[AW+] The Pressure Is On

The dark night encapsulated the Fort. Above him a clear sky looked like black ink had been spilt, the only interruption to its abyss was the single bright light of Fenris’ sleeping shadow. Brown ears twitched back towards the Fort as the sound of a canine wandering along a near-by path. With a twitch of his nose he smelt that it was simply Tennyson, probably heading off to bed after returning the last of the horses to the stables. The Lune was on edge now more than ever. Deep down he had hoped that whoever was setting the traps was simply testing them, poking at their boundaries as an insult. However, the fact that some of the children had found Hartt’s blood and fur by the border had chilled him to the core. This was no longer a game. Whoever was doing this to them meant war. In the coming moons the evil would show its ugly head or continue to increase their tricks against the Cavaliers, either way it was clear to Luca that the intention had changed from harm to kill.

As he stood guard outside the Fort golden eyes scanned the forest for signs of disturbances. All he could hear was crickets chirping nearby, bidding him to sleep. Why was he standing here waiting for something? Just as he turned to go through the gate he froze, his nose catching a whiff of something familiar. Without a second thought he bolted away from the Fort, his claws digging into the ground as he searched frantically for the man who belonged to the scent. “Captain!” he heard beside him, as a large body pushed through nearby bushed. “Howland! Thank Fenris you’ve come back!” It was then that Luca realized the lack of Isaac and Arthur at the dog’s side. Before he could open his mouth Howland answered. “Hostages sir. I was on a patrol and when I came back they were gone. I tracked them to a building in Halifax but it was guarded.” His brows frowned as he began to think. “There’s no time to waste then. We must inform the others.”

With haste the pair made their way to the Fort. There would be no time for grandeur, there needed to be a meeting and it had to happen now. A quick call for gathering rose through the air from the Lune, as he and Howland came t a pause by the gate. The pack arrived with urgency, confused by the midnight call, and even more confused that it was not in the Great Hall. Luca called for silence as the late comers began to arrive. “As most of you know Lyris and I sent Howland, Isaac, and Arthur into Halifax to find out the source of our troubles.” The last voices faded. “Howland has returned with a report.”

The guard stepped forward, leaning on his spear. It was obvious the man was tired from the week of tracking. “While I was on a patrol Arthur and Isaac were taken in the middle of the night. I tracked their scent to a location in Halifax but the building was guarded. Seems to be the same sons of bitches who were messing with the borders. I have hope they are still alive. There was little blood but not enough to mean anything.” Turning to look at Lyris and Luca he added, "It's the Syndicate. They've come back."

OOC: Attendance of all members is assumed. Please wait for Ann to post, and for me to post again. Members will have an option of 2 actions of retaliation. More information in other posts. Votes will be counted Thursday night and a sign up sheet for our attack team or 2 spies will go up onto the plot post. 500+ words

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Lyris has presented option one for retaliation: attack! Please allow Melissa to post next with option two, and then members may post and have their characters vote! (+600)

The Lune's call was meant to wake the slumbering, but on Lyris it was ineffective. In this midnight hour, she was wide awake.

The mother had been curled on the old tattered couch in her home's main living space, her eyes glittering in the dark as they flitted between the door to her children's room and the windows. She was a silent guardian.

Perhaps, of course, she was acting on paranoia. The strangers that had threatened Casa di Cavalieri had never penetrated far into the pack's territory, remaining intruders on only the outskirts and causing mayhem with mostly harmless traps and threats. To think there was any possibility an enemy could make it so far into the lands that they reached Fort Kingsbury without being detected was nearly insane.

But her children lay only feet away. Lyris would take no chances. And so here she would lay, unable to sleep, the Sentinel humming with the adrenaline that could pin down and rip out an enemy's throat within the span of several heartbeats. The thought, at least, could be comforting to her offspring.

This adrenaline, however, lent itself for a different purpose. When the moon was at its highest point, something split the night. Luca's call arched high above the Fort's crumbling wall, urging Cavaliers from their dreary slumbers to wonder at what may cause a disturbance at such an ungodly hour. And then their hearts would turn and their breath would catch. This could only mean something was wrong.

Lyris was out of the house before her mate had even finished his cry.

She stood at Luca's right hand, saying nothing. Despite her silence, Lyris remained painfully present in the sequence of events to follow. The crowd of murmuring Knights was hushed, and then a ragged-looking Howland stepped forward. His weight was lent to his spear, and something shadowed his expression. Lyris's eyes darkened considerably with knowing before the guardsman had even spoken his part. Arther and Isaac were nowhere to be found. She was not surprised at their loss, after the circumstances of Hartt's sudden disappearance.

