Ouroboros Spine pałuqtaq
Moonglow
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#1
All Welcome 
Song by @Kukutux!

She'd fallen into a routine since shedding her former name. Every morning, with the children at her side, she would greet the day with stretching and prayer. After breakfast, she spent some time with the children and then began her work on whatever project she had lined up for the day. She always tried to involve them in whatever she did, knowing that her chores would benefit their learning. She taught them songs and how to treat furs; occasionally, they even went hunting!

Today, she knelt beside Anik Lake and sang a song as she treated a beaver fur she'd been working on:

aya, aya aya!

the handsome boy there, he is staring at your face!

do not look, do not look

i will say the words loud so he will hear them:

'"what did your father ask in trade?'"

aya, aya, aya!

now he believes you will be married!

see how he runs to find his own furs!

he will bring them to your father,

he will run to ask you first!
Moontide
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#2
kukutux had given to him a skin of various medicines for marina, and he was relieved to have it.
he had wrapped the torn declaw and it no longer bled. he was about to turn back for the border when the trailings of a song came to him.
ariadne? was it so? he laughed in surprise, for then he no longer owed her mother the debt of finding her. but it was a more solemn mien which greeted the returned daughter. he did not sit.
chakliux was not angry. the shadow upon his face was was worry and relief, surprise and questioning, and perhaps a touch of frustration. "it is good you are home."
Moonglow
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#3
She noticed a portion of the pelt was matted as she washed it, and with a groan, she pulled it from the lake and onto the shore. My, my, she said to herself, examining it with a careful eye as she wondered if getting rid of it was worth the effort or not.

But before she could decide, a familiar laugh and voice reached out, and a chill went up her spine as she realized who was here: Chakliux. She'd practically ghosted him after their last meeting—even though he had plenty of women to keep him busy!—and a wave of guilt washed over her. She turned to him, her face riddled with emotion, and forced herself to smile as she studied him.

He looked well, and for that, she was thankful. But there were expressions on his face that she recognized, and her heart wrung with remorse. She flattened her ears and smiled softly; despite everything, it was good to see him.

It is a surprise to see you here, she replied, her voice curious.
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#4
rudely, chakliux wondered if ariadne would be angry to know that her mother had traded knowledge to find her. but beneath that was a sense of his own annoyance for himself, that he had bartered at all. now he owed an even deeper debt.
it was a cruel irony! oil father had seen how he desired the daughters of the moon clan, and now had tied him more steadfastly to the nuiruk name than if he had married ariadne!
ha!
carefully he sat nearby, wondering if kigipigak had been pleased to come back. "rodyn asked me to come and speak with your father and mother. moontide seeks their wisdom." the seal hunter did not elaborate and sensed ariadne would not press.
he studied her. "where did you go? there was — worry."
what did her people say? aya! she was good to look at, his man's spirit insisted. her figure had been rounded by motherhood and her movements held the confident grace of a woman. but it was the look in her eye which said she had gone into a darkened place and come out of it. perhaps it was new power he sensed.
Moonglow
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#5
Ah, Ariadne acknowledged, knowing he would tell her more if he'd wanted. Something was going on, but, for now, she figured it wasn't her business to divulge further, even if she really wanted to know.

I will have to visit sometime and bring some fur and meat. I want to see and tend to my sea-sister's ulaq. while Ariadne wondered what state her sister's grave was in, she did not press. It wasn't his job to keep up with the grave, nor was it anybody's job, really, but it was something that she wanted to take on now that she'd returned. Plus, it'd be nice to show the children the ocean for the first time and have them meet @Rodyn and their cousins.

She studied him, feeling guilt curdle in her gut at his question, and she sighed and frowned. We went many places—north to Tartok, where I became Issumatar for a time, and then south to Cedar Sweep, where we tried to establish our tree village, and failed miserably. She hesitated. We were fools, Chakliux. We should have never left, and we hurt so many others in the process of doing what I thought was right, and for what? What did she have to show for all the pain that they'd caused?
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#6
ariadne explained, face communicating the difficulty that she and kigipigak had faced when building their home. "i bring gifts of meat to her," chakliux said quietly, though he had not finished considering what she had said.
"i agree you were foolish, sunshine woman," the seal hunter murmured at last, though the warmth in his eyes might tell ariadne he had already forgotten it all, "but it is not wrong that you left. your mother —" he lifted his paw, letting it drop again; "she is very known. her name is everywhere. i understand why a daughter wanted her own path."
he wondered again on kigipigak.
"so. are you anaa now?" chakliux asked, slipping into the siqniq words easily.
Moonglow
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#7
It shouldn't have surprised Ariadne that Chakliux tended to her sea-sister's grave, but it did, and she looked at him with newfound appreciation. Thank you, she said quietly. That ... means a lot to me and my family. She would have to think of a way to repay his kindness.

At last, he spoke his mind, and she remained quiet as he did so. He was kind in his delivery and generous with understanding! She didn't deserve such kindness! You are too kind, she said, easily transitioning into their other shared language. I feel like I do not deserve it. I did so much harm ... and for what? To return with my tail tucked? She wanted to elaborate and share how out of place she felt. How her family looked at her heart's choice. How she now looked at her husband, influenced by the disdain shared by so many.

His question brought a smile to to her face. I am, she said, sunbright meeting berrybright. And you? An aapa again?
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#8
her praise thrilled him; he showed this only in the straighter set of his scarred shoulders and nodded gently. "you did not return in shame. look how you are loved, hm?" but he understood, and so left these words alone for the others.
"yes! tullik and marina gave me five children, three sons and two daughters," he exulted. "i never sleep and i am very happy."
Moonglow
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#9
"You did not return in shame. Look how you are loved, hm?" Chakliux reminded Ariadne.

You are right, she admitted after a beat. They could have chased us off, but we were accepted with open arms instead. She would have to remind herself whenever she felt otherwise.

Aya! What great news! she exclaimed, unable to imagine having five children. Three was already a pawfull! Please, tell me about them!