Ouroboros Spine x-ing a paragrab
Sapphique

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#1
All Welcome 
she skirts the trees at the edge of the territory, nostrils flared. there will be no caches here. the food, if these wolves are worth their salt, will be hidden in the heart of the packlands; she wonders how far she will get before she is either stopped or stumbles upon her bounty.

it does not help that her fur is a ruddy beacon against the greens and browns—even Aventus would have been better cloaked here. but thoughts of her brother only spur her on, for it is because of the shadow that she is forced to make this kind of living, away from family, away from

mother

stop!

she cannot keep dwelling on the Ursus wolves, no matter her love for them. for her. gritting her teeth, Avicus turns and keeps heading up the slope, vanishing into a slight dip in the earth, perhaps the legacy of a long-gone glacier. the air smells of pine, the freshness of a mountain breeze. it is cooler up here; it has grown warm.

the bears will be awake. she wonders who will find her first.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
Moonglow

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her mind was upon other things.

aiolos.

the coming marriage of the cloudberry woman and firsthunter.

she had not planned one of these before. small teeth showed in a little, private smile. the borders called to her again. kukutux supposed, straightening, that she meant to make amends for the breaking of her ankle, and how she had been unable to help in any way with the formation of moonglow. 

a breath. the duck tasted the end of the wind, and with it not only the scent of pine. she climbed higher, struck with a peculiar sense of knowing, but kukutux wanted to be sure. she paused to pull the black ermine-fur around her shoulders, moving like one of its namesake through the high woodland she had come to know.

there, again. tupilak! she knew it true as the day the fox had come to take her nuak. 

and he was not here. 

she raced faster, until yes, yes, that horrid red splashed as blood against the backdrop of moonglow. "qanaagal!?" she snapped, and this time the duck did call dreadfully for @Adrastus.

there is an evil spirit within moonglow.

"where?" the duck demanded again; the pelt had fallen from her shoulders and she burned righteously, flaring into ice-made angles while eyes churned eldritch. kukutux only knew the loyalty of family. this tupilak had taken one of her own.
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Sapphique

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qanaagal!

the word rings out sharp, shattering the silence. her eyes dart and she spots white, just as bright and clear against the dark verdance of the woods as she. that woman.

she bolts.

for all she lacks in muscle, Avicus has agility. skittering fragrant cones and needles in her wake, she continues to hustle up the slope, knowing all the while that this is a suicide mission.

all this for a measly morsel of flesh?

but deep down, she's aware that it's not about the food. not entirely, anyway. she feasts upon the chase, the pursuit—even if she is the one being pursued. she sees no spirits; she has no purpose upon the earth except to take, take, take

moonwoman may not be a thief (or so she says) but Avicus is.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
Moonglow

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the evil spirit darted higher.

kukutux kept her stone altars high in these woods, three of them in locales she had not even shared with sialuk. was that what the girl meant to find? 

her own step drifted from warning to promise, and she felt the wind touch her teeth as lips pulled back, exposing the sharp rows along the jawline she had once used to kill boar.

loam flying from beneath her pawpads, she pursued the tupilak along the narrow mountain path. she was not as fleet, but she knew this weald and world, and soon snapped for the quick crimson hock.

fear and loathing rising in her;

what might happen if she tasted the blood of a demon?
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Sapphique

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pursuit. she knows the woman is behind her, gaining even as Avicus travels swiftly. moonwoman has the advantage on home turf; there is no way the red girl can outrun her unless a miracle occurs.

hot breath, and the snip of fangs on ankle. it barely misses vital tendons but draws blood and pain all the same. her fangs are clenched so tightly that what might have been a shriek escapes only as a muffled grunt, caught halfway between her tongue and teeth.

she darts to the left. 

a bank between her and freedom. nowhere to go but down.

to the right. Kukutux is there.

trapped. she dances from paw to paw, jogging in place, slowly backing away from the woman. blood spatters the earth at her hind legs, and her sides heave. her eyes lock onto the other, dark, burning midnight coals set deep into gaunt ruddy face.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
Moonglow

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the salt pulled at something dark within kukutux;

she remembered how her path had been stumbling as she returned to moonglow, stained in the blood of the grey trader after her vigil.

only he and the blackfox —

and my son.

and she saw now how late she had realized that nuak surely was only a reflection of the grief that the death songs had not erased. but she bared her teeth anyway. "i know that you have learned words. it means you can walk more easily between those who do not have evil upon them. tell me what you have done with him."
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Sapphique

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it is strange. she expects the woman to attack, and yet words come. some she knows, some not, but they all mean nothing to her until the very last: him.

