Lion Head Mesa Harry Potter style.
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#1
All Welcome 
Towhee left the caldera without fanfare. She didn't go very far, pausing thoughtfully in her arbitrarily eastward course to contemplate the neighbors' borders. She had very little interest in Akashingo, though as she stood there, she couldn't help but muse over their common enemy. Well, "enemy" was probably too strong a word to apply to her former mate, though her lips curled as she pictured these faceless wolves beating Reyes and throwing him out of their celebration.

What kinds of wolves did something like that, anyway? She didn't mean tossing Reyes on his ass—no, she understood that completely—but who threw a giant wedding party and invited a bunch of outsiders? Her head cocked and she arched an eyebrow, orange eyes boring holes in the mesa, as if demanding it to explain itself and its queer inhabitants.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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With the queen spending her time at the Pharaoh’s side, Arsenio was freed to patrol the edges of the mesa. Those few moments of freedom were coveted, precious things. As he set his sights for the mesa’s edge, his legs moved into a swift trot and then a run that stretched his frame and quickened his heartbeat.

When the redstone guard had arrived at the edge of the mesa, he breathed plumes into the air. The cold touch of it did not bother him, not when he moved swiftly and felt his body create heat for him. Arsenio watched a spot in the distance with a shrewd eye and began his prowl around the edge of the border. Every so often, he would pause to mark the terrain where it was weakest and then continue his course.

The wolf’s mind was full of the most recent happenings at Akashingo. Arsenio might have missed the woman who gazed in on their land if the orange highlights of her pelt had not drawn his eye. The Greek drew his head up and barked a greeting to her, approaching at a trot.
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The wolf that approached appeared as foreign as this pack's practices. Towhee's eyes pinned on him, tracking his every movement as he came closer. She saw the moment when he barked at her. Her ears flicked as if acknowledging the sound, though they of course did no such thing.

This mindless, bodily fib served to remind her of something: she was no one and nothing now. That thought could've depressed her but, strangely, it didn't. No, it gave Towhee an idea. Her ears drew back a bit and she braced her white-streaked shoulders, assuming a respectfully neutral posture as the Akashingo guardian closed the distance.

"Hello, I'm..." She paused for only a heartbeat before continuing, "Finley Blackthorn. I'm curious about A—ahh, this place. And this pack. Do you have a few minutes to tell me about it?"
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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The woman settled into a neutral position and drew her gaze to meet him. Arsenio closed the remaining space between them and paused on the edge of the mesa’s claim. The ice of his gaze roamed over the stranger’s figure and settled upon her eyes. They glimmered orange, like the highlights of her dark coat. It was a stunning contrast.

Finley Blackthorn wished to know more about Akashingo. This brought a frown onto the Greek man’s face. He peered at her with scrutiny, wondering if there would be repercussions for giving Akashingo’s information freely to strangers. The woman could have been a spy for the Saints, or for the former Saint leader Nyra.

Yes, yes, what is it you wish to know, Finley Blackthorn? Arsenio asked her, somewhat impatient in his tone. If he could help it, he did not wish to remain on the border speaking to a stranger. He did not know if she had interest in joining, or if she was only there for the details she could not obtain from staring at their home.
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She couldn't hear the impatience in his voice, nor did she spy it in his expression, though the lack of introduction was telling. She knew what it was like to be on the other side of this equation and appreciated the brevity. Towhee gave his question a moment's thought, wondering just how to weave more of her false narrative into the real questions she wanted to ask about Akashingo. With an inward smile, she realized she was sort of stretching her chronicler's muscles, long forgotten to the point of near atrophy.

"What is it called?" she asked, already knowing the answer. "Who are the leaders?" Towhee knew that one too, though they were only names to her. She remembered watching Sphyra's interaction with one of them from a distance but couldn't even remember the color of his coat. "What's the, ah, culture like?" That was the question which she really wanted answered.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Finley asked him three questions, each following some small amount of thought.

This place is called Akashingo, but I do not know the meaning of it. There was the answer to the first.

She wished to know who led the pack, which seemed a fair question. The answer was not quite as simple as he would have liked. The guard mulled over how best to respond, as well as provide information regarding their culture. Arsenio did not know if he wished to sell Akashingo as a place of paradise and pleasure, or if he would admit only the truth to her – that the mesa was a place for spoiled rulers and entitled, lusting beasts.

