Lost Creek Hollow excessum
an hour of wolves and shattered shields
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Ooc — ebony
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#1
All Welcome 
in between tending the borders of kvarsheim and hunting for the nursing mothers, germanicus took small forays to riverclan.

today was one such. the eagle crossed the border and entered the cool shadows of the greenlit place.

crowfeather would be with the children, germanicus expected, and turned his steps in that direction.
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#2

germanicus told me. those words uttered by akavir had stolen a thousand things from silvertongue. despite any entreaty to the otherwise, she believed it was why she had fallen from favour. she kept to riverclan and to @Wren, tending @Bonario alongside doedapple and @Kestrelcloud. the day was heavy with heat; the children lulled by the sound of the river. she herself had settled into some sense of doze, when sharpened senses caught kvarsheim's tread, and she knew at once — germanicus told me. stiff-legged the sharpfang rose, melding into grass and shadowpool until she came upon him, the wretched silver slaver who had covered his part in all this, and even after she had built her safehome with crowfeather, had found her again. and now he had destroyed akavir's feeling for her, she believed, internalizing that the creekwolf found her damaged — "get out, pendejo!" silvertongue snarled, and in violation of several agreements, she rallied the broken pieces of her heart and attacked the soldier with all the desperate fury of a scorned wraith.
an hour of wolves and shattered shields
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#3
imperator. tactician. warrior. guardian.

silvertongue's own step was livid.

he turned in time to take the brunt of her teeth to his shoulder. blood streamed at once as he fell back with a grunt.

surprise turned to coldness turned to agonized regret to see the one once belen before him, heaving, pupils dilated.

germanicus stood bleeding and hollow-eyed, offering no fight as she circled and prepared a second strike, tearstained now.

his thought was only for @Crowfeather.
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#4
Hope this is okay! I assumed the tags meant we could join <3
Silvertongue snarling; the scent of blood; there was no time for thought except the brief sting of despair to know that the violence in the Rising Sun Valley had finally crossed their borders. A place of healing, now tainted. Kel ran.

But stopped short at what he saw, not quite comprehending. Silvertongue? Kestrelcloud questioned, stepping to her side in silent support even as he questioned what he saw. His eyes flicked briefly over Germanicus, filled with suspicion.
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#5
i couldn't help myself

Two weeks.
For two weeks, to the day, Wren had been recovering little by little. At a snail's pace, she started to make excursions — to the creekside, to the meadows; to the dens of her packmates, checking on them; and one afternoon, newly emboldened, she embarked on the trek to Riverclan without alerting a soul.
Silvertongue had been in and out. Never leaving for too long, although her visits became infrequent as the days roved on. And by now, Wren felt it time to pay her a visit on her own. A bundle of flowers encased in weak jaws; ragweed, chamomile, a rhododendron somewhere within. She wasn't exactly an expert in the art of romance. She was trying. They were both trying.
And it was as she stumbled past the border with squinted eyes gleaming in the rose-orange glow of the sunshade that the shrill holler of snarling caught her attention.
Germanicus. Silvertongue, in a whirl —
The flowers drop to the grass at her feet as her jaw falls slack, and time comes to a screeching halt.
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#6
Her snarl was what drew him to the scene. 

Crowfeather gawked, baffled by the behavior Silvertongue showed. His eyes flicked to Germanicus. He did not seem like he was fighting. He looked as though he was there to take a punishment. 

Enough! 

The shadow's voice was sharp with warning, with fear. 

What- What are you doing?! 

What was this shocking turn of events?

His eyes shifted to Wren, burning, angry. 

And who the hell are you?
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blood filled her mouth; oh, she hated him, she hated him, and her eyes burned with it, and there was only germanicus there, his dark silver face filling his vision, filling every nightmare. a shuddering, dragged breath, and kestrelcloud was there. another, and wren was there, the floral scent of dropped blossoms almost cloying in the summer air. and then — crowfeather, and silvertongue did not think she had ever heard him angry, heard him swear. tears swam in her gaze now, tears of shame and regret and desperation; once more she was laid bare beneath eyes she did not want to see her in that way. but now he had, he of the gaze she feared and wanted most, and she swallowed the hard edge of a sob. "she is with me, crowfeather." her voice was a failing whisper that regained hardness only when she looked toward germanicus. "you told akavir. wren knows. say it. say it. tell him." and her loathing for self only compounded to know she had refused the creek man telling any word of it, and now she threw back the sash and said see for yourself. "tell him now!" silvertongue cried, barely restraining the cry in her throat as she stood trembling and alone and refusing to be touched, embraced, held in this, the scene of her truest horror.
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#8
Shadowpup slept deeply by the riverside in the cool grass and explored countless dreams. She danced with the stars and flew across meadows, growing wildflowers wherever she stepped. The pleasant reveries made her nose twitch in the waking world.

But suddenly, the chaotic sounds of an argument pulled her from slumber. Shadowpup’s head, heavy, rolled onto her shoulders until it was upright. One ear perked up. Papa?

