Years ago, birds of a feather would arrive nightly

POSTED: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:10 pm

Thread Prompt: Check out the ravens over in Hollow's Ruins -- they could always use a meal, and the happier they are, the better they serve the clan. They're quite easy to please!

Vesper is in Optime form. Raven directory for reference, though you can make up more! Why not come learn more about them -- and maybe even take one as a partner?

She'd had to come with bags, as one bird's favorite snack was worth nothing to another -- and the greatest part of their pact with the ravens was sheer bribery. Various types of meat weighed one bag, while another was full of berries and grain, another with a few precious eggs taken from the chickens (with a few lost or culled chicks as another treat). It was a lot, and a lot more to gather, but Vesper was Falconer and happy to provide for the birds she'd taken such a keen interest in.

She stepped into the grove of burnt trees and was assaulted at once by black shapes, flapping and cawing and shrieking their canine words: Food! Food! It was all she could to avoid claws and beaks, but a few sharp snarls and croaks chased the birds to branch and ground, waiting, twitching heads to set beady eyes hungrily on the bags. Frowning -- though maybe smirking behind that grimace -- she opened one bag and tossed strips of meat into the air.

It was wild again, a cacophony. She tolerated this with ears pinned down and cast grain and berries on the earth, where the animals darted and ate. One or two, she noticed, attempted to fly closer and land on her -- one, a bright-eyed raven with gnarled feet, succeeded.

Why raven no talk? it croaked.

Why, Brokenclaws? Vesper asked, humoring him as she placed an egg on the ground. It was promptly stabbed, yolk disappearing into the mouth of a large bird. Brokenclaws paid this no mind, only stared at her with one intelligent eye as she spoke, drinking in every syllable before he answered.

Coz got frog in throat, Brokenclaws exclaimed. He began to laugh -- an eerie sound, a perfect mimicry of a coyote giggling, yet scratchy as if from a phonograph. Smirking, Ves shook her head and dug through the meat bag to produce a frog leg. Eagerly snatching up his amphibian meal, Brokenclaws flew off. Grinning now, Vesper cast more meat to the carrion-birds.



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POSTED: Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:18 pm

I'M RUDE (also wanna set this before our other thread with these two?)

It was impossible not to notice the birds, and Marlowe was especially interested in them for one reason.

The story of his name had been a sore spot for him as a boy, thinking it rather unfair his sisters were named after great people and he a dead raven. His father had informed him of the importance of his namesake, though, and this had lingered with him. It seemed like such an unlikely, chance encounter—a single raven being smart enough to see ahead, and imagine that an alliance might be forged with coyotes.

They were frightful things, though, all at once. Marlowe had spotted Vesper en route to the place and followed her, as he sometimes followed his sisters. The smells coming from her bags gave away her purpose, though he was not close enough to offer her help—though it did occur to him, later, that he might have done such a thing.

He found the Centurion hurling strips of meat into the air, and the sight of her surrounded by the cloud of black birds was the sort of thing he imagined some might see as blasphemous if not simply evil.

Marlowe wolf-whistled, half to announce himself and half because the sight called for it, and was startled when another whistle followed. It was apparent—his ears both perked up, tousling his too-long hair in the process.


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Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:33 pm

so rude (sure thang)

A loud whistle spun Vesper around, her good ear pricked and bits of meat dribbled from frozen fingers. She stared at the umber coyote then grinned, sharply and suddenly, when a high whistle echoed his. She fished in the bag and tossed down bits of grain, which a small bird flew down to instantly, pecking at the ground. It whistled again, and Vesper encouraged this with a grin -- one more for Marlowe's benefit.

That's Lucy, she said, and paused. One hand lifted to stroke the throat of a shoulder raven, but it only nibbled at fingers until it realized no more food was to be found there. Another tricky creature tried perching on the hand that grasped the bag, though it found little purchase. Only the smarter ones remained in trees, waiting patiently -- sometimes appealing to her with calls of "Food!" peppered with flattery, deference, and creative threats.

Your father still have his ravens? Vesper asked, returning to her task.



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POSTED: Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:39 pm

The whistling had come from a small bird, at least, small for a raven. They were rather large up close. In mass, it was almost terrifying. Marlowe could imagine, as a mind trained to think for war might, of the flock descending and turning on some hapless wolf. Within this theoretical idea he calculated the loss, wondered at his guess, and dismissed it. Surely the same thoughts had come to these people before.

Her question made his face harden, a little, but all talk about his father seemed to do such a thing.

He might, Marlowe's low voice was strange. I ain't seen him since I was a kid, and he only had one then.

Then, as if realizing his slip, the dark coyote frowned.

Did you teach her to do that? the Bellum asked more directly, though did not move from his place under the tree. In the dappled light he did not need to squint to eye the dark birds, some perched and some flying, all of them bright eyed. He wondered, again, if this was blasphemy in some way and his rational mind argued the thought. It was no different than a horse.

One of the ravens, big and shaggy, swallowed a hunk of gore. Marlowe's lip twitched, but this was the only sign he gave of any disturbance.


