[AW+] [M] The Night Ends in Tears of Blood
Post-Feast - Pack Thread

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: .

Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

Taking place immediately after the Feast thread - Aldora to post next - pNPC: Isaac

The celebration had been a huge success; although similar to the feasts of Casa’s past, it seemed everyone knew just how special this one was set to be. Ten years was a long time, and with how well Casa was still thriving despite its age it was clear the pack had much to be proud of. To the fine tunes of the wonderful troupe and what thrilling stories they’d weaved throughout the evening, it seemed everyone had experienced an amazing night. The troupe themselves were something of a consequence of Casa’s drive to share some of their land with guests, so it felt so fitting to have them showcase their talent for this special feast.

Although usually one to let the members indulge in the feast whilst remaining off to the side, the array of food and drink for once had Cedric taking part, often with things given to him by others in the pack with bubbling smiles on their faces. It meant the Lune ended the evening feeling warm and content, though perhaps a bit too full when it came to food. Not something Cedric experienced often given his opinion on eating only what was needed; he could only assume the sharp pains in his stomach were from eating too much, and hoped that working it off might help.

So as many Cavaliers departed, their laughter still echoing around the Fort as they returned home or found a place to rest, Cedric turned his attention to helping clear things up around the tables. Finding Isaac near the dying embers of the cooking fire, Cedric approached and cleared his throat of some phlegm.

“Isaac, you’ve been hard at work all evening so allow me to help clear up.” Cedric offered, taking a deep breath to try and steady the twisting feeling in his gut.

Isaac turned around, the old butcher chewing on a leftover piece of deer leg and hummed. “Sh… ahem,” Isaac swallowed, “sure! I have a feelin’ I drank too much so best help me clean up before I decide those embers are a good bed for the night.” Cedric nodded, noting the man did have a slight sway to him as he stood there, and went into the Courthouse to fetch a broom. With each step going up, Cedric felt a shiver down his back and a lurch to his stomach, forcing the Lune to take a break once he got into the storeroom to collect the brush to ensure he wasn’t going to vomit. The damp air wasn’t helping however and in fact Cedric could swear his vision wasn’t as clear as it was a moment ago… or perhaps it was just too dark. Assuming fresh air to be the cure to the sudden feeling of sickness, Cedric marched back outside to get to Isaac.

The man hadn’t moved from his spot over the cooking fire, which for a moment Cedric thought meant that Isaac was still eating on leftovers but upon approach it looked more like Isaac was just staring down at nothing. Cedric’s vision was still swimming and his stomach still screamed something horrible, but the Lune came close to the old butcher with a concerned frown. “What… is it Isaac?” Cedric asked, voice tightened into a whisper.

Something pulsed in Cedric’s ears, as if feeling the rush of waves underwater, he could barely hear Isaac’s reply if the old man did give one. But what Cedric did immediately notice was the foam around his friend’s mouth that then dropped as the butcher tried to speak. The Lune rushed forward just in time to catch Isaac as the man fell to the side, helping him slowly to the ground whilst staring bewildered at the foam bubbling from his choking maw. Cedric had seen plenty of wounded but hardly any cases of poisoning, not that experience told him this was anything more than a deadly surprise.

The shock of Isaac falling into him had Cedric barely able to get the man slowly to the ground, because the next moment Cedric found himself dropping to his own knees, free hand clutching his stomach as the aches turned into a stabbing pain. Vision tunnelling and mind reeling, Cedric looked desperately up and around for help, able to spot who he hoped was Aldora.

“Al… Aldora! We n-need he-” The Lune didn’t even finish before the pain in his stomach exploded into a stream of vomit and blood, collapsing forward as he lost all strength in his body, lying next to the wheezing and dying Isaac as his vision faded into nothing.

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How quickly the world could change.

Only an hour ago there was dancing and glee, now all the light had turned to darkness. Panic and confusion was nearly palpable, Aldora’s quickened heart no longer beat with excitement but instead with fear.

The party had come to a close and only just had the clean up begun when members had started to become ill. Cedric and Isaac had collapsed and were comatose, foam edging their black lips. Minerva too had taken the pups home stating she wasn’t feeling well; Aldora hoped for their sake it was not the same ailment as what had befallen the Lune. He had called for her, and she had come, and now the only thing to do was react.

Everything was still new and fresh, like the edge of a knife, no one knew what was happening, and all Aldora could do was run to find medical aid. Yrsa had been alerted, she had been present at the feast after-all, and was already gathering up her supplies.

There must have been something in the food, in the drink, that was the only explanation. Aldora herself had only nibbled and sipped a bit here and there, and she felt fine despite the thrumming of the rushing blood in her head as she sprinted towards the Courthouse.

Inside was eerily silent and cold but with a one track mind Aldora hardly made notice of this, instead making her way quickly to the Medical Office where she was sure the elderly healer was resting. The woman had just asked her to allow herself and Isaac safe passage and permission to Portland in the spring to live out their golden years; this would be the last time, Aldora promised, that Morty would be called upon.

The door to the office was ajar and the Knight pushed it open with a bit too much force, the old wood slamming against a cupboard causing a small cup to fall to the ground and shatter, "Morty, we-"

Just as the cup shattered, its small glazed edges splayed across the ground, minute chips bouncing off a still and cold frame. It was Morty on the barren wooden floor, dead.

Around her head a halo of vomit, mixed with both what she had eaten earlier and also fresh green herbs; in her frail fingers still clutched a broken mortar and pestle; no doubt that the healer had recognized what was happening to her, and tried to administer herself an antidote. But clearly it had been too late.

The Sola allowed herself but a moment to gaze upon the elder’s frame, broken and calm, before a wave of vicious anger cascaded upon her. With a snarl, the Knight tore from the room and back towards Kingsbury Square.

What should have been a still night was now assaulted by the cries of Cavaliers, but even their voices were drowned out as the Sola lifted her head to the sky and let loose a call that would reverberate in the bones of the living and dead alike. The ferocity in her call was evident; it was a call to gather for war. Somehow, she managed to find Howland and quietly commanded him to go to the medical clinic and stand guard there; she trusted that once he saw what had happened he would remain quiet.

Violet eyes found Cedric and Isaac, both now having been propped up against some logs to ease their breathing, though both chests still heaved with effort. Isaac especially seemed to be worse off, and Yrsa knelt at his side, her ear against his chest and her fingers on his pulse, the dread on her face as real as anything. Aldora turned to any gathered around, "Go see if there are more sick, gather them here! Where is Cerberus?"

All she could do now was make sure anyone who needed aid would receive it, and those who had caused this strife would be found, "Who helped prepare the food and drink beside Isaac? Where is Josie?"

Hopefully her questions and commands would be heeded, and quickly; she emphasized again, "Gather everyone here, no one shall go to the medical office until we have a grasp on what’s happening." Yrsa looked up at Aldora with a disturbed glance at the seemingly arbitrary statement and the Sola responded with a stoic expression. She wasn’t ready to heap the burden of death on her pack-members until the panic subsided.

Anyone who tries to go to the Med Office will get strongly rebuffed by Howland :: +7

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[OOC: Feel free to grab Tempest if needed.]
Oh what a night it had been, the food, the drinks, and an unforgettable performance put on by herself, Macbeth and Romeo.  Surely it was something to go down in the record books, and excitement still coursed through her veins as she fluttered around the town square. Still dancing even though her terrier friend had disappeared long ago with some dark furred wolf and taken his music with him. Tempest had made a point to at least wave at most of the people she had met during her short time in Wolfville, everyone seemed to be in attendance that was anyone.  It had to be the best night of her life, and definitely the best performance she had ever given, and with no sleep thanks to a flame kissed wolf, she was quite impressed with herself. 

