Ouroboros Spine tatamnaktuk ⨸
Moonglow

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#1
Birth 
open to tagged! no posting order <3 any not tagged are welcome to make a howling cameo when the news is announced :D

welcome, babies


her children, born into rain.

daughter. the monster lurks.

kukutux came out sleep; she gasped to consciousness and looked around for the form of @Alduin.

but it was not of the boy the inner voice had spoken. a cry, breaking in surprise from her throat.

the jadestone eyes lifted to the skies outside the ulaq.

they will be born today.

but it is not yet time!

the grinning teeth of the qualupilik, which had taken its sacrifice from sialuk. sickness swam in her throat, and at last moonwoman pulled herself into the storm-darkened day. "but it —" and then a true and lashing wave sent a blackness across her vision.

"alduin. napvak;" she faltered. a breath, and another. "@Aiolos." the veins of the earth flowed in drumbeat-sound beneath her paws. moonglow fell away, and the duck felt herself untied. beneath her, loam turned to waves, and she found herself in a vision of the churning sea.

kukutux was set adrift as her body separated from its mortal anguish, drawing the moonbow up and toward the skies lashed with rain.

it is too early.

it is not so for these children.

but kukutux did not understand.

@Sialuk and perhaps @Lótë, if her time was not so close. if they had come to find the duck outside her ulaq, spine bent against a granite sky — if they too tasted the salt of the rainwater — if aiolos threw aside the edict of the woman's circle to be now with her, kukutux did not know it.

for these children

voices; she groped for that of @Keyni, of @Shikoba, of @Lunaria.

a woman's circle to bring forth her children; their protection would keep the long claws of the salt-hunter from grasping at their new spirits.

she had gone weak with her crying out, and now the fear rose to clutch at her.

her vision expanded, swallowing her own consciousness as if it were the tail of a serpent. and before moonwoman alone, the skies rent celestial skies above the towering sea, and it felt as if her bones moved to form a passage from the stars to this world.

@Kausiut, second daughter to the line of moonwoman's mother.

kukutux blurred once more, delving into the velveteen unworld.

daughter. do not forget your path back.

the sea answers another ocean in your blood. you must suffer only a small time longer.

a breath pulled from nowhere, and kukutux caught fervently hold of the wheeling ground beneath her shrinking figure, growing smaller and smaller. the moon lay in the long dark, an island. the remaking, the last of her strength poured into the girl @Samani.

lynx, suddenly near, and her face was solemn as she watched the duck in her joy.

these children?

look upon them, moonwoman.

in her embrace, two children who bore too close a mark of resemblance. mouth drying to sand, the tupilak's face whirled first into her mind. and then that of nuak, and what he had taken from her. the gift from her totem, tainted, and now, it had —

"twins."
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
Moonglow

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Too soon. Too soon.

They were not meant to be born yet. Her siblings still were to do more growing before they came into the world, and yet they did not wait.

Sialuk was glued to anaa's side through the process, flashing teeth to any men who might think it wise to enter the den where her mother produced miracles. The girl soothed her mother as best as she could, murmuring words of encouragement in their language and doing what she could to keep her calm and comfortable.

First was one, then another.

Nukak, she breathed, then, Magguliak. They were identical in every way she could count.
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Alduin had been a little way away from Kukutux’s den, simply sniffing some berries and lying about when he hears his name be called. He hardly even hears it, but it has his ears shift. He would whirl into her den and he would here another name she’d mentioned earlier, Aiolos. He searches her gaze because he does not understand her foreign words, but her gaze gives him enough to go by.

There’s something terribly wrong.

He nods much to eagerly. “I-I’ll — I’ll go find Aiolos.” He stammers in a panic. He doesn’t even know what this Aiolos looks like, but he runs off all the same.

His legs drag him to wherever the man of the sea may be. He knows not what he looks like, but he screams out for him all the same. His body aches from the pain of drifting through the river, but he over excerpts himself anyway. Kukutux is in danger — there’s something wrong with her. Yet, he’s not quite sure what it is.

