Firefly Glen change, change will preserve us
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All Welcome 
Tabriëlle waited until she was beyond the border and out of earshot to cry. Though her cries manifested in small, indistinct whimpers obstructed by deep breaths of discomfort. Tears throbbed down her face in angry testimonials, obscuring her vision and causing her headache to worsen.
 
She was alone.
And, worse than alone- she was changed-
now a mere skeleton of the beautifully confident shewolf she once was.
 
Tabriëlle licked her lips- an odd combination of parchedness and dampness. She cried until she could not cry any more. And she hated herself for it. Hated herself for all that was lost and all that could not be.
 
Then, she stopped.
Shakily she pulled herself up on all fours-
And began again.
 
+++
 
[Setting- Day
Location- Outside the FFG pack boarders]
 
Tabriëlle! Take your sister and run! We will organize the others. Tabriëlle!
What skills do you offer? There is no place for you here.

 
Deep in thought, Tabriëlle had not noticed herself slumping around in glop-like sand until it was too late.
 
Strange, she thought- glancing at the curious substance. It was unlike any she had seen before. The texture was…odd. “What are you?” she asked her muck-covered paw, her expression clearly disturbed.
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With his border patrols ranging out into the neutral territories to check for any sign of Fennec, Bronco was kept on his feet for the majority of the day for the past week. He'd begun to tire, but he was too stubborn to take a pause from his searching. He needed to keep up with his duties both to his pack, and to his missing friend.

He'd been along this area before, and was familiar with the tricky, more bog-like spots, though he had yet to discover just how sticky and horrible it was to try and walk through quicksand. As it was- he saw the lone wolf near the borders and approached, treading through the murky ground figuring that it was just mud. 

He discovered, fairly quickly, just how wrong he was. 

He stopped when he began to notice that his hind paws were sinking in faster than he could pull them out, and that the earth made a great sucking noise every time he did free up a paw. Clumsily, he duck-walked to a patch of grass, and stood on it like a mountain goat perched on a rock. It wasn't the best way to address a newcomer, but damn, that mud was sticky and sucky. He was lucky he had the good sense not to just stand in it and allow himself to sink further. 

"I swear I patrol along here all the tike but I never noticed this...Sand," He commented, by way of extending an apology and a greeting. He shifted, trying to keep his footing on the small patch of grass.
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Toad was no guardian.

But there was never any harm in roaming near the borders and checking out what was new. Sniffing about the borders was a great way to make sure she knew who was here and who was not here. Since Fennec's random disappearance, she was starting to feel out of the loop again. There was something weird going on with Bronco, who was no doubt distraught at his sister's missing status. For Toad, who was usually quite sympathetic to such things, she knew that Fennec had run off on purpose. This seemed like an absolutely terrible idea given her disability.

And it was this rather distasteful thought of the blind woman that was interrupted when she noticed a new, strange smell. Inhaling sharply, she strode confidently, trailing after the stranger with a hurried pace. She expected some deviant, some bastard, some child-hurting maniac. So she moved in with tail high, trying to look more fierce and less fluffy.

The animal she found, though, was hardly a wolf at all. She was thin, dainty, and seemed quite confused at a bit of wet sand from the nearby lake. Bronco seemed equally perplexed by the sand they were standing in. Toad didn't hesitate in moving toward them, tail more relaxed. She kept a stiffness about her that suggested she might be angry, but Bronco's mere presence quickly dispelled that. When she was closer, she noticed the sand they were in seemed... different.

She peered at Bronco, smiling awkwardly. Then she looked at the sand, and poked at it with her foot. It seemed like sand that was too wet. The kind you can feel at the bottom of an ocean wave. Ew. She raised her paw and shook it.
Moonspear and Firefly Glen members can powerplay Toad for whatever they'd like barring injury, just tag her!
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Awkwardly inspecting her front paw, Tabriëlle noticed a not-so-subtle movement from the corner of her eye. It was a wolf, attempting to waddle through the unidentified muck in her direction. He would free a paw- sink- free a paw- sink. This process repeated in a cyclical fashion until he managed to secure a steady position, and Tabriëlle risked a closer look at the stranger.

He was a handsome wolf.
Well-built and rich in coloration-
almost warm to look at.
 
-Almost-
She looked away.
 
Perhaps it was his nearness that caused her nerves to spike, or her recent encounter with strange wolves. Perhaps it was the constant ringing in her ears, or the vague blurred outline of the world as she neared collapsing. Regardless, in one loud, misplaced proclamation she half-shouted at Bronco “I have skills that can contribute to you and any pack you may represent!!” Her voice was louder than she had planned.

