Never would I have thought to see the day

POSTED: Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:13 pm

Optime | New Caledonia borders (+###)


Pardon my giant wealth of NPCs with this move @___@ They seem to have accumulated over the years xDD

The decision had not been an easy one. For four years, all she had ever really known and lived for was for her birthpack. She had lived, breathed, sweated, and bled for Casa di Cavalieri and its knights. But things had changed, and the ex-Warlord had found herself no longer needed for the role she had long driven herself for. The knights had known peace for two years now, and most of the pack had turned their eyes to her cousin, Aldora, and younger brother, Cedric, for quite some time now.

She was no longer necessary.

The depressive thoughts and lack of energy had become louder and louder as the season of autumn drew by. Perhaps it was the reminder of her mother’s death again that made it so, or perhaps it just compounded other realizations.

Needless to say, never in her life would Teagan had seen herself at another pack’s borders, standing on the neutral side looking in, wondering if she had a future in their lands.

There had been many options for them, to stay in the realm that she knew fairly well or to venture beyond it. She and her husband, Mako, had discussed it to great lengths. Even the possibility of returning to his home pack had been amongst their decisions. They had settled though, deciding with somewhere new but not too far given the time of year. The timing of it all hadn’t been ideal for Genkei, however, with winter soon to fully arrive in the region, the family could not risk waiting.

So, there they stood, at the borders of one of the newer packs to the region, New Caledonia. Teagan and Mako both stood in their leather armor, both still armed with their weaponry from the road. They both wore their old rank cloaks about their shoulders, replacement furs having been properly given for the ones they kept. They held no meaning now other than sentimental value for them.

Their son, Genkei, too, wore a cloak—though it was rather plain—over his shoulders, though, newly shifted as he was, he was noticeably bare compared to his warrior parents. As his mother, Teagan could see the nervous and anxious edge that he tried so hard to quell. He had only just been apprenticed when his parents had decided to leave his birthpack, and this had been the furthest he had ever traveled beyond the knights’ protective borders.

Among the family were their wealth of lesser companions, comprising of two falcons and the group’s horses. Teagan and Mako had brought all that they owned that they couldn’t bear to leave behind. Their effects had been distributed amongst their horses. Mako’s new-mother mare, Whiskey, however, was burdened lightly. Her young filly, Bacardi, carried nothing more than the little blanket that Genkei had thrown over her back. Thankfully, the land had not become covered in thick snowdrifts just yet, allowing for the trip to have not been as arduous as it could have.

With a breath, Teagan stepped out from the group, handing the reins of Kenyon and Abelie over to her husband to hold with the Apollo and Whiskey’s. She let out a summoning howl, joined shortly by Mako and Genkei to let their number be known to whoever answered it.

Silence befell them when it was done, only to be disturbed when her son asked, “Now what happens?”

Teagan continued to stare forward. “We wait.”

Teagan Stryder

New Caledonia
Commoner
User avatar
Songbird

You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

POSTED: Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:26 pm

[775] • Apparently today is the day of big posts. But also, we're so excited to have you here!

Racing the wind was not quite as romantic as it sounded, for one: it was terribly cold. The stallion beneath him had grown restless in recent days, itching to run over open fields, like the ones he’d known as a foal. Did he miss home as well, did he pine for it as Athras did, mourn its loss in every breath? The Lord was a fair rider but knew little of the equine psyche. He liked to imagine that Hasufel missed it as much as he did, longed for it, dreamt of it...alas. He would not think of home, not as it had been but as it was now: here. And he would make it a profitable kingdom, indeed.

Hasufel’s flared nostrils blew fine white mist into the air and his hooves beat a steady staccato for as far as the terrain remained open. And when it grew rougher, Athras urged him to slow, fearing for the stallion’s legs should he stumble. He was a rare and fine creature in this world, a beast befitting of noble blood. He snorted his discontent but as he had been taught, he obeyed.

Together, they picked a path close to the borders, remaining just out of sight of the wildlands beyond. Athras was not so pedestrian as to patrol, that was best left to the commoners and the other rabble. But it did not hurt to survey them, to scout for signs of tampering or inspect the scents that enforced their wordless command. He’d reinforce them, should it be required- make it so that his scent was the very first that rose up in his kingdom’s defense... As it should be.

