[P] It's our time to change it all
For Owl/Maria | The Borderlands
Nín's domain was as lovely as Nanin's, but had its own flaws when it came to her own trail in life. There was no doubt to her favor over the stag to it's fallen seed to the waters. Here faith brought her here, and it was her faith which kept her going. Nanin's spirit would forever wander, whether or not the druids preserved the life around them. Death and revenge always lingered on the mortal plane, and so too would the great stag to follow them. Their preservation, or in this case her own self appointed one, ensured a thriving land for them to live without its looming presence.

And yet, the swamps around their cabin, and waterways of Nín were abundant, curling at their 'territory' from nearly all sides. It could make things... problimatic, espeically for those who couldn't see how cruel the gods could be. Even the most devout would be foolish not to be afraid of what could come in the blink of an eye.

Being kept in good graces was a blessing, one they could not afford to be out of in their present living conditions.

Gwenninûr ventured away from the cabin, her change in attire to fall better in line with Nín allowing for easier passage across her cool waters. Prey wasn't scarce per say, not unless counting in the lack of hiding places, making prey more likely to hide in what little shelter was offered to them. The snow didn't aid much in her efforts, and while the lands around the cabin were rich in their own right, it would not yield the same game as denser places in Nanin's realm.

So she came to it. It would be work hulling her catches back to tend to, but that was a small price to pay. No one made it through life by taking the easy way out. The Coara siblings had to live on their own with their mother for years, survive off the land without the people of the realm for protection. This would be no different.

The wolfdog's ears twitched at the subtle sounds around her, one hand gripped around the protective section of her bow. She paused a moment, so much open land stretching before her. There was little in the ways of protection, not only for herself, but anything else she might be able to seek out. She was going to have to move carefully.

And with as much purpose as anything else.
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Let me know if anything needs to be changed.
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Sorry kinda got a bit longer than I expected 

A low rumble of hunger curled through Maria's core as she crept along the marshy ground. Her eyes were narrowed and keen as she surveyed the land. The silty earth slid between her toes as she took each step. There was minimal cover here but Maria's sandy coat still meshed with the winter brown foliage around her. The mud was its own downside, she'd have to endure a cold rinse in a stream before she was content again. Despite years on the trail, she never much liked being filthy, but she could deal with a lot when there were fat ducks to be earned, or maybe even an egret despite them being more feathers than meat.

She wondered how much longer she would allow herself to wander, perhaps she could find a pack. She remembered there being lots of those around here, maybe she wouldn't have to scour the earth alone for every meal. A duck would be nice though. Maria had subsisted on scrawny hare and wild mice, which were hardly more than a mouthful.

Maria shook herself away from her thoughts, bringing her back to the present. The hunt. She followed game trails, the grasses parted as if a phantom hand had brushed them apart. Smaller waterways cut across her path from time to time, her legs bracing at the freezing water. There was hardly a sound aside from the whisper of water and the occasional songbird. They flitted between waterlog trees and hearty reeds, their glass eyes peering at her as they made their way. Maria glared back, sinking lower, the last thing she needed was some nosey bird screwing with her plans.

"Ducks, oh ducks, where are you..." She murmured under her breath. Maria raised her head above the marshy foliage and froze. Just beyond where she stood an ashen canid stood with her own bow at the ready, she appeared to be of wolf descent. Maria wasn't sure if she should just turn around or confront this situation. If they were both hunting they'd run into each other eventually, potentially ruining a hard-earned meal.

Maria steeled herself, she had to remember, violence was behind her. Another loner wouldn't have reason to do her harm. She shook her head, she was too old for second guessing herself. She rose, her bow falling to her side harmlessly, though she took a few purposeful steps forward as to not shout. "Hello, fellow hunter, I don't want you to think I'm stalking you or something." She cringed inwardly, a strained chuckle falling from her mouth, "I mean, wolf meat is not my thing, right? I'd prefer a duck, or, something fun like that." She shrugged, expecting a quick dismissal at her dreadful attempt at conversation.

