Redtail Rise israfel
899 Posts
Ooc — mercury
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#1
All Welcome 
on the eastern border, where the river tumbles over the cliffs. set directly after this thread

@Masquerade and @Redd will come—that much she is sure.

@Mulherin, by virtue of his connection to the former Caru, perhaps. @Redsky and @Wanderer, perhaps. @Carrion? she doesn't hold out any particular hope.

and with a wistful thought toward @Relic—wherever he may be, alive or dead—she tips her muzzle to the sky and summons her children. 

let Lilia hear the cry ring out. damn this interloper.

you should have killed her when you had the chance

the red woman paces atop the cliffs, gaze darting back and forth from the horizon to the flocks of crows that linger, feasting on carrion and harassing the red-tailed hawks that give this place its name—

her name!

angry tears in eyes and hot bile in throat rise up in tandem, threatening to blind her, choke her. 

she is cursed. cursed by the bear—it must be so.

for it is the bear who had dragged her away from this place, dragged her into the spirit-realm, and all the while, her kingdom overtaken by that

bitch

not of her blood,

wed to Ancelin, son of Aventus

and she must be cursed. Avicus stops, lashing her tail. she must be cursed, she concludes, as she waits for her children to arrive.

however many will heed the summons to begin with.
Redtail Rise
Wealda*
234 Posts
Ooc — Starrlight
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#2
Redd had been waiting for a summons, but not one of this tone.  She came as quickly as she was able, cutting around the territory rather than crossing its borders.

Avicus had been slighted.  This was clear in the anger the call resounded with, and Redd had a hard time comprehending what this meant.  The Wealda rank had been set aside for her return; Redd had been denied in her attempt to claim it.  So why now did Augur and Lilia hold it empty?  Why did they sacrifice a chance for stability?

Pride?

No.  She would believe it of Lilia but not of Augur.  Perhaps it was some other reason, but either way, Redd’s golden eyes were hard as she finally approached her mother, and she did not hesitate in stepping forward to kiss her chin in deference.  Since before her disappearance Redd had felt the imbalance of a pack without a head.  She had pressed for someone to fill the role and been denied.  It seemed some felt the position better empty.

She disagreed.  And now, she saw justice in her position.  She’d seen this conflict on the horizon, and now they would face its repercussions.
Redtail Rise
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Ooc — Van
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#3
Though Carrion was nearest, she still remained at bay. She’d watched the entire conflict between her mother, Lilia, and Augur from afar, having heard only raised voices and hateful snarls. Still, it was not hard to deduce from sight alone that tension rippled now through the ranks.

Avoidant and feeling uncertain of her position on the matter, she lingered only because she had been summoned - and not with the same doleful mother-voice as before, but by an impassioned decree. She watched as those who might follow the red queen gathered around her, the girl herself reticent and austere.

She ventured close enough to hear what would be said, though kept distinctly on the outskirts of the conversation, as was always her choice.
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Rileyapostrophes Rumpus Room
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#4
Masquerade sniffed along the trail of a young groundhog, licking their lips in anticipation. Should they catch it, they intended to eat some of it but save the lion’s share for Redd. The scent led them through the underbrush, weaving hither and thither.

A howl cut through the air. They froze, then raised their head, whiskers quivering. It was their mother, demanding an audience with the leadership. This could only mean one thing: she was going to step up again. Masque fidgeted, wishing Avicus had invited them along not just as the intended heir but as moral support.

No such summons came. Concentration shot, they abandoned their hunt and began to pace restlessly across the rise, moving toward the origin of the call. But if Avicus had wanted them there, she would have included them. She hadn’t, meaning they should not intrude. Masque gritted their teeth but hung back.

After a time, Augur called out for his mate. Masque’s head cocked, trying to puzzle out the reasoning for this. Anxious and impatient now, they decided to go investigate, regardless of invitation. Something was amiss, they were sure of it. They should be present, to bear witness if nothing else.

And then Avicus did call for them at last, from a completely new direction. She didn’t just want her heir apparent, she wanted all of them. Bewildered, Masque nonetheless hastened toward her new position. They found Redd beside their mother already, the she-wolves’ body language telling them a great deal before they ever approached.

