Lion Head Mesa she reeled in my sight
Ursus

Bruin-witch*
this is my book
and i know how to work the spells and charms in it
i know them all
1,403 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Master Warrior
Missionary
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#1
All Welcome 
this is AW for anyone. tagging for ref and/or to join the ursus wolves who would have followed: @Avicus @Aventus @Arielle @Surya @Ashlar

his son had been lost in his own mind since departing silvertip. and merrick had become singularly fixated upon the distant mountains.
he could not and would not wait forever. but neither was he ready to allow their jaws the crush and ruin upon more of ursus.
and yet he knew that it was the saints who would die. merrick went out to the long red lands of akashingo and began to pace.
[Image: JaaUeS1.png]
Ursus

Bruin-jaw*
271 Posts
Ooc — Chelsie
Tactician
Away
#2
Within his mind, Aventus moved pieces on a war map.

He wandered the red lands of Akashingo's claim without stopping to speak with the residents nor even see much of their perfumed palace. The sun on his dark back was uncomfortable for a wolf accustomed to colder climes, but the cloying scent of flowers underground was worse. It was not an understatement to say that Aventus hated this place and all its indulgence, so it was easier to remain fixed upon a goal and disappear into his thoughts.

It was a shame he had not had more time in Moonglow. It was possible he would have been able to garner their support if he was better trusted among their number. His cover there was blown; he could not return, not even after this, having departed without a word as he had. Oh well. The bear's need for blood would be satisfied in the coming days. Moonglow was of no consequence now.

How Merrick had discovered these wolves with a common enemy, he did not know. Perhaps there were others that could be rallied to the cause. The Saints were formidable but even they could not take on the might of two packs, let alone many. But how to find them?

Aventus spotted his father ahead, wearing a rut into the red earth. Forcing himself up and out of his contemplations, he padded toward the man. Merrick was lost without Astara. He hoped only that in the aftermath of this bloody affair, his father could find meaning elsewhere. The Bruin-jaw missed his mother fiercely and loved her dearly, but he worshipped Merrick. He could not lose his father, too, without himself becoming untethered.

We need information, he suggested in a softened tone, lest Merrick strike out at him. Akashingo had a lot of information, but it wasn't as current as it could be. I do not think they would recognize me if I went looking for them. With his nondescript black coat, lack of visible scars, and unremarkable body structure, the only thing they might find familiar about Aventus were his pale eyes, but even those were not so unique. Even his scent was much changed from when he was a cub. His confidence in it was due to inexperience, but rooted some in truth. Of all of Ursus, he would be the most unrecognizable of all.
Ursus

Bruin-witch*
this is my book
and i know how to work the spells and charms in it
i know them all
1,403 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Master Warrior
Missionary
Offline
#3
aventus was here; 
his son was here;
no! he wished to snap — no, i will not lose you also!
but it was not a boy who spoke. merrick turned the creaking of his gaze toward the young wolf. in the bruin-jaw he saw them both;
he and she.
the remaining eye blinked. the bearwolf sighed. "go."
his confidence in his son had not wavered. aventus knew the cost of the saints.
"look for them in the canyon at the base of the tallest mountain. red sand."
akashingo had asked merrick not to go. but they had not spoken with his son.
[Image: JaaUeS1.png]
Ursus

Earthclaw
102 Posts
Ooc — Hela
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#4
Arielle, of course, was never far from Merrick. She worried about him. She worried about Aves. She worried she would be left alone again after this was all over. She knew she must leave fate in the hands of the bear, but if only she could offer herself to save the bear king and his son. She had never feared death; it was the end, and she would welcome it whenever it came for her. She very much feared watching Merrick or Aves die in the jaws of the Saints, but it was a useless emotion, especially now.

