Luneshale Pass fifty-first
Akashingo
Erpa-ha*
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Ooc — ebony
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#1
Pack Activity 


in the hours that followed, the hereditary prince of akashingo gave orders for a feast to be held, in honor of their queen's arrival. it was his first addressing such a congregation, and there was a kernel of trepidation within his ribcage to see how the princes reacted.

senmut avoided direct orders, instead saying that much meat of different sorts should be laid into their temporary caches, prepared and garnished by the fellahin. the priest experimented with mild fermentation of various cacti-flesh, inadvertently creating a potent mixture of wildflower honey and chewed pulp which now lay surrounded by cool sand, waiting for parched throats.

edible greenery, strands of flowers; the belt of stars across the heavens illuminated the desert entire, and he found himself gazing up at it, considering what the gods had said of their lightpin number, and the power of Nwt which embraced the skies.

but now, time for singing, for the dancing of the servants if it was so wished, and the others entire; for voices raised in laughter and worship, and all for their queen. senmut had created a small dais of stone heaped with fine reeds and soft pelts, and here she would be viewed as their godhead, their idol, their regent.

he himself aided in all hunting, finding the daily traipse exhilarating in a way that the closed halls of akashingo were not, and now his eyes were warm, searching for the queen.

and for legend.
Akashingo
Jodai*

blameless
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#2
Zaahira, too, was not above helping wherever necessary; hunting, presentation, serving as an escort of nobleman to their seats. Elaborate, it was, and beautiful; a deserving meal for their godswife.
A brief glance is cast to Eset, one unreadable and one of some sort of knowing; a longing not yet forgotten. For a moment, she ponders finding place beside her.
Instead, when ready, she situates herself nearest the Queen she could get, possibly alongside her fellow mazoi. She would relish in the last times of being called such alongside them. She waits for the others to take their pickings before she herself does, and for a time, she connects the stars with her eyes, and prays.
Pledged
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#3
Against her better judgment, Reverie stayed. Just for a little while. Just until she found the courage to return to Boone and ask him whether he still wanted this, her, their future. And if the answer was no —
Well, maybe she would stay here a little longer. She watched the servants work with wide eyes, keeping Blossom close and away from anyone who might hurt her. There was so much going on! Reverie had deduced that all of it was in honor of the queen Senmut had spoken of, and wondered briefly what it might be like to live such a life. Then she pushed the thought away. Even imagining it made her uncomfortable. She resolved instead to enjoy her place as a spectator to it all.
But when it was time to gather, she couldn't help but be drawn to the strange mixture of chewed cacti and honey. Reverie sniffed it thoroughly, told Blossom not to touch it, and then tried a little for herself. It tasted... odd. She wasn't sure how she felt about it. She tried a little more, then guided Blossom over to the food which had been laid out. There she would guard her daughter while she ate, glancing around to see who might be willing to speak with her while they waited for — whatever was about to happen. She knew no one here. But Senmut had invited her, and so she hoped that she would be welcome.
Muat-riya
Mazoi
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#4
he had not forgotten his earlier talk with zaahira.

but khusobek this night was not looking for the proud darkfurred man.

his ice eyes swept the throng for inji, and when he thought he had found the shadow of her face somewhere far off, hunger flared in his stare.

but not now. not yet. perhaps not ever again. 

she was a bauble, and khusobek was willing to trade her fine pleasures for a higher foothold in the court of the man he knew would be pharaoh.

the crocodile felt zaahira at his side, and passed her an impassive look paired with a teasing smirk. "have you ever seen such a production?" the man joked, noticing the foreign woman and her trailing child.
Muat-riya
Fellahin
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#5
When some time away from the finishing golden touch of preparation had been granted, Inji had reapproached the sands not as a girl, but as a woman; a harlot, an escort, a fellahin. Along her eyes is a dusting of blackened silt in place of kohl, a feather situated neatly in the dove-gray bristles of the fur along her nape. She all but saunters among the crowd, a gentle smile curling at her pretty lips, and with hooded eyes does she search for Khusobek — while not her husband, he held her warmth, rather obliviously.
And in her mind, she rehearses the song and dance of her homeland that seemed to fit such grand circumstances. If she were lucky, she would be granted due opportunity later on;
But for now, she is quiet as she shoulders the other fellahin, eyeing the pretty blonde stranger. Was she new?
Muat-riya
Sesh
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#6
rolling up proverbial sleeves, tavina set herself to brisk work.

