[J] Home away from home
#1
OOC: Hey guys - nice to meet you all - thank you to anyone in advance who jumps into this thread and I'm very much looking forward to RP'ing with you all!
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It felt like a lifetime ago since Radulfr had started his journey west. The rhythmic sounds of hooves steadily pounding into the ground had become so normal to him that he had almost stopped hearing them. So when his horse, had stopped his trot it was the jerk of the sudden stop that caused him to sit and take note. The horse snorted in complaint and with a playful smile playing across his lips Radulfr leaned forward and gently stroked his mane. "Not far now Balder. The scent is growing quite strong. We can not be more than a mile away. Just a little further for me? Please?" Nothing. Not one step. Balder was a stubborn old thing. "Lucky for me it's not up to you," Radulfr squeezed his thighs urging the beast to continue. Which he did obediently. "It's not exactly been easy for me either. I loved Holm too but we have come too far to turn back now. Besides there was that blacksmith a few miles back who did give you that free apple?" He asked persuasively, getting a small whine in response. 

Redulfr knew Balder couldn't understand him, but talking to him made him feel less lonely. Spending a lifetime surrounded by family, friends, comrades and well-wishers had definitely made him yearn for Lupine company. In the first few days of exile, the Luperci thought he might be better off living a life alone. Yet he soon realized that he not only missed the sounds and smells of community, but also the structure and routine and more importantly the feeling of being wanted. No needed, required. The void in his soul was not for the company of others, but the unique feeling one acquired by simply being a part of something greater a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to even exist at all. "Besides if it was not for your stomach we not not of even heard of this place, or this pack." Like most other merchants on the road the blacksmith had talked as he worked re-shoeing Baldur and Radulfr had found him more eager to do so when they shared many a tale of stubborn horses whose stomachs spoke louder than their lips and nostrils. "Casa di Cavalieri", he smiled and sighed to himself. "Sounds a little regal, does it not? I think we may fit in here. Not that we did not fit back home I don't know this feels like home. Especially after what that blacksmith told us about their warrior heritage. What do you think?" Nothing. "Fine be that way" He sighed again. "Maybe here I can be more...well...me. All I ever wanted was to make my father and proud Baldur. Maybe I can do that here, then one day when my body decays and I'm called to the great halls amidst the other great warriors they will welcome me to the feast." One day.

Radulfr's ears flicked upwards and his nose twitched in the afternoon air. This was it. The pack border. He pulled back softly on Balder's reins to bring him a steady halt and when at a complete stop, stepped down from the beast. Switching Balder's reins from his mane to a lead rein, he hitched him to a nearby tree branch and took off the sword he was waring over his shoulder and secured it to Balder's saddle (much to the horse's displeasure), to show he did not intend to attack but to talk. Thinking it rude to draw attention to himself by howling or barking, he simply waited to be greeted. "This is it Balder, try to look presentable." 

Radulfr shook out his fur and attempted to follow his own advice.
#2
Hold a sharp sword up high and cut a path to your future!

Spring was beginning to break through as the days warmed and the sun seemed to last longer. Armani enjoyed it and found herself in higher spirits than she had in the past few months. Nilda was doing better she thought though there was still work to be done between mother and child. “Argos, a bit faster hmm.” She hummed at the horse.

She needed to get through her portion of border patrol. After all her job was to keep her home safe. With patches of grass now visible it made the trekking by horse less dangerous as she and her steed could see any holes or branches that lay in their path. Green eyes glistened in the fresh sun as she spurred Argos on once again.

She felt him heave under her and she chuckled. “Come on the sooner we finish the sooner you get a brushing and a treat. Hmmm?” She spoke as she felt her steed shift his body weight and pull his head back a bit. “Enough” she spoke as she tried to spur him on again. The steed pulled against her drawing her in the opposite direction. “Argos we need to go the other way.” She huffed, pulling on the reins her stubborn steed huffing as she pulled them to a halt. She raised an eyebrow as she looked about before she spotted the horse in the slight distance.

“Alright you win.” She spoke spurring him forward toward the horse and what she assumed to be a rider. The pair made their way over, once she could see the pair fully she puffed up a bit more. Her rank cloak covered her shoulders fox fur showing her rank graced the top of her deep purple cloak. She looked at the dark furred male as she spoke. “You seem to have picked an odd spot to rest. You are on the borders of Casa di Cavalieri, I’m Armani Catori. What can we do for you.” Her tone stern as she sat atop Argos. The steed huffing also staring down the pair that grace their doorstep.

[400+] // ooc text
#3
Radulfr heard the pair before he saw them. His ears twitched in curiosity. Good to hear that it wasn't only his horse that was stubborn and independent, for a moment a smile curled at his lip. His smile soon respectfully faded as he saw them both approach. He took a moment to take in the image of her. He was genuinely struck by her cloak. A sign of rank maybe? For the first time nerves came upon him, creeping up from the ground below his feet. He would need to adjust to a whole new set of cultures, values, beliefs and for the quickest of moments it overwhelmed him. Taking in a deep breath he steadied his nerves and placed a hand to Balder's neck for moral support. Sensing his predicament the equine pushed back into his extended hand in a show of solidarity. Grumpy old man or not, he was certainly a good judge of emotion.

