Ouroboros Spine sure would like some sweet company
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#1
Ruenna lingered at the Moonglow border, sniffing for the familiar sent of @Kukutux to ascertain that she had come to the right place. When she found the evidence she sought, she sent up a low, lilting call for her friend, although the howl was cut short by her own breathlessness. 

Ruenna waited, panting. The journey from the Caldera was not a long one, per say, but it was grueling for Ruenna in particular. Her back pain was still very present, obvious in each heavy step that she took as she shuffled the length of the border.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
Moonglow

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tags for ref!

kuktux rested weakly outside her ulaq.

she had been carrying medicine tucked within her cheek to @Kigipigak, a strip of thinfur fawnhide held around her shoulders for @IŠł∑itqusiq.

but she had not made it far from her own denmouth before the mixture, previously of no issue to kukutux, provoked such a sickness in her that she stumbled and retched horribly into the tall grass alongside her shelter, followed by the vestiges of an early breakfast.

when the call came, she lifted her head, hearing the ragged call. she stood up, steeling herself against the resulting surge of sickness, and went to meet the call.

"oh! it is good to see your face, ruenna of red ferns and village redhawk." she had not come during the snow moon, but kukutux saw now the pain in the lines of her companion's body, and quieted with understanding.
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#3
Kukutux arrived, looking a bit more wan than Ruenna remembered. 

"Kukutux," she greeted warmly, ears flattening in pleasure as Kukutux recited quite the grand-sounding title for her. 

"It's not the Snow Moon," she noted regretfully. Around the time that they had intended to meet, word had come to the Caldera detailing the tragedy at Moonspear. It wasn't until some time afterward that Ruenna learned that Kukutux had survived, relocating her pack here. 

"I'm so sorry about your home. Your friends, and family..." Rue stepped forward, prepared to offer support but unsure exactly how. How could she even begin providing comfort for such a grievous loss? 

As she stepped closer to her friend, she grasped a wisp of an acidic odor on Kukutux's breath. It was a familiar smell, from Towhee's pregnancy. "Oh Kukutux, are you ill?" Rue inquired, concern etching across her features. Or was she, perhaps, expecting as Towhee had been?


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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it is not, moonwoman would have said. but ruenna's sudden outpouring of care and affection erased the months that had sprung up between them.

kukutux wanted to answer, but the other's visceral sense of correctness stilled her again. she tasted the inside of her mouth, realizing she had forgotten to lip mint over the smell of it. 

these times had only come once before.

"t-there are two who have hurt in them, healing here. i tend them. it has been a ... swift time. in some days, i only eat meat in the time before the sun falls."

careful, sidestepping ‚ÄĒ she was unsure and shy, "my mourning is over. i sang death songs with my daughter for nine days. what has happened has made my heart different, but i found at the end of this path that i could make a way for moonspear to still live."

if only in her,

"come. i will take you to the place of warm water." a small smile that did not attempt to be more than what it was. the duck was comforted by ruenna, and wished at once to provide the soothing of hurts.
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#5
Kukutux was running herself ragged caring for others. 

"Please don't forget to care for yourself too," Ruenna reminded her. Her encouragement would likely fall on deaf ears, if Kukutux was like the other caregivers she knew, who would only look after their own needs once the health of the patient was secure. 

Ruenna nodded sympathetically. "I lost a pack once too, and a leader I loved," she recalled, her thoughts turning to Liri, Blacktail Deer Plateau, and the events leading up to its demise. "It does change you." She let out a pained sigh. "It must have taken incredible strength, to pull your wolves together and lead them out of that dark time." Rue complemented the alpha sincerely, and all the more earnestly seeing the shyness that had come over her. 

If Ruenna had been half the leader that Kukutux was, perhaps Blacktail Deer Plateau might have survived. 

