Firefly Glen I'm sorry if I hurt you, I'm sorry if it got that bad
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#26
While prowling the mountain's neighbouring lands, she heard the commotion first. Quickly the blaze ran toward the sound, breaching the neighbouring pack's borders knowing already that they were simply an extension of Moonspear and simply kept running until the sight unfolded before her eyes. The scent of blood was thick in the air, one of Moonspear's members was laying lifeless on the ground... others were severely injured... and she joined the fray. Without hesitation she leapt into battle with every intention of climbing, clawing, bitting her way to the nape of the bear to get a hold of its neck/head where she could not be reached. Unless shaken off, she would bite, chew, and rip from here with ferocious, murderous intent.
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The desire to conquer is itself a sort of subjection.
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the bonecracker
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#27
It had taken her time to arrive the moment she had heard the call, but arrive she eventually had. And close to the Glen, Hydra threw up her own head to call to any with the strength and wit to aid further.

There was no time to take stock of the damage done yet; Hydra saw nothing but for the loathsome bear, a streak of red, and a shadow overhead. Hydra knew better than to simply jump at it head on; one proper swipe was all it would take from it to kill even the strongest of wolves. The bear had every advantage except, now, for the number. And surely it would know that more would come from her own call. 

But it was not enough. Not then. Not with the scent of blood on the air; blood of her loved ones, blood of her friends, blood of her kith and kin. A snarl as her ears pressed over her brows as she pressed closer to the beasts side, keeping out of reach as she feigned pointedly for an eye. What would her newest shadow make of that? 

But as it was now, Hydra did not think it wise for herself to be so near its face; she sought the heel to his back right leg to harry, hale enough herself to know when to retreat and when to press forward to accost and distract.
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She could feel the monster's teeth sink in with horrifying pressure, cracking bones under its jaws with little hesitation. She felt... weightless, in a way. Like she was floating, watching the battle from some distant perspective. In flew Constance, already covered in blood, attacking the raging monster like her life depended on it.

And perhaps it did. In a matter of minutes, the leviathan had wrought destruction upon their peaceful little home, spilling blood acrosss the forest floor as if it was painting a room.

Toad dragged herself closer, the fire and desire to fight still pushing her. And Azon, wonderful man that he was turning out to be, still threw himself towards danger with single minded purpose to protect them. To protect her.

A smile, faded and weary, drew across her battered muzzle as she flew through the air and landed in the snow in a puff of white and red. Strangely, the woman felt no pain, even as her breath gurgled and wheezed, in and out, slowly. Something was wrong, she could tell, but that wouldn't stop her. It couldn't stop her. Not when her Queen and sister arrived to drive the monster away.

Keres struggled to her feet once more to move to the Mountain Queen's side.

Or, she attempted to.

In reality, she did not move at all. She watched as the war waged on, evergreen eyes somehow still vibrant and coherent.

An errant thought passed through her mind, hoping, quietly, that Holland was far, far from here. He'd certainly huff at her for the state she was in now.
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Mature Content Warning


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The participants have indicated the following reason(s) for this warning: violence

Coasting overhead as the cold wind blew, he travelled with the great queen of the mountain, waiting for her to find the source of the call. Upon their arrival he saw carnage, the distinct colour of bright red upon the snow. Broken bodies were left behind as a massive, monstrous creature barrelled its way through the wolfkin.

As the queen of the mountain attacked the great beast along with her companions, the eagle called to them from above. Abruptly, he swooped down to the bodies and found the dark warrior among them. The body of the warrior was still warm as he landed upon her, talons stretching through her chocolate fur.

The eagle found his prize, pushing his beak into her left eye socket and pulling out the soft tissue within. He swallowed it, and looked on, aloof, at the warring beasts around him.

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@Niamh's message still rang in her ears and twisted her stomach. A cougar had attacked the caldera, leaving several of her siblings injured. Of course, Meerkat wanted to go to them, make sure Alyx, Bronco and Fennec would be okay. But there was all this snow. And apparently there was a cougar on the prowl.

When she heard the first roar, she sucked in a breath and held it. Soon, all hell broke loose in the distance. She was no fighter, so every instinct told Meerkat to run in the other direction and let the more capable guardians come to the glen's defense. She wouldn't stand a chance against a cougar.

Despite this, her sense of familial loyalty pushed her toward the sounds of the commotion. By the time she arrived to find it was a bear, not a cougar, there was blood, bodies and chaos everywhere. She stopped on the fringes of the scene, eyes drawn to the sight of an enormous eagle plucking out a dead wolf's eyes.