Realizing she had just interrupted Bronco’s greeting, Tabriëlle calmly nodded. As if to say, please go on and just ignore that.

To her rescue, a second scent appeared soon followed by a second wolf.

The she wolf in question was a peculiarly buoyant spirit, striding in as if summoned with urgency.
Tabriëlle assumed that Bronco knew the other wolf, though neither of them had formally introduced themselves, so she continued to look between the two wolves- the goo- back at the wolves- and the goo again.

“Yes, ew” she offered, unapologetically chucking the muck. “My name is Tabriëlle,” she added, lowering her head- looking mostly at Toad.
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She was a skittish, spindly young wolf with a nervous look about her expressions, but Bronco was unnerved by her anxiety very, very little. In fact, he was quite distracted- and almost amused- by the hilarity of their present condition, sinking little by little into the sand-like mud that looked hard enough, and that seemed solid enough- until you stepped in it. And then it folded in upon itself, sucking whatever paw happened to step into it with surprising hunger. 

He was cut off from his attempt at dissolving the tension when she blurted a very loud statement at him which caused him to flinch in surprise, but afterwards, when she bowed her head in apology, he chuckled a dry, awkward laugh. It was almost cute, how nervous she was. He looked over his shoulder when he heard more sucking noises and caught sight of Toad who- despite her namesake- certainly did not seem to be enjoying the muddy predicament either. He made a mental note that he would have to bring Quetzal here, and get her to play in this stuff- though part of him did suspect that it might be just a bit too sticky for her. 

"Tabriëlle," He repeated; it was a pretty name. He glanced at Toad, given the fact that Tabriëlle seemed to be watching her a bit more than him, which was fine with him. It didn't ruffle his feathers any if the new stranger felt more comfortable speaking with Toad than him- or perhaps, she felt that she was more obliged to speak to Toad, given that Toad's posture was a bit more stiff than his. Either way, a smile was drawn from his lips when he realized that one of his hind feet had slipped from his tuft of grass, and had sunk in well past his ankle. "Ugh, this stuff," He said, giving his foot a yank. Alarmingly, it didn't come free. He stepped back to try and get a better foothold- but that meant also sticking another hind foot into the mud, and it too began to sink. "Alright, enough of this," He said, and lurched forward, managing to get both feet unstuck, but he briefly fell to his chest in the process, before he could get his feet underneath himself. "Right, maybe before we-" Each foot began to sink, so he had to keep moving them. But this seemed only to accelerate the process. "Continue introductions on more solid ground, hmm?" He asked, and began to swkwardly try and duck-walk his way out of the quicksand toward what looked like the nearest bank where the grass grew thicker.
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As Toad wiggled her foot to remove the sand, the newcomer did the same and introduced herself. She had a very pretty name, and Toad relaxed as Bronco repeated it back. Toad stepped back and wiped the sides and bottom of her foot on the much drier grass just beyond where the other two were fumbling about.

Bronco in particular was... less than graceful about removing himself from the sand-mud-mess. Every move he made seemed to make it worse, and Toad couldn't help but start snorting in laughter, standing there, either unable or unwilling to help him out. If she'd thought he'd actually been in danger, she would of course have assisted, but there was a level of enjoyment in watching someone she respected fail so hard at such a simple task.

As he neared the bank, Toad finally stepped forward, careful to dig her back feet into the ground as she gently grabbed at a thick part of his scruff and pulled. It didn't help much and probably wasn't the most pleasant experience on the receiving end.

Panting mildly from this effort, she finally looked to Tabriëlle, who looked no worse for wear. I'm Toad Amelia, she said, offering a goofy smile, still internally laughing at Bronco. And this is Bronco. She gestured. Why, um, what brings you to the Glen? She tried to play the part of guardian once more, but she really was more of a Wal-Mart greeter type than pack defender.
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All Welcome 
It was a delightfully strange sight. Wolves smearing unsuspecting grass with violating filth. The squishy texture of the sinking mud- uncouthly therapeutic.

And, for just a moment
collectively tossing
aside the unwanted filth-
she felt
-clean-
 
Her ears perked at the sound of her name as her face flushed. However, the momentary shyness soon subsided, replaced with diversion coated with a hint of delight. Glancing back over at the snorting sludge-ball, Tabriëlle couldn’t help but to smile.

Smiling turned into staring as she watched the stout she wolf proceed to grab the larger, athletic wolf by his scruff and yank him out of his sinking predicament. They must be packmates. Maybe of relation?

