cut a branch off my family tree to start a fire

POSTED: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:51 pm

Stella arranged the twigs against the peak of tinder along the pack’s borderlines. Her hands quivering with anxiety, she knocked a portion of the in-progress bonfire over by mistake, and started again.

She was all alone. She’d never been alone on a mission before. While a part of Stella beamed with pride that her father trusted her to travel and preach without escort or assistance, she’d never thought it would be now—so far north, far away from Mother and the others at the tower. She didn’t know this region, and her navigation skills weren’t the best. Father always had an entourage when he traveled, and her only duty in those circumstances was to speak the words he gestured for her.

She’d have to come up with the words herself, this time. Her heart was pounding. She wanted to do him proud, just as much as she wanted to please at least one of Omni’s faces.

The fire was of a modest size, big enough to share with one or two others and propped up near where the scents of the pack seemed to get stronger. This would be the first of several stops she would make, not that she knew where the rest would be, but Stella could tell a pack had settled here and thus there would be ears to listen. That was all that mattered, that someone listened, that she could have the chance to save someone from a horrible, needless demise at the scourge of Omni.

Smoke billowed into the air, and while the fire picked up the wolfdog knotted the mask behind her head. It was a crude thing, made of leather and furs and covering only the eyes. Grass, hay, and tiny blossoms were pushed through the stitches and seams, creating a bizarre mixture of color and textures. She drew into the soil an eye, stood before it and tossed the stick into the fire. Then, summoning a deep and shaking breath, Stella began to shout.

“A great destruction is coming,” she screeched between eye and smoke and fire, feigning confidence save for the shakes in her hands. “The skies will fill with stone, and the earth will burn to nothing but ash! Few will survive, and the remainder will die a horrible death. Your weapons will not save you. Your false gods will not save you.”

Her feigned confidence waned, instead replaced by a swelling passion, glittering eyes and a genuine smile. “But you don’t have to die! Nobody has to die! I can help you—if you listen to me, if you take my hand and turn your eyes to Omni, you can live!”

Her shouting and chanting continued, repeating often, passion undaunted. Maybe I can do this, Stella thought to herself between a round of verses. Maybe I can save someone.

Private. Pre-dated October 10.

bad omens around the eyes
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POSTED: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:22 pm

Eliza was tending to the caribou when the large shape of Sidonia landed on the fence behind her. Liz could tell the golden eagle was there from the way the caribou changed – from being all velvet-soft, searching noses, to backing off a few paces. Enough of them had seen their Herdswoman with the eagle enough times that Sidonia’s appearance didn’t start a stampede but Eliza still straightened and fixed the bird with a sharp look of disapproval.

“Smoke,” the bird said, feathered head cocking in that jerky way it so often did. Whilst Sidonia was a picture of elegance and flow in the air a closer look would reveal just how choppy her movements could be. Liz’s lips pursed; for a moment she was too busy considering the strange way Sidonia moved up close to really take in what she’d said. The bird’s beak clicked impatiently. “Dog-wolf. Borders. Noise.” If it was possible for a bird to sound offended that was what Sidonia’s broken high speech encapsulated.

Huffing, Eliza cast the caribou a long look of apology before flicking her wrist, a signal to the golden eagle that she should follow overhead.

The acrid scent of smoke crept into Eliza’s flared nostrils as she stomped toward the borders. Smoke where smoke didn’t belong put her on edge, and if it wasn’t in a hearth or beneath a cooking pot it didn’t belong. She remembered happening upon Walker in a field, once, and reprimanding him for even the potential of frightening the caribou with his small fire. The bridge of her muzzle wrinkled at the thought.

This set of flames was nowhere near Liz’s precious caribou. That might have put her at ease had her flopped ears not caught the words being screeched from the spot where the smoke was rising. Liz strode onward, toward the promises of destruction and death, and thanked the Goddess that her children were all safe elsewhere. More than once she shot a glance up to the golden eagle tracing wide circles far above.

By the time Eliza stood at the border, arms crossed tightly and muzzle ridged in distaste, she thought she had heard those chanted words a dozen times.

“Dare say people’d be better able to take in yer shriekin’ if ya piped down fer two seconds.”

Eliza Cormier was not a well educated canine but she knew when something had the ring of a threat. Anyone offering up the chance to live as if it was part of a bargain - as if it could be bought - was bound to rub her the wrong way.

Hopefully those threats would be empty.

[450]
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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:54 am

A young woman with sharp eyes heeded her first, followed not long after by a startlingly large bird in flight that did not land. Youthful and optimistic, Stella’s chest swelled with excitement at the thought, golden eyes glancing the young woman up and down, committing the moment to memory. This could be the first person she would save, whom Stella would save, not as an interpreter for her father but as a devotee herself. Her words mattered. Everything mattered, as if a spot of light had opened up around her.

She grinned, bouncing and squirming a little in place. “Oh! Sorry, I just wanted to make sure people could hear me. My father tells me I’m soft-spoken. Piping down! Heh.” This apology placed no dampening on her energy, and neither did the indubiously stiff and unwelcoming stance the woman with the eagle approached with.

The Flint tossed a couple twigs into the fire, dusted her hands, and stepped forward with a hand to shake extended. “I’m Stella, what’s your name?” She brushed back a series of difficult curling bangs from her mask, each which without fail strayed immediately back into their former place.

“Did you, um, did you hear everything I said? Do you have questions?” Despite the smile, her fingers were shaking. “There isn’t a lot of time till Omni sees us, so, um, I’m happy to repeat but I really have to get the word out to anyone else who’s around.”

bad omens around the eyes
The Eyes of Omni
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Lin
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:19 am

OOC: Yay for irrational hypocrite Liz!

IC:
The young woman was milder-mannered than the words she’d brought. Perhaps at another time, in another place, the Navigator would’ve found her youthful energy and eagerness endearing. But this was here and this was now and Eliza could only hear the undertones of a threat in what she’d shouted.

“I heard ya alrigh’ - at that volume I reckon half the North heard ya.”

The dog’s eyes were narrowed to slivers of honey-brown and darkened by the weight of her scowl.

“Questions?” she snapped, well aware that in polite conversation she would’ve given her name by now. Sidonia was still circling, silent and watchful of the scene below.

“I c’n think o’ a few.” The dog’s lips drew back as she glowered at the small fire. “Like wha’ in th’ hell d’ya think yer doin’ - comin’ t’our borders ‘n’ makin’ threats?” Eliza’s hackles had risen now, the fur along her nape standing in waves. Her tail, too, was more like a well-used broom head than the sleek appendage it usually was.

“Ya stand ‘ere ‘n’ tell us th’t few o’ us will survive this destruction - en’t really conducive t’a friendly exchange o’ ideas, is it, gal?” There was no warmth in her tone and the woman tsked as if chiding a small child. Though Stella was clearly grown enough to be out spreading her message to the world at large all Eliza saw was someone the age of her kids who needed a lesson on catching more flies with honey – not that she was about to be a working example of that ideal.

Not that some girl with a campfire would turn her head from the Goddess – false or otherwise – easily. Not after all the Goddess had seen them through – the Cormiers and Krokar as a whole.

Eliza glared into the forest surrounding them, tapping her foot pointedly.

“Where is ‘e, then? This Omni fella? Or does ‘e prefer t’not actually get involved wi’ things?”

[300+]
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