Dragoncrest Cliffs twilight stone
Sapphique
Beryl
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#1
Limit Two 
Prompt: Your character discovers a hidden gem.
As the sun set, the tide receded. Astera wandered the bay, alone. The last rays of the setting sun illuminated the gentle waves that lapped at the shore. Her paws felt the soft, wet sand, and the water felt soothing between her pale fur. Almost four moon cycles old, Astera was no strong swimmer, so she kept to where the water reached her shoulders. As the sun faded, the sky turned to a deep indigo. Astera waded out of the sea, shaking herself dry. There, on the sand, was a crystal, reflecting the last flecks of light in the sky. Its color reflected the ocean itself along with the twilight sky. As Astera gazed at the precious stone, she felt a sort of calm wash over her. The gemstone had come out of the ocean for her, and her alone. Not much larger than her own paw, she lay down next to it, reflecting upon the ocean, the evening sky, and the crystal all the same.
Sapphique
Pearl
THEY'LL NEVER TAKE MY POWER
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#2
sobeille had escaped.

she was not a quick runner. her eyes were trained on that infinite blue -- and she was lucky, in some ways, that she managed to find a path down the beach that did not kill her.

a shape loomed in the glittering waters. sobeille was so tired. it had been a great undertaking to steal from the den and climb down the steppes. if it weren't for her dogged single-mindedness to see that blue, she would have stopped every feet or so to coo at the flowers and bugs.

but the sand was warm. when she dug her toes into it, it felt cool. a reptilian urge to burrow came over her, and unaware of astera, sobeille pancaked onto the sand with a sleepy grunt.
[Image: miettesig1.png]
Sapphique
Beryl
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#3
Disturbed from her rest, Astera turned around to look at the pup. Sobeille?! What are you doing so far from the den? Yet, as she padded towards the pup, the crystal in her mouth, she did not scold the escapee. Astera greeted her little packmate with an affectionate lick on the ear. How did ya manage to sneak away, Miette? Look it this crystal I found! She looked up at the cliffs overlooking the shore. The pup couldn't have known about the beach tunnel. Astera shuddered as she though how lucky Miette had been, to find a way down the cliffs safely. She gently nosed the gemstone closer to Miette's little nose, to share her interest in the strange new object washed ashore. Astera decided not to tell anyone about the pup's adventure, to keep her out of any trouble. Then, a reckless idea hit her. You wanna go swim? Certainly nothing could go wrong if I watch her?
Sapphique
Pearl
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#4
sobeille pried one eye open then the other, assailed by a shadow. that shadow spoke, something jutting from its mouth which immediately seized sobeille's attention.

her eyes widened with greed. shiny to mouth pipeline be damned - what was in astera's mouth must be hers!

she clambered to her feet, unaware of what was being said. all she wanted was that glittery, shiny, beautiful thing -- and she focused on it with a reptilian single-mindedness.

snaking forward, the chubby pup stumbled for the crystal and tried to eat it.
[Image: miettesig1.png]
Sapphique
Beryl
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#5
The waves are really cool, I'm sure you can learn to swim... Astera trailed on as the pup stumbled towards the crystal and tried to bite it. The rare ornament was larger than Miette face, but Astera did not appreciate the little critter's greedy actions. Hey, hey! Stop! Don't bite it, Miette. More likely than not, the sharp gemstone would hurt the pups mouth. Come, let me show you the ocean. Eager to distract Miette from the gemstone she was so determined to steal, Astera reached down to gently pick her up.
Sapphique
Laramite
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#6
There were three young children when there were supposed to be four.

Aside from the newest children, Suzu was likely the slowest wolf in the pack on foot. So while a stumbling toddler wasn't very fast, her stealth gave her a head start and that made it impossible for Suzu to catch up before the child reached the beach. She was an unlikely choice to send after a missing child, but she felt it was her fault that Sobeille had been able to sneak off in the first place. She'd been trying to console Chiro and Tousaint, and when she went to do a count of her niblings, she realized that one was gone. 