Heart beating fast, they closed the distance, passing Carrion with a quick nudge. The tension in the air was so thick around Avicus, they could taste it, but Masquerade couldn’t be sure of its flavor. They nosed her chin, then her cheek, their touch quizzical and seeking explanation.

Is there any way we can get the timestamp to match the date? Signed, your PITA child. :)
MATURE CONTENT WARNING: Graphic violence is a common theme in this character's threads. Reader discretion is advised.

I archive threads if my partner goes inactive and/or there are no new replies for several weeks. I'm more than happy to continue an archived thread if you're interested. Just revive it (via maintenance) and tag me in your next reply. :)
Redtail Rise
Ulfr
21 Posts
Ooc — Chelsie
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#5
Idk if I'll be able to keep up with this at all, I'll do my best to prioritize this one but I'm so far behind on her other threads and work is a nightmare atm. ;_; Please feel free to skip Wanderer to keep things moving if necessary, just drop me a line if you need to know what she would do!

Since returning from her brief stint in the wilderness, Wanderer had observed.

That was how she answered her quandary from several days earlier.

What should a Wanderer who no longer wandered be called?

Now she was the Watcher of Redtail Rise, and the things she observed were worrisome even for a seven month old juvenile wolf.

When Avicus first disappeared and the Rise began to buzz like a hive of hornets, she had been too young to comprehend the delicacy of the situation. That Wealda was conspicuously left unoccupied and her elder siblings were denied it once made the three month old believe there was hope for her mother's return, but beyond that, a mere child had failed to notice the hairline fractures webbing through the pack hierarchy then.

Lilia was a worthy Berserkr and Augur was the same steadfast Ulfhedinn he had always been. Her elder siblings who had been denied had left, presumably to make their own fortunes with others who appreciated and valued them more. That was the way of the wild. But something had changed recently that sent tendrils of doubt down into the watcher's heart.

She had witnessed it at the elk hunt, where the mixed signals between Masquerade and Lilia in particular had led to confusion for more than just herself. It was the place of the hunters to lead the hunt, but the Ulfr's commands had been muddled by contradictory commands from those who were not the hunters. From that moment on, Watcher was aware of the fractures within the hierarchy — no longer hairlines, but chasms that presented a very real danger to the whole pack.

From that moment on, she began to question where she stood.

Watcher was a child of Redtail Rise. No one single wolf had raised her. They were all pack, and they were all family in the eyes of the one who watched them. She had spent time with each wolf, when she was not being so reticent, and each wolf had helped to shape who she was now. She was fond of every member of Redtail Rise and blood meant nothing to her.

And yet, there was one wolf who stood out from all the others.

It was not maternal loyalty that brought Watcher to Avicus that day. She felt no more loyalty to Avicus as an individual than she felt to Lilia or Augur as individuals. She was loyal to Redtail Rise, but there was only one wolf to whom she would look as the pack cracked and shook before her very eyes. One wolf who had always included her even when she was distant following her mother's disappearance. One wolf who had poured everything into nurturing the pack's potential even after being denied fair recognition for doing so because it did not fit the definition of strength cherished by the Berserkr and Ulfhedinn.

When she arrived and took her spot among the Redtails, it was not to Avicus she looked for guidance, but to Masquerade.
Redtail Rise
Ulfr
Young Hunter
77 Posts
Ooc — Ryder
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#6
Sky came at the call, confused. The red-and-blue eyed boy spotted his sibling Masquerade and stood by their paws, looking to them for guidance of what was going on.
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Ooc — mercury
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#7
that's a quorum. enough, she thinks, to begin. Mulherin can be filled in, or will hopefully arrive as she's speaking.

Avicus noses Redd's tawny muzzle—she's putting on some weight, at least. they share the same energy. to her surprise, Carrion also comes, but lingers off to the side. Masquerade greets the girl, then steps forward to heed her mother. Avicus returns the touch, indigo eyes then landing on the approaching forms of Wanderer-Watcher and Redsky.

Mulherin will come. she knows it.