He was about to dismount to do just that, but just as he began to part the folds of his russet robe a cry rose up, then another, and a third. The Lord’s head turned, ears swiveling to assess the direction that bade his attention. He sighed wistfully, leaning briefly on the trunk of the small oak before he straightened to adjust his robe. His hands swept deftly up and down the trim, smoothing it to his svelte frame. He adjusted the dark leather vest atop it as well, special care given to its stiff fur-lined collar that accentuated the long graceful slope of his neck. His hair was last, he combed it through with his fingers smoothing the ruffled silk of it down until it spilled shining and inky down his back and shoulders. Athras frowned when the ends of it snagged on his fingers, but knew it couldn’t be helped. He climbed once again onto the stallion’s back and made to answer the stranger’s cry.

His ears tipped back as he rode, and for a minute he strained for the sound of echoing hooves, wondering whether or not the knight would return to guard his lord but Athras caught neither sight nor scent of his tawny frame and dark horse. Perhaps the last meeting had been enough to spook him for...whatever reason. The knight would have to remain an enigma for now as Athras had little time to indulge his biting wit, nor the patience for his world-weary cynicism.

He slowed at last at the sight of horses and robust optimes, pausing a fair distance from them to take them in. The young gawky boy quickly confirmed the suspicion that this was a family, and it piqued Athras’s interest. They were certainly well-armed and laden heavily with possessions, no doubt. He drew slowly nearer, resting a hand near his hip where beneath the wool robe rested a hidden sheath. His eyes never left them.

“And what have we here?” His voice rang out clear and dark. The sight of them called to mind Kalypso and her brood, the Courtiers that now dwelled within the Square. “You’re far too well-armed to be vagrants,” he picked them apart with his cyan eyes, “well-dressed too. And what a menagerie.” His expression was pleasant, eyes twinkling. He was toying with them, teasing, testing boundaries perhaps but all in good humor. And then he paused, tilting his head ever so gently he looked the woman over once more as recognition slowly dawned. “Wait, I’ve seen you before, have I not?” He thought back, eyes widening slightly once he placed her, then his smile grew with delight. “Oh, my.” He uttered, “are you...defecting?”

He looked from face to face, brows quizzical but smile pleasant, if predatory. “But what brings you here? Why leave when your knights have done so very well for themselves?” He was practically giddy with the implications, focusing on the small party with rapt attention.

Athras
New Caledonia
The Lord-Regent
User avatar
Stormie
Spotlight Soul Luperci Priest I, Diplomat I, Rogue I

POSTED: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:54 am

cNPC: Mako, yNPC: Genkei (+###)


It didn’t take long for someone to appear, and family’s eyes all shifted to the individual. It was a male, and a finely dressed one at that. He looked fancy, and Teagan found herself almost humorously thinking of the Cavalier’s strutting peacock, Darius. Long, well-kept hair cascaded down past his shoulders. His fur was dark with a bluish tint to it, and his cheeks were marked with a rusty-hued blush. The warrior princess stared at him with a questioning intensity as he rode closer atop a grey, flea-bitten horse. Something about him struck her as…familiar.

New Caledonia was new to the region, and further northwest than the Stryder woman had traveled in months, so how did he—then it clicked. The Diplomacy Summit. He was the leading representative of New Caledonia, if memory served.

He was young, and his choice of greeting was telling of such. Neither Mako or Genkei spoke, deferring to Teagan, as she was the family’s unspoken leader. Where her stance was chillingly neutral though, Mako gave off a friendlier aura, and even went so far as to offer a small, polite smile behind his wife’s back. Genkei remained quietly anxious, his glacier eyes darting between his mother and the Caledonian that had addressed them.

She met the Caledonian’s playful dialogue with stony stare. There were few in Casa di Cavalieri who would have acted in such a way in her icy presence. This male knew nothing of her though. She just hoped he wasn’t an immature fool like Sapient’s leader, Nivosus, had been. Her mismatched ears pulled back at the detestable thought.

“Tch, it’s meaningless to keep a sharpened blade if you never intend to use it. I can recognize when I am no longer necessary,” she replied. “And I’d rather take my leave on my own terms than on someone else’s.” She knew her father’s eyes had been on Aldora for some time now, Cedric, too, after he had shot up through the ranks. With her out of the picture, it would be easier for either one to transition into the role of Sole or Lune without question from the pack.

The rest of the Cavaliers didn’t need to know that she had refused her father’s offer earlier that year.

“I am Teagan Stryder,” she continued, knowing that she would need to introduce her family eventually. She gestured with an open palm. “This is my husband, Makoto Ridley.” Teagan shifted slightly. “And this is our son, Genkei Stryder.” Both offered a respectful nod in the Caledonian’s direction in turn. “We come to your borders with the hope of a change of pace.”