The leaders here are the Pharaoh Ramesses and his wife, the queen lady Satsu. They have recently wed and invited many of the neighboring wolves to… a day of pleasure and joy, Arsenio began with a small shrug of his broad shoulders. It is a culture unlike any I have experienced. Akashingo is a place made of the Pharaoh, his wife, the Mazoi – those of us who guard the mesa and its members – and the Fellahin. The Fellahin are made to tend to any desires that are voiced. They are pleasure things.

Arsenio watched her, waiting to see what else Finley wanted.
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She thought to cock her head when he spoke the name, as if she found it curious, which wasn't far from the truth. There was a thoughtful pause before he addressed her second query, which piqued Towhee's interest. She straightened her neck while carefully avoiding raising her head, almost as if leaning in to listen closer.

Once more, she made faces as if all this was news to her. "Curious," she murmured, which was still a not entirely dishonest reaction. She drew in a breath through her nose and trapped it in her lungs as he finished by describing the ranks, including something called the Mazoi, then the Fellahin.

This time, when she pulled a face, it was entirely genuine. "They are pleasure things? Wh—" Catching herself, Towhee cleared her throat, shifted her weight and narrowed her eyes at the ground by the stranger's feet. "What do you mean by that?" she questioned more neutrally after a breath, orange eyes flicking upward to catch his answer.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Akashingo
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#8
hope it's okay to jump in here <3


He followed Arsenio's scent trail through the mesa. And when it mixed with the scent of a stranger, he grew very curious. It didn't cross his mind that the statue might be in trouble or detaining an intruder—working as he should be. He only thought he might be missing an interesting interaction, or a new wolf to meet. 

As he drew near, Sayf heard the end of what the guard had said—The Fellahin are made to tend to any desires that are voiced. They are pleasure things.

He thought there couldn't have been a more perfect time for him to insert himself into whatever meeting was going on at the borders. So the fellahin trotted forward to stop at Arsenio's side.

He dipped his head, bowing respectfully to the mesa's newest guest. Excuse me for interrupting, he said first. I heard the end of your conversation and thought I should introduce myself. I am Sayf, one of the fellahin. He smiled pleasantly at the woman before offering the the mazoi the same smile.
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#9
Arsenio snorted.

What did she think he meant? It was precisely as it sounded. The Greek shrugged his shoulders and opened his mouth to reiterate what he’d meant when a familiar voice drew his ears back. The guard turned to see Sayf approach where they stood. Arsenio offered him a warm smile and a friendly wag of his tail. The appearance of the Fellahin looked to ease his stiff shoulders and sag his frame into a casual, lazy one.

This is Sayf, he offered to Finley with a nod.

Sayf this is Finley Blackthorn. She wants to know of Akashingo. I have been telling her of the Mazoi and Fellahin. Show her how good you are, the redstone wolf remarked. The mercenary nudged the Fellahin gently with his nose. Arsenio did not have any doubts that Sayf would be a good example of what the others were like, if not a bit warmer.
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Happy to have you! :D

Before he could elaborate, someone else sidled into view. Towhee did a very conspicuous double take because the stranger's resemblance to a Redhawk was uncanny. But the similarities stopped there. This was a coyote. Her ears came up and her whole body went rigid, orange eyes mistrustfully hanging on the newcomer's lips.

She was so distracted by his arrival, she'd almost forgotten her question. Apparently, this Sayf was one of the aforementioned pleasure things. Towhee didn't catch the nameless male's words as he instructed Sayf to demonstrate his skills, as she was still staring at the coyote and trying to process what she'd just learned.

Akashingo allowed coyotes to live among them, as some sort of sex toys? Towhee hoped she was jumping to conclusions, because that was outrageous. Coyotes were distant cousins at best, fair game at worst. It made some kind of sense to her to keep them in the lowest ranks in the pack—again, another assumption based on the context clues so far—but to use them that way struck her as very, well...

"The fuck," Towhee muttered under her breath.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Akashingo
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#11
Show her how good you are. Sayf may have chuckled if he hadn't sensed the tension from their visitor and heard what sounded like a curse beneath her breath. He thought the statue was charming enough on his own, but of course, he would never pass up the opportunity to show a guest what Akashingo was all about. 

