Raven's Watch illuktuk
Limit Two  November 18, 2020, 07:41 PM
Kigipigak
Pledged
Natigvik
A few hours after reuniting with the wolves of the ravenhome, Kigipigak knew he needed to seek out his bond-sister to discuss the many things he had learned.

Valmua's scent led away from the expansive lake they had found together; he diligently tracked her along a rise where the air was particularly thin. The clouds that had chased Kigipigak all the way up the mountain on his return had dissipated, now netting between the lower peaks of the range and spreading like pulled balls of cotton.

Kigipigak slowed his pace as he wove between some dark pine spires, looking out from beneath their ancient shadows at the rising mist, the twisting of the clouds as the wind carried them. He wondered if snow would come soon—if he could make it back to the valley and Simmik before the passes were closed.

Inupiaq. · Common.
November 18, 2020, 08:33 PM
Valmúa
Lone Wolves

        The fire woman crept up the mountain path, finding solace in the cold wind that met her above the lake. As she pushed ever upward, she poked at an apparently empty hole sitting between the roots of a pine tree. The badger within had abandoned it some time ago, heading down to a lower altitude to scrape a living. The hole smelled musty. She contemplated rolling in it, but decided against it if only because it wasn't quite fresh enough.
        The air was clear and good. Her pace slowed, and she stopped beneath a small spruce to think.
        Valmúa knew that she would need to talk to Kigipigak soon and formulate the next phases of their plan. He had done well, of course, and she hadn't had the opportunity to give him good praise. It was only a half an hour before the boy found her spot on the mountain slope, such an excellent tracker he was. Tail wagging, she grinned as she saw him, a rare expression of cheer marking her normally cold features. Excitedly, she flew to him, mouthing his muzzle affectionately. `Qaŋa tai`! Tell me of your travels, she demanded.

English/Common · Icelandic · `Inupiaq`
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November 18, 2020, 08:43 PM
Kigipigak
Pledged
Natigvik
        He saw the white of her smile first, then the gold of her crown, the flash of russet as her tail swayed; she was perfect in that moment and the smitten boy was pleased to find her in such good spirits. Kigipigak moved in close to taste the scents upon her nape, boldly combing his teeth through her flame-licked scruff as she moved to grasp at his muzzle.

There are many tribes in the valley, Kigipigak explained, falling easily in to the native tongue they shared. A forest tribe is most appealing. There is a woman there willing to come to us. Her name is Simmik—she is a northerner by blood but her people have been bound to these southlands so long, she knows little of her home. She wants to learn of her people. She is willing to come to us for a time, but... Any child she produces would go back with her, to the forest. It is not a perfect arrangement. But he wondered if it needed to be; Valmua wanted her brothers distracted and this woman would make a suitable mate, however, Kigipigak worried she was too strong. She would contend with Valmua.

Before the woman could respond to this news, Kigipigak went on to speak of others. He thought primarily of the mountain where Kukutux lived. There is a southwest chain of mountains from that forest and two tribes live together there; the tribe of the lowlands is new and full of young blood, dispersals from the mountain. I met a woman on the mountain who knows our language and our ways—Kukutux. I spoke of a desire to find women for the future. I can... Return to her with news, if you have interest. And to Simmik, if her arrangement is good.

All that said, Kigipigak finally shut the hell up. He did not doubt Valmua would have opinions about his travels, and finally gave her a moment to consider everything and speak her piece.