After Toad had finished moving the male, she looked to Tabriëlle. Tabriëlle instinctively inched away, as if suggesting that she thought Toad might grab her by the scruff as well and yank her along. “Hello Toad Amelia,” Tabriëlle half-squeaked nervously. She cleared her throat, “pleasure to meet you- Bronco.”

Hurriedly, she pushed forward through the sludge-pool and ruffled her coat before taking a sitting position beside the two. “The Glen?” she repeated, looking around curiously before returning her attention back to Toad. “I have traveled far in search of- refuge,” she paused and looked over at Bronco, her body stiffening. She watched him for a solid minute before continuing. “My previous pack land was consumed by fire. So many of the wolves dead or misplaced.” Her voice was sad, but a bit louder than before. “Is there a Glen Wolf Pack?” Tabriëlle asked.
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At first, he felt stupid and clumsy, trying to pull himself out of the mud in front of this stranger, who now likely thought he was a complete dolt for andering directly into this fairly large patch of boggy sand. In all his time experiencing mud growing up next to a bog and a swamp, he'd never encountered something quite like this and he found the novel experience to be a bit humiliating. When he heard a snorting noise over the sucking noises of the sand, he looked over his shoulder only to notice then that Toad was laughing at him- and it eased his nerves when he glanced over at Tabriëlle only to see that she found this whole ordeal amusing as well. He chuckled, and gave a small grunt as Toad latched onto his scruff and helped- albeit somewhat awkwardly- give him a tug that helped him manage the last few steps out of the quicksand.

He circled around, taking a moment to shake his pelt out to relieve some of the stress he'd been carrying in his shoulders before he returned to Toad's side and appreciatively bumped her shoulder with his muzzle with a soft chuckle. This wasn't the first time she'd seen him fumble, but to be fair, he'd never claimed to be a particularly graceful wolf. He was built more for being an impressive placeholder than an acrobat, that's for sure.

He nodded his head in acknowledgement to their new guest as she greeted them, taking note of how polite she was. All green flags so far, he thought- though it worried him when she mentined needing refuge. He glanced to Toad, and had already leapt to the conclusion that perhaps she knew about the trouble that had come into their lives over the summer due to the two troublesome packs in the Wilds- but instead, she mentioned a wildfire. Wherever it was that she had come from, it must have been far away- they'd experienced the opposite, in the form of a month-long deluge that had caused a great deal of flooding and had forced several packs to relocate.

He wasn't quite sure what to say, right off the bat. So he answered her more pressing question first. “Our pack is called Firefly Glen,” He said, and his voice was gentle. “I'm...Very sorry, for everything you've been through, Tabriëlle” he said. “We might be able to give you a home here,” He said. “We're a pretty peaceful pack, and we have several other allies in the area as well. What, might you say, would be some of the skills you could bring to the pack?” He asked. He felt horrible simply delving into typical interview questions, having learned what she'd experienced- but he also felt that the sooner they could potentially offer her a home, the sooner she might be able to start getting a bit of rehabilitation, and the refuge she sought.
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The whole muddy sand debacle reminded Toad a lot of the first time she had met Bronco. She recalled how filthy they had gotten, and how awkward it was to slide right into him. Neither of them were particularly graceful animals. As he bumped her, she grinned and leaned into it affectionately.

The white newcomer was gorgeous, though she definitely needed to put some meat on those bones. Toad felt sorry for her even before she demonstrated her cordial mien and described her predicament. Oh, you poor thing, Toad frowned, stepping forward as though the girl was some long lost niece (of which she had many), reaching out to her with her nose to sniff. There was no trace of the fire on her coat, but the coffee-coated woman did notice that Tabriëlle had the scent she associated with prolonged stress.

Bronco echoed his condolences, but quickly moved on to ask what skills she had. Toad gave him a scrunched, disappointed frown. All she wanted to do was feed the damsel, even if she didn't end up staying. Bronco was the boss here, though. She supposed that he was trained to ask these dumb questions. Guardian or not, she hated the idea. Toad thought about wiping any excess mud-sand on Bronco, but decided against it to maintain an image of respect. She looked back to the girl, smiling thinly, tail waving slowly behind her.
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Displaced muck flew from Bronco’s rich coat, showering the company with murky droplets. Tension formed in Tabriëlle’s chest as she watched the brute move closer toward Toad, leaning in unwaveringly. Was he going to reprimand her for her behavior? Would there be an altercation?

