you're walking into victory, even in your darkest hour

POSTED: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:38 am

Word Count → ??? :: Troupe Only please! Welcoming the new kids, can't wait to give them my whole entire trust and definitely not at all have it be misplaced ;)

The days were long. Beneath a volatile sun the air shimmered and baked. The old man's sprouts grew new bright green leaves, unfurling like a woman showing off the silks of her wares. Mondo dozed in the shade of a thick mountain ash, the biggest in a stand of narrow gray birch with dark knots in the wood like eyes. His white flank rose and fell steadily, the only enduring snowmound to last the whole summer long.

It was quiet in the camp but for the droning of many insects and the sounds of Cookie fussing over his crop. On a different morning, it might have been accompanied by the sweet serenade of music - All of winter past it had hummed over their tents, each strummed cord bursting fresh as birdsong. But for weeks now the lute was quiet, and the Bard was quiet too.

Every day he took its slender wooden neck in his hands and turned it over lovingly so the strut wouldn't warp - and his fingers would hover above the place where the broken string had been, and pluck the air wistfully before retreating.

Cal had tried to talk it out of him, but the words wouldn't come; And when the thief was around, Mal found ways to busy his hands and his eyes. Some things couldn't be said aloud.

Today, tired of sulking, he'd rolled up his sleeves and taken to scrubbing the vardo clean. With a barrel of water drawn up from the nearby creek and a rudimentary scrubbing brush made of pine needle and fir, Malik set onto the caravan with great zeal. For a little while Cookie had kept him company, chatting as he pruned and planted, but an hour or so in the old dog had dozed off. His snoring didn't make for good conversation; Neither did the mutt he'd brought into their fold, who sat nearby but offered no assistance, fiddling instead with something out of view.

Adri's pleasant banter might have lifted his spirits - she was the honey to their pot, after all - but it seemed she had women's business to attend to, or else the idea of helping with domestic chores held no allure. Mal couldn't blame her much for that.

So it was that Mateo's slurred voice, when it came, was the loudest thing for yards around.

Pausing in his work, Mal lifted one hand to shield his bright eyes from the glare. As the poet and two strangers came into view, he frowned.

The Troupe
Bard
User avatar
Alaine
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:43 am

Had he always been so impulsive?

Jethro could not remember if this was the case. He no longer had his sister to help him recall things that seemed unimportant. So much of his time had been spent trying to let go that it became indiscriminate. He struggled to remember his dead brother and the sound of his mother's laugh. Each memory was tainted by darkness, like the ash on his face.

Hiding behind the paint helped. Being with Marlowe helped, even if he was still pissed at the older man. The drink had worn off while he slept but left his mood soured, tainted by hurt feelings and the sense of their situation being entirely the fault of his companion.

Would he have been happy with all the other coyotes? Would he have fought alongside them and thought nothing unusual of it?

He found his morals on precarious ground and his equilibrium off. Jethro was finding himself at odds with his faith and his deeds, and worse, the actions and consequences of others. So Mateo, with his bright face and colorful eyes, had been the sort of threat he had not understood until now, when it was too late.

Now they were here, at this sprawling campsite bursting with life. There were more people looking at him than he liked. He glanced towards Marlowe, who was conveniently hidden by his horse, and turned back to Flea instead. The orange cat was perched atop the saddle. He looked regal and handsome...right up until he meowed loudly, trilling with delight. Amused by this, Jethro took some comfort in his enthusiasm. If there was one consistency in his life, it was that the stupid cat was never quite scared enough.

No los creo, Jethro heard Marlowe say, but quietly enough that their host – already far ahead of them and rushing towards the thick of the campsite – did not hear.

¿Que pasa?

Marlowe pretended not to hear him.

The Troupe
Guard
User avatar
Mel
Luperci Chaos Star stray arrows
kismet
so it goes
lex talionis
pyrophoric

POSTED: Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:59 pm

When the normal ways didn't work, for the first time in his life, Calrian was at a loss for what to do.

For most others, his brother a difficult person to get to know, but Calrian knew him. He knew the ways he sulked, the ways he sucked up the world and then held it like one long breath, waiting to drain it all into song and lyricism. But this withdrawal was new, it was different, and he felt as lost as any stranger on how to approach him. The camp was quiet.

Griffin told him to give him space and time. Something had happened, and Malik would offer it when he was ready. He wanted to believe the sailor in this instance, but every time he looked at Malik he couldn't help but feel wracked by guilt - didn't mom tell them to take care of each other? How could he take care of his brother if he wouldn't let him?

So the Amaranthe devised other ways, as the ilk of rivers were wont to do. He made sure to save him a portion of their meals, to stitch the tears in his garments when he wasn't wearing them, and to search at every chance for a string that might fit his lute.

When his brother finally stirred from his listlessness and began to clean, Calrian had abandoned all of his day's plans to help out. He had gladly volunteered to fetch more water, and was on his way back with a bucketful when he saw them. Mateo came ahead of the two men with his usual pep, and Calrian drank in the sight of the ones trailing behind him. They were all lean and angular and large eared, coyotes through and through. A trill came from the saddle of one of their horses, and the wriggling ginger shape softened any instinctive caution he might have had. That cat was too friendly to belong to any mean ones, as intimidating as they were.

Hello there! Calrian called to them, dropping his bucket with a hefty thud in the grass. He approached in his usual manner, an easy gait that suggested confidence and no deal of haste at all. His tail waved behind him, flagging his friendly intent.