Her stomach dropped when she realized she recognized the corpse. Meerkat felt her throat ripple. Fight or flight went out the window entirely as she simply stood there, frozen, mouth dropping open in an earsplitting scream.
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#31
More screaming, more scrambling, and more scents drifting into the scene -- some of which, he could tell, had come from moonspear. Whatever was happening behind him was a second thought, his attack on the ursine continued. Though......was that all?

No, he wasn't using his brain at all right now.

Āzoniol had been so blinded by his own rage at this point that for a moment, he was under the impression that only him and the goliath existed in this fight -- that this was a battle he'd actually be able to deal with by himself. In actuality, his need to avenge death was driven purely by irrational emotions; there was no way in hell he was killing a half-ton beast by himself -- ecspecially when he'd been fighting the thing like a wolf rather than what it was: A grizzly.

The phoenix clung to whatever peice of skin he bit like a leech so he didn't loose the bear's location, and when some of his vision finally started draining back to him, he wasted no time drifting his weight to aim for the urisine's face. A reckless move -- and not a very graceful shift of movements either due to the concussion slowing his movements and reflexes -- but if Ignis was able to disorient the beast and skew his vision, even for a moment, it may be able to give....whoever else had joined -- the chance to attack any weak spots.

It was the only thing he'd probably be able to do now, because Ignis was quickly on the verge of loosing consciousness.
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All at once, there were just too many of them. He felt his other back foot hurting as a wolf snapped onto his foot and he shook it angrily. There was one coming for his head, one screaming, and the white one attacking him again. He didn't like any of it. The bear flailed his front paws about, biting, claws slashing in a largely blind attempt to maim anyone remaining in front.

As blood streamed from his many small wounds, Yakwahe finally threw his weight forward to dislodge anyone attached, furiously running forward and away from the group. At a certain point, none of this was worth the trouble.

The bear bolted back where he had come, a thin trail of blood leading anyone right to him should they pursue. However, their pack mates were a disaster, and perhaps they would tend to them instead of chasing him down. There were holes all over his face, such that he looked more of a monster than ever.
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#33
As the blood fell in huge globs from her face, the freezing air stung a part of her gumline that was exposed when it wasn't supposed to be. It hurt. The hobbling only lasted so long before the loss of blood and intensity of the pain sent her back down to her side. Her useless leg dragged beneath her, bent at a strange angle that was sickening to look at.

She moaned, struggling, unable to see Keres anymore. The fighting was fierce. Amelia felt her chest rattling as blood began to leak from her nose from her throat. She choked, coughing more of the red spattering into the snow as the blizzard continued to sweep over them.

When she tried to speak, the words would not come. She could feel darkness pulling at her, and knew that she would pass out from the pain if it continued. And it would. Meerkat screamed. Amelia moved her head toward her, but her vision was blurred. Help, she pleaded silently.
Moonspear and Firefly Glen members can powerplay Toad for whatever they'd like barring injury, just tag her!
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#34
Bitting and tearing, ripping and chewing, spitting and clawing. The fire-ress was full of rage and demanded a win this time around. If she could not win against her fellow, older, canines, she would refuse to lose now with the odds was clearly in their favour. Hanging on with claws and fangs on the back of the beast, it was only until it finally bucked her off did her own attacks end. Ducking out of the way from the claws swiping at the pack of wolves, she readied to continue until the thing not only ran off - but the others stopped too... everything seemed quiet for a moment. 

Blood, death, carnage... Hydra was here too now, a new one to enter the fray that she didn't notice until now, now that she took the time to look around at the damage the ursine had caused. Adrenaline coursed thickly through her veins like toxic sludge, the beast was wounded and she would not let it get away... looking back at where it ran off so, she would remember its scent for now... glancing over to Hydra for guidance, licking away the blood that dribbled form her lips as crimson saliva dripped from her chin. 

Would the Moonspear queen follow the creature now or would she see about the others first? Conquest was torn in what to do now... There wasn't much she could do with the injured... some, one in particular looking like they needed to have their suffering ended here and now instead of prolonged. But it was not her call to make. Not here, not now.
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A scream, sharp and shrill, was heard but not regarded beyond the turn of one ear to ensure more trouble had not arrived. Blessedly, it had not. One small bout of good fortune, this minute. 