Closer.
Closer.
Closer still.
-Immediate relief-

She relaxed at the sight of Bronco’s grateful response. The sound of his low laugh pleasing to her, and the sight of Toad’s playful grin, as if she had some unspoken jest between them. And although she allowed herself to enjoy the company, gathering together as three wolves who might have known each other in another life- she repositioned herself so as not to sit between them, just in-case she lost favor and they decided to try and rip her to pieces.

She caught Toad’s sympathetic stare before the adamant she-wolf bounded forward, sniffing her intently. “F-Firefly Glen?” Tabriëlle repeated, shakily swiveling about- awkwardly sniff-shuffling with Toad. She smelled nice- like a mossy log or a rock after rainfall. Bronco’s voice was gentle now. “That’s kind of you, B-Bronco” she added, keeping her gaze downcast. “I appreciate your consideration.” Her voice quieted to a whisper now as she looked down at her paws as if embarrassed by something Bronco had implied. “I-I can benefit this pack. I can carry messages between wolves and pack allies. I can endure travel under adverse conditions.”

Tabriëlle glanced between Toad and Bronco. The frown on Toad’s face and the silence in the air hinting that Bronco was the authority here. Summoning all courage, Tabriëlle stood and neared Bronco, lowering herself respectfully- but only a little this time. No, this time she would not placate.
Beautiful, heartbroken blue eyes stared into Bronco’s- but this time they were tinted with something else. Something on the rise.

“I-I can benefit this pack” she repeated. “Tell me what you need.”
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It weighed on him to have to switch into business mode- but that was part of what being a guardian was. He was an empathetic soul who struggled to set aside his own feelings, and regard Tabriëlle with the same, objective air that he was expected to see all wolves with. And while they were a peaceful pack, he knew that they couldn't simply accept all souls into the pack simply because they were to be pitied; they had a future to build, and it could not be done with dead weight. If Bronco had been forced to lead a pack, he knew it would likely become feeble and crumble, as he would have been too easily swayed to take in all hopeful joiners in need of a home without giving them just consideration and a thoughtful interview. 

And with enemies lurking in the distance- he couldn't simply assume she wasn't a spy, or a mole, sent to weave her way into their midst and then either gather intelligence or uproot them from within. One couldn't be too careful. 

Still- he took Tabriëlle at her word, and was relieved that she claimed she could be a good scout. She certainly looked the sort- while a bit travel-worn, she was tall, and had the look of one who could cross great distances with an airy, lengthy stride. She was both polite and respectful, and while he could almost feel the grief that she carried with her like a cold breeze, she persevered. She was here, and she was offering herself to the pack, with the promise that she could both commit and serve. In exchange, he would happily do what he could to give her protection, and a new place to call home. Her gaze was captivating, and while there was sadness in her eyes, there was also strength. Bronco was convinced. 

He nodded to her, and exhaled softly, releasing some of the tension in his shoulders. "I think you would make a good scout." He said. It was his way of not necessarily promising her she could join the pack- as he didn't have the authority to do so- but he could at least vouch for her. She would need a bit more courage, but he assumed that would come with time. She had endured much already and he felt she would benefit most from having a home where the wolves considered each other to be family. He tilted his head back and called for the leaders of the pack, summoning them to meet their newest potential recruit, and pass judgement on her application.
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Osiris had happened upon the gathering by chance. He had thought he smelt an unfamiliar scent on the wind and had decided to follow his nose to further investigate. When he saw the group in the distance and spotted a tall, unknown figure, he picked up the pace to meet them. He had picked up his posture in his approach, his legs stiff as boards, and his tail flagging tall—his typical facade in the presence of a stranger. 

Pulling alongside Bronco, Osiris watched the snow-furred woman for a moment. The scent of stress radiated from her coat, and she appeared travel-worn; he wasn't sure to make of her just yet. "Hello," he greeted, his attention solely on Tabriëlle, "I'm Osiris, leader of this glen. How can I help you?"
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@Osiris

A phantom of a smile flickered across Tabriëlle’s lips as she listened to Bronco shatter the cold, winter sky with his compelling call. I think you would make a good scout. 

However, her flash of tenacity quickly faded upon the sudden arrival of a bulky wolf. He was richly colored and appeared a bit younger than Tabriëlle, though by how much she wasn’t certain. Feeling vulnerable under his watchful survey, Tabriëlle took a few steps back, curving her frame into a delicate sit. Her blue orbs dared to glance at him for a moment-

-quietly inviting him to share
a glimpse of the horrors
she could never say aloud.

Then, she looked away.
The moment neither here nor there.