Fortunately, she was easy to track, and she wasn't alone when she was on the beach. In the distance, she could make out Astera in the fading light of the gloaming, protectively hovering over Sobeille who seemed curious about something on the beach. Not knowing that Astera intended to take the youngster in the water, Suzu heaved a sigh of relief to know they were both safe, and slowed to a walk.
Sapphique
Pearl
THEY'LL NEVER TAKE MY POWER
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#7
sobeille froze mid-bite, her jaws agape as her gaze slowly traveled towards astera. what did she mean, big pretty stone was not for eating? sobeille sat with a harrumph, plotting to return to the stone when astera wasn’t looking. 

lifted from the ground as if nothing, sobeille’s form went limp save for a single sulky kick aimed at her captor. behind them suzu arrived, doting and watchful — little did she or sobeille know that sobeille was about to have her first salty baptism.
[Image: miettesig1.png]
Sapphique
Beryl
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#8
Astera started trotting towards the waves with Sobeille dangling from her mouth. Noticing Suzu, she turned around, speaking through a mouthful of puppy fur. Hi Suzu! Don't worry, I am watching her. She continued taking the pup closer to the water, setting her down right when the waves receded. Astera nudged Miette to where the water reached the top of her little legs. So... you just need to start trying to swim, its kind of like walking. Don't be scared Miette. She wasn't quite sure how to explain swimming to the little pup.
Sapphique
Laramite
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#9
She cringed lightly as Sobeille was picked up. Astera was still young herself, and while she had experience not so long ago being picked up herself, it was not something to do to a pup without proper guidance. The girl's reassurance fell short when she realized that Astera intended to take Sobeille down into the water. One of Sobeille's feet either twitched or gave a quick, and Suzu called out with a bark. 

"Not in de water!" She said. She did not want to be a killjoy- but the waves were too strong for a child Sobeille's age. Fortunately, Astera had the sense to let Miette have her feet again, and Suzu called out with a reassuring croon, inviting the child to come to her. "Astera, she is too young, de ocean is not safe for her," She said, moving to step in and block the children from the waves should a rogue wave gather and storm toward them. "If you would like to go swimming, we can go up to Glintwater Lake. But you are not a strong enough swimmer yourself to be teachin' de younger ones. Imagine a wave took her, eh? What would you 'ave done?" Her tone was concerned- and she knew she sounded like her own mother- but if little Sobeille had been picked up by a wave, she would've been lost to them.
Sapphique
Pearl
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#10
sobeille swung from astera’s mouth, a froggish expression of distaste on her features that lifted the moment she was placed in cold sand. 

the sensation bladed her.  she squealed in delight as saltwater tickled her feet. already the waves were retreating out to sea; sobeille rose determinedly and chased after, only to faceplant face down into the current. 

oh! unpleasant! her nose stung as she inhaled saltwater, shakily rising to her feet. for a moment she looked triumphant — until a wave came and dashed her down again. 

this time she rose with a scowl, ready to send a flurry of teeth into the next assailing wave — but by now suzu had intercepted her, and she was left peering protectively around suzu’s limbs as she gently chided astera. 

no matter to sobeille, who was fascinated now by the water and made a bolt for it just as a large wave darkened the edge of the shore.
[Image: miettesig1.png]
Sapphique
Beryl
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#11
In Astera's mind, Suzu had just ruined the fun. I didn't ask you to intervene. But she soon saw reason behind her sister's concern. The waves could easily carry the pup far away from shore, and Astera didn't know if she could swim far enough to save her, if something were to happen. She hung her head ash she was scolded. Sorry... Astera muttered gloomily, all excitement having left her. She didn't notice Sobeille running towards the water until it was two late. The large wave crashed over the little pup, and Astera lost sight of her in the dark. If Sobeille had been knocked over, the wave could have swept her into the sea. Suzu! Astera screeched in terror, hoping that her sister knew what to do.
Sapphique
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#12
She could see that Astera felt bad, and that she cared for her cousins- and she hoped that this would simply be a time for her to learn, without massive repercussions. If she could save Astera from experiencing that level of loss and guilt, then she would. She too felt lightly guilty, having been the one who should have been keeping track of Sobeille to begin with. 

"It is OK this t-" She said, though before she could shepherd both of the young wolves out of the water, her niece dodged her thick limbs and pounced toward an approaching, dark wave. The water was sucked away from the shore, leaving behind a long streak of dark sand- and Suzu knew that that meant an even more fierce wave was approaching. 

"Miette no!" She shouted, and leapt above the curving wave as it raced toward the shore, splashing into the dark water, and paddling toward where she had seen Sobeille last. She held her breath and plugned her face beneath the surface to see if she could spot the child, but with the air bubbles and the rocks and sand and kelp, finding an earth-hued pup underwater might be impossible. The evening light was little help as well. 

