn't interject except a word here or there. It sounded as though Niamh had puffed her chest out at them (good on her), and Towhee didn't seem particularly worried. As for Phox, he didn't see any reason to upset them, although he was perfectly happy to chase them off if they got too close for his liking. Towhee mentioned Moonspear as well, and Phox idly wondered how Bronco and Meerkat were doing there. Probably just fine, he silently assured himself.

-I vote we leave 'em be unless they settle close. We can keep our elk hunting elsewhere... maybe the lands opposite of wherever they end up.- That would require some sort of cooperation from the elk themselves, but Phox wasn't opposed to herding them where he wanted them to go. They were easy to wrangle if he really wanted them to go elsewhere. If all else failed, they could drive them into Firebirds territory where this other pack-to-be would have no ground to stand on.
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Ooc — Jess
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Neither Phox nor Towhee seemed inclined to get riled up by news that might have otherwise alarmed Niamh had she been the one informed about their new neighbours- but it wasn't the first time that her mate and her Person had served as a grounding force, keeping her from blowing things out of proportion...Which was her natural inclination. She didn't huff, nor did she feel as though they were intentionally being tepid about the matter, as Towhee made a very good point in saying that even if the Déorwine wolves did choose to settle too close, or cause problems in their hunting grounds, the Firebirds could potentially fight them off. 

Niamh, however, wasn't so sure. They'd managed to creep up on her and surround her almost effortlessly- they were canny beasts, and while they seemed to have some differences in diplomatic tactics amongst them, they seemed to Niamh to be a strong bunch of wolves- and definitely closely knit. Of course- this was keeping in mind that Niamh still harboured a foolish and outlandish notion that the Kingslend wolves were potentially inbred. 

She leaned against Phox with a sort of familiar, careless faith that he would support her. "I suppose you're both right. Still; best to keep an eye out for them."- She said, with a toss of her head.
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Ooc — Kat
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Phox seemed to share Towhee's sentiments, removing her doubts. Niamh's demeanor calmed in the wake of the siblings' reasoning. The Sovereign favored the fiery blonde with a small and a dip of her head. -"Of course. Thanks for being on top of it."-

But with the matter settled, there were a billion other things to do. They were still recovering from the floods and the borders still needed to be marked several times a day. -"If there's nothing else, I'm going to head out for a patrol. I'd be happy for some company,"- Towhee added before turning to stroll toward the territory's outskirts.

Last from me!
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It seemed the matter was a wrap, and Phox was glad no immediate action needed to be taken. He was still reeling from the trip to and from the higher ground (not to mention Alyx's absence), and the last thing he wanted right now was to start a skirmish with some distant neighbors, weirdos or otherwise. -I'm gonna get back to hunting. The weather is going to start cooling down soon, and we all know snow won't be too long after that.- Winter wasn't the worst for hunting, but it came with its own challenges.

He gave Niamh a gentle kiss on her head, waving his tail gently as he watched Towhee attend to the borders before he made his own departure.
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Ooc — Jess
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-"FOOD."- While Niamh did enjoy patrolling, Phox had mentioned hunting, which meant that there was a pontential for her to get a meal, and thus, she made her choice. It never failed to improve her mood, and even though she'd been practically blowing steam out her ears a few minutes ago, she felt fairly calm now, and would take care of whatever residual hanger she had left by sneaking a bite or two of whatever she and Phox managed to catch before it was stashed away in a cache.