“T-Tabriëlle,” she offered in return, bowing her head and lowering her shoulders so as not to exceed the Alpha in height. “I hope to be of service to you,” she continued, quiet though direct. “My home was devastated by recent fire and our pack misplaced, driven out and- worse…”

Tabriëlle paused to study her surroundings. Was the Alpha displeased? Were the wolves signaling to each other? Should she make motion for her departure? Calm down, Tabriëlle. Calm down.

“I would like to join your pack,” she added. This time, she wanted no confusion.
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Skipping the others with permission! Sorry for the short post--wanted to keep this moving for you!

With context, Osiris could now understand why she smelled so strongly of stress. He nodded, acknowledging her plight; she was probably exhausted, but he knew he couldn't accept her without considering how she would to aid for the pack.

"What duties did you have at your former pack?" he asked, cutting straight to the point.
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@Osiris

Tabriëlle watched Osiris, her eyes locked on the Alpha’s every move. He was nodding, and that was- good? She nodded too. As if the simple act of nodding could somehow bond two strange wolves. As if to say, see I also nod.
 

Trying to hide a frown at the mention of her previous pack, Tabriëlle addressed Osiris as if he was already her Alpha, directly and removing all emotion from her answer. “Sir, I was born to the Beta pair of my previous pack and had many responsibilities. Several included strengthening the perimeter, greeting newcomers, and serving as a messenger and confidant between allied packs.” She was quiet for a moment before adding, “I can benefit this pack. I can benefit you. Permit me a job, and I will show you,” her voice was tired, but she did not beg. And for the first time in a while, she felt...stronger than before....louder and somehow pretty. 
 
She tilted her maw, wondering if she would be cast out again, or worse, accused of lying. Tabriëlle was exhausted and she needed to rest and recover-
 
Hopefully, she waited.
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Osiris could feel Tabriëlle's eyes on him, following his every move. He didn't like how she was looking at him, and his fur prickled uncomfortably as he growled in warning. 

She then listed-off her previous duties, and Osiris followed carefully; they could never have too many guardians and ambassadors. "We can use your skills here," he said, briefly glancing to check and see if @Toad Amelia and @Bronco for any sort of retort. When nothing of the sort rose, Osiris stepped towards Tabriëlle and brushed against her, mixing their scents; she was now a member of the glen. "Welcome to the pack," he said, taking a step back. 

"Toad and Bronco, could you please help her settle in?" he asked, looking to his subordinates.
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Toad watched as poor Tabriëlle struggled to sell herself to Bronco. She glanced toward him occasionally, trying to read his expression, a little afraid that he or Osiris might turn her away. Indeed, he was right to be concerned, but Toad carried little or none of his caution. It was not in her nature to doubt someone who looked to be in pain and distress, regardless of outside circumstances. She was thankful and breathed a small sigh of relief when he called for Osiris.

Patiently, she watched her leader go through the 'important' motions. Eventually, he declared that she was a useful woman, and at his Toad perked up and her tail began to wave with tender excitement. At last, Osiris marked her and Toad wiggled with anticipation, rubbing her own scent upon the girl and speaking fast and quick, Of course! We can start at the rendezvous! It has this big boulder, you'll like it. She practically bubbled over, looking at Bronco and bouncing ahead of them both like a pup. Let's go get some food in this thing! She thought impatiently.

She'd have to tell her never to look the leaders in the eye, though.
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He fell quiet and remained with a fairly neutral expression on his face as he listened to Osiris and Tabriëlle converse. Still, he could see no red flags that might indicate that she was unstable, or that she might not be useful in the pack. She was respectful, and seemed capable of controlling her emotions even when it meant discussing something that was quite traumatic. That wasn't so say she was devoid of emotions- but she could obviously compartmentalize, at least; that meant that in a chaotic situation or a crisis, she might still be able to keep her cool. 

Toad was obviously relieved, and he wasn't surprised to see her so pleased with the outcome; Toad had a gentle heart, and he could tell that she felt pity for the wandering lass. He kept some of his composure and didn't leap about as Toad did, but he was also still trying to deal with being in a sombre mood, following Fennec's disappearance. He did smile, nevertheless, and once the other two had stepped away, he stepped forward with a docile, gentle pace to touch his muzzle to Tabriëlle's as well, marking her inclusion in the pack. As though he'd read Toad's mind, he nodded and added "Sure. I've got a cache near there that has a partridge in it," He said, volunteering that as a meal. He'd been brought up to feed those who were hungry, and that offering food was a good way to welcome someone. Quietly, he moved along with the others, hoping that Tabriëlle would fit in well in her new home.