Broken Antler Fen i drive into corning, and all the spindles whine
Private  March 07, 2021, 04:19 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
@Wraen <3 sorry it took so long!!

his tread back from the spear was slow, his thoughts heavy.

once upon a time he had turned his back to the mountain gladly -- and now that all the mountain stood for was gone, there was naught but hollowness in arcturus' heart.

to see a legacy -- his legacy -- incinerated by starfall awoke something in arcturus terrible and sorrowful at once. for a long time, he had wrestled with his decisions -- with guilt and heartbreak -- and now, any opportunity for closure had been forever stolen from him.

and his family; dead now like his parents. arcturus' throat tightened as he thought of the faces of his sisters, his brothers -- even his nieces and nephews.

shadows on a mountain now faded to nothing.

he called for wraen that night; he would tell her of what he had learned, and he would tell her too of the things that still troubled him.. if his heart was strong enough.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away
March 08, 2021, 03:38 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen had taken notice of Arcturus's departure and though it felt that he had been gone for a long time, she did not particularly worry about him. Between pack duties, her visit at caldera, dealing with Maia's emotional turmoils and having a course of several semi-bad days in a row, she was glad that there was little to no need to put up a brave face and pretend that all was well to a person, who lived in a denial that not only was his friend aging, but ailing too. She had told him again and again that she was getting old and in the end she no longer had the strength to prove him otherwise.聽

She had been sleeping soundly in a comfy burrow, made of soft sand and having enough space for one person to warm it up. And it was a little unwillingly that she woke to his call and left her bed to go out and meet him. "Goodnight, stranger," she told him, yawned and sat down to scratch some sand out of her ears. "How are you doing?"
March 21, 2021, 08:05 AM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
it seemed each time arcturus took leave, wraen aged a little more. at first it was in small ways -- ways he could easily push aside or ignore, like maybe the stiffness was because she slept funny that night, or the tiredness in her eyes was just because things had been a little more stressful than usual lately.

yet, now the evidence seemed insurmountable; in her eyes lingered the first signs of old age, in her expression (which arcturus believed to be tight), in the way she carefully selected how she walked, or the places she picked to nap -- all signs pointed towards something arcturus simply did not want to face.

his expression broke in a smile as wraen greeted him, though for a moment his gaze seemed to linger as if troubled. "moonspear has fallen." arcturus delivered without formality, his throat tight despite the simple manner in which he spoke. "i found but one -- the rest are either dead or gone". and he hoped, certainly, it was gone -- but his heart knew otherwise.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away
March 22, 2021, 03:18 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"I figured that much," Wraen replied, having gathered bits and pieces of information herself during Arcturus's absence. Ibis and crew had headed to and back to deal with the injured. Towhee had told her account of events and reassured that those, who mattered to them the most, were fine and well, and regrouping. "I am so sorry that it happened," she told him for the lack of anything better to say. And - to be honest - what could she possibly tell to make things less grim or make him feel less devastated?

"Who did you find?" she asked.
March 24, 2021, 09:18 AM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
from wraen鈥檚 reaction, she already knew. bits and pieces, anyway.

arcturus鈥 ears folded in response to wraen鈥檚 condolences. it did nothing to help the way his heart had shriveled as of late, but for a moment it lifted the gloom which ever threatened to steal him entire. it is not your fault. arcturus answered; for who was to blame but the gods for wiping his family 鈥 his legacy 鈥 his home 鈥 from existence?

kukutux. arcturus provided, carefully studying the face of his friend for her reaction.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away
March 28, 2021, 09:48 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen found Arcturus's remark odd - why would he consider it to be her fault? It was a little unusual to thinkt hat her almost lifelong "beef" with Moonspear had vanished in thin air overnight and it did make her wonder, whether not finding the folk over there her favourite people in the world had been worth her time at all. Now with almost none of them alive, it felt both silly and pointless. However, when he mentioned that he had found Kukutux, she suppressed a smile - just look at the irony - all those months ago there's this proud girl, who's looking down at Wraen as worthless, and whose source of pride is being part of the mountain pack. And not too long after that mountain is swept away by the force of nature,聽she's faced with the question - who is she without her mountain? But as fragile and frilly she had appeared at the first glance, Wraen knew that the lass had a core made of flint. Strike it and it will send sparks flying.聽

"Was she alright?" she asked, because Arcturus - for whatever reason - had not elaborated on the subject of his friend's well-being. Frankly speaking, save for curiousity, Wraen did not harbour any particular feelings to the spiteful vixen. "Did her family made it out alive too? She had a mate and children, if I recall correctly?"
April 09, 2021, 10:12 AM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
too preoccupied with his own thoughts to catch wraen鈥檚 suppressed smile, arcturus turned over his potential answers.