However, very few attendees still remained and the coydog had decided to stay behind with Macbeth to help clean up.  There was no way she would be able to sleep anyway.  Grabbing a  tray of perfectly good meat, Tempest made her way to look for Isaac and see where he wanted to keep the leftovers.  As she walked with the food, the delicious smell wafted to her nares causing her stomach to rage with hunger, the dancer couldn't remember the last time she ate anything, it had to be the day prior.  As she approached the cooking pit, she called out to Isaac,

Suga', ya think I could take a lil of dis meat…

The tray dropped and tumbled to the ground, landing with a loud crash, as her hands flew up and covered her muzzle as she screamed.  Lying on the ground were the bodies of the Lune and Isaac, foam around their lips along with piles of vomit mixed with blood.  Quickly she approached to check on them, as she was getting ready to bend down a growl came from behind.  A rapid twirl and she came face to face with the Sola.  Panicking she didn't know what to do. This was bad.  Tucking her tail she ran as fast as she could, if she could find Macbeth, he would know what to do, they could just run, get back on the road and leave this nightmare behind.  Tears ran down her cheeks, and she trembled with fear, somehow she was able to call out,

Macbeth!  Romeo!  Where t'fuck are y'all?!?! Macbeth…

After frantic searching, a trembling hand reached out for the bull terrier leader and she doubled over by his side, so upset she wanted to vomit, sobbing she tried to explain to Macbeth, but the words wouldn't come until finally,

We…we…we need to…run…
[WC 457]
WC: 390
If someone is wanting to keep Macbeth/Tempest from leaving, slight PP approved

To say this night’s show had been successful would have been a shameful understatement. For Macbeth, this had been the pinnacle of his, Romeo, and Tempest’s hard work. He had sung from his soul, Romeo had played each peace with utmost precision, and Tempest had basically flown across the stage on angel’s wings.

The Cavaliers had clearly been delighted and amazed, many times taking part in the show with clapping and foot stomping. Macbeth swore he could even see tears form in their eyes during the more tragic parts of the love story woven in front of them.

Eventually, the performance had died down to allow the pack-canines to enjoy themselves with food and drink. Macbeth had abstained for more than one reason, but he was sure Romeo and Tempest had availed themselves of what was offered. The scarred terrier was just happy to see them happy, but in the shadows, as he enjoyed himself a clove cigarette. The two younger members of the troupe had truly been enjoying themselves since they had arrived, Macbeth hoped that they weren’t getting too comfortable.

What a thing, this feast, it truly was something to observe how lavishly these Cavaliers lived. He pondered on it as the smoke wafted and collected above his head.

And soon the laughter and voices had died down and it was time to pack up and clean up. Tempest and Romeo were, not much to his surprise, no where to be found as Macbeth began to gather up the instruments, props, and costumes into their respective trunks and bags. He grumbled slightly while doing so, something about always ending up with the brunt of the work.

He had just finished hauling a heavier trunk to their cart, where the troupe’s mule was barely staying awake, when a vicious call rang out. It sent shivers down Macbeth’s spine, and he looked wide eyed towards the square. Before he could react, suddenly Tempe arrived, her face as if she had seen a ghost.

"We… we… we need to… run…" She gasped, and Macbeth enveloped her in his arms, "What are you saying, lass? What’s happened?"

Her panic was contagious, and Macbeth felt fear grip his throat. He suddenly became very aware that they were strangers in this territory and his single eye darted from shadow to shadow, "Where is Romeo?"

//OOC: pNPCs: Levi and Winnie. Appearance by Kai Wolfe-Denahlii.//

The evening had been, in a word, magical. For a pack to celebrate a decade was no small feat and he was proud to be a Cavalier.  The night had been spent talking, cheering and dancing the night away with his favorite girl at his side.  Probably his favorite part of the night was not hiding whatever he and Nova were anymore, no label was needed, not for them, but at least they wouldn't have to lurk in the shadows anymore.

After dropping the charcoal Hushhowl off for the night, and saying goodbye multiple times, the Marino cadet was walking through the Fort gate when a panic filled and chilling howl rang out from the Sola. Lucian's heart began to race as he broke into a sprint towards the Courthouse, something was very wrong.  As his legs powered him past the stables, his muzzle lifted and snapped towards the structure.  A strange scent lingered in the air.  Taking a brief detour and bull dozed through the stable doors and called out for Levi and Winnie, his azure and marigold hues darting around frantically.  He didn't see them, but he knew their scent lingered with something else.  Finally he caught a glimpse of a white foot sticking out from behind a barrel.  Rushing to Winnie's side she found both her and her brother collapsed with bloody vomit surrounding them as well as dried foam on their mouths.

Panic filled the marbled man's eyes and he thought he was going to expel the few drinks he had earlier in the night.  Squatting down beside his friends and pack mates he could tell they were still breathing, though their breathing was ragged. Taking off his cape and coat he placed them over a few bales of hay before carefully picking up Levi and Winnie and placing them over his shoulders.  If they were any bigger he wouldn't be able to do it, but he would find a way tonight.  They both moaned at the jolt of movement and the pressure of his shoulder against their stomachs.  As quickly as he could Lucian moved towards the courthouse and screamed for help.  "Help!  Something is wrong with Levi and Winnie!  I need a healer, please! Help!"

He arrived at a harrowing scene and wasn't sure of what to do.  Finally he saw Kai and called to her, "Kai, please help me." The weight of the two and the panic was starting to get to the cadet.  There was a pain in the counselor's eyes, but she did what was asked of her. Throwing the remaining items off the table, she motioned for him to set them down.  Gently, one by one, with the Wolfe-Denahlii's assistance, the siblings were placed on the tables, still unconscious. "What happened Kai?" he asked, panting.

<I don't know, Lucian, I don't know.>

As the sable woman started looking Levi and Winnie over, Lucian stood with his hands on his hips, taking in everything around him, trying to find his grounding. If anyone would know what was happening it would be his big brother, but looking around he didn't see him. "Where was Cedric?" he thought to himself. Looking to Kai once more, he asked her if she had seen his brother, and tears started to flow from her eyes.  Simply the woman just motioned with her muzzle towards the Courthouse and returned her attention back to the two on the table.

In a hurry Lucian ran up the stairs in search of the Lune, not prepared for what he would find.

[Image: image1.png]When their guard was down the most, chaos erupted. If he could pause the moment before it all went wrong he would, the Cavaliers enjoying the fruits of their own labor, and celebrating their sucesses together, despite all their hardships.

He was unprepared for what happened.

Guinevere? Where was she.

Harried, his eyes rushed over the assembled, the groans and cries of pain ringing in his ears.

<"Honrin, Honrin I don't feel good."> Caspian lunged, grabbing at his arm and it was all he could do to hold the young boy upright. Vomit spewed from the boys lips, and he shivered, gasping for air.

How many others were they?

"It's okay son, get it all up now." Honrin held up Luca's son as the newly ranked kid spasmed, tears streaming down his face. When Caspian was done, Honrin bolstered him up from the side and all but carried him to where the other affected were being brought.

"Aldora! Wh-- Issac." A bark of distress came from the older male to see his old friend there upon the floor looking like he was one footstep from death.

"Where's Morty!?" Aldora turned her head and looked at him, the Labor Head's heart sank into his stomach. Gritting his teeth, he set Caspian, who was still whimpering in pain down, propping his head up so he wouldn't choke on his vomit.

Another horror crept through him then, and Honrin shot upright,

"Where's my Mother? Where's my daughter!!" He couldn't see either of them amongst the Cavaliers. Nor did he hear their voices amongst the distressed. Fear gathered in his guts, an iron brand that set his hands to shaking.


The hours and even days leading up to the feast had been a whirlwind for all as they prepared the Courthouse and hunted and cooked all the food. Guin had helped as much as she were able, but limited as she was there was little to do that didn't get her in the way of others more capable.

It rubbed her fur wrong, a little miffed at being sidelined even if it'd been by choice. Without hands, contributing to making the feast was slightly more difficult, after all.

But she'd hunted some of the game and dragged it back to be skinned, cut, and cooked, at least, so she was satisfied with doing that much.

As for the night itself, it was beautiful. Her garb was simple, no complicated fabrics for her four-legged feral shape, only a simple flower frown of purple and white daisies adorned her wolfish head that'd been made by her loving, doting husband.

Guinevere had remained outside of the main throng of people, wary of being bumped or even accidentally trampled by the flying dancing feet and the merry drunk folk of her packmates.

Honrin had brought her a dish of meats to enjoy to her comfortable spot she'd picked, as well as a dish of regular water instead of the wines and spirits that rotated around the Hall like a merry-go-round. He jogged outside to retrieve it directly from the river, cold and fresh as water could possibly be.

He did not stay with her, which was fine, Guin was content to lay where she be, nibble at her tray of meat and occasionally lap from her dish of refreshment whilst rest on her side. From this position, if anyone were sober enough to watch her, they could see her belly looked a little plumper than it might have been on a normal day. With her legs tucked under her, it could have been hard to tell what was an irregular bulge or just her limbs.

Quickly though she grew tired and weary though, as well as the claustrophobia of being in a space like this with so many canines and knowing her own condition, she didn't want to push her luck. So the phoenix mother quietly raised to all fours and slipped out, trotting her way back home to rest in the soft silence of her home. Since she'd continue to be stuck in Lupus for some time now, Honrin had made better adjustments to the door, so now the latch could be pulled by feral teeth and were not locked out, or in, by a lack of hands or thumbs.

