Ouroboros Spine kinuk ⊹
Moonglow

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All Welcome 
we can set this whenever! either when they get back or after that, just playing as if he's been here since!

it was dawn before she and the raindrop returned with @Patroclus.

morning had deepened by the time that they had brought him to the ulaq. true to her word, she had laid the earthen man back upon the cured furs and given him enough of the medicine to bring sleep. his leg, held between two new sticks of green wood.

he was watched while he slept. kukutux divided her hours between patroclus and nuak, aiding them in whatever way was necessary, or in the boy's case, what he would allow.

now she sat chewing skin to leather, rich fat and berries prepared for the injured hunter when he opened his sunflower eyes again.
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#2
It had been the deepest sleep that the hunter had known.

When he dreamed it was full of everything he had ever seen. Sunshine and lightning, rivers and mountains. He truly did feel like he had left one realm behind for another.

Of course, this was accompanied by the long stints of darkness. Where nothing existed besides the back of his eyelids. Those moments felt the longest. Granted all of it eventually came to an end.

Yellow eyes opened with a hesitant flutter. Pupils adjusting to whatever light existed in her ulaq that had not existed in his sleep. Then they darted to try and take it all in. Who was here, where was here, had Kukutux —

Oh.

She was here still.

That alone was enough to soothe his first few waking moments. Enough that he did not feel the need to blubber words that would have likely been incoherent with tired pain anyway.
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.
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patroclus came awake, and kukutux lifted her head from where she had been resting the sore curve of her jaws. "you are awake," she observed nonsensically, but crept closer all the same, carrying the fat and the fruit with her. "do you have strength to eat?" the duck asked, nudging the offering closer. "it is from outside the stomach of a deer. and here. the common name this plant has is 'raspberry."' 

were a waterway closer, she might have offered him a cold tea, but this could come later, when he was able to walk again. the swelled flesh around his leg perhaps had begun to subside, but even now the moonbow found her stores of wet moss and began to lay them gently upon the hindlimb. "you do not feel, ah, warm? in the skull?"

by which she meant fever, but the word was ugly to kukutux, and reminded her of demonic things.
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I think, He murmured dryly for the desert his throat had become. Admittedly he would not eat much of either, the way it settled in his empty stomach made for an odd sensation. One that threatened to make him nauseous. Even if he surely needed all the nutrients provided by the deer stomach and raspberry.

It would be with an apologetic smile that he slowed his eating of her offering. How rude it felt. Except he imagined it would be ruder if he...expelled the contents in this nice place.

Her question made him pause for a moment. He had not been ravaged by fever but — A...little? I don't know if that's just...stress perhaps. Exhaustion. Hadn't his mother told him about stressing himself into sickness? Perhaps that had been meant to be metaphor more than anything else.

What did you give me last night?

Curiosity and perhaps a need.
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.
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the last piece of moss, laid alongside the food she had given. ah. would sialuk have missed that he had not yet been given water? she did not like that she had not seen. but no matter. a nod given to his explanation. "you traveled more distance than you should have had to walk," the duck said thoughtfully, and then her pale ears tipped toward patroclus' question.

"i do not know its name in the common words. we call it piluk: soft cloud from the mountainside." and its effects were said to be just that, a softening, a lifting up. despite his pain the hunter seemed more himself this day than the night she had found him. "it is purple and grows only on the open stone."

kukutux had watched her mother use a similar plant in her youth. it was not the same, and yet it was. she blinked careful springjade gaze. "you have questions of healing?"
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Piluk she spoke while his yellow eyes stared at the moss. The description she gave it had very much fit what he had felt in his slumber. Purple upon open stone. This he would try to remember even if he was in no state to go seek it himself.

I’ve just always been amazed by those who know what to use. Honest even if his voice was soft and distant. Then a thought occurred to him.

Tell me, please, His yellow gaze trailing the ulaq to find Kukutux’s spring gaze. How can I repay? Not that was in a state to do much of that, but he wished to know how he could repay his growing debt.
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.
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a quick dart of her mouth into the look of a smile. "my mother taught these things to me. i teach them to sialuk, my daughter. she is the one who came to us in the glen." a discreet reminding, in case he did not remember her name. patroclus could not be expected to recall anything from their journey, or the night. 

repay. the duck shook her head softly. "i do not — you do not have the owing of things to me, patroclus," moonwoman said softly. "it was my choice to give you medicine and to bring you here." a veiling; briefly; of eyes behind dark lashes. "moonglow is a home. stay and put your name to it, as we have. or heal, and go with our blessing."
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A matriarchal tradition, it seemed. Vaguely he recalled the other woman who had been there. Almost a duplicate of Kukutux. Perhaps that was why it had blurred together in his mind.

