bones or a pearl button
#1
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Amid the darkness and drudgery his life had become, Loki found true elation in his new status as a grandfather. He had been delighted to hear the news, and penned frequent letters in his neat charcoal scrawl asking after the children – what did they look like, what did they enjoy? He sent toys too, clever things sewn from hide and feather that mimicked the prey a puppy would love to tear apart. Of course, he also asked when Quicksilver and Plague would be mated, and if he could preside over the ceremony. Nothing would make him happier, he'd said; he was overjoyed that Quick had found someone.

And now, with the other recent arrivals, two grandsons were here.

Loki did not see them the first few days, caught up in other things, but spotted two dark youths entering the tower his daughter once called home. He bustled about his own modest tower, snatching up gifts, dropping things and knocking into Embla when she came to help. She'd teased him for his clumsiness, smacking him on the head with a roll of parchment, then pricked her ears and beamed when he asked if she wanted to come.

The girl hung onto his arm now, though she was almost as tall as him at nearly a year old, and dragged him along at any occasion he stopped to observe something. Come on, Daddy. I want to meet my cousins!

Loki laughed, shrugging his satchel of goods back onto his shoulder. They're your nephews, technically. Your sister's children.

Her white teeth flashed in a mischievous grin. Oh, even better.

He smirked at her and slowed as the aroma of honeysuckle and lavender washed over them. Flowers bobbed under a gentle breeze in the swath of thistles and vegetation that hid the tower's base, and dangled over the doorway, which Loki approached with a hop. He clapped his hands together in lieu of knocking – a custom he'd never adopted – and added his voice to the call, a playful singsong. It's Loki!

Aaaand Embla! chirped the girl.


lmk if assumptions in first paragraph aren't okay!


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#2
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(334)

Solace didn't do well with sitting indoors for too long. He was a boy of action and found activities that required patience and silence to be entirely too dull. It was what caused him to skip out on many of his lessons with the mentor that his mothered employed. Reading and writing were good skills to have, he knew, but he felt like he wasted daylight by holing himself in some musty room and corroding his youthful lungs with the dust of ancient parchments.

But, indeed, after Plague caught wind of his unintended return and managed to snatch him up by his scruff, he got his due punishment for committing the ultimate hookey. Solace rebelled against it but he eventually accepted the terms of his sentence. Reading for a few hours a day could hardly be called a punishment by some, but the boy dreaded it and longed for the time to pass by quicker so he could do something better with his time.

He was sitting where a strong sunbeam inched through a slot window of the tower, letting the light spill over the pages of the Luperci-made book he held against his legs. He was sitting awkwardly yet comfortably in an armchair, his back resting against an arm while his calves draped over the opposite end. His eyes skimmed the handwritten words, understanding what each meant, but not retaining the whole. Maybe he wasn't technically reading, but he thought it was good enough.

The silence of the tower was broken with a sudden knock and Solace jerked in his seat, turning around to face the door with wide eyes. An unfamiliar voice called, alongside another. But they were names they recognized and, eager to abandon his chore, scrambled out of the armchair before Absolution—wherever he was, Solace was not paying attention—could answer it himself.

"Hello!" Solace greeted, perhaps too eagerly, as he opened the door to see his grandfather and aunt for the first time. His green eyes shone brilliantly.

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#3
[html]

(458)

His brother’s punishment had not been a grand show of humiliation as had been expected. Instead, what Plague did to her silver-furred son was simple; she made him read for a handful of hours everyday, unsympathetic towards whatever pleas were made to allow Solace to do something else. Absolution could not help but be disappointed by this turn of events, though he supposed the punishment perfectly suited someone as restless as his brother. It would have been nice to be able to write about a more interesting penalty in his journal, is all.

Instead, Absolution, holed up in the cramp study on the second floor, wrote about other things that were far more exciting. Flicks of ink dashed across parchment, forming sentences that told intricate stories, each word carefully plucked from his over-active mind. He wrote about the things he saw in Salsola, what he felt and dreamt of, the people he met. He wrote about the young queen he met in the woods, Elphaba, and the way her eyes reminded him of the opal resting on his finger, bright and burning and beautiful.

Lenore perched herself on the corner of the desk the young man sat at, her leonine body curled into itself protectively as she slept. Occasionally, her tail would unfurl itself and Absolution would have to bat it away as it obscured the view of the parchment before him. But other than this, the tower was quiet and unmoving, even with his boisterous brother lurking somewhere below him.