"Sure.." Ruenna agreed, relieved to see that Kukutux had divined the reason for her visit. Ruenna hoped to rest here while she waited for the Highland Games to commence, and hearing how busy Kukutux was, she would help out however she could. "..But only on the condition that you take a break, and keep me company." By her own admission, Kukutux could use some downtime.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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she brought ruenna slowly to the bowl of water. it was not the sprawling largesse of what moonspear had provided, but kukutux knew it would do all the same. the woman spoke of her past, and the duck realized how hungry she had been for the details shared between those who called one another companion. 

a smile.

"if i did not have sialuk, i do not know how i would have walked ahead, ruenna," she said sincerely. she would enter the water after her guest, sinking gratefully into the briskwarm embrace. a soft blink of condolence for the one lost to the redhawk. she wondered for a moment how many stories her friend must carry inside her spirit.

"it is hard to rest. do you feel this way at times?"
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Kukutux spoke of her daughter, and an odd emotion squeezed at Ruenna's heart. She was grateful that the Moonwoman had her daughter to lean on for comfort and support, but the mention of children reminded Ruenna of the origin of her and Kukutux's acquaintance. They'd spoken of families before, and Kukutux had offered to procure for Rue means of establishing her own lineage. 

"Oh, always!" Ruenna agreed with a laugh, sinking into the warm waters with a sigh. "When I was young, I kept busy because I felt like I had something to prove. And now that I'm old and lame, I feel it even stronger! I feel like I need to always stay busy, to show that I'm still useful." Stars, wasn't that some irony! Even though Ruenna was at a point in her life when she should most certainly be indulging in more rest, she resisted it, for fear that others would look down upon her for being exactly what she was. 

"I suppose I must have convinced someone of my worth.. I am a Regent now," Ruenna noted with a smile, "..a leader in the Caldera." When they'd last spoken, Ruenna had yet to even be accepted back into the Redhawks. She was even moreso in the position to request Kukutux's matchmaking services, now that she had been elevated to a position with breeding rights, but was Kukutux still in the matchmaking business?  So much had changed in the past few moons, and Ruenna couldn't really think of a good way to ask.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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kukutux nodded with a solemn mien at ruenna's words. she too, felt this curse of women, to toil and toil without end. but in these years with such injury, the duck could not help to wonder who was bringing meat to the other's hearth.

it was revealed in the next words that her companion had been given a high role in the caldera village. little eddies of water played about moonwoman's shoulders as she leant forward in delight. "the redhawk wolves have been given a blessing in you, ruenna." though she had not spent many long moments with the other, she knew her own sense of the woman to be true.

"i have happiness that they saw the good strong places in your spirit." a blink. "what will be your next steps?" delicately, for in this world, the aspiration to be wife and mother was not always the only one that some had, and kukutux did not wish to press ruenna with her thoughts.
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"Thank you, Kukutux," Ruenna received the praise graciously, and without any of the bashfulness that she might have shown in her younger days. The Redfern was finally starting to believe in her own worth, perhaps. "I'm grateful too, and.. happy." And she was happy, mostly. It was only that caring for the Redhawk children as if they were her own was not quite the same as caring for her own. 

The duck's next question cracked open the door, leaving it up to Ruenna as to whether she would walk through. She decided she would. 

"Children, I suppose." Ruenna answered, trying to sound more offhanded than she actually felt about it. "Mother" was the only role, it seemed, that could not be taken away by age, disability, or privilege, and Rue yearned to secure such a position for herself. Once it was achieved, she felt that she would always know her place. She'd always have her place, come what may.  

"I had hoped I would have found their father by now," Rue admitted, speaking of her unborn children. That IS the hitch, isn't it? In order to be a parent, one has to first be successful in a romantic relationship! Well, Rue would have to be, at least. More able-bodied she-wolves in their prime, like Towhee, made fine single-parents, but given the extent of Rue's disability, she would need a partner to act as a provider. A mate. Someone to bring meat to her hearth, as Kukutux would say. 

