where o'er the sheep-track's maze

POSTED: Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:08 pm

Vicira is near the Yawrah River, ~3 hours trot from "village." For the Shepherd co-rank!

The flock was a sorry, ragged bunch. Few sheep remained: two rams, one old; about five ewes with dusty coats; a trio of nervous lambs. The great cloud of fleece that milled through the village and grazed by the Bass River was reduced to this, dying of starvation or being picked off by coyotes who were starving themselves, if they hadn't been lost in the chaos of the mountainous migration.

Vicira sighed. She opened the makeshift gate, untying the thick rope that kept it shut in lieu of a proper latch, and walked toward the dirty beasts. The old ram blinked rheumy eyes and shook his horns at her, while the younger one came closer with a sorrowful bleat and offered his head to be scratched. A skinny ewe with a black face rubbed against her leg, and she frowned as she ran fingers through her tangled wool. A bath would be in order for these sad beasts, the last of the herd: some pampering, some pasture if she could find it.

She made up her mind. She retrieved and saddled Tigana, then opened up the pen and started to drive the sheep southwest.

A small branch of the river curled before them, over a rise of earth and hardy brush that Tigana nibbled at as they passed. The ten sheep remained clumped together, slowly beginning to graze at the dead grass, wet from the day's thaw. Vicira watched, expressionless, as the water burbled beyond.

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POSTED: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:59 pm

She was growing fond of the sheep, with their curly coats and dopey dispositions, and she found herself venturing towards where they were held in a daily pattern. Their herd had diminished in the months following their departure from where they had once lived, and it was a sad sight to see now. This day was no different, with the light-furred Hope leaving the chapel after morning prayer to wander in the direction of the sheep's home.

To her surprise, there were no sheep in the pen – but the fresh scent of them led her towards the river to the southwest, and she followed it, unsure if they had been stolen by someone clever. Instead, she simply found the russet-accented leader of their winter-hardened clan: Vicira, atop her horse. The sheep stood before her, between she and the river; why were they here? Hope approached, careful not to spook the animals.

I hope spring brings more of them, she offered, speaking that before greetings; it was truth. Death had claimed many of what had once been flourishing. They had needed to eat, after all; it wasn't something to be ashamed of. Still, Hope worried for the sheep as well. One neared her, bleating, and she reached out to stroke its velvety nose.

[wc: ###]
stand face to face with your God

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POSTED: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:07 am

Tigana sighed, her ear gently pricked forward. She was content here, free to roam and browse the Blackland with her foal -- and happy to work, too, though the sheep did not need the same quick movements to clump them together that the wild horses had. Though thin as all the clan and their beasts were thin, it was clear that the Aquila's horse had been well cared for, perhaps at the expense of the "lower" livestock. A different Aquila might have had different priorities and let horses starve for faster-breeding food, or culled those that seemed weak, but Vicira did her best to keep them alive. She was proud, and her clan was proud. She wanted her herd.

She wondered if perhaps she could have done more, looking at the sheep as they grazed, then turned her head as another's scent reached her. She glanced over at Hope -- well-dressed and dainty, if more skinny than slender these days -- and nodded at her remark as her own cool eyes passed over the ewes.

There should be more, if they can eat enough to nourish babes.Maybe we can venture out and capture more when the weather permits, too.

She hesitated a moment, then dismounted to better speak to her clanmate. She had never been particularly close to Crucifix or her brood, especially when she disapproved of the then-Magister's submissive behavior -- or when she was at odds with Basilio, the little devil. She was a little cautious around Hope and Faith as a result, but winter needed to bring them together.

You like them, don't you? Vicira asked, watching the girl pet the sheep before her. Jealously, the young ram -- born and raised among the coyotes -- shuffled over and leaned his head against Vicira's knee. She smirked and scratched around the base of his horns as he grunted. You have a lot of baby-making to do, pal.

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cinder and smoke
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POSTED: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:47 am

The Aquila's words gave Hope her namesake renewed, and it sprung warmly into her chest as she thought of the upcoming season. Vicira was right: there would be more, if they could sustain them, and she was certain God would ensure they were sustained. After all, they had lived through hardship – but hardship was given just rewards. She watched as the ram came closer, and watched as he was patted, and tried to think of a response to the older coyote's question.

The animals are simple. Easier to understand than we are, she admitted, confirming that she did, indeed, like them. She tried to make sure they were well cared for, they and the rabbits and the smaller creatures kept as pets as well as livestock. Someone had to, after all – why not Hope?

It brought a smile to her face, one that was stern on the edges and awkward at best. I think we're going to do well here, don't you? she wondered, the hope she felt leeching into her voice, seeking agreement.

[wc: ###]
stand face to face with your God

and find out what you are


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POSTED: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:10 pm

The ram shut his eyes contentedly, and Vicira smoothed her hand back from his horns to wind fingers in the dirty wool between his shoulders. If he lived long enough to be shorn this spring, they would wash the wool well, but she still worried that his coat might be a reflection of their poverty. She began to sigh, but Hope -- watching her with those dark wine-colored eyes -- finally answered her question.

Yes, Vicira agreed, with a rare fond smile on her lips as she patted the dumb sheep's face. It's comforting, almost. Easy to understand, unchanging even in the face of strife and complications. The sheep always needed the same things, and they never asked for more than that -- were never cognizant of the greater things going on around them. The ram at her heel did not care that they had lost the war. He wanted only food.

Tall dark ears twitched back at Hope's remark, and she glanced at the youth with something like suspicion before allowing her posture to relax. We will, she agreed. I have seen these lands in the spring and summer. They are harsh now, but wildflowers dominate the riverlands, and new growth trees shoot up in the woods. Prey will run again -- small prey, perhaps, but we coyotes have never needed much. Her teeth flashed in a smirk.

She stopped petting the ram. He burped and wandered on, chasing one of the lambs when the youngster skirted too close.

How is your family getting on? Vicira asked Hope, suddenly self-conscious as to her own tone. She spoke like a leader now rather than a clanmate -- knew that the various families were no longer just neighbors, but responsibilities.

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'Souls Assemblage Luperci Multiple Co-ranks Mate to Redtooth Level III Rex Chaos Star oderint dum metuant
cinder and smoke
ash in your mouth

POSTED: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:12 pm

Vicira made the summer and spring of these lands sound pretty, and Hope was renewed with potential joy in the future – a joy she didn't let overwhelm her, for it was small, but warm in her chest. Flowers and new growth trees, small prey; they would survive, if these things came back to the land that the snow had covered all winter. The Lykoi watched as the ram departed them, watched him berate a lamb in the way sheep did, and smiled her gentle smile.

She was asked about her family and the smile died on her face.

Dahlia is growing, Faith and I make sure of that, and we take care of momma too. It would be easier with papa, she supposed, speaking more quietly as her father was brought back to her memory. She had loved her father, in spite of his sins, and she missed him now. If he were still here, she was sure they would have survived better, rather than barebones, but she and Faith made do.

She didn't want to discuss her family, in truth, but it was their Aquila who asked and it was their Aquila who deserved to hear if anyone did. It was a difficult winter for everyone. We still remain here, though, and that means we're strong. She spoke of all Inferni, not simply herself and her blood, for it was Inferni that spanned generations.

[wc: ###]
stand face to face with your God

and find out what you are


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