But then the word Syndicate pealed through the air, and Lyris's eyes burned with shock and fire. The sound of a pin dropping could have been heard throughout the sudden heartbeat of dead silence that froze Casa di Cavalieri. And then the cries and whispers and shouts burst forward, all bleeding from a body of men and women that hadn't any idea what to do with this new information.

So they had come back. Fury burned, slow and hot, in Lyris's gut. The bastards.

The Lune and Sola allowed the splutter of conversation for only a moment. It was Lyris that regained control.

"Listen." The word cut like a blade through the Cavalier's talking, and silence fell once again. The Sola felt the eyes of her family, friends, and subjects upon her, all their attention targeted. They needed direction. They were confused and fearful and angry. So she gave it to them.

"We attack." The Stryder let the quiet lapse, the enormity of it sinking in, before continuing. "When the Syndicate was at our doorstep last, we acted too slow. They sprung on us with an ambush, and we paid the price. We cannot have a repeat of such a battle, so close to the Fort like before."

Lyris stepped forward again, her pale arm bright with the light of the moon as she swung it to point towards the dark and tangled forest that lay beyond the Fort. "The longer we wait the more time they have to recruit members, sharpen their blades, and spar. They've already got a plan. They have Hartt, and Isaac, and Arthur. We need to get them back, and put an end to this before it evolves into something we cannot fight. Now." Her words fell like dead weight upon the ears of the listening Cavaliers. Lyris's eyes glittered with what she had said, with her surety of the success of her plan and safety of her people. No one can touch us. She stepped back.

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The Syndicate. A snarl grew in the leader’s throat and his teeth shone in the glint of the moon, clenched in frustration. He had through they had been taken care of. The gang had attacked their home and they had fought them off, winning the battle and leaving their bodies to rot. The bones of the Syndicate still lay in the valley, unmarked and uncared for. It had never crossed his mind that they hadn’t finished them for good. Somewhere they must have been sloppy. Somewhere one of them must have slipped away. Or was it possible that the Syndicate had spread?

It was hard to think with the chatter that erupted at the name. Fortunately his mate spoke up with confidence and ferocity that he had come to expect. Listening to her words his blood boiled in anticipation, his body readying to take action beside her. Then she reminded him of what was at stake. They had hostages. They had the advantage. Taking a moment he thought, and for once the Lune thought of something that perhaps would not end in blood….for now.

Looking to his mate he spoke softly, “Normally I would be all for a fight. Fenris knows they want a war and when the time is right we will show them what fear is but I think there is room to try something….a little more mindful.” Golden eyes were soft as he looked at Lyris, willing her to give him a moment to explain. Turning to the pack his voice hardened. “They have our brothers and sister. They have been planning and testing us. It’s time we get an even playing field and see what they have to offer before we charge in blind. We’ll send a few spies in the cover of night to find out what we are up against and get our family out.” Speaking up again before Lyris could shoot him down with a growl he asked the pack, “They are your family too. Which action do you choose?”

OOC: Luca has presented the second option of sending in a small team of spies at night to gain information and sneak out the hostages. Please include your vote in your OOC section of your post. Voting starts now and ends Thursday night. 300+ words

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Optime | Fort Kingsbury; night | aNPC: Indi (+1,065)

Syndicate Revenge Plot

Teagan votes with Luca (Option 2: Use Stealth)

Giant post, sorry guys >______<

“Hurt?” The falcon chirped softly as she shuffled closer to her companion. Her talons scratched at the rough bark, causing one of the other raptors to stir from their sleep at the prospect of an unfortunate mouse having wandered into their cage. Upon seeing Teagan in there though, and her closeness to Agrona, they quietly returned to their slumber.

She twisted her arm, idly examining the cloth bandage that covered her forearm. “A little,” she confirmed. It’d bled pretty badly, and had looked far worse than what it really had been when she’d returned to the Fort a few nights ago. Veri had gotten her patched up though, and the injury had become nothing more than a mild nuisance when pressure was applied to it. The Officer had counted herself lucky that she’d had her wits about her when the incident had happened, and, for his sake, he was lucky it had been her and not one of the Junior Cadets or someone else.

“Bad Cavalier,” Agrona hissed as she gingerly reached out to pick at the wraps on Teagan’s arm.

Teagan made a noncommitting grunt, “Hnn.” She didn’t know Iorek very well, but, from what little time she had known him, the bear of a man had seemed pretty sorry for the accident. While it hadn’t been too serious, it could have been, and, for that, the Stryder had not bothered to try to console the Recruit for his mistake. He was punishing himself enough that she didn’t feel the need to call attention to what had transpired on their patrol to anyone.

The sudden, urgent call of her father caused the falconer and her feathered cohort to abruptly cease their conversation. It was close to midnight. Given the recent events and the time, both knew whatever the impromptu meeting would be for would not be good.