Quickly, then, she stood and followed a trail until she found where the grown-ups gathered. Confused, she hid in the bushes and spied on something that, she felt, wasn’t meant for her.
an hour of wolves and shattered shields
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#9
think it goes silver, shadow, germ, kestrel, wren, crow <3

a man he did not know came now with concern for silvertongue. and then arrived a woman he did know, and he closed his eyes, keen ears hearing the thud of blooms to earth.

crowfeather.

like silvertongue, germanicus did not think he had seen the beloved face so drawn in anger, in worry.

the moment was upon them, spearing ice through his gut. he found that his soldierly resolution was ebbing beneath the golden eyes he had long adored.

silvertongue cried out, demanding that germanicus waylay himself at the counterpoint of her pain and his egregious sin.

but the eagle could not be impartial, not before crowfeather.

a breath, another —: "i sold silvertongue to akashingo. to pharaoh ramesses. i am the reason she was kept as a servant."

inkblot bitterness beneath wavering tongue, and now his own face grew wet in silence.

"at her expense, i freed another." no pleading, for not in the face of this horrid transaction would he beg for crowfeather's understanding.

he did not deserve it, as he had long said and long believed, and now proved this very hour.

silence deepening. germanicus knew the verdict.
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#10
There were many things Kel didn't know about his packmates and their various histories; he'd never been one to pry, always a steady and unquestioning presence in the lives of others. He'd never learned how to make that connection without the barrier of a professional role lurking between. Kel the Counselor, never Kel the Friend. So he just didn't ask.

And in a way he lamented that abrupt loss of ignorance. Crowfeather with eyes aflame; Silvertongue distraught; Germanicus confessing atrocities. Did he even know the other woman?

Kel listened in horror and dread and a growing feeling of helpless disconnect. He'd come here in search of respite. He saw now that there was none to be had. None for Silvertongue, nor for Crowfeather, who had built this pack, and no place at all in this for Kel, who suddenly felt drowning in secondhand misery. He was silent; waiting, and avoiding the eyes of his leaders.
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A man's voice. One not from Germanicus. When she turns, she's met with sorrowful eyes; golden, painted with confusion, hurt. She's with me, Crowfeather.
Shakily, her tongue lolls as the last of the petals are coated with saliva and twirl to the forest floor. My name is Wren, I'm from Swiftcurrent, her ears, falling to the sides of her head in a splay, even as her voice holds firm and booms from her chest. Others, crowding; a strange man she did not know, and a young one, a baby. She wanted to yell for them to stay out of this, to bark and snip, but was it even her authority to say so?
Decidedly, it was, the very night Silvertongue had laid herself out in full to her. 
Cold eyes now fall upon Germanicus; a fallen eagle, sullen; and then to Silvertongue, whose pain pulsed and echoed and Wren swore she felt it in the roots of the grass and trees. Germanicus, an ugly pause as her lip curls upward, a slow, hissing growl coming on. you remember what I said-- what I said to you, right? fuck, if she wasn't still so weak
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#12
Silvertongue unfurled, spitting words licked with fire.

Akavir. Wren. They knew something that burned hatred inside of her. They knew something that Crowfeather did not. And when the words were uttered from Germanicus' lips, the shadow could feel his mind break.

Sold her? He had sold her for the freedom of another woman. Crowfeather thought back to their time in Akashingo and he could not picture a face that might fit this soul. Someone had been set free in exchange for the servitude of Silvertongue. Ruenna had not been one of the Pharaoh's. Who's life had been more important?

How did so many others know about this exchange and yet Crowfeather had known nothing?

The woman named Wren unfurled her lip and growled something to Germanicus. The dark hairs along the tripod's neck bristled. Who was she to come to Riverclan and spit such things?

This public display of drama did not settle well in the shadow's heart. Emotions rose like waves from within him. He did not know if he was suited to handle this. Crowfeather thought of the Pharaoh and his commanding presence. He could so easily make orders of his Fellahin and Mazoi. There had been pleasure in the ruler's eyes when he could grip a room by the throat and take charge. 

Crowfeather's eyes closed, eyelashes fluttering over hot gold. He would not allow his emotions to carry this any further. His dark snout turned to the side, twisting his neck until it cracked. When his eyes opened again, they fixed on Wren - cold and unmoving. 


Leave. The word slid like a jagged glacier from his throat. You are from the creek so return to it now. Kestrelcloud will escort you. The dark star looked to the quiet man and gave a small nod. Crowfeather was not asking. If she did not leave Riverclan, he would chase her from their lands with bared fangs and unbridled anger nipping at her heels. 

The scent of his daughter nearly cracked his facade. She should not have been there. His eyes swept for her, searching. Shadowpup must have been hiding in the dark of the brush, out of sight, out of the heat of their conversation. 

To Silvertongue, Crowfeather gazed with an unwavering stare. 

You said nothing. All this time you said nothing. This woman knows. Akavir knows. Anger boiled within him. Our children watch from the brush and you have said nothing to me. 

Then to Germanicus, the dark star's gaze flickered. 

