Larksong Grotto I don't mind a little town or drinking my coffee cold
what's a little sweetheart like you
doing with a bloody nose?
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#1
All Welcome 
Scout thread! AW

Raleska had returned to the cliffs with no sign of Valravn, and little news of their encroaching neighbors. Imparting to both @Erzulie and @Rosalyn of her decision to scout Sagtannet's perimeters, this time Raleska set east and traveled well past the mountain's range.

She rested in a thicket at the wintery ends of a grotto. The vegetation here was thin and poor, affording her little besides threadbare camouflage. From her vantage she could see part of Sagtannet's rough shoulder, but curiously enough, found little in the way of scents to mark it.

It was not enough information yet for Raleska to piece together Sagtannet's self-implosion, but in a few hours time as she headed closer, Raleska would become aware that the scents here thinned and were weak at best.
all of which makes me anxious,
at times unbearably so.
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#2
Snatching this! Going to take advantage of liquid-time and say this takes place before Njord’s conflict with Kigipigak.

Njord’s new favorite past-time was peeing on everything, per Rosalyn’s instructions. He took to Dragoncrest’s borders and its margin, making sure to scratch, rub, or mark any lingering Sagtannet scent. Sapphique was here to stay and Njord was confident, under Rosalyn and Erzulie’s tactful leadership, that the pack would be well fortified over winter.

As he patrolled back to the heartland a she wolf he only knew by name, Raleska, took off Westward. Ever curious, especially after his conversation with Kaertok, Njord trailed her from a good distance behind (mostly because she was so friggin’ fast, the islander couldn’t keep up). As the scout and her caboose arrived near Nova peak, Njord became a little worried. Hadn’t Rosalyn instructed him to not scout so close to Sagtannet? Maybe Raleska had special permissions and it was a bad idea to follow at all. The cover here was so scarce…

Hey,” Njord whispered as he came upon her, I’m ‘ere ta help. He did his best to flatten himself, but it was obvious that the buccaneer was not a master of espionage.
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what's a little sweetheart like you
doing with a bloody nose?
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#3
For a time Raleska was aware she was being tracked. She kept her posture the same, feigning obliviousness. When at last the cover broke she whirled around towards her pursuer with hackles bristling and shoulders hunched aggressively.

Oh. The flame-licked tail was a dead giveaway this was one of their own, though at first glance Raleska did not immediately place him. Her fur settled, but she cast him a shrewd look anyway. Any accusation hanging on her lips was dropped by his flattened posture and his mention of being here to help.

She was Raleska. She didn't need any help. Her fur bristled indignantly, wondering if he was here to babysit her like she was a helpless woman. She had half a mind to turn his cheeks as red as his tail with a horrible quip, but then she recalled if Njord was liked by either of her surrogate mothers, she'd better be nice.

Fine. "You could go up that hill and see if anyone's watching." Raleska suggested, lips disguising the hidden smirk. Sure, help -- by being the first guy that breaches enemy gates in a minefield. It was hard to tell if she was joking or not given the scowl on her face, and Raleska refused to give an inch in the way of warmth.
all of which makes me anxious,
at times unbearably so.
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As soon as the islander sidled up besides the woman Njord felt in his gut that he had made a huge mistake. Every wolf he had encountered in Teekon, so far, had been the genial sort. Maybe stoic or cold… but never mean. Raleska was a nettled and prickly like an agitated porcupine – her naturally dark features enhanced by the yellow leer of her poisonous gaze. She turned sharply on him, hackles raised and Njord felt most unwelcome. Was she really the daughter of Rosalyn and Erzulie? This was who Kaertok was loyal to?

He began to steel himself against her, sensing a familiar contempt in her expression, but he desired to befriend her as a pack-mate. Njord decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he jumped too quickly to conclusions. This wasn’t Meares Island, after all.

You could go up that hill and see if anyone's watching, Raleska suggested. Njord turned to her, looking at the women like she had three heads, but couldn’t get a read. “Ya can’t be serious,” he said with a hushed chuckle, analyzing her expression. Njord wasn’t always the sharpest crayon in the box, but he wasn’t that obtuse – they were practically on top of Sagtannet’s territory already.
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what's a little sweetheart like you
doing with a bloody nose?
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#5
Raleska's deadpan expression suggested to the contrary - she was serious. Her accipitrine-yellow gaze inspected the rough shoulders of the slope before slowly making their way back to Njord.

