The Sunspire I got a heart like a truck
Mereo
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#1
Trade 
just for fun - lmk if there's any issues with this and I can adjust. She had a thing she needed to test :D. Feedin a wolverine a little monkshood lolol, tag for reference

Fennec had finally found a test case for the flowers she'd discovered. A single scent of them had set her fur to tingling, and something innate told her they were a plant to be treated with care. She just didn't know how much.

She remembered passing the kill on her way to Epoch and the scent of wolverine that still lingered. She wondered if it would possibly come back if more food was to be found.

Fennec carefully laced a rabbit with the herbs, then ensured the scent of blood and thick mud would hide both traces of her and the hidden test. She planted it and settled in to wait.

If any wolves came along she'd have stopped them. She wouldn't leave something like this unattended, but she could tell the thing that came calling wasn't a wolf. It had the heavy, shuffling sound of something else, but it wasn't until she heard the guttural sounds of eating that she was sure. Fennec's stomach clenched in anticipation, but she forced herself to stay in hiding. Not yet.

She waited a while after silence fell. First there'd been eating... then a pause. Then a few odd shuffles and a small, confused keening. She didn't know if it was just sick or if it had left and Fennec didn't want to risk it attacking her.

When she finally did come out to investigate, it was to find the rabbit gone and the wolverine stiffening near the space where it had been. Fennec wrinkled her nose at the scents. She couldn't quite feel guilty but it clearly hadn't been a pleasant death. She'd put quite a bit of the flower in the trap but still - it was way stronger, and way deadlier, than she'd expected.

She would tell @Germanicus as soon as she returned. Right now she inspected the unfortunate victim, intent on learning everything she could (and ensuring all traces of the cause were truly gone).
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
Mereo
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wow cant resist, hes at their place so this can be a cameo or she can join him after! <3

as germanicus promised, he had brought skins to outfit the den shared by he and fennec.

but he had an eye for more. since their rather silent wedding he had been hunting, and now he had taken the time to bring new furs and exchange them. he worked in silence, until the interior was lined with white fur and grey pelts.

next he dug a cache, moving the dark earth back into place when he was finished.

the lastmost thing finished by the imperator was a series of medium stones, nudged into place to form a small path to the commons outside the den-mouth.

he rolled his shoulders and stood back to regard his work.
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joining! <3

Her inspection turned up a few odd facts. It's body was tensed beyond the normal stiffness of death, curled in a way that eerily reminded her of insects she'd felt. It had died quickly, but only a few things could kill like that and not leave a wound behind. Her guess was the poison affected it's heart. Suffocation would have sounded different and left different signs behind.

Fennec moved until she found a nearby drop off, a place where the path cut off in a sheer end. It wasn't easy but she eventually managed to roll the corpse over and send it off the path entirely. She didn't want to risk one of theirs (or one of Epochs) finding it and thinking it was an easy meal.

She scrubbed her paws raw in the stream before she made her way back to the den. She wasn't sure what she should do with the rest of the plant she'd found, but with how dangerous it was, she didn't think she liked even keeping it behind thorns. Bury it or destroy it?

Germanicus might have an opinion. He would know if they could use... what's this?

Fennec froze as her paw touched the unfamiliar sensation of stone, set in an unexpected place as she approached the den. Fortunately she was used to this sort of thing and felt before she tripped, but she wondered what had set them there.

We don't have neighbors, do we? she thought, amused, as she investigated. Didn't seem like it, though there was another stone not far from the first. Strange.
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perhaps it was not until he saw fennec that germanicus realized the grave misstep of preparing things for his eyes and not her feeling.

he strode across at once with a chagrined clearing of his throat. "i was making a walkway and a little commons," he explained. "if you find it difficult at all, tell me at once and i shall remove them."

he felt apologetic, as though this was somehow proof he did not think of her needs. and he was unused to such a sensation.

loss. the failure of something that had only ever just begun.

perhaps it was the imperator's repression of ruenna that drove his thoughts now. perhaps it was only the concept that he had not been thoughtful in this choice. silently germanicus waited for fennec to give her response, reining back any reaction of his own.
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A walkway? Fennec wasn't sure what he meant at first, but another stone revealed that the pattern extended in what seemed to be a line. She lifted her head with a bemused expression. Was Germanicus nesting?

She'd never been the type but she recognized it. The memory gained a stronger (and more negative) connotation when she caught the scent of fresh pelts in the vicinity of the den. Well, shit. Her pelt prickled in an unwelcome way but she spoke to cover it.

