[AW+] Their legacy, within your eyes
Nilda and Lucian's Brotherhood Oath
Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

OOC: Set after Nilda's Vigil and Lucian's Vigil, please wait for Nilda and Lucian to reply first :) - Word Count: 642

Casa was seeing a golden age of knights. Of warriors seemingly born into the Cavalier pack ready to take on challenges in life. Cedric himself had been so young when he joined the Brotherhood, yet his resolve and strength had shone for so long that his father had found it easy to accept the young Cedric amongst them. Cedric now stood in that same position as Luca's, and his outlook was exactly the same. When Nilda came to him, aged by her scars yet her eyes burning with life and courage, Cedric was reminded of the young girl who had sought him out so long ago. Asking him what she needed to do to join the Brotherhood. She had wanted to do so to prove herself to her mother, believing that only through progressing in ranks that she could gain attention. Cedric was glad to see Nilda grow past that, to want to take the oath for more than just being noticed, but for the honour of protecting those she loved. Besides, Nilda didn't need a title to stand out, the young woman already shone so brightly. 

And her oath wouldn't be taken alone. Like the last to join the Brotherhood, Cedric and Aldora had been approached by two young but passionate Cavaliers. The second was Lucian, and Cedric's heart soared for his younger brother's steps into greatness. This would mean a lot; for Lucian it would be a chance to prove to Casa just how seriously he intended on protecting it. For Cedric, it meant his younger brother was forgiving and moving forward, taking the path that would make their father proud. Never would Cedric imagine he'd stand here, waiting for his brother to approach him and take an oath that would give his life to the pack. On some levels, Cedric was nervous and protective, in the same way his father no doubt was when Cedric was joining the Brotherhood. But on another level, a brighter level, Cedric was so incredibly proud to have this honour. The warmth in his heart wasn't just for himself, but for Luca too, who never got to meet his younger son but could rest easy in the stars knowing that he was thriving. Cedric could only wish Caspian could find something to hold onto, but his love for his other younger brother wouldn't die out anytime soon, no matter what Caspian chose. 

Cedric waited earlier, before sunrise, for the two young Cavaliers to return. Aldora joined him as well, her young children in the care of Callum and not needing as much of her attention, and curling around both of them was the snoozing Parzival. Adamant about being there early, for a reason the lion wouldn't explain, but clearly not important enough to not fall asleep during the wait. 

But soon, the cat's ears moved, and Cedric watched ahead as the two approached the Courthouse, throwing open the large doors as Cedric stood there and smiled. With the door open, Cedric let loose a howl to summon the pack, letting it carry outside and across sharp winter winds. The pack would gather soon enough, and when they did, Cedric took a step forward to look to both Nilda and Lucian. He patted their shoulders, then looked to the growing crowd of Cavaliers. 

"Cavaliers! Thank you for joining us on this bright winter morning." Cedric began, then gestured to the two young Cavaliers. "We gather to celebrate the bravery of two more Cavaliers, finishing their night's Vigil and now waiting to take the Oath and join our Brotherhood. Through their young age they have shown ample bravery and strength, but in their next steps they will take on the responsibility of protecting our pack. Nilda, please take the Oath. Lucian, you may go after."

c   r

We see how bright you burn
We see how brave you've been
Now, see yourself in turn

Nilda felt slight chills as she entered the Hushhowl dens. The warmth of the springs had long faded leaving ice and chills in its wake. A dark inky hand reaching for the door to her mothers home. There as she opened the door was mama Dawn who reached out for her tall daughter. “Come on, let's get you warm and dry, there's much work to be done.” Nilda smiled, leaning into the woman’s palm. “Thank you mama.” Nilda spoke looking into the room.

For how late or early you would assume the house would be silent and sleeping but today was special. Maman was even shifted, something she didn’t do much outside of work. Cerberus was here and Electa was looking over everything that he had brought. Nilda couldn’t help but feel loved. “Sit.” Dawn spoke as Nilda nodded, taking a seat. Cerberus handed her something to dry with, taking it she dried herself.