This was the type of male that Rosalyn and Erzulie willingly let into Sapphique?  The older she grew and the more wolves she met, the more Raleska realized that she was an outsider. When she was younger she had thought they were not like her -- but now she realized it was the other way around.  She was not like them.

It was strange, being on the outside and looking in. Njord, for all of his hesitation, was not necessary a wolf Raleska would immediately have assumed was a coward. If anything, her impression of him was that he was a trier, so his reservations about going uphill were met with flat disillusion.

"Fine. I'll go up the hill." Raleska finally said, flicking her dark tail as if sweeping his presence aside. She took several steps past the northerner and began picking her way carefully up the slope. Every now and then she would pause and angle her long muzzle towards any sound source she heard -- but never once did she look back to confirm Njord was still there. And that was very pointed.
all of which makes me anxious,
at times unbearably so.
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#6
Like a stubborn fish, Raleska didn’t even nibble at Njord’s jest. Her stony expression looked down on him with contempt until she turned with a swift pivot and flat words. Damn, what a frigid bitch. Njord thought to himself as he watched the inky woman tip-toe up to the top of the rise. She was on alert, but the islander did take notice that she paid him no more heed. His lips pinched, soured by her acidic personality. What he thought would be a fun adventure turned into a chore.

Njord rolled his shoulders, trying to hang onto what little hope he had for this mission. He would have balked if he knew Raleska appraised him as a gutless wet blanket. “Alright, alright,” the islander grumbled to himself as he slinked up the hill, feeling a knot in his belly as he pointedly disobeyed Rosalyn’s instructions.

He could feel adrenaline thrum in his veins. They were very exposed in this particular patch. Any small movement made his blue eyes flick across the landscape, waiting for Sagtannet’s patrols to spot them from their higher position on Nova peak. He moved to Raleska’s haunch, voice low as he questioned her tactics. “Raleska, we’re jus’ waitin’ ta be broadsided. Shouldn’t we move deeper inside tha grotto?” he asked. But maybe it would have been better if he just shut up and follow the Eyjolfur’s lead.
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what's a little sweetheart like you
doing with a bloody nose?
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#7
frigid bitch -- LMFAO hes not wrong. Last from me <3

It didn't take much to confirm Njord was dutifully following, even if Raleska never spared a glance back. Her attention was largely focused on studying the slopes -- scents here hung like faded tendrils, and the few markings she detected were well on their way to dissolution.

"They're not here." Raleska answered almost immediately after Njord's wise suggestion to return home. She inspected a bush that bore the faded scent of urine on it before she turned back to him. Little did Raleska know that Sagtannet stood no longer (replaced now by Rivenwood), and many of its members had phased away or left. What little she could tell here was that they did not reinforce their borders, which to hear spoke of certain victory.

A rare smile rose to her features as she began to walk past Njord. "Let's go back and tell the others."
all of which makes me anxious,
at times unbearably so.
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#8
ILU Raleska ;__;

They’re not here.

Oh?

Njord’s head snapped up to really look around. He tasted the air before smelling the ground. Sagtannet’s marks had not been revived, the scent of the pack old and dying. In his preoccupation with being jumped by their enemies, and his skepticism of Raleska’s precarious tactics (plus her prickly demeanor), the seafarer had failed to notice how obviously barren Larksong Grotto was. He felt a bit sheepish for not trusting the dark woman and naïve for being acutely unaware of his surroundings.

A smug smile cracked Raleska’s stony expression, but Njord did not balk. A small bloom of esteem for his superior rooted within this islander. He would not forget this lesson: to levy precaution with dauntlessness – a smart use of gathered information. He would become a better scout because of this.

With a small nod he fell into line. There would be no further dispute from him. “Aye Aye, Raleska,” he acquiesced. Njord would trail her back to Sapphique where they would inform @Erzulie, @Rosalyn, and the rest of the pack on their findings.
Members of Sapphique are welcome to join all threads and power-play Njord (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not he's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!