Nín and Nanin had blessed her in more ways than one. Unlike her brothers, who looked so much like one another and their mother, it was likely the one saving grace to have gotten from the man who's name she shared. Even then the ash was not the same as the blues of Rand. He might have been granted Nín's blessing in life, but only Lorien would see if she would accept him in his death. Her ash was a sign of her faith. Life and death worked in a balance with one another. Were the two still whole, they would encompass both.

But as such, it was easier for her fur to blend in with the world around her, especially when there was snow still to consider. Marsh or not, Nanin's plants thrived, and Nín's waters flowed. She melded with them, worked in harmony with them.

All that would matter now was finding her catch, letting them be her guide.

Her ears moved to a sound, Gwenninûr giving a calculated pause. Her icy gaze scanned around the area, fingers dancing along the shaft of one of her arrows. Nothing immediately stuck out to her... she found herself bringing the arrow up regardless, knocking it along the string. It wasn't until the sounds grew louder in which she pulled back, prepared to strike.

Tip pointed at some sand colored female.

So there was someone else in the area as well...

The bow string came back down, slow enough that her arrow would not fly at her own release. That wasn't enough to keep it from being knocked. Being at the Citadel as long as she was, it was all too hard to determine who was of the realm, and who was not... but anyone smart enough to know of their home's traditions would be able to recognize the way she adorned herself. This female did not.
As thus, she was not one of the Realm. Someone lower.

Gwenninûr lightly scoffed at the woman's words, "I'm not some common wolf." An insult really. Not only was her figure enough to show she wasn't just wolf, but she would not stand to be compared to something like common prey. Spoken as if hunting her was such a simple task as the one they were both preforming.
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OOC text

Maria threw her hands up as the stranger's bow came pointed towards her. She offered a startled smile, though she couldn't say she was safe yet with the way she looked at her. The woman's gaze was critical and appraising, taking her in just to spit her back out. Maria felt a tingle go up her spine, she did like a piercing stare.

She rolled her shoulders as the bow lowered, taking a tentative step forward. The silver wolfdog was adorned in a flowing outfit, not quite like anything she'd seen before. She wondered how she moved so gracefully in it and if it got snagged in bushes as she walked by them. The whole get-up did seem very important, combined with the way she carried herself, Maria supposed she was a "someone." Maria had never been that, never been someone who needed to be the boss of lessers. Looking at the indignant luperci, Maria figured she didn't have the temperament for it.

"I'm sorry, definitely not a common wolf." Maria nodded sagely, she could see the soft fall of her ears, her unbelievably plush coat that was very unlike their wolf cousins, "You are very beautiful, like starlight. I feel bad that I have interrupted your hunt. Is your pack near here? I have newly returned to these lands and you look like you come from a place of great fortune."

The slim coydog wasn't sure she wanted a home with great luxuries. Though, she supposed good things could come from trying something new. She was certainly curious where a fine lady would deign to lay her head in the middle of woods and marsh. "Are you hunting duck?" She inquired, hoping the silver lady would open up some. "My name is Maria, by the way, no title or anything, just Maria." She chuckled to herself, figuring her counterpart wasn't feeling humorous.

The stranger was quick to throw her hands into the air when a threat was pointed her way. At least she wasn't stupid enough to keep running her mouth. It wasn't until her own bow had come down that there was a need for her to relax some. That didn't mean her own intentions were gone though. One could argue that having to look after two troublesome brothers on her own had honed her skills far better than most.

All it took was the right reason to allow her arrow to fly.

Being treated as something less than 'human' wasn't great, but flirting... or sweet talking, whatever it truly was, was not the route to go with her either. Who had time for something as foolish as love? Love for family was something entirely different from attraction. The latter was one factor in her life she knew for certain she didn't need. Not that she would have wanted it either. Rather than changing her tune, she kept a look of disinterest plastered on her face, "Your flattery is unwelcome."

On the matter of her pack, no... the realm had fallen again. This one would not know such news, as they had recently returned. Did they even know of the realm? Ultimately, that matter was irrelevant, "No. History has sought to repeat itself."