Then she laid the conditions down for him. No repayment was expected, but he was presented with two options. Heal then depart with their blessing. Stay, put his name under the realm of Moonglow.

There was guilt when his mind lingered on the latter. Only he could not fault himself too hard for thinking of it. He knew not how long he would be here, how weak he would be after when he could finally walk. What seasons would pass? Who would he be by that point?

If I put my name, Thoughtful and hushed as if he worried someone might overhear him in this place no one knew him. Would you make me a new man under Moonglow? A pause to collect a pained breath before he sighed another sentence.

I do not feel like the man I was before the break.
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.
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kukutux rearranged her forelegs, as much for comfort as to give herself more moments of thought. 

to remake a man. was it good of her to consider such things? he did not know her ways. but kukutux did not even know them, for if this had a taboo tied to it, she had not heard of the curse. 

he did not feel connected to his first life. aya, that must be it. when he lay in pain, a spirit had come and entered his body through the leg. two lived inside him now. patroclus had been severed in the anguish of the cracked bone. 

a nod. "a new man should have a new name." she passed her tongue over several words, but did not speak them — yet. 

kukutux did not yet know if he had thought of such for himself.
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A new name.

He had not thought of one, just like he had not thought about plenty. He had not thought he would wander far enough to get lost and break his ankle in the process. He had not thought he would lay her immobile at the paws of a kind wisewoman who agreed to remake him.

Who will I be?
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.
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a long moment. she looked at all of him, at the healing leg set between sticks, at the fall of his pelt. at the waiting in his sungold eyes. at the somehow unformed boyishness of his limbs: a man who had not yet grow into himself. 

she leant forward.

"i say the name of iḷitqusiq to you. it means 'the spirit that cannot die, the part of you that is made new. he who does not walk to the west, but stands with head high.'" she repeated it again.

how different from patroclus it was.
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Iḷitqusiq.

No longer was he Patroclus, the man from an empire who had failed to be what he should have been. He was Iḷitqusiq, the spirit that could not die. His yellow eyes closed and his head turned slightly. A soft thoughtful gesture. Attempting to mouth the name and test it along his tongue before he spoke aloud —

Iḷitqusiq of Moonglow.

Spoken and bonded now. Him to this place, him to her culture upon this peaked spine.

He repeated it once more with his chin now tucked to his own chest, a whisper like a mantra.

Iḷitqusiq of Moonglow.
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.
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she smiled at him. iḷitqusiq. he wore it solemnly, a shining new being in their midst despite his injury. "i will tell the spirits your alive-name," the duck said softly. "they will come to you."

her heart's pace quickened. iḷitqusiq, she told herself, again and again, letting the man shed the first title for the newest one. "your name is already glowing," kukutux spoke, leaning forward to adjust the furs against which he rested. "iḷitqusiq," oomforting, the swallowed passion of a language she had always known. "you will heal faster now."
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He did not have it in him to question who the spirits were or when they would come. He simply nodded timidly, accepted it all for what it was.

She spoke reassurance with the new name he wore, how it would heal him faster now. He could only hope and pray for such.

Kukutux, He whispered in response. I, Iḷitqusiq, His name spoken once more to make a home of it on his tongue. — will become one with Moonglow. I will learn as much as you allow on my bedrest.
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.
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"i know that you will do this thing," kukutux said softly. he was her kinsman in name and in village now, and she felt the spin of a thousand futures ahead of them each. 

his vow. she held it close, and in the silence that fell between them, she felt the tightening of their familial bond, new and rich even in its fresh nature. "rest now, iḷitqusiq," marvelling at the name again, how sweet its tone.

"when you wake, you will feel it more in your heart."

and something like joy under her breastbone. a man remade, lying in her ulaq and changed from who he had been during the first sleep against the pelts.
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He need not be told twice. Tired from the pain and all the change he had wrapped himself in, much like the furs she wore or the ones he laid upon.

All he offered was a slight nod and a worn smile. Eyes heavy enough that when silence lasted longer than a few minutes he would surely be asleep once more.
left hind ankle is mending from a break. mobility is limited and painful.