Things only stirred at the sound of hands clapping and an introduction—or two, rather—soon after. The names announced were familiar; Loki, Embla, the former more so than the latter. His mothers had told him of his grandfather and he had heard the briefest of mentions of his aunt in passing, though ultimately he knew very little about them outside of his grandfather’s occupation. The Crone, overseer of all the things Absolution didn’t believe in.

He heard his brother greet the two and while a part of him wanted to remain where he was, he knew his mothers would not approve of such rude behavior, especially when their guests were family. A sigh escaped him as he set down the ink-tipped quill and stood up from his seat, Lenore barely stirring as her young friend left her side and journeyed down to the parlor.

Absolution was silent as he came down the stairs, though his eyes were quick to take in the sight of his grandfather and aunt. They were nearly equal in height and their bodies reminded him of his silver mother’s, slender, lithe, but different from the gangly forms of he and his darkling mother. “Grandfather,” he bowed slightly in respect to the elder’s station, “Hello.”

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#4
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The door opened, and he saw the boys at last. He smiled when he saw that they resembled their mothers: one silver, tan-masked, with streaks of a darker smoke; one black as night. Both had eyes like emeralds. They were everything he had imagined.

The first, Solace he suspected, greeted them with enthusiasm, while Absolution slunk from the stairs and bowed formally.

Loki laughed, clasping his hands in delight.

It's wonderful to finally meet you! Oh, how have you settled in? Is your mother home? He swept into the tower with a brilliant smile, leaning forward to grant them the traditional cheek-kiss, and pulling his satchel down from his shoulder. I brought you housewarming gifts. He dug though the leather bag while Embla tiptoed in after him, bouncing on the front of her pads and turning her head to look at the swirl of color and shadow around her.

Hey nephews, she purred teasingly, and leaned in to nudge Solace's cheeks. She misjudged the distance, smacking her nose harshly against Solace's cheekbones, then winced and laughed apologetically. To Absolution, whom she could make out even less in the dim tower, she merely lifted her hand in a playful greeting. He smelled like ink.

Loki, meanwhile, was excitedly pulling out his gifts: dark pelts from a fisher and marten, a small array of crystals, an antler hair comb, a pair of bone daggers whose leather grips were tooled with runic designs, and – a dead mouse. He held this by the tail and stared at it with furrowed brows until Embla felt his stare fall onto the back of her neck.

It was the fox, she said. Swear, Daddy.

Perhaps it was because she did not see others' smiles that she was so bad at hiding her own mischievous smirking.

For the same reason Loki grinned, openly charmed, and rolled his eyes.

I was not sure what else you might want, but it is my duty as grandfather to spoil you. Name your desires and we can work out a deal. The Crone winked. But these daggers especially – I wanted you to have them. For utility. And self-defense – though he prayed that these children would not suffer the same trials as others had. Their heritage would grant them great opportunity in the pack, if nothing else did.



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Scent disguised outside Salsola: pine, meadowsweet, pennyroyal. "></a>
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#5
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(485)

Solace took in his grandfather's appearance. It was strange, seeing someone that was set up as something close to mythical given a physical form. He was, unsurprising, a lot like Quicksilver. Silvered, with darker gray hair framing his slender face. His scent was obscured, too, making it difficult to pin him down but making Solace all the more curious. He gave Embla a thoughtful glance as well, and it struck him odd that someone as young as him was his aunt.

He opened his mouth to say something more, perhaps to speak the remark that had crossed his mind, but he felt his shadow of a brother come up behind him and saw the recognition in the visitor's eyes. Solace looked over his shoulder at Absolution and shuffled a bit to make room for him in the doorway, gawking at him as he bowed. He made no move to show similar respect and just snorted at his dramatics. Which was someone, given that Solace was the one for theatrics.

Loki clapped again and it pulled the boy's attention and his eyes brightened again, stepping aside to let the Crone and his daughter inside. Absolution was forgotten as soon as he was brought to mind and he followed after Loki. "No, to both mothers. Quicksilver is still at the Outpost with Jubi. Plague is... I dunno, somewhere." He neglected to answer the first question, not wanting to admit that he found Salsola terribly boring so far. Grandfather he was, Loki was still the Crone. He couldn't speak so loosely, he thought.

The boy was distracted by the mention of gifts and he only managed to glance at Embla before she crashed into him nose-first. He quietly gasped in surprise but mirrored her laugh, raising a hand to cup his cheek in mock pain as he gave her a forgiving grin. "Hey, aunt," he replied back lightly, watching as she gave a more ordinary greeting for Absolution.