Karst? Avicus manages, her brow furrowed. her ankle continues to dribble; she feels the pulse there, hard and fast.

sees the pulse in moonwoman's throat.

she's taken a throat before, felt life bleed from it. had the woman? or is she dangerous in other ways—or at least believes herself powerful?

she is no better than Merrick, Avicus thinks, a look of disdain wrinkling her muzzle.

all they are is flesh and blood;

all of them, whether worm or wolf.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
Loner

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#8
Can be a cameo.

The time he had spent upon the mountain had not been wholly useless. Beyond the trees and the twisting path of Avicus lurked the little mountain boy, seeking things he had seen in passing. Finding what the red-furred girl would have overlooked in her zeal.

She was fast and lithe, and would keep the white witch busy. As Karst krept along he grew bold; first one cache, then some measure away, another; the pilfered tusk not with him.

He ate some of what he found, dragged and desecrated the little stores of food and medicine, stealing through the dark and up the hillside to where the ulaqs were clustered.
Moonglow

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karst.

kukutux bit the inside of her jawline, feeling blood pool there.

what right did she have to say the name of nuak?

and then moonglow — a tupilak among them, and kuktuux calling sharply for @Sialuk, who would soon join her beneath the skies; for @Zane and @Lótë, for @Keyni, and even for @Iḷitqusiq, who lay healing in her ulaq. they must all know who stood among them.

"now i will kill you."

she was not a warrior, nor truly a hunter; kukutux leapt forward all the same, white knives aimed for the yielding false body of the evil one.
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Sapphique

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she sizes the moonwoman up. older and skinnier. Avicus is young, hale, nimble. instead of waiting for the woman to come to her, she meets her halfway, and they collide in a tremendous flurry of fire and ice—

a scent on the wind. she may have noticed it if not for the heady smell of adrenaline rising up between them. . .

Kukutux strikes, and her aim is true. she seizes the shoulder once wounded by the bear and Avicus hisses to feel fangs sink into old scar tissue.

in response, she twists her head and seeks to slash the pretty face, to mar the priestess's ethereal visage.

she can nearly taste blood on her tongue;

they are coming and she must run. 

but she will stay for now.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
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#11
The lofty Tundrian was in general, a peaceful soul. Humble and soft spoken. Mild mannered. She was not one to instigate a fight. But she would, however, end one. Some at first take might mistake Keyni as weak. Take her nobility and patience for being too cushy. That was a severe error. When roused, as she must, under her guise was a fearless, tenacious spirit. But never laced with the darkness of malevolence. Just a burning passion.

Her kindred Queen's cry rang like shattered bell in her ears, calling forth all of Moonglow to her aid. A sinner was in their midst. A threat, an impurity that must be purged. Without delay she descended down from the rocky slope she had been treading. Pebbles and shale tumbled in the wake of ivory paws, heart beating furiously against her chest. Blood was in the air, newly spilt. Cresting down, snow and flame clashed, tangling. Instantly she was bearing down furiously on the reddened one. She made no sound, no snarl as her teeth snapped, aiming for her exposed rump.
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#12
At the first summoning, Adrastus bristled and growled softly. He hadn't heard this tone in Kukutux's voice, and it was almost unrecognizable. Dulcet tones made tense with fear and outrage, from what he could tell- warning him that they had a trespasser. Nothing to get too terribly upset about, he thought- they had no children that a trespasser could steal, and food could be replaced as it was summertime- but if the stranger chose to endanger one of their members then it was an issue all the same.

He had been some distance away, but had reached the narrow pathway leading up the slope by the time Kukutux called out for aid wherever she could get it- from Sialuk, Keyni, Zane...And he urged his limbs to move faster as he barrelled up the slope. He sensed that Kukutux was in danger, and he would not allow her to face this alone.

He would arrive only moments after Keyni who bounded toward the ruddy trespasser with faithful ferocity. There was a flash of pale fur at her side as both females rushed the male. Lowering his head, Adrastus closed the gap between the trio of warring wolves and himself, trusting the loner to be distracted long enough by the two women who attacked him for Adrastus to come within lethal range, placing himself opposite the two Moonglow women so he might cut off the reddish female's escape and keep her surrounded on all sides.

With a growl, he too sprang toward her, his muzzle wreathed in wrinkles as he snarled, bared his teeth, and made to aim his snapping jaws for her flank.
Loner

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It was easy enough for Nuak to find his way. He had been here for almost two weeks the last time, sleeping and eating, studying the land. It had not been his intention to return but here he was.