The miserable thing fled when it realized it was outnumbered; Hydra herself was relatively unscathed, having not held on for dear life and acting more the part of harasser than damage dealer. Hydra wanted the thing far from here, and when it moved to depart Hydra, as much as she wished to, did not follow. Her gaze turned to @Eagle, who had taken his own prize from this event. If nothing else, the promise of more food might tempt it. Hydra gave it a long look, and decided at last to put her curiosity to the test. Follow it, she willed of it, perhaps take their eye, too, while you are at it, she drawled. 

The eyes of Conquest were upon her, and Hydra looked to her long enough to ascertain she had not been critically damaged herself. Relief was shortlived as she took in everything around her. And then she was glad for Meerkat being there, despite the horror she had beheld. As her gaze lingered upon Toad, and heard the gurgling of @Keres, Hydra looked to her. No wounds upon her, at least.

Meerkat, find the nearest healer, she commanded gently, aware that Fennec was not of the Glen but recalling that Osiris had spoken to her of another there. Hydra called for @Kukutux and hoped that Meerkat would heed her to find the other; she did not think she would want to stay upon this scene for very long. Hydra next called to @Osiris as well as @Atlas and @Antares to warn them and the rest of the Glen of the animal that sought to escape. Another howl to the subordinates of the Glen that might be near; @Lunaria and @Charles, @Dhalia and @Holland. If it caught a wolf unawares, she fret what it might do. 

All this was quickly done as Hydra took a good look at the massacre before her. 

That was not half so bad as hearing it. 

She was no healer, but she was a warrior. And perhaps the one similiarity to life-bringer and life-taker was when a life was coming to its end—the familiar din of the death rattle. She heard it here not for the first time—her gaze turned to Toad, closest to her, seeing the blood from her nose, from her mouth, and moved to her first and bid Conquest toward her sister, who looked no better. 

Her stomach sank as a dreadful knowing gripped her heart, tore at it. 

Thank you, Toad, she spoke with quiet urgency, though no doubt Conquest might hear this lesson she delivered: I can end this suffering; you will rest with our family, she breathed. Could she understand? It sounded like death was inevitable, and the matriarch was no believer in miracles. Still... Hydra would defer to Toads final wishes, even if was to prolong this final, terrible event, and endure this pain. She would not take the womans autonomy from her, though was prepared to do what she imagined Toad would ask of her—one last mercy, in whatever way she needed.
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#36
As he picked at the meat of the animal's face, a girl screamed at him. This startled him more than the noise from the bear, and he hopped in surprise, spreading his great wings and flapping them at her instinctively to make himself look bigger. It was only a wolf child, an animal that can't have been a year old. So, the eagle continued his meal, peeking up to watch the bear leave the scene as quickly as no doubt it had come.

The dark queen of the mountain looked at him, and he looked at her, tilting his head as they made eye contact.

She made a demand of him. The eagle opened his beak a few times, thinking while the nictitating membranes of his eyes slowly blinked.

After a moment, he launched himself from the warrior's body, beating his huge wings and taking flight after the bear. He would do as she wished this time.
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;;;

it was a snowbound day that the duck pushed from the ulaq. the snow had come with a great fury, and she hesitated as the wind howled. agnik was harsh but fair, and kukutux had been reared in such fierce climes. it was with little unsurety that the northern wife pushed into the drifts.

but she did not continue for long; frustrated, the whitebird returned back to the emerald recesses of moonspear. her duties to find a wife for aiolos must go sidestepped for now. he would understand, and toad amelia also, kukutux knew. a frown furrowing as she began to cast through the slanted wall of falling mist, searching for the trails of her children.

and now curiously, a long, low dirge cutting through the bank. lifting her fine head, the worried expression deepened. it was hydra, and a summons rode the arch of the alpha's commanding howl. dread began to prickle claws along her spine, but kukutux swallowed and trudged at once for her store of medicines.

throwing her own crown back in a sharp order for @Sialuk and @Saviguk to come to wait out the storm within her ulaq, telling @Jarilo that she went to attend hydra, the islebride headed directly into the teeth of brother wind. here her senses sharpened with an innate confidence; her paws found with ease the known paths leading away from moonspear and the direction her sister had called.

the glen. kukutux sent up a cry ahead of herself — i soon arrive — and lowered her muzzle below shoulders, turning herself into a side-winding gait that kept her distinctly aimed in the proper trajectory. in her teeth a smaller bundle of skin and herbs; she had not brought a wrap, for in this gale it would only be blown away and unseen again.