By the time he looked back at Loki, he was already lining up the gifts of furs and crystals and bones. The daggers especially caught Solace's attention, the true boy he was, and stepped in close to admire them before the Crone procured a dead mouse. He gave it a wrinkle of his nose, but glancing at Embla and her smirk made him grin, too.

Solace shook his head at Loki's words. "This is more than enough, Grandfather," he said, and again gravitated towards the daggers, picking up one to inspect the runes on the hilt. He recognized a few, from the scarce lessons Quicksilver tried to instill on the silver boy. "And I'm sure Abby here would appreciate the mouse." He seemed to be teasing, and yet left it hanging in the air, as if begging for the pair to explain himself. It wouldn't take much for Solace to make fun of Absolution's strange interests in front of family.

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#6
[html]

(453)

Absolution was the odd one out yet again, silent in his fairy-blooded family's presence. Truthfully, he was inclined to remain where he was, leaning against the tower wall with his arms crossed, still a few steps away from the parlor floor. While he didn't necessarily dislike the family he just met, he was cautious of throwing himself into the frontlines of a conversation, seeing too much of his trickster brother in the pair—at least in that moment—for his comfort. In these instances like these where he felt outnumbered, he much preferred to let Solace speak for the both of them. And so silent he did remain.

Embla's greeting to him was playful, though less destructive than the one she gave Solace. He winced visibly at the sight of her nose crashing into his brother's cheekbones and turned his head towards the wall momentarily to hide the amused smirk plastered across his snout.

In that moment, while watching the two interact, Absolution found that he was reminded of his little sister to a great degree. They were both pretty, clever, and bold with their words. Obviously, of course, they had their differences. For one, Jubilee was decidedly less clumsy, though this was a fact with shaky foundations; his sister was somewhat of an enigma to him, as he found most women tended to be.

Growing bored of this repetitive line of thought, he soon shifted his attention to his grandfather, observing curiously as the man pulled gifts upon gifts from a bag. Furs, crystals, a hair comb, daggers made of bone, and a dead mouse that painted wicked grins on the faces of both his aunt and brother. Save for the daggers and the comb, the gifts were largely uninteresting to him, even if Solace declared otherwise in the case of the mouse.

He glared hard at the silver boy, sneering as he pushed past him to pick up the remaining dagger, “Speak for yourself, nitwit.” Absolution's momentary rage faded as quickly as it appeared, the finely crafted tool in his hand easily placating him.

He didn't recognize the runes on the hilt, didn't care for what they meant. Despite this, he appreciated them, much like the way a patron would appreciate the drawings of a skilled artist.

Absolution set the dagger back down, “Thank you.” His hands moved to clasp each other behind his back as he looked to his grandfather. “I could always use more books if ones could be found. Ink and parchment, too. I'm not sure what else.” He did not hesitate to ask for the things he desired, especially if they were being offered. It would be a waste not to take advantage of the opportunities his heritage granted him.

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#7
Solace was more extroverted than his dark sibling, and made a quick rush for the gifts once they were laid out from the bag. Loki might have considered this ill-mannered and greedy if he were not desperate for the boys to like what he brought them. He was curious, too, what they might ask for -- though Solace seemed satisfied with the dagger, peering at the leather-tooled runes and teasing his brother. Their grandfather raised an eyebrow but said nothing as Absolution sneered at his brother, showing a flash of brotherly frustration.

Absolution did not hesitate to take Loki up on his offer, but Loki smiled at this. He seemed a thoughtful boy. "Books are hard to come by, but ink and parchment I have at hand." He couldn't help thinking of Absolution's grandmother -- though someone else guarded the library Artemisia so covetously kept. His tall ears dipped briefly at the thought, but he wasn't allowed to look reflective and melancholy for long. Embla insistently began elbowing him.

"Why don't I get a dagger, Daddy?" she stage-whispered.

"I want you to live a few more years."

"But think of the children, what about them?"
Embla looked playfully at her nephews, then put her hands on her hips and grinned. "What is Portland like? I've never seen it." A roll of her clouded eyes, a wink in Loki's direction. "I imagine there are all sorts of people there. How do they compare?" She, too, clasped her hands behind her back as if in mimicry of Absolution's reserved posture, but she couldn't help but bounce on her toes as she did so.
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See wiki for specific accessories."></a>
<a href="#!" class="scent-warning" title="Loki smells ambiguous in sex, male/female.
Scent disguised outside Salsola: pine, meadowsweet, pennyroyal. "></a>
<a href="#!" class="optime-preference" title="OPTIME unless otherwise stated."></a>
<a href="#!" class="skill-social" title="A silver-tongued liar who radiates a friendly charisma, enemy of nobody."></a>
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