Inupiaq. · Common.
November 19, 2020, 02:15 PM
Valmúa
Lone Wolves

        As they embraced, she felt the warmth of his body contrasting with the cool of his teeth raking against her. Puppy love was imminent. She was shameless in her interactions with him, pushing caution to the wind and swallowing his essence whole whenever she had the chance.
        Her pet then described his journey and the important places he had been. He spoke of a woman called Simmik, and of another called Kukutux on the mountain in the far off west. She could not have asked for a better scout to collect and relay information, all while keeping their plans to himself.
        Valmúa considered first Simmik and this potential arrangement. She knew that, if Simmik were to become a wife of a brother, they were unlikely to follow her back to her forest. They were more bonded to one another than they could be to a wife of such strength, so she assumed. She did not like the idea of a woman coming here merely to leech their sperm and knowledge of her Tartok origins. She doubted even that Sol or Stjor would appreciate such behaviour, since they were attempting to build something that merely borrowed from their homelands, but was a new creature entirely.
        Her skills in speaking their shared tongue was improving with use, but her words were broken with Common. `Simmik would not be` ideal. `My brothers` would not follow her back, `and she will only be willing to take from us`, she said, wondering if he felt differently. `It is their want to have children but not have to` care for them, she explained. No, that wouldn't do at all to bring them a wife that would do exactly as they wanted.
        Next, the fire woman considered this Kukutux. `She is Tartok?` Valmúa wondered what it would mean if they maintained a relationship with this woman of the mountain. Surely, she had daughters that she wanted good futures for. This pack of new `blood`, maybe we can recruit from. Maybe we keep exchanging news with Kukutux, she said, thinking it might be a good idea to keep this line of communication. `What do you think?`

English/Common · Icelandic · `Inupiaq`
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November 19, 2020, 04:10 PM
Kigipigak
Pledged
Natigvik
They were in agreement over Simmik. Kigipigak had not been certain about her offer when she had made it, though now that he was interfacing with Valmua on the topic, his bond-sister cleared things up for him. He did wonder if it was Simmik's goal to bring the children back and not the husband; but he did not think to mention this, his mind a blur of all the sights he had seen and people he had met. He tried to sift through it all while Valmua broke down the news.

On the topic of Kukutux he had more to say. Not Tartok but northborn; one of the smaller older tribes, those that taught the First of us. Or so he presumed; the legend of Siku the First leaving her coastal tribe and seeking knowledge among the snow-wives was one that his tribe carried. He was not sure if it was the same for Valmua and her brothers.

Maybe we keep exchanging news with Kukutux, Valmua mentioned next. Kigipigak grew distracted by the pleasant feelings this brought to him. A good idea. I can bring our answer to Simmik on the way. We do have Chanel now, so I will not have to look so hard. I am sure she will be of use.

Inupiaq. · Common.
November 19, 2020, 04:50 PM
Stjornuati
Approved Members

Something felt amiss. For days, Kigipigak had been gone, without a word to any other than his sister and then suddenly he returned with another wolf in tow who had intentions to join their collective. This, most of all, stood out to the man; Stormhaven and Tartok alike had always been careful with who they spoke to about their pack, their way of life, and yet it seemed like Kigipigak had not kept to that creed, at least not with the dainty and feminine Chanel.
 
It was this that he sought the man out over, this that he intended to curb, and so followed the scent of the male now as it wound its way through the Watch. Curiously enough, there was a point where his sister’s trail overlapped with the Tatrok’s and now more than ever, Stjornuati found himself intrigued.  Whatever intrigue there was, however, quickly gave way to anger and offense when he came near enough to catch their words.

Talk of not only of the Watch to outsiders but of children leaving their territory to go to some forest, of arrangements and finding women, of how Valmua’s brothers (plural, so he assumed she meant both himself and Solpallur) had no intentions to care for their own children. Recruiting. Kukutux Simmik Chanel Tartok. There was so much information he heard, standing still among the shadows where he could see and not yet be seen, that he did not yet know how to process it.
 
An icy flame burned cold within his heart, a muscle that raced alongside his thoughts now, spurning him to move forward and reveal himself. Not one to hide or cower from that which rose as an obstacle, the star-eater did just that, though with much less finesse than might be expected.
 
Lunging from the shadows, teeth snapping, a snarl borne deep, deep within his chest. This was no prelude to play, but an announcement, both of himself and of the knowledge that he had gleaned from their exchange. They had mere moments to explain themselves.
November 19, 2020, 05:10 PM
Valmúa
Lone Wolves