And as irony would have it, the very reason that Rue needed a mate was also the reason that she would struggle to attract one. She wasn't exactly the picture of feminine vivacity.

"This heat pool is fantastic," Rue commented blissfully, in an attempt to remain upbeat. The Caldera lake had been good for her strength training this summer, but within the heated waters, the relief sank into her spine and soothed her pain.. that is, her physical pain. Heartsickness would be decidedly tougher to cure.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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so. ruenna wished children, and a husband first. "it has not left my mind," she said by way of speaking to their first conversation. the heat-pool had been a thing of blessing from those who watched and listened, who made moonglow a gift to them. 

she thought of the names she had collected, fitting each silently to ruenna and then off again. it seemed her store had dwindled, with time and with absence. 

but,

iŠł∑itqusiq, the man with a new name who had begun to take up her stories.

"there is one here who heals an ankle that is broken. he will soon be ready to walk alone." kukutux was soft, hesitant, for she did not wish to promise him for a thing that he had not yet heard. "he has concern that no woman will want him. i say, if he is still hunter, he will be wanted."
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The man thought no woman would want him, because of what exactly? A limp? Kukutux was right. As long as he could still hunt, he would be wanted. By Rue, and by others as well. 

The similarity between the situation that Kukutux's patient faced and her own was not lost on Ruenna. Perhaps she was being overly critical of her own superficial failings. As a woman in a leadership position in a longstanding pack, she was not entirely lacking in appeal. 

"I have a friend--" Rue mentioned, her gaze drifting away from Kukutux's eyes and out over the surface of the pool. She did not speak Townee's name, because Towhee would certainly not appreciate Rue gossiping about her-- she'd made her feelings about Kukutux clear.

"--who chose to take a mate who was much younger, handsome, robust..." Rue's expression darkened. "But also impulsive, aggressive even. Their fights are a true spectacle. Even worse though, he attacked a packmate-- a pregnant one. He's a danger to the pack and an embarrassment to my friend." Rue swallowed.

"That is what is truly shameful. I would choose a cosmetic flaw over a character flaw every time." Rue was a leader now, and she had the well-being of her pack to consider. She would not invite chaos into Redhawk Caldera, even if she had to give up the opportunity of becoming a mother.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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kukutux listened.

ruenna had always been a woman of sound thought. it was good that this mind had been given the proper respect by the position she now held in redhawk. the caldera were their allies as well, she knew, through meerkat. it would be well for them to see one another again, when the summer had gone away.

the redfern went on to explain how the strong young hunter had at once become a threat, to a pregnant woman no less! kukutux did not enjoy the thought of this; her alabastrine ears tilted back at once, and she wondered what sort of misbalancing of power inside the redhawks was happening, to allow such to go on.

her ways were not the ways of the world, and she knew it, with all of her. and yet she could not help but wonder what might have happened were an older and wiser man elevated to such a position.

zane had this years, and yet he was as jovial and flighty as a yearling boy. it frustrated her.

"you and i have the same thinking in this." the blackfox, cautious and observant. aiolos, watchful and confident. only the seal hunter had moved with abandon, but they had been so very young, the two of them, married far earlier than even she meant for sialuk.

"there must be a sharing of power. ah, equal," kukutux murmured. "beauty is only one part of sharing a life with another."

a smile, for ruenna, open and relieved, to speak so to one counted as friend.
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#13
Ruenna was surprised to hear Kukutux speak on the importance of shared power. Was this line of thinking new for the Moonwoman? Perhaps that was why the thought was delivered in a murmur. According to Towhee, the Kukutux that she knew considered the worth of woman to be her womb, but this Kukutux spoke of equality and shared power! Ruenna was not able to reconcile the Kukutux that Towhee cautioned her against and the Kukutux that she had come to know herself. Had the Moonwoman changed her attitude about this recently? Motherhood and leadership might have provided some new perspective.