Lilia will nohh' have me ahh' Wealda, she announces. her voice is raw with the anger and betrayal, as if she's been gargling granite. when we namedh Augur ahh' Wealda, i offered'uh 'hhhep up ahh' Ulfhedinn. she would nohh' have 'hhat, eih'her.

the injustice of it all slams her once more in the solar plexus, and she takes a deep breath, grasping for self-control. Lilia 'hhaid many 'hhinghh' 'hho me 'hhahh' i will nohh' forgive. it is only becauhh' i honor Augur 'hhat i do nohh' kill her for her dihh'rehh'peck, Avicus notes, and pays careful attention to the faces of those around her at this. the younger ones, she knows, will have grown up with Lilia almost as much a mother figure as Masquerade.

but they must learn early, and often, that disrespect will not be tolerated.

i will nohh' live in a plahhe' where i am nohh' re'peck'hed, she continues. ahh' long ahh' Lilia remainhh' here, i will nohh'.

she's considered violence—an ouster by force. but she does not have the numbers. even looking past the younger litter's age, their loyalty to her is most assuredly in doubt after all that had transpired. the new faces on the Rise barely knew her. Augur and his family would not fight. and even Masquerade may try to broker a peace rather than shed blood.

only Redd she knows for sure would go to battle alongside her—and the young woman is in no shape for it.

i am leaving 'hho findh where i wahh' born, Avicus says. no one livedh 'hhere when i went lahh'. maybe no one livehh' 'hhere now.

then, the ask: come if you wanhh'. she tries and fails to swallow the lump in her throat. i will love you no mah'her whahh' you dehh'hide.

silence falls upon the assembled Redtails, the only sounds the howling of the coming winter winds and the cries of distant gulls.
Redtail Rise
Wealda*
234 Posts
Ooc — Starrlight
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#8
She had already guessed at much of this, but as Avicus spoke, Redd’s resolve only grew.  It had been right not to seek re-entry to this place; in these few statements, the wolf’s respect for both Augur and Lilia’s leadership evaporated.

Wealda was a position of balance and a rank that deserved to be filled.  In denying this, Augur had ensured that her mother had none to rightfully challenge in order to take her place.  All within the rise saw Avicus as Wealda save one; Lilia.  And yet at this girl’s whim he allowed the pack to be torn asunder.  It was for pride after all.

It would have been fairer if Lilia simply claimed the rank herself.  Then she could fight to keep it as was right.  This broke all order… all pack law and unity.  It disrespected them all.

Redd growled, low in her throat, and took a single step away from the rise that was once her home.  If they had no interest in holding to family then they were no family of hers.  Clearly they thought little of the pack they claimed to lead.

She would follow.  She had no interest in remaining here now.
Redtail Rise
Bjern
197 Posts
Ooc — April
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#9
The call of his mother is distant, a quiet whisper carried on the air. Despite the distance he can hear the emotion in her voice and knows it is his duty to answer her; he cannot, and will not, abandon her.

He mutters under his breath and begins the trek across the Rise to reach her.


The tension amongst the congregation is almost palpable as he arrives.

Silently, the boy stops and lingers alongside Carrion, managing to catch the bulk of the announcement. The vitriol in Avicus’ voice alone could have said it all. Lilia had denied her Wealda. The news surprised him, the thought of anyone else holding the rank left a bad taste in his mouth. Their ship was sinking, that was certain.

His exterior is stoic. Beneath, ironclad devotion simmers—hardwired into his blood. Perhaps it was the most tangible thing his father had given him.

Wealda was always hers.

Wealda would always be hers.

Then, her plan; she wanted to leave, with, or without them.

There was so much for him here. He should be on Lilia’s side; she had done leagues more for him than Avicus ever did. Augur was the closest thing he had to a father figure. The Rise was tight-knit, it was a toss up as to who else would leave. It went against all better judgment to leave. 

But those thoughts didn't even process in his mind. He betrayed them all in a heartbeat. 

All because he believed his mother would do the same if it were him.

They were undeniably bound by blood.

And he joins the group at last.

I'll come. His words are sinking stones, heavy and definite.
[Image: 3F65E08A-A70E-4B2A-BE3E-C6805BA727B2.png]
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Rileyapostrophes Rumpus Room
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#10
Masquerade’s expression froze as the story unraveled from their mother’s clipped tongue. Their head filled with buzzing questions. Weren’t Ancelin and Lilia already planning to leave the rise themselves? Why had Avicus abdicated Wealda to Augur? What about her heir?

Their golden gaze found Mulherin, the final piece of the Redtail puzzle falling into place. Masque was glad to see him. Despite their age difference, he was their rock in many ways. But looking at him—and seeing the way Sky and Watcher looked at them—made the yearling’s heart pound.