She pulled her head out of the water and began to search the area for any sign that the child had bobbed up to the surface.
Sapphique
Pearl
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#13
things got a lot less fun in a matter of seconds for little sobeille. 

she had sprinted after the running wave with a cackle, and in the next second felt buoyed by invisible hands and cold, rude water. before she could gasp water was in every part of her; stinging her eyes, raiding her ears, seizing her little lungs —

she tried to wail but nothing came of it save white-rimmed bubbles.

 suzu and astera were gone, replaced by the roiling churn of sand and saltwater as sobeille was sucked into the deep. 

you can pp her! <3
[Image: miettesig1.png]
Sapphique
Beryl
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#14
Everything was happening so fast, the wave had went back into the deep, and another had rolled towards the shore. Astera hoped that the pup would emerge from the water, but when she didn't see her little cousin, it was almost like the word had frozen. She tried to yell out Sobeille's name but no words came. Frantically, Astera raced around the shoreline, looking for any signs of the pup. There was nothing. Do something! Anything! Astera let out a frantic howl, calling for her mother, and Sobeille's.

@Chacal @Mireille
Sapphique
Laramite
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#15
Nothing bobbed on the surface, and little puddles of seafoam sparkled, as if to apologize for the gift it had taken from them. In her mind, tales of the loa resurfaced, and she gritted her teeth. "No!" She cried. No- she remembered the blue lobster, the one she had spared from an untimely death. Now, she begged for the same spirits she had spared to do the same for her, and for her family. 

Astera called out, and Suzu knew that her mother and aunt and anyone else within earshot would come racing- but that would take time, and time was not something Sobeille Miette would have. Angrily, she roared over the waves to Astera. "Stay on de land!" This was exactly what she'd been trying to avoid. this was exactly why Astera shouldn't have been in charge of the younger child- she couldn't handle what cruelty the ocean could muster in the blink of an eye. The last thing Suzu needed now was to be split between dragging out Astera or Sobeille so she could only hope that the former obeyed her, and remained on the shore. 

Again and again Suzu plunged her head beneath the surface, looking frantically for any sign of the pup beneath the water's surface. She was the colour of wet beach stones, and in the last shred of golden hour light, everything looked hazy and golden. The water moved as a giant organism, movements accentuated by the flotsam and jetsam in its depths. She lifted her head out of the water with a gasp and surveyed the surface again- in seeing nothing, she plunged into deeper waters, following the current. 

She exhaled a jet of bubbles beneath the surface and held her breath again, and when the tiny air pockets disappeared she saw something dark shift beneath a shaft of light. She inhaled another gasp of breath, and dove, fighting against her own buoyancy, spreading her toes so that she could dig deeper into the waters now that she had her sister in her sights. She could hear very little, so calm it was when she was completely submerged. 

With a great gasp she resurfaced, with her dark sister on her shoulders- only to see that the both of them had been carried much further out to sea. She breathed heavily, and began to swim parallel to the shore- in hopes of finding the propulsion she would need to help guide her back to shore once she freed herself from the riptide.
Sapphique
Pearl
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#16
sobeille was lost from the world above. she floated down the deepening water column, where the cacophony of the storming seas overhead did not reach her.

it was almost peaceful, save for the fact she was actively drowning.

she kicked and a burst of bubbles tore from her throat as saltwater bored within. something pulled her up, and for a moment she fought it tooth and claw before she realized this thing of the deep was suzu.

she clung to her tightly, deep draughts of air taken as they crested the surface. seeing how far they were out, and how astera was but a speck on the beach, sobeille’s first thought was not the daunting journey before them, but the prospect of whether or not she could steal astera’s stone once they crawled ashore.

already, the terror from moments before was ebbing away and sobeille, ever resourceful, was plotting just how she could sneak home with the purple crystal astera coveted.
[Image: miettesig1.png]
Sapphique
Beryl
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#17
Suzu swam farther away from the shore, looking for Miette. Astera had never felt more helpless. She stayed on the land, like she had been ordered, tears pricking her eyes. It was all her fault, she would never see Sobeille again. Guilt crushed her like a dead weight, until Astera saw Suzu swimming ashore with her little cousin on her shoulders. They were still a while away from the beach, but close enough to give Astera a flicker of hope.
Sapphique
Tanzanite*
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#18
Chacal can be skipped for a few rounds <3

Chacal heard the panic in Astera's voice, and wondered what the matter could be. Her plea sounded desperate, so Chacal wasted no time in rushing to the cliffside to peer down toward Sirensong beach, silhouetted against the setting sun behind her. She searched first the distant waters of the horizon, as though expecting to see a surge headed their way. When she dropped her gaze to the beach, she could see Astera there, and more importantly, she could see where Astera was looking. 