Standing up straight Radulfr flattened his ears back to his head and averted his gaze watching them approach from his periphery vision. Although she was above his eyeline he did not look up, but lowered his head further into a friendly, submissive bow as she spoke. "Pleasure to meet you Armani" He raised his slightly but only just enough so that she could hear him talk and he was not mumbling into his chest. He wanted to prove his usefulness as a warrior as well as a loyal subject. "I hope I'm not intruding. My name is Radulfr Bergfalk and I stopped here so as not to trespass into your lands." He paused for a moment to let her take in his introduction, then continued, drawing breath to begin to tell his story. "I have travelled overseas seeking new lands to call my home. A blacksmith I met on my travels spoke of a pack of like-minded warriors, so I came to seek out it's brave members with a request to build a new life in their home." His tail remained low but twitched with anticipation.

"Of course I don't expect free lodgings. I'm a warrior myself that has seen territory battles and committed my life to the protection of others. I come here to extend this protection to you and your pack." Not wanting to over sell the idea he kept his head low and waiting for her to speak. For he guessed she may have questions.
#4
Armani sat tall atop Argos green eyes, watched the male. She had to admit after the last year and Nilda going missing a while back Armani felt leery of anyone who found themselves at their borders. She may have felt more off as the male before her had chosen not to call out to seek entry. She found him just standing watching the borders.

“Trespassing would be ill advised.” Her tone much colder than she had first meant it to be. She found him odd as she listened to him and perhaps that was in part to the fact she’d never been great with interpersonal communication. “Well some of the roaming blacksmiths do know the best direction to point travelers.” She spoke as she released the reins.

“We don’t need protection. We are a hardy group of warriors and many of us have varying skills. We welcome warriors, men or women skilled in the art of combat are normally always accepted.” She cleared her throat as she tilted her head back. Calling out to Cedric, she looked back to Radulfr and took a breath. “I’m one of the sworn and one of the blacksmiths within the pack. You’ll notice our ranks are a bit different but you’ll learn. Our Lune Cedric is who I called for he will decide about your official joining but I’m sure it will go over well.” She spoke.
#5
Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

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During the time Cedric wasn't patrolling the borders, or organising who was, he spent at home or in his office drawing up plans. Wolfville was going well, it seemed the town had much to offer the Cavaliers if done right and a lot were becoming positive about the future of the settlement. But it would need development then constant balancing once made, with the stock taken there, what livestock were spread out between the two farmlands in Casa. Information that would probably go to the hands of Honrin but Cedric didn't want to seem like he wasn't willing to try and help as well. His best effort was made in sketching up ideas for homes or fenced areas, as well as making a copy of the construction designs he'd traded with from the Oglethorpe group just in case of accidents. 

It was almost relaxing being at home to sketch in the quiet, save for the occasional noise of the cougar kitten moving from hiding spots or coming to check out what Cedric was doing. He was being lulled into the work before the sound of a call brought his attention into the now. Getting up, Cedric saw the cub crawl from under the table, fairly close to his legs and grumbled. "Food for me?" It purred though remained in place. Cedric looked down whilst tying his rank cloak on. 

"Later. When I come back." He replied, hopeful that the kitten could understand what patience was. It moved away to hide somewhere else now that Cedric's feet weren't available, and the Lune turned to focus on leaving. Someone would probably reach the call before him, probably the likes of Armani since the guardsman knew she was patrolling that particular area. So he didn't rush Ulrich out of the stables with too much dire need, letting the older gelding run at his own pace. In decent time, another call rang to summon the Lune himself, something quickly returned as Cedric urged Ulrich to sprint. 

Upon reaching the borders, Cedric took note of Armani and the man waiting parallel to her on the edge of their lands. The large wolf seemed to have a few tells of battle on him, something the Stryder was used to picking up on when meeting others. Flicking his head to Armani, the Lune accepted her explanation of the situation first, though not much was needed to make the call clear. Cedric pushed Ulrich forward to gather attention, and turned his golden gaze to the midnight-furred man. "I am Cedric, Lune of Casa di Cavalieri. I am sure Armani has told you enough of our pack and what we strive for. I can tell you've seen battle, it is something we honour here. But tell me, how confidently do you hold yourself and would you be willing to share your gifts with my home?"


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#6
It was much to the young males surprise that Armani did not have questions. He nodded in response to her remark on trespassing. This was something they could both agree on. Many a time Radulfr had been forced to see of a scout or two from his home borders. Mostly without incident, but sometimes with a little bit of a scuffle. Only after his words and wit had failed him however. As she continued to speak, Radulfr's spirits damped a little as he heard how he wasn't needed here and for the briefest of moments his ears and tail dropped a fraction in response, unable to quite fully hide his disappointment. Then as she called out he took a quick glance up at her and smiled. He knew that call well, she was calling for her leader. 