Avicus made a hasty executive decision, announcing her imminent departure for parts unknown. Masquerade’s stomach rolled. They didn’t want to refute their mother’s decision, yet they instinctively resisted the thought of leaving the only home they’d ever known.

Everything was spinning off its axis again, this time at warp speed. They yearned for something to ground them. Redd and Mulherin seemed ready to go without hesitation or question. Perhaps they should be that unflappable too. But they weren’t. The yearling swallowed thickly, their belly knotted and legs suddenly trembling slightly. They couldn’t just leave.

Wait, Masque entreated them all, looking beseechingly toward Avicus. Lilia won’t remain here. She and Ancelin planned to leave anyway. They took a shaky breath, swallowed, steadied their voice. And this is Redtail Rise. Nobody should be able to just force us out of our home.

They didn’t understand why those two couldn’t leave now. Surely they wouldn’t want to stick around any longer, given the circumstances. Expediting their departure was the only viable solution to keep everybody’s peace and give them all what they wanted in the end. But surely this must have been suggested during the leaders’ meeting. Lilia must’ve refused to capitulate if Avicus was proposing something this otherwise preposterous.

Masquerade’s jaw creaked as they glanced at Mulherin again, drawing strength from their stalwart charge. Their eyes flicked to their other brothers and sisters, trying to remain calm. They thought of the other faces that should be here. They thought of Augur’s family. They thought of Ancelin and Lilia, bitterly now.

After another breath, they pointed at Nova Peak and implored, If we must leave the rise, it should only be temporarily. We should consider regrouping on the ridge to figure out what happens next, together. I know the territory well. I was hoping to suggest it as the site of a sister pack someday, Masque explained their proposed destination, swallowing a sigh along with all of their hopes and dreams.
MATURE CONTENT WARNING: Graphic violence is a common theme in this character's threads. Reader discretion is advised.

I archive threads if my partner goes inactive and/or there are no new replies for several weeks. I'm more than happy to continue an archived thread if you're interested. Just revive it (via maintenance) and tag me in your next reply. :)
Redtail Rise
Ulfr
21 Posts
Ooc — Chelsie
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#11
She listened and her feelings mixed into a volatile concoction that made her guts swim with a sensation she had never felt before.

Lilia was a worthy Berserkr. She had earned her position time and again and she had protected the Rise and the growing cubs within. But she was not Wealda. She would never be Wealda, and for her to have a hand in denying the one and forever Wealda from reclaiming her rank after denying another stepping in to fill it made Watcher realize something about Lilia.

Lilia was a worthy Berserkr but she had overstepped considerably, and that was arrogance.

Her respect for Augur slanted downward as well, for the Ulfhedinn should have reined in the fiery Berserkr and ensured Lilia was kept in check. She was not Wealda and had no right to deny Avicus that rank. Only Augur had that right. That Avicus was here, planning to leave her home, must mean Augur had not intervened. He had allowed this to happen.

How could he stand as the pillar of Redtail Rise and yet stand aside as its rightful ruler was ousted like this?

Watcher found herself biting the tip of her tongue and eased the tension out of her jaw by licking her chops. To Avicus, she felt little. Her mother had been gone, and when she returned, she had been distant. The bond that should have been there was not. But even Watcher knew Avicus was Wealda, and the breaking of pack hierarchy could not stand.

Masquerade was right. They should not have to leave. This was their home. Lilia and Ancelin were leaving in the spring, and in the meantime, would continue to destabilize whatever pack remained here. They would leave it a husk when the time came, and there would be no winners. There was a simpler solution that would ensure the Rise did not crumble here and now.

They should leave, said Watcher, her voice a note of finality. They plan to leave. They should go now. She canted her muzzle toward Redd, whom she scarcely knew, and then to Mulherin. They would go, but had Lilia and Ancelin not chosen to leave first? Avicus would regain Wealda and neither she nor Lilia would chafe under the pride of the other. Everyone would get what they sought, whereas this...

Avicus and the Redtails leaving would forever damage relations with Augur and his family, and the Redtails leaving Redtail Rise was wrong. To Watcher, this seemed simple, but she was only a juvenile. There were still things she could not see.