With a hasty goodbye, Teagan quickly headed towards the gate…a strange place to call for a meeting. Her father, mother, and Howland stood there in the pale moonlight. I thought he was sent on a mission the other day… Her canary eyes washed over each of them with scrutiny as she sensed their tense energy. Issac and Arthur weren’t there, but they had been sent out with Howland…

Teagan stood rigidly some distance away from the leaders, wanting to afford them the proper space so that they could speak whatever was to be spoken. More Cavaliers came pouring out of their homes and the Courthouse, some of them still sleepy-eyed from the hour. She recognized the koi-colored figure of her littermate, Indi, as she detached herself from the masses and trotted over to her. Being in her Lupus form, Teagan was pretty sure she had just been woken up like most of the pack. She shifted up onto two legs, her sapphire eyes full of silent questions as the sisters became eye-level with one another.

“What’s going on?” Indi whispered as her eyes wandered over the throng of Cavaliers as they gathered around.

Teagan leaned her head towards her sister. “I don’t know, but Isaac and Arthur aren’t here from that mission Mom and Dad sent them on with Howland,” she replied in hushed tones.

Indi turned to Teagan sharply. “Are you sure?”

The Officer glanced about the moonlit faces. “Well, they aren’t here, and Howland looks like he’s been running for days.”

Luca called for silence then, and both sisters’ spines went rigid with attention. As with everyone else, they wanted to know why he had called for the sudden meeting. The Lune quickly turned the speech over to Howland not moments after gaining the pack’s silence. The exhausted glaive-wielder spoke, and Teagan felt her lips twitch with anger at what he had to say.

So Arthur and Issac had been taken hostage? And, what’s more, the occurrences at their borders were linked to their captors. When a name was given of whom these aggressors were, Teagan’s canary eyes turned sharply onto her old mentor.


They were the Luperci that had hurt Sylvie, that had scarred her so heavily that her injuries made her easier to describe to someone new than any other defining feature she had. They were also the ones that had brought about her great grandfather’s retirement. They’d attacked her home before she was born, and, now, they were back.

Murmurs spread like wildfire then, only to be silenced by Lyris.

The Sola offered a plan, and Teagan felt her boiled blood howl in agreement for the justice her mother sought. They needed to save their packmates, and the Stryder was more than ready to give them some of their own medicine. As ready as she was to agree with her mother’s decision though, the less heated side of her mind brought forth a worrisome reminder.

Her father seemed to be of the same mind too. Luca offered a different option, and, at the end of it, left it up for the pack to choose.

Teagan’s canary eyes shifted to Indi and then to the pack. “I side with Father,” she announced, bold and loud. It might come as a surprise to a few. With how much she was like her mother, some may have thought she would side with her. “They have hostages, and if we barge right in there, they will have plenty of time to kill those hostages before we may even have a chance to fight our way to them.”

Her lips curled. “If we all go in, swords swinging and teeth bared, they may also very well account for that, and also take advantage of our main force being away to attack the Fort. They could be using our packmates to lure us into a trap. We don’t know Halifax like we do our own territory. The whole city is a maze.” Indi and she would know. It took them forever just to figure out where their grandmother’s house was amongst the concrete labyrinth.

She took a breath.

“If we send our stealthiest Cavaliers, we stand a better chance of knowing our reformed—” It had been years since the last attack. Who knew what Syndicate was like now? “—enemy while ensuring we don’t risk the lives of our packmates.”

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Teagan Stryder
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OOC; Munroe votes with Lyris - option one; retaliation.

He had been struggling to sleep for several nights now and for the most part Munroe were more than willing to have blamed such things upon the rumours - well, they were not as it had turned out now - that had been sweeping through the ranks of casa like a wild fire gone out of control. Strange how although in so many ways different it did seem to remind the young male of though not directly simlliar to what had occured prior to New Dawn's downfall, it were true that compared to this current scenario that were the near complete opposite. These thoughts plagued Munroe for some before he had finally allowed himself to drift off to sleep before just as swiftly brought back to wakefullness as the howl rang through the lands summoning all together.

Though he needed little time in which to seek out the meeting place where many had already gethered and any stragglers filtered in within seemingly a matter of minutes before the lune's voice rang out and spoke of all that had not only occured but of what would need to be considered and done with the news he had shared. The clammour of voices in response to the revelation for the most part were ignored by Munroe, a sense of shock had seeped into his being in the knowledge that this syndicate had dared to even attempt to attack this pack once more after having been effectively run off before was hard to believe but all the same an appaling thought.

It had been for this main reason that his decision had made itself clear to him even before the choices for the majority had been put forward by the Sola and Lune, even if he were potentially not allowing himself to think rationally and allow himself to consider the pros and cons of each choice.