Gwenninûr turned her icy gaze back across the stretch of land, her ears twitching for a moment before determining there was nothing in the present area worth pursuing. Even if there was, the strike up in conversation would have alerted nearby prey to their presences. She was going to have to move on from this spot.

The wolfdog had begun to take a step when that female's voice came up again, "I am hunting whatever is in the area. Being picky never helped anyone."

There was a pause... she'd considered not even giving Maria her own name, but it seemed like for the present moment, she wasn't going to just leave. Rather than risk a third attempt at guessing in how to address her, a name was best suited, "Gwenninûr Coara."
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Feel free to montage a little trek, if she doesn't mind Maria too much hah

Maria eyed the silver wolf dog carefully. She hadn't expected such a righteous temper and a clear dislike for her general existence. It wasn't the first time in her life that she'd been shrugged off by an ill-tempered princess. She let out a huff and slumped her shoulders, "Heard," She replied, fiddling with her loose arrow before placing it back in her rough-hewn quiver.

The world had gone quiet with their sudden intersection and Maira hoped the ducks hadn't heard their talking. The silver wolfdog seemed discontent somehow, though she couldn't quite place why. They both seemed to realize that their hunts were for naught, at least here. The ducks gone to paddle in other ponds. However, the area was still rich with spring-ready wildlife, it felt like the world was defrosting somewhat.

"You're very cryptic," Maria offered in a low voice, shadowing Gwenninûr carefully. She didn't want to invade the ice queen's carefully crafted barriers. The other luperci seemed ready to flee her presence, Maria considered letting her, unsure of what they could gain from their prolonged contact. "Look, I've been gone awhile. I don't really know the recent news," She admitted with a small smile. "But if you need a blank slate to speak to, I am all ears, quite literally."

The coydog turned to the west slightly, thinking of all those years back. She had haunted these lands before, there was a sheltered bit of marsh nearby that would likely have ducks idling in its calm shallows. Maria turned to her when she gave her name,  smiling a little more. It was something.

"I apologize for disrupting your hunt, Gwenninûr, I may know a spot near here we have a good chance of filling our bellies. You may come if you wish and let me in on the news I missed." Maria hoped that she would take her up. It was a short walk west through the marsh and a copse of trees where the quiet marsh lay. She took a few steps away, into the muck of the bog, freezing mud crawling midway to her ankle. "Unless you aren't keen on muddying your pretty fur," She teased, before turning westward and taking off at a walk. The ducks were waiting for her and her bow.

At least the strangers ears appeared to be working. Sure, Gwenninûr wasn't easy to read, nor work with, but anyone smart would start to gather she didn't have time for flowery words, or attempts to please her through something her interest couldn't have been further away from. One shut down was all it took for this one to cease. Perhaps she could be more tolerable for someone outside the realm.

For the time being, she withheld her full judgement.

There was a small gesture in her eyebrow raising at the information gathered from Maria. Someone whom had been here before, left, the returned. So... much like herself and her brothers to some extent, just a difference in time. The wolfdog kept quiet for just a brief moment, looking over the other female for any signs that may persuade her to continue with much more candor. Nothing... and yet...

"What do you know of the realm? New Caledonia as it was called here."

Gwenninûr paused a moment later. She'd already started their so called 'talk of the news'. That being said, one couldn't just stand around making noise... but movement and talking could just as much turn prey away from them. Given the nature of their location, no harm in seeking a blessing from one of her deities. She took a step towards the other female, "I am unbothered by anything of Nín and Nanin's combined kingdoms."

Mud... earth and water come together in a manner of speaking.

Her clothing, as extravagant as they could be, could be cleaned. The tunics of home were meant to be practical. Icy gaze found themselves on the other woman, then moved past her, "Guide me to this location. It best yield positive results."
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OOC text

Maria wondered what the woman was thinking. She did not have the poise of any high society, she'd barely lived in a society at all. She thought she was potentially winning her over if even just the slightest bit. The sandy coyote could probably do to keep her lips a little tighter, but as she aged, she found it was easier to just put yourself out there and recover from any tongue lashings later.