Avicus and her new vendetta. Nuak had to follow; and while the wolves descended upon her, Nuak stole in to the ulaqs as he found them.

One sat abandoned and was empty; one held the heavy scent of a man and Nuak spared this a glance as he passed, seeing the brown fur of @Iḷitqusiq as he rested. Nuak moved on, seeking the white woman's own ulaq in a hurry.

Avicus would either escape or be torn apart, and as detached as he wanted to be from her, Nuak was loyal to his purpose; he would be quick with his thievery, and head down the mountain before her lifeblood could spill.

Whatever he sought to find among the witch's things was not apparent, and so the boy became flustered, shuffling through her skins and trinkets, only to erupt from the ulaq in a frenzy to pace and hunt the grounds again.
Moonglow

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the tupilak's knives cut at kukutux.

she cried out, a sound as much from anger as from pain; she reeled from their quarrel, blood rushing to the end of her chin from punctures below her eye; and suddenly her senses were filled with keyni, her village-sister striking toward the hinds of the the fox-demon. and then adrastus, at once. 

he loomed large and terrible; he held thunder in his chest, and bore down upon the tupilak. 

moonwoman would bear scars from this; they throbbed lowly across her muzzle, and she was maddened by the pain. kukutux circled, meaning to grab for the scarlet head, nape, shoulder; anywhere that might disarm the fox and bring her down beneath them.

willing to kill unless their might was heeded. even now, the seed of mercy still existed in the duck.
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Sapphique

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here they come!

one, then another, rushing quickly to their moonwoman's aid. Avicus feels the smart of teeth on haunch and flank alike, and wheels to face. . . well—

her no him no her or him or

this is the first time she's been in a fight with multiple antagonists. . .at least on the opposing side. hadn't she helped to tear that man apart, he who threatened her mother? 

now she is the one who threatens, and they have come to destroy her.

the pale man is her biggest adversary, his looming size casting shadow over her pelt. 

but it is moonwoman, the one she had sized up and scorned, that deals a sharper blow. as Avicus turns to face the behemoth, snarling, panting, Kukutux snaps close to her face—and teeth sink deep into the delicate, spongey flesh of her tongue.

head swimming with the pain, she rips her head away, but some of her remains behind. the woman will have her pound of flesh, a chunk of tongue, and Avicus will reel backward as her mouth begins to fill with blood,

faster, faster—and she thinks she may choke on the torrent.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
Moonglow

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What she came upon when her mother cried out was chaos. Chaos that left the smell of blood in the air and frenzy in the eyes of all those involved. One wolf among them was one she did not know, and it was that wolf whom Sialuk dove toward, her own jaws open wide as she attempted to defend anaa, Moonglow, her family.

Had she ever been in a proper fight before? When she was young, she had sparred with her brother and cousins, but this was different. This was life or death. And with the numbers on their side, Sialuk knew Moonglow would not fail.
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She was hardly surprised that Adrastus and Sialuk descended into the fray, flashes of white swarming to the aide of their Moon Queen. The satisfying give of fur and flesh under her grip, giving way to the salty taste of blood. The red yearling wasn't going down without a fight, though. 

Fury boiled within her as snapping teeth hit and snagged the pure façade of Kukutux's face, drawing the blood of her clan sister. Jade eyes narrowed dangerously, a low bubbling snarl rising in her throat. The demon would pay, and pay dearly. Jerking and twisting her head, she aimed to adjust and reposition her grip around the delicate ankle bones. If she could get a hold of those and deliver a crushing bite, Avicus would be severely compromised.
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In the fury of their onslaught, the stranger was quickly outnumbered by those who ferociously defended their territory and answered to the summon of their alpha. The metallic scent of blood caused Adrastus to grimace as the trespasser's tongue was torn by Kukutux, spilling and staining her moonkissed pelt. The pale woman seemed still to be the chosen target, but Adrastus would not stand for it.

With the others lashing like whirling sabres, he lunged forward with the intention of grabbing a hold of the stranger by the thick fur of her ruff so she might be immobilized, and incapable of inflicting damage. If he could get a good hold on her, they would be able to pass judgement and punish her for her misdeeds.
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Finally he has found what he was after — not within the witch's ulaq but further up the hillside. As Nuak comes barrelling back down the way he has come, there comes the snarling sounds of entanglement and a sharp, nervous pinch to his chest.

The boy gallops along with a length of fox fur clutched between his teeth; the same which had been gifted to him for sleeping. He has destroyed numerous caches along the way, and now looks upon the scattered success of his efforts as he bolts towards the noise.