“Some place new to call home,” Mako interjected, clarified.

The words sounded too soft to Teagan, but, in the end, that was the general idea for the move anyways; something new, a change that would hopefully be for the better.

She waited to see the Calednian’s reception of what he had been given, to see if it was worth to continue on with the usual border conversation that she knew was eventually to come.

Teagan Stryder

New Caledonia
Commoner
User avatar
Songbird

You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

POSTED: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:02 pm

[447] • I hope Teagan isn't carrying any blood-borne diseases :')

Shrugging off the woman’s humorless stare, his smile did not wilt. And once she started speaking the lord’s eyes scarcely left her face. His brow rose briefly as if her answer hadn’t quite been the one he was expecting, but how could he not respect such an honest, (however blunt) reply. His lips softened, thoughtful: enigmatic. Cool and calculative he assessed her, seeing the value on her person— weapons and armor of no poor make— her stance and the strength of her aura. The indomitable yellow stare. She alone would make a fine asset for New Caledonia...the rest was just a bonus.

She introduced her family, a husband, a child. He supposed they could be useful, but they were not the prize she was. And she had come here, abandoning hearth and home for something different...something New.

They were giants, as many of the Cavaliers had been, dwarfing the Lord-Regent for all his doggish height. Wolf made up the most of their heritage he had no doubt. Just as he had no doubt that their son would soon rise to similar heights.

Her husband was friendlier. He smiled politely, interrupting his wife when she failed to convey the true sentiment of their arrival. Athras glanced at him, but briefly. “Teagan Stryder,” he mused. “Any relation to, oh, what did he call himself?” He seemed to mull it over for some time, a hand drawn thoughtfully to his chin. “Lune, ah, yes that was it.” One could not mistake the pale gold, great height, and feral gaze. “The resemblance is striking, I must say.” It gave him no small joy to host a relation of the Cavalieri leader here on the very threshold of his domain. This would please the darkling queen greatly.

“I have no doubt you’ll be an asset,” he began ponderous and slow, offering that little shred of hope as the family waited, expectant and anxious. “However, I must exercise caution. I’ve met your knights, and while I can say we bear one another no ill will, neither are we allies.” His gaze traveled between the faces, but lingered on Teagan’s steadfast yellow gaze. “What assurance do I have that you will not betray us once I bring you into the fold?” Before they could offer anything in good faith be they words or material wealth, the lord raised his hand to stop them. “Words are wind, Teagan Stryder. No, I’m afraid I require a little something more.”

The lord dismounted smoothly from Hasufel’s bareback and approached Teagan, stopping when he was before her but just out of reach. “Swear to me.” He said.

And from his robes he drew an antler-hilted dagger.

Athras
New Caledonia
The Lord-Regent
User avatar
Stormie
Spotlight Soul Luperci Priest I, Diplomat I, Rogue I

POSTED: Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:11 am

cNPC: Mako, yNPC: Genkei (+###)

XD

He was a talkative thing, and some part of her wondered if he just liked the sound of his own voice with all of his rhetorical questions and thoughts that were voiced aloud. Had she not been in the process of trying to appeal to him, she might have raised a lip at the mention of her father. She wanted him to get to the point of his rambling. “I am his daughter,” she confirmed gruffly with a nod instead. She had to remind herself that she spoke not only for herself, but for her family as well. One false move, one unchecked snarl, and the small family would be forced to take the long road to Portland to find her sister, Indi.

Eventually, the young Caledonian leader managed to refocus himself—perhaps having finally become satisfied with his own entertainment at who stood at his borders—and there was a noticeable change in the gravity of his words. They were no longer light, teasing, or playful. Finally, he had begun to sound like the leader that he was rumored to be. Curiously though, the conversation did not take its usual course that most border interviews did. He didn’t ask for their talents or skills that they could offer New Caledonia, seeming to have already made up his mind about their worth.

He wanted to reassurances of their—no, her—loyalty.

His question was a valid one, and he was wise to cut the Stryder off before she could give him a growled reply. She was no snake, the Knight and Stryder blood that coursed through her veins was proof as much. He wanted proof though—reasonable, if still mildly insulting to her pride—and she patiently waited to hear his stipulations.

Pale eyes watched as the Caledonian dismounted from his steed and approached her specifically. Behind her, she heard Genkei shift. She imagined that he was probably silently asking Mako what was about to happen, probably trying to gauge how he should react. Teagan paid them little mind though, even when the young leader withdrew a knife from his robes.