User avatar
San
Luperci

POSTED: Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:53 pm

Guilt gnawed at him like a dozen minnows nibbling at the soft white tissue of a rotten fish, adrift in some cold lake – a simile that served only to prove his preoccupation with people outside his people.

He always returned. He returned in what he felt was a timely manner, and he brought food and pilfered trinkets and information. He made sure they wanted for nothing, but he didn't linger for very long – just long enough to help Cook roll up paper with nimble young fingers, or accompany (guard) Mateo on a jaunt to town – and skulked around like a skittish, feral cat rather than a loyal hound.

He felt more relaxed in the belly of the canoe, or stirring up crickets and gnats running through the field, loud laughter and shining teeth beside him.

The dog was curled up snoozing in his four-legged form, dark flanks rising and falling as his chin rested on the warm dirt. He'd caught a good-size muskrat for the bunch earlier, though a small wound from the rodent's teeth gleamed pink on his wrist, and he'd wanted to sleep off the event and let the sun dry his damp coat before he assisted whoever wanted to skin and clean the beast. Even then, he slept lightly.

He was quick to pick up his head when the poet's voice rang out, followed by Calrian's amiable greeting as he dropped his bucket in the grass. Quickly, the lurcher got to his feet and instinctively glanced toward the vardo, then shut his teeth around the instinctive wuff that blew from his jowls. He stared at the coyotes in silence, not wishing to draw any attention to himself.

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
The Troupe
Pickpocket
User avatar
Raze
Luperci
here come the ravens

POSTED: Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:44 pm

[267] • hola como estas

Mateo had never before felt quite so much like a diplomat. More and more he found that he was able to connect with those who wandered the neutral territories, weaving stories and making magic where many perceived there was none. Now with the coyotes trailing after him he chattered about the home that he led them to, the motley crew of men and women who were eager to make a place for themselves in a world swirled by lady lucks hand.

They all swayed gently from atop their horses, kicking up dust upon the trail that lead them into the heart of the troupes camp.

Mateo barked a welcome, tossing his bushy head before slipping from the horses back as the others began to appear from behind tents and smoky campfires. The minstrel couldn’t put into words what it meant to return to the same faces, and as Ruckus emerged – scratching loudly at the thick collar about his neck Mateo burst into an eager grin – proud of what he had brought back to their camp.

”Hey everyone,” He called, ignoring the way that Ombra picked at his shoulder fur with her velvety lips, ”Met some folk on the road that seemed like they could use a place to stay…” He glanced at Calrian, ”And we have space, right?” He twitched his ears at O’Brien and offered a friendly grin before patting his horse and forcing her head away.

Ruckus flared his nostrils and was carefully reserved, blowing air through his cheeks as he crossed his arms to lean against a nearby tree.

"Where'd they come from?"


User avatar
Amanda
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:44 pm

Word Count → ??? :: boop I'm going again but still feel free to jump in other Troupers

They emerged like crickets out of the woodwork, drawn in by the intrigue that Mateo's unlikely guests provided. It wasn't the first time stragglers had been brought back to the vardo - the grouchy shepherd-dog was proof of this - but still it was an unusual event, marked by suspicion and curiosity alike (depending on whose face you paid close attention to).

Malik, who had only recently had a stern lesson from the world on the danger of strangers, was perhaps a little less enthusiastic about the situation than was usual. His stare broke from the two men and the minstrel only briefly, flicking without intent toward the silent four-legged hound and back again. His lips were pressed tightly together.

The tension was broken by Calrian's vibrant voice. Something about it seemed to recall Malik to himself, and he dropped his handful of pine needles and cleaned his palms on his trousers before offering Mateo's companions a small, tentative smile.

It was implicit in the motion that Cal's approval - which had never not been given - was conditional to the coyotes' acceptance here.

The bard fell into step behind his brother. When they were close enough to get a good look at the travelers, his brows rose in wonderment. There was a strange familiarity that he hadn't expected to find. "Hey," Softspoken, he raised one palm toward the older and rougher of the two men, still partially concealed by the flanks of his mustang. His dark nose twitched, looking for the scent. "Have we - Do I know you?"

The Troupe
Bard
User avatar
Alaine
Luperci

POSTED: Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:27 pm

Jethro didn't know it, but Marlowe was trying to determine who the real leader of the group was.

The blonde certainly didn't consider looking for anything so important. He was taking in the whole situation – the animals, the dogs, the colorful fabrics and run-down tents – with some hesitation. What made this different than the coyote Gang?

Expectation.

We were south of here, and further than that before. Your bard here, he had nothin' but good things to say about this little thing you've got going on. The graying coyote was favoring his good side, Jethro thought. Marlowe had fixed his focus on the brothers standing near one another. You remember me? Hell, that's wild. Saw you both when you were still little, long time ago. Not for very long, but I remember you. Sure got taller. You, he pointed at the man with the white hair. Look jus' like your mamma. Ain't sure where this came from, he stroked his own mouth with a slow-growing smile. Anyhow, I'm Marlowe, and this here is Jethro.

Annoyed that his introduction had been stolen from him, the blonde coyote did the next best thing he could think of.

This is Flea, he told the group. Thrilled with the attention, the cat meowed again.

The Troupe
Guard
User avatar
Mel
Luperci Chaos Star stray arrows
kismet
so it goes
lex talionis
pyrophoric

Dead Topics