"Stealth might work, but what if it doesn't? What if these thugs still decide to come after someone, anyone even after we have rescued our family. Next time it could be worse." It was true that Munroe could only be considered to be thinking negatively, but what if this were to become a reality rather than simply a possibly paranoid theory?

"I vote with Lyris, attack them when thery least expect it, show them we are not scared of them and are stronger than we may appear. Let them feel the fear in which they assume we are feeling, show them we are the stronger and will not bow to those cowards." It were certainly strange for him, Munroe were not often one who would sooner go for the more bloody path but it were not exactly everyday that events such as these occurred.
OOC: Rurik votes, surprisingly, with Luca: Stealth.

The Russian swept his eyes over the dark tree line, looking for any movement as he tread the well-worn patrol path around the Fort. He was still well within Casa's border, usually he would go further out and keep watch where their lands ended, but given the recent developments he decided it would be better to stay closer to home; closer to backup if it was needed. He very seriously doubted that anyone would be dumb enough to trespass this far into Casa's lands, though a part of him wished that they would. There was a threat to his family and he would eagerly take any excuse to remove that threat. He had heard rumors that one of their own had been seriously injured and taken. He was rather confused as to why the Sol and Lune hadn't sent anyone after the bastards yet, but he was sure they had their reasons. If he knew where the cowards were he would be more than willing to show them what happened when you messed with his family. The thought of stringing them up by their own traps and giving them a taste of their own medicine made his lips curl in a sadistic smirk.

The call to gather jerked him from his thoughts. "Gathering? This late at night? This can't be good." The silver and red eyed male turned and made best speed to the meeting place, though several others had made it there ahead of him due to how far his patrolling had taken him. He arrived just in time for the Lune to make his announcement. "So they had sent someone. I guess I missed that meeting then." He felt a small bit of satisfaction that he had had the same thought as his King and Queen, though quite a bit after them. That satisfaction was quickly abashed by the following news. Even more Cavaliers had been taken by this Syndicate. He didn't know of them as personally as the rest of the pack due to an absence he had had for a time, but he had learned enough upon returning to hate them all the same.

When the Sol and Lune made announced their choices for courses of action, the Russian was at first torn. He relished the thought of charging into the fray, sword swinging and blood spraying, but at the same time he agreed with Teagan. If they left the fort unguarded it would make for an excellent target. The image of returning home to find the fort ablaze made his blood boil. After a few seconds of quick thought he raised his hand to offer his opinion on the matter.

"Teagan makes several good points, my King and Queen. If we leave the Fort defenseless we may very well return to find our home in ruins. How best to catch a large fish if not with live bait, no? We are the biggest fish in this land, and they seem intent on mounting us on their wall. I say we send in a few Knights skilled in the arts of stealth and silence to remove this threat, this infection quickly and effectively. After all, as Veri can confirm, one does not remove an infection by beating the limb with a large stick, but by attacking it at it's core. A few quiet Knights can get in and out without being seen or heard much easier than a large force. Besides that, I find it insulting that we should use our full might against such cowardly krysy."

Content that he had made his point, his crossed his arms over his chest and awaited a final answer from his leaders. He would gladly support either choice they made.
Avi By Nat
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OOC Veri votes with Luca - Option 2: Use Stealth

She knew it wasn't healthy to be up at all hours of the night, especially due to the current circumstances. Not that Veri wasn't trying; she was in bed. And the only reason she could toss and turn here in the walls of her house was thanks to a recent (permanent) addition to the house, a certain dark furred male she now claimed as her mate. Rurik had left earlier in the night to walk the walls of the Fort, also claiming an unease under his fur that wouldn't allow him rest. It gave her both a sense of calm that her mate was out in the dark, watching, and yet caused another reason for unrest out of concern.

She could hear the faint sound of her children as they breathed in their sleep, something she thanked Fenris for. At least they were at ease enough to rest despite the encounters along their borders. Veri's eyes began to grow heavy as the night grew as dark as ink. Just as she hoped that, perhaps, she might get some sleep tonight, an urgent howl sent the Healer bolt upright in the bed, her ears listening hard. It was no call to arms, but something was definitely wrong. A pit of dread built in her stomach as she threw the furs aside and snatched her sword belt up, making haste toward the door. To her concern the call had originated from the gate, not the Great Hall.