Out toward the ocean, there was a strip from the shore leading away that was dark, and free of waves. Instantly, Chacal recognized the shape and looked out further to see the pale form of Suzu in the water. She gnashed her teeth together- Suzu knew better than to go out into a riptide! The crescent-shaped curve of the beach should have been obvious enough. She squinted, and it was only when she saw something dark and otter-like on her daughter's back that she realized what had happened. 

She couldn't tell who it was, but she knew it was one of their youngest children. 

She could see from her vantage point that Suzu was doing the right thing, and swimming parallel to the shore to avoid getting pulled directly out to sea. Chacal howled encouragement. 

"Toward de waves, to de North-
dey will bring you back to shore!"


She couldn't stand and watch- not if Suzu and whoever it was that she was carrying needed help. She began to run for the tunnel, hoping she would make it to the shore in time, and that Suzu had the strength to fight the current.
It can be assumed that if Chacal is speaking, she will be singing. Her speaking patterns will always have a melodic quality to them.
Sapphique
Laramite
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#19
Suzu could hear Sobeille breathing, as she pushed through the still, dark waters. She didn't look back toward the shore- she knew if she did, she would despair, knowing they were being quietly, calmly, pulled further out into the ocean. With every stride she drew closer to the edge of the riptide, though for every metre she swam forward, she was carried three more out to sea. 

A voice lifted from the clifftops, belonging to her mother. She was grateful for the direction- and glad she'd chosen the right direction to go. Perhaps the other way might have taken longer, and perhaps they would have been carried too far out to have any chance at swimming back to shore. "We're okay, Sobeille," She murmured, her voice burbling as water entered her mouth. She tried to go slowly enough so that the child didn't slip from her back, kicking out more with her back feet so she could keep her body as level as possible. In the riptide, the water was relatively calm, and it pulled from below the surface. 

She saw white caps and felt relieved, though she knew the fight would get harder yet. "Hang on to me!" She said, "As hard as you can- t'erebbbbbbb. Waves!" She exclaimed as a warning as they approached the edge of the riptide. 

Here, waves pushed back toward the shore- and having drifted out, the waves at first were gentle as she turned her back on the open waters and headed in toward the shore. She could see the edges of Dragoncrest Cliffs as they framed Sirensong Beach, and she could only hope that the current would take her back where the beach was flat. If they came up against the rocks, they'd have an even harder time trying to get back to the beach against the waves. The waves lifted and carried her forward, gently at first. Welcome surges that brought them closer and closer to land- but the waves began to crest as they neared the shore. Time and time again, she had to hold her breath to avoid inhaling the foamy waters as she was tossed about on the waves. At times, they were lifted high, only to have the wave roll out from beneath them and splash their faces with spray. 

At last- with one more great heave of the mighty ocean's power, they were lifted and when the wave crested, they came down, hard, but upon the sand. She reached for Sobeille, and with the waters continuing to push them forward, she dragged both herself and her niece to shore before she collapsed upon the dark sand.
Sapphique
Obsidian*
"mireille?? more like misandreille *cackles*"
thank u val, very cool!
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#20
it seemed a mistake was forsworn to happen, and today it did so due to mireille's longer-than-usual nap. when chani and astera had come to visit not so long ago, their aunt had welcomed them, and little sobeille had met them then.
perhaps thereafter, astera had gotten it in her mind that she too was to tend the littlest, for when the obsidian awoke, sobeille was nowhere to be found.
"miette? sobeille!" she scolded, slipping from the mossy hollow into the tangle.
a trail, not old, but too old for how young sobeille was. she called for her older sisters to watch the other children, and dashed down the track when astera's frantic calling began to echo through sapphique.
etienne had gone, had gone, or else she would have asked for him first. no time to think as her daughter's trajectory headed for the ocean. "no!"
astera, on the sand; chacal, calling out; mireille saw her niece's muzzle just clearing the waves, and dread crushed down upon her. there were very few reasons a child of these cliffs would leap into the sea, and it would almost always be for another.
panic blurred the young mother, and she leapt smoothly into the current, there beside suzu as the baby sobeille and her savior came to shore. 
horrified, terror-stricken, mireille gently parted them, seeking confirmation that her niece still breathed before she turned tear-stained face to sobeille. "listen, listen to me, breathe! move!" she pleaded, cradling the tiny child — the bear — her mother — sobo; her heart, cracking.
Sapphique
Aventurine*
THE PULSE WHEN IT RESPAWNS
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#21
i hope it's ok to chuck val in here, he is skippable and PPable <3

the inevitable had happened, judging from the howl that cut like a knife through the peace in their den. val woke with a start, having dozed just outside of the den. he came to in time to see mireille burst from the awning, and knew in a single glance all that had or could have transpired.

