[P] We will persist until all that's left is a perfect sphere.
P. Ares
#1
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She had left her thoughts in the ruins of Vinátta.


The place of her birth was now little more than overgrown trails and thick forests. Its homes – once so unique and significant to the pack – looked to Thyri like solid hills. It had taken her some sniffing to locate the little rounded den that she had grown up in, and some time more to find a way in.


There was still a shadow of old smells, tucked away beneath the scents of earth and grass; of foxes and moles; of rot and decay, and, as Thyri had inhaled deeply that day within the dark, damp depths of her childhood home, she imagined that she was breathing in the very last remnants of a bright and innocent past.


After leaving Vinátta, she and Merlin had hugged the coast and carried on in secure and supportive silence until the strong scents of pack territory began to sift into their nostrils.


"This must be it," Merlin surmised, stretching out his neck to sniff delicately at the border, his nostrils dancing. He turned his head to Thyri. "I don't recognize the scent. Do you?"


Subdued from her return to Vinátta's old territory, Thyri only shook her head. Where time and time again he might banter playfully with her or make some humorous remark, recognized her need for space and quiet in this moment and merely tilted back his head to call for someone – anyone – to greet them.


OOC: Southeast border, near Bluegrass. We could either have the reunion here, or move further into MV territory first. c:

[WC — 248]


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#2
So long already spent within the Vale pack and in turn plenty of time spent just barely getting to know some of his pack fellows to ensure he at least knew names and sight of each individual to avoid any embarressment upon his part, it had also served another purpose. One in which to some degree he had regretted not having acted upon a whole lot sooner than he had, but then again to have the simple knowledge that both Elizabeth and Elijah had been alive this whole time after having spent so long assuming the worst felt like some kind of blessing even if they were just two of the few in which Ares had hoped to see again.

Of course his younger siblings had been hurt in many ways, he could see that in the way they now behaved compared to what he once remembered of them - but then again it were only to be expected to whatever degree. Who would be able to remain how they had once been when themselves shoved into such a situation?

But that mattered not now.
Now Ares were going to make sure that he at the very least spent some time with the pair to make up for lost time, even try finding a way to make it a little better now they were amongst family again even if not so many compared to what they were once used to.

A stamping hoof and a frustrated neigh was what swiftly snapped the older grey male's olive gaze to the younger female that sat astride the stallion that bore her, despite the tough exterior that she so often bore a flash of guilt passed across her features under her older siblings gaze. "Elizabeth, not so hard on poor Arte. He may be getting used to you and Elijah now but doesn't mean he won't throw you at the first opportunity. Pay attention to what he's telling you - even if Arte can't speak there are other ways for him to teach you to properly ride if you . . . . " Pay attention, I know Ares you've said that already. Maybe would be better if me and Elijah traded places though?" No effort were made on the older grey male's part for chastizing the girl for having interupted him for if nothing else he were in some way glad that she had made some effort to remember his words.

So instead he settled for bringing the large stallion to a gentle stop and extending his arms out and upwards to offer his young sister help down as in turn Elijah hovered nearby eagerly ready for his turn upon the stallion. It had only been when the pair had done so did the trio's ear's perk at the call that requested the pressence of someone - anyone - to meet them. A loner then? Or someone from one of the other packs come to vist? But there were something about that voice, something so familliar . . . . .

"Stay here, or at least follow at a slow pace . . . . . . . And don't even think about arguing." With that a look was shot to both younger siblings, the stern look daring either of them to try. "Oh come on, it's not like anything bad will happen to us. Not with big bad Ares the archer around." Elijah rolled his eyes as the older male began to trot off in the direction of the calls origins, given that although not especially close it were not too far either so good time was made in covering the distance and the visitors came into view. Only when Ares got nearer did he instantly recognise Thyri, a smile of greeting quick to form upon his maw until olive eyes fixed upon her traveling companion did a mixture of puzzlement and surprise fix itself upon his features instead.

"It can't be . .. . . . . Merlin?" Well who could blame Ares for foregoing any form of polite greeting, especially given the circumstances this in particular being the reason he approached the pair cautiously.