Armani sat down next to her sliding her a cup of warm bone broth. “You’ve come so far, I’m so proud.” She spoke as she reached out and brushed the loose hair from Nilda's face. “Drink up.” She spoke as she leaned back against the den wall. Nilda smiled while picking up the cup.

Cerberus smiled, placing paints down on the table. “Come on, let's get started.” He spoke, taking a knife and slowly shaving away fur. Nilda sat there while Cerberus worked on marking out the spot where her next branding would be someday but for now he was going to mark it in paint. Her current brands would be brightened with paints and mama Dawn would paint on her Hushhowl mark. Once she was done for the ceremony she’d have her Hushhowl marking, her mothers Catori mark painted on her back around the nearly finished sun marking that many knights of her family bore.

Sitting there as he worked under the watchful eyes of her mothers and sister. No one really spoke as Dawn worked on Electa’s hair and painted her own Hushhowl marking. Once Dawn seemed happy with her daughter she moved on to her own appearance, before moving to Armani. Nilda worries though Maman normally didn’t travel between the fort and the dens on two legs and there was a fear she may make things worse. Once the last bit of paint was laid on cleanly shaven skin or over the scars Cerberus had done nearly a moon earlier.

Standing the braids mama had done, mingled well with her loose hair. It wasn’t common for the young woman to let all her hair down but for today she felt it was just right. Armani smiled holding out the completed shoulder pad and Nilda took it strapping it on as Armani stood. Fixing the piece to sit just right Nilda smiled as Armani picked up a leather belt and helped her set that as well before finally pulling Oathkeeper freshly cleaned and sharpened. Nilda took it, sliding it into the holster.

Nilda smiled as Armani placed her hand on her face. “I’m so proud of you, and how far you’ve come.” She spoke as Dawn patted her mate as well. Nilda reached down grabbing the white furred cloak. Dark ink hands slowly worked to drape the cloak around her mother. A rank she feared one day to both hold but not hold all at the same time.

The five made their way to the fort Armani rode her steed and the others walked. Just as the sun was fully rising they entered the fort. Winter graced them and even Nilda couldn’t help but see how full circle this all felt, winter had once been the worst times of her life. Now all that was behind her and she was moving forward. Once the courthouse doors opened Nilda found herself awestruck. She took a moment helping her mother down from her horse. Once her mother was settled she turned and made her way to Lucian, Cedric and Aldora.

Cedric’s hand on her shoulder felt so calm. He spoke and Nilda felt a lump in her throat for a moment as she was the first to go. Nilda took a breath and looked at Cedric and Aldora, taking a knee placing a hand on her chest. “I Nilda Catori, swear on my honor to my Sola and my Lune to serve them with absolute loyalty to face the evils of the world without fear; to be brave even in the house of my enemies; and to respect and cherish all life. I will be truthful to my brothers and sisters, and through my actions help guide Casa di Cavalieri to glory. Above all else, I will protect those who cannot protect themselves, I will be the blade for those who do not want to fight. This is my oath." Green eyes looked at both of them, fire burning bright. From here on out she was the first line of defense for her home.

[+] // ooc text

Slowly Lucian and the stallion made their way back to the Fort away from the steam baths, it was a quiet ride, lost in solemn thought.  Lucian had made the choice to join the Brotherhood before he had stepped foot on Casa di Cavalieri soil, coming back from the Ganglands.  He had made it the night that he and Caspian started to mend their bond after a gut wrenching conversation, it was that moment that he had decided that he would protect the ones he loved, blood or not, and if he had to, he would give his life to do it.  It was also something that he had kept to himself, beside leadership and Nilda who was doing this journey with him as a friend and confidant, Caspian was the only other soul he had told. And the moment was finally here, everything he had worked so hard for, was his for the taking.