his heart chilled -- and it broke every fiber of his being to not tear after her. but there were other lives here, too -- little lives too young to be left alone even in emergency. val silently flung a hopeful invocation after mireille's darting heels, taking her spot in the den and hoping whatever evil befell them, it was not bear-shaped.
NEGATIVITY, WE JUST DEAD IT LIKE D-CON.
Sapphique
Pearl
THEY'LL NEVER TAKE MY POWER
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#22
sobeille had little concept of peril. her eyes doggedly trailed the distant astera, looking for that impossibly small speck of purple. a wave crashed over her, nearly snapping her little head off. for a moment, sobeille lost contact with her lifeline.

she was quickly seized and repositioned. over the roar of the seaspray, sobeille heard little -- but she watched suzu's head go temporarily under, and at this point understood the waves, however playful, were far stronger than she.

the urgency and the fear in her relatives soured the air; sobeille was aware she was the only one having fun. her nose hurt, and her ears were sore from the assault of saltwater, but she had already forgotten how moments before she'd been supping pure saltwater, and she had no respect whatsoever for the terrifying things that lurked in the pelagic deep that might snatch her.

they grew steadily closer to shore. sobeille cackled and splashed at a foam-capped wave, nearly loosening again. the waves became more insistent -- sobeille cheered as each wave carried them to a new apex, and then grumbled as each wave dashed them from their exciting heights. realizing a pattern, she clattered atop suzu's spine, eyes alighting on the distraught face of her mother.

MAMAN! sobeille crowed from her throne of victory atop suzu's shoulderblades. that she had flirted with death was of no consequence. the glittery stone and its owner were forgotten as sobeille was heaved from suzu and thrust into her mother's arms. squirming, sobeille squinted as she resisted the rightfully panicked attentions of her mother, sending one paw up in protest as she tried now to return to the sea.
[Image: miettesig1.png]
Sapphique
Beryl
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#23
Mireille had arrived, and the response howl from Chacal told Astera that her mother would be here soon. She sighed in relief as Suzu clambered onto the beach, with Sobeille safely clinging to her. Relived as she was, Astera gave them space, as Mireille fussed over the soaked pup. Astera knew, that after the panic had settled down, she would be in a lot of trouble.
Sapphique
Laramite
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#24
The sound of Sobeille's mirth couldn be heard by Suzu, not over the crashing of the waves that filled her ears with water or the full on scream of panic in her brain. She'd set her eyes on the shore and in spite of all the water she took in, and how hard it was, she focused every sense and bit of energy she possessed into paddling toward the shore. She saw Mireille there as she collapsed, and saw the child go to her mother. 

For a few moments, she simply heaved and gasped, before she sat up just enough to retch a belly full of sea water onto the sand. Once that was up, she felt much better, though she was still practically wheezing and drooling uncontrollably. She looked over and blinked, reassured again that she'd caught the child and brought her to shore. Beyond them, she could see Astera- but she couldn't spare a breath for the child no matter how upset she felt. 

Still breathing heavy, heaving breaths, she rolled over onto her back and  stared up at the sky which had since turned a beautiful shade of pink, wondering how much different it might have looked if she hadn't managed to save Sobeille in time.
Sapphique
Obsidian*
"mireille?? more like misandreille *cackles*"
thank u val, very cool!
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#25
breath! cries! little sobeille, perched atop suzu; mireille swept her into trembling arms and kissed the soaked little face. "never do dat again!" she scolded. "i take you into de water myself, ah?"
she reached for suzu then, nosing along the slimed chin and watching her niece heave great breaths. "you were so brave, so brave, suzu," mireille praised in a low voice, moving to support the young girl as she kept sobeille miette quite trapped in the crook of her arm. "you have de spirit of maman erzulie when it come to de water, oui?"
adrenaline became tiredness, became joy; she waited, looking for chacal and motioning astera forward with a somber look.