In the dark, the she-wolf curled herself into the piled furs by the fireplace, its embers gradually dying but emitting enough warmth for her to be comfortable, and with a full belly, she began to slowly doze away into the bliss of dreams.

An unknown time later, a cry calling to the roots of every wolf shot across the Fort, a howl demanding all to come, and come ready for bear. To come ready for war. Guinevere shot to her feet before she'd even fully woken up, her paws moving with a steady confidence that she didn't feel as she struggled to shake the lethargy of a pregnancy sleep from her mind to catch up to her legs.

There was no time to consider what in all the gods's names had happened, Guin's Alpha had called to her, and so she came.

The sounds of distressed canines surrounded her, turning her head from one direction to the other and her pace slowed gradually in growing dread, afraid deep in her gut like she hadn't in moons. The scent of vomit, blood, bile, and foam filled her nares and settled uneasily in her stomach, making it lurch.

Was this contagious? Had she caught it already? Was she going to lose her pregnancy again?

The weight of the horror made chills crawl down her entire body, raising every hair up, and she stopped, hesitating whether she should continue forward. The call of Aldora still sang in her blood, beckoning her to keep going, to stand strong together with her brethren against whatever this was. Deeper still than that, however, was the instinct to protect and preserve the nurturing life held in her womb.

Once again, they'd told no one, not even their own daughter or the rest of the Wolfe-Denahlii family, and they barely talked about it except in whispers at night. Hoping, and praying.

Hesitantly she started to head further in, to find Aldora and get an idea of what was going on.

From somewhere, she heard her husband, bellowing as she firmly believed only he could.

"Where's my daughter!!"

And ahead of her, leaning innocently against the outside of the Courthouse and piled on the ground beside it, was Jace's staff and the few things she'd worn, along with Artoia's chosen garb for the night.

Cold, sharp fingers of fear clutched her throat, squeezing the air out of her lungs so she was gasping, her vision flickering around the edges to a pinpoint of darkness.

The liver-furred warrior staggered and tried to suck in air, her sides working like a bellows, but it didn't seem like nearly enough, and her stomach twisted into volatile knots that made it churn violently. Without warning her body heaved and her maw parted, expelling the contents of her stomach of what she'd taken from the dish prepared by Honrin.

She didn't notice, her eyes blurred with tears as her throat burned from the acid, but there was no blood amongst the mess she had ejected, nor foam at her lips.

Guin stood in place, her legs parted like an unsteady foal's trying to keep its balance, and she was so afraid.

For herself. For Honrin. For her daughter. For Jace.

For the unborn babes she carried, nestled in her belly.

"Honrin..." she wheezed weakly. No answer came, so she lifted her head what she could manage, which was only a few inches as she started to shake. "Honrin..!" she cried, louder this time, and she could not stop the moisture that fell from her orbs, as much as she could stop the rise and fall of Fenris, and Artoi.

For Cerberus watching those feasting was more his thing. He hates the way weeks back Eros had called him out. He wasn’t trying to avoid everyone, he just wasn’t sure he was worth their time. His value was in his craft not in himself so to speak so he felt little value. He had thought of joining the others and drinking and being a part of it but if he were drunk how would he help Yrsa if anything did happen.

Though as he had watched the night his lips curled to a frown nothing exciting seemed to happen at all. Though he honestly wasn’t expecting much. It wasn’t until the night seem to be drawing to a close that those around him seemed more off than a simple I drank too much. He didn’t move from his spot until Aldora called for him.

While others may have seen the healer not move and thought he was being lazy it was quite the opposite. Surveying how those around him were reaching and how chaos was starting to take hold. Even the mighty knights struggled to keep their cool as some called for loved ones and others called for help. With how slow Morty was in her old age he could only rely on Yrsa to help. He could hear Nilda calling for the youth of the pack gathering them he supposed to look them over.

Red eyes checked to make sure she was fine. He hadn’t really seen her drinking and while they’d talked a bit tonight she had busied herself with caring for the pups. He had to admit it was rather nice watching her work. Cerberus had honestly never seen something this chaotic and had blamed the vomiting on the alcohol that laced most of the members. As he made his way to the Sola the smell of bile laced the air.

“I’m here Sola.” Cerberus spoke as he glanced around. “Do you feel unwell?” He asked as he began to look at those around them. “Where’s Morty? She was here earlier, I saw her.” He spoke. He glanced at Yrsa, “we need to gather those who are sick in one spot.” He spoke. His tone was normal, no flux or panic. He had to be calm even if inside he was confused and a bit worried. What was going on. The more he looked about the more he felt confused. He couldn't remember all he saw drinking and worried that maybe it was the food. Did he feel fine? His brain raced a mile a minute as he took in a breath. He was fine, he had to be fine, everyone needed help.
Ooc: pp permission approved | cNPC: Temnota Hushhowl

What was wrought this night would stand with her for the rest of her time on this earth. Both aspects, the fortuitous and the grave, came together, twisting wildly.

With their ancestors shining upon them overhead, both heads, the aged and the young, turned to the call of the Sola. Grief, for this wasted time pulled through her, and the Elder thought upon the blackness of her luck that something would happen on this night. A last look, to the sky, to the shining threads that beckoned her so seductively.

"Come." Was all that she said before turning herself away from their sacred, secret moments. The lights at the end of the world would needs be forgotten now.

They had made the journey here at a slow jog, one that the she-wolf had felt would not unduly tax her. They returned with speed, the old woman's breath rattling in her chest and her bones grinding together, her limping gait jarring her frail body with every motion. Still she did not slow, not even as the great walls rose above them and they slipped beneath their shadows to a world of horror.

Drawing to a halt beyond the ruin of bile and blood, Jace crossed her body before her granddaughters and would not allow her to tread a step further.

Distress reigned amongst the Cavaliers, cries of pain and misery echoing from the cobbles and the stone walls. White ringed the old woman's eyes, darting as they were, to and fro, taking note of the ones hunched in fever and pain.

A dark form approached them, one splattered with the remains of vomit, though he did not look unwell as the rest, other than the pinched upset that colored his stolid face,

<"ба́бушка, dhey ahre sieck...">

It pained her to do so, but the ancient female bared her teeth at the boy whose life she had saved, who she had raised as a son of her own, and pushed her thin shoulder against Artoia, forcing the girl to retreat with her.

"Stay back!" She punctuated her grizzled words with a snarl. Jace had no knowing what madness this was, if it was poison, or disease, was it carried on their fur, or in their bile and vomit. She would not risk the light of her families line on the cast of a bad dice.

<"ба́бушка..."> There were tears in his blue-green eyes. So much fear, but she could not help him now. Her hackles rippled, raising in spiking defensiveness. The choice she had made pained her immeasurably but she did not shrink from it. Temnota took another step forwards, and Jace lunged, her jaws coming to crash together in a frightening display, though she had not moved more than two or three feet from her original position and quickly hustled back to place herself between Artoia and the struggling Cavaliers.

The Hushhowl son retreated, his face breaking apart to the terrified boy he'd once been. Who'd come to seek comfort from a woman who raised him and instead found himself turned away.

Tears fell. Jace was not deaf to his suffering but she had to ignore it. For Artoia's sake.

"I am sorry, Vo'knominya." Though whether she was talking to the dark man or to her granddaughter was not clear.

About the bodies, and through the mingling ill, the vision of her son came to her, and surely the parts of their clothes and her staff had been found. He was crouched by his wife, a hollow, grieved expression clasped tightly to his face. Jace felt her own stomach contract in concern, surely not Guinevere too?

Sucking in her breath, the ancient female let loose the startlingly deep 'whoof' through the bellows of her lungs. Honrin's head jerked upwards, golden eyes searching, seeking, and finding her diminutive form. Relief filtered through his face, and he pointed, lowering his head to Guinevere's, to point out their stance at the edge of the mayhem.

Now her head moved, twisting to pierce the young girl with a serious stare,

"We will stay here, Artoia, at the edge. I don't know how they are afflicted, and until we can be sure it is not contagious, we must stay away."

Old she may be, there was no getting past her Elder now for the Denahlii youth. A far cry from so short a time ago, when the aged woman had sung her fervor to the moon in whimsical outcry.

Quote:PP approved by Jazyy!

