Bearclaw Valley Single file, like soldiers on a mission.
Trade  November 05, 2020, 03:29 PM
Karst
Ursus
Neophyte
The afternoon sun had vanished behind a cluster of nasty clouds, leaving the grassland outside the territory to drop a few degrees. The boy only noticed because he was standing by @Averna's boulder. He was leaning against the mound which marked the middle of the valley entrance, partway hiding in its shadow.

That shadow grew deep and cold, so he got to his too-big feet and sulked a few steps away from it. His caretaker's scent was strong in the direction he was heading but he was too distracted by a soured mood to notice, and idly kicked at a pile of (what he thought was) debris, scattering some bird bones that had been placed carefully upon the earth by mistake.
December 03, 2020, 07:23 AM
Averna
Ursus
Rainheart
The stone at the entrance to the Bearclaw valley was a mark of the bear spirits that lived here, although the priest herself did not acknowledge them as bears necessarily. All was energy and she did not visualise most of the spirits in anything other than the colours and abstract shapes they appeared to her in at times. Her vision was filled with these at all times, which was why as of late she had been drowning so much in the depths of her spirituality; not a thing she minded, necessarily, though the last tethers of her mortality had not yet allowed her to leave this plane and fought hard to keep the priest here.

The children were mostly forgotten in the process, though at times she was reminded of them. But they often were left to fend for themselves, not because the ghost thought it was better or would make them strong, not because she disliked them; simply because she was so lost in her own world that there was little place to be truly a caretaker. She let them tag along, she let them share her warmth in the nights, she let them eat what she caught 鈥 she had never needed much herself nor felt much desire or hunger for food, as shown by her small and narrow physique 鈥 but she offered them little in the way of maternal love or active caretaking.

When the priest arrived at the entrance she was just in time to see one of these forgotten youth scatter some small bones that were placed there meticulously. She did not even remember if it was her who had placed them 鈥 though it was likely 鈥 and she did not instantly respond, either. They will not like that, she said simply, her pale gaze boring towards him, though her face showed only a grin that could only be described as a sign of madness.
December 24, 2020, 12:32 AM
Karst
Ursus
Neophyte
The pieces fell away. A small skull tipped off of the pedestal of stacked ribs and caught the edge of an intact beak, briefly standing at a point, as if the bird had come alive without its skin and bowed its head. Bits of wing bone scattered one way and a dried foot went another.

They will not like that. A familiar voice cautioned.

Karst looked up and abruptly caught the pale face of Averna in his gaze. Her tone was empty; her eyes were sharp and hard to look upon, at least for the boy, and he could not hold her gaze for long. His dark ears pressed flat.

Who..? Kart asks in his timid manner, looking around owlishly for - well, he wasn't sure exactly. He expected swift retribution from someone, but it was only himself and Averna present.
January 13, 2021, 04:02 AM
Averna
Ursus
Rainheart
Who, he asked, and initially the pale ghost only chuckled at his insolence. She did not mind very much; she enjoyed when wolves asked questions. It was what made them mortal. The never ending search for everything and anything. To know everything, and then still feel like they knew nothing.

For some time she was silent as she rearranged the bird bones. She then looked up at him and said, Sithis. And then she continued to arrange. If he wanted, he could feel Sithis in his heart, anyway; he did not need her to tell about it. She added, And perhaps the bear. That was more Bear's thing, but it was undeniable that his spirit lingered in this place more than it had in her home forest of Blackfeather Woods.
January 25, 2021, 01:37 PM
Karst
Ursus
Neophyte
This woman was not one to speak without purpose, and so Karst was expecting nothing but silence in response. Maybe a derisive look, a snap of teeth across the snout for his ignorance; but out of everything came an answer. Kart's usually dull gaze emblazoned with curious fire, growing wide.

Sithis. He murmured in mimicry of Averna's pronouncement. She then mentioned a bear, and he tilted his head slightly, then boldly asked, What is Sithis?
January 26, 2021, 04:31 AM
Averna
Ursus
Rainheart
The will of the bear was less known to the priest, so she could not as easily speak on his behalf as on Sithis'. Sithis' ways were difficult to grasp, but that was the beauty of it and of him; you did not try to understand what he meant, you rode the wave and interpreted and if you failed, it did not matter, it all contributed to the chaos and the madness anyway.

It pleased the priest that the boy asked about Sithis rather than the bear, and it showed in a wicked grin on her face. Sithis is everything, she started to explain. And nothing. Especially nothing. Destruction, hate, blood. She finished rearranging and looked up at the boy, a madness dancing in her pale, normally cold eyes, as she waited to see his reaction.
January 27, 2021, 12:12 PM
Karst
Ursus
Neophyte
This concept, that such vile things could be named and controlled by an entity, was difficult for the simple-minded boy to grasp. In knowing that Averna left gifts upon or around the stone for her chosen god, Karst found it distasteful and confusing that someone would curry favor with something so diabolical. Perhaps in doing so Averna staved off the destruction, hate, and blood; perhaps she could woo this creature called Sithis and make it do her bidding. A chill rain down the boy's spine at that conclusion.

