Did you and Jupiter conspire to get me?

NPC joining!

POSTED: Thu May 10, 2018 10:05 am

There was a golden sun in the sky but it was different from the golden sun that commanded the Cenizan sky, Diego decided as he waited. Moments before, he had lifted his tawny head to the open, cloudless blue and let his wailing coyote howl out imploringly.

And then he waited; they waited. Lowering his rump, Diego sat at the well-decorated borders in his Lupus form and curled his bushy tail around his toes, thinking how Inferni's sun lacked the same oppressive intensity that Ceniza Valley's had. It had been nice to remember how brutal a Southern sun could be, though it made it heart miss it all the more now. Diego shook his head, dislodging dirt and dust from his travels, and shifted his front feet toward the center of his body. He'd get used to Inferni's sun again, he knew. While it had been good to visit Ceniza Valley again, Inferni was his home.

And he had finally returned.

"Woah! That is SICK!" But the fascination in her voice suggested that she was impressed, rather than disgusted or offended.

Diego turned his head and watched the thin, leggy figure (with his coati on her shoulders) jog toward the skull decorations marking Inferni's borders. "You ain't no member yet, Niña, so don't you go touchin' 'em!" he yapped, rising to his feet.

Making his way back from Ceniza Valley, Diego had gone straight north, rather than hugging the coast, and stopped to rest for a time in some place that had revered him like a god. The fire of his ego appropriately stoked, it had seemed like a good idea at the time to bring a little piece of that back to Inferni with him.

Except, Diego was quick to realize, Paninya was ending up to be the worst decision he had ever made. Not only was she a craftier thief than he was, she had also won over his coati and, perhaps worst of all, she did not share in her tribe's reverence of him. The girl had dashed all of his hopes and dreams.

He was eager to be rid of her. Or, at least, be given a break from her.

Sticking out her tongue at him, Paninya turned back to the skulls and gawked, her mouth parted in awe. Standing nearby, Diego hoped that someone would be by soon.

OOC: Wooooo! Diego is back from wintering in Ceniza Valley! And he's got a friend nemesis with him! >:D

[WC — 403]

POSTED: Thu May 10, 2018 7:45 pm

“You okay?” Clover asked, concerned brown eyes flashing under a heavy brow as Tletica sucked in a breath.

The russet coyote nodded. “Yeah,” she said. “Just hot still.”

“It’s better hot, trust me,”
the dog said, and put the hot compress back on her friend’s wrist. She held it there with big but gentle hands, letting the distinct smell of the meadowsweet tea she heated wash over them. The rag that she wrapped the girl’s wrist with was soaked in the stuff – meant to help with pain. Harosheth always said it worked miracles for her arthritis, and maybe it would reduce the ache of an archer’s wrist, too.

Tletica smiled after a minute. Hesitantly, Clover smiled too – but then her expression changed as a howl echoed over the trees. She was on her feet and wagging her tail excitedly in an instant.

“Who’s that?” the Lykoi asked.

“Diego,” the dog barked. “He’s back.” A man who had taught her so much about his faith, who alongside Laurel had made her feel appreciated in the clan. Most coyotes here scorned the dog, but in the Cenizan’s culture they were friends – old friends.

She had missed him fiercely. More than he missed her, she was sure; he would be more glad to see Laurel and Nazario. The thought made her hesitate, but her mind was made up. She shifted down onto all fours and ran.

Clover slowed when she came to the trees with their dangling skulls, her nostrils flaring at the unfamiliar scent of a coydog newcomer. She had eyes only for Diego, though, and spotted him: wild-looking on all fours, a big specimen of the desert with those firelight eyes.