It was a bitter sweet moment for the Marino man, while he knew that his parents would be proud of the man he had become and of the oath he was about to take, they weren't here for him to help him get ready or to share in this joyous and proud moment.  While he couldn’t change the past, as much as he would if he could, if still hurt to be alone in a sense.  Lucian knew that he had many luperci in his corner that believed in him and loved him, but there was something special about a parents love and witnessing such a sacred tradition. 

It was what had lead him here, to the Silent Meadow, to spend those few precious moments, talking with his mother and father as they looked down from the stars as he got ready.  Sliding down off his valiant steed, he gave a few loving pats to the chocolate flaxen horse and smiled softly.  Taking off his cloak, he draped it over the equine with a chill, his thick winter pelt was frosted together in clumps from the steam baths.  Reaching into the saddle bag he pulled out a brush and started running it through his fur so he would look presentable for the ceremony.  While doing so he talked to his mother and father,

"I hope that you are both proud of the man I'm becoming…"

Holding back tears he let out a sigh,

"I wish you both could be here with me now, so that we could celebrate this moment together of me joining the Brotherhood. But I know that you are always watching over me, guiding me from heavens."

Lucian placed the brush back in the saddle bag and took out some herbal infused oil to run through his hair and fur so he didn't smell of sulfur from the baths.  He continued his conversation with Luca and Veri,

"I miss and love you both, I hope you are happy and together again dancing among the stars."

At that moment the clouds started to break up and the moon shown down on his, his coat shimmering in the moonlight and it brought a smile to his muzzle and warmed his heart.  His azure and marigold hues glistened,

"Thank you…"

Silently he said his goodbyes and turned back to the stallion, placing the oil back into the saddle bag, he pulled out his belt and wrapped it around his waist.  His father's dual axes, freshly cleaned and sharpened, hung at either side.  Placing his cloak back over his shoulders, Lucian welcomed the warmth and as it shielded him from the wind. Sliding the quiver over his belt, he placed the bow across his back.  He was ready to make the final descent to the courthouse.

As he rode quietly and slowly through the Fort gate a wave of emotion rolled through him, everything would be different now, he would have a new meaning and place among the pack with their most elite.  Lucian didn't make a sound as he returned Artan to the Wolfe-Denahlii camp and walked with pride to the front of the courthouse where he saw Nilda and her family arrive, it was a giant step for both of them and he was glad to be a part of the journey.

Dipping his muzzle and giving a slight bow to the Lune and Sola, he smiled at Nilda as she joined them but didn't speak.  After the howl rang out, it wasn't long until they were surrounded by family and pack mates.  He closed his eyes for a moment when his brother, Cedric, placed his hand on his shoulder, he could almost see his parents standing there before he opened his eyes again and gave a slight nod stepping slightly to the side to give the young Catori woman the floor.

When it was his turn, he stepped back beside his friend once more, and kneeled before Cedric and Aldora, bichrome hues looking up at them with pride.  Placing his arm across his chest, his ivory hand rested over his heart, he spoke confidently.

"I, Lucian Marino, swear, on my honor, to my Sola and Lune, to serve them with absolute loyalty; to face the evils of the world without fear; to be brave even in the house of my enemies; and to respect and cherish all life. I will be truthful to my brothers and sisters, and through my actions help guide Casa di Cavalieri to glory. Above all else, I will protect those who cannot protect themselves. This is my oath."

Forever and always, this was who he was.
Kindness of His Mother, Fierceness of His Father

Knowing what the early morning would bring the couple had opted to stay in the Fort the previous night, versus the house in Wolfville. Kai had remained at the house while Cedric disappeared long before sunrise and when his howl rang out through the arctic winds of Casa di Cavalieri her mismatched orbs fluttered open and she smiled. Her fluffy winter tail rested over her nose as she was tucked in a swirl, until a yawn escaped her muzzle and she rolled to her side, stretching out all four legs. Slowly she rose to her paw and bowed to a stretch before standing and shaking out her coat.  Now mostly awake, she pushed through the door and made her way towards the courthouse, it was a special day, a day that two young Cavaliers joined the Brotherhood.

