it's too late to turn back now

Troupe Members!

POSTED: Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:43 am

So this is gonna be FUN! Vaguely backdated??? For Troupe Members only, please!

They might have gotten lost and turned around one or two times, but as soon as they hit the St. John's, they were as good as home.

Fording the river had been a little tricky; the stone bridge that once held passage had since fallen, though Calrian hadn't thought much of it. For as long as he knew, his world was filled with old human-made structures falling to pieces around them. Nothing could break his spirit, especially not these small delays.

Calrian's excitement could not be contained; to anyone who would listen, he'd yammer on about Krokar's festivals and the caribou and the lakes and fishing. Who would have thought he'd miss fishing? Not that Portland didn't have fishing, but fishing at home was different. In Krokar, a person could take the boat out on the lake without worrying about crowds or commotion, and when the moon was full, it was like drifting through the sparkling sky.

Our mother, she would hold Mal and I in either arm and we'd lay back in the boat, and she'd tell us all the stories of the stars. You remember that, Malik? He rambled happily, Anyway, you'll all see when we get there. Krokar will take good care of us.

The woods began to thin in a familiar way. Calrian, rejuvenated by memories of his youth, ran ahead. It was wonderful to be surrounded by the same old evergreens and pines and fir trees, to hear the rush of the water and the winds over the fields. He realized belatedly that he had passed where the scent markers used to be, but this did not rouse suspicion for the young man. He had nothing to be worried about; the pack had been growing and changing when they left, and had even expanded the territory in a new direction. All it meant to him was that there was something new waiting for them at the end, and Calrian loved new things.

Throwing back his head, he sang a joyous wolfish howl into air.

When no one responded to his summons, he waved a hand back at the trailing Troupe members. They must be busy celebrating. It's about that time of year! Let's go, I'm sure they won't mind a few extra faces.

The Troupe
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POSTED: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:30 am

OOC: ruh roh :c

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It was difficult to build momentum. Winter leeched energy from them; As the rolling hills and cracked roads gave way to fields of white and lines of dark trees, they stopped more often, and broke camp later each morning. The travel was hardgoing. Every night seemed colder than the last, and it had been a little while since they'd passed anything resembling a town - if it weren't for Lady Luck favoring O'Brien's hunting hand, their rations would have dipped into dismal levels.

It was enough to make any men miserable, but the Troupe were not just any men.

The places they left behind them - in body and in spirit - did not beg for a quick return. The future lay ahead, and it was inviting them onward. With Adri's snark to keep them in line, and old man Cookie's irreverent wisdom to warm them, the young men held good vigor. None more so than Calrian, whose golden eyes shone with the promise of home.

Home! How long had it been since any among them had lain their head down somewhere that resembled the word? Even sad-eye Malik, who had no better reason to be morose than his very nature, could not help the infectious contagion of his brother's excitement. Any day now, Cal promised them. Any day now and they would hear the river; Any day now and they would see the little spirals of white smoke, rising from chimneys that smelled of fresh cooked trout and good company.

Then the day came, though it was not at all what they could have anticipated.

The path leading through the woods was ankle-deep in white. Malik walked alongside Mondo's massive head, cold fingers looped through the steer's braided halter to guide him. The big Chianina strained against his harness, and the wheels of the vardo groaned as they crunched slowly through the ice and snow. Brushing pale hair out of his dark face, the bard offered his brother a soft smile. "Ma is good with constellations, she taught us a handful the sailors use," He looked back over one shoulder at Cookie, who had been layered in their spare blankets and sat bundled with his skunk up on top of the swaying caravan, "The sky is real clear out here at night."

The other Amaranthe brother was bounding ahead now, but this was nothing new. Cal always led the way, and the rest of them, well - they followed.

It was very quiet here, more than Mal remembered it being. As Calrian's welcoming voice rose bright above the silence, Mal's foot collided with something heavy under the snow, kicking it free. Wincing, he frowned, and peered down at a big lump of charcoal that had smeared the pristine white with an ugly line of grey.

Still there was no reply from the village up ahead. A strange wave of apprehension washed over the bard. Hesitant, he bent down to pick up the chunk of burned wood and held it curiously up to the light. "Cal, slow down a minute-"
The Troupe
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POSTED: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:23 pm

The two brothers talked about their family and childhood often. It seemed important to them, though neither seemed to think this at odds with their independent lives. For Sawyer, who was old enough that he could not entirely recall his own childhood, listening to them made him long for peace and quiet.

At night it was still cold, and during the day the sky would either be a flat gray or, on rare occasions, a brilliant blue. The weather here made travel slow, though there had been no real urgency in them once Portland was days behind. No one had followed the Troupe after their incident, it seemed. Cook was glad for this – he was worried their intervention would lead to further consequences, but leaving behind the city seemed like an easy loss to take. He certainly had no connection nor desire to linger in the place.