the glen — the sensation of dread returned. a swallow bobbing her throat as a brief moment of clarity sliced through the snow-wall and showed that she had come nearly to the borders. an inhale; her step froze, and kukutux staggered first in shock, then mounting fear, at the scent of grandfather aktak. green-gaze searched low and she pressed on into the trees.

here the rush was somewhat stifled, and the duck lunged into a run that carried her along the path he had torn through firefly. and then the scent of blood, followed by the sight of it, and of snarling. 

the bundle struck the snow and would have rolled away had not kukutux reached for it reflexively, trapping the medicines beneath her small paw as springjade eyes widened in horror. desdesmona, limp and unmoving. gouts of frozen crimson thawing to warmth; dragging her stare with it, over and over and over until it alit upon the curved form of her friend and followed the agonized lines of her body up to where the face that had always been joyous was lost to a welter of blood.

sickness gripped kukutux; she felt as if she might reel, and bit the inside of her own jaw. wind rose, striking droplets of blood into the snow; she grasped the bundle, could not look away from toad amelia, crept and crept until she shook alongside hydra with a fervency she could not fight.

aullaumajâppuk, the spirit whispered soberly inside the duck's mind, and for the first time kukutux recognized the sound of her mother's own voice, clucking askance and resignation over a young hunter too crushed by the heels of caribou to live. she saw it now, tears turning to ice against her pale cheeks, in the edges of toad amelia's broken body, the wet rattle along the back of her throat. 

extending a trembling foreleg over her companion's body, kukutux found she could not look at hydra as she pulled herself closer. "i am here," the duck whispered, healing mind searching through the more grim herbs of her inventory while warm heart cracked inside her chest. 

a glance to desdemona, who had not moved; and keres. both she could scarcely bear, could not witness in this moment.

a curl of agony that barred shut her throat; she pulled away to grab the bundle and bring it closer, nosing it open to expose the tiny black seeds kept protected from the winds by the edge of her paw. only a moment of wavering; she must not, must not; kukutux licked a good number of them to the edge of her tongue and nosed the offering against the mangled tearing of blood and flesh that had once been toad amelia's muzzle, a sob choked to nothing behind her voice.
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#38
That weightless feeling persisted, allowed her to watch the scene almost in slow motion. No longer was her beautiful home lambasted with the roars of the monster, her Queen successful in driving the nightmare off. It receded back to the hell whence it came, leaving her family to pick up the tatters of what was left. They needed help. So many of them needed help, and she couldn't leave them in a time liike this. They needed her.

Again, the valkyrie tried to rise, ignoring the shadow of the man that stood at the edges of her vision, beckoning her. Sucking in a rattling breath, Keres pushed herself to stand, legs trembling beneath her for a moment before she retched, blood expelling from her through to paint the snow more. As if it needed anymore.

Her body was a mess, torn muscle, tendon, and bone showing through on her leg and along her spine. She still couldn't feel pain. Was that normal? Did she care? As long as she lived to fight another day, Keres found herself worrying little over the lack of fire razing her nerves.

Hy... Another cough, another smattering of blood. Hydra... Teal eyes shone fierce, refusing to give in. Azon. Where... Azon?

And still the man stood at the edges, looming and familiar, making sure that she knew he was there.
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She screamed until her lungs ran out of air, then she sucked in a huge breath and started screaming again. When the bear retreated, it startled her into silence. Then the the eagle took to the air in the next beat and it broke her out of her gridlock, her head rocking on her neck. She swallowed as the bird of prey disappeared, her eyes cutting away in a random direction. They dropped and locked with a pair of eyes, glassy with pain and pleading, the face from which they peered mauled beyond recognition. But that gaze was oh so familiar. Meerkat felt another scream building in her throat.

Oblivious to Hydra's gentle commands directed at her, Meerkat somehow managed to swallow the third cry. Brown eyes still locked on what was left of Toad's face, she moved closer to her friend, dropping down beside her. It was unbearable to look at her, yet Meerkat refused to tear her gaze away. Tears gathered in her eyes and wobbled as she put her paw gently on top of one of her friend's. She must be in so much pain and there was nothing Meerkat could do for her except sit there, crying and holding her hand.

Well, she was a life coach, wasn't she? "Hang in there, Toad, you're gonna be okay," she whispered, her throat raw and her voice nearly gone as tears kept spilling down her face. "It's going to be okay." They would find a healer to mend her face. Surely even these wounds could heal. She might be a little disfigured, yet that was okay. Toad would still be beautiful, especially so for the sacrifices she'd made to protect her pack. And Meerkat would still find her a husband, someone who could appreciate the beauty of such battle scars...