Forgoing formalities, Clover let up a big bay and ran to tackle him in proper feral greeting, wagging her tail and nipping at his cheek fluff.
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POSTED: Sat May 12, 2018 9:15 pm

Diego might have stuck his tongue back out at Paninya if it weren't for the shape of a shaggy ashen figure approaching them from beyond the skull border. Giving an excited yip, the del Bosque made a tight circle with his body and bounced up on his front legs, tossing his head and wagging his tail. Bracing for impact, Diego dug his toes into the spring soil and exhaled a soft oof when Clover's immense body tackled him.

Making high-pitched yips and yaps, the returning Infernian licked the soft fur around his friend's nose and mouth and nipped playfully at the thick ruff of her neck. "Ay dios mio, Clover, you tryna kill me or somethin'?" But Diego knew that he had been gone a long while and it made him feel special beyond measure to know that he had been missed so much. It was a testament to just how important he was... at least, in the mind of one Diego del Bosque it was.

Chittering away, Hocico watched the reunion for a while on Paninya's shoulders before he slid down the small coydog's body and ambled toward Clover and Diego. "Quiero! Quiero!" he chattered happily. The excitement between the two Infernians was palpable and impossible for the coati to ignore.

"¿Cómo estás? You puttin' them ash markings on all proper-like, ?" But as Diego stepped back and took her in, he thought he could see that she was. He grinned, and movement to his side reminded him of his companion. "Ay! This niñita is Paninya," he said, liking the way the words sounded together.

Paninya gave a little wave. "Kinda picked her up on my way back. He leaned in closer to Clover, in a conspiratorial sort of way, and said quietly, "The place she come from, they treated me like a god. But she don't." Diego looked sullenly at Clover. "De todos modos, she's a'ight, I guess." Just annoying, said the tone in his voice and the look in his fiery eye.

"Helloooo," Paninya said, lifting her arms helplessly up in front of her thin body. "I"m not deaf, you know." Small though she was, the coydog stepped toward them with the same confidence that had gotten Diego involved with her in the first place. She grinned at Clover. "I wanna join you guys."

OOC: Cloverrrrrrrr! <3

[WC — 401]

POSTED: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:33 pm

The large desert coyote braced himself, and Clover knew she'd probably bruise from where her chest collided with him. He licked at her mouth, tugged her thick fur, while she swiped slobbery stripes on his cheek and between his big ears. He yapped, and she growled -- a deep and affectionate, teasing rumble. Death is too good for a scoundrel like you!

She wiggled around him a while, headbutting his shoulder, sniffing his rear, and stopped to snuffle at the long-snouted coati too. Her eyes flicked curiously to the coydog girl, but Diego asked about her ash markings and she puffed out her chest with pride, momentarily distracted. Shiiit, I never leave home without 'em! she replied.

Finally Diego introduced the dark, leggy coydog properly as Paninya. Her expression thoughtful and her ears lowered a little more shyly, Clover watched her. A smirk tugged the corner of her lip as Diego sulked about his treatment, and she nudged into him. Ha, why'd you leave? Diego was a man of proper coyote virtues, humility not one of them. When Paninya boldly approached them, grinning, Clover gave her a friendlier look.

Well, I'm glad ya didn't let all that shit go to Diego's head, Clover said. She licked her friend's cheek to take the sting from the mockery. I'm sure Vicira would be glad to have more new blood. This place, lemme tell you—fuckin' sucks sometimes, it's been gloomy as all hell this winter. You can at least hunt, right Paninya?

I'm so so so sorry for the wait :( This slipped under the radar.

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POSTED: Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:48 pm

Click his tongue against the roof of his mouth, Diego nipped playfully back at the ruff around Clover's neck. "You know it!" he laughed, bowing his head and snapping tenderly at his friend's enormous paws. Wiggling and sniffing, the two friends reacquainted themselves until both of them were satisfied enough to talk ash markings.

Stretching his neck, Diego nosed Clover's face tenderly and beamed. He felt some sense of pride, too. After all, if it weren't for him and Laurel (but mostly him, Diego thought without shame), Clover would never have learned the importance of the ash markings or how to apply them. "¡Bueno! You look better with 'em anyway, Pelotita!" He laughed, snapping playfully at her fur again to show he was only kidding.