鈥榓lright鈥 sure was subject to interpretation. was she alive? yes. did that mean she was okay? unlikely.

she is alive. arcturus provided, musing over how strange it seemed that half of the spear鈥檚 population had been obliterated in the blink of an eye.

life. so fleeting and fast.

a daughter. but of the rest, i know not. his stomach turned as he thought of how open kukutux had been 鈥 even at the sake of his own comfort. it was time for him to do the same for wraen 鈥 but how could he even start?

everything from the sigh that left his lips to the way he shifted forward, spoke of his intention to say something else 鈥 and yet, words failed him for the thousandth time.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away
April 11, 2021, 02:44 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Alive" was not very descriptive on someone's state of health and for a moment there Wraen felt a wave of annoyance with Arcturus for his lack of emotion in all this. Kukutux was the bloody friend of his, old one too. They had a history and now, when she had survived the natural disaster that had swept nearly all of the Ostrega population over there, all he had to say was a single word?

"Did you make sure that she will stay alive and have a long life, when you left?" she asked to clarify this, because unless she asked directly, her friend was not going to dwell on the subject much. "Ibis and some others of ours went over to Moonspear too - help those, who made it out alive. I think they found one other too, though I did not catch the name," she shared.
May 01, 2021, 09:07 AM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
arcturus sensed a shift, though it pained him to notice it. he'd never been one with words - not eloquent words, anyway -- and the subject of moonspear was one that stressed him dearly. he worked his heavy and unwilling throat, and were he human he might stiffly open and close his palms.

"kukutux's leg seemed broken, but i stayed as long as i could. she is in good care now." arcturus expanded, recalling how he'd left her with a store of food and in the company of her daughter. that was, to the extent, all he could do when his place was not besides kukutux, but besides wraen.

learning ibis had gone as well, arcturus' ears turned. it was too much to hope that the face ibis found was familiar. "that's good, at least." his throat constricted unpleasantly thinking of how much had been lost. "wraen, i have something --" a pause, pained as he tried to sort words that just wanted to blend and bleed together in a tangled mess. "when i was with kukutux, it made me realize how unhappy i've become." arcturus worked a tense sigh through his body that now subtly shook with anxiety: "unhappy, only because i don't know the future and my place here. unhappy because i've danced around something that's been eating at me a long time."

again came the ripple of terror and grief that arcturus only scarcely put on hold. "will you be my mate, wraen?"

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away
May 03, 2021, 12:57 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Wraen wanted to argue that a yearling was hardly a good care for a person with a broken leg, but she kept this to herself for two reasons: first, she did not want to doubt Arcturus's judgement and, second, why should she care about a woman, who felt hatred towards her. Therefore she was glad that he changed the subject until she heard, what it was. She did not reply right away and sighed, wondering, what should she tell him and how to deliver it in a way that he understood and did not attempt to argue with her.聽

Because he was stubborn and on more than one occasion all her rational reasons, why this would not work out, did not phase him. He let them slide. He did not listen. She told that she was too old for him and joked that she was about to die soon. He argued fiercely that she was not old and was not going to die. She had told him that it did not seem fair for him to give up a dream about having a family, he decided that he could live without it. She had offered him to be a leader, to live up to his potential, he told that he was not suitable for that ever. She had asked him to go and mend things with his family. He had refused until there was no longer a family to turn to.

She had half-promissed him to try and see, what happened, but it had not. And from a friend, whose company she had enjoyed immensely, he had become someone she rather felt happier going than coming. For the fear of this very question. For the pressure of those expectations - when will you love me? Why was it so that being a friend was suddenly not enough for him? And if it was meant to be, why was it so hard? Why did she feel like she wanted to flee this instant than to ever reply to that question? Because he would not give up. He would come up with a reason on, how to shuffle his needs again and wait patiently for things to change. Even if it took forever. Even if it meant never.