"Thank you Armani. I'm sincerely grateful for the opportunity to prove my worth to you and your council." Whilst they waited for another to respond to her call Radulfr wished to clarify his earlier point. He placed a hand close to his heart as he spoke to show his sincerity. "Please do not think I see you or your brood as weak. Already you project a very strong, proud visage. I simply wish to show you I am no wandering freeloader. If I expect to call a land my home then I will respectfully play my part in your community." Being a good speaker was also a matter of understanding those whom you are speaking to. Her manner, tone and body language all told Radulfr this was a proud land with a solid heritage, which he found it worthy to homage to in his expanded introduction. It also never hurt to throw in a friendly comment or two..."Plus I've never seen a pack donning such divine capes before." He looked up for a brief moment and gave a small wink to Armarni, who he hoped had taken his relaxed comment in good faith.

He wasn't sure how long passed before Armani's call was answered. He too arrived on a steed and once again Radulfr surveyed him from his peripheral vision as he bowed so low his chin brushed against the fur on his chest. Cedric was certainly a striking sight. Much like Radulfr you could tell he was battle tested and with some deep old wounds too. So it was no surprise to Rad when the Lune saw the same in him. For a moment Rad was awe-stricken, here in front of him was the warrior he wished to be. Decorated with tales of bravery, fire-lit eyes, proud stance. Stuck in the moment Rad took a moment to consider the males question. 

"Honor to meet you Cedric." He lifted his head this time so the others may see the truth in his eyes as he spoke. "Confident enough to know that one day, when I am old and grey and my body is infected with age, I will be welcomed into the great halls of other great warriors before me. We will sit, feast and share tales of our bravery and jokes of our enemies cowardice in our mighty shadows." He clenched his fist and placed it on his chest fiercely. "And if it is the gods will that I die in their service, then this will indeed be a fine honor too." He placed his hand back down to his side and knelt with one knee to the ground. "I find myself a warrior with no mission. This aggrieves me more than anything else in my time on this earth. Please sir, help me find my mission again and make me whole once more." 
#7
Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

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Cedric was quick to dismount Ulrich. He adored riding his steed, but the Lune had a distaste for remaining above others when addressing them. Some might deem it appropriate for the leader of a pack to loom above, but Cedric was not out to prove himself as some lord over-shadowing his lands or his people. The Lune wanted to be seen more towards an equal, someone to respect but not to fear. Which was easily done for those within Casa who knew Cedric so well, but for those not familiar with the Cavaliers it would probably be easy to see Cedric's appearance and his expression and consider him as some kind of stern and serious leader. 

That being said, the man's respect was amicable, and his words flowed with the confidence of a long lasting river that was not halted by rocks or fallen trees. Cedric listened well, offering no smile until the man finished his speech, then the Lune's lips lifted ever so slightly. "Well, don't be too quick to chase your death here, all in Casa are trained not just for battle, but to protect our own as well. We are bound by honour to serve the innocent or those in need of our aid, so if it is glory you seek I can promise you will find it here, provided you are willing to find it alongside us." Cedric explained, wanting in no simple terms to ensure that the dark-furred man was looking for just fights and violence. Whilst Casa was indeed the home of warriors, Cedric preferred to act by a code of looking for peace first, and revenge or retaliation later. 

Besides, Casa had once accepted warriors from a distant land looking for glory, and they ended up trying to burn Casa to the ground and remake it to their liking. Cedric doubted this man had the same goals in mind, but the Lune would be cautious to ensure this restless warrior found a good fit amongst the Cavaliers. 

"Casa has what you seek, but it may also have more. We Cavaliers are a family, we learn from each other just as much as we train or help one another, so long as you are willing to embrace a new life with us, then I will grant you a place amongst our ranks."


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#8


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#9
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As the leader dismounted, Radulfr remained one one knee, but did lift his head up. He had shown his respect for Cedric's position and rank, now it were only polite to look at him as he spoke. His words on death were wise, maybe Radulfr did chase the romanticized image of death before dishonor a little too readily. Maybe a little humility could be something he could learn here in time. He had already adopted the concept of peace, but been in a society that did not allow him to practice such a notion. These lands, this pack, he could already sense they would be good for him. Help him find something he had been chasing for a long time.

He felt a pang at the mention of family. This was the one thing he would sorely miss here, but a fresh start, a new family and time, these could help to soothe his fresh emotional wounds. He had finally, hopefully found his place in the world. He was finally home. He rose up to his full height once more and extended his fighting arm to Cedric's shoulder as a peaceful gesture. "Thank you kind sir. If it is indeed these qualities which you seek in me, you will not find yourself disappointed. I will try my best to live to your codes and values and enforce them peacefully with others." He placed his arm back down to his side and bowed his head once more. "I welcome this new chapter of my life like the rising of the sun in spring morning. Thank you again for this opportunity."
// Thanks guys - feel free to reply if you wish otherwise we can wrap up


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