[AW] seal the river at its mouth, take the water prisoner
#1
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--


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The mallet made a hefty thwack sound as the tawny-hued woman drove it against the post. Myrika swung several times, still holding the pole further down where she stood less chance of bashing her fingers. When she was certain, she released the pole and stepped back. It stood upright and sturdy where she'd driven it. Satisfied, the Aquila set the mallet down, and set about kicking dirt back into the shallow hole.

The ground was soft and faintly moist with yesterday's rain. The air smelled of moisture again, and the deep clouds threatened another shower. The Dampwoods, aptly named, seemed to soak this moisture up and wallow in it. From her position on the southeasternmost edge of Inferni, the Aquila could hear the babble of a nearby stream. The Styx ended some distance north and west of her, so this stream burbled from somewhere deeper in the woods.

Myrika bent and took up the skull. It had been a deer, once upon a time -- its unmistakable antlers branched outward magnificently. Each was hung with some small decoration -- a scrap of leather, a splash of red paint, a feather. Myrika was not an artist -- but this was tradition, and she should engage as any other. She had hung a canine skull on these borders before -- but deer would suffice for now. They never seemed to grow more sparse -- likely as a result of many canines replacing them over the years.

The hybrid glanced upward and into the trees, studying the archery stand there. It was bared and barren, an odd square shape amongst an otherwise organic landscape. It was, in a word, conspicuous.

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#2
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Hope I'm not being too presumptuous by joining this before their official acceptance :o

Kali is in Optime and accompanied by Rook.


"Y'need to start answerin' me when I talk," Kali said over her shoulder, listening to the slow and heavy plodding of the Akita-mix's pawsteps trailing steadily behind her. He was still intensely quiet; she could even hear the massive dog's panting in the absence of his words. "Did you hear me?" There was a proper edge to her tone that suggested he answer verbally.

"Yes," the dog rumbled, his vocals deep and raspy from years of neglect. Kali gave one succinct nod and marched forth, clasping her hands behind her back and admiring Inferni's landscape as she wandered from the more tamed areas into the wide wilds of her new home.

She inhaled deeply, enjoying the scent of these lands and wondering if she was walking a similar path to her father right now; if he had moved along this very trail and thought these imperial thoughts as she did. Her train of thought was lost when she noticed a noise outside of her own.

And it was the resounding and repeating thwacks she heard that made her change course. All she had on her was her usual jewelry, a belt with her tomahawk attached, and a burgundy bandana cinched over her long, braided hair, but the lack of actual protection she had didn't bother her these days. This place was not like Scintilla.

She came upon Myrika then, who was gazing up into a very-visible archery post that loomed above a freshly spiked skull—a handsome head of antlers, decorated with a hint of subtle flair that caught the eye but did not hurt it. "Aquila," the hybrid greeted, hailing her with a respectful raise of her left hands before replacing it behind her back and coming to stand some yards to the female's right. Rook hesitated at Kali's side, his broad face peering around her muscular thighs, admiring their red-haired leader with the shy quality of a small schoolboy, despite being quite massive even on four legs.

"This thing's painfully visible," she observed at length, orange eyes wandering up into the heights of the border's fierce protective post.



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#3
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-- makin some assumptions >_> namely that Ves mentioned them, lol. figured she would.

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There was no particular reason to worry. Inferni had lived in peace since the Boreas canines -- there had been no great challenge through the first two years of her leadership, no wars to win, no foes to defeat. Perhaps that was why she was staked skulls and spun cautious thoughts. All things ended, peace and war alike, and Myrika had no reason to believe this tranquility would last forever.

As she stood, studying, the steady patter of footsteps caught her attention. There were six feet -- two legs, and four legs. Turquoise eyes scanned the underbrush, seeking and -- eventually -- finding movement as the pair emerged. They made their way toward her, a strange pair -- a dog on four legs, and a daughter of Ezekiel. The tawny-hued woman wasn't certain what she expected -- but the girl did not resemble her father from a distance. Had she known Gabriel, Myrika would have known their relation immediately. She did not know the grandfather, however -- only the father.

The tawny-hued woman nodded at the greeting, still immersed in taking the other canine in. Her companion was of less interest, though Myrika's eyes lingered there, too, before returning to the archery stand. A smile crooked the corner of her mouth, and she nodded. You could see it from a mile off. And hit it with fire. She wanted to ask -- but did not. She held her tongue, she kept her mouth shut aside from those words about the archery stand.

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#4
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i so happy 2 b bak n 'ferniland B)


Kali made a shortly pensive hm sound as she observed the stand before them, disallowing her attention to flit about in an unchecked fashion. In all actuality she wanted to study Myrika more -- learn what she could about the leader of Inferni -- but she didn't want to seem completely conspicuous in the effort.

"Fire'd probably make it less visible somehow," she drawled, one clawed finger tapping her chin thoughtfully before her sharp, tangerine eyes swiveled and took in the burnished blaze and teal eyes just above it in the face of her Aquila.