___________________________________
OOC; Muse went a little cracy, sorry!
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Ares will usually be in his Optime form and will often be seen wearing a clear quartz arrowhead necklace unless otherwise stated.
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#3
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After the last of his song had been claimed by the surrounding atmosphere, Merlin lowered his nose and held a soft look against the features of his companion's pale face. "It's strange, isn't it? Almost like... visiting a ghost." His eyes were warm and gentle and Thyri felt a her heart ache. "You have all your old memories, but nothing looks quite like how you remember it."


"Even the smells," she managed thickly. "They're just strong enough to make everything nostalgic, but too weak to feel anything but sadness." Thyri met her lover's eyes and Merlin understood. He knew that Shiloh – or, some of her, anyway – had recently been interred there. That had been the last time that she visited the place of her childhood, of her birth.


For Merlin, pack life had been largely transient. Born in Cercatori d'Arte, he grew up in Casa di Cavalieri only to follow his father to Midnight Shores, to be with his mother. And then, of course, there had been Salsola, though that was hardly by design. Returning to Casa, though, had been the closest that Merlin had come to feeling what Thyri was experiencing. The only difference, of course, was that Casa was still a living, thriving pack, whereas Vinátta had succumbed to misfortune and loss.


The former slave was about to respond when an answer to his earlier call arrived in the form of solid, living shapes. Both wolves turned their eyes to the riders and, almost in unison, both of them realized the same thing with a similar awareness.


Ares Knight.


But it was only Merlin who recognize the other two figures along with him and, if Thyri's expression was one of surprise, Merlin's was the very definition of incredulity.


Jaws agape and eyes wide, Merlin could scarcely breathe. And now, this time, it was his time to visit a ghost of his past.


"...I... Ares? Really?" His eyes were restless, flicking from Ares to Elizabeth to Elijah and back again, over and over. "How...? Where...? I mean, nobody knew where you were!" he said of his littermates. It hadn't dawned on him, in that moment, that that had been exactly what people likely said of him.


OOC: Apologies for the wait! D:

[WC — 377]


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#4
OOC; So sorry for the major delay in my response to this!
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It were probably to be a good thing that his two younger littermates had chosen to wait a precious few moments before ignoring their elder brother's instructions and in turn followed him - or more accurately encouraged Arte to do just that so they could at the very least feign ignorance and blame it all upon the large stallion. After all; the large speckled horse did tend to have a mind of his own and were wilful in his own way so anything were possible, but either way at least on this particular occasion it proved useful for it saved having to seek out the younger siblings.

Of course for the most part though Thyri did receive a look of curiousity from Elizabeth and Elijah both for a time but their full attention were quick to be focused upon Merlin - so surprised yet uncertain were they by what their eyes were telling them that both had halted a short distance from both the border and the trio that were gathered there. The only one of the small group of mistwalkers that appeared somewhat unfazed by the gravity of the situation was Arte, the stallion satisfied that the two younger luperci had removed themselves from his back did the stallion approach - after all he did remember the friendly female so what were the problem?

It almost seemed to take this long for both Elizabeth and Elijah to even consider moving nearer especially when Merlin spoke breaking the spell of wonder in which had previously entrapped them both. "We thought the same of you . . . . You were gone for so long we'd thought . . . . . " Ear's flattened and eyes dropped away as Elizabeth went silent, unable to even put into words her thoughts. "We thoguht something really bad had happened to you, didn't think would ever see you again." Elijah managed to finish, offering Elizabeth a reassuring smile before both focused their gaze's back upon their long absent littermate before daring to finally close the distance to embrace him somewhat uncertainly.

It had been as the trio of littermates interacted that Ares finally dared to shift his attention and olive gaze away from his younger siblings and turned to focus quizzically upon Thyri before eventually allowing a small smile of greeting formed upon his features. "So; you managed to find Mwelin? After so long searching? I'm glad he's both somewhere safe and with someone who will make sure of that." Ares finally spoke.
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Ares will usually be in his Optime form and will often be seen wearing a clear quartz arrowhead necklace unless otherwise stated.
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#5
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"Yeah," he replied as Elizabeth's voice faded. "Yeah, me too." Remembering what had happened to him that fateful day was not something he enjoyed, but he knew it was important for his siblings to know. "After I left Midnight Shores, I got caught in a trap." Thyri took a step nearer, her presence warm and reassuring, and Merlin felt comforted. Concisely, he told of his enslavement by Salsola and of his time in Portland, where he was sold off and passed around as a slave for many moons before their brother, Arthur, found and freed him. He told of how he had spent a brief amount of time in Casa di Cavalieri before being reunited with Thyri and, eventually, moving to Cour des Miracles to be with her.