She was busy rearranging things at her little shrine. Upon looking up, peering at him with those empty eyes, Karst hastily averted his own gaze. His attention was focused upon Averna but he did not want to incite her ire; now that he knew of the power of Sithis he was afraid. What if she lobbied the creature to harm him? He did not want to be cursed (at least no more than he already was).

He curled in to himself at that point, watching the dirt at her pale feet as if it held its own secrets.
February 09, 2021, 07:41 AM
Averna
Ursus
Rainheart
There seemed to be many cogs turning in the boy's head as he thought about what she said. It was not often that she would give such a direct answer to a direct question. Usually her answers were filled with riddles. In the priest's mind, it was better to make others think for themselves. Still, she could see that with having said some, but not all, he was drawing conclusions of his own and that was precisely what she wanted to gift him.

He averted his gaze when she looked at him, and she wondered if he was afraid. Funny, to think he was afraid of such a small and frail creature, but it showed his respect for the spirits. Perhaps there was something to teach this boy, after all. Perhaps he was not entirely like all the other mortals. The priest was used to being feared in this way; she had many times, even from when she was a small child wandering the depths of Blackfeather Woods.

It is wise to fear him, maybe, she said eventually, as she finished rearranging the items. Then, after a short pause as she looked at the boy, a smile came upon her face. But it's much more fun to revel in him. The mortal world meant nothing to her, so why would she fear any of these things -- blood, destruction, hate? He should be the same, but she did not know if he had it in him to be. Perhaps it was simply how one was born, or not.

She was born this way. Most were not so lucky.
February 17, 2021, 11:27 AM
Karst
Ursus
Neophyte
Karst feared many things. It made sense that the gods of these bear-folk would be just as terrifying as the bear-folk themselves, or this ghost of a woman, so he didn't react much to this information. He wondered if being afraid made him wise though; he didn't feel wise, only nervous all the time. Afraid enough to ruin any effort to sleep. Tired, then, and sad. Were all wise men also sad men?

鈥攊t is much more fun to revel in him. Averna said. Karst did not know what revel meant. Maybe she referred to the altars and their gifts. Maybe if he gifted things upon these altars then the scary forces would be happy, or leave him alone. Would the same be true of the bear-folk? He did not have anything to give anyone but if he did, would that make things easier for him?

The boy did not know how to voice his questions and so he was quiet, reflecting over what was said and trying to make sense of it. If Averna dispersed from the silent boy thereafter he would not notice, so concentrated upon his own struggles and making sense of these new things.
February 23, 2021, 04:44 AM
Averna
Ursus
Rainheart
He remained quiet, an indication that he did not understand. Useless, the priest said, though it was unclear whether she said this as an indication towards him or towards herself or something else altogether. She was not truly stupid enough to call him or think him useless, though; in truth, all she wanted was to see his reaction. See him give in to that statement, or see him fight. Pale ethereal eyes seemed almost as though looking through him rather than upon him as she waited for a response; a playful smile still dancing on her face to indicate this was all a big game, as most things were.
February 24, 2021, 12:39 PM
Karst
Ursus
Neophyte
Eventually Karst would awaken to the truths about Ursus: that it was a place of rampant fanatacism, one which punished the weak. He knew some of this already; often on the receiving-end to the other wolves' so-called revelry. Even if he wanted to be spared from the spiritual side of things he knew, in a vague sense for now, that he was a part of the equation. There had to be someone at the bottom and Karst fit the bill. He was not bearborn, he did not have any spirits on his side, and the lot of them knew it.

The only thing he could do was learn. Learn and hope that he could survive long enough to keep the information that'd he worked out of each person he came in to contact with. Averna was by far the more reasonable; which says a lot about the volatility of Karst's surroundings.

Spirits, he finally murmured, his voice grating until he cleared his throat. How do you... Talk to them?

There was the altar here at the boulder. There could have been others scattered across Ursus in hidden grottos, secreted away for privacy, and Karst would never find them. But he wanted to understand and he wanted the knowledge for himself; everyone else seemed to be one step ahead of him in every case, and it was time to change that.
March 02, 2021, 05:36 AM
Averna
Ursus
Rainheart
It did seem to get a response of sorts. He seemed interested in the spirits, and another might have tried to foster that interest. The ghost, though, she did not care truly. It was not her duty to bring Sithis followers, no! Some heard his calls and some did not. It was a matter of how you were born. She pitied and envied those who were born without such gifts, depending on the day she was having.

And he? He was talentless, it was clear.

Did it mean he could never serve? No, of course not. But she did not feel it her task to explain to him the intricacies of that.

Perhaps he would learn, if he would spend more time listening. There were many mysteries in this world and that of the spirits even for her.

Ah... If one asks such a question, one will never know, she said as she looked at him and shook her head. Perhaps he could learn, but coddling him about it would do no good; if it was meant to be, he would figure out a way himself.

Besides, she was not here to educate him. At least not in the traditional sense.