[RO] ulsihgi udelida, dark secret
Lowry's mind was reeling with all the information he'd managed to learn thus far about the Tribe. It was far more than he had expected to learn, with images from the Creation Story dancing in his dreams, or the Cherokee language escaping his lips in place of English when he greeted another. Still, he couldn't help but realize that a lot of this wouldn't be particularly useful information to Skye. Trust Lowry to look for something useful and come back with silly stories, he thought, and shook his head as he walked northwest from the Town Hall, through the tobacco fields.

He needed to find better information, though he knew that his knowledge of the hierarchy and some of the livestock and trading goods they had would be useful, and so he set out to explore the territory more thoroughly. He didn't think that AniWaya would ever war with Cercatori d'Arte, but there was a chance that it would be good to know the lay of the land. Who knew what else he might find?

The coyote hybrid jogged through the fields, inhaling the scent of the plants and heading onward. The sun beat down hard, but he kept himself cool by panting, his yellow eyes seeking out a shady shelter or a stream in the landscape. He found the former, first -- but when he approached what looked like a normal shack in the distance, he found a cabin that was dilapidated, dark, almost sad.

Curious, Lowry frowned and stepped closer to the building. He reached up to touch the wooden supports of the half-crumbled building, and as he stepped onto the inner wooden floor he left paw prints in the dust. He wondered what this place could be, and why it had been abandoned. "Maybe someone left something behind," Lowry murmured aloud, and walked across the creaking floor. There were cots in places, and one part of the floor was stained with old blood. He grimaced, crouching to pass his hand over the marks. Fighting had happened here, too.

The scrawny man straightened, looking into the dark and dusty corners of the old ruin, and jumped with sudden fright when he thought he saw something pass by a broken piece of a window. Without thinking, he ran toward it -- and yelped suddenly as his foot hit rotten wood, crashing through. He tripped, crashing his jaw into the floor, biting his tongue and tasting the well of coppery blood in his mouth. Grimacing, he pushed himself upright and tried to tug his foot free from the whole in the floor, only hurting himself into the process.

"Damn it," he muttered, and reached for his knife. He stuck the blade into the wood and tried to pry it away, managing to pull bit by bit of the wood away. He pulled his foot free, nearly scraping some of his fur off, and was about to right himself before something caught his eye. He bent and put his eye to the hole in the floor, able to see something colored down underneath the floorboard. "What the..."

Lowry made his decision, and began to kick at the floor, using his knife to weaken some parts of the rotten wood, and managed to pull away a large section. He tossed this aside and squeaked as he brushed the frantically scurrying insects away from his fur. Flicking a last termite from his elbow, he reached down and curiously touched what he realized was cloth -- pale, dusty, with a green emblem on it like three drops. He tried to tug at the cloth to see if he could retrieve it from the hole under the floorboards, but found it caught, as if something was weighing it down.

Lowry spat some blood from his tongue onto the rotten wood piled beside him, then opened up the cloak. And screamed.

The coyote recoiled bodily from the sight before him, one scrawny arm thrown up in front of his eyes as he crashed backwards. He squeezed his golden-sand eyes shut tight and took a few deep breaths, trembling, before he forced himself to crawl back toward the hole and look.

A dead wolf stared back at him -- or its empty eye sockets did. Its face was sunken, fur on bone, its flesh rotted away. Bone showed in some places, while that thin layer of pelt covered the rest of the skeletal form. Clothing covered the Luperci, too, leather and cloth that seemed hand-sewn, and a satchel resting beside the body. He tried not to puke as he reached down to grab the satchel, taking it from the corpse and opening it up.

There was something inside -- a circular, flat stone, with a pattern carved into it and dyed green: a wolf's eye. He weighed the stone in his palm then set it back down again, sparing one last glance to the dead Luperci. He swallowed and stood, backing carefully away from the body as if it would rise up and strangle him -- and once he was far enough away, Lowry turned and fled.

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