She supposed a question was a good thing. Gwen did not turn away and leave, though she could have. Maybe Maria had a little infectious charm even if the question was curt and direct, hardly an invitation for friendship.

"Well, I don't think New Caledonia was around when I was here. There was Sapient, which I was most familiar with, a bunch of smartasses I didn't fit in with. There was Inferni, the land of coyotes, and those fish people in Krokar. All gone now, to ashes." Maria said thoughtfully, "So, I guess I am familiar with the story. The details are ever changing though."

Maria was glad that she seemed to lean towards coming with her. Small successes. She mentioned Nin and Nanin which confused her, she had never heard of those names though she spoke of them as though they were royalty. Or gods? She struggled to interpret her tone. She held her tongue, not keen to rile up the woman once more with her ignorance.

"Of course, I sure hope it does too,"
Maria said, surprisingly relieved. She could only fire arrows so fast, a second bow meant more meat for the both of them. "Follow me then."

She swished her tail and gestured her to follow as she took a narrow game trail through the marsh. It had been years since she had last followed the path but she was exceptional at remembering patterns, one benefit to years without a map or compass to guide her. The path wound and forked in odd ways, but she knew a duck pond lay the end. It was secluded, a prime nesting place though it was early to have ducklings on the ground. She would not feel guilty as she took the ducks from the sky.

The path was convoluted but not a long journey. Soon, they arrived at a bowl-shaped pond, fed by a few streams traveling from higher places. She saw perhaps a dozen waterfowl middling around, occasionally dipped into the shallow waters for whatever it was ducks ate. Maria shot Gwen a mischievous smile and gestured for her to have the first shot. 

Well... this situation was turning out to be dull, and yet intriguing all at once. It was a drag she would have to speak in full of the realm's history to a stranger, but she would remain ignorant otherwise. The names she spoke of were none the wolfdog recognized, long fallen before her and her brothers came to these lands. Who knew for how long that was...

Yet a common thread seemed to belong to all of them. Fallen and burnt to the ground.

Gwenninûr gave a small glance from the corner of her eyes to the direction New Caledonia once stood. History truly repeating itself. Icy eyes came back to the sandy female, "The realm had fallen once before, torn apart by war. Those who were able to flee sought to rebuild our kingdom. It stood for some time, but ultimately went up in flames once again. Burnt from within." They were refugees again, but no third chance hanging on the horizon for them. Those of the realm did not come together, rather spliting.

But the realm did continue to live on in other ways. She held true to their old ways, praised the gods that guided her through life. In that way, the realm would never die.

Both of them were on the move before long. Once Maria's head turned, there was a quick turn of the wolfdog's mouth. This had better been worth it. She had little interest in something which would do nothing but waste her time, or perhaps lead to a situatiuon leading her with an insolvent individual.

The sandy woman led them to a secluded area, water flowing in from many sides. What a wonder it truly was to be in Nín's world, surrounded by her fowl. A true beauty in the world.

She would be sure to thank Nín properly once she returned to camp with some of said fowl.

Gwenninûr's eyes watched the birds for a moment, picking out which one would be her initial target. She was more than aware that once she fired her first arrow, those around would be alerted to the presence of hunters. Her arrows needed to be ready, loose, and precise. Knocking the first arrow, her target began with one on the further side. It would allow her to just move down the line with her next shots, and Maria to aim her's at the other side.

String pulled back... arrow released... the fowl fell...

And the rest moved.
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Wrap up soon? :>

Maria gave the woman a measured look as she spoke of the fall of kingdoms. It was a common fate, groups ever fluid through time. She often thought of this and used it as an excuse not to conform to pack life. There would come some end and she would be worse off than when she started. Though, she now sought the very thing she avoided. A curious change but she felt it in her bones now, some kind of stability.