Whether he finds @Aiolos or not, he would run back either alone or with the man in tow. He would be massively out of breath, sides heaving and a worried look plastered on his dark face. He would witness the scene of Kukutux giving birth, watching from the sidelines because he’s too nervous to include himself. The sight is grisly — so this is birth. He wasn’t sure what was wrong with her at first, but when he sees what comes out he knows.

Too soon. 

It seems Alduin is the harbinger of bad tidings.
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Moonglow

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she is swift to answer the call of kukutux, the warrior woman is like a wildfire over the land as she gallops towards the destination of the ulax. she has known that the duck was expecting as she watched her body change, though it seems rather early for their birthdate to occur now. however, shikoba has never been a mother, nor truly been inside a whelping den with newborns. today will be a new experience for her.

she takes notice the the boy who leaves in search for the man who has claimed the duck, his scent is full of moonglow and something distant. she does not chase, for he must not be an invader of sialuk did not bite towards his nape. she looks towards the women that make up the matriarchy of moonglow with pride and sticks her head into the den just for a moment. a chuff, alerting the two that she is there for whatever is needed.

to avoid crowding, shikoba stays outside of the ulaq. unless she is called in to meet the new brood, she will stay outside and offer support from there. the smell and sight of birth is a lot to take in, but her own instinct is to swallow her thoughts and be ready for when she is needed.
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Moonglow

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He had not expected it.
Had not been quite prepared.

As the mother and eldest daughter would already know, the father thought there to be still some time left before the pups arrivals. They would come soon, but not this soon or so they all had assumed...

Aiolos had been blissfully avoidant of 'the child'. A close eye kept as Alduin was in close range of Kukutux, swollen with pups, but Aiolos did not bother to reach out to him. After all, it was the child's own father which had given him such an ache to his neck first thing when waking.

But now the stripped son calls out to him, panting, screaming. What is it? A sharp snap of words, meant not to be harsh, but firm. Out from the waters the lion comes, following suit after the boy until soon Aiolos is leaving him behind, quick to close the distance between he and Kukutux.

Here at his arrival Kukutux is surrounded by the women's circle, more to come, he expects. They nurture her and murmur encouragements and urge her back towards the dens. It is not long when the first of their pups has been born, blood and birth filling the air.

Sialuk agression and warning for all men to stay clear is heeded for this time being and Aiolos paces, separating the men (behind him) and woman as he draws a line there between them. He would be quick to snarl and bite at any of his circle that crossed.

Obediently but reluctantly, he waits until he is called upon.
Moonglow

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maybe just a cameo or a two-post wonder if she’s addressed or this needs to be added to later but feel free to skip her

She came, of course, when her Alpha’s cry shattered against the skies veiled in stormcloud though it was no small struggle for the heavily pregnant and petite greenpaw to move about these days. Even so, the dove dared not wander too close, for fear that the spirits Kukutux warned of might be drawn to her own vulnerable tiny lives. 

Her gaze flickered reassuringly to Aiolos — even if the dusk-pelted seawolf didn’t see it in his anxiety — before her peridots slid past his ragged, pacing form to the ulaq that housed her sister and newborn nieces. Fallow ears flickered, cupping towards the whelping den as she strained for any sounds from within.

Searching around herself in agitation, helpless and hating it as she searched for some way she could be of assistance. Her emeralds softened when they landed on Alduin’s young and frightened face. He was just a boy — no matter where he’d come from.

The mother-to-be padded to his side, hesitantly reaching down to touch her snout to his inky shoulder — as if uncertain that the battered child would accept even this innocent touch. She smiled warmly when his garnets locked with her gaze. “Would you like to come with me and get some herbs for the women?” 

It didn’t matter if Sialuk and the other healers already had everything they needed, she just wanted to get the brindle away from the possibly traumatizing scene — and show him that a touch of kindness still existed in this world.
"in the top of the tower, the devil he waits, the devil he waits for you."
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The whole scene made Alduin tense. He’s never been around anyone giving birth, but since Kukutux told him to run and grab Aiolos, he never went back in the den. One, he didn’t think he was welcome back, especially with the caramel brute hanging about it like that. And two, he doesn’t really want to be in there anyway. 