Lyall hadn’t thought of much, honestly his head was spinning. Early that evening he asked Artemis to stay behind and enjoy herself he had to go lie down. Yet, he hadn’t made it that far, the brute had barely made it out the door before chaos erupted behind him. In front of him. To his left, right, there wasn’t somewhere where wolves weren’t panicking.

Lyall clutched his stomach, and lurched, all over the ground. His hands became shaky, his ears folded downwards onto his head, and then— Vezda was there. Through blurring vision the monochrome male clutched the door frame as Vezda came barreling into the chaos, he choked on his words.

He-help! Pl-please, it’s my m-mom!” Tlama, the child of his cousin. Lyall wasn’t sure what had happened, what caused this. If Tlama was sick too, then that meant—

N-nuuhhhggg.” Was all he had managed before the Hushhowl was frantically grasping onto the sides of the door frame, he noticed the strangers, the woman Temptest and her partner of doggish descent trying to flee. He let out a howl, and stuttered out words. “St-shtop!” But the Hushhowl was beginning to choke, his stomach hurt, burned, feeling of hot rod iron being shoved into his pelvis, and resonating towards his upper stomach. He collapsed onto his hands, the blood and vomit was all over his forearms, and he desperately tried to stay awake, to keep his eyes open.

With a large thud he hit the ground, managing to simply roll out of the path of those who tried to escape, but his own weakness was beginning to show. He tried to get up, tried to will his arms to work, but he began panting, instead he turned onto his stomach and try as he might, to lift himself upwards, he fell back down again, collapsing into what was now a pile of blood.

His eyes caught sight of many fleeing, his ears became silent, no longer hearing panic, and he reached outwards towards a dark figure, he thought it was Aberama. The only thing he remembered was mumbling Abe’s name, and then, he was set against something hard, he puked, again, and all consciousness was lost. His kids flickered shut and his chest weakly still heaved.

Nothing was left but darkness in his mind, as his form became slack against the log.
Ooc here

[Image: Chefmani.png]The party was wrapping up and everything was dying down. Manitou had been too busy watching the souls devour their meals, keeping a special eye to his own. His mood was high, his mouth was dry, and it was about time that he got his fill before the meals were completely cleaned up. Rising to his feet, he threw his arms over his head in a stretch, and turned around.

Pure chaos was at his back, and with wide amber eyes he watched as bodies doubled over, as Lupercii fell, and as the Cavalier's great leader toppled to the ground.

Oh no.

Grimacing, he took a few steps back and took it all in. The Cavalier's sure had a strange way of celebrating. It wasn't long until the panic had set in. Canines everywhere looking for their loved ones, the sounds of screams and cries, sobbing and heaving gasps abound. A wrinkle found the bridge of his nose as he thought precisely about what the best plan of action was.

Well, he wasn't sick yet. Best not to stick around and become so, right?

It was then that the great Sola growled her orders. Huddled in like sick cattle, everyone was trapped, but a voice rose above the others an a pinch bit into his chest.

A finger dug into him, and one of the Cavalier's was at it's arm. The tawny wolfdog with hardware in his face and a streak of red above mis-matched eyes lifted his voice in a panic, “You! You helped cook the food, didn't you?”

Manitou raised his hands and shook them, a sign that he wasn't looking to fight. It wasn't as if he had anywhere to run, either. Perhaps, this had been a bad idea. He'd have to talk to Nyx and Lukos about his position as a potential diplomat if this was how diplomacy worked, “Not me, Bozzi! Ah'betta cahn proof it tuh he!” He said, rushing his words, his only saving grace was that he knew what he did, and didn't do. Sure, the food was spicy, but it wasn't so spicy as to turn insides into outsides.

“Prove it!” Theo demanded and gave the Bajan a shove.

“Ah will,” As sure as he knew he was right, he knew it wasn't his food that needed checking. Followed, he made his way over to the meat that Isaac had been handling. A quick inspection had his sharp chef's eye catching something that the others must have missed, “Day's sum'ting on dat. I ain' cook dis, hay,” Rather than get to close to the contaminated food, he stepped back and offered a hand out for it to be inspected by anyone who was capable or willing.

Ooc here

[Image: Nazman.png]A hand placed on his full stomach, the pale of eyes washing over those that passed. The party was over, the feast was done. Cavalier's were cleaning up and going home, but Nazar was too full to move. Zetsubou passed him, chasing that little white brat of his around, but didn't seem to have an eye on his younger brother. Nazar was thankful. A night off, for a change. It sounded pleasant. Full beside the fire in the Lounge, absorbing the warmth and dozing seemed like a great evening. One where he wouldn't have to hide.

His eyes were growing sleepy with all he had consumed, just the thought of a nap already rousing him to his feet so he could go chase that perfect end to a good day.

What he was met with, however, was the sound of the Lune and his call for aide. Sooty ears flipped around, followed quickly by his sights, and he caught Aldora just as she rushed to his side.

That was when Nazar's ears started ringing.

Blinking, he shook his head, trying to regain composure. He could hear the chaos unfolding around him, but the sound was drowning in the pitch that resounded in his head. Suddenly, he lurched forward, catching himself on the table only to fall into his seat. The hot sting of something twisted in his gut, and digits buried their claws into the edge of the table. The bridge of his nose wrinkled as a snarl formed on his face, but before he could make sense of it all, that's when the froth started to pool at the corners of his mouth.

Eyelids fluttered as he started to sway in his seat, his grip on the table failing. Without warning, the knots in his gut moved up and hot blood poured from his maw. Thick ropes of cardinal drool dangled from his lips as pale blue's rolled. The dark encroached, caving in on everything around him.

Dead weight fell to the ground as Nazar lost any tether on consciousness. Like the other Cavaliers, he succumbed, shivering on the ground in a pool of his stomach's upheaval.

Ooc here

[Image: Zetsunewref.png]The giggling of his son brought warmth to his heart, the mahogany father tailing the boy, “Go find your sisters,” Zetsubou chuckled as he chased the boy, weaving through the other Cavaliers as he decided a bit of play could happen before clean up. Zetsubou had his hands full the entire evening with his family and hadn't had a chance to eat or drink, but once the pups were put to bed he was sure that he'd have a little time to get something down before the night's end.

At the rate at which Kazi slammed on the brakes, Zetsubou was pulled from his planning and nearly tripped over the boy. After stumbling a bit, the father managed to get his feet back under him. Shoulders turned as he looked back to his youngest son, a cant of his head with curiosity heading his question, “Are you alright?” His voice was warm, but laced in concern.

Kazi didn't reply.

Cedric called for help.

Startled, Zetsubou spun around an found Aldora rushing to the Lune and then away. On instinct, Zetsubou reached down and lifted his on off of the ground. Insanity started befalling the Cavaliers end Feast, and Zetsubou's eyes started rushing. Where was Dusk? Where were the puppies. Borya? Zasha? Lyu? Through the chaos, he couldn't find a single one of them. The last soul he searched for, Nazar, sat at his table.

It was time that the woodsmoke man helped during the chaos, “Nazar. NAZAR!” Zetusbou hollered over the screams and cries, “You need to help me loo-,” Immediately, his voice cut short as he watched blood pour from Nazar's maw. For a moment, he stood, frozen, watching as Nazar fell to the ground. The tremors that shook Nazar's body finally shook Zetsubou back into action.

He nearly sprinted to the Dishonored's side and dropped to one knee, while Kazi wiggled around in his arms, “Nazar. Nazar, get up,” A hand pulled at the Dishonored's shoulder, finding him unconscious. Black locks shook as Zetsubou tried to deny what was happening, as bi-hued eyes reached up and watched Cavaliers fall. His maw dropped as he saw what seemed like the end of them all, and for a moment, he waited for it to take him, too.

Realization hit him as his hackles raised, and an eye turned to Kazimir in his arms, “Kazi, we ha-,”

His voice shook as fear struck him.

“Kazi?” A whisper slipped from his maw as the limp puppy's limbs dangled, his head rolled over and his tongue slack through an open mouth, “No, no no no,” Letting the pup to the ground, he patted his young face, trying to stir him. Heavy breaths rattled in his lungs as he turned his eyes up, pleading, “Aly? Zasha? Borya? Dusk!?”  His voice broke, drown by the cries of the Cavaliers as the edges of his sight grew damp, the light of the moon reflecting like glass in his eyes, “Please be okay. Please, please,” Shaking, he pulled Kazi tightly into himself, knelt beside Nazar.

What was happening?

All pp approved

The party had been fun, she had spent time with Cerberus. Though he had left a slightly bitter taste in her mouth. She couldn’t believe how bold he was to ask her about her night with Eros. Still now she was annoyed it was all she could do to keep herself from causing a scene. Instead she excused herself to go play with the various youths of Casa. She enjoyed her cousins and Minerva and Aldoras pups were fun.