What could he say to the man that he loved? What could be said for such a horrid situation? 

Crowfeather's chin quivered. Tears stung his eyes but did not spill. 

W-Why? fell a single broken word.
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#13

"don't," silvertongue shakily exhaled as crowfeather made mention of our children. ours, when he did not love her as she did him; ours, when he had turned away from her that night; ours; "i will come to you, wren," she managed, capitulating to crowfeather's command even as she wished to sink to his very feet and beg that he turn his anger away; what had he wished for her to say? how could he feel rage for her now? silvertongue's world had flaked into bits of bitter paint, shattering toward near hyperventilation as she felt some horrible chasm open between she and her prince. i did not speak because your happiness meant more to me than mine. unsaid, dissolving instead beneath harrowed hoarse sobbing as she hung her wretched head. his eyes were already for germanicus once more, and silvertongue felt that final taking in a dart of hot fire beneath her ribcage. this night all had been stolen from her, and with the anguished love burned a poisonous, murdering ire for the soldier who had robbed her of everything she had ever built, her mouth still stained with his blood.
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#14
Shadowpup stayed out of sight beneath a swatch of dark foliage, unaware her scent would carry and betray her hiding spot. She held her breath as she watched the adults argue. Tension was palatable in the air.

Papa. Tia Plata with blood. Kestrelcloud. Her father’s associate, Germanicus… wounded. An unknown woman with flowers at her feet.

Words tarnished with shame and anger. Shadowpup didn’t recognize some – only later in life would she ken their meaning.

Sold Silvertongue.

Pharaoh.

I’m the reason.

Servant.

At her expense.


Shadowpup’s heart raced so fast that she began to feel nauseous. This glimpse into her family’s private life was both fascinating and sick. It was like she was reading their secret diary, but couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Wren. Swiftcurrent.

Papa was angry. A disposition Shadowpup had never seen her father deign to wear.

Said nothing. Woman knows. Akavir knows.

Shadowpup could feel the hair rising on the back of her neck.

Our children.

It was like the child’s heart had stopped. She had heard too much. Quickly, Shadowpup turned and ran from that place, the leaves quietly rustling, as fast as her small paws could carry.
an hour of wolves and shattered shields
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Ooc — ebony
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the world unraveled before his eyes, and germanicus felt that the only saving grace was not to have aquillius with him now.

he had not seen crowfeather so hardened, so edged in barkskin and grief; he wore loss as an armor. crowfeather may have thought of pharaoh as a force, but in this moment, the eagle only saw the one who he had loved more than life itself, and now might destroy in the same part.

the shadow ordered away wren and the riverclan man. he turned burning words toward silvertongue, and now her cries rent the air, desolate lamenting that turned his mouth to volcanic ash and suffocated the city of his yearning.

and the shadow — the shadow, breaking into a crystal sheen that did not shatter into tears; "i wanted to be shut of the palace and its expectations. i did not care about how it was done."

germanicus had been haunted in the fact thereafter, but never enough to speak, and now the ghosts forced his mouth open to reveal the limited nature of his spine, his morality, and the dereliction of his love.

all against the soft, broken weeping of the one he had truly used as a pawn.
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In Crowfeather's words, Kestrelcloud finally found the end of his tolerance for the darkness that surrounded Riverclan. He took the order in silence, but his jaw tightened; the part of him that would always be Evergarden, the part he hated and clung to so tightly, could see nothing but the injustice of it all.
How could he fault Silvertongue? How could he send away her only support? Kel wasn't involved, not really, but looking in from the outside he knew now that he did not want to be. He glanced at the woman he was meant to escort to Swiftcurrent Creek and nodded stiffly, turning to lead her out of the territory as he'd been ordered. There was no reason to make things more difficult than they had to be. He would be back for Doedapple.
But not for them.
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Leave.
In that order was a world-shattering coldness Wren could not have fathomed ever coming from the man she envisioned to be Crowfeather. And she felt her expression change, from a soft outcry to something ugly and scorned—
And she looks to Silver; she will come to her, and oh, how the sound of her weeping made the eyes of the somgbird swell with her own tears.
She could have fought it. Should have, would have; would have spat in the face of the coward who turned Silver's love away in the name of that battered soldier with that thousand-yard stare, that thief, that liar, that world-destroyer, and yet as she stares forlornly at the woman who had become something to her she found that she could not. Even as he spewed his anger unjustly to everyone who had done him no wrong, even when Wren could feel the blood rush to her head in a slew of reactionary emotion that felt so violent, she could not.
Silver loved him.
And they had children.
It was that statement from the man which, under any other circumstance, would have ultimately sent her metaphorically tumbling off the rails of the track. They had children. Silvertongue, Silver, she had borne the spawn of this man and had not once thought to tell her. And yet in this moment, it meant nothing.
These-- these are for you, bella.
She leaves the flowers where she had dropped them and limps into the brush as quickly as she could. Alone. She would go alone, and if that man; Kestrelcloud, or whatever; were to follow, she would warn him away with a hiss.
She needed to go alone.