Rather he stays a fair distance away from everything. Allowing himself to be left alone and especially not going near the pacing alpha.

Until a soft looking woman appears. The prince only spares her a short glance before averting his eyes to look elsewhere out into the distance. Hunches in a borderline awkward sitting position, he frets when he sees her gaze land on his out of his peripheral. He pointedly turns his body a touch away from her, but she approaches anyhow. 

Then he almost jumps when a wet nose touches his shoulder. Slowly, he turns his large head towards her and finally — actually — looks at her. Her pelt is soft, plush, full of pale creams and chocolate paws. Matched with a pair of sweet looking emerald eyes Alduin can’t help but look into. He licks his chops with a deep purple tongue almost nervously, but the tone she speaks with offers him some solace. Her words are sweet and they offer him a distraction. One he gladly takes.

Standing up, he nods up to her, not daring to say a word for some reason. Only stepping close enough to her for his side to comfortably lean against her leg as a sign for them to go. He would wordlessly follow her to wherever she wants to take him.
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Moonglow

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The union of the sea and moon-lit sky breathed her into existence—Samani and Kausiut are the horizon that joins them.

Despite the turmoil that preceded her birth, Samani entered the world peacefully and quietly. She only spoke to let Kukutux know that she was alive and well and wiggled some as she settled into place at her sister's side. Then, without further fanfare, Samani fed and then fell asleep.

Soon, she would stir again. But, for now, it was time for her to rest.
Moonglow

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#9
Storms are reflections of chaos raging in the cosmic realm. 
Things may go unnoticed during chaos. 
A forgotten god known only by its name, lurks in the shadows and waits. 
A soul descends from the stars. Small, fragile thing, tossed here and there by the winds. 
The celestial pounces and swallows it whole. 

Here she shines brightly and then embeds itself in the small body of an infant.

Two souls sharing one mortal body. 

A forgotten god lying dormant. 

Waiting. 

There she was lying still not yet aware of the change that had just taken place. Then the warm cocoon burst and she, who had never experienced cold in her existence, was suddenly engulfed by it. Then came the feeling of suffocating. Beginning in the pit of her belly and spreading rapidly throughout every fiber of her body. She squirmed, opened her mouth and drew in her first breath. Air filled her lungs, the cord that had kept her attached to her mother, broke and finally she was her own entity.

Independent.

Free.

She screamed.

Moonglow

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there was a scream building in kukutux.

she was at one filled with the only stories she had ever been told of twins.

her aunt had told the story of a lonely spirit which entered the womb of a mother and into the heart of a life not yet born. there, it split into two parts. one became the former sorrow. but because they had come from one spirit, twins could not be separated from the misery which followed one of them always.

her forelegs tightened around the daughters of aiolos, as if in protection. sialuk loomed close, a terrible pale hunter who was so close, and whispered their name.

maggulikak.

moonwoman's jadeite stare traveled carefully each new contour and limb, twice, four times in the end. kausiut held her gaze for a long while, and she sought fervently to still the child's screaming.

the blood of sun man ran in them. they were licks of rosy flame against the snowdrift of her pelt.

she loved them at once. it cut across all the planes of her heart and she felt herself moved by a low and raw protectiveness over the daughters which had just come from their body.

she loved them at once.

and yet she feared — 

her mother had told her that one of such a bond would be evil. they would commune early with tupilaq and the ones who spoke to the undead spirits, those souls who had never once lived within a hide.

her mother; she had told kukutux it was impossible to know. there was no showing that a child was the wicked one.

moonwoman shut her eyes.

it is the choice of your husband.

but aiolos knew not her taboos, and the ones she had broken. he did not know of the ivory piece or how the red tupilak had come to have it as a gift. was it she who had led their sivullik away?

sun man would not understand how wickedness had touched the duck while their children grew inside her bones.

sun man would not understand that to give one to the spirits of the earth might save all of moonglow from what she had allowed to happen.

she drew a breath, then another. surely only @Sialuk for now saw how kukutux had become. she turned a tearstained gaze toward her eldest. "paniga," moonwoman said with a calm she did not feel. "bring aiolos here to see."

the duck's lips moved across each velveteen back. salt fell in droplets among their tiny limbs. "i cannot know," kukutux said to them. 

and then a thought came to her, one which dried her tears and set her jaw in a shocked sort of determination. "i cannot know," she whispered softly. in her mind, the words of a guarding chant that her mother said had come down from the first of their kind.

if aiolos had come to her yet, she did not know. kukutux spoke swiftly in the words she shared with sialuk, the words that she would share also with these ones.