A soft voice spoke from close by: "I am here." The young adult's watery eyes finally lifted to see the angelic face of Kukutux, come to save their friend. Meerkat's other paw slipped forward so that she gripped Toad's tightly between both of hers, as if hoping to tether her to this mortal plane until the medic could perform a miracle.
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#40
His grip on Yakwahe was a stubborn one, and the persistent blur of his eyes and flying of snow everywhere made the pale sire all-the-more desperate to cling onto the bear in case he'd lost him. The large beast reared up again and flailed its arms, once again managing to knock Ignis face-first into the crimson-painted white. A frustrated snarl rose through his chest as he snapped at the air in an attempt to cling to the bear again, but the boar was quick to shift his weight and knock the phoenix backward again as he hurdled for an exit past him. He was escaping.

"Motherfucker-!" The moment he knew he became outnumbered was the moment he ran, but Azon was not satisfied with such a result -- after spilling the blood of his comrades, the monster ran before reaping what he sowed -- he needed to die. Ignis, out of pure impulse (and stupidity, because he's really out here trying to have a rematch with a bear) stumbled to his feet to chase after until gravity soon came to humble him by making Azon buckle underneath his own weight. Everything had happened so fast -- and by so much. So when the adrenaline finally wore off to unmask the severe pain caused by his head wound, the whole world felt like it was spinning. 

Azoniol groaned in pain and nausea while forcing himself to sit upright. The concussion made everything far too painful to process at once, and the voices of many had been blocked out in his daze as a result. His vision, however, returned to greet the phoenix with an exhibit of morbidity. The blur of brown that had been snapped in two -- it was Desdemona. The woman he had met not too long ago near moonspear, and it felt just like yesterday that she'd descended from those heights to greet him. Next, there lied Amelia. For the few seconds that they'd met before the following events, a bright, optimistic aura surrounded the fae and was soon stripped away by the hand of the devil himself -- ruthlessly torn apart, almost sadistically, and left to die like roadkill on asphalt. Pain was the only thing he saw in the she-wolf who desperately clung to the last strings of her life in the arms of another....

His home away from hell became an extension of it within a matter of minutes -- and Ignis felt silent, angry tears begin to stream down his lusterless eyes. That is until a familiar voice rang in the distance -- one that stood out from all the noise and made his heart jump in disbelief. Was that....

"Keres?...." The prince's head nearly snapped to meet the silver valkyrie, and he found himself launching to his feet upon seeing her. She too, like the others, had been chewed and mangled into a flurry of pain, but she was moving. The limp figure he'd seen resting beside the tree was not dead like he'd originally thought, and a softness that had been stolen from his eyes during the attack come flooding back as a wave of relief washed over Ignis. "Holy...Holy fucking shit, you're alive!" He exclaimed while rushing over to his mentor, and attempting to push his head underneath her own to help the injured Valkyrie balance. "It's fine, the...this is fine. We can find a medic and get you fixed up with the others who are in--who are injured too. Everything will be okay, we...." Too much blood rose to his already damaged head as soon as he stood up -- and gravity once again punished Ignis for his defiance. Eyes fluttered closed as he fell -- and drifted off into the snow.....

Nah, he's not dead.
But he is pretty fucked up.
So now it's nap time....
"In order to rise from it's own ashes, a phoenix must first burn."

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#41
Too late. He was too goddamn late.

A miserable realization even as he worked to push himself faster, to get there before everything.. but more howls rose, each more grave in its implication. He didn't need to hear much beyond the call for a medic to really get that sinking feeling that he was rushing headlong into something hellish.

Antares did not waste his breath on saying he was on his way. He would get there, over the fields first, then across the glen and all a blur until he saw a massive hawk winging up and away from just ahead. A momentary distraction, but a burning, sickening curiosity. It had to be the same place... and, late to the horrible events preceding this, he arrived hotly, fur up and lips peeled back to let his teeth show; all aggression, but becoming more and more of a grimace as he took in the scene.

Blood, and a lot of it. Struggles in progress, bodies laid out. More blood, all over the snow. Wolf, bear. Bear. Shit. Everywhere he looked, especially once he hit Desdemona's crumpled body, it was worse and the panic rose into his throat. But he was silent as he darted to his mother's side first, breathing fast and eyes wide with unfamiliar uncertainty in him when he didn't know how to help once the fight was done--and if there was anyone to guide him, his mother might. His sights blurred somewhere between Conquest, Kukutux at Toad, and Āzon going to Keres... and into already bittering at the wretched beast that dare walk away from this.
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#42
Amelia drifted, her sickening breathing fighting against the wet in her lungs, draining through internal parts of her as the pain became overwhelming. She could hear Hydra, and knew from her tone that her injuries were far more grim than she had thought.