I'll learn. You've been busy. Fennec let a touch more of a smile cross her expression. You didn't need to do all of this, you know. Had she said the same thing to him at the time? What is it with men and gestures! She didn't care overly much if he wanted strange rocks around, though every change did introduce a slight adjustment period for her. The implication bothered her slightly more, and it's comparison, though even she knew it was unreasonable. The light flicker of panic persisted.
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the tactician sensed some small element, a change. but he did not know its origin and so did not speak upon it. "yes. i wanted to perhaps make this place more formal. and comfortable."

he was stumbling. fennec had neither voiced her dislike or her pleasure in it which left the imperator the path only of navigation, to discover her thoughts.

"i have put a cache here," he went on, moving alongside his wife until she could touch the newly turned earth. "and the skins i brought before were not so new, and two of them has been mousebit."

why did he ramble in his explanation? he looked down toward her face. "is it too many changes, fennec?" the eagle did not wish to make their home here a place of obstacles, tangible or otherwise.
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She was leaving him hanging and he'd done this for himself too. He deserved to be comfortable here without her ghosts ruining it for them both. It's a lot. But I'm glad you did the things you wanted to make it ours. Decor isn't really a skill of mine. She delivered the small joke, then moved in to rest her side lightly against his. I'll learn it. I always do.

It was hard to say honestly if she liked the changes themselves, but that mattered less than them both being comfortable. It wasn't as if she disliked them - she just wouldn't have bothered for herself.

I've been busy myself. The wolverine that I scented, on the way to Epoch? I was able to take care of it. Away from the gifts and back to things that were easier.
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germanicus wanted to revisit this at once and ask if he had made choices that did not befit fennec.

but their conversation was moving onward. and he would abide.

his ears lifted with great interest and perhaps surprise. it was not doubt in her abilities, only that she did not appear to have used a physical aspect. "i would like to hear all of it." there was some tension in him, if not to know that she had been in grave danger.

he attributed this to the air of a new husband and settled himself to listen. and yet he felt oddly about both the changes he had made and the fact she had been so near to a wolverine. 

worry. it was worry and germanicus found its constitution unbearable when it came to himself.
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He took her bait. Fennec smiled, not catching anything significant in his tone. She assumed he might. For a moment she was tempted to lie, open with some bullshit about taking it down easily with just her own teeth, but that felt like a waste of an opener. The real story was actually way more interesting.

I found a plant that I thought might be dangerous. I knew where it had taken down a kill before, so I went back to that place and left a surprise for it. I only had to stay close enough to be sure none of ours came across it first. Or Epoch's. She couldn't imagine explaining that one.

I didn't expect it to kill it, and definitely not that quickly. I'm not sure I should even hold on to what's left. It might be better to destroy it. She knew exactly where she'd take it if that was his preference. A part of her would regret it - she hadn't seen a similar plant since, so it was likely rare - but more of her knew it was more of a ticking time bomb than she wanted to hold.

I think it stopped the heart. With no signs of suffocation, and no wounds, it was the only explanation. How that connected to the stiffness she wasn't sure, but perhaps that was only a side effect.
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#10
germanicus listened.

he heard fennec's pride. he saw the demonstrable ability of her skill. she spoke so matter-of-factly, but the truth was that the imperator had known no poisoners. he knew only those who used the greenery to heal.

he was silent and then his expression rested upon her face once more. "i am impressed." it was genuine in his tone and he smiled toward her alabstrine eyes before falling into a brief contemplative silence.

"keep the plants close at hand," germanicus urged. "if you understand which leaves stop the heart of a large animal, it is an invaluable skill that will prove useful."

he thought of satsu.

"the former queen of akashingo was poisoned. foam upon her mouth. meat laced with it." his voice was careful. "they still do not know who has done it. i interviewed many there and found only two suspects. but without proof to link them, pharaoh did not listen."

another, darker thought: bringing makono's rule about early.
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She was surprised, but she smiled. I'll hide it well. She would find a place where no one would stumble into it. It wasn't something she wished to even handle more than she needed to, but he must have seen some use in it. Maybe that should have made her nervous, but instead it assured her that they were more similar than she'd thought.

Poison is something planned. It takes finding it, planning it, the amount and the place. It's too easy to do it wrong if it's rushed. Fennec settled herself comfortably, her voice thoughtful. Whoever did it wasn't angry. They wanted her dead for a while, and they had something to gain from it. It wasn't a weapon of passion.

