Duskfire Glacier all we wanted, was a place to feel like home
213 Posts
Ooc — R/Rachel

Spring had come to Teekon in the time it had taken her to fight her way back home. 

Home. Such a strange thought, it distracted the northron from her surveillance of the changed landscape for a moment. She could not remember the last time she had felt such a sentiment. Perhaps not even in Salik's clan which had been so quick to turn on her for things beyond her control. 

Snow still clung stubbornly, particularly here in the Taiga where the climate was always slightly cooler. Ice crusted the edges of the Qeya as she and her boy treaded the icy waters. She wondered if it could wash clean all the mistakes she had made, all the sins that seemed to cling to her skin. 

Spring was stubborn though. She could smell it on the crisp air, a fresh whiff of renewal and dormant plant life preparing to burst into bloom. The scent of heat fever that grew heady as she neared the Glacier. The same scent that was beginning to envelop her own form, though she did her best to ignore the impending arrival of her estrous cycle. 

It was not the same woman who had once forged a home with Wintersbane that approached the borders, not truly. 

She was gaunt, even beneath the thick wool of her fluffy pelt. And there was a sunken, haunted quality to her cracked gaze that she could not shake -- even as she smiled reassuringly, tilting her gaze down to meet Siku's gilded eyes. A pain strummed through her heart, to look into those eyes so like her husband's. 

Aquamarines flickered back to the gap where her leg should've been. Lost in a mountain slide. There was a measure of horror in her son's gaze as well, for which she could never forgive herself. 

Would he be angry? And if so, how much? Enough to rage and send them away? Suppose he'd found another to take to wife, another woman whose body released the perfume of spring time to sire children on.

Her head lifted, gaze anxiously scouring the ice and conifers as if they might give her some clue. There was nothing for it; it was time to face the music. 

Steeling herself, Imaq howled. 
"...and all around was the bitter arctic cold and the immense silence of the North..."
19 Posts
Ooc —

Sikuliak hung close to his dam's side. He did not think to be embarrassed of his attachment to her, in spite of the fact that he was halfway to being a yearling. Imaq was a constant, the one thing that never changed. And he had spent enough time trailing her through the wilderness that it was instinct to hover at the peak of her splotched shoulder. 

He had vague, shadowy memories of this place. And the Ataatax his mother spoke of, though his sire's face had become a blur in his young mind. 

He hoped, much as Imaq did. 

Even so, he had grown protective of his Anaa since her accident and the horrific loss of her hindleg. In spite of the fact that he was still a boy, and the limp that hindered his step on account of Makatza, he pressed closer to her -- stepping forward so he stood shoulder to shoulder with his mother. 

Guarded gaze of whiskey scanned the distance of the place that had once been home, trying to connect it to his hazy memories. Trying to decipher what awaited them here, if it was a danger to the wolfdog at his side.
Duskfire Glacier
397 Posts
Ooc — Espero
Glad to see you back!! <3

He hadn't gone far in his expedition, staying in the surrounding forests to comb them better than his initial search did. His nose was to the ground but his ears scanned the horizon for whatever may cross his path. What he expected to hear was the soft crunches of squirrel or martens scurrying by but what he actually heard stopped him in his tracks. Hotah could feel his heart sink into the seemingly endless depths of his belly with the mass of a boulder, the howl chilled him to his bones. Snow flew from the ground below him, his feet kicking it up as they initially had little traction but they soon found themselves.

He was weaving, skidding, and even drifting around trees as the man ran his way back to the glacier. His heart was pounding in his chest, not from running, no but from the sheer exuberance and hope rushing through this veins. They were going to be his unending fuel source, no matter how much his legs or lungs burned he had the means to keep going. Finally closing some distance he could see the Qeya river. Tears pricked his eyes but he angrily shook them away, crying would be no way to greet them. 'Please be them, please be them.', he chanted to himself repeatedly until a shaving of negative slivered in. 'But what if it isn't?'. His pace slowed, as if his words chained rocks to his feet, Rye nearly crashed from the sudden drop in speed. So much time spent grieving for them, so much time frantically searching, would it all be repeated again? 

He yearned to know the truth no matter the cost, the sinking feeling returned with a vengeance, twisting his stomach into loops of nauseating disaster. Rye vomited on the run, how he managed that was beyond him but it did little to slow him down. Only when the strong stench of his homes border assaulted his nose did he slow. At first he didn't see them, so he ran down the border line. There was a monstrous amount of hope, fear, excitement, love and grief littering his brain. They clashed like the long time adversaries they truly were, fear and grief had ahold of him for too long but the hope and love Rye thought he had lost was back to fight like hell. Trees flew by in a blur as he pushed harder and harder, covering more and more ground.