We are Redtail Rise.
Redtail Rise
Ulfr
fine as any blade
369 Posts
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#12
feel free to skip Riley, and PP as necessary. I figured this was a pretty pivotal thread and I’d like him in on it, but don’t want to hold up the thread progress, so consider this a cameo unless specifically addressed. <3

Much like Carrion, Riley observed from the fringes.

He’d heard the red woman’s first call, of course — and had only paused momentarily from his inspection of the borders to wonder after it.

But then she called again, in a totally distinct direction — this time, for her children.

And while he was not a child, Riley followed out of connection to several of her children. Wanderer - newly minted in their new name - had been a frequent comrade at the borders. And Masquerade was often his hunting partner — and Carrion, well.. the weird boogeyman who often slept near his bed.

The other children he knew only in passing; but they made up the summation of his experiences here.

He could make only bits and pieces of the conversation - but the crackling energy in the air and the agitation on Avicus’ face and voice was enough for him to connect the pieces.

He made himself known by a quiet whuff, coming to stand slightly behind Masque’s flank.

And like Watcher, his crooked gaze fell upon Masquerade for guidance.
but when i go to sleep at night,
don't you call my name
Redtail Rise
51 Posts
Ooc — Van
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#13
What she had seen of the argument between Lilia and her mother had brought a lot to the forefront of Carrion’s mind. She’d been driven to wonder about whose side she would choose if the fight had turned physical, who deserved more loyalty from her, who deserved to be the boss. Until now, the fight’s context had been lost on her, where it became clearer that the disagreement was indeed about leadership - a facet of wolf government she had already decided didn’t matter much to her at this age.

Yet, here she was, being asked who she would follow.

Instinctively, she looked to Masquerade first. Their opinion seemed tantamount to everyone else’s, except perhaps Mulherin’s. She glanced towards her lookalike, scrutinizing his expression before flicking her attention over Redsky and Wanderer, now Watcher, respectively. Unsurprisingly, they also looked to their mother-sibling. Even the infringing Riley’s errant eyes were upon Masquerade.

Her thin body trembled slightly as Mulherin left her side, anxious without him grounding her, but she moved no closer, even as he declared that he would go with their mother and Redd.

Her heart leapt up into her throat. No! She did not want to leave, and she also couldn’t fathom her twin departing without her. Panic widened her gaze, feeling forced to make a decision she didn’t want to make. Why was this even happening? Lilia seemed to be the only one among the pack who didn’t want Avicus to resume her position. Why would they all leave for the dissent of a single wolf?

Masquerade gave their piece then, and Watcher followed with more of a hard line. Carrion felt herself slipping away in these moments - everyone suddenly seemed far off, reaching such a mental distance that she could no longer read their expressions or hear what they were saying. This sense of being overwhelmed was what kept her away from meetings and crowds in the first place.

Carrion swallowed her heart back down, closing her eyes until she could feel the thump-thump nestled deep inside her bird chest. I am a tree, she murmured, barely audible. I am planted here. I will not move.
Redtail Rise
Ulfr
Young Hunter
77 Posts
Ooc — Ryder
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#14
Redsky's head was spinning. Everything that was said made sense. They were the Redtails. They needed to stay in the Redtail Rise. Without them it wouldn't be the same. Though he liked Auger. And Avicus hadn't really been present. He didn't want anyone to leave, and it hurt him to see his own brother side with the leaving group, but Sky stood firmly next to his sister Carrion. "I am rooted here too." He said, adding on to her statement of 'i am a tree'.
899 Posts
Ooc — mercury
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#15
one by one, the reactions come.

Redd—loyal Redd. there'd never been any doubt in her mind of her daughter's reply. and Mulherin, too!

but then Masque speaks, imploring, and Avicus turns to face the ruddy-countenanced young woman. and on the face of it all, her words make sense.

Avicus's eyes follow the gesture toward the nearby peak, and linger there for a while. her lips firm in solemn thought.

