[AW] hand in unloving hand
beep boop Saga is chilling on the coast
In spite of recent events, the dappled woman found herself largely content with life as it currently progressed. The fire, she knew, had been a painful reminder for the Songthorn brothers, and she’d sought to seek out Ierian as soon as she had realised the implications of what had happened. The flame scarred brother seemed to have had less of an adverse response, but Saga knew that Ierian internalised a great deal more than people realised, and she watched his honey coloured eyes closely for those faint signs of distress. She only hoped that their long and sometimes strained talks had had a lasting and remedial effect.

She sought the coast again, more out of habit than anything concrete. The wide expanse of water, stretching out before her, was particularly grounding. So too was the steady lap of the waves, the surf coming up to greet the coarse seafront. Saga thought remotely of Evariste, who’d himself now joined his elder brothers at the Caledonian’s outpost. She wondered if Ierian would, or did, take it somewhat personally, though she knew that he’d sought his pseudo-father out. Her gentle Erynson was too considerate to do anything else.
She carried her sword not because she had a reason to but because she felt like it. It was rapidly becoming a part of her identity now. There goes the Caledonian giant, big and strong and mean. If you try to screw with her she'll lop your head off with a ten pound blade. In the same way her father carried weapons as a sign of his profession and willingness to cross steel so would she. After all, what good was a mercenary if they didn't look the part?

And she very much did look the part. Her height and weight made her imposing, her muscles made capable of delivering on that imposition while her thuggish grin told everyone that she was always at least considering starting trouble. Hardly the look of a model citizen but who in her family was? Well, a few of them actually but the point was that her father was fairly psychotic, her mother was a prideful ex-queen and her sister was a thief. In Hoko's eyes the Tanoy household was a pack within the pack, it's own unit who her loyalties would always lie with. Why would she not want to follow their footsteps?

But their would be no mischief making or fistfight starting today, not from her anyway. Even though she walked with her specially made sword leaded against her should the wolf mutt had no intention of putting it to use. She just wanted to stroll along the beach for a while, enjoy walking while her body was still limber.  Oversized feet left oversized tracks in the sand as she padded up the coastline, only stopping when she came across another person. 

"Howdy Saga! How're things?"

Had they ever talked before? ...Hoko wasn't sure. But whether or not they did made no difference. She greeted the starry-bodied mother with the same cheery carelessness they did pretty much everyone because smiling was how she told the world she was planning on starting shit at some point or another.

OOC: Wordcount 343
The lumbering thumps of feet upon the bank and the mingled scent of Savoy and Tanaka alerted the once Ursarchon to Hokori's presence before the girl, almost a woman now, announced herself cheerily. Saga saw the passage of time more keenly in Hoko's sooty face than she did in the faces of her own children. Perhaps it was because she ignored the harsh features and coarse fur as it swept across the once sort and round faces of her sons and daughter. That, coupled with that fact she did not see Kalypso's children daily, made their steadily increasing maturity even starker, and once again the dappled woman felt that noticable void in her life. She thought of Ierian then too, in a malestrom of adoration and frustration.

'Morning.' Saga greeted softly, craning her neck to do. Why was everyone in this pack so damn tall..? 'Expecting trouble?' she asked, nodding towards the sword that the young Tanaka was lumbering around with. Saga had never had any taste for weapons. Having shifted so late, she'd grown too accustomed to being on four legs and now, years later, there was still a lingering distaste for being upright and, naturally she'd neglected to develop any affinity for armed combat. Tooth and claw was as good as anything.
Hokori was simply giant. That was kinda her whole deal. But she had forgotten, or rather had never really realized, that Saga was actually kinda puny. Short height, lower than normal body weight, small and no doubt nimble but lacking the pure strength of form that Hoko possessed. Together they were a comedic duo ready to put on a performance, the Big and Small Show. Hopefully Saga knew some good jokes cuz Hokori had never really considered herself funny.

"Not expecting, no. Figured I should get used to carrying it around."

It was a trick she had picked up from her father. Being openly armed made her a much less appealing target and if someone was still stupid enough to throw down then she'd simply lop their head off where they were standing. Carrying around a sword that would be ridiculously oversized for anyone else gave the mutt a boost of pride. Hell yeah she carried a sword and it was absolutely gargantuan too. Got a problem with that? Boom, tell it to the sword.

But she didn't need just that moment. There was a muffled chnk of metal against tiny rocks as Hoko buried the blade in the sand, letting her weapon simply stand upright as she sat down next to Saga. "You ran a pack, right? Did you ever deal with my mom in like a-" 

A massive mitt gestured aimlessly, trying to stir the word she was looking for into existence.

"-in like a Queenly capacity?" 

Wordcount 251
Although as a youth her small stature had irked her, the realisation that it hide her tenacity and the surprising punch she was capable of packing. Where she wasn’t large and powerful, she was fast and agile, hardy enough to withstand harsh blows, and this alone made her formidable in her own right.

'You remind me of an old friend.' Saga noted, the thinnest of smiles playing on her lips. It had been a long time since she had last thought of Ragna, the woman who'd once been as close to a sister as she had ever had. There was a deep ache for the world that she once inhabited, a sense of rare regret for her own decisions, and a bitter taste as she remembered seeing Athras' face for the first time. It was not the first time animal instincts had led her down an ill path, but she sorely hoped it would be the last. She was doing everything in her power to remain beside Ierian, whether he appreciated it or not. Though she was sure that now, after almost a year of tense friendship, he would allow such tenderness.

’I did.’ she confirmed. ’The Vale and the Court didn’t have all too much to do with each other, mine you, but we were friendly enough.’
"They must have been a pretty big friend."

Saga was what, two or three years older than her? Definitely not as old as the ancient High Lord and Lady that had spawned her but definitely fitting in that category of Adult. Hokori defined those sad and strange creatures as pretty much anyone older than her with grown-up responsibilities. Saga had children and thus was an Adult, a grim warning of what was to come for the wolf mutt. 

That would be her some time into the future, sitting on the sand reminiscing about old friends that were dead or gone or had just drifted away because old people sucked at keeping in contact. And Hoko would have it worse than most, cursed by her grandfather to suffer through joint pain and muscle aches. She really didn't want to be a Saga type even though she knew it was inevitable, forever doomed to push against the passage of time.

But all that grim rumination on one's mortality crap was super boring and pretty much a total downer. Hokori was able to push it entirely out of her mind by focusing on Saga's confirmations, perking up at the chance to hear all sorts of stories about her mother. "Okay, cool! What was she like? Was she bossy with you like she is everyone or was she like, actually polite?"

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