She moved her mouth, but only blood came. As Kukutux’s familiar gaze met her own, she blinked slowly. Meerkat, her friend from the beginning, leaned into her and held her paw.

It was with the two of them, Kukutux and Meerkat, that it had all started. She struggled to breathe, wanting so desperately to tell all of them the things she had failed to say. An offering came to her in the form of tiny black seeds, and she licked them from the tongue of the matchmaker.

But the seeds did not have time to do their magic, nor would they need the mercy of the fierce Hydra. Amelia's eyes remained open as the life she clung to so desperately slipped away, the damage too great for the huntress who would never see her hopes and dreams to fruition. Her body went limp against her friends.
Moonspear and Firefly Glen members can powerplay Toad for whatever they'd like barring injury, just tag her!
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#43
A raptor joined in from the looks of it, a large creature of the skies that pecked away at the already deceased. Something that Conquest felt numb to, thinking that it was only natural for the dead to find use in the afterlife by feeding another no matter how morbid it may seem. It was better than rotting uselessly and feeding the worms - while such a powerful creature, to be one with it, seemed like an honour in a sort of morbid way.

Hydra called for it to follow the bear, and so it did with some sort of acknowledgment to the request. The duo was impressive to watch, but it didn't last much longer as more was to be dealt with. Death surrounded them, and Hydra approached one of the less fortunate members... approaching herself, she watched the poor dying soul, lifeless eyes of her own watching the scene unfold with the mountain queen seemingly offering to cut the dying woman's suffering short. The mercy seemed kind, however, it was not necessary as this one too faded.

Eyes flickered to Hydra briefly, sharing the possible pain the matriarch must feel in the moment. Should she be allowed, the flame-licked girl would press her nose lightly against the shadow's shoulder in a short share of sympathy before pulling away. She shared no connections with anyone else here, they were all. "family" but only faces in the crowd. She offered a solemn glance to them all before padding off. Following where the eagle had flown off to, where the ursine's scent led to. She would follow it, she would kill it. Running away was not an option for this creature, it would face the damage it had done.

[exit!]
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#44
Hydra watched Meerkat move toward Kukutux and Toad, not listening—frustration died with Toads last gurgled breath. This was the first scene of devastation Meerkat had likely ever seen, and of course she would not meet this expectation she had set. Meerkat was not her mother—Meerkat was not her. She was softer, sweeter. Hydra did not want the girl near here then and there, not where the bear lingered and she might fall prey to it. Meerkat, Hydras voice was louder, now, warn the Caldera.  There she might find more comforting arms than her own; Hydra could not be soft right now, nor gentle or sweet or compassionate. 

If she was soft now, she would feel the cutting blade of death pressed flush between her ribcage. The pressure, the push; it was so close, here, and even as it walked away Hydra felt the reapers shadow waiting. For who? Hydra thought she might know, and her gaze turned toward her sister, bleeding but still standing. Living, breathing—

Desdemona, terribly still—do not look yet

She must be strong for them all! She must carry this weight, and walk with them until the end of their roads. She directed her to the subordinate still living, who spoke to her sister, and Hydra saw him sway, rushed to his side so as to soften the blow of his fall, and Hydra's sharp voice then directed Kukutux, gesturing toward the man against her that she gently lowered to the earth. Among those present and injured, he could be saved. Keres could not. But it was clear she was not ready yet. 

Neither was she. Hydra was not ready for her to go, not ready for her to leave. She had lost one other sister here, Desdemona... 

Desdemona would want the mountain, she thought. So would Keres, despite her love for the Glen. Selfish wishes, to keep them close even beyond their deaths. Her gaze turned toward Toad, who she wanted, too, to rest within the Spear. She imagined Meerkat might want a say within her resting place, and Kukutux, too, and she would allow them that despite her desire to steal her away. Hydra would say her words to each of them, say all the things she wanted to say, when she was alone among them... 

She must not be soft. Not now. Must not feel, lest she feel every wound delivered to them by the beast on her own skin. 

