A silence broken

POSTED: Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:53 pm

The solemnity of this place had not yet changed with their presence. Though the two only felt a slight resemblance between the traditions they were brought up with, and those still embedded in these deteriorating buildings, they at least started out with respect. Treading carefully, moving quietly, at least one of them with an instinctive reverence, the other - a lingering sense of vulnerability and unease. They’d gone past the overgrown mound, and were now facing buildings that far predated anything the two could have ever known. Whether the elder or the younger. It was at that point that some of the caution and silence had to be left behind just as they had left behind miles of forests and more than a single fleeting shelter.

The younger brother lead of course. If only because the older leaning on him could scarcely offer assistance, even with his superior size. The younger ignored the soreness in his body from having had to partially carry this weight for so long. This place held many smells, and not the least of them was the lingering but unmistakably old scent of their kind. There had been Luperci here before, but there were none now. It suited the younger just fine. He was a tall, lean male Optime with a dark pelt, bearing patches of silvery fur on some of his muzzle and his underbelly, and two easily noticeable burns, as if something flaming had lashed at his left shoulder and hip. A trio of leather pouches with vague ornaments stained onto them hung around his neck, each on a loose individual cord that was well adjusted to the shifting breadth of his neck whenever he transformed. This Luperci temporarily tended to the door of the smaller building, while next to him a massive figure leaned against a wall. This one too must have been Luperci, but managed to dwarf him even on uneasy feet. Draped in a misshapen cloth that hid most of his features he appeared a strange and imposing figure. And yet the occasional glance from the smaller Optime betrayed an obvious concern for his companion. They exchanged mostly minute gestures rather than any speech that could be heard, and each was a reassurance, like a repetitive back and forth of “Yes, of course I am here, worry not”.

The old wooden door gave way with relative ease and the younger Luperci ushered in his companion, the far larger male having to bend and angle himself so that the door frame would accommodate his size. Inside there were many more objects they could not interpret past gathering a vague significance from them. These were full of ritualistic deliberation. What few scraps of the trinkets remained at least. The Luperci with the pouches lead the larger figure to a corner with sufficient space and, with what little was at their disposal, began to organize a place of rest. Though he himself could just as easily curl up on the floor and had done so numerous nights in a row, the younger preferred more elaborate arrangements for the one he had traveled with. To say the least, their resources even after their journey were limited. At best the large Luperci’s bedding would for now consist of his rolled-up cloak and a few scraps of pelts layered underneath him for a sorry excuse for comfort. The Luperci working on arranging this improvised bedding looked ceaselessly apologetic.

Once the huge Luperci was resting atop this impromptu cushion the other breathed out a sigh of incomplete relief. He knelt by his brother and began to examine him, