Silvertip Mountain pikpaksriruk ∅
Private  November 02, 2020, 03:59 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
for @Wraen <3

she spun.

sugar snow and fine-boned, kukutux departed moonspear and came to the glacier where she had last seen the mountainwolf. she shut her eyes, turned aside, turned her mind to saviguk and sialuk and the promises of the coming year.

and the promise of her season, and all that would entail; a burning beneath her cheeks.

another peak, and here she stood in the night air, breathing deeply as jadestone gaze climbed for the stars.

[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
November 03, 2020, 01:29 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Thank you for starting! Tags for reference.

Maia had been absent for few days now and though Wraen usually did not worry about her sister's well-being, something did not sit well with her this time. She was torn between staying put in the plateau and waiting for her sister's return, or going out in the wilds to look for her. But then - if she chose the latter, where would she go? No tracks would be left to follow and her sister rarely had a plan, when she hit the road. Having an adventure along the way was more important than the goal itself. 

Yet eventually Wraen's anxiety reached a point, where she no longer could sit around and do nothing. She told @Arcturus about, what was troubling her mind, and after promissing to return the same evening, she set out in the flatlands. Too bad her sister had not given at least a general direction of, where she was going, therefore no wonder that rather than heading South, she chose a different direction. Without paying much attention, where the path led her, she walked towards the nearby mountain. Reached it and began to climb.

Even if, what she was doing was in no way productive (in regards of finding her sister), the exercise did well to put the nervous energy for a better use. By the time she first came out of breath, Wraen finally took a good look at her surroundings and was surprised to see that from, where she stood now, was a long way down, and that ahead of her someone else had left a fresh trail of footprints. Sharing her worry with another living being felt like a good thing to do. Therefore she followed quickly, until her eyes met a snow-white she-wolf, observing the rocky landscape with an air of a queen.

"Excuse me," Wraen asked, as she approached the other. "May you by any chance have run into a sturdy grayscale she-wolf - bubbly personality and runs by name Maia?" 
November 03, 2020, 02:24 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
<3

the trudge of another came to her ears, and kukutux turned with the question in her eyes,

i know your face

mouth open in surprise, and in the next, the duck's features swiftly closing as ice might pattern itself over the surface of a lake. this woman. this barren woman who arcturus for whom arcturus had thrown away moonspear; she who had trespassed the hour that the kisuk had come to challenge hydra.

wraen. she knew the name, dredged it from memory. first upon his lips, then upon the ordering voices of the blackbear. "why are you near to this place?" the snow-wife demanded in a soft, low tone.

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November 03, 2020, 02:36 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen did not remember ever meeting Kukutux - the stress of that particular moment, when she had feared for her very life, moreso for Arcturus surrounded by hostile faces of Moonspear wolves, had eaten away the fine details. Therefore the other's coldness met her by surprise, but, when that particular scent registered with her, her ears drew back and her expression changed to one that was defensive. 

"I am looking for my sister - as I said earlier," she replied. "And for all I know Moonspear's greedy paw has not reached this far in the flatlands. This territory is still neutral grounds and I have just as much right to be here, as you do."
November 03, 2020, 02:55 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
wraen shifted, readying herself it seemed. kukutux did not enjoy the anger beginning to stud her limbs. perhaps arcturus had loved this green-eyed half-woman all along. perhaps that was why he had not chosen her in the first snows. but she was wife of jarilo now, for whom her heart had grown devoted. and mother also, something wraen could not be. no matter whose love she held.

kukutux ignored the second mention of this sister and came a step closer, slender jaws tilted to catch the other's scent. the presence of arcturus there irritated the duck but she took the comportment of an elegant walker catching her hair back with a pinewood pin. a small, cool smile upon her lips. "moonspear grows. your young warriors left firebird village to live among us. now it is son of hydra they follow."

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November 03, 2020, 03:07 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
The Moonspear woman sought to insult Wraen, but her daggers grazed against her heart, but did not do any damage. For it was a long time since she had come to terms with Bronco's and Meerkat's leaving. And ever since she had met Niamh's son on those shores, she knew very well that she did not love him any less for, what he had chosen to do. That in a way he was hers always, no matter, where fate led them. 

"I do not seek to own people. Likewise I do not disown them, if they choose a path different than what is my own," she replied. "I put people above some great and convoluted idea about, what a pack and family should be. Can't say that Moonspear puts the same value in their former underlings," she watched the white woman carefully.
November 03, 2020, 03:18 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
the other remained unruffled, bladed. kukutux maintained her own impassivity, feeling a seethe grip her as wraen sought to barb moonspear again. "we know the sacred ways of blood. i do not think it is something you will understand in your years." the little curve deepening into something humorless.

straying too closely to the secret she had kept all these months for the sake of arcturus himself, but he was bound no longer to the mountain. "he was not underling. he is bound in birth to moonspear, and you belong to no place." nothing would change that in the mind of kukutux; no matter what he called himself, or where he went — the spirits of his father and his mother walked the wealds of the mountain, and in his bones arcturus knew it to be true. he was brother to jarilo, and her husband knew they still roamed in the trees. "hydra gave you mercy. you are blood debted to her, and to the stone. but then you turn the head of her brother in a bad trade."

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November 03, 2020, 03:29 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"I understand the ways of blood - it thins and withers over time," Wraen replied, thinking about Terance and Sarah, how three of them had been close during their childhood and how estranged they had grown from each other over the years. She thought about Ibis and her children - how they were related in theory, but in reality they were just strangers. "Hydra knows that too. Some blood to her is of more worth than the other," she added. Thinking about Korei Julia - the misfit that had been driven from the mountain. Considered unworthy both by her parents and her siblings.

"To Hydra I do not exist and yet for a non-existant person I have the ghostly quality of appearing to her again and again. One would think I haunt her," she laughed, looking back to the last conversation she had had with her. "I owe her nothing - it is a fatal flaw of hers to believe that the world as a whole owes her anything," she said, steel in her voice. She had heard the same sentiment repeated over and over again. "You claim that Arcturus was valued there, yet I saw not one of Moonspear wolves side with him, when he needed it the most. Not his blood family, not you either, but a trespasser. Weak one too. Doesn't say much about you, does it then?" she asked.
November 03, 2020, 03:41 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
a flick of her snowbound ears, listening. such bitterness toward one who had given much of herself. who was mother over and again, who held the ways of her old world; yes, kukutux respected hydra for such. though they were not her ways, there was a consistency to the blackbear's actions that she had long treasured.

and arcturus had sought to rip it all away from her, only to stand down in the last second and depart the mountain forever. kukutux recalled how she had seen him; had been compelled to descend moonspear and search for arcturus. betrayer, protector of trespassers; but loved in the heart of his sister. "i know the ways in which you are weak." teeth glinting beneath her paleskin lip. "and i know that he is a man, and when men are not satisfied, they return to what is familiar."

revui; fevered and gasping against the rocky soil of moonspear.

"that will be the mountain. and that will be my children, for he is their relative. you say that you will not disown him. then when he comes home, i will not expect to see you follow this time." hydra had spared wraen. kukutux would not, and the hunting-mark throbbed hotly upon her shoulder; to see the desolation embodied in one woman, one woman who could give arcturus nothing in her estimation.

but perhaps it was revui who lurked behind her ugly words, the granite of his voice ringing; "and when he comes home, i will find a proper wife for him."

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November 03, 2020, 03:54 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen grew very silent and her face was expressionless, as the white woman spilled the next insult - this time aimed at her. At first she was shocked, because aside her closest and dearest, no one knew that she could not have children. How could she possibly know? And then she connected the dots together. This had to be a close friend of Arcturus - why else would he have shared her secrets with someone else? Why shout it out to the world to know? It would not be fair to blame it all on him - she should have known better than to tell him. But then again - hadn't she trusted him as a good friend? Perhaps she had put too much trust in him, hoped that he understood the world order better. That there were some secrets left untold.

"Any woman can give birth - no one can become me," she told the white ghost calmly. "I do not own Arcturus. He is free to come and go, whenever he pleases. He is free to find a mate and have children and fulfill that dream of his about building a new dynasty," she told. Then as the weight of her next words sank in, she began to smile humourlessly. There was more to it than the other let on. "But it seems so as if you desire to become that treasured wife of his," she suggested. "Why then - if the sentiment runs so strong in you - you are not with him now, but back there on the mountain, wed to another? Bearing his children, not Arcturus'?" 
November 03, 2020, 04:24 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
a silence followed, in which kukutux gazed with rainstorm ice upon wraen. her truth realized in the next of words, and a shimmer of guilt spreading through the fierce duck. perhaps not for the woman, but that she had broken her word to arcturus. a word made in harshness, upon the edge of what she had thought then to be a promise of punishment.

wraen now, sinking claws into the underbelly of kukutux' hidden sin and greatest shame. anger now, that this annaligiak should speak of her children; and she drew a breath, jadestone eyes the hue of frozen plants broken from the center of a glacier. pain ebbing through her for that first meet, where hydra had urged him and arcturus had rejected her as wife; an old wound carried raw on the surface of her spirit, now half-buried beneath the dust of memories.

"because he is my brother now." because he had wanted wraen, not her, not — and in the end, he had turned upon moonspear. she would not have bound herself to that, kukutux fervently believed, though her pulse quickened. "he desired you above moonspear and his clan." a breath, steam lapped away by the wind. "but when that season comes and goes again, when he is the only brother with no children, he will remember what it was he surrendered. what he gave for no bride-price. you do not understand blood," the snowbird went on — another step — "and you do not accept the truth of a debt. i gave moonspear a daughter and my husband a son. what will you give my brother?"

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November 03, 2020, 11:32 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"That I cannot mock," Wraen remarked more to herself than for the white woman to hear. She herself had once been on the receiving end of unrequitted love with all the ensuing heartbreak and unhappiness. It must had hurt her much, still did, perhaps, she had never truly let go of, despite claiming that Arthur was like a brother to her now. And she both pitied her and felt somehwat relieved that in this hostile world there was another soul that cared so very much about him. 
What could she give Arcturus? She felt as if she were in the fairy tale, where in a castle of many rooms you may go in all, except one. And that one is, what you desired the most, that you needed the most.

Unconditional love? But that would not be exactly true - love was never only about emotions it was about conditions and meeting in the middle too. If she ever so let her heart follow freely, what it wished, not like now, when it was reined in and put inside a safely locked box, where would that take her? And though the Moonspear girl had thought to demean her value by expressing the harsh truth, it was not something that Wraen had never thought of herself.

Freedom? But what was freedom worth, if you did not have someone to share with it? The world would be a cold and lonely place to her too, if it was not for Maia there, Arcturus too. But at the same time she knew that she lived on borrowed time. There would come a day, when Maia would be wed to another, have a family of her own, and maybe Wraen would have a place there or maybe there would be a good reason, why she would not be able to join them.

And Arthur - she was true to her words. She had never considered him as hers to keep. From the day one she knew that he would be gone too one day. While he was between those two places, where the past has not yet let go of him yet, and the grand future is not yet visible, she had his time all to herself. She cherished every conversation she had had with him, how his expression changed, when yet again she had challenged or teased him, how he tried to understand a joke or a witticism. Loved every moment, when she had managed to work away that flint-hard facade and get a glimpse of the shining gem inside. He was a king in the making, and she had taken the role of moulding him into a great and good one too, even if it meant that in the end she would left alone again.

Should she tell her all this? No, the girl sought to hurt her and Wraen was not going to give her pleasure in knowing that she had managed to do so. That she had hit her, where she was vulnerable. She was not going to reassure her that, what she was told now, was no news to her. That she knew her to be right and that Wraen agreed. "Had you fought for him - you would not be here now, blaming me for the chance that you lost. Had you cared to ask or wanted to get to know me - you would have found out that I would have never stood in your way. I am not standing now - either to you or any other girl that might fulfill that dream of his," she said.

"Having a family is a valuable dream - I do not deny it. And it would go against my nature to deny it to someone, who wishes for it dearly," Wraen said with a sad smile. "You claim I do not understand blood and yet you do not understand that sometimes just blood is not enough. That just maybe Arcturus's turning back on Moonspear was not just because me, but that I opened his eyes to the fact that there is more to the world and life altogether than, what his home had to offer," she fell silent for a moment, turned her to the side and observed the lands beyond, then she turned back to face the girl. 

"And deep in your heart you know that too. You praise yourself in giving two children to the mountain, perhaps, look forward to giving birth to more, yet can you say that you are truly happy?" Wraen asked. "Because if that was so, you would not be so grievously angry with me. You would be there enjoying the familial bliss, you would not be here - blinded by hurt, anger and jealousy," she finished. "Is being a womb truly all that there is to your life - have you asked yourself, what will happen, when you have outlived your usefulness, when your children have fled you and you no longer can bear any? What then?"
November 04, 2020, 08:41 AM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
fight for him? kukutux refused to show the flicker of confusion within herself; the longer wraen spoke, the more she understood that the other did not even know what it was to be a wife.  and she did not know how arcturus had looked at the duck, had spoken to her; how his heart had beat beneath her ear in their embrace; how when kukutux called, the blackrock would answer.  

women did not fight for men. that was beyond her desires, beyond her comprehension of how things must be. a man came to the father of a girl and asked her bride-price. she was free to accept him, or decline. hydra had set kukutux before arcturus, gave the word of her skills, and he had not chosen her.  

a womb — kukutux shuttered her eyes with long lashes a moment, veiling the smile of pleasure that had come at the mention of it. love had no part in the beginnings of a marriage. such sensation might come after, when you had grown accustomed to your husband, when he had treated you kindly outside of the ulaq and within the sleeping-place. to bring forth children was a twofold esteem. it had given kukutux blood-tie to the mountain, and it had raised her in the eyes of jarilo.  

"then i will have moonspear," the duck said softly. "and i will go the dancing lights when i have told my last story to the sons and daughters of my own children, wherever they journey." wraen, seeking to slide a flat blade beneath the edge of her heart, but kukutux knew that some place in arcturus glinted for her.  

"if you knew the proper ways, then you would understand that when a man says 'i will not have her for wife,' it is not good to press him." her own gaze traveling sidelong, back toward moonspear; she thought of the gentle man who had taken her, and who she had accepted — love in the cold places of her youth did not act in the twisted words of wraen's mouth.  

"i have respect for arcturus. it is part of my anger, that my brother has chosen to spoil his years with someone i do not think is worthy. it is my bitterness, that i look down the mountain and do not see him." a breath, hard jade gaze skimming back to wraen.  

"but i have no jealousy. not for you. you have no answer for my question." the thin smile reappearing, and this time it was cruel in its curve. "on my island, a man might choose a widow or a woman with no children to warm his bed, until he found a wife." the cluck of her tongue."you say i am only womb. i say that is all that matters to a man: the promise of children to carry his name and his face."  

"the truth is that you have nothing to give my brother. love will not be enough. you say you have accepted this. but you have no choice," kukutux pressed, small teeth gleaming. "you can give him pleasure, for a time, and i am glad arcturus has you to relieve his need." a dire green flame in her stare. "i will teach you a word. it is aglu, and it has the meaning of 'hole.' my brother's aglu. not more than that, for all your words."  

kukutux straightened, a snow-spirit with darkened eyes that held her knowledge of wraen's inferiority. "i cannot call you sister. and i will not be aunt while he believes his place is here. it has always been blood, and now blood ties arcturus and i together. through my womb."

[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
November 04, 2020, 01:22 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
That brief moment of sympathy that Wraen had felt for the white ghost was shattered completely by the next passage of her speech, to which she listened in stunned silence. A small voice in her head told her not to let Kukutux's words strike her directly, but insult after insult came like a wave that crashed against and over the walls of defense she had built. The woman was crazy - this conclusion did not let her to lose her footing altogether - and, even though you should ignore, what madmen say, it does not mean it hurts any less. 

She was taken aback not so much by the self-entitlement of this woman, who claimed to be Arcturus's dear friend and lover, but the fact that such a beautiful creature could use so ugly words to tarnish and soil everything that Wraen had cherished in her relationship with Moonspearan. Had she been so naive and stupid all along? Was she a mere plaything to her friend - an entertainement, until something better came along? She did not wish to believe it, yet the damage had already been done. A seed of doubt was planted by the clever words of the madwoman. 

By the end of the girl's talk, Wraen's expression was twisted by anger and disgust. Beast within her raised its ugly head and growled in anticipation. The pain within her was so intense that it was almost unbearable and suddenly the only thing she wished was to silence the Moonspear girl. Rip her throat out so that no more ugly words and assumptions and insults escaped her lips, tear and claw that pretty face beyond recognition, crush that dark heart of hers so that it would stop pushing that venomous blood, which had poisoned every single thing that she had found joy in, had been proud of, had loved.

She froze, pupils dilated, ears drawn back in rage, claws dug deep in the snow as she fought against the Beast. It was there, it was strong, it rattled the chains, it howled in agony. Let me go, let me go, let me go! Wraen knew very well at that moment that, if she gave in just for an inch, she would lose it. She would kill mercilessly. But was this bitch worth it? Would that change things? No. It would probably make them worse. So, with every bit of self-control she could muster, she tried to calm down, remember to breathe and coax that Beast back, where it belonged. 

"The place I grew up," she said slowly and carefully choosing the words, "raised girls to be strong-willed, independent and tough. They were valued and cherished for, who they were." Somehow thinking about her mother and grandmother, Towhee came to her mind too - gave her strength to raise up from, where she had been beaten down earlier. "They were encouraged to fight for their own way in life," she added, thought about Niamh. Traditionalist she may be, but she would never let a pathetic thing like this walk over her. "They bow to no men," she went on.

"And they have a name for women like you too," she locked her gaze with the ghost's. "Whores of mind and body," she said. "I do not have to live up to expectations of a weak-willed woman, whose only definition is given by the man, who mounts her."
November 04, 2020, 03:48 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
aya, the truth of her arrow fletched and striking true into the other's breast. and as wraen shifted into the way of a fighter, kukutux answered. there was a budding guilt in her for all she had said, but she pushed aside the stirrings of it, pale ears folding back at the gritted sound of whore. again a word she had did not know, but its implication was clear.

for a long moment she was silent, allowing the quiet to fill the space between she and wraen. anger now, spilling through her for how cruelly arcturus had treated her until he left moonspear; bitterness welling in her hardened heart for how without kindness revui had always been. and her spirit, unable to unhinge from either of them. even when they had left, even when they had come back, even when they had left again, always, always chipping a part of the duck away, carrying it off as a bride might be drawn.

taiguk filling her eyes, at last — not for the word wraen had spat, but for the pain in kukutux that had brought them to this place. and yet it was too late to retract it, and all of it true beneath her aching feet and stubborn heart. the agonies goaded her tongue again; kukutux scarcely felt the tracery of a warm trailing along her cheek.

"whores have no dowry. like you do not." tonguetip drying to the salt left behind by a receding tide. "men must think they are like moon-woman; men must believe they have control over the years of their wife." but they did not, for a daughter was given secret knowledge and the blessing of sedna before she left her mother's ulaq. tether a man to a cloud and he will follow so long as the rain arrives.

a breath, shuddering in the first-snow column of her throat. "it is not my expectation. it is his. you are foolish, stupid woman, wraen, to have shared with a man that you are a dry flower." with love, arcturus might have turned his gaze away for a time, but if his chosen wife had nothing to grant him in the end, why would he remain? the twisted expression of anger on wraen's face sated some darkening place within herself. "and if you do not enjoy when he takes you to his bed, maybe your heart is not full of him as you say."

a step back, small paws digging into the cold mountain stone. "go to him now. and do not let me see your face near to moonspear. or i will gather your blood debt." hardened jadestone softening into something anguished as she turned away, ear flicked to listen for wraen if at last the she-witch came for the duck's flesh.

[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
November 04, 2020, 05:07 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"You are crazy," Wraen shook her head, tired of fighting, seeing no point in continuing to do this. It was clear that there was some sort of miscommunication between them, because - hate she could understand, but what was this talk about mateship, wife duties, her tethering a man to a fruitless cause? What was she babbling about still, when Wraen had made it so clear earlier that she did not intend to take Arcturus as a mate, had never seriously considered this. He was her friend. She wished him all the best in life. That was all.

And for the second time during this conversation she had a feeling of being left out, of things being spoken and discussed about her without her knowledge. The only connection between her and this hateful woman was Arthur. She almost laughed out loud in disbelief - for a quiet guy he sure was a chatterbox to other people. But rather than believing him doing this on purpose, she thought that he had been played a fool as well. He had trusted this girl, thought to be her friend and yet she had betrayed him. 

She let the open threat to her life let slide past her ears, though this would guide her actions later. "You seem to be under misapprehension that I intend to become his wife, though between us Arthur has never shared such desire or sentiment," she told her. "I have treated him as a friend and brother. If there were feelings that he did not share with me, but shared with you - you had no right to spill those secrets. As such even with the best intentions in mind - you have betrayed his trust in you," she said.

"If I retell even a fraction of, what you told me this evening - do you think that he will consider you a hero? That all of this spite, hate and anger aimed towards me - will that resonate well with him?" she asked. "Will that convince him that you have been right along and that he will return to your warm embrace as if nothing had happened?" 
November 04, 2020, 05:59 PM
Kukutux
Moonglow
Alpha*
kukutux had not known, she had only believed at the sight of wraen's face that hour in moonspear that he had chosen this woman above all. he had given no indication to the contrary; 

she shut herself against the yearning memory of what she had wished so fiercely to believe was held within his eyes —

and swung the slim line of her muzzle back toward wraen. he had chosen a companion over moonspear? he had been harsh to her for the sake of a friend? a woman with selfsame warmth and beckoning body the duck could abide, but now she thought back to each transgression arcturus had committed against her, and how it had been truly, for nothing.

"he told me nothing." she did not care if wraen had no belief in her words. "you did, in this moment of time." nothing, not the pleasure of a feminine figure; abandoned leadership for a promise; broken himself from moonspear for nothing. and now hope, welling with a sickening lurch into her throat, that one day she would wake and he would be upon the foothills. 

a barren sparkle of pity as her eyes searched that of wraen, driven out in the next moment by the stirring of grief and of regret in her chest.

a lash of her palefurred tail; kukutux rolled her shoulders, inhaled the frostbitten air. "when you tell my brother, do not forget to say to him that his sister is whore. his ears will want to hear it." another step back; the duck yielded ground, and turned, setting a sharp pace for herself back over the edge of the small mountain and toward the glacier that lay beyond.

[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
November 05, 2020, 04:04 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen did not reply to the last provocation, feeling glad that the white ghost finally left and she no longer had to bear her company, hear more insults and threats. It was annoying to know that she could do nothing about it - she could not even touch a hair on her head without causing wrath of the clan that she called her own. While she had all the freedom of speech and actions against her. That was not a pleasant prospect to look forward to. 

She also took the promise of her execution seriously too. It may not be at the paws of this girl, but she had proven herself to be a profecient manipulator. Her innocent looks and weak constitution was deceiving and Wraen knew that in case the madwoman decided to send anyone after her to free Arcturus from a connection that she had deemed unsuitable - who would not want to believe her? Funny really, how she had always thought about the obvious danger in the form of Hydra, when the true enemy was this one, who had all the right strings wrapped around her fingers and you did not know, when and how she would decide to play them.

It made her sick to her stomach to think that her life was at the mercy of someone else. Worse even - they might hurt Maia too and she had no idea, where her sister was presently, she had no way of warning her. Fear of having anything bad happen to her best friend was stronger than the one she felt for her own life. Should she worry for Arcturus? At present she did not know, what to make of him. All things considered he was at a better position than her, he could always run back to his goddamn mountain and there would be at least one happy soul, who would welcome him with open arms. Hydra would mercifully forgive her brother for making a grave mistake and they would live happily ever after - end of story.

Whereas her - where could she go - where could be far enough so that the long shadow of Moonspear and their allies did not haunt her? Because now in the aftermath of this exchange she dearly wished to escape, to leave everything behind and never look back.