She paused, wondering if she should share. No secrets.. I've traded in poison once. Enough to kill a wolf. But it was for a woman whose children were taken. She wanted to get them back. And Fennec had sought to help her, for an agreed on price. The silent question - she assumed it was too big a coincidence.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
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he took her words into consideration. "i met satsu. once before she was queen, and once after." and how cold she had become. he could not have initially suspected her of having any such enemies. "i cannot think of what she might have done."

but power had a way of changing things and others for the worst.

fennec had dealt in death. he tried to think of this moment and failed, for it seemed intimate, this memory his new wife now shared with him.

and he was not sure what to make of it or why she had spoken of it at all. and yet germanicus was grateful in a way he did not understand,

"did she succeed?" came in the next roll of his voice, steady and without judgement. and yet he wondered if such heathenry might come to mereo. he could not abide it then.
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Fennec made a quiet, amused noise in her throat. Perhaps it was insensitive but she hadn't ever met a member of Akashingo to know better. With royalty it's less what they do. Usually it's what they have. And how badly another wanted it.

If Germanicus investigated and found nothing, likely any evidence would be long gone by now, and any suspects similar. The new Queen, maybe, or someone who had failed to take her place. Either way it was likely they'd gotten away with it, whoever it was. Fennec couldn't help but be quietly impressed.

She was glad to hear that it was likely not her doing, though, for a number of reasons. What would Germanicus have done if it had been her? She couldn't help but wonder.

I don't know. I hope so. There was no hesitance or apology in the statement. I wouldn't have helped if I didn't believe her. No one should lose their children like that. She would have done that and worse if something had happened to Killer. And if Germanicus hoped to have her use this poison, she wouldn't take that lightly. If they did not deserve it then she would refuse.

It's an underhanded way to win. But sometimes, winning is too important. Fighting isn't always the answer. She worded it as a statement, but she was more curious if he agreed than she was sure that what she said was true. You never could tell until the moment came.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
Mereo
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he did not care for this story. he did not like that fennec had done such things and acted in ways very foreign to him.

but she spoke without malice. she spoke without deception. germanicus did not enjoy that pharaoh had done nothing with his carefully researched suspicions.

but in the end the fate of satsu belonged to akashingo. he had done his part.

on a whim he reached to touch fennec, lips feathering the corner of her ear. and he was conscious in it. he did not do it for her want, he did it for his own sake. often he embraced her in this way, and little by little it ceased to be predicated on her expectation.

"there are more ways to win a battle than teeth." he was in agreement. for many reasons he had become a tactician. "and each victory is different."

he curled his paw beneath her own, lifted her ankle to his lips.
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She'd never forgotten the conversation she and Niamh had had so long ago about the price of taking a life. War was the same, though. Poison or injuries, a dead wolf was a dead wolf. The blood on her paws would just be more literal. Did it matter if they could defend themselves, once the pack decided that they deserved to die?

Germanicus' touch interrupted her thoughts and startled her back to the present. Her eyes closed automatically and she relaxed in spite of herself, leaning the slightest amount.

He agreed but his tone was damnably unreadable. As distracting as the rest of it was, that fact didn't escape her. She was quiet as she considered what he said but didn't move away.

As long as this is a partnership, it will always be a conversation. I can promise that - unless you'd rather protect your honor from knowing. She was serious about the offer, and while she had a guess at the answer, she wanted to know which he preferred. If his conscience wouldn't allow it, and he trusted her, then she was offering to ask for forgiveness instead of permission. She doubted, however, he would trust her with that. It wasn't a comment on their relationship; she doubted he ever allowed himself to trust anyone that much.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
Mereo
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germanicus shook his head. "so long as we are together, my ear is open to everything you will tell me. i want to hear it all."

he meant such words. there could be no silences between he and fennec. he wanted to live with each word in the open. and so to that end he would strive.

"besides, if you are the next assassin i suppose i should know." his voice was dry but its edges were warm with the dry humour which had come to mark his regard of her.

a partnership. germanicus enjoyed the sound of word. he sat in a quiet appreciation for both it and fennec.
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She smiled and, playfully, found his ear. Okay. Just remember, you agreed to it. She was mostly teasing, but she knew that if it ever came down to it, he might oppose it on principle. Thankfully she wasn't sure she ever would need to worry about it. She was picky enough with that sort of thing as it was.

You'll be the second. Unless you're the one asking, I guess. She drew back, then stood, flicking dust from her tail. In the meantime, I have some poison to hide. With how deadly this particular plant was, she wouldn't risk leaving it with the other toxins she grew. She'd bury it in that same garden, but near the canyon wall, and mark it so that she wouldn't forget. Fennec hesitated a moment before heading off in the familiar route, waiting to hear in case he had anything final to say.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
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"i will see you tonight."

it had become a source of comfort for the eagle. her touch to his ear reminded him that there was life beyond his tasks.

and perhaps it promised a season's intimacy.

the imperator watched fennec depart before he settled himself to rest, just for a moment.