The Wolfe-Denahlii woman was thankful the doors to the courthouse were wide open, she enjoyed being in her feral form, but doors were always a challenge with no hands.  Weaving through the crowd that had already gathered she found a seat up front in the corner where she could be out of the way but still have perfect view as both Nilda and Lucian took their oath to join the rank of Casa di Cavalieri's most elite.

Looking up at the Lune, she could see the pride and love overflowing for the two Cavaliers before him and it made her smile and wag a few times.  After everything the pack had been through, and what both young Cavaliers had been through, to make it this far so quickly said something about their character and this pack.  Kai was happy to be part of such a joyous occasion, and the smile never left her muzzle as she listened to each of them take the sacred oath of the Brotherhood.  Maybe one day, over the next four seasons, she too would be taking that very oath, but for now, she was just proud of how far both Nilda and Lucian had made it and she wouldn't be surprised to one day see them rise even further in the ranks.

  [357] // Ooc Here//
WC: 511

Night's vigil? Or was it knights vigil? Petrichor was not sure. It was more information for him to find out at some point in the future. He was far from needing the knowledge. Maybe Battle knew. It seemed like gaining in ranks was more her thing anyway. Besides, he was not really much of a fighter, so he doubted he would be able to climb very high in the ranks. Another reason it seemed to be more Battle's thing. After all, her name was literally Battle. It also made him wonder why she thought that this pack would be a good fit for him. Maybe she was just worried about him being out on his own again or something. She could be pushy with taking care of other canines sometimes. At least she was warm, so if she was insisting on a dog pile for sleeping, he was warm too.

As he did for the previous ceremony for Pushok and Zetsubou, Petrichor wore his cloak, mainly for the added warmth this time since it was not like he could steal Battle's body heat right now. He still felt a little strange wearing it, the feeling of being an imposter was still very present. Maybe it was because he did not do anything specific other than make himself sort of useful to get promoted once. He was trying to get to know some pack mates. He was just still really anxious about it, and he knew that could lead to snapped words or way too many words. The former he knew that he should avoid and the latter he wanted to avoid at all costs. Well, almost. He did not want to get tossed out for not getting to know anyone.

Also as he did before, he stood at the back of the group gathered. He had less anxiety if it did not feel like everyone behind him was staring at him. Logically, Petrichor knew, they were not looking at him. They were looking at the canines at the front of the ceremony, but anxiety did not obey logic, so he stayed where he was most comfortable even though it meant that he could not see everything.

"Want me to lift you up?" Battle said as he caught himself trying to stand taller on his toes. He froze and then quickly lowered himself back down before he gave her a scathing glare. As usual, it had no effect on her at all, which made the situation even more frustrating. She was not even looking at him anymore. Even if she was, his growled threats and unfriendly disposition just rolled off her back. With a huff, Petrichor returned his gaze to the front as the first pack mate, Nilda, recited her oath, followed by Lucian. At least attending these ceremonies meant that he could try to learn more names. Actually talking to them at some point would go far in remembering those names. For now, he would try to continue to get comfortable with just being around this many canines.
Cerberus had been honored by the new sworn to help paint her body the way she saw herself. Since her mothers attack she had been busy working herself to the bone training and taking every opportunity possible to better herself. Cerberus admired this though he wondered why she would want to carve into her beautiful body. He did so though working on the markings she wanted and what he didn’t do yet he painted of her and she seemed so happy. Standing there in front of everyone taking her oath.

Cerberus wondered if he was really capable of giving himself the way Nilda did. She didn’t think twice of tweaking the oath swearing to be the blade for those who didn’t want to fight. He knew she meant him and a few others like her mother.

Cerberus found himself in awe over the whole thing no matter how many times he had seen it now their traditions amazed him. The knights built a family and not just in having offspring, they created a place where even though he wasn’t one of them he was one of them. Lucian was young but he had proven his worth and worked hard reaching his spot as well in the brotherhood. Cerberus took in a breath as he realized if he did as Nilda asked there was no turning back no leaving there would only be here.
Ooc:: Mama Veri is so proud, she had to come see it in person.