He checked her with his hip when she asked why he left. "I ain't need no constant worship t' remind me how godly I am," he replied unabashedly. He missed the way Paninya rolled her eyes emphatically. "Anyway, I wanted t' make sure shit was okay here."

Which, judging by Clover's comment, it was not.

Paninya grinned toothily at the large, fluffy dog and decided immediately that she liked her. Hitching her hands atop her narrow hips, the little coydog nodded. "'Course I can!" she replied, then slouched a little. "Mostly smaller prey, though." As small as she was, larger animals were too dangerous to take down on her own.

"Shit, Clover, did someone die?" Diego asked, bringing the conversation back around to how Inferni was fairing.

OOC: is all gooood!

[WC — 258]

POSTED: Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:30 pm

OOC: My last post, you can reply or archive! Figured it'd be one less Diego thread on your plate. <3

IC:

Clover laughed at Diego’s affectionate nips and nuzzles, leaning into him. He was one of the few Infernians she was completely comfortable around, and even if he hadn’t come back, she wouldn’t forget him for all the things he’d shown her. She probably wouldn’t admit it in as many words, but Diego’s culture fed her faith in the cold, dark nights.

She played around for a while until the prospect of Paninya’s joining turned up in conversation, and smiled back at the coydog girl. “Not all of us can be bulldozers,” she said, squaring her shoulders and wagging her tail – though she could only be compared big or broad to the coyotes. “That will be enough. Don’t worry.”

She tried to keep her tone flippant, dealing with her troubles by brushing them off with crude jokes and rough laughter, but Diego picked up on the nuance of her words and expression. Her smile faltered, then drooped, and she lifted a paw to smudge at her dark muzzle.

“Um, yeah. It was a tough winter. This place – it’s the pits, there was no fuckin’ food around and we had to eat like, sheep ‘n’ shit. And, well.” Her ears drooped too. “Versace passed away. She was already losin’ weight after she had her puppy in winter.”

She cleared her throat and glanced self-consciously at Paninya. “But, well, prey’s runnin’ again. Especially the lil ones – a good hunter will make a hell of a difference.” She brushed her head against Diego’s shoulder. “So will some fire dancing. Gotta bring the light back.”

She hoped it would make a difference. Otherwise, she didn’t know what would happen to Inferni. It felt more and more like the final blow Salsola had dealt them had festered.

It was beyond her skill as a healer to deal with such a wound, and beyond her ability as a clan member to come up with a solution.

“C’mon. Vicira can be pissed at me later, but I’ll take you straight to our new caves so Paninya can meet her, so y’ain’t standing out here waiting. The caves are great, at least.”

With a forced grin, she turned and trotted back into the wood.
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POSTED: Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:47 pm

When Diego listened, there was nothing else in the world that his focus was on but the speaker. But this... Diego didn't want to hear this.

"Nah," he whined, his body drooping. "Sachi?" Diego lifted his eyes hopefully, then lowered his nose and shook his head in slow, sad arcs. "She was real good. Una verdadera buena dama." It was a shame that Inferni should lose her, but a damn tragedy for her family.

His posture improved some as Clover continued and he snaked his tongue out of his mouth when her head brushed his shoulder, intending to pass it quickly over her face. A smile graced his lips, though it didn't contain the same luster. "You know it, chica! This place ain't look so good in darkness and grey." He turned his head to look at Paninya. "Gonna do some real worshipin' to the fire, get some color back around here!"

Feeling helplessly out of place, Paninya did the only thing she could do: agree. She offered the friends an exuberant nod and a hopeful wag of her tail. "I can help ya out!" she promised, silently reserving the right to duck out of it if necessary.

Following Clover's lead, Diego and Paninya moved past the painted skulls and into the heart of the clan.

OOC: <333

[WC — 220]

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