She trotted forward to join the two as they discussed a plan. I can go too, she said quickly. She hated the idea of the prince searching on his own. They won't know me either, and I can help Aves if anything happens. She was small and lithe. She could play the meek female if needed. The Saints would never suspect the bite of her teeth or the fierceness of her violent anger.
Ursus

Bruin-jaw*
271 Posts
Ooc — Chelsie
Tactician
Away
#5
Red sand. It was almost poetic that the forces poised to extinguish the Dying Light were also amassing in red sand. He was prepared to leave immediately and leave these fragrant Akashingo courtesans to his father’s wiles, and turned as if to go, only to find Arielle there.

His immediate gut reaction was to turn her down, but Arielle had a point. Aventus couldn’t deny she would add more credence to any lie he spun in the presence of the Saints, and if things went south, he could use the extra set of teeth to claw his way out.

It is easier to explain two wolves traveling together than one alone so close to winter, he said. He still didn’t like the thought of putting their physician in harm’s way, but Aventus also knew there was no budging Arielle when she set her mind to something. Beneath his concern, he flared with pride and gratitude both.

Confidence in himself and his unremarkable appearance aside, he was nervous about walking into their enemy’s jaws. Arielle soothed some of that.
Ursus

Bruin-witch*
this is my book
and i know how to work the spells and charms in it
i know them all
1,403 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Master Warrior
Missionary
Offline
#6
merrick did not speak when arielle appeared and offered herself to the potentially fatalities of spying during wartime.
but he did not forbid her. the bearwolf saw he could no more stop her from going than he could keep his son grounded to the odd lands of akashingo.
merrick wished to instruct them: wash our scent away. do not double back upon paths. do not call for anyone. do not be killed.
but he chose in this moment to place the full weight of his strength and commitment in the bear. aventus had gone beyond the defenses of moonglow. he would be able to do this, and arielle's healing would carry the pair of them through what might come.
"go with the bear."
merrick's voice was heavy and resolute. his single eye was filled with pride and affection and a determined glint.
[Image: JaaUeS1.png]
Ursus

Earthclaw
102 Posts
Ooc — Hela
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#7
Arielle was relieved that neither Aves nor Merrick tried to argue that she stay in Akashingo. She wouldn't have let them make the decision for her, but she didn't really like the idea of arguing with either of them. Plus, it showed their faith in her and the bear that they thought she was capable of attempting to get close to their enemies and gather information. 

She nodded when Aves offered another reason her presence would be helpful. And when Merrick urged them to go with the bear, she dipped her head. You as well, she softly replied. The mix of emotions in his gaze were comforting, filling her veins with warmth and her heart with confidence. 

She then looked to Aves, her expression stating she was ready whenever he was.
Ursus

Bruin-jaw*
271 Posts
Ooc — Chelsie
Tactician
Away
#8
Aventus levelled a long look at Merrick, disturbed only by a blink and gentle toss of his head when a yellowjacket flew a little too close to his face. He expected the Bruin-witch to insist on Arielle remaining. It was easier to explain two wolves traving together than one alone, but harder to go unnoticed, and Arielle's talents might be needed here.

Instead, both were given leave to go. Be safe, he bid his father, resisting the sudden urge to reach out and prod his muzzle into the man's scarred cheek. There had never been physical affection between them, only reverence and fear and respect and pride. Why should it start now?

Your mother is dead, she's gone, she would want—

She would want him to remain far from the Saints rather than tempting fate, but she was gone. Aventus had to choose now. He looked at Arielle, features unreadable, and said after a beat, we might as well rest tonight and leave first thing tomorrow. There was more than enough danger ahead without them losing sleep, too.
Ursus

Bruin-witch*
this is my book
and i know how to work the spells and charms in it
i know them all
1,403 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Master Warrior
Missionary
Offline
#9
merrick looked between them both.
they would sleep within ursus.
his eyes turned to the indigo shapes of the sunspire. 
"i will wait to tell anyone that you have gone."
the hope that they would return was not recognizable as a hope. it was a decision that he felt the bear had made.
arielle. aventus. they turned the path of ursus toward a future that merrick did not think he would follow.
[Image: JaaUeS1.png]