So this was the woman her father had left Inferni to? She could not see an immediate reason why and it bothered her abruptly. What made her so special? Kali felt an unfamiliar stirring of jealousy in her chest, and she didn't know where it had suddenly sprang from. Or how to quickly get rid of it.

"I could make this a project a'mine if ya need me to." If she were to be beneath this woman, she might as well make herself useful.



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#5
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-- yessss. and this thread omg haha


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The smile blossomed into a grin, and Myrika regarded the other canine more openly. If you want. Someone will get to it, sooner or later. Myrika would climb up there herself if need be. She was too large to be truly comfortable up there, too big to be any good whatsoever at climbing trees -- but what needed to be done needed to be done.

She still wanted to ask, she still wanted to know -- or she thought she did, anyway. She had been confused at first, even angry after a while -- but it made sense now, in retrospect. At least, Myrika supposed. Something tells me you'd be better suited to standing up there than decorating, though. Her hands were well-worn and muscled. If Myrika had known how, she might have identified the knobs and bumps in just the right places -- where arrows and strings sat, where callouses of hard use developed.

For her part, Myrika knew nothing of anything. Archery might have been better -- but she had gone with the stick and the knife, thinking they were easier. They were, too -- physically, anyway. In the end, the closeness had made them the more difficult choice by far. This was why Myrika did not touch the implements she had any longer.

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#6
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aaaand cue subtle takeover mwahahahaa (btw, would it be possible to have a kaena thread so kali can learn more about gabriel?)


Kali nodded slowly, drawing her gaze from Myrika and settling it onto the archery stand again. She found that although she wanted to stare -- and usually she had no qualms with doing so -- it felt too disrespectful to do so now. Besides, the more she gazed at the older female, the more certain she became that she could take her in a fight and these thoughts weren't exactly beneficial in context.

"Decorating," Kali readily scoffed at the word, her brow lifting and a smirk curving the edge of her slim, boxy muzzle as she side-eyed her superior. She breathed carefully and pensively used a forefinger to scratch her arm. "Yeah, m' aim's pretty true," she admitted with no trouble at all. Her tail swayed slowly back and forth against her thigh, and the jealous girl snuck glances at the taller coyote-mix while pretending to remain interested in the exposed stand.

But this was difficult. Each stolen look that she gave Myrika reminded her that this Aquila owned something that probably belonged to her. If Ezekiel were here, this would be his kingdom again, and Kali would have fought tooth and nail growing up to make it hers. So why did Myrika have her birthright?

What made her so gotdamn special? Why did she deserve this place?

The imperial-minded hybrid was gazing at her openly now, but her gaze wasn't critical -- she seemed to just look. "Any good wit' a bow?" The thin muscles of her arms didn't suggest it, but Kali wouldn't assume.



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#7
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-- yes that's cool :D you can assume it happened or write a RO, either is fine. just link me to the RO if you write it please and feel free to ask any questions about how she'd act/what she'd say/etc.

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No, the hybrid said. Ithiel taught me how to fight with a staff and a knife. She did not add that it had been ages ago, comparatively, and a lack of practice had rusted her skills into disuse -- not that she would use them. It was an answer, though, and a truthful one -- she had known how to kill, once, and she had killed. The sticky warmth of blood and its taste, however, were amongst the reasons she had allowed her skills to rust to disuse. He said since I'm tall, I had reach -- they'd be good for me.

I've never tried a bow, she added. It seemed a lot harder than smacking someone with a stick. She grinned despite herself, showing she did not fear to speak of these things -- though they disquieted her deeply. Things would not be peaceful forever -- this was Inferni, and it was a place of burning and bloodshed. It was as she'd always known, as she'd been told in childhood. No matter how she painted her clan, there were killers here. Whether they were drawn here or made here, Myrika did not know.

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#8
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I'll do a RO if you don't wanna do a Canon or somefink with me! If you don't have time for the latter, would you mind PMing me with some things Kaena'd tell her about Gabriel and IF?


In the back of her head, a thought process formed. She remembered Ezekiel telling his children that Inferni had been his, passed from his father, whose mother had relinquished it to him before her father. It didn't take any extra thought for Kali to see where she was in line; avarice spread like a disease through her mind, and she knew that this place was she and her siblings' birthright.

The mention of Ithiel brought her from her dangerous reverie, and her orange, hawkish eyes turned to Myrika curiously. She couldn't have been talking about Ithiel de le Poer could she? Though now that she considered it, she quickly remembered that he'd been a part of Inferni as well before returning to Scintilla with Alma.

She didn't think to have Myrika confirm her musings -- Kali simply wasn't that curious.

"It makes huntin' a heck of a lot easier," she told the tall Aquila. "An' ya don't have t'get too close to an enemy if ya know how to use one." There were perks to being an archer, and though Kali didn't have a genuine desire to teach her, this was an opportunity to get... close.

"I'd like'ta teach you," she added more earnestly, tall ears perking. "It's a useful skill -- and good exercise for th' arms an' eyes."