Sad, how declarations of love ruin friendships. Wraen looked up at him and felt remorse for, what she was about to say or what the implications for that were going to be. She was willing to risk it - not only for his own good but for her own peace of mind. "No," she told him calmly, her green eyes meeting his firey gaze. "I don't want this," she said. "I am very sorry, Arthur!"
May 06, 2021, 11:40 AM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
there arcturus鈥 soul went, on the wings of a question so hopeless he was a fool to have uttered it. and he knew 鈥 hopeful and hopeless as he was 鈥 that little had changed since he had last broached this topic.

well, plenty had changed in his life and one thing was fervently still true: he lived for wraen. his hopes of a family, his hopes of a dynasty, of leading a life worth living 鈥 it had all crumbled the moment moonspear had toppled.

in some small way, his life had always been building up to that point 鈥 as if he were on a course set for self-destruction and self-implosion, and he had only ever been the agent of change ushering it along.

arcturus saw, the way one might sneak a glimpse through partially shaded fern in a brief glimpse of brilliant sun, how he did not deserve wraen. she was in more ways his better; she had tried to shape him to be the potential she saw in him, and he had only ever thrust his spear woefully short.

he鈥檇 done so little to earn her love, truly 鈥 and here he was declaring it like some spring whelp on the cusp of his manhood.

he saw in her a change he did not wish he was the progenitor of; of hurt, tension, and distantly, revulsion. he had placed that in her 鈥 no other 鈥 and he had only himself to blame.

still, the kindness in which wraen honestly spun her rejection made this part a little easier. his soul might sever and his heart might sink 鈥 but it would not turn or fester. she gave him a clean breakaway, an unflinching answer 鈥 and he would be fool to miss it.

it hurt.

he didn鈥檛 want a life without her. he didn鈥檛 want a life where she was unhappy to see him, either. had he not been the unwitting architect in that? had he not singlehandedly ruined their good friendship because of his own selfish needs?

arcturus stepped back and wedged a sigh against the wind that ruffled his coat. suddenly the light seemed glaring and his skin unbearable. i understand. he did, truly 鈥 she had stuck to her guns and Arcturus loved her for it; the last thing he wanted was for her to change for him. if she did that, truly, would she be the woman he loved so earnestly?

even if she did not love him in return, that was who she was, and it was the very mold which defined her that arcturus felt so passionate for. that she would not compromise herself for him made his heart sing all the louder, even as darkness thrummed all around it.

you have only ever been honest with me. i would rather that honesty than to fruitlessly chase some false glimpse of hope i mistakenly saw. his head hung low, his bedraggled pelt suddenly seemed listless. i鈥檓 sorry, wraen.

he knew his presence had darkened the room; suddenly, he felt unwelcome. not by wraen, but simply by the pressure he had inspired in the situation. if he stayed, his presence might sour her further. thank you. you鈥檝e given me more than i deserve. gradually the space between them grew as he took steps further back 鈥 unless he was invited to stay, arcturus would make his exit and leave wraen in peace.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away
May 06, 2021, 02:23 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Arcturus took Wraen's rejection surprisingly well - it was as if he had half-expected not to聽have success to begin with and this quiet desperation to cling onto someone made her realize that her decision was the right one. Relationships that lasted were not built on pity. If they were, then it meant only one side was carrying the most weight. And once the enthusiasm for saving someone dwindled, resentment replaced it. Or worse. Indifference. Unknowingly she had attempted to "save Arcturus" for the two years she had known him, trying to broaden聽his hopelessly narrow and conservative聽take on life, encourage him to stop focussing on the shadows inside Plato's Cave, but turn around and see the true colours and beauty of the world outside.聽

She had learned by now that old habits were impossible to tackle. Just as Eljay would always be plagued by his insecurities, Arcturus was unable to look the world in the eyes for long. It scared him, it confused him. It deeply unsettled him and made him unhappy. And he turned his back on it, only to conjure new shadows of the world on that cave's wall. An illusion he felt comfortable living in and something that Wraen could never be part of. She was not strictly all or nothing person, not at this age, but the choice of, where she wanted to exist, was something she would never compromise on. And therein lied the difference between remaining his friend or becoming his mate. A friend implied having a choice. A mate meant melding into one and she did not wish to give up her world for a bleak reflection of it.聽

