Bearclaw Valley who among you will be able to stand?
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All Welcome 
anceline's call for @Ameline was robust and would carry to the ears of any listening wolf. in his confidence was he reckless, confidence fed by the continuance of @Sariel at his side.
it didn't occur to him that the rawboned creature was too thin to participate in hunting till they recovered, or that he had essentially recruited someone for a place he wasn't even sure they'd keep.
the kids were here, sure, but their mom wasn't. and a whole host of other packs outnumbered them, just before winter. ancelin, then, relied on the logicality of his mate to sort this issue.
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#2
on limbs sculpted purely of bone, sariel skuttled like a beetle behind the commander. his howl made them blink owlishly, but they knew who would come to it.

the commander’s mate, another commander. sariel’s mind turned over and over, settling only when they dug a name for this new being out of the heap of their brain. the general.

soon, general and commander would judge sariel. they could only hope that they were less harsh than father.
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Summoned, Ameline arrived at the mouth of the valley to find her mate, passing her gaze over him to ensure no harm had come to him since he had gone out, before looking past him toward the figure that followed. Her gaze narrowed as it fell to the fragile, skittish-looking wolf. Her gaze practically caught on the jut of bones beneath patchy fur, though she wasn't sure if she should feel disappointed or concerned. 

They had initially set out to travel the winter alone together- otherwise, she might have tried to find Towhee Jr before they left. Those plans had been interrupted when they'd found the two young girls- and now with this scarecrow trailing along behind Ancelin...Ameline couldn't help but feel as though they were inadvertently recruiting. 

Her gaze returned to Ancelin, calm but questioning. This wolf didn't exactly look like an asset, but she wasn't about to make snap judgements. Ancelin had brought the thin wolf here- likely for a reason. "Who'th thith?"
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"sariel, ameline. ameline, sariel." his grin was shit-eating. "i know how they look, and they're starving for sure," ancelin addressed to his mate, indigo eyes earnest, "but they're so — obedient."
his tone changed then, to one of invitation: go ahead and order them around. "i figure we feed them up, then devote all their kills to the girls. and if we move on, well," because it was always an option, even as each day felt more settled. "didn't want to leave em as bait for a pack wolf."
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she appeared.

general and commander spoke, sariel looked on hawkishly. they tried not to listen, but it was difficult. the commander took on the voice of father, speaking of their usefulness, of their obedience.

he spoke of girls, though sariel did not know who they were. the assumption came to them that maybe these girls were like michael, like gabriel. father’s favorites. maybe like uriel, stalwart paladin to father’s interests.

they wondered if the general and commander had others, like sariel, like zadkiel. they did not ask.

they merely lowered their ears, their head, sheepish as their body curved into an odd, uncomfortable shape. no matter the comfort, they would obey. subservience was better than what would come if they acted up.

they trembled under the eyes on them. not the general, not the commander, but father. but god.
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In her peripheral vision, the gaunt timber wolf assumed a low position, snagging Ameline's attention for only a moment before her gaze focused on her mate again. She was surprised to see how broadly he smiled, and she tracked her gaze from eye to eye as if searching for any sign that this was intended to be a joke, but saw only amusement and something akin to pride. 

Sariel was obviously quite weak, and taking in a starving adult wolf who looked as bedraggled as them was unbecoming. What kind of reputation would they get, if they ended up taking in every orphaned child and skin-and-bones wanderer who passed their way? Her skepticism showed in the light dip of the corners of her lips, though her expression lifted slightly when he mentioned a key word. 

Obedient.

Her gaze quit flicking and steadied, and she drew in a breath. As if reading his thoughts, she wondered what she could ask the Sariel to do to prove their willingness to serve, but she blinked, as if digesting the suggestion that Sariel could be eventually trained to hunt specifically for the girls. Her mate entertained what could be a wonderful idea- but only as long as the wolf could be trained to hunt. All Ameline saw, currently, was a wolf who was failing to thrive on their own- not necessarily the top candidate for a pack hunter. 

The wolf's light shivering did nothing to improve her impression. Her frown deepened. 

All the same- she didn't want to compromise whatever idea it was that Sariel had of them, by questioning the scrawny wolf in front of her mate. She warmed her expression toward her mate for a moment, before flicking a tempered gaze toward what seemed to be the newest addition to their flock. 

"If we take you in, you owe uth." She stated. "Thith ain't a buffet. Onthe you get yuh thtrength, yuh hafta contribute. Underthtood?"
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the indigo gaze watched every twitch and flicker and purse of ameline's expression, perhaps how his unknown grandmother had once watched his unknown grandfather with a searing love that missed no detail.
ancelin had learned that with her he did not need to defend, nor debate; their discussions had always been calm if passionate beneath the surface, and this consistency had led him to be less fractious in turn. only for her.
ameline judged sariel to be worth their time on the condition they were bound here. ancelin proclaimed his delight with her decision using a single flag of his tail.
"i know you see how we're — new here.," vulnerable, "in a place we weren't — this wasn't in the cards. so i figure as long as we're here, we gotta build some kind of presence. something united." obedience to them was that unity, in his mind.
as it turned out, they weren't for it, and soon he was beside ameline, watching the stranger leave.