"quamaniq." and she touched the forehead of kausiut. "it is your spirit name. speak it to no other ears. i will tell you again when it is time."

"unnujaktuk. a brush to the same upon samani. "it is your spirit name. speak it to no other ears. i will tell you again when it is time."

but the last was for them alone. she did not know it. yet the name grew in her mind. kukutux hoped that the wicked spirits would be confused by the secret name she would give to these twins which had grown within her.

"nakitâgutik."

"you know the spirit name you both will share. say it only to one another, and no one else. i will tell you again when it is time."

if moonwoman could not save one of her daughters through will, then she would seek to do it through atuutluk.

"look, @Aiolos."

kukutux was ready now.

"samani. girl who looks out to the sea always. kausiut, a star which walks in the day with the sun. they are your daughters. they are twin."
[Image: pSj9vo4.png]
Moonglow

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skippable from here on out!

Something in anaa changed, though Sialuk could not know what it was. She did as she was told, pausing only a moment to watch the two small sistraas at her mother's breast. She pulled herself away, then called softly for Aiolos.

Aiolos, come to meet them, she said quietly, a smile upon her lips.

The others would not be welcome, not yet. Sialuk would stay outside and ensure that they knew where they were meant to be. Anaa had been through much and more, and Sialuk would not have the others encroaching on her sacred day. Above, Sixsix circled for a time, then perched on a nearby tree.

You will see them someday, Sixsix, she said to the crow. Not today, but some day.
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Moonglow

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Sialuk speaks his name and his pacing stops sudden, ginger ears perking high at attention as he turns into her direction. Her smile is soft, a good sign. He comes without hesitation, easing past her as she takes the mantle of standing guard in his stead. Into the darkness of the den he enters...

'Look, Aiolos...' And he does, training fiery eyes upon the two pups nestled at her side. Samani, named by the sea. Kausiut, named by the sky. Fitting, for both Kukutux and Aiolos' daughters. Twins. His breath catches. Pale pelts licked by flame glow to leave a peachy, sunset tone. They're gorgeous.
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Keyni came, tugged by Kukutux's voice. Filled with the strains of labor. She tossed her head back and added her own voice, signaling she was on the way. For a while now, she sensed in the air that the Moon Woman was due soon. It was like a thick tension, ready to burst. But this was early.

When she arrived, slipping into the circle of women outside her kin's ulaq, her demeanor was calm. Alert but un-panicked. The tundrian seemed resolved with how things had turned out. With the timing. There was only so much medicine and herbs could do. No force was greater than that of nature. She touched all, even the bodies of the living. And she had decided that while early, it was time.

Keyni lowered her head slightly, eyes fluttering shut in peaceful acceptance and understanding.
Moonglow

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What was it Amil had told her once? 

Babies have a way of fixing broken people.

She hadn’t understood what the soft-pelt woman had meant then but she felt she knew now as Alduin tucked himself against her shadow. He was not quite a baby but the warmth of him against her swollen side warmed her heart — the brush of him along her ribs causing her children to dance beneath her flesh, the child who would become Vairë bumping against the shadowed brindle from within with a gentle nudge as if curious as to who leaned against her mother. 

She offered Sialuk a nod as she called for Aiolos, guessing that all must be well with Kukutux by her daughter’s demeanor. Satisfied that her friend would be okay, Lótë dipped and touched her muzzle again to the Saint’s crown. Not quite a kiss but a signal as she padded away from the scene — we go.
"in the top of the tower, the devil he waits, the devil he waits for you."