a spoken-letter had come from @Nazli, recently, documenting her arrival in the healing weald. the sesh guarded such words close to her heart, sharing them with senmut one morning. nazli spoke in a tone that was almost elated, anticipating rich studies once she had fully healed.

tavina kept the young lilac in her mind as she toiled alongside servant and guard alike, hauling water and plating portions. the work was mind-numbing, a perfect antidote to the eternal pain of nala's loss which gaped inside her spirit as if it were an unhealed abyss.

once, she straightened, wiping dust from her forehead. twilit eyes fell almost by random upon zaahira, whose fine face was turned toward the stars.

a strange pang thrummed inside the sesh. she turned aside at once, toting a wooden platter of liver-pieces in the opposite direction. "oh! hello," she said to the gilt stranger. "you must be our guest. is this your daughter?" tavina asked warmly, curious despite herself.

just beyond them, the fetching hips of inji swung, and tavina bid herself not to look.
Akashingo
Yaret
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#7
Legend departed from the Luneshale after orders had been spoken. Her time out in the evening took her away from the other Mazoi. To the gathering of other royalty, fellahin and common-folk cheers, time ticked by that she did not come back. It was late, her arrival.

But in a slip of a chattering crowd and forming laughters, the night-creatures hairs intruded. In her mouth, she held wild birds, killed at the wings and throat to preserve the thick of the meat.

To the cache, she found herself searching for with a low head, keeping herself small and out of the way. She was easy to overlook, if one managed to spot her. She tried to be.
Muat-riya
Hebsut*
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#8
She spins within the pleat of cavorting courtiers, dutifully blithe and casually pretending to be persuaded into dance with a shy laugh or a half-hearted refusal that recasts into a reluctant gasp. They like to hear these noises. It’s an effortlessly wanton performance paused only when drink needs refilling or spreads replenishing before rejoining with the pandemonium. In this central advantage there is little to escape her notice.
Akashingo
NPC
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#9
Akhtar had busied himself among the people, sliding from person to person with a calm eye. Like a great heron, his long legs pushed through the crowds, easy smile plastered right where it belonged.

He even spoke to the princes he passed, offering them only this one concession and wrinkling his nose at them when their backs were faced from him. He picked his way out of the throng when he felt he’d greeted everyone beyond the pretty blonde foreigner, though he had waved a little at her daughter. The girl had ducked back behind her mother’s leg when he did, but stared at him owlishly around the appendage in such a way he had to laugh to himself.

Oh, to have the eyes of a child again.

His mouth wobbled.

No more of that, Akhtar. The past was meant to die, a knife in its chest. But it didn’t mean he couldn’t indulge in drink to fight the thoughts away. He made a predictable beeline for the cactus fruits, snagging one and carrying it to a side, where he would sit and partake. Ever watchful, even as he enjoyed the scenery. The last time he’d been to a party, he’d wound up watching a horse get murdered.

You could forgive him the eyeballing. Should someone come with a stallion all over again, he was throwing in the towel and returning to being a crazy desert hermit.
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Loner
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#10
There was so many people here!

Blossom pressed her shoulder to her mother’s side, twitching away from every one of the strangers who came close, but peering at them after they left. Like an odd prairie dog, her place once they stopped for a moment was clustered underneath her mother like a fawn, chewing idly on a tough piece of meat.

I don’like lizards. She quipped to her mother over the dull roar of conversation. Conversely, she went back to chewing on said lizard, so maybe she didn’t know what she was talking about.

Another stranger, speaking to Reverie, and Blossom tucked her nose shyly beneath her paw at being acknowledged. Notably, though, she did not release her lizard.
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#11
The whole of Akashingo gathered for a feast this night, under the open sky above, brightened by a streak of vibrant and abundant stars. 