        Valmúa nodded, knowing that a good line of communication with anyone familiar with the northern ways would surely be of value. Chanel too, the Prinsessa, would make an excellent little addition to the harem she was trying to build. The more women they could get, the easier things would be. `Yes, she will be good for us,` she agreed, pleased that he would be more than willing to make another trip out west to ensure things stayed current. He was more than simply valuable to the Watch, he was completely indispensable.
        And then the snap, and the snarl.
        Automatically, the fire woman rewound all of the information she had just exchanged with Kigipigak, or at least as much of it as she could remember. None of it was particularly incriminating other than a few of the phrases she had used to refer to her brothers not willing to follow Simmik to her homeland. She had to assume that he had heard everything.
        Experience with her brothers grabbing her scruff and neck all of the time to correct her behaviour made her flinch at the sounds Stjornuati made. Her ears splayed and she eyed him, noticing from his gaze alone that indeed, he wanted an explanation for their little affair.
        She resisted the urge to tell him to relax, because telling a person to relax generally has the opposite effect. Við erum að tala um nýliðun. Talking about recruitment, she said in both the Stormhaven and Common tongues, her voice feeling rather sharp. She refused to match Stjor's energy level, for what they were talking about was hardly maniacal. She knew that the subject of finding them women would be... not well received. So she redirected. You do not like Chanel?
        Inwardly, she prepared for a fight. He wouldn't like any of it.

English/Common · Icelandic · `Inupiaq`
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November 19, 2020, 05:21 PM
Kigipigak
Pledged
Natigvik
Kigipigak was fond of Chanel and hoped she would fit in with them; she was so different from what he expected of a Tartok wolf—but then the trio from Stormhaven were different too in some ways, they were all learning to adapt to a life together. Chanel would adapt too if she stayed.

        The boy began to nod in agreement—but his head shot lower when the sound of a snarl erupted from the blackpine.

Stjornuati. How much had he heard? How much had he understood? Kigipigak could not recall saying anything terrible; he had relayed information as any scout would, unaware that his absence had been noticed in the passing days.

Valmua spoke up first. It was right that she be the one, he thought, because she knew her brother and his temperaments better than Kigipigak. The boy had not known the siblings long enought o get a solid read on any of them—although he had sparred with Stjornuati and thought they had a connection because of it.

You do not like Chanel? Valmua asked of her brother. Kigipigak dared a slanted look upon the man but could not bring his eyes higher than his chest, nervous of any implications a direct stare might bring. His tail is low but not curling, his ears flat.

Inupiaq. · Common.
November 19, 2020, 05:35 PM
Stjornuati
Approved Members

He be talking in a language they can both understand!

Talking about recuirtment. Stjornuati scoffed, a forceful push of air sweeping through his nostrils as his tail held high and stiff behind him. There was talk of recruitment, and there was this, whatever this was. Valmua must have thought Stjornuati the same sort of fool that would have drooled after her fire-branded hide had they not been related; he was not, and he had never been. A woman's pika had never swayed the man into stupidity, even during the throes of their season, a rare separation made between dick and brain.

A single step forward was taken, a silent threat that was the last he would make. Chanel was, of course, not the issue here; rather the forming of their arrangements behind he and Solpallur's backs the true issue, for he had heard that as well. His snarl broke momentarily, long enough to allow him to demand an answer that would serve as their one and only chance for truth, for whatever Valmua thought of him, he was no pushover. What arrangements have you made? Why do you seek women to whore out?

And it was then, that the answer dawned on him, rising in his mind like the sun rose from the horizon. A little at first, though it gathered more and more formation the longer their silence lapsed. A growl once more left him, his command barking loudly through the forest.

Answer!
November 19, 2020, 05:49 PM
Valmúa
Lone Wolves

        Bringing up the Prinsessa did not satisfy or divert his attention. As though he was hunting Stjornuati became so focused on whatever it was he thought they were up to that Valmúa knew the only way she was going to convince him of anything was to convince herself that her lie was the truth. She was thankful that Kigipigak did not speak, for she didn't think he had the wits to quite circumvent the nightmare that was her pallid brother on the wrong side of things.
        As he took a step forward, she knelt slightly. It was a calculated response. If he really had been wrong to accuse them of anything, she would have held fast and told him he was crazy. But that was not a strategy that was going to work in this scenario, so she averted her eyes as much as possible while still listening closely to him. His snarling rattled around in her skull. How annoying.
        We need the numbers, she answered quickly. She convinced herself, letting the new reality consume her. We are too few now to hold forever. We need children born this spring and so we need more women of child-bearing age, she explained. With other packs close by and surely more to come in order to fill the vacuum that the Willow wolves next door had left, she was right. They would need stable numbers and the best way to do that was to bear children.
        She maintained herself at the ready. She refused to let him think anything other than what she had just said. And what she had said was, in fact, sensible. He knew damn well that she wasn't about to have children. She chose not to explain that because Sol and he would have breeding rights, they needed women that suited their tastes.