Wanderer echoes the very yearning of her heart. of course they should go now! we are Redtail Rise!

and Avicus finds that she may just, in fact, have the numbers she'd assumed lacking—just as Carrion and Redsky voice their reluctance to depart (though not with such gusto as Wanderer).

a new, less familiar scent comes to her on the breeze, and she spins round again to find another has arrived—the young man she'd met briefly before, before being taken in upon the Rise.

not her child. not any blood to her (if only she knew).

but here.

ridge, she decides, nodding toward Masquerade. regroup. 'hey 'hhould leave, Avicus agrees, giving a bow of her head toward Wanderer as well.

wise, fierce daughters of mine.

buh' hhey migh' nohh' now, wi'ou a figh', she warns. an' i won' figh' Augur an' hih' family, if he'h picked Lilia over me.

she rolls her shoulders back, squaring herself. takes a steadying breath and a purposeful step toward Nova Peak.

maybe he can be rea'hhoned wi', Avicus ponders, and her eyes once more rest upon Masquerade—the most loquacious of them all.

will you 'htry?
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
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Rileyapostrophes Rumpus Room
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#16
When Watcher, Carrion and Sky insisted they would not leave the rise, it inevitably reminded Masque of that moment of synthesis at the recent hunt. Now they didn’t necessarily rally to any particular wolf but to the rise itself. It was their collective legacy and they knew it. Their younger siblings’ resolve strengthened Masque’s. Their legs stopped trembling as they stood firmer, glancing at Mulherin and then Riley as he joined the Redtails.

They were indescribably relieved when their attention turned back to Avicus, who did not insist on disembarking for some distant, mysterious land after all. Instead, she heeded Masquerade’s advice. A little thrill raced through the yearling, though their stomach dipped at the Wealda’s warning. They did not want to fight anyone, least of all Augur and his ilk.

Now Masque felt the weight of their mother’s gaze as she gave them perhaps the most vitally important task of their life. Although their ears fell back for an instant, they soon straightened and stiffened their neck. They shifted their weight, planted their feet and nodded.

Of course, mother. I will go with you to—I’ve been calling it Dragon’s Back Ridge, they shared, pawing restlessly at the cold earth underfoot. Where we will figure this out, Masque assured not just Avicus but all those gathered here.

Their eyes danced from one face to the next. Would any of the younger ones have qualms gathering at the ridge momentarily? They stepped among the four youngsters, nosing and nuzzling reassurances. This is our home. We won’t be gone long, they tried to convey with their soothing touches. We will come back. We are Redtail Rise.
MATURE CONTENT WARNING: Graphic violence is a common theme in this character's threads. Reader discretion is advised.

I archive threads if my partner goes inactive and/or there are no new replies for several weeks. I'm more than happy to continue an archived thread if you're interested. Just revive it (via maintenance) and tag me in your next reply. :)
Redtail Rise
Wealda*
234 Posts
Ooc — Starrlight
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#17
Redd watched as one by one they voiced their thoughts, her own reaction silent and waiting.  She did not have until spring to wait and would not beg her place of Lilia… yet if all wished to remain, she would go in peace and find a new place for herself.  One where she could bide and contribute until her mother was restored to her rightful rank.

She had no wish to fight or to fracture the pack further, a likely outcome here.  Yet if they wished to fight she would.  She was no warrior in her current shape, but what strength she had belonged to the Rise.  And the true Rise was here; even Augur and his family had held Avicus’ place for her alone.  That they vowed this much showed where the heart of their pack was anchored.

Redd would continue to watch and would only follow if, when all was decided, the others departed the lands.  Otherwise she would drift off to wait and see what the next days would bring.
Redtail Rise
Ulfr
Young Hunter
77 Posts
Ooc — Ryder
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#18
Redsky looked up with sadness as masque decided to follow Avicus. he was happy here and would not leave but he trusted his siblings word that they would return. The young boy planted a foot firmly into the ground he stood on though to back up his previous statement of being rooted there. He would not leave.
Redtail Rise
Ulfr
21 Posts
Ooc — Chelsie
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#19
Avicus didn't want to fight Augur or his kin.

That was understandable to Watcher. Augur was the backbone of Redtail Rise. He might not be a Redtail, but he had always been the steady force that held the pack together. He had kept Wealda for her mother, and he was huntlead.

In all these ways did Watcher respect Augur.

She only could not understand permitting Lilia to overstep her rank and impose her will on Avicus, and for that reason her respect for him slid lower. For all the strength and unity he represented, he allowed one wolf to shake the foundation of the pack, all for what Wanderer recognized as arrogance.