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Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:51 pm

Vesper paused in tossing scraps of grain and meat to look at the other. Ibsen, she agreed after a moment, fetching memory -- but her eyes lingered a moment more before she hardened them at another spunky juvenile bird aiming to bite the grain bag. Was it odd that she had not occurred the de le Poer children might dislike their father? She knew little about where they came from or how close they had been with Ezekiel -- but she remembered that man as her Aquila and so recalled the name with respect. Not everyone's fathers were so loved, though; her own was an itchy scar and dark brand on her siblings, while others simply existed.

She did not pry. She did not really like talking about fathers.

Blue eyes flicked to the small bird, who flew now with the others, and she shook her head. Taught herself, I think. A lot of them can talk -- they pick on a lot by themselves. The cries of Food! Meat! Corn! proved which words were most rewarding when adopted. I do train them, though -- as much as you can train smart birds. You probably already know they scout for us. Lot of them do that on their own, too, if they understand it means more food. But the young ones -- they start reporting every coyote returning to Inferni territory. It took patience, and Stark helped them learn more than Ves did, she suspected.



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POSTED: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:39 pm

Sometimes he thought he wanted to feel hate, but he could not hate someone he had barely known. He had been raised on promises made and broken, over and over, and he had kept only one promise true. The threat of it being compromised by a man was enough to drive anyone to violence. Enough violence to fill his heart and spill out into his hands, to make that internal silence into a far greater action.

All they had left were memories, and the more he drifted, the easier it was to forget.

Yeah, I knew they was smart, he offered, and let his gaze focus on the flock. They did look smart, even though many—the longer he watched—proved to be just as childish and clumsy as a less ghoulish looking animal. Marlowe guessed they were younger, from their size, but did not think this was the case with all. Some, like the one that had whistled, were small anyway.

Does that one talk? Marlowe asked, and nodded his shaggy chin towards the bird she had called Lucy.


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Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:23 pm

I claimed a Lucy on the wiki for you. :B

Smartasses, maybe, Vesper thought, but she tilted her head and grinned at one of the birds flying overhead, gliding on big wings. Any animal could be called smart, even the horses that lived in herds with dominant mares and learned tricks under bridle and saddle -- but the ravens were so... coyote-like. The species were sisters, tricksters in folklore, named scavengers by the wolves yet more clever by half than most of the rest of them. It was a kinship Vesper understood. It was almost natural.

Ves frowned at the question and sought the small bird. She was timid, generally in the midst of the flock where she could not be seen, but fascination was obvious in her shiny black eyes. She'd perched somewhere above Marlowe and whistled down at him before croaking.

No -- don't think so, she said. I don't know if she can't or if she doesn't want to. She paused as the little bird flitted its tail. She likes you.

As if by suggestion or purpose, a great and shaggy raven fell from the leaves and landed onto a braced shoulder. Stark stared at Marlowe then began to preen his large beak through her feral mane. She didn't really feel his claws.



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POSTED: Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:30 pm

There was a lot to be said for this partnership—more to it than Marlowe himself really understood. His namesake had been a terribly clever animal, wise enough to know that an alliance was valuable. It seemed, even now, that this had worked out well. There were more ravens here than he had ever seen before, though many had lived in the southwest. Those were less friendly.

Another whistle made Marlowe's ears swivel. He glanced upwards, only to turn his amber eyes back to Vesper as her own raven appeared. Large and wild looking, the bird suited the coywolf. Marlowe had never really considered such a thing before, though he had been exposed to it. Too much of this reminded him of his father, though Ezekiel and Ibsen were fading memories in his mind.

Without abandoning his position under the tree, Marlowe lifted his arm. He had seen Ithiel do the same many times with the vulture, and was more comfortable than having a bird so close to his head. Peering up, he made another whistle—a much higher version of the noise he had made before.


User avatar
Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:38 pm

Wanna wrap dis up? We don't have to obviously -- but wrote a kind of an "out" into this since I didn't know what else to write.


See galleries for credit.

Vesper smiled at the high whistle -- a call and an answer as the small bird flew back toward the coyote, shy but fascinated. She did not stop to see if Lucy landed on him, instead walking toward back through the grove, tossing dead things from the bag. The lull of conversation did not mean a lull in the ravens' activity, and they bustled now as much as ever, flying and playing and screaming their opinions and desires. Stark fended the rudest off from Vesper, perched and rewarded with a bit of meat now and again.

That one likes grain, the Falconer informed Marlowe, staring back toward him though a couple narrow trees stood between them now. Food is the fastest way to a raven's heart. She smiled after this -- wondering if Lucy would choose Marlowe as Stark had chosen Ves, or Skel had chosen Sparrow. He would have his work cut out communicating by anything but a series of whistles -- but Ves supposed he might see it as a challenge.

She called out in the corvine tongue occasionally, naming certain birds, asking after the health of others, of chicks about to fly, as she wandered through the woods doing one of her favorite jobs.



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