It would be better to keep going — to leave behind Avicus to the moon witch's followers — but as he crests a bluff, he sees her. Them. Bodies chasing and teeth gnashing, Avicus at the helm of the horde as she struggles - and there, Kukutux.

Nuak charges. The fur slows him down until he drops it in the grass. His fur is serrated all over, his tail is high and proud; a show to redirect their ire, barkings and snapping to draw Kukutux' attention enough so that Avicus can escape.
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blood, rushing her mouth;

it felt as if she might drown;

kukutux felt it drip between her clenched teeth, from the thick notch of tongue taken in sacrifice from the tupilak.

she pulled away from the fighters at once and spat it upon the ground. snowdrift ears flickering as she searched for nuak in the guttering hard knife he presented now. 

but he had changed; she saw; she felt she must see — in him, the grey brother's ire.

perhaps, sickeningly, the fox-girl was only a girl and it was the stamp of the dead ostrega man who had made nuak as he was.

the rest, to sivullik. kukutux faced the boy and was silent.
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Sapphique

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the man receives only a mouthful of fur from her nape, but the woman's aim is true. teeth upon her ankle, then a sickening crunch, blinding pain; she whimpers, mouth streaming blood, dripping hot and fast down her chest;

blood-flower. . .

Karst. he's come to help—hasn't he? her eyes flash toward him for a second, then away, staring hard down the slope. before another blow is landed, she darts away, limping clumsily while favoring her shattered hind ankle,

but the biggest concern is her tongue, bleeding like a sieve;

her path down the mountain is blind, frenzied, trees streaking by,

bursting through brush

out into the open—

will they spare Karst?

ears canted back, listening for the sound of almost certain pursuit.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
Moonglow

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got all postpartum-y and completely forgot about this! Sorry for the wait and feel free to skip Lótë in the coming rounds.

The cloudberry villager was far from the commotion when it sprang up, but not so far that the cries of Kukutux did not strike her heart with leaden dread or set her scrambling to answer. Frantically, Lótë raced to the summons — evergreen orbs widening in dismay as she flew through the ulax and discovered the ruin left in Nuak’s wake. 

When she came on the scene, the greenpaw found her clan mates bloodied but mostly unharmed save for the harsh streaks of crimson across their wisewoman’s maw. The morning dove grimaced at the sight, wanting to go to the Alpha and help but sensing the tension in the air, she refrained. 

The herd-stalker instead edged her way to her intended’s side discreetly, glancing over him for any sign that he was hurt. But just as she had longed to tend to Kukutux, the girl restrained the urge to touch him or see to his small wounds as she settled quietly beside him. Adrastus was sivullik. The Moon and Star would need his presence as reinforcement for whatever came next and the mouse would only embarrass him if she fretted like a mother hen fluttering about her chicks.
"in the top of the tower, the devil he waits, the devil he waits for you."
Moonglow

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With the threat(s?) mostly dealt with, the raindrop looked to anaa for direction. She faced the boy, Sialuk's cousin? But how could a cousin do such a horrendous thing? Why had he allowed the intruder to escape? What was his relation to her?

Sialuk did not know, but she moved beside Kukutux and waited for further instruction. Should she be told to do so, she would chase after the red girl. If she was set upon her cousin, she would do her best to eliminate him.
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Moonglow

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last post for me!

whatever foulness resided in the tupilak, it dragged the girl along the side of the mountain, out from under them.

the duck stepped forward then, tail abristle and teeth glinting;

she would not allow moonglow to sacrifice this one. she would not have its wicked blood upon their teeth.

moonwoman bid the red girl flee, wolves pursuing until she faded from view.

it would be nuak they angrily caught next, but this time kukutux meant for him to be kept among them by force.
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Loner

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I guess I'll close up this thread with a reply. If anyone wants me to edit just let me know!

A cluster of wolves chased after the red-furred girl, leaving Nuak alone with Kukutux and the daughter; if others were present he did not see them, glaring at the witch, bristling and pacing without any knowledge of what should come next.

As a common target of malice Nuak knew better than to turn his back on any foe, but that was the extent of his understanding when it came to combat or warfare; it could be said he waged a war upon the edge of Moonglow now, with Kukutux fixed in his sights.

He did not know how to handle himself at all, except to look menacing and draw the attention of the others, hoping it would give Merrick's daughter time to flee. The red trail she left in her wake was something he would not witness, equally so, the shape of wolves emerging at his flank to snap at him or pound him in to the dirt.

As swiftly as his ire came to fight, Nuak's mind was blanketed by darkness. He would fall to the will of the witch and be made a prisoner, dragged from the borders and then up, among the high reaches of the village, where he could not escape.