Naberius is quiet as he sat and watched them. Each wolf shuffling about the metaphorical game board. Some whispering, some casting longing eyes or searching for those they secretly longed for. Then his eyes befell their visitor- golden blonde and striking, as she wears one of his favorite colors on a woman. At her side, a daughter. Naberius' heart stirs as he thinks of his sisters and of the daughters he one day will have. 

Time here in the south would surely be eventful. Who would be Pharoah? Would the loosers of this little game revolt? What would be the aftermath? So much tea! Naberius sipped, drinking every bit of it in.
From the land of Sun & Sand, 
[Image: oasis-desert.gif]
Akashingo
Sphinx
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#12
A grand feast is being held. His station has been only temporarily released. Even so, never far were his eyes from Rashepses. Siatum was also a master tactician where he was not. Still, he is on guard.
But for a time, he is allowed to unwind and enjoy simple festivities. Light wines and meals for an adjusted palate. He's upon his stomach on a high post, making light laughter and surface level involvement with commonfolk.

A prince seeks someone's hand, two mazoi converse, a silver fellahin allures, a woman and her child speak. There was a welcoming woman, and
a third mazoi slipping through shadows. A man watches. He's also watching.

It won't be for long,
but he will enjoy the simpleness for now as a normal man.
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#13
Powerplay with permission!
Akashingo gathered.

In her ignorance, in her joy, Melody wondered if they knew what was to come. They sensed it; Senmut sensed it, or perhaps he'd believed in her more than she'd dared hope. Absent for the preparations, what the Hemet saw on the horizon was a sign from the Gods.

This feast —

Whether they knew it or not, they celebrated @Ashikaga's return.

Not Pharaoh; not yet. Melody's eyes were reverent upon her all the same. She led the way, cleared a path, drawing the blue-eyed royal through the crowd without a single glance spared for any of her packmates. Her devotion was to the Gods, and to the gilded blood flowing through Ashikaga's veins as it did Makono's. She went to the Queen, dropping into a bow to announce the Princess.

Nekubi Ashikaga, Melody spoke steadily, voice loud enough to carry to the others. Princess of the Scarlet Land.

Then she stepped aside.

Her world was whole again.
Akashingo
Fellahin
Bloomin'
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#14
a well-versed fellahin may stick to the sides of the wall and simply live to serve with nothing else. but this feast was meant to celebrate the beauty of akashingo and the victory that comes with toula's expansion into this new land. their work was meant to be appreciated and celebrated. and tuna would never turn down the opportunity to have fun.

so she dances when asked, even coming to dance with her nearest and dearest friends if they decided to follow in the sporadic nature of tuna. there is joyous laughter and delicacies to surround. for just a moment, tuna forgets that she is a servant and only finds herself feeling as an invited guest.

only when the time slows does the soon return to her post to replenish what is eaten and come to make her rounds of greeting others. and eventually, she finds her nook with the other fellahin, smiling at them sweetly as she comes to think of them fondly in her mind.
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speaks with a Texan accent which can come across in all of her languages
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steffi lynn
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#15
All of Akashingo was gathered in a feast. She tried not to think about when they gathered here for her mother. The memories flickered in her mind anyway. But she still moved with grace and reverence. This was her home; where she was meant to be. 

She was curious who had gathered Akashingo here. They were celebrating something. But what? Surely not her return. How could they have known? She hadn't even known until she found Melody that her dreams had led her here. She hadn't known what she was meant to do, not really. But that didn't matter. Akashingo needed her. 