When he was finished, Merlin studied the faces of his siblings carefully, looking between them without blinking as though he was afraid they would disappear again in the flicker of a moment his eyes were closed.


Ares looked good, the younger brother thought, just as Merlin had remembered him. But there was something different about Elijah that he couldn't quite place. Was it that he had filled out since the last time he had laid eyes upon him? Or was there something more sinister at play?


"Elizabeth... Your face," Merlin breathed, finally looking upon his sister – the only girl in a litter of boys – once more. He lifted a hand upwards toward her, slowly, haltingly. "What happened?"


With his return to Casa di Cavalieri, the tale of Midnight Shores' quiet dissolution following the equally quiet disappearance of his mother, elder sister, and these two littermates of his had been one he had eventually found out. But of their whereabouts, nobody could say. He imagined Arthur's relief and joy when he informed their brother of the news and a smile spread over his lips. It faded just as quickly. "What about Mom? And Esme?" he asked, looking from Ares to his two littermates.


Thyri was silent as Merlin reunited with his family, her chest tight and her eyes warm with the effort to keep emotion from spilling out of her. She was glad when Ares engaged her in conversation. "He found me, really," she said with a smile. "He rescued me from those flowers." Looking at him, Thyri felt her heart swell and it took her some moments before she could tear her eyes away from him to look upon Ares again. "Yes, me too," she said softly, glancing back at Merlin. "And I'll do everything I can to make sure it stays that way."


OOC: <3

[WC — 436]


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#6
No words were spoken all the time in which Merlin offered his explanation in regards to what had occured to him and in turn what he had to go through during his 'dissapearance' - the mere thought of what Merlin could have gone through during his time within Salsola wasn't worth lingering on, for no doubt their worse fears could simply just be the worst in which their minds could concoct. And even if for whatever reason that their assumptions were correct it mattered not for he were away from that place now and in turn safe within the court with Thyri. And of course, for them to know that he were safe and somewhere relatively familliar to them was also an added bonus, but all the same it were still difficult to believe that it were truly Merlin that stood before them despite what Ares eyes continued to tell him.

A sad smile flickered across Elizabeth's face as a hand subconciously were raised to her face before being allowed to drop and a simple shrug being the first to be offered in way of an answer. "We had our own problems after we escorted Dad home where he belonged. Probably not as bad as what you went through, but it's in the past now." With that a more cheery grin flashed across the girl's features as Elijah simply nodded his agreement.

Though at hearing the beginning's of how both Thyri and Merlin had found each other once more after so long searching, this being enough to make Ares feel somewhat happier for the pair knowing that there were to be little chance of them becoming seperated from the other any time soon. Any words that had been about to burst forth were quick to be silenced as ear's twitched towards Merlin at the query in regards to the whereabouts of their mother and other sister, though for the most part he made attempts to keep his features neutral the sadness could not be kept from the older brother's eyes as olive orbs simply stared upon Merlin for what seemed an eternity in silence.

"There's been no sight or sound of them for a long time, no idea if they are alive and well or not." It were spoken matter-of-fact and without much emotion, but not intentially - after so long to not react to the fact that there were the chance that both their mother or Esme were possibly never to be seen again it were just Ares's way of coping with such thoughts. Thankful for the distraction in the form of Thyri going into further details of their reunion did Ares refocus his attention upon her and offer a smile and a small nod in way of showing he had heard her speak.

"I'm glad for you . . . . for you both, it's reassuring to know." Were all that he could dare manage.
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#7
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Merlin offered Elizabeth a silent, measured look before nodding subtly. Whether real or simply a figment of his overactive imagination, their Courtier brother believed that is littermates had gone through crueler days than they were prepared, or willing, to disclose. He would check in with Elijah or Elizabeth later, he decided, when there wasn't an audience to hear all the dark and grisly details. Merlin looked away from his littermates, his eyes on his girlfriend, and hoped (without much conviction) that there weren't any dark and grisly details to hear.