The sharing of power between mates seemed to be a topic upon which Towhee and Kukutux agreed. Towhee had encouraged Ruenna consider building her own pack with her chosen mate at her side. Towhee had gone on to suggest that her own son, Figment, fill the role of Ruenna's mate, which then made the whole plan feel absurd to Ruenna. Ruenna had known Figment when he was a baby, for stars' sake. 

As long as Ruenna remained the Regent of the Redhawk Caldera, she could not offer a potential mate a share of her power; the power was not hers to give. This was of some concern to Ruenna. Would a potential mate be content to live in a pack where his own position was dominated by that of his wife? 

There was a solution though, now that Phox and Niamh were on the rocks. Ruenna had hardly allowed herself to consider the possibility there, given how much Phox was likely to be hurting over recent events with Niamh. Even if they did break up, perhaps Phox would be too jaded by his past experiences with mates and pups to consider pairing with Ruenna. 

"Is it your desire to share your own power with another, Kukutux? One other than Sialuk?" Ruenna asked gently, curious only as a friend. Ruenna had enjoyed having Kukutux lend an ear for her inner, more personal concerns, and Ruenna would provide the same to Kukutux, if the Moonwoman desired.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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kukutux grew silent for a time, considering carefully what ruenna had asked of her. it was a question she had not heard before: of her wants. with the strengthening of moonglow, kuktuux felt she had formed herself, for her desires were that of the pack

or so it had always been.

"i say that i am not ready to have another husband." a quirk of her mouth. "the man who leads must be that. but i cannot be only wife, now. i am moonwoman also. i will share with him the important things of leading. but i must also be apart from him. two balances. i will only share one."

kukutux fell silent now, rather chagrined at her sudden rush of words. "even if it is not my want, it is for moonglow that each choosing must be done. not me."
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As quiet settled in upon the pair of bathers, Ruenna almost regretted asking her question, wondering if Kukutux had felt it was too familiar. Rue had all but given up on receiving an answer when Kukutux's maw parted, and the words began flowing. 

It would have been dishonest for Rue to claim that she understood completely what Kukutux had meant to communicate in her wave of speech. Particularly esoteric was the part about the necessity of being apart from her mate, with two balances, but only sharing one. 

However, when Kukutux spoke again, she touched on the difficult truth with with Ruenna was all to familiar. 

"You will choose the man who is best for Moonglow, who is not necessarily the man that your heart desires," Ruenna paraphrased slowly, nodding. If she had to make such a decision, she knew she would choose exactly in the manner Kukutux described. Perhaps this is what the duck meant by "two balances:" there was the balance of the pack, and the balance of one's own heart and family.

Ruenna wondered if Kukutux spoke hypothetically, or if there were already two (or more) men she had in mind as she spoke.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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a breath. "yes."

had ruenna ever been faced with such a choice?

"i ask the spirit of my mother to help me, during these times." a soft sharing, vulnerable. gentle. the redleaf woman had ensured this from kukutux now. she thought of aiolos, of the time that they had spent together.

of the sickness just before this.

"what is being leader in redhawk village like? do you have more freedom, ruenna?" more than what her own caustic search for balance had wrought.
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How poignant, that Kukutux had been so close with her mother in life that they continued to speak now, even after she was gone. 

"She must have been very wise," Rue noted. If only the memory of her own mother could provide such direction! Avis Redfern had been kindhearted and loyal, but also a rather timid and self-effacing-- perhaps exactly what Rue herself would have become, had she stayed behind in Redfern Grove. 

"Freedom?" Rue echoed thoughtfully, taking a moment to consider. She had always considered the search for freedom to belong exclusively to young wolves, because the older she grew, the more she found herself enthusiastically sacrificing her freedoms for the things that were more important. 

"I suppose," Ruenna concluded. "I have more liberties, but also more responsibility. So who's to say whether that really amounts to more freedom or not?" It was a habit of Ruenna's to divert personal questions with philosophy, in an attempt to avoid answering honestly. When she caught herself doing it, she tried her answer again, knowing Kukutux deserved better from her than equivocal philosophizing. 