English/Common · Icelandic · `Inupiaq`
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November 19, 2020, 06:27 PM
Kigipigak
Pledged
Natigvik
Kigipigak did not know what to say as Stjornuati came at them with questions, his tone accusatory—though he could not help but bristle at the thought of Chanel being whored out as the man so aptly put it; that was the truth of the matter whether the boy wished to face it or not, it had been his idea after all.

Better to stay silent and subservient. He did not like the feeling that trailed down his spine. The tone of voice Stjornuati used as he demanded answers reminded Kigipigak of his dead father; the fury that filled the man when his only son had betrayed him, the shock that became loathing as quickly as a thunderclap. It was happening all over again. Kigipigak's jaw tightened as he forced himself to stay silent, ruminating, listening for the movement of his bond-brother.

Valmua did her best to explain things, twisting very little of the truth. Kigipigak wondered if the issue wasn't so much his roaming or even the addition of foreign bodies, but the fact Stjor had not been consulted. But why would he be? Valmua deserved her rightful place at the top of the Watch. Aside from finding this place, what had Stjornuati done? What had his brother accomplished—the man Kigipigak had yet to even meet?

The moment was tense.

The numbers, yes. I also ranged to the valley next, wanting to learn of the land. Is it wrong to know of rival tribes? When can such knowledge be wrong? Kigipigak looked up finally, glimpsed the rigid jawline of his friend, the glare of his gaze lingering a moment upon Stjor's face before pulling away; he did not want to lose his place upon the Watch before it could be solidified.

The strong rule, is that not the way of our people? Knowledge makes us strong and, and these women, these arrangements, they can solidify your hold upon the mountain—earn you favor with other tribes. It will make you strong if you let it.

Could he not see how this could benefit them all?

Inupiaq. · Common.
November 19, 2020, 07:59 PM
Stjornuati
Approved Members

The more they spoke, the more his fur bristled, hackles rising in full along his spine, ears turning back as his tongue flashed across his teeth. The only reason he had not attacked already was that Valmua was blood; he had thought he could trust her, but this, this was not trust, no matter how she spun and wove the web of her words. The star-eater was not a fool, despite however much the two might have wished him to be. Brutish though he could be, and had been, the man was intelligent and not so easily decieved.

Tell me, in what clan, Tartok or Stormhaven, do subordinates act in such secrecy?  They did not. There was no allowance for underhandedness or disloyalty in the clans of the north, certainly not in the Keep, though Stjornuati wondered then if all the attention from males had gone to Valmua's head. Was she really as vapid and twisted as all of that? Numbers mean nothing if the wolves that gather are strong and hardy. One hundred weak wolves could do nothing against a quarter-many strong ones. We do not seek just any and this you both know.

His jaw tightened as Kigipigak spoke, lips pulling back just a touch further. The rule of strength is useless if the clan that wields it is not united, in all things. It is especially useless when a faction of the clan, however small, decides to make a play for power that is not theirs. The accusation hung heavy in the air, liver colored gaze moving from the male to his blood-sister. Blood though she was, Stjornuati remembered the accusations made in their youth, and her response here and now was a far cry from those in the past.

If anything other than truth leaves your mouth, your blood will be the first spilled upon this mountain.
November 19, 2020, 08:14 PM
Valmúa
Lone Wolves

        Nope. She wouldn't do it. She wouldn't admit that she would be better at the top than either of them. Actually, part of her was questioning if it was even true, or if perhaps her fascination with Kigipigak had allowed her judgment to be clouded.
        She followed most of his words well, nodding solemnly, accepting his rule despite her disagreement. Numbers did mean something, especially in these lands of the south where the distances between clans were not nearly as large so as to prevent open warfare.
        When he reached his accusation, thinly veiled, she opened her mouth to speak. He warned her again to be truthful, and she nodded slowly. We should not have sought recruits without your knowledge, she said slowly, carefully. Her tail had tucked itself under her. She did fear her brother's wrath. She knew that she would not get a pass just because they had shared a womb. She wanted to argue with him, because he was wrong, but she focused on what she needed to only. You are right, she lied. Numbers weren't everything. But they were important. And Kigipigak has done good work seeking out the status of others in the area. We are stronger for it, and with it we will be more united, she said firmly, adding to what her Kigicookie had said. Her tail moved from between her legs in order to curl around her side.
        These weren't lies. This was truth. Was he so blindly focused on some potential slight that he didn't see the value in what they had accomplished?