Meldoy bowed to a woman, and Ashikaga looked upon her with curious blue eyes. I have been called home, she told all who listened. As the daughter of Ramesses and Nekubi Satsu, I am here to take my place as Pharaoh of Akashingo. She wondered if the woman in front of her would fight her or work with her.
Akashingo
Pharaoh*
immortal longings
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#16
Toula swept in, once more made resplendent by her fellahin. Joy in her heart, joy in her bones. She would join the feast a little later, the sweetness of anticipation being sang to her by @Eset. Toula smiled at the idea of this, thinking of the waiting eyes that would soon find her.
And find her they would, emerging now in the glow of the light and seeing Melody bowed now before her. Delight, first, in her gaze to see @Makono before her! And Toula might have married her sister then, for the joy of it—
except for that this was Ashikaga, who she had also loved but who had always been more distant. And then she had gone. Toula had never blamed Ashikaga for leaving, too—but the words that then came from her lips had all the warmth move to something not even Toula herself could define. but again, Toula softens as she considers the face before her. considers too the shared blood. Toula might have felt offended, or insulted, if she were not more confident in her own place here. 
I can see that you are tired, Toula speaks, her words slow and clear so that Ashikaga, and any other listening ear, could understand: I welcome you home again to us, Amiirad. 
for Ashikaga had far more work to do than speak it. Makono had known it then; Toula knew it now. and that Ashikaga did not... well, it said all that she herself needed to know. soft, for Ashikaga—she did not mean or hope to shame her—she speaks again, please, join me during the feast! get to know our people—you have been much missed, perhaps most of all by me. you have been gone so long! ah, and I know you must need to rest... your own place for sleeping is already being arranged, a flick of an ear toward a watching fellahin who would hear that much.
Toula stood tall before her sister, taller than Ashikaga would surely remember her!, but in posture was entirely welcoming. she beamed to Melody and said, thank you for bringing my sister home to us, she breathed.
and soon her own eyes would hopefully be for the princes—but she provided this moment the respect it was due, perhaps also out of the love she would always carry for Ashikaga... even if she was alone in that.
Muat-riya
Hebsut*
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#17
A halt midstep, for the party in its entirety had shifted from lively to stunned as the crowd wrought not only the three princes, but now a princess with her own designs upon the seat of Pharaoh. The Queen’s sister- and the shared blood between them is clear in their delicate beauty and coats of sunlight.

In silent admiration the maidservant’s eyes hold over Toula and all the thoughts that must be passing through her mind in this moment. She is ever an instance of power with grace.

A welcoming kneel is given first to the new Lady, then she motions for the fellahin to return to dance. Their role tonight is now to soothe any mounting concerns of the courtiers.

A room needs to be prepared for the mysterious Nebet; this she will see to herself.
Akashingo
Semer-wati*
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#18
A Princess parted the feast. He did not conceal his amusement. Akashingo knew how to throw a party.

Shortly thereafter, when merriment again found its fleet footing, Rashepses waded through, flanked in the company of his princeguards and with a gaze that over swaying bodies sought Toula.

It was the bylaws which stood between them and the thirty pair of glittering eyes, the brow of stone the Erpa-ha had so consciously raised to keep his Hemet-nekheb out of reach; ostensibly from Rashepses himself.

For her, there was a kneel and an invitation, “Good evening. Do you dance, My Queen?”
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Ooc — hela
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#19
It seemed the woman—her sister—would work with her, though not in the way she had originally intended. Or maybe it was her way of fighting. Part of her had hoped for no resistance, of course, but she wasn't surprised to find some, even if it was masked by kind words of invitation; promises of food and somewhere to rest. She was tired, but she wasn't going to let anyone else know that. One thing her mentor had ingrained in her was that she should never fully trust anyone. There was always someone waiting to steal what was hers. Though Toula had claim to Akashingo, as well, Ashikaga would always believe she was owed more. She kept that thought close to her chest. As for the title of Amiirad, she would accept it for now. Soon they would all see she was meant to rule Akashingo as pharaoh. 

Her lapis gaze rested on Melody as her sister thanked her. Ash wanted her to stay close, and she hoped that was clear in her expression. She was trusted as much as Ashikaga was able to trust, and the princes didn't want her to go very far. She returned her attention to her sister. I will join you. I have not had a good meal since leaving the kingdom of A'max, she explained. She could think better with a full stomach, even better with some rest. Things may not have gone according to plan, but she was grateful for the comforts she was used to. You can fill me on on what I've missed in my absence. She wanted to know more about her father's death, too, but that would have to wait for a more appropriate time.
Akashingo
Jodai*