"In Redhawk Caldera, being a leader is not quite the same as being a Redhawk. Those who are named Redhawk.. they are the ones who are most free." It felt a little slimy to speak critically of her home pack to the leader of another, and Ruenna fell into a ponderous silence. Ruenna wondered if this was a reality she would be able to change, herself being the only wolf in quite some time to hold a leadership rank who was not named Redhawk by birth or marriage.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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kukutux lay her head back upon the bank, listening. ruenna had the place of leader, but not the freedom of the name given by a blood-tie to the land. she saw in this that her counterpart was caught in her own place of difficulty. "when i am no longer moonwoman, it will be sialuk who takes that name. but if she does not wish this, then moonglow must make the choice of someone else. and it may not be a son or a daughter of ostrega."

this was not a fate she wished for her village. kukutux saw the merit of holding a line through descendants.

and yet it did not seem that in the caldera this had been established. only done. for now a redleaf helped to lead.

"are you treated in the same way as the redhawks, ruenna?" she inquired, wondering if worse things went on beneath that ulaq than was realized.
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Ruenna nodded. Kukutux fully expected her daughter to lead when she was gone, and this was in line with what Towhee hoped for her own progeny, Ruenna imagined. Although.. there had been enough context clues to hint that it was Figment who Towhee had groomed for leadership, and not his volatile sister who currently held the rank, but any Redhawk was better than none, presumably. 

"Towhee mentioned to me when I was promoted that she meant to establish diversity in leadership." The memory was voiced more pensively than conversationally. Ruenna sometimes wondered if there was too much diversity in leadership. She had not held the position long, but each issue they faced already felt like a push and pull of opposing forces. Ruenna was not a Redhawk, but was that also what made her such an optimal choice to balance out the leadership triad?

Ruenna contemplated Kukutx's question in silence, watching the steam sail across the surface of the pool as a breeze blew though. 

"I believe I am treated with fairness and respect, as much as I or any other packmate deserves." Ruenna paused thoughtfully once more. "As to whether I am treated in the same way as a Redhawk... it hasn't been tested." The honest answer. "I wouldn't dare." How to explain it?  

"It's like.. well, I often think to myself that a Redhawk could get away with murder." (If only she knew) "..But murder is a crime I would never commit myself. So whether I could away with it will forever remain a mystery." Oh stars, Rue was getting philosophical again.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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weooowww got carried away

kuktutux took ruenna's words quite as they sounded. the slaying of another! among the redhawks? but the more that she thought on what had been said, the more she saw it was the way of those who spoke this tongue first. 

the redleaf woman knew she had been set aside. if she committed a grave sin, would she be punished more harshly than one of the redhawk clan? it was a question well worth asking. moonwoman was silent only a moment more. "i do not know all of towhee's words," she admitted, "but ‚ÄĒ when i put sialuk next to me, it was not only that she was my daughter."

"she has a heart that is true. she is skilled. and she listens to the world that is around her, and those in moonglow who cross her path."

kukutux looked at ruenna. "did towhee say to you the other things that told her to choose you?"

the spirit moved in moonwoman.

"there was once a sister who had three brothers. she was blackbear. beside her, dark cloud. next, stone trader. and last, blackfox."

her heart was laid bare with pain once more.

"they were all of the same clan, the daughter and the hunters born of those who had built their home first. blackbear became chieftain, and with her, dark cloud. but there was old bitterness between stone trader and his brothers. blackbear loved him but stone trader grew harder and harder."

"there was blood upon the earth of their home, spilled by grey trader and dark cloud and blackbear. but it was their own blood that they had shed from the skin of one another."

moonwoman was silent for a running of seconds.

"dark cloud left the home he had always known, and went away with a woman he loved. stone trader was exiled. blackfox was placed at the side of their sister blackbear. he took a wife. dark cloud would not come back. and stone trader ‚ÄĒ"

she sought to steady herself.