English/Common · Icelandic · `Inupiaq`
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November 19, 2020, 08:45 PM
Kigipigak
Pledged
Natigvik
        Kigipigak listened as the fiery woman was cowed by her brother, compromising and bending her words, her willpower leeched away, and had to look away from the both of them. The tension of the moment slid like a knife through his belly; however fond Kigipigak had become of Valmua in recent days he could not fathom the submission of his chosen issumatar nor the judgement issuing from the man.

This was just like Unnuakvik.

        This was just like mother trying to do the right thing for her tribe but being waylayed by the ego of an unworthy man. In this case Stjornuati was not losing his mind and body to old age and inherent weakness, though in the heat of the moment Kigipigak saw what he wanted to see: another male figure in his life not worth the breath in his lungs. 

I do not want power. He finally said with a frigidity that was ill-suited to the moment. What I want is a strong tribe— and a worthy woman to lead it —I have lost one already.

Oh, how he wished this place could be different.

If given leave, I will return to Simmik of the forest tribe and give our answer—your, answer. Or I can stay here, given space to roam closer to our home. I do as I am bid. As his commentary trailed off Kigipigak's frustration filled him with a winter chill. He stagnated then, standing at-attention as he used to for the appraisal of his mother; except this time in place of a manipulative parent he had two cretinous friends to contend with.

Someone would give him orders at any rate, clarify what he should do next; until then, Kigipigak waited.

Inupiaq. · Common.
November 20, 2020, 12:04 PM
Stjornuati
Approved Members

Rolled a Nat 20 for perception check

And here was the crux of it all. A slight, a crack, a fracture... They all started small, insignificant, and then they grew if not addressed, if not healed. Even a hairline fracture in the foundations of the Watch this early on could spell trouble for their longevity and overall synergy. The Stormskýli would not allow for such a wound, even one so small, to go untreated for concern of it festering and becoming something toxic, poisonous.

You may not seek power, He replied to the male, cold eyes flicking to him for a moment before they settled once more upon his littermate. If Kigipigak does not seek power, only does as he is bid, then it is obvious who does seek power, though instead of seeking it alongside us, you seek to usurp. Oh yes, he had put it together, and he watched his sister's expression with careful consideration. What, did you mistake me for a fool? One of your toys so easily manipulated? He took another careful, poignant step forward, head lowering as he instinctively protected his throat.

With your talk of us following this Simmik, of finding women for the future, what did you expect? For us to become enamored? Another step. You, who feigned dissatisfaction with Chanel upon meeting her, who feigns meekness now when caught in your betrayal, call yourself sister? You call yourself Stormskýli?

And you,
His attention snapped to Kigipigak. You call yourself Tartok? A scoff, scornful and vehement. No wolf of Tartok weilds such disloyalty.

A moment stretched long before the next words dropped like a stone. You are both to stay near the Watch until you are allowed otherwise. Neither of them truly knew how close they had come then to being stripped of their names, of their heritage then, how close they came to being driven out with snapping teeth and baleful snarls.