Teagan stared at the Caledonian male, her cold eyes narrowing a fraction before they moved to the antler-hilted blade in his grasp. They lingered for but a moment, considering, before she let out a sharp exhale that billowed in a clouded puff in the late autumn air.

She kneeled.

Her leather armor creaked and the fabric of her once proud rank cloak pooled around her. She pulled off the glove of her main sword hand and held it out to him with the palm facing up. The actions were slow, precise, calculated, and done with pride despite what she was about to do.

“I swear on my Honor, as a Knight and matriarch of the Stryder name, and by the Oath that I took as a Brotherhood member. I will serve you and your people as I once did my fellow knights. My shield will be your armor; my sword will be your teeth. They are yours to command against your enemies, whoever they might be.” Even if, one day, that enemy was Casa di Cavalieri itself.

Canary eyes raised to his seafoam green.

“As Teagan Stryder, daughter of Cavalier Lune Luca Knight and Sola Lyris Stryder, I swear this fealty to you.”

Teagan Stryder

New Caledonia
Commoner
User avatar
Songbird

You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

POSTED: Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:31 pm

[682] • some pp here, please let me know if I need to change anything. I wanted to get you all joined up and titled up since you waited so patiently <3

The smile returned briefly, becoming altogether wolfish as it snaked up his muzzle. “And what did daddy think, hm?” What a terrible blow that must have been, “did it break his little heart?” Athras had nothing personal against them, these Cavaliers, and he knew little of their history with Salsola. But he could not resist the opportunity to toy and tease especially when his audience was entirely at his mercy. They would simply have to indulge his fancies, play his game until he saw fit to excuse them from it— for just a little while longer.

Athras Eryn was a mercurial, capricious creature prone to flights of fancy and fits of pique. It’s possible he was testing them, pushing buttons and boundaries to see just how much it would take for the woman to snap. A gauge for their sincerity, an assessment of motives. He toyed with them because he had the power to do so, how far were they willing to go for New Caledonia?

He was thrilled and delighted to host the Lune’s very blood. But whether it would tie the two packs together or tear them apart remained to be seen. Athras was eager for either outcome, for the Caledonians had powerful allies, and their history with Casa di Cavalieri was long indeed.

Another test, he approached the proud woman and her small company, knowing full well how vulnerable this position was. Though the Lord-Regent was confident his pack would be behind him, should she try anything untoward— and would she really risk such violence in front of such a poor, young soul? A harsh sigh laid to rest his worries as the woman took to her knees before him.

He wet his lips and watched hungrily as she removed the glove from her hand. Then all but devoured her oath, watching rapturous as each word fell from her lips, what pride she held for herself compromised in the gesture of kneeling. His head tilted ever-so-slightly as the last word faded from her tongue. “Pretty.” He smiled, if patronizing. “But an oath is made in blood, not words.”

He reached for her proffered hand, the dagger held in his other, and reveled in the trust she extended: the faith and confidence that he would not put an end to her blessed days with her wrist so very near the instrument of death. A blade which had fed on the blood of usurpers, no more than the lucky stabs and swipes of a novice for he had been younger still when the war first raged. She would not know, nor was it her place to know.

He held her fingers firm enough so the pass of the blade would be no more severe than it had to be, for he would take only a little. Athras caught and held her gaze a moment, cementing the gravity of her decision before, with a swift motion, he drew the blade across her palm. Blood welled up a crimson sheen against the paleness of her hand. Then the lord urged her fingers to close to coax just a little more to the surface. He withdrew the dagger, regaining the point of contact between them, the cool cyan and brilliant gold, and wrapped his hand around the metal. Flinching a little, he slowly drew it across his own palm, blood welling to the surface, a cut that joined a small number of similar long-healed incisions. He clenched his fist over the wound briefly before extending his hand to the woman’s own, grasping it firmly so the blood could mix, its copper scent sharp in his nose.

“Teagan Stryder, I bind your fate to my will. Serve us well and you will be rewarded, betray us and you will fall. Your oath is mine, from this day until your last day.” And with that he released her hand from his grip and produced a scrap of cloth from his robes to wipe the blade clean. When it shone as it had the day of its forging he looked to the family and smiled.

“Welcome home.”

Athras
New Caledonia
The Lord-Regent
User avatar
Stormie
Spotlight Soul Luperci Priest I, Diplomat I, Rogue I

POSTED: Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:33 pm

Welcome to New Caledonia
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Mae govannen, mellon! The banners have been called to offer you their warmest greetings! Whether you are guided by progress or grounded in tradition you're sure to find your kind here. Your journey begins now:

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