Hydra looked to Antares, who looked to her for guidance as Conquest had; she hoped he would not be useless as she gestured toward Desdemona and drawled, help me to take her home. It would always be her home; she would rest among their family, and someday... someday, Hydra would rest with her there when her own time had come. That day had not yet come. To Keres, Hydra checked her lucidity: will you watch our backs, sister? her gaze, searching—was she still with them in mind? Her spirit was surely attached that she remained standing; Hydra would not waste a minute with her.
I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
Moonglow

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#45
tavvauvutit angajuk.

it was the whisper of the inner spirit as toad amelia faded, and kukutux pulled her mind permanently from the name once worn by the rapidly cooling body. her eyes roved with a last horrified sorrow over the still, torn body. no spark within — and hydra's voice, firm, leading — it dragged the duck up and up. numbly she glance toward the man collapsed in the snow, and then toward keres —

a sharp breath, and though she heeded the blackbear and moved mutely to the side of the man who had fallen, she could not keep her eyes from the scene of torn flesh and bright blood that scoured across one side of the valkyrie's body. the duck had brought nothing that would bind the wounds together; she had no time to grieve, nor to wail in a second torment. 

the man breathed. she lay her cheek against his chin to see that it was so, then nudged him roughly, seeking to awaken. too often the bad spirits crept close when one was so caught in the place between death and living. "aya, makik," kukutux ordered in a sharp voice, not intending to be cruel. but he must get to his feet, and at once. she could not let him sleep here while the snow stole his life.

only when and if he rose would the duck rise, whirling to keres with tears blurring her vision, silently begging toward hydra to remain, to ease the passing of the fierce woman who had guarded her first vigil. hydra knew that kukutux would mind whatever word she gave, but to put all her intention into the man and none in the glen-warrior tormented the moondrop.
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
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Epsilon
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Ooc — Gina
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#46
Look at me and listen close
So I can tell you how I feel before I go

There was a shimmer, a glitter on the edge of her vision, an effervescence that pulled oceanic eyes towards Amelia. Not the one that lay upon the ground, crumpled, broken; the one that stood in somber silence, her soft gaze ageless and knowing as they found each other across the planes, protected by the proud woman next to her, dark fur as spotless as it had been when she had first thrown herself at the nightmare that had struck so heavy a blow to their family. The man near them waited just as patiently.

Just a year, it's not much time, for me to show you
I am proud that you are mine

Looking at him now, looking past the others to see the man that stood cloaked in midnight and soft, summer storms, Grey recognized who was here for her. His kind eyes, the sharp curve to his maw... She knew those features like she'd known those of her daughters. There had been so many nights where she wished he hadn't left her to walk this mortal coil alone and yet now, looking at him, meeting that otherworldly gaze...

I wish I had known
The future in my heart
Was just about to start

Fighting against the yearning in her heart, her head shook, a staunch refusal to join him, to join them. She couldn't. Not yet. Not when her family here needed her.

Say tomorrow, I can't follow you there
Just close your eyes and sing for me

It was only when her eyes refocused, pulled away from the ones that beckoned her that Keres realized Azon was at her feet, Kukutux making a strong effort to wake him. It was Hydra's gaze that she found first, though, pulling her back to the ground with a question that steeled Keres' heart against the loved ones that stood so near and yet so far. Her head rose, chin tilting upwards, not in a display of dominance but pride; She would not fail the woman that had drawn her loyalty from day one.

Every lock, on every door
I put them there to try and hide you from the world

Always.

And you kicked, yeah, you screamed
You never understood you're everything to me

A glance then, to the ones that waited, her refusal stark in her gaze. She was not ready.
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Duskfire Glacier

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#47
Despite her own words of reassurance and the medicine which Kukutux offered Toad, the paw Meerkat held between hers went limp. Toad's entire body suddenly relaxed, slumping to the ground. At first, the Delta thought the medic had given her something to put her to sleep, to escape the pain. She held onto this naive belief for all of thirty seconds before she realized her friend was no longer breathing, that her body was in fact that: a body. Toad Amelia's soul was gone.

Meerkat did not let go, even when the others left Toad's side to triage the others who could still be saved. She heard Hydra's gentle command and nodded to acknowledge it, though she didn't look at Moonspear's queen, nor did she make any move to immediately obey. Instead, her attention remained fixed on Toad, specifically her face, torn apart by the bear. Looking past the violent horror of it, Meerkat squeezed Toad's lifeless paw one last time, then slipped hers free. She used it to gently close her friend's glassy eyes, then leaned in to breathe in her scent. She placed a soft lick between Toad's ears, tears already streaming down her face to dampen her brown fur.