Guinevere was no stranger to secrets. Some were more validly kept than others, whether for good or bad reasons, only those could be justified by the secret keeper or whoever the secret was being kept from.

This secret was a good one.

Guin had known about her second former apprentice climbing her way up into the ranks of the Brotherhood; the Valiant had tested Nilda in a spar of strength, tenacity, and wit. It was no shame to her to have been beaten. She probably shouldn't have been sparring so soon after birthing her sons anyway, but hearing the rumor floating around Casa had been too much to ignore.

Nilda had more than delivered, not only in how she'd carried herself through combat, but Guin had asked a question, one that she had posed to a much younger, much less self-confident and sure of herself pup when they'd first been paired as Mentor and Apprentice. The answer, when given, had changed drastically. She'd known it was only a matter of time until the phoenix warrior found herself at the ceremony for taking in Nilda to the fold of the Elite.

Walking into the Courthouse, however, to see not only Aldora and Cedric standing beside Nilda, but Lucian...

Well, if she'd been a more openly emotional woman prone to displays of waterworks, she might have even cried for joy and pride.

And that had nothing to say on how Artoia had reacted, striding in at Guin's side and her jaw positively dropping to the floor in shock at the sight of her older brother up there on stage. The Denahlii girl had regathered herself in time for Lucian's Oath, and those arctic green eyes could not have been more glued to the rising Sworn's form, and Guin might have even caught glance of a glitter that seemed to be more than just a reflection of light.

The Valiant was distracted from her daughter, however, as from the ajar Courthouse doors a slight breeze slipped inside, swirling around the cloaks or shirt hems that hung in its path. It seemed insignificant to mostly everyone present, and yet, Guin could not find herself capable of looking away from the tiny snowflakes that had been caught in the draft.

There was no form nor shape to it at all, no shimmer or ethereal glow of the Other.

But snow and wind didn't act like that, she was certain.

Gradually it worked its way across the room, slipping through the spaces between bodies in a way that wind shouldn't, all the way toward the front of the room where Lucian now bowed, taking his Oath.

Like a blessing, the few snowflakes it had taken with it were deposited across Lucian's back, dusting his fur with their cool touch even if he'd barely feel it through his pelt. Like a slowly passing breath, the wind whispered over him, caressing him in a way he may not have even noticed, and as it went by him it dwindled to nothing. By the time it had reached Aldora and Cedric and passed over them as well, like a ghost, it had disappeared.

Guin didn't realize that she'd brought up a hand to cover her muzzle as she watched, eyes widened and now truly moistened. She darted a glance around, wondering if anyone else had even noticed. It'd been subtle enough to almost be natural if you didn't look hard enough, wind could be quite unpredictable. Her gaze met Honrin's, and he looked both as saddened and heart touched as she felt, and probably looked.

Veri had come for her son's Oath.

Of course she had.

Smiling stupidly, the ache in her chest spread to her throat and she had to swallow to breathe. Discreetly, she let a few tears falls into her fur. In a backwards kind of way, Guin was more happy than sad about that fact.


Preparing for this ceremony was simple. Artoia had freshly bathed her fur the night before, and this morning she'd taken one of their crude brushes to detangle her hair and tail until every strand of fur was silky smooth. Truly, the longest part was sitting still as her hair was patiently braided into a Denahlii style. With the use of other's hands, it did actually go a bit faster than doing it herself, and for this she was grateful to have such close family.

Once again she wore the simple leather wrap and tied it closed with a cord, and with her apprentice sash proudly wrapped around her thigh to keep her dagger in place, she was ready to go, and just in time too in Cedric's howl were indication.

Artoia arrived with her family, striding beside her Mother and Father with head high and proud for her sister. Nilda deserved this, and the Denahlii girl knew the Catori would do good.