The night though was drawing to its close. Most of the small pups had been shuttled home except her sister Electa who she’d seen about. She was sure since both Maman and mama were here they didn’t care how tired Electa would be after all they could relax and sleep all day.

She dusted off her dress and stood herself up and began to head towards where a few were gathering. She figured she would offer to help clean up after all she hadn’t had more than a sip of anything and was fine to help out. As she was on her way she heard Cedric's voice which caused her to close the distance before pulling back. Her own stomach churned but not from illness but from the sight before her. As she turned she caught sight of the start of those around her falling sick.

She took in a breath as she stepped back fear eating at her core as she looked for any of the younger members. Catching sight of her sister she raced to her side. “Electa I need you to find mama and Maman it’s not safe right here quick.” She spoke to the girl using her strictest voice. She stood back up looking at her sister one more time trying to find her family among the members here. She could hear mama's voice calling out for Electa. She didn’t see Maman anywhere or Lyall. She took a deep breath focus, she could help make sure all the pups were ok. If the adults were getting sick what if the pups were too?

She glanced around trying to find Minerva and her pups. She didn’t see them anywhere; it was likely Minerva took them home to turn in. Nilda took off to go and check on them, she wanted to help and report to Aldora the status of as many youth as she could. As she made her way through Cavaliers she kept an eye out for her mother and brother. Fear pushed her forward as she knocked on the door of the home Minerva and Aldora shared. No one answered and Nilda pushed open the door. “Minerva?” She called out as Lyra pushed herself against Nilda “mamas not here” she spoke. Nilda looked at her and the others. “Where did she go?” She asked, kneeling down. “I don’t know out there.” Lyra responded. “Ok, how are you all feeling? Anyone have upset tummies? No good.” She spoke as she gave a soft smile. “I need you all to come with me ok.” She spoke as she took in a breath. Standing, she led them to Aldora.

Nilda looked at Cerberus who looked at her with worry. “I’m fine, I felt a little dizzy and queasy but not bad.” She spoke trying to settle him, any anger she still held had been lost in the need to care for her pack. “Aldora, I couldn’t find Minerva when I went to see if everything was ok. The pups all seem fine.” She spoke as she looked at her leader. “Should I take them all somewhere?” She asked.

It was a magical evening. Not only for the merriment of seeing all Artoia's packmates, together, celebrating the fact that her birth pack has lasted for ten incredible years. As great as that already was, as good of a time she was having, nibbling on her meats and other edible treats and sipping her water because Mahn had glared something fierce when she'd just looked at the various spirits circling the Hall, so she'd opted for the option that wouldn't make her parents cross (plus the alcohol smelled weird to her young nose, so it wasn't that big of a sacrifice).

No, tonight was the best so far in her memory, because shortly into the midst of the Feast, her Mahnama Jace sought her out and bid her to follow, out into the darkness of night and crossing into their feral forms to tread across the earth on a quest. To show her one of the greatest sights she'd ever be blessed to see; lights of seemingly all colors that undulated and danced across the night sky. Paired with the story of the world's beginning, Artoia couldn't imagine anything better.

She'd heard the story before, when her Mahnama Jace had declared a Story Gathering and she hadn't even shifted yet. Her memory of it was, however, limited, as she'd been younger and such things hadn't been very comprehensible to her yet. She'd howled with her Mahnama to the glorious Aurora, showing the Vitality of her Youth to the ancestors that Jace claimed to be gazing down upon her, and hoping they found her to be good.

From the recesses of the dark, a curdling outcry swathed across the land. From the maw of the Sola, Artoia's Alpha, came a demand to come, and the young girl's hackles rose to meet the wrath which she heard in that howl.

Pale green orbs swung questioningly to Mahnama Jace, whose bearing had changed from one of remembering, and reverence, and bonding, to one of grief and exasperation that their moment had to be drawn so short. But, her elder moved in response to the call, much faster than she had moved in coming here, and Artoia was momentarily left behind in surprise at how spryly Jace could still be, though she didn't think it came without cost if the ancient arctic warrior's breathing was any indication.

The closer they approached, the more sounds they could hear, and Artoia's ears pressed flat to her head in distress as they passed beneath the shadow of the Fort's wall, far more menacing than it had ever been for her. Inside, the myriad of alien scents assaulted her nose and made her eyes water, and even if Jace hadn't crossed in front of her to stop her forward moment, she'd already stopped in outright horror, her tail tucked close to her legs and she just stood and watched, her gaze flicking in every direction, but not to assess like her Mahnama was.

A dark figure approached them, a familiar face that had splatters of the same substance she smelled, and she realized it was vomited bile and blood. Uncle Temnota tried to come close, saying the others were sick, and Mahnama shocked her by pushing a frail shoulder into her own, staggering the stunned Denahlii child to push her backwards, and barking a snarl accompanied command for the other man to come no further.

He was hurt by this, and tried again to enter their a space in his confusion, a bubble of Jace's own making, and again her Mahnama defied the weaknesses of her body to lunge and crash her yellowed teeth together in a frightening warning to the older man to come no closer, before quick as she could shuffling back to place herself once again between Artoia and the rest of the home she'd always known.

Temnota left, leaving the Young and the Old to their devices. Mahnama uttered an apology, but whether it was aimed at her or at the boy that had left them, she could not know, and she did not care, because then it was that she saw her Ghura and her Mahn across the Square. Her mother was bowed and splayed on her feet in Lupus form, as though she'd run a marathon, and her father crouched with her with a pinched look to his face.

A whine escaped her, and she found the motivation to move her paws again, trying to go toward them in her terror, a reverted puppy in the face of the horrors she heard and smelled, seeking comfort from the two most solid figures in her life. She didn't see what her Mahnama had seen. Jace's reverberating "whoof!" startled her into stopping again, and she looked at her elder wondering why she'd done so from such a distance when they could simply cross the Square and be with them.

Just after, her confusion was answered with sharp azure and amber piercing her with a look, pinning her paws momentarily to the cobbles. It was like a phantom had now shadowed Mahnama Jace, granting her a ferocity of years gone passed. Her brows furrowed though, because it didn't make sense that way, what her elder had said.

"What? I-no! We need to help them! if it's contagious we'd already have it by now, everyone was at the Feast Mahnama! We should be showing signs by now!" while saying this her gaze trailed away from her elder back across the Square to stare at her parents. And then it dipped slightly lower, to the cobblestone just in front of her mother, splattered with a substance far too familiar.

Every blood cell in the girl's body ran cold, as though she'd been dropped into the heart of the Glacier where her Matriarch had once reigned. "Mama?" she whispered, whimpering and stepping forward without even realizing.

Moisture of fear sprung to her eyes, unable to tear it away from that sight of horror, and her muscles coiled to jump forward and start running.


** ooc- Post approved by Adelle **

Lyall was over exuberant, happy and intoxicated and so he told her to stay and he was going to go lay down. She'd sat where he left her for a few moments before all hell seemed to break loose and their kind were panicking.  She stood, looking around in confusion and fear, bright golden eyes scanning the area as flashbacks of the attack on her parents crept into her mind. She whined slightly, her eyes scanning the area for Lyall as panic began to tear into her brain.

She headed the way he'd left as the terror in her brain became too much as the chaos grew. She looked left and right and saw wolves getting g sick everywhere. She tilted her head and saw him, hanging onto the door, holding his stomach as if he was going to be sick. She moved to help him but he stumbled out and let out a how that her brain did not register what was said.

He continued to struggle to move, dropping to his hands, and in the light she noticed his arms covered in something though she could not tell what. "Lyall!" She cried out as he dropped to the ground and she jolted forward to try to help him, her heart sinking as she smelled vomit and blood. Her stomach lurched  at the smells and she whined slightly as memories continued flooding her and her golden eyes filled with tears as she dropped to her knees besides him.

He was heaving, gasping for air it seemed and he mumbled Aberama's name before he went silent. She did her best to sit him up, but she was no hear and had no idea what to do. He vomited again, blood and bile getting on her but she didn't care.