"stone trader left this world to walk in the next. his family mourned. but their land still held many numbers. their clan still held its strength. peace came."

"and then their home was struck by the spirits. blackbear and blackfox did not come down from the mountain. their clan was lost. their daughters and hunters disappeared from the land until their name was almost lost. and those who see moonspear now, they say: 'look how they were strong! now they are gone!' but they do not know of the tupilaq already in moonspear, the bitter words that had made the markings of claws on the inside of the ostrega clan long before they were lost."

her eyes were somber and wet as she set them again toward ruenna. "a village must be balanced. one clan may make their name great in many ways, but if they are not equal, they will fall. your purpose in the redhawk village is great, ruenna."
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#21
Ruenna's heart swelled with delight for Kukutux; she could not have raised a daughter more worthy of pride, but in Ruenna's eyes their closeness was the greatest triumph. After watching years of Towhee and Phox struggling and butting heads with their children, Ruenna knew that it was not an easy feat. 

"Oh?" Rue emitted, a little taken aback by the duck's question. "No, I suppose not," she admitted. Towhee had never spoken of Ruenna in a way that was at all similar to the way Kukutux had just spoken of Sialuk. But then again, it wasn't like Towhee to get sentimental. "She does often say that she values me, and she appreciates my efforts." But that was not exactly the same thing, was it? 

Kukutux began her tale, and Ruenna settled in to listen. She described a pack very similar to the Redhawks in structure, with a brother and sister atop the hierarchy. The family quarreled among one another, and eventually there was bloodshed. Rue could only think of Phox, Towhee, Niahm, and Reyes, going round after round with each other these last few moons. 

Kukutux was a sensational storyteller: her countenance and spirit shifted in lock-step with the events of the story, almost as if she had lived it herself. The next chapter of the story was wrong though-- at least, it was wrong if it was meant to be a parable. The almighty would not punish a pack that had achieved peace and prosperity.. not in any parable Ruenna could recall. 

When Kukutux's story reached its bitter conclusion, Ruenna finally realized that she had not heard a parable at all, but rather the history of Moonspear. It painted the whole story in a much more dire fashion. 

"That was beautiful Kukutux, and poignant," Ruenna complimented the woman on her oration. "I am only sad to have heard it because I know you had to live it." 

Ruenna was quiet for a spell, soaking and stewing on the events Kukutux had revealed. 

"Why did the spirits strike down the pack? What was it that angered them? The pride? The lack of.. balance?" Ruenna finally asked, sounding troubled. Kukutux prayed to the spirits while Ruenna prayed to the stars, but Rue was introspective enough to understand that their beliefs were more alike than they were opposing. It was a fallen star that had struck down Moonspear, after all.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
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kukutux was quiet for a span of time. she thought of how long the sea ice stretched over the dark water, of how many days a band of hunters might wander through the blackness before stumbling upon meat. 

"moonspear was too prosperous. they did not know the names of the spirits around them."

but she had known them.

"i did not teach them then."

kukutux did not mean to shoulder the burden entire of the mountain's falling. "when you do not know these names, you do not know the proper way to be. the way that has respect. a wolf gives back to the womb that bore it. and the earth is our womb, ruenna."

the telling of such things had taken much from the duck; she sat silent and wan beneath the curtain of steaming water. but eventually she stirred, and looked at her friend with a soft look.

"there is a man here who should have your wisdom. he is of a good age, he is strong. a fair hunter. he is not unpleasant to the look of another." 

"but he wants no role in this village. he acts only as a man with half his years might."

moonwoman's eyes cleared for a moment of their melancholy. "but zane gives back to moonglow. he helped to make it a village in the first moons. the spirits do not want what is perfect. only what is honorable."
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Redhawk Caldera

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#23
Ruenna suspected that it was Kukutux's nature to shoulder burdens that were not necessarily her own, and that there was little she could say to chance the duck's mind. Even so, she countered gently, "I don't know if I see it the same way you do." She exhaled slowly, formulating her thoughts. 