She was grateful when she heard footsteps behind her. The gray she-wolf had pushed away her misgivings and followed her. Maria spent a quick prayer for ducks as they went, the trail overgrown but still so clear in her mind. They moved in silence, neither willing to break the spell of cooperation as they went. Maria didn't want to throw the hunt, feeling an annoying urge to impress the snooty canine. Her hands shifted to her bow as they got closer to the clearing and she went lower to the ground, her silhouette obscured in the underbrush,

Maria glanced towards Gwen who readied her bow as well. She followed her gaze to the fowl, dipping their head's into dark water, enjoying the peace of the day. A small smile of excitement grew on her lips as the stretch of cordage greeted her eyes, she drew her bow back to match. There was a pregnant moment before the twang of release and a duck lay impaled, its brethren leaping to the sky. The coyote tracked the fowl and released an arrow of her own, quickly notching another and sending it into the crowd.

She shot another arrow for good measure but the mass of the flock was already high in the sky. She surveyed the pond where the dispatched ducks floated. Her voice was low even though much of the excitement was finished, "Race to the pond?" She goaded, knowing only one way to get a stranded duck, and ran to the pond, crashing into the cold, black water.

Hunting was an art in of itself, making the right decisions and quick actions.

Gwenninûr didn't dare take her eyes off the birds. The tan woman's skills would show themselves while they were hunting, and what kills she would get from her own half of the work. She couldn't allow the moment of opportunity to slip by her. After her arrow had flown, striking the first duck, her fingers slipped to getting another one, carefully knocking it along her bow.

Icy eyes followed the others as they took the sky. Her ears twitched to the sound of the bowstring going off next to her, and had been able to catch the direction of where the other projectile was going. Sharp eyes aimed for another area, following the plan she had for herself. Moving from where she was before, catching one of the larger ducks carefully in line.

The fowl would get too far if she hesitated.

Good thing she didn't.

Her own bow released again, the arrow soaring through the sky. The fowl let out a cry, her eyes following it as it fell towards the ground. It would be a risk to take another shot, especially when now the target window was getting smaller. It wasn't doing to be too much meat, but would serve. There was more to an animal than just what could be eaten.

Her bow was slipped back across her chest, noting there were three bodies she could count in the pond, though it was possible one had fallen along the shores she could see from their position. Her attention was diverted away from their prize, Maria offering a bit of a challenge to them.

What follower of Nín would she be if she wasn't quick to take to water's embrace?

With everything in place, she hadn't even given the other woman an answer before she lept from her crouch, heading for the pond. She barely gave a glance back to her competition, keeping her gaze focused on the floating bodies. Once her feet hit the water, it was almost like a brief moment of bliss. How pleasing it was to feel along her feet.

Her body bent down, gathering the two she managed to shoot, "Not bad. You as well."
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Sounds good to me. We can wrap up with your next post.
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End here or feel free to reply!

Maria felt a rush as she collided with the water. Spring was not yet here but not so cold she regretted the plunge. She turned her head to see Gwen following her into the water. She couldn't help but smile as she waded over to her ducks. They looked like fine mallards, well-muscled after their flight from the south. Maria knew it would be a rich meal, grease crackling with the fire. She was glad their luck had turned, with their accidental meeting becoming fortuitous.

A shiver raced up her spine and she quickly made for the shore again, not eager to linger in the late winter chill. Her hunting companion seemed well suited for the water, Maria had hardly seen a shudder when she had leaped into the water.

"I am always happy to see both hands full! Duck is one of my favorites, rich and delicious. Though, these will pale in comparison to the taste in late summer, a season full of duckweed and bugs give quite the flavor." Maria replied, smacking her lips at the thought. Ducks came with water and Maria had become familiar with them early in her life away from the desert. "I cannot wait to roast these."

The sun was beginning to tilt down the sky, darkness coming to envelop them. Maria enjoyed the impromptu hunt shared with the silver woman before her. It would take a while to build a fire and night would not aid her in that right. Despite their truce, she was sure Gwen would be happy to see her off. She liked the prickly personality, she imagined there was sweetness beyond her guard but she would relent for this encounter.

"I hope our trails cross again, I love to wander this kingdom and see all of its wonders. Plus, I will need to return for more birds." Maria chuckled to herself and tied the ducks to the strap of her quiver. She dipped her head and turned back to the woods and the trail they had come in on. She would make her way north, more familiar lands than these. There was very little she knew about tomorrow, but at least she would not be hungry.


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