"LYALL!?" She cried again as his eyes fell closed. She looked around unsure what to do. "Someone help " She cried trying to keep herself calm.
It's just a matter of time - Our stories will keep us alive - It's just a matter of time

ooc: Pp approved by Mayta

Performing for the Cavaliers had produced a feeling Romeo swore he'd never felt before. It was as if his heart had been pulsing in his throat the whole time, beating and punching with each hit of the drum Romeo made or ringing out each time he plucked the lute. But as terrifying as it had been, the party was a success, and the Cavaliers enjoyed their bounty to the sounds of music and the incredible story-telling. Romeo couldn't help but sneak glances around as he'd played; watching the joy and looking for the faces he'd grown keen of. Particularly Zasha, wondering if the girl might bring out her fire to try and dance in beautiful flames. Once he spotted the girl, Romeo had made frequent attempts to send a wink her way whilst performing a melody, but made sure to catch the girl once the troupe were done. 

Which after a few hours they did, just enough time to eat some food. Romeo had been sure to get a plate of what seemed like cooked rabbit and had taken it straight to Zasha along with a couple of cups. He was exhausted from the performance, but was desperate enough to still try and meet with Zasha, so enthusiastic that he took Zasha right away from the tables, interrupting her eating, to bring her around the Courthouse for be more alone. 

Though what Romeo had hoped would be a stroll around the gardens, some shared food, drink and then maybe something more, was called short by the call from back near the feast. Romeo frowned as he heard it, almost wanting to suggest to Zasha to ignore it and remain here, but it was the sounds that followed that had the boy's blood turning cold. 

Screams... people were screaming. Zasha had rushed back first, Romeo shortly afterwards, back into what had been only moments ago a bubble of celebration and joy. Completely smothered now by foul smells of blood and vomit and the cries of panic. 

It was... awful, beyond anything Romeo had ever seen before. He'd certainly seen others fight back when he was younger but... this was nightmarish in comparison. Bodies were dropping everywhere, families were calling out to each other and it all broke Romeo's heart, curling his stomach until he also felt like he needed to vomit. But, barely swallowing down the acid in his throat, Romeo moved to grab at Zasha's arm, before hearing someone call his name. Glancing a bit away from the chaos and Romeo saw Tempest and Macbeth, looking both panicked and desperate to get away... only staying to wait for their bard. 

They were terrified no doubt... Romeo was terrified, though perhaps the young man was too naive to consider why his friends thought only to run. His heart fluttered and his mind screamed at him to run with them but... but there were people here needing help. Romeo continued over to Zasha, his face still stricken with fear but his soft eyes determined. "Zasha, Zasha... we need to find your family, let me help." The boy offered in a wavering voice, already looking around the mass panic to try and spot anyone that might look like his friend.

WC: 375
Macbeth and Tempest: yeet; also PP approved by Mayta
Turmoil and madness roiled in the air like a thunderstorm, and Macbeth’s nose was assaulted by the scents of bile and blood. His stomach turned at it, but all he could do was to keep Tempest from falling to pieces in his arms. She clawed at him, her eyes wide with panic, and he clutched onto her only long enough to let his eye dart this way and that, trying to find Romeo as she started spewing out what had occurred.

Poison, sickness, death? Oh God...

He watched as a gray Cavalier collapsed near a doorway, and their eyes met for but a moment; the young male lifted a hand and commanded them to stop, but so weakly that Macbeth was sure no one had heard him before he fell into unconsciousness. A moment later, Romeo’s small frame came rushing out into the firelight, and though there was a brief pause as the two males shared a look, instead of turning to join them the bard turned to follow his young Cavalier lass.

"Bastard!" Macbeth hissed, and with a heave tossed Tempest onto their mule’s back. The equine nearly reared at the sudden weight, and the terrier male retrieved a secret blade from within his jacket and quickly cut the leather straps binding the animal to the cart.

Their items abandoned, Macbeth as quietly and quickly as possible led the mule into the darkness, skirting the edge of wood and stone wall that protected this Fort from the outside. He was sure they would run into someone guarding the gate, and Macbeth was prepared to fight his way out if needed, but when he arrived there he found it unwatched.

He did not feel lucky, instead, the open way in front of them seemed more terrifying than what lay behind. Just outside the Fort walls, Macbeth’s hurried steps faltered; he didn’t know what to do. Go back to Wolfville? Just get the hell out of this place into the wilds? And what of Romeo? Even if the youth’s betrayal edged hot on Macbeth’s heart, what would become of him? He was not a Cavalier… his fate was bound to be grim. How had this all gone so horribly wrong?

Macbeth gritted his teeth, "Damnit… God damnit!"

Ooc: PP approved
Finally, finally she had gotten some alone time with who she considered the star of the show, though everyone else would agree it was the dancer front and center, but to her it as the bard that made her head spin. Zasha was ready to skip the food, for something that pleased her appetite more, but horrific, panic stricken howl that wrang out from one of the leaders sent a chill up her spine. There was something wrong, so very wrong as soon sounds of panic filled her large ears. Every single desire she had just moments ago faded, and was replaced by the urgency to return to the party.  The Hushhowl ran as fast as she could, not knowing if Romeo was following. 

As she arrived on the scene, inky paws covered her muzzle in horror, tears threatening to fall and her nasal cavity was assaulted with the smells of vomit and blood, causing her stomach to lurch, wanting to expel whatever contents she had managed to consume earlier in the evening. In shock, she just stared, unable to move, Romeo's voice and touch seemed like they came for another planet, until she shook her head, bringing everything back into focus.  Looking at the bard, tears in her eyes,  she simply nodded, grabbing his hand, she squeezed before charging forward into her worst nightmare.

Rushing by the tabled, he muzzle snapped to the side, catching scent of the smallest Hushhowl, frantically her eyes searched for her little sister, unable to spot her anywhere.

"Damnit.  Romeo do you see a puppy wi…."

Her voice cut off abruptly, there under the table, Alyonna was shaking and trying to stand, below her bile, food and blood surrounded the pup.


Zasha let out a blood curdling scream. Sliding under the table she grabbed the dark furred pup and cradled her against her body.  Looking up with pleading eyes at Romeo, begging for his help,

"We have to find my parents."

Back on her feet she began spastically searching again, limp puppy legs dangling as she ran until finally she spotted Zetsubou, along with her uncle and a unconscious Kazi.

"Why is this happening?"

The question to was asked to no one as she dropped to her knees by her daddy's side, a hand reached out the stroke sweet  Kazimir before placing Aly next to him, thinking maybe they would comfort each other.  Aly couldn't lift her head, by mismatched orbs looked slowly between her and Zetsubou, scared and worried, begging one of them to help the smallest pup and her littermate. 

Zasha wanted to curl up in a ball and cry holding her brother and sister in her arms, but that wouldn't do anyone any good.  Leaving the pups with her father, she was off in search of someone to help, if she could find anyone it'd give her family a better shot of fighting whatever horrible things was happening.  Praying to whatever god or gods wanted to listen, her search began for a healer, or anyone that might help.

Word Count 521
[Image: owzjXaD.png]
//ooc: pp approved. pNPC: Balti//

It amazed the woman how quickly the universe could take an absolutely perfect night and turn into a horrific nightmare. Mismatched orbs took in the scene before the Wolfe-Denahlii herbalist; stomach content from the evening festivities, bile and blood covered the ground and luperci all around.  Those she held near and dear to her heart laid somewhere else ill or unconscious, and she wasn't able to be near them, because she was needed elsewhere.  Currently standing watch over Levi and Winnie, making sure they didn't choke on their own vomit.  Lucian was kind enough to help lay them on their sides when he brought them, but had sense run off to find a couple of his brothers. Even more people were being brought back to the Fort, or collapsed where they stood.  Fear and worry shook Kai to her core, she had to do something besides just stand there. If she could flap someone down to keep an eye on the siblings under her care, she could at least grab whatever herbs she could find in her Wetu and take them to either Yrsa or Cerberus who seemed to still be unable to get back into the clinic.

Levi and Winnie's breathing was ragged, but they seemed stable, they were still unconscious but the vomiting seemed to cease, at least for now. Across the courtyard Kai called out to Balti who had just brought more people to the makeshift medical area.  "Balti, can you stand here with them, make sure they stay on their side, please! I want to run and grab some things from my home that might be able to help."  The doggish woman simply nodded and the sable woman was gone in a flash running back to her Wetu to grab anything she could that might be of assistance in whatever was happening.  She should at least have things to help with vomiting or nausea, but the blood is what concerned her.

Back at the Wetu, she quickly changed into something more appropriate that she wouldn't drag through the vomit and blood, her leather doublet and short leather skirt.  Quickly she braided her hair and tied it back out of the way so the braid wouldn't drop or drag through anything unpleasant.  Next she started going through her herb stash, throwing anything she could in her worn leather satchel.  With the bag bulging, she took and deep breath and ran back over towards the courthouse. 