Masquerade and Avicus made the decision. Watcher stepped to join them with a low-wagging tail. She did not like it, but she could not stay here if Masque did not, for one thing was cemented in her mind:

Lilia was not the leader she thought she was, and Watcher did not know how she would react to her should the Berserkr speak to her in the intervening days once the Redtails had departed. Masquerade would not be here to steady her.

So with them she would go, but she cast a mournful look back at Redsky and Carrion, whom she would miss in the meantime. She understood their need to stay. Her soul screamed to do the same. But where Masquerade led, Watcher would follow, and she would hang her whole trust upon the former Caru's power to put things right.
Redtail Rise
51 Posts
Ooc — Van
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#20
Would this come to blows? This insignificant, infinitesimal, mole hill of an issue? Certainly Augur and New Snow wouldn’t fight for…

Uncertainty flooded through Carrion, and her anxiety spiked further as the Redtail matriarch, her older siblings, and Watcher each decided to temporarily distance themselves from the rise. Redsky would stay though, which was a small consolation in the face of watching potentially her entire family leave at once.

A high-pitched whine sounded in her throat as Wanderer looked back to them. She fidgeted unhappily, wanting to join them but knowing she would not. And Mulherin? She looked to him helplessly. He’d already said he would go; she doubted his decision would change.

Overwhelmed with heartbreak, Carrion’s teeth chattered with emotional overstimulation, and her entire body quivered as she looked between them all. This wasn’t right! She turned and fled the scene in a thievish skitter, head and ears down as she disappeared into the brush.
Redtail Rise
Bjern
197 Posts
Ooc — April
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#21
Masque is right. Lilia and Ancelin plan to leave anyway—why should they all leave home? The group seems to hedge on the Caru's input. They are a steadfast, level-headed mediator; an emerging leader. He looks to them, proud of their growing confidence. He had always known they were born for this.

While his older siblings seemed content, his litter is divided: He and Watcher vote to go, Carrion and Redsky vote to stay. This surprises him in a way, though he assumes that they are not declaring an allegiance to Lilia, rather to their home itself. He cannot hold that against them.

The decision is made then, the dissenters would regroup, then retake the Rise. He offers his support with a silent nod.

In the moment he catches Carrion's eye, speared by the distress in her gaze, her voice, all before she turned tail into the wilderness. 

Shit, He mutters under his breath. There is no use in calling her name, he knows she will not stop.

The boy casts a sidelong glance to the group, seeming to convey that he will rejoin them. Now, he can't let his sister go—no, not like this.

With that, he turns and lopes after her.
[Image: 3F65E08A-A70E-4B2A-BE3E-C6805BA727B2.png]
899 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Warrior
Deerstalker
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#22
she silently mouths Masque's name for the place, and nods. the only one to balk is Carrion, and her eyes dart toward the brown shape—no, two. the twins are fleeing—Mulherin, perhaps, only in vain pursuit, to comfort.

still. . .she knows their loyalties are torn. her own are frayed.

lehh' go, Avicus says. she begins the descent from the ridge toward the neighboring territory, feeling a heavy weight sink toward the bottom of her belly.

it's possible she may not return. at least not as master of the place.
but see, amid the mimic rout,
a crawling shape intrude —
a blood-red thing that writhes from out
the scenic solitude
Pledged
Rileyapostrophes Rumpus Room
744 Posts
Ooc — Kat
Midwife
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Master Tracker
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#23
Despite their efforts, Sky remained unmoved. He stubbornly planted his feet. Masquerade’s brow furrowed. They admired his loyalty, though they wondered if he truly understood what was at stake. Before they could open their mouth to clarify it, a loud whine captured their attention and Masque’s head turned just in time to catch Carrion fleeing the scene.

This complicated matters, even before Mulherin took off after his twin. Masquerade’s jaw clenched as they mentally echoed his muttered curse. The yearling froze where they stood, torn now, their stomach tightening when Avicus still called for the rest to follow her to the peak.

I’ll show you the best places to take shelter and find water, Masque said, turning reluctantly to follow their mother’s tread.

For the moment, they left the rest of their thoughts unspoken. But with three of the four pups staying behind, Masquerade would have to divide their time between the ridge and the rise. They doubted the youngsters were in danger, though their sibling could not simply leave them here. They would be spending a lot of time skulking in the grotto in the coming days.
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