"A few stars may have been wolves, at one time or another.. but certainly not all of them, and of those that were, it was not with any recency. The stars have been so far away, for so long.." Ruenna cast her gaze skyward, although it was not yet dark enough to actually view the stars.  

"The stars have forgotten what it is to walk the earth and be alive and feel, if they ever knew at all. They form mountains and crumble them, fill lakes and drain them.. But we do not mourn the lost lake, or the fallen mountain, and similarly the stars do not mourn the ruined pack. These events are simply means to an end-- an end we could not hope to know or influence, or perhaps even understand."

Ruenna had found peace in this belief, that there was a larger purpose to the events that took place around her. It was not about just her or her pack, just wolves as a species, or even just the Teekons alone. The stars cast their light across the whole world, and that was the scale of their involvement. 

The conversation shifted on to one of the men of Moonglow, so full of promise but unwilling to live up to his potential. It was a waste, Ruenna had to agree. But as a grown wolf, Zane was free to govern himself, and surely he understood that his standing in the pack was a reflection of his own actions. He had the tools he needed to succeed, and Ruenna wasn't sure any amount of wisdom would inspire him to correct his path. 

"It sounds like Zane has a role in Moonglow, even if it's not the one you would choose for him." Kukutux had more or less arrived at this conclusion herself by the time she was finished speaking. "In many cases, wolves who have walked different paths can end up in the same place, eventually." Yes, even wolves as different as Kukutux and Zane. "Is it possible that there is honor in Zane's way of being, even if it's not perfect?"


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.
Moonglow

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#24
kukutux listened, and then she nodded. ruenna spoke truly and with great wisdom. while the duck knew that there were many things which existed outside her ability to control, she was not sure that never speaking in moonspear had helped. 

"you are wisewoman, ruenna redleaf. your words hold the sound of stories. the ear must hear them, and know."

memories of the mountain crowded into her mind, and she shut her eyes. "there is honor in him. he has given his hours to moonglow." that was all she had truly wished or requested. her smile was tired, and eventually she began to pull herself from the waters, to rest upon the bank.

"if he wished more in his life, i would make a meeting for you both," moonwoman said amusedly to her companion. "but there are some moons until the soft green comes again."

spring brought many things. with moonwoman's help and hope, perhaps children would also be carried in the curve of ruenna's flank by the time of sun-glow. "i have the wish that you stay in moonglow as long as you have this desire. rest. i will bring you to a sleeping-place."
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Redhawk Caldera

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Ruenna considered it high praise indeed, that such an accomplished and enlightened wolf as Kukutux thought her wise. She had imagined herself more a teacher than a storyteller, although the differences between the two were rather minor, weren't they? 

The Redfern drew herself from the waters, following Kukutux's lead. She laughed as the moonwoman jested about pairing her with Zane. "Yes, we will see many moons before spring. There is plenty of time for my path to cross with that of another-- perhaps even Zane's." Ruenna would remain open to whatever possibilities presented themselves, although if she was being honest, she did wish for one, particular possibility above all others... 

Kukutux offered to house Ruenna for the duration of her trip, which was exactly what the Caldera woman had hoped to hear. "I am delighted to stay. Thank you, Kukutux." She trailed alongside Moonglow's matriarch, allowing herself to be directed to her sleeping quarters. Even as the breeze played through her dampened fur, she would remain comfortably warm thanks to the lingering effects of the heated pool. 

Once she and Kukutux parted, Ruenna's restless thoughts would turn to the impending Teekon Highland Games, and in her excitement it would take her a long time to drift off sleep despite the weariness in her limbs and the heaviness of her eyelids.


Ruenna experiences chronic lower back pain as a result of an accident from over a year ago. She moves with a very obvious, heavy limp.