Watching Merlin with his brothers and sister, Thyri couldn't help but be reminded of her own, tightly knit, family. With a gently aching pang, she thought of Myrkr and wished she had stopped to see him on their way to Mistfell Vale – to ask him how he was doing and to tell him that she loved him. With subtly furrowed brows, Thyri decided that she would make it a point to stop in Amherst on their way back to Cour des Miracles. If luck would have it, he would be home. But even if they had to see him while he was working in Biff's Bar, that would be something. All she wanted was a moment, just to see that he was okay.


Blinking away her thoughts, Thyri's attention rushed back to their present company when she heard Merlin ask after his mother and elder sister. Silent as a ghost, she stepped nearer still until she was close enough to slip her fingers into his rough, warm hand. She saw the way Ares stared at Merlin and her stomach clenched. Gently, she squeezed Merlin's hand.


Merlin's ears drooped. "I figured," he admitted, dropping his eyes and nodding. There was a small, sad smile on his dark lips that hurt Thyri's heart to see. "But I had to ask." It was torture to know, but the alternative was maddening.


When their eyes met, Merlin's pain was palpable. I'm sorry, Love, her face said and Merlin gave her hand a responsive squeeze.


Looking at Ares again, Thyri smiled appreciatively. "Thank you, Ares." Then, after the glancing off within the depths of the Vale, she looked back at the grey man. "We traveled from the Court to visit a new pack we heard was in the area," she explained, glancing at Elizabeth and Elijah. "But it seems we got quite a bit more. Is this Mistfell Vale?"


[WC — 414]


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#8
To have to tell Merlin of the absence of their mother and sister was bound to never be an easy thing to do, especially given the nature of their absence. As macabre as such a thing would sound to another for them both to have been dead and literally buried somewhere would have considerably more preferable than for either of them to simply not be there and in turn to have absolutely no idea where they were and what had happened to them in tunr, a bit like the case with Merlin. But thankfully on his part at the very least he had made some form of return even if it were to reside within the courtier pack with Thyri - such a detail was insignificant for at least he were back somewhere safe. It were just a shame that not this were not the case with everyone that went missing for extended periods of time, though no knowledge is ever good it simply makes it all the worse for not knowing.

But that was enough musing over it all, Ares had spent so much time already doing just that and it had finally gotten to the point in which - willingly or not - he had come to expect and accept the worst had happened for what other alternative was there? "I know. I'm just sorry the news wasn't better, or at least there were some sort of news." Ares apologised, sure it were not exactly something in which could be helped but all the same it didn't mean he felt any less guilt for having nothing more to offer.

Of course thankfully though it were a little pleasant to have something of a reunion with at least one seemingly lost family member, at the same time it were good to get down to some form of 'business'. Eyes and ears focusing upon Thyri as she spoke of both her and Merlin's reasons for coming out this way; naturally such a thing made sense for why else would pack individuals purposefully come to an area that they would at least suspect had another pack residing within the area? So a simple nod and smile was what first dared to grace Ares' features before speaking.

"That you certainly did. And you would be correct; I'm sorry for my bad manners. Welcome to Mistfell Vale, come; no doubt you came to do more than just chat by the border." Ares confirmed cheerily, stepping aside to allow the pair of courtiers access to the lands before them. After all regardless of who they were it would have been bad manners to have himself refuse right?
avatar by sunny
Ares will usually be in his Optime form and will often be seen wearing a clear quartz arrowhead necklace unless otherwise stated.
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#9
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Merlin shifted his eyes away from her face but their hands remained intertwined, palms together and fingers linked. She watched him look from Ares and back to his littermates, the smile on his face told her that he had found something positive in the gloom of his elder brother's words. "Knowing you three are healthy and safe is pretty good news to me," he said in a gentle voice. Whatever had become of Skye and Esme, at least the rest of them were okay.


With their introductions made and their reunion over, Thyri addressed Ares and told of the reason for their arrival at the border of this unknown pack. She was glad when his response confirmed what she had hoped: this was Mistfell Vale. They had arrived and, in their curiosity about the new pack, had also found peace for Merlin. She met her beau's verdant gaze and smiled back at Ares. "We had hoped to, anyway," she said cheerfully. "If your leaders might allow us to stay for a short time."


Glancing back at Elijah and Elizabeth, Merlin grinned. "It might be nice to meet your leaders, too." Thyri nodded agreeably and, looking from her boyfriend back to Ares, waited for his signal to either allow or deny them past the invisible borders and into the Vale's hidden heart.


OOC: We could probably wrap up with your next post. c:

[WC — 224]


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