Damon caught up to her as she exited the house, trotting beside her as Veri jogged toward Luca, Lyris, Howland, and a growing group of Cavaliers. A brief glance over the gathered faces revealed Rurik to already be present. Mother and son immediately shifted their paths accordingly so to fall beside the silver and red eyed male as Howland made his summary. It was short and conveyed news that brought alarm to those listening, but none so much as his final words; who these daring mutts were. The Syndicate was back. Veri's blood ran cold at the name. The cacophony of noise around them came across as muted as the Healer processed what this could mean. Damon had been just a pup at the time, Isobel still in her belly. Was this revenge? The Syndicate had been the bastards to instigate things, fools that they'd been.

Lyris's voice cut across the noise effortlessly, focusing Veri's gaze upon the newly appointed Sola by their sheer willpower alone. Lyris proposed to attack. At first Veri wanted to snarl and agree wholeheartedly. How dare these scoundrels come back again after Casa had obliterated them the first time? Did they want more punishment? And to take Hartt - she refused to believe the feral woman dead, not until she saw a body - and now this, to take Isaac and Arthur as hostages....it made her hackles rise and bristle. A hand clenched on the hilt of her sword, ready to march out that instant. Unburdened by a pregnancy, Veri could fight with even more ferocity now.

However, Luca's calming voice rose to counter Lyris's plan with one of his own; stealth. Veri had to take a deep breath to calm herself and let herself think. Last time brute force had been used, it'd bitten them in the tail by way of an ambush. Of course that could happen again, Veri wasn't naive, however if the spy's could gather intel on their forces, at the same time as they rescued those who needed it...that could prove the advantage. Before she could part her lips to speak, her mate beat her to the point, voicing near exactly what she had been planning to convey. An ever so slight smile pulled at the corners of her muzzle when he made the analogy about an infection. But Rurik was right.

The healer took a step forward a little closer to the Lune. "I agree with Luca. Right now we know nothing about them and they know a little about us, either from their current forays or an informant that somehow survived our last...encounter. Teagan and Rurik are also right. We have the disadvantage. A stealth mission has a better chance of changing that over charging in with the whole calvary, so to speak." Her piece spoken, she stepped back to stand beside Damon and Rurik.

Asuilaak votes with Luca - Option 2: Use Stealth. (400+)

When the Lune's call rose over the pack lands, Asuilaak was still awake. Despite knowing that, without a shadow of a doubt, that the enemy on their borders was not his enemy... Well, he still couldn't bring himself to sleep.

Barely bothering to pull his tunic over his head, he walked hand-in-hand with Shtiya out of the Courthouse. Their steps were determined and their expressions grim, even before they'd settled among the crowd. Pack members, kidnapped; borders, defiled; and fear, striking the Cadets to the core. Shtiya bristled at the news and Asuilaak squeezed her hand. This Syndicate was an old threat and hushed voices swirled around them at its mention.

Then, their focus shifted from Howland to the pack's Sola. Lyris proposed an attack, to bring the fight to them. She spoke of a conflict they hadn't known, of consequences they hadn't seen. Still, apprehension flared in Asuilaak's mind. Luca proposed, to his relief, a second option. A stealthier, more mindful approach.

Teagan spoke, proclaiming her support for her father; another Knight, though he didn't know the man's name, did not wish to wait; Rurik and Veri, to Asuilaak's pleasure, also valued stealth. Then, he realized rather suddenly, that Shtiya and he would have to speak up as well. ◄It's not safe to attack so soon,► Asuilaak murmured in their native tongue, not wanting to address the crowd until he and Shtiya were in agreement—or, at the very least, in agreement of what to say if their opinions differed.

It's not. Should I start? She asked, earning a quick nod from Asuilaak. After sharing another, worried glance with his best friend, Shtiya cleared her throat and began to speak, "We agree with our Lune, Luca. As much as I would like—no, love—to take the fight to them, our territory ends at our borders."

Shtiya and he had argued under the light of the moon and had only, in the past day or so, come to a unified conclusion on what would be a good course of action. Asuilaak took a small step forward and brushed Shtiya's shoulder, his rough voice raising as he continued her train of thought, "We know our land just as well, if not better, than they know the city. We don't have that advantage there, just like they don't have their advantage here." With that, he fell silent, letting Shtiya add anything he missed.

"We do not want to risk their numbers growing or their... Their resolve strengthening, but leaving our land unprotected and attacking them where they are their strongest does not seem like the right answer." Shtiya wrapped an arm around Asuilaak's shoulders and took a deep breath. This was going to be a long night, even when the crowd cleared.

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  • OOC - pp'ing Ghost Lorenzo here - He is not visible. | Jace and Honrin are voting for option 2: Stealth

    The night was her best advantage when the winds of the summer blew and the evening fall was as warm as the day before it. She was a warrior of the arctic and made for the freezing cold and snows that flowed above head height. The ease of this had always come to her, that these Southron wolves were challenged by such a climate had always made her smirk in amusement.

    The snow capped woman was arrogant in her strength as she stood atop the low rising hill listening to the King as he called his people to him. The dead of night when many would sleep but not the Queen of the north. Sleep never came easy to her not since the blood and cries of pain and suffering had rang in the isolation of her mind. She heard her own children calling to her for help, screaming in pain and it was enough to make Jace eschew sleep in favor of more palatable activities. These days she never slept without medication to take away those horrifying memories and replace them with blackness.

    The secui woman made her way towards the Fort, taking strides much larger than was normal, eating the ground beneath her ashen paws. She diverted towards the hide home that she and Temo had raised, not wanting to arrive without her mate.
    "Awaken Temo. We are needed." It was futility with which she spoke for he was already awake and ready to leave stood tall as a luperci should be. She joined him within minutes, her form elongating and lengthening until she too stood on her two feet.

    She reached for her weapons, a formidable bow and arrows, a deadly looking sword and knives a plenty strapped to her form. She had spent years mastering the weapons she held within her. Temo likewise had his staff and a few knives ready adn waiting. Wars had happened and they together had survived, she looked into his deep brown eyes and found her calm, the warrior woman had never been afraid of fighting but she had always needed calm.

    They gathered, all assembled before the Lune and Sola. Two younger wolves in their primes. Though right now Temo and Jace were some of the lowest ranked wolves in Casa, their reputations preceded them. Cercatori had long been a friend to Casa and so too had Midnight Shores, Jace's own son had married into the Knight line, to a younger daughter of the Knight patriarch. They were bound by blood and alliance, and really there had been no other place for the duo to trek to and try to make a new home within.

    Temo was a master wood-write and builder, known throughout Souls for his artful crafting of wooden furniture. She too was a master, of arrow and bows, and sword and knives. She was now eight and a half years into her training and a force to be reckoned with. Even as the years were passing her by, she was lithe and strong and fast, everything desired in warrior of note.

    The wave of heat passed over her and Jace stiffened as the two rulers put forth their ideas. There towards the back of the hall, exuding melancholy and rage was a spirit. Of course she could not see it, she never could, but she could sense the presence it gave off. The lady turned her head, trying to pinpoint its direction. This ghost was strong and truly angry, its rage was electric on her tongue. She shifted on her feet uncomfortable with the energy.

    "We do not know the areas these enemies covert. We must proceed with caution. Once before you fought these enemies but they may not be the same as you remember. Stealth is our ally if we wish to reclaim our lost pack-mates."

    She was a veteran of so many wars now she had lost count, their marks etched onto her scarred body for all to see. Her front side mutilated and her back torn and the skin shredded and stiffened over. Her ears, both the ends were gone and her face was forever mauled. As much as it pained her to sit idle, once before the hot blood that coursed her veins had gotten a friend killed through impatience and stubbornness, she would not make the mistake twice. Hartt's life was dependong on them and those others who had been taken.

    Honrin was by her side now, the male's bright voice cutting through the conversation, "My mother is right, we cannot afford to lose more members to a folly."

    Jace Wolfe

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    Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end

    The situation was explained to everyone as well as a couple of ideas for dealing with this new uprising of the syndicate. Several members put forth their thoughts on the subject and cast their votes for how they would like the pack to proceed. Temo listened to what was being said and ran various scenarios through his mind in an effort to decide what would be a good coarse of action. Mostly all he could come up with was that were to many unknown variables and there was one conclusion that seemed the most likely.

    It's a trap.

    He let that hang in the air a couple of heartbeats to sink in before he continued, Most likely they have thought this out and will be expecting us to do one of the very things you are suggesting and will have countermeasures in place. He gave a breath's silence before he continued. Hopefully I am wrong, however, I am for the small stealth group and I would like to suggest the addition of a second group. The first to probe their defenses and if there is a trap, trip it as a diversion while a second group goes in for the rescue, if possible. At the very least, they will bring back information we can use to plan the next move.

    yup, a vote for stealth | [wc —220] template by hilli
    OOC - Arlen votes to ATTACK

    Arlen sat up groggily. "Dad?" He grumbled, rubbing sleep from his eyes. He looked around, expecting to see his dad standing at the door with the light already shining through the window. This was not the case. It suddenly struck him that his dad hadn't called out to him in the literal sense as he saw his siblings rise around him. He'd called from the Courthouse.

    That realization pulled Len from his tiredness, dragged him from bed, and pulled on a pair of pants swiftly, looking back and calling his brother and sister to hurry up behind him before rushing out the door after his mother.

    He ran to the Courthouse, weaving through sleepy packmates to get ahead as far as he could. He arrived to see his mother standing grimly by his father, Howland at their side. He briefly remembered the guard having been sent out... What had happened during that mission? He glanced through the crowd, looking for his siblings. Seeing his brother's grey head poke out from the masses, he hurried towards him. "Do you know what happened? Did Dad tell you anything?"

    Luca called for attention, explained the reason for their gathering. It left the red Stryder gasping for air. The Syndicate was before their time, but he'd been told the stories many times. How could he not have? What they had done was felt by the pack even now! His heart hammered in his chest, yearning to break free.

    Sola and Lune gave their options, and overwhelmingly they voted in Luca's favor. It wouldn't come as a surprise to any when the boy cried out, energetic as always. It wouldn't come as a surprise to any who he sided with. "I say we go hunt them down before they attack us! We know where they're at, they know where we're at. But they don't know that we know. So let's use that to our advantage before it's too late."

    The hot-blooded teenage boy wanted a fight. He wanted to get his hands dirty, but he didn't know what dirty meant. He'd heard the stories of heroes and legends, not knowing the sacrifices of the martyrs who paved the way.
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    Iork votes no but Silver votes....WE ARE BOTH CLUELESS! PP of Arlen was approved by Kris500+

    Iorek had finally begun sleeping in the room that Grynn had helped him chose. He didn't know much about decorating, but the flowers around the room in clear things with water inside of them (glass) was nice. Some flower crowns also decorated his room. The clothes he had received from Jace and Clara lay in one corner. The wolfdog lay sleeping on his bed in his massive Secui form. He looked peaceful for once.

    At the sound of the howl, the massive creature jerked awake. For a second he looked groggy, and then he wondered what it was. He could hear his pack-mates moving so, he poked his head outside. He was still scared after the attack. He was a monster, no matter what anyone said. He ducked back inside his room to grab a flower crown, the bear boy's security blanket before nervously walking out of the room.

    The hybrid beast kept to the sides, still a bit paranoid. He had been traumatized from the attacks, him killing someone and attacking a pack-mate. There was a monster inside of him and he was afraid it would come out again. He was afraid that it would come out and hurt someone else. No matter how many times Arlen had counseled him and no matter how many flower crowns he made, he was still scared. The brown behemoth would never let that monster out again.

    The brown-painted brute trailed the other Cavaliers to a massive room. He was aware that everyone was in their Optime form. He was afraid that his Optime form was the key to the beast, but his interactions with Night said no. So, with a resigned sigh, he began shifting up to his huge two-legged form. His cowering and feral posture lowered his height and he fluffed in anxiety. He took a deep breath before entering the room. And then the scarlet-eyed creature's anxiety went sky-high.

    This was a lot of people. The most that the red-eyed recruit had been around. He scanned around before seeing a familiar red shape. He shambled over, trembling as his solitary upbringing had not prepared him for this much people. He leaned against his friend and felt the boy's fingers combing through his fur. He had made himself even shorter than the hybrid prince and his wide eyes took in the people. The crimson-eyed Cavalier's tail tried to tuck itself between his legs and his ears were lost in his fur.

    The giant yearling caught sight of Teagan and winced, He remembered the scars he had left on her arm. He was even more scared. Was this a meeting to cast him out? He was a murderer and a monster and part of him thought that they should cast him out. He hurt two people, and that was very bad. The bear-like wolfdog hunched as low as he could.

    The yellow king and the moon-hued queen talked about things that the fluffy monster had no idea about. His head tilted and his face displayed confusion instead of fear. He did understand that they leaders wanted to attack these bad people. His crimson eyes widened as he shook his head. "F-Fighting b-bad...n-no f-fight." The feral recruit stammered, hunching down and his eyes widening. Fighting was bad.

    Secui → OptimeNightJulyFort Kingsbury
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    OOC: Night votes with Lyris to attack

    Night had heard the call from her Lune, but she still didn't arrive to the meeting on time. Having to walk with a crutch was proving to be extremely bothersome. She hobbled out of the house Remus had her staying in and whiled she walked as fast as she could, the little girl was extremely slow in making it there. By the time she did make it there, the meeting was already well underway.

    Apparently she had missed part of what was said, though she could still manage to make out what was going on. There was talk of a rescue of hostages and either charging in for an attack or sneaking in to rescue the hostages. There was no question what Night wanted to do, attack. She wanted nothing more than to go after the ones who hurt her mother, and possibly still had her. The Lune and Sola would never allow someone as young as her to partake in a fight, at least she assumed they wouldn't. Besides, it wasn't like she could even train to be able to fight with her injured leg. The young girl would more or less be useless. Still, she could speak her mind and voice her opinion on the matter. It was her mother who was one of the hostages after all. I'm with the Sola, I say we attack.

    The night swept the lands in her dark embrace, and in its gloom one could find either sweet relief in the form of sleep or hours of unending torture where repose could not be found. Everett found himself in the latter category as he leaned heavily against the wall of his room, his hands buried within the silvery tangle of his hair. How was it that the security of having others to depend on and a shelter to call his own could not drive the darkness away. Pale eyes glanced about the dim room, to stare at the shadows that grew and coalesced into nightmarish forms. The hairs at the base of his neck rose as the phantom lingered at the edges of his room, a grim mockery of life and his failures. The creature had visited him before, and Everett knew it wore the faces of the both friend and foe alike. If he closed his eyes, and focused on something else it would disappear.

    Everett focused on his breathing, on the pressure of air being inhaled and expelled through his lungs. Slowly, glacial orbs opened to reveal the shadow had inched closer. The male backed away, as a whimper left his dry throat. "Why?" The creature had not uttered a word in all of its nightly visitations, but from the contours of its face it appeared to be taunting him. The gentleman coughed and cleared his throat, insistent upon reasoning with the apparition. "Why do you do this?" A cry rent the air that instinctively turned his focus toward the sound. The summoning howl had brought Everett back to his senses, as he blinked and studied his still dark, but empty room.

    The pack had gathered at the gates of their homeland, as the gentleman joined their number and stood at their flanks. It was a strange feeling for the former pariah, to be amongst his fellows and even counted as one of them still. Everett placed a hand upon his hip as he listened with growing concern to what their Lune reported. The male's own efforts alongside Arlen and the imposing warrior woman Jace had proven there were strangers intent on disrupting and harming his new-found home's way of life. The silver male had been fortunate that his own brush with the strangers had left him bruised but otherwise unharmed. Everett absently rubbed at his ribs where the worst of the damage had been dealt while he processed the events that had transpired.

    The Syndicate was not a name that held any meaning for the Recruit. By the cacophony the assembled voices produced, however, there was a history behind it. The names of the captured members were strange to the foreigner's ears as well, but that matter little. The actions of the group were inexcusable, and would likely not go unpunished. The thought of aggression and violence, weighed heavily upon Everett; who was he to order such things? He lacked the strength and will of the hardy folk that dwelt within its walls to support such an action. The strong voice of Lyris cut through the silence like a finely honed blade, and offered a solution he hoped they would not be forced to make.

    Luca supplied another option that appealed to his sense of caution. To gain intelligence on their enemies through subtler means, and rescuing their kin in the same stroke was a greater plan in his mind. Everett turned his gaze upon each packmate as he or she voiced their opinion on the course of action they wished to take. Arlen's youthful tone rang out amongst the clamour, his a call to arms. Everett closed his eyes and cast his head downward, "I support Luca's plan. Subterfuge may be the key to learning valuable information about our enemy, and using it against them. Lest we forget we have loved ones that are depending on us not to lose ourselves to senseless violence. I feel our priority must be their returning them to our midst first and foremost."

    I cannot write short posts it seems, lol. I vote for Option 2, Stealth. +673words

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    Avatar by Lin <3

    The grey furred male had spent the previous days caring for the injured child of the missing Hartt Hushhowl, tending to her wound, providing the girl with food and comfort, but the last night Remus had told the girl he would be out for a bit, and the grey male had snuck out to get some training in before the night came to an end. In his tiredness however, Remus had hobbled his way back to the house of his siblings and parents, and gone to sleep in his old bed rather than in the house that he'd had young Night staying in. It wouldn't seem to matter much however, as only a couple hours after Remus had fallen into bed, his death-glare gaze opened to the sound of his father calling everyone from the courthouse.

    Remus saw Arlen get out of bed and dress quickly, and with a grumble of resignation, Remus pushed himself off from the bed and grabbed his own trousers to slip into. Following his brother to the meeting, Remus quickly lost sight of Arlen in the crowd before a familiar voice found him and Remus looked over to see the red furred boy. "I wouldn't know any more than you, man..." The earthen toned brother replied as he ruffled his own hair and pulled his claws through it quickly to smooth out his bed head in his usual effortless way.

    The meeting had started then, and Remus looked up to see his father speak. Hearing his mother suggest that they mount an attack on the syndicate, and then his father suggest that the pack instead use a stealth approach, Remus thought about the two options as voices began to pipe up, but as Remus heard Arlen speak, he knew his own answer as well. "How many more of us have to get caught in traps or kidnapped before we put an end to this? I say we take them out before they do any more damage!" The grey boy spoke up, frustration audible in his voice as he thought about Night and how lonely she had become because of those assholes, and how she had been injured for the same reason.
    The winner is Stealth 8 to 4! The OOC Plot News post will be updated with the next step. Please feel free to post your vote if your character has not done so yet, but it will no longer be counted towards the result.

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