The night was cold, but she couldn't feel it, adrenaline and anxiety pumped through her vein keeping her warm.  No matter how much the brisk autumn air tried to cut through her dense fur, there would be no bone chilling cold tonight.  Seeking out one of the healers, she passed by the Lune and Caspian kneeling down to check on them briefly she held Lucian's hand who hadn't left his brother's sides. Even the sight of the young Knight son grabbing Cedric's hand and refusing to let go rocked her to her core as she caressed their faces softly.  Kai couldn't imagine her life without either of them in it and it pained her greatly not to be able to stay by their side until better arrangements could be made.  But getting her supplies to the healers to help was important, reluctantly she rose to her feet, praying to the All Mother and Artoi for them to be okay, before mismatched orbs frantically searched out a healer.

Finally she spotted the one eared wolf and healer, sprinting towards him as she removed the strap of the satchel from over her head she handed the goods over to Cerberus.  Panting she tried to speak without vomiting herself from the fear, "This is everything I own, it's all divided and labeled, if it can help use it. Hell, use all of it if you have to, just help them, please." Kai left as quickly as she arrived, searching for whoever would need her assistance the most.  As much as she wanted to go back to Cedric and Caspian's side, they were in good hands.  So the Wolfe-Denahlii woman charged forward to help where she could when she literally bumped into the Marino cadet again, shocked to see him away from his brothers.  Lucian apologized, telling her that someone agreed to stand watch over them, but he had left Nova alone and he had to go back and check on her.  Kai just nodded as she watched the young man charge out of the Fort sprinting for the Hushhowl densite. Watching him leave, her eyes dropped to Zetsubou, Nazar and the two pups and she ran over to them as fast as she could to see if she could help.
The feast had been very much like a loner party, in all the best ways.  Eros had eaten a few bits, but the fiery red pelted male often hunted while he was scouting the lands and that day had been no exception.  Also, he wasn’t one who shared his booze, and so the bottle he’d managed to snaffle, had been sealed.  Neither of these details had felt significant, until folk started to spew their guts out.  Eros felt shouldn’t have been surprised, the night had been going so well, the sight of Tempest dancing and spinning, bringing a grin to his face, how was that supposed to last?

The smell of vomit and blood filled the air, again not unlike a loner party, but it was all made slightly more distracting by the cries for help and moans of pain.  What wasn’t like a loner party was that the fiery red pelted Damaichu actually cared for these people, well most of them, and he guessed he had a responsibility to do something about it if he could. 

As sickness and panic began to spread, Eros remained a tranquil mote amid the storm.  He might even have looked callous, unmoving as he was.  However, just because he wasn’t running around, his hands wringing and calling for the gods to save them all, didn’t mean Eros was unaffected.  He felt the anger, the rage that someone might have the audacity to bring this upon his home.  Aldora’s howl didn’t help, his hackles rose, and he felt the adrenaline brought on by the call of a leader to pack, but still Eros stayed where he was.

His thoughts flicked quickly, knowing that time was precious, and it was important not to waste it.  From where he stood, Eros could see that Cedric was down, dead or simply unconscious, it was hard to know from this distance, but the Lune was out.  Aldora was still up, but even a cursory scan over the revellers was clear to show that many Cavaliers had been compromised.  In this situation what he really needed were more eyes and ears, but Maze was nowhere to be found, and Eros thought he saw Artoia dumbstruck.

Irresistibly, Eros found himself blaming their loner ‘guests’, but Luca’s murder was a sign that even members could betray their home, albeit they had been new members.  When Eros heard Theo, that irritating Luperci speak to someone about cooking the food, Eros turned and was just in time to watch the pair walking away.  His mind made up, Eros followed, his pace ground eating, but not running.  Possibilities, and things that needed to be done, all spun in his mind.  As he walked he pointed to various guards who appeared shocked, but otherwise alright

”You and you secure the fort, don’t let anyone leave.  Find others to lockdown the borders, and I want all the rest who are able to monitor wolfville.  I want someone to find me when all this is done.” Damn the poisoner for making him step up and out of the pain in the ass role.

Turning his attention back to pair he was following, Eros saw the large loner hybrid point with a white furred paw at the meat, his accent lending him an exotic air, even among all the chaos.  Eros strode forwards, barging Theo out of the way and picking up the meat that Manitou had indicated was tainted.  Golden eyes inspected it, gingerly Eros sniffed at it, and he thought. 

”This is our meat.” Eros said softly, perhaps merely thinking aloud, and after a heartbeat pause, something passed across his golden eyes and without a word to either of the Luperci, he walked off purposefully. 

Eros knew that Isaac was down, again more than that the fiery red Damaichu hadn’t been able to tell, but it wasn’t the Luperci he needed, but rather access to the shop.  Inside, the smell of vomit was dampened somewhat by the smell of meat, though the smell of blood was even stronger, and damn but it made his mouth water. 

Now, Eros was no cook, and he would never be able to give good advice as to what to rub on a nice joint, but he was good enough to recognise seasonings.  Eros pulled out equipment, meat, utensils and material.  His search was quick, a bit messy and quick.  Above all else though, it was methodical and efficient.  When the fiery pelted Damaichu came to the shelf he moved cautiously, seeing the jars and pouches.  Carefully he opened them all, certain it had to be one of these.  As the pouches and jars dwindled, and the shelf grew barer, Eros felt frustration.  The empty shelf sat there.

”Damn.” Eros said to himself, and as a last hail Mary, he swept his hand across the shelf….and felt something.  There was another pouch.  It’d been hidden in shadow and had fallen a little way, where the shelf didn’t quite meet a nook in the wall.  Eros pulled it out, looking at the battered pouch, and opened it.  The fiery pelted Damaichu stiffened.  This was it, he’d found what’d been used.  Golden eyes swept over the pouch and muzzle tried to take in scents, seeing if there was a trace of any Luperci on it.  Cursing the futility and the time he’d wasted, Eros emerged from the shop with the pouch.

”Cerberus! Yrsa! Kai.  Anyone that knows about herbs, stop what you’re doing and come here! I’ve found something!  Sola you’re gonna want to see this.”

Eros’s voice was a scream, but loud enough to cut through most of the sound, and though he seldom referred to his sister by her title, Eros thought it’d be good for morale to know that there was leaders still up, not to mention that if the poisoner was in earshot.  Of course, there’d been Aldora’s howl, but it never hurt to reinforce it.
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All she wanted to do was return to that moment at the feast, where everyone was dancing, music was playing, and Minerva touched her gently on the arm, to see the ocean light in her lover’s eyes again… but the past was now untouchable, and the Sola was left with the cold and harsh present.

Aldora removed her rank cloak and wrapped her mate’s body in it gently, like one would swaddle a pup, at the last moment she covered the Griffith’s face with the dark fur of the bear. With a shuddering sigh, the Knight picked up her paramour and turned back towards the glow of the Courthouse Square, where surely chaos still reigned.

Every step felt heavy, as if walking through water, though the weight of the body in her arms was inconsequential. Aldora felt numb, her limbs buzzing with static, like a million ants were crawling on her. Her eyes cold and distant as she entered the throng of Cavaliers and gently placed Minerva down beside where Isaac too lay in eternal slumber.

When she stood back up, she became keenly aware of the silence, aware of those looking at her, at the horror of what was being revealed. Somehow, Aldora managed to look up, and who’s gaze would she find first but her own brother’s. Eros’ golden eyes flickered in the fire light, and in them she swore she could see Luca’s gaze admonishing her as his son lay most likely dying at her feet.

Still she held his gaze and began to speak; "Morty is dead in the medical clinic; let Howland know to retrieve her and bring her here. I want all sick and dead accounted for immediately. Both Morty and Minerva were found trying to ingest herbs, as if trying to combat a poison; I want this poison located and any evidence as to what, or who caused this exposed and brought to light."

Aldora barely recognized her own voice, it was as if she was listening to someone speak from a distance, and while her vision rested solely on Eros, it was clear that what she was saying was for all to hear.

And then simply, brokenly, the Sola whispered, "I’m sorry…"

Takes place directly after this thread; the news post has been updated :: +3

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Ooc:: PP approved.

Guin's call broke through a portion of the chaos to touch ivory, flopped ears, and as smoothly as a ghost she was suddenly not alone any more. Beside her hovered her alabaster Knight, a horror upon his expression as he took in her state and the small pile of vomit before her.