Do you understand?
November 20, 2020, 04:17 PM
Valmúa
Lone Wolves

        Perceptive motherfucker.
        She stood there, no longer the fire woman but instead the fragile poppy of her namesake. She wanted to glare at him, instead having her eyes on the dirt at the roots of the spruce tree. Her expression was bent, twisted, like a little girl whose favourite toy had been taken from her. A deep frown lined her face. She said nothing. As often happened when caught doing something she wasn't supposed to be, she was silent, considering her options.
        She did not want Kigipigak to see her now. She would have liked to vanish from his view so that he would not see her in this moment of weakness. Valmúa knew well that she would not win in a fight. Even if physically she managed to get her pallid brother to submit, she would not actually win. The whole point of the distractions was to eventually, months from then, convince others that her brothers were weak and had only their own interests in mind, and with this distorted image they would crown her as the issumatar they surely deserved.
        Valmúa licked her teeth. Over and over. She felt the smooth surfaces of her canines. She imagined them in her brother's neck, just for a moment. Then, she felt her stomach turn over, and had to swallow as bile slipped up her throat.
        Stjornuati took away the only thing she needed to survive.
        The only thing she cared about: her freedom.

English/Common · Icelandic · `Inupiaq`
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November 20, 2020, 05:00 PM
Kigipigak
Pledged
Natigvik
        Kigipigak wanted to fight back just as Valmua did. He had done it before—ripped the throat out of his own father for the sake of his mother, thinking it was for the greater good—but there was no reason to take it to that extreme; Stjornuati was young and hale, he may end up being the right leader to the group. It would not sit well with Kigipigak for some time regardless, raised as he was to trust in a female issumatar. This was the way things had to be.

However close Kigipigak felt to the other man before, now he was resistant to his presence. It had not been Valmua's influence that undermined their friendship but the core of the winterborn boy: they were doomed from the start. Valmua's influence had only exacerbated a pre-existing bias; and as Stjornuati condemned his blood-sister and bond-brother Kigipigak's dark feelings grew stronger.

No wolf of Tartok wields such disloyalty. The man said. Kigipigak held his tongue. It was frozen in place within his mouth, heavy and immovable, muting him. He did not consider himself to be disloyal to the cause—quite the opposite, Kigipigak was doing all he could to piece together a home and make it as strong as possible. Southern blood was weaker but it was prolific. The deals he had tried to strike among the valley wolves could have been a boon—if only Stjornuati had seen the value in them and not fallen victim to his skepticism.

Having been told to stay near the Watch, Kigipigak merely nods his head. He had already accepted that as one possible outcome and would obey it to the best of his ability, wondering all the while if the cause was truly worth the headache of this man's tantrum. He waited to be dismissed; as soon as he was given leave Kigipigak would skulk along the ridge again and disperse from both their company—eager to put some distance between them to sort out his own feelings on the matter.

Inupiaq. · Common.
November 20, 2020, 09:18 PM
Stjornuati
Approved Members

Their silence spoke volumes, volumes of text that disappointed the man of ice. While the two of them did not share the bond that he and Solpallur did, his love of the girl before him ran deep, in such a way that had she sought to build something from nothing as he and the suneater did, he would have supported her, not sought her crown nor the throne she wished to settle herself upon. The wound she delivered this day cut him deep, deeper than the teeth she imagined upon his neck, deeper than he had been cut ever before.

It was a difficult lesson for the man to learn, suddenly questioning his trust of any other than the one he was bound with. With a final look upon the two, Stjornuati turned and departed from them in silence, finiding no more words, no more breath he wished to waste upon them. The damage was done, and nothing the pair of them could say this day would correct it, and he did not expect them to try, either; they had not even shown the barest amount of remorse, afterall.

Stjornuati exits!
November 21, 2020, 12:00 AM
Valmúa
Lone Wolves

        Kigipigak nodded, but she was still. Her excitement from mere minutes ago had been leeched from her body. Stjornuati left behind a cold, chained creature that had no business being on such a short leash. She knew that this discovery had given him reason never to trust her again. She knew that there was no longer hope of de-throning him in the quiet, calculated way that she had planned for. Where before the wheels in her mind had been turning to find the next phase of their plan, now the cogs were stopped, left to sit and rust. She couldn't think. She couldn't feel.
        Now what?
        The fires in her heart turned instead to embers. She stood there in silence for some time, chest heaving visibly, staring at the dirt. She moved away from Kigipigak, her footsteps soft, broken, like the ash from the remnants of a blaze. She could not bring herself to look at him, for where once stood a powerful leader, now there was a girl.
        Slowly, she wandered on wobbling, toddler steps to the base of a tree. She lay down, curling her red tail in front of her face. The girl became a ball. She would not move from there for many hours.