The fellahin are here to fulfill your every desire. We can feed you, bathe you, spend time with you, entertain you—Whatever you'd like my lady. He gave a deep bow to the lovely redhawk woman. 

I can start by giving you a tour if you're interested?
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Arsenio’s ears pricked at the woman’s muttered curse.

His lips curled into an amused smile. She was surprised at the idea of the Fellahin. The guard narrowed his eyes on her and tilted his head curiously. If she had not wanted an honest answer, why ask the questions she had? The longer he stood speaking with her, the more it felt like Finley was only there to gather information. Suspicion created a mist of distrust in his mind.

Sayf, on the other hand, was perfectly pleasant. He offered a kinder way to describe the Fellahin of Akashingo. Arsenio shrugged softly, as if their specifics did not matter that much to him. Sayf might have been friendly, but there was no trusting the warm figure. He was still serving of the Pharaoh.

Well, let’s not be hasty, Sayf. We do not even know why the lady Finley is here.

Arsenio met her gaze boldly. The man’s features were calculating and shrewd.

Do you seek a home here? Or have you come only to ask questions?
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With every word out of Sayf's mouth, Towhee's eyebrows crawled further up her face. She mouthed silently, Bathe me? A short bark of laughter left her at the sheer absurdity, which she tried to cover up with a false coughing fit. This preceded an actual coughing fit, causing her to back up a few paces, eyes watering as she tried to clear her throat. One paw came up to beat at her chest.

"Sorry," she managed to mutter when she caught her breath, adding a croaked, "Fuck." Once again, she'd unwittingly missed the other wolf's words, though she'd managed to catch Sayf's invitation just prior to losing control of her pharynx.

"No," she said, a strange gurgling noise accompanying the words. Towhee cleared her throat again. "No, that's not... that won't be necessary. I think curiosity killed the cat a bit, here," she couldn't help but quip, wondering if either man would find any humor in this ridiculous exchange.

"I should get going. Thanks for answering my questions, ah... dude, man." Well, he'd never given a name. "Sayf," she added, offering an awkward nod to the sex toyote.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Akashingo
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The statue was right, they didn't necessarily know this woman's intentions, but it wasn't really Sayf's job to care about such things. Usually they had already been approved before finding their way to the fellahin. 

It seemed it wouldn't matter, though. Finley not only declined his offer but laughed so much that she was indisposed for a few moments by a coughing fit. The fellahin watched her with a blank expression the whole time, all the while reeling on the inside from the rejection. Not everyone desired his company, he accepted that, but shame didn't care what he understood or accepted; it still swallowed him regardless.

He could feel the burning pressure in his chest; it spread down his arms, down the familiar path. He swallowed but that would be the only outward reaction to what he felt within. He had become very good at masking what he felt around those he didn't trust with his vulnerabilities. 

Sayf cleared his own throat a little and let an amused smile spread across his face. No need to apologize, my lady, he offered, as sweet and polite as ever. Akashingo is not for everyone. she would say as much in her own words, as well. 

He bowed again to her departing words, smiled up at Arsenio, and then quickly disappeared back within the mesa to nurse his hurt alone.
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The woman’s laugh shifted the tone of their conversation. She was no longer a welcome guest.

Arsenio’s gaze narrowed on her, shrewd and cold. Finley then tried to cover up her cackle with a poor attempt at coughing. It was rude. While the Greek did not condone the actions that took place inside of the mesa, that did not mean he would allow strangers to approach the borders and laugh mockingly in on them. All interest he might have had in why she was there had vanished.

Furthermore, he could feel Sayf’s tension at his side. Sayf had been one of the few of the Fellahin who had acted with kindness, with a more genuine nature than the others. He still bowed at the feet of the Pharaoh, but not everyone was perfect. Arsenio had grown tired of their visitor, and he did not want her there anymore.

She muttered some stupid saying before she offered a half-assed attempt at thanks. The redstone guard did not respond to her. He curtly motioned for her to leave and then followed in her path to make sure that she would stay far away from their borders. Sayf had been polite, even after her outburst. Arsenio would not have offered her the same gesture if the Fellahin had not been present.