At last, Meerkat wrenched herself away. Her legs felt like jelly as she stood, finding it almost impossible to turn her back on Toad and leave her there. But she looked around at the chaos, then recollected Hydra's words. Suddenly, she wanted nothing more than to run into the arms of her family at the caldera, not just to warn them but simply to be with them. Trusting that her comrades here would deal with the threat as well as her aunt's remains, Meerkat bent her teary head into the winter wind and fled south.
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#48
Argh, I'm sorry I came late to this!  This will be a one-time post so as not to hold anything up. ;o;  Ah editing in detail at the end, sorry.

The bitter cold of winter had kept Tehama close to home, sheltering in various makeshift dens.  Most were cramped and drafty, but better than the open air at night, exposed to the elements.  During the day was a different story, and so the Iota mostly roamed the mountain, often taking a turn at the borders, or further mentally cataloguing Moonspear's terrain.  Thus when first one howl, then another, went up interlaced with panic, fear, warning, pleading, Tehama made for the source of the calls with as much haste as the treacherous terrain of the mountain's upper heights would permit.  

At long last, when she was close to Firefly Glen, she caught the scent of Hydra and a trace also of Desdemona, and pushed herself to run as fast as she could, and then urged herself still faster.

Whatever she had anticipate, it was not this carnage.  The overpowering stench of bear and blood mingled in her nostrils and no sooner had the crumpled form of Desdemona reached her gaze than Tehama issued a wail of incomparable fury and frustration.  The tawny female rushed to her side, but empty eye sockets and ravaged features were all that was left to greet her.  It was clear that the time it had taken her to traverse their shared mountain home was too long.  She was too slow.  She had failed her friend, and now nothing else, nothing more that could have been would ever be. 

Others moved in her periphery.  Hydra's voice came to her on the cold air but seemed so far away and indistinct it was only a vague murmur.  She couldn't hope to focus on anything just now.  Tears like fire burned searing hot trails down her cheeks, blurred her vision, turning the broken bodies of the dead and the living alike into a macabre kaleidoscope.  Already, the heat was draining from Desdemona's form.  Though she knew in her mind it was futile, wasted effort, Tehama lay down in the blood-stained snow, and curled herself protectively around Desdemona's lifeless corpse. 

At a moment's length, it became apparent that they meant to take her home.  Hydra and whomever else--Tehama's vision was such that she couldn't identify faces, even if she'd know them.  Reluctantly, Tehama withdrew from Desdemona's side, recognizing her own claim on the woman was meager in comparison to those who were truly family and friends of longstanding.  Swallowing against the grief in her throat that kept her from speaking, she prayed silently that wherever Desdemona was now, she was at peace.  It was clear that her soul had fled.
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the bonecracker
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Ooc — kit
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#49
Hydra saw the gaze of Kukutux, and with a sigh minded it. Just as the healer knew, Hydra knew what would come next... but if she could delay it for a while longer, so that Keres could rest her weary head upon mountain stone and perhaps if she were lucky, see her brother and sister once more... well, Hydra would allow that much, if such a thing existed. 

Tehama came then, and Hydra's gaze turned to her as she approached her late relative. She watched in silence, allowing the space and time to grieve however brief it was so that Kukutux could do what she could. And when Tehama withdrew, the matriarch drew closer to her to offer a gentle nudge to her shoulder, if allowed the room to bring such physical comfort. It did not matter how long they might have known one another... it could have been a day, and it would make no difference. They were family, and they had lost one of their own. 

We take her back home, she informed Tehama lowly, will you help us return her to where she belongs? Came her gentle inquiry. And only once Tehama provided an answer, and Kukutux had finished, would Hydra begin the work of taking Desdemona home to rest. 

last from me <3
I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
Loner

inhale the stars, exhale fire
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#50
The scene was horrible, easily worse than any he had faced so far. His heart was racing, though the threat was long gone and perhaps this only fueled his fire. The reek of such blood, though, burned deeply into his memories and however he could, he do would do as his mother bid. Those who were still with them were.. barely tethered, he worried suddenly. It was a sickening realization that he hoped Kukutux would counteract, but, as grim as the scene was, logic had otherwise to say.

But for those who could no longer make the trip back to the Spear, he would help them. It was all he could do now that he was too late. He whined low beneath his breath and slipped away from his mother's side to help collect the fallen guardian--and bring her home for the last time. Though, he couldn't help but glance skyward once more, towards where the massive bird had gone. He wasn't able to put that thought away completely, even as he went numb to help their wounded, and gone, regroup.
also his last here <3