"Guinevere!" he cried softly, his hands reaching to cradle her face and their foreheads touched together, passing what comfort could be had between the mated pair in the middle of a horror-themed fever dream. The phoenix let her tears flow in their quiet moment, but only seconds later she was shaking free of his grasp, her gaze, slipping away to find the things left behind by her daughter and mother-in-law.

"Artoia, Jace," she gasped to him, pointing her muzzle, and his gaze followed to land on the same thing she'd seen that brought the cold fingers of dread clawing into her gut. He looked back at her, his expression pinched and conflicted. For sure, he wanted to go looking for his daughter and his mother, but he also wanted to stay at her side and make sure she wasn't sick either, or get her a remedy as quick as possible.

Always a man of duty, he was also torn in his responsibility to Aldora and Cedric, and the rest of the pack who were now in a growing panic, because a pack of warriors had no idea how to fight something they couldn't see.

It was then that Honrin jerked and looked over somewhere in the distance. His posture changed, and then he bent his muzzle to her sagging ear, his hand squeezing comfortingly on her shoulders. "Look, Tove, they are safe," he said, and when she lifted her head to look, he pointed off to an area toward the Fort's entrance.

There, looking startled and afraid, she could see Artoia, herded behind a, to her shock, Lupus Jace. But they were away from the rest of the others, and she could tell by Jace's body language that it would be hell or high water before any afflicted individuals came too close to her granddaughter.

Sharp relief flowed through her, unclamping the vice that had taken refuge in her gut. Her legs wobbled under the release of knowing her daughter's safety, bringing Honrin's attention back to her, and his hands shot out to hold her up.

"But now what about you? Are you sick, like the others? Dizzy? Anything odd, at all?" he asked, bracing her with his own body while taking another look around to take stock of everyone else's state. Guin took several calming breaths, taking stock of how she felt inside and out. She was still nauseated, but she put that to fear and being pregnant. She was shaking, but even as she stood there and let herself regather her wits, they were gradually lessening.

"No, nothing like that. I feel fine. We, feel fine," she reiterated, meeting his gaze as he looked at her intensely, hearing the emphasis and knowing she spoke of not just herself. She reached up her snout to nuzzle his, breathing in his scent to calm herself further. "We're fine," she said again. His hands curled around her mane and scruff, holding her tightly to him. "Look, Tove, there is no blood, nor foam. It was the shock, I-"

Guinevere's explanation died upon her lips as, out from a shadowed corner of the Square, their Sola stepped back into the light. Laden with an outstretched burden, wrapped in the bear fur cloak of the Sola herself. Dark coils of dread once again clasped at her gut, her gaze stinging as she watched Aldora stride across the cobbles silently to place her burden preciously to the ground. The chocolatey woman loved her pack like family, however, there was only one individual that could warrant being wrapped in the Sola's personal cloak; Aldora's mate, Minerva Griffith.

Aldora stood after laying down her own partner to the ground, her expression distant and cold for a moment until she opened her maw to share what information she had. Guin's heart clenched as the Sola's confirmation fell from her lips like lead. Minerva had succumbed to the poison. Moisture gathered in her eyes, hormonal response to the very idea of the same happening to Honrin.

Aldora finished with her declaration, and Guin made a choice. Shaking herself briskly, she straightened her posture and started moving forward. Honrin grabbed at her shoulder, asking what she meant to do. "Where are you going? You need to stay separated from those affected," he began to tell her, but she shook her head, a fire lit in her gaze.

"No. I am fine. If I were affected I would be in the same state as everyone else; point, I am not. So I'm going to act. I can't help in the search, so I will do what I can." she paused, breaking her gaze with him to look at Aldora, alone, beside the woman she'd pledged her life to. "I will not let her stand on her own again." Guin turned to gaze him down, her shoulders squared.

"Go find who did this. Jace has our daughter in order, I am well enough, but Aldora is not. I will watch over our Queen, you find whoever did this to our people." her tone was firm, almost a command, and in response Honrin's eyes contracted slightly, his hackles lightly bristling. They stared at one another for a few heartbeats, in that time she knew his mind was ticking. A nod, his only agreement to her decree, and then he was gone, marching away with a stalker's pace.

The Phoenix warrior did not waste in watching him depart, nor a glance to see how her daughter fared beside Jace. Approaching closer to Aldora, Guinevere raised her head as far as she could from her four-legged height, meeting her hard gaze with any stragglers that still stared. "You heard your Sola. Go!" she barked firmly, sending most of them on the move again, except for the few needed right here.

One such being Eros, who held something in his grasp that he'd announced moments before, and called for Aldora to come look at. Ghostly orbs cast from him to Aldora, now only a dozen or so feet away from the Callow-Knight from how close she'd moved. Whether it was needed or not, her new position spoke volumes, should anyone pay attention.

"Sola?" she called, and motioned toward the red pelted Damaichu with her muzzle, to the little packet he carried. "We might have found something."


The night began with levity. It was a celebration to end all celebrations, after all. Ten years was an unimaginably long time to Risa and he was eager to celebrate Casa's glorious anniversary with friends and family. Good food, wine, and company were in ample supply and he freely indulged without any care for the work that waited for him the next day. He reveled in the moment, sure of himself and the company he kept.

Casa was strong. Secure. Nothing would happen here -- not on a seemingly perfect night like tonight.

The rumbling in his stomach began early in the night and was coupled with a slight tinge of pain. Initially, he thought little of it -- believing it to be little more gas pains that ailed him. It wouldn't be the first time that fine food like this shocked the system enough to send him on an ill-timed trip to the woods. However, tonight was different. Gritting his teeth, Risa bore the pain for Kira's sake.

The nausea soon followed and the pain amplified tenfold. He pulled Kira aside from the table, muttering "something isn't right," under his breath. He bit his lip as the room began to spin. "I don't --

The commotion seemed to begin all at once.

There were shrieks; screams of horror that tore through the crowd. His eyes were wide with fear and confusion. "Kira--," he choked, unceremoniously reaching for the hem of her dress just before collapsing to the floor. Save me, his frightened eyes said. He retched uncontrollably on the ground. Just one of the many victims of the night, seizing in a pool of his own vomit before fading out of consciousness.

[200+] // PP approved
                                        Oh, tears make kaleidoscopes in your eyes; And hurt, I know you're hurting, but so am I

Ten years seemed like an eternity to Kira; more than double the years she'd been on the planet, even longer than Uncle Callum had been alive, if only by a little. It was a reason to celebrate, for sure, and celebrate the Cavaliers did. There were guests to play music and entertain, and more food than the Damaichu had ever seen in her life all prepared and laid in front of them to pick over freely. Kira herself had been part of the cooking, although she had left the kitchens early so that she could clean up and don her dark, sea-green dress.

Risa had joined her at their house and they had gotten dressed together, doing up each other's harder-to-reach fasteners (and not so difficult ones, too) and walking hand in hand to the Courthouse to join the rest of the pack, though they missed the opening speeches with their dalliance at home. They piled their plates high, kept their glasses overflowing, and generally had a good time with family and friends. Kira made eye contact more than once with her Uncle who seemed also to be enjoying himself, helping entertain the children of the pack while he ate and chatting with whoever passed by the children's table. His orange eyes crinkled as he craned his head down to listen closely to one, lips moving wordlessly as he cajoled another to eat just another bite or two.

She was mostly unaware of the discomfort that Risa was attempting to power through for her benefit until it came to be more serious, until her beau pulled her away from the table to speak quietly to her and warn her that something was amiss. Then suddenly everything crashed in, with more than just Risa showing signs of illness. The russet Damaichu felt fine, herself, except for the pit of anxiety that spiraled down her core as Risa's legs no longer held his weight, the larger male collapsing next to her. He reached for her, and she fell to her knees beside him, heedless of the spittle and vomitus that was sullying her dress as she clutched his torso in her lap as he twitched uncontrollably. Her pastel greens sought his golds, and she whispered to him not to die, to stay with her.


Across the room, Callum had returned to the scene and was helping to gather those children whose parents were otherwise indisposed, whether by illness, death, or duty. He stopped only for a moment, to lay a hand on Aldora's shoulder after she deposited the lifeless body of her mate on the floor of the Courthouse. There would be time to comfort her more openly later, but she and the pack needed her to appear in control even though she was doubtless shattering inside, with Cedric incapacitated. It was something he would never have wished for her. He took charge of what he could, getting Nilda's attention before saying, Take them to my house. I'll gather the other pups and meet you there.

➧➧  Risa PP approved; Marie and Nat, lemme know if anything with Al or Nilda needs changed? | Word Count [389] (not including the Callum bit)
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