Business was the same everywhere, after all.

Yet for all their talk about their homeland, this place the boys had brought them to felt strange. A dim sense of apprehension began to build in Sawyer. After so long, he had learned to trust his instincts – and now they were warning him that something peculiar awaited them here.

He looked towards his other companions and lifted his shaggy brows with concern.

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POSTED: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:54 am

Krokar marked the end of their strange and ambling quest. Mateo listened to the stories woven by the tongues of the Amaranthe boys and he wondered what it was that had driven Tiamat away from the sleepy fishing village to discover all that lay beyond. In some ways Mateo drew a parallel to the way he had felt about his own homeland – a place that was buoyed with memories of boyhood and the warmth that came from nostalgia.

When Calrian and Malik described their town it was obvious that it was a place filled with light – and Mateo wondered if Tiamat had seen it too. He had never wandered through the North along the vein of rivers that marked Krokars once thriving territory, though as the boys threw back their heads with tides of laughter Mateo buried his nose quietly in the pages of his notebook.

Ruckus sat atop his flea-bitten horse with a morose expression – though this was not in itself unusual. His dark hair lay lank against his forehead even as a breeze wafted past; carrying with it the remnants of a smoky fire-like scent and the wet smell of melting snow. Mateo turned a page and huffed softly, drawing a line through a page of prose with a scowl. He recited quietly, drumming the pummel of his saddle as the others surged on around them.

”Caught between the heart and the shadow…” He made a sound in his throat, ”No – that's not right...

Ruckus grunted, scratching at the collar about his neck so hard that it jangled loudly before settling back into place.

”Mat, pay attention.” Ruckus growled softly, twitching his head so that the longer pieces of his hair stayed out of his face. ”Somethings wrong.”

Mateos long ears twitched and he raised his head to inspect what was supposed to be Krokar – his expression made it look like he was coming up for fresh air. The group had drawn around Calrian and the horses were nervously stamping their feet as Mateo hid his notebook in his pocket. ”What do you mean?”

Mateo straightened and ran a hand through his thick hair to call to the others, ”Aren’t we close?”

The Troupe
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POSTED: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:23 pm


The moment they were properly deeper into the pack's territory, Adrianna went very quiet. She did not like the silence around her and could feel the guilt seeping into her bones the longer they lingered. They were not on Sapient's grounds, but the feeling of being so close still affected her without a problem. Nico even side-eyed her as she slowed behind the group of eager men, shrinking uncharacteristically behind them without gathering their attention.

But she was watching for all that her insides were roiling around. It felt like snakes tumbled in her belly, but it did not mean that her eyes were broken. She peered around her, noting the stillness, and wondered if Krokar had truly been so quiet? Surely, not? They had been connected to Sapient at the time and she could remember them being far more energetic than this stillness suggested.

She did not see smoke or movement or light. Something was very wrong with them there and she did not know what the problem was. Yet, Adrianna did not like what she felt, both from the unreasonable guilt and the world around them being somehow incorrect from their conceptions. Calrain was so excited, too, and she had no heart to say anything. Nico even looked off-put when Malik spoke up.

Something is wrong she intoned quietly to the man in soft Italian. Nico merely nodded as he narrowed his eyes at the still scenery.

Adrianna Julia
So let go of wrong and right, cause who wants, who wants, who wants to dance all night?

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more than just a dance

POSTED: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:54 pm

O'Brien smiled beneath the shade of his hood, trailing close to the group. He enjoyed the Amaranthe boys' stories: tales of antlered caribou, placid lakes plentiful with fish, flags of various colors and symbols snapping proudly over wooden cabins. The wistfulness in their voice bore him back to childhood memories of his own, the veil of bitterness pulled back to reveal pictures of the Douglass clan's sheep herd, strolling down to the lake to drink, the water glistening in the rich, dark curls of his mother's fur as she teased the flock.

He blinked and shook away the reverie. He was happy for Malik and Calrian, truly; it was simple to see the hope and relief in their faces once they forded the river.

It was just as simple to feel the mood drain away.

The forest was quiet—still, like the crooked houses grey-silhouette in the distance. The group hesitated amid the snowy wood, exchanging glances, hackles rising. Malik stooped to pick up a piece of something in the snow, and O'Brien—always the first to volunteer for the campfire—recognized the scent of charcoal.

Brown eyes widened, then narrowed. Smoothly, the thief flicked back his cloak so he could draw his small, plain dagger; he spoke lowly. Ca' canny, lads.

The Troupe
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here come the ravens

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