What she hadn't expected to see when she crossed the threshold was Nilda not standing alone up there on stage with Cedric and Aldora.

Lucian stood beside her.

Artoia's jaw dropped. All she could do was stare, and the longer she stared the more her vision couldn't see what she was even looking at. Like the sun's rise every morning, her smile grew, and she was incandescent with joy, love, and pride. She saw nothing else, didn't care about anything else. Lucian was the only thing that mattered, and his strong back that she looked up to as he knelt and pledged his Oath.

She'd known he'd been busy, but this?

Oh she was giving him a horrible time the next time she saw him after this, how dare he keep this from her. How had he kept this from her, from the rest of their family? Sneaky little...

The moisture in her eye made her forget the incredulity of his scheme, her brother was now a Sworn!

After Nilda and Lucian's Oath, they were accepted by Cedric and Aldora, and given their new cloaks, and everyone broke into applause and congratulatory cheers.

Daring to rise above them all, Artoia's voice sang her bottomless, heartfelt pride, and she wouldn't be admonished for expressing it.


He was blinded, taken by it all. He had put on the dusty, rarely-used cloak stuffed in the back of his Wetu's storage, because he thought he should. There were always murmurings and rustlings he came to find out, it was never truly secret.

Yet still. He was blinded.

The attempt at a smile, made because he thought he should slipped away slowly. A sting of rejection wormed about uncomfortably in his chest. Had the others known? Had anyone or everyone known except him? Shocked faces, the tilt of surprise, delighted discovery, all consumed the faces of those about him.

Lucian looked so very... so much like he ought to do. Like the other Knight's in his Uncle's dream-memories.

It shouldn't hurt like it did. Caspian hadn't known that there was room besides everything else for more pain to blossom. His eyes crinkled at the corners, and his vision became misty with tears though he fought to keep them from falling out of shame. How dare he be upset at a moment like this. He should be... more like Artoia, who was smiling wide and obviously excited and glad for him.

His brother had said no word of it though, no offer to help ready him to step forwards into this next great leap of his story. That hurt. It hurt so much. Was Lucian still angry at him then? Was that the grasp of it? Had he only imagined that the gap between them had started to knit closed?

Numbly, he listened as Nilda recited her oath. Trying to give her the attention she deserved on this day, trying to shove all of his confused, claustrophobic thoughts away. He was glad for her, and he hoped it showed despite everything tumbling about in his mind. He clapped, and cheered, though easily drowned out by the louder, more enthusiastic Cavaliers.

Lingering at the back of the congregation, he stayed long enough that no one could accuse him of leaving early, and quietly slipped away when he was sure he wouldn't be noticed.

Ooc here

[Image: Arrowportraitbg.png]The Vahn's came in their own procession, Mr. Lee's more solid figure amongst the two slender-bodied dogs. At Fiorenza's hand was her father's shoulder as Ezra worked his way through to the gathering. The three of them bore their cloaks, their rank within Casa worn with pride. Today was yet another brotherhood ceremony, and Arrow was growing increasingly interested in what it was and what it meant.

It was in the idea of it, and what it meant. Surely, every Cavalier would fight for their home, but the Brotherhood was different. An example for the rest of their lot, and one that was high on the pillar of expectation. Arrow's hands worked, fingertips rubbing on the heel of his palms, and he stood with a high positioned head, craned to assure he could see everything that was going on.

Cedric spoke, an introduction to the ceremony that Arrow listened to dutifully. A part of him humored his own name at the end of such a speech, but instead, a golden eye reached to the two souls that had earned their place beside their Lune. One after the other, they spoke their oaths, and at the end of it all, the trio clapped quietly, but proudly.

Slowly, this place was becoming more of a home, more of a family, and he hoped that he'd have some time with the new Sworn to pick their brains and hear their experiences. Perhaps Brotherhood was too high a position for Arrow to be able to enjoy, especially with all the work that the half-masked dog had to do through the day, but to be close to those that were of the rank seemed like a great alternative.

[Image: musedespi.png]

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