Yet she felt she owed Arthur an explanation - she sensed and correctly so that he put all the blame on himself and with his black-and-white view on life he would now think that their friendship was over. Hardly so - he was dear to her as ever, yet she did not know, if it was ever going to be the same after this. If it was even healthy for him to remain here with a daily reminder of his supposed failure. "You've have to understand that... ever since I met you, you've been somewhat lost in life," Wraen told.聽 "You've grown up within a certain frame of life. A strict one too and you are a person, who thrives, when everything is clear-cut, simple, stable and not changing. It is not a flaw, it is a state that you feel most comfortable in.聽And there is an endearing naivety about you in believing that by agreeing to mateship all the problems you had would disappear, when, in fact, that hardest part begins right after you say "I do"."

Here it was her rambling and not being able to get straight to the point. Tell him that she refused for his own good? She had tried that before using different words and he had stubbornly refused to listen. Tell him that some time, somewhere there will be a girl to love him for who he was? Cliche and not exactly helpful, when one's heart has been broken. She had been in that exact position once and no amount of "it will be alright" had made her feel any better at that very moment. "What scares me, Arthur, is, how very little you care about yourself. You are willing聽to dissolve in another person's life readily just to escape from looking yourself in the eyes, seeing, who you are and what you are worth. You avoid coming to terms with your past, seeing good in, what you learned and how it shaped you. You rather prefer to give up your life for someone else and pretend that before them you did not exist. But you can't build your life on such a lie, just as you cannot put the burden on the other person to define, who you are, and have your happiness rely solely on them," she spoke from heart, voice full of emotion.聽

"Happiness resides within you and only, when you have found it, you are ready to commit to someone else," she said. "You've come a long way, since we got to know each other. I enjoyed being your friend, your mentor and mother, but finding out, who are you without me, is that next big journey ahead of you and you have to walk it on your own and see, what awaits you."
May 06, 2021, 02:47 PM
Arcturus
Brecheliant
Family
just as he turned to go, wraen spoke. while he did not expect her to change her mind, or even an explanation, he still felt his heels dig into the dirt.

arcturus turned around readily, solemn gaze resting on wraen as she spoke not of them, but his early life.

he could tell her a million things, but would it matter? would it change her view of him, or their future, if for once he spoke his mind instead of keeping his words close to his breast?

arcturus agreed in a small way, that he鈥檇 grown linear in his thinking. it was one of the reasons he valued wraen so dearly 鈥 every day she challenged him in some new way to be better, and he knew his life was richer still for her inhabiting it.

but he also knew that everyone was made of a different cloth. not everyone was born to walk the same path, endure the same experiences. and even those who walked the same dusty road, why one would think the journey sublime and the other would finish parched and full of resentment. no two souls saw or experienced life the same way 鈥 what may have been a grand exodus for wraen was a long and harrowing gauntlet for the little boy who grew up in moonspear鈥檚 shadow.

she spoke of happiness and discovery, two words which wrenched from arcturus any semblance of joy. happiness was not a permanent condition. discovery came at great costs 鈥 the cost of duty, of love, sometimes family and life. and while these things fulfilled wraen and made her life rich, arcturus knew his place was not on life鈥檚 long and endless road hitherto 鈥 his life was in the homestead, the tavern; where he could bring a little light to those travelers who carried on his path before they met their journey鈥檚 end.

for a while he was silent, digesting wraen鈥檚 dissemination of him. he wanted to protest more than anything, but his tongue seemed to have more sense than his heart.

i have only ever known unhappiness. he started at last, feeing a thread unravel somewhere within the dark keeps of his careful heart. i do not think that the zenith of my happiness relies solely on you 鈥 but i know who i am, and it is not a traveler or a journeyman. i would not find happiness in these places you speak of. i can鈥檛 build on my past life. i can only go forward. that is how i heal and learned.

for a while, i believed i could build something with you. something better than my past, stone by stone 鈥 but a wolf is nothing without his pack. i saw your importance in this vision 鈥 you were the foundation, even. but life and dreams are often different, and i have to accept that.
that they were, no matter how much he wanted to believe otherwise, intrinsically incompatible.

he had to accept it, because in another life and another world where they were together, he would turn her bitter and tired.

even if i don鈥檛 want to; i am sorry if i ever made you unhappy, wraen. it wrenched his insides to be so open, but he felt he owed it to her in turn.

when you come down to take me home
send my soul away