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#20
She had Toula's face.
A woman of proud stature; non-wolven, in some way, though Zaahira could not quite figure out how. From her place beside Khusobek with whom she had been idly chattering, eyes carefully averted from the swinging hips of the fellahin, she then saw her.
Daughter of Ramesses and Satsu; these names of which she knew only in passing, these names that meant much more to the Queen than they did her. She intends to be pharaoh. Immediately, suspicioun burls inside of the mazoi.
She had clearly abandoned her post. What gave her the right to crawl back and demand godhood?
But she does not voice this; no, no, never would she dare. This was the Queen's family. A friend of a friend, or so she wished to believe.
And so her judgmental eyes turn soft when they face the Queen who offers her a welcome, refreshments; and away again does her gaze turn, back in the direction of Khusobek; avoiding, of course, the sordid glare of Rashepses. A production indeed.
Akashingo
Erpa-ha*
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#21
for a moment too, senmut believed it might be makono.

his breath caught for a moment. his crown was lowered to her in respect of her own divine blood. silently the prince did wonder what this meant for their shifting hierarchy. the princess had brought no loyalists; indeed she walked amid a kingdom divided now into sharpening camps.

it was with ramesses' demanding and honeyed voice she spoke now; it was with the grace the late queen satsu had once possessed that she strode into their throng.

with equal grace did the Divine Queen toula embrace these uncommon proceedings, offering her usual garlands of love and affection, heaping them upon the amiiraad as the servants moved to attend. 

he did not know the kingdom a'max, and this unsettled senmut. "welcome home, my lady," he said, the stamp of his rank clear in his ability to approach the royal dais — almost the same moment as rashepses.

his low bow was for their queen as she accepted the offer of the foreign prince, but his attention was for the princess thereafter. "i am senmut, erpa-ha to akashingo. i served your father."

and what was melody doing? what did the priestess stand to gain?
Muat-riya
Sesh
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#22
all things fell away as the crowd ceased their humming at the pronouncement of their returned princess.

pharaoh? tavina cut her eyes from their guest to the queen, almost stricken. she had seen each of these girls born, she had been at their bedside when they and their brothers had been named by pharaoh and queen.

now one sat upon the throne of her mother and the other vied for the position of pharaoh beside her.

would this come to violence? was that the abiding birthright of their damned father?

tavina shut her mouth in silence, dropping her eyes; she would remain subdued for the feast's duration.
Muat-riya
Mazoi
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#23
"set's balls," khusobek swore in a snicker beneath his breath to zaahira.

the princess was not for his eyes, and yet he could not help but notice her beauty, how similar in composition she was to their queen. the family claim was undeniable.

"if a prince was wise, they would move on her too," the crocodile murmured. "she can claim pharaoh all she wants. marry her to a noble and see how content she will be." he winked at the other guard and swept a sweet morsel of something into his mouth, offered by a fellahin.
Akashingo
NPC
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#24
Akhtar saw her moments before she began to speak.

Ashikaga. He knew her face, though not as much as he had known Siptah, as he had known Makono. And the words that left her mouth?

Akhtar cursed an internal stream of blasphemies to every god he’d ever known and then some. He asks for a normal, non-bloodshed party, and he gets a laugh in the face from fate. He squeezes so hard on the sweet morsel in his mouth that it pops out the other side, making the poor Fellahin serving him squeak in surprise.

He put on his best smile.

Excuse me, for a time? He slipped out of sight, into the darkness outside of the party. Out of earshot.

Then, he fell to his knees with a high, howling cackle.

For the rest of the party, he could be found grinning like a loon, giggling beneath his breath.
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#25
Oh shit. Naberius mouth drops, the leg of hare flopping out of it onto the sands. His orange and peach eyes slipping past Melody and onto the woman she announced and the words which came from that woman. She spoke allowed, to the crowd- she was here to take her rightful place as Pharaoh. 

Naberius eyes trail the length of her golden and silvered coat and to the face holding deeply blue eyes. Then, his head snaps into the direction of Toula who sweeps in there after among her Fellahin. Tired, she would state- clearing suggesting her sister was not in her right mind, perhaps. 

He watches his queen ever carefully as well as this newly arrived sister. He did not dance and if offered anything from the Fellahin, would offer a 'yeah yeah sure' though his people watching continued at the forefront of his interest.
From the land of Sun & Sand, 
[Image: oasis-desert.gif]