In the distance he could see a figure, then a smaller one just beside them. The Hotah slowed, hope building exponentially. Hawk-eyes adjusted to the speed and eyed the larger wolfs coat. 'Ivory!' He quietly cheered, his pace picking back up. Rye looked at the smaller wolf below, the same unique silvery hue his sons coat carried. "Imaq! Sikuliak!" He called to them. The man rushed to their sides, nearly crashing into them but managing to stop himself. Without a second thought he embraced Imaq, small whimpers emitting from his chest, before moving to his son. Tsunamis of pressure and relief flooded his system, he could feel nothing but their presence, not his burning legs, lungs nor chest. He could, however, feel his heart pounding, it was entirely possible Imaq or Siku could feel his racing heart. "I have missed you both so much." He exclaimed, voice cracking. "Where have you been? Are you two okay? Are you hurt? Do you need medicine? Are either of you sick?" Rye began frantically checking them over, having not yet seen Imaqs missing leg. What he could see broke him on the inside, the sight of his mate and even his son looking sickly, emaciated and bleak harrowed the man greatly. It tore him limb from limb but first he wanted to make sure there was no fresh and obvious wounds. He couldn't rest until he made sure they were not immediately in danger of passing out or worse.                
"If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight.
Remember who you are."
213 Posts
Ooc — R/Rachel
gonna be vague about their disappearance for now but I guess Imaq would've taken Siku beyond the borders to get away from Makatza's influence for a while and maybe learn to hunt with his bum leg. Then some kind of natural occurrence forced them to leave Teekon, a winter snowstorm caused them to wander too far and get lost perhaps? While outside Teekon, Imaq and Siku had quite the adventure! Butttt I'm gonna leave everything that happened out of game as a surprise for later. ;3

It couldn't have been long before someone appeared, though if felt like lifetimes had passed as her heart pounded in her ears. She was so anxious that she felt dizzy, nauseous as a liver splotched tongue swiped along her chops. She fought the urge to fidget. 

It wasn't just anyone who appeared though. It was Rye. Fear gripped her, but only for an instant. It was clear from the way her husband barreled towards them, stopping just short before pressing into her, that he wasn't angry. It wasn't enough to topple her, even on three limbs, but she did stagger as the Hotah embraced her. 

The old Imaq would've lit up, all smiles and a wiggling bum. But this new one, she could only cling to him. How foolish she'd been to leave him behind, the she-dog chided herself for the upteenth time. A tremulous breath quivered from her lips, eyes sliding shut as she allowed herself to relax against the medicine man -- for what felt like the first time in years. 

All too soon, Rye was pulling back. She blinked numbly, not quite processing the questions fired at her in rapid succession. For a time, all she could do was stare at him -- feeling that his concerned voice came from somewhere far off, as if he were still calling to her from across the frostbitten fields. 

Then, with a sluggish shake of her head as if to clear the cobwebs from her mind, Imaq began to speak. Only..she had forgotten herself. She did not recall in that moment, that Rye could not speak her mother tongue. 

"I..we were hunting and a storm sprang up suddenly. I tried to get Siku back to our camp but.." the merle gave a tiny, abashed shake of her head -- gaze dropping to her paws in contrition.
"...and all around was the bitter arctic cold and the immense silence of the North..."
19 Posts
Ooc —

Siku's eyes followed the man closely as he burst from the treeline, wary but curious. His face was definitely familiar, the stranger from his filmy memories. 

Some small part of him withered in guilt that he could not find a smile to paint upon his face, that he could not offer the man he believed to be his father more than a guarded glance. But Sikuliak did not forget easily.

He could not forget what the last man had done, or tried to do. 

It was instinctive that the youth stiffened when the woodlander gathered his mother into a loving embrace, though he meant no harm. The blue merle fought against the rumble building in his chest, the twitch of his lip where it longed to pull back over his teeth and snarl until this man let go of Anaa. 

His amber eyes bored into Rye's uncertainly when his attention shifted from Imaq to Siku, tensing against the man's touch in spite of his best efforts. Upon being released, he squeezed even closer to his dam's side -- almost wishing he could disappear into her shadow. 

"Anaa," the child whispered, gaze flicking to Rye before darting away, "this is father?" He was not aware that his sire didn't speak tundrian. He knew the common tongue though it was little better than his mother's command of the language but he followed her lead, more comfortable when speaking the words of his mother's people.