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#9
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-- can't do canon on active thread territories! (don't quote me on that because LASKY rules confuse me). but yes I don't write with the kae anymore. ;__; saving energy for the last hurrah, whenever da fuq that comes!

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The tawny-hued woman looked at the darker, younger Lykoi. Her turquoise eyes were widened, though her ears remained in their relaxed pose. She considered the idea -- she'd seen arrow work often enough. She knew what it was capable of. She knew, too, that it was possible to shoot from the back of a horse, where the use of other weapons -- like knives and staffs -- was ill-advised. The redhead nodded her assent suddenly, her coyote's muzzle breaking into a smile.

I'd like to learn, she said. And I'd like you to teach me, yes. There were other coyotes who might have educated Myrika on matters of weaponry, but the opportunity had presented itself. In a moment, Myrika had decided. The idea flashed into her mind, clear as day -- she would be away. There was no tasting, no feeling -- not in archery. She would see, maybe, but seeing was better than tasting and feeling -- intimacy with death did not suit Myrika. Yet she knew, fearful as she was of inflicting it, that she must defend her clan. What was an Aquilla who was not a warrior? Not an Aquila for very long.

The hybrid's turquoise eyes, bright with eagerness now, glanced toward Kali's bow, giving a nod with her muzzle. Should we start now?

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#10
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Thanks for the Kae info! I'll PM you my RO first when I do it.


Kali's lips curved very marginally as Myrika accepted her offer. Her dark face dipped in an assenting nod, fully expecting them to move on in conversation (for now), but the Aquila seemed eager to start.

"Oh," the younger coyote didn't bother hiding her surprise, as it felt more like a pleasure than a burden; "of course, ma'am. Happy to." Good, she thought, knowing that this would make "getting to know" her leader a lot easier than most circumstances.

She pulled her bow from across her shoulders, taking a moment to adjust the arch's tightness so that the weapon would better suit the woman's longer reach. "Here... hold it like this," Kali instructed her, showing her where to put her dominant hand on the string and where to hold the bow steadily with her other.

She pulled the taut string back in perfect motion, demonstrating, before actually handing it to Myrika. "You should try pullin' it a few times—it'sa bit tough but ya arms'll get used to it wit' practice."


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#11
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302 No problem and thanks man, can't wait to read it :D

See galleries for credit.

If you want to learn anything I know, let me know. The redhead offered this with an eager smile. Leather work, skinning, reading and writing -- I appreciate your taking the time for me. She was no stranger to instruction -- having trained with Ithiel before on a weapon, she thought she understood just what Kali proposed to undertake if this was to be a long-term arrangement. It was a time commitment, and in all likelihood the rest of her duties and the things she needed to attend to would suffer -- but Myrika knew she needed to learn some way of defending herself and the clan both.

The tawny hybrid stood attentively, watching the dark woman as she did something with the bow. What was that you did, with the string? she asked, curious. Myrika was, if nothing else, an adept learner. There were some skills beyond her -- killing, for one -- but she was at least good at this basic skill of acquiring new skills. In her position as a leader, she did not often get the chance to flex this skill -- outside of learning more each passing day about canines and the way they thought, the way they acted. Leadership had provided her with an entirely new perspective, especially where others were concerned.

The hybrid emulated Kali's stance to the best of her ability, thereafter taking up the bow. She nodded her agreement when the woman suggested she pull -- it was better to do this without the detachable arrow first. The hybrid did so, though she did not achieve complete or three-quarters tension in the string before she could not pull any further. Like this? she asked, peering at the other canine. She did not have a frame of reference for how it ought to feel -- only Kali's instruction.

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#12
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Fade here, 'nother Myrika/Kali?


Kali couldn't imagine wanting to learn much from Myrika, but when given the choices, she found that they could be useful in the long run, should she decide to follow-through. The hybrid nodded in quiet affirmation, appearing vaguely uncertain; but despite all her fury and stubbornness, the de le Poer was too old now to succumb to childish avoidance or to pass up on the opportunity to learn.

"You got long'r arms then me so I loosed the string a li'l— you'll be able t'pull it usin' the full reach of yer arms now." She watched the woman's form, neither admiring nor disapproving as she appraised her stance and arm position. Kali came to stand at her elbow, and she used a strong, steady hand to ease her elbow into the perfect spot.

"Ya elbow needs t'be here whenever you fully draw. That's yer sweet-spot," she said, and then urged her to slowly replace the taut string to its original position. "Yer gonna need to practice drawin' the bow though first, a'fore y'even think about firin' at sum'n." Kali didn't feel the need to be softer just because this was the Aquila. She planned to replace her at the helm of this ship anyway.

"Doin' it like this'll make it easier," she added, pantomiming that she start by holding the bow downward and then pulling up on the string, instead of back. "Long as y' always level yer elbow at th' end," she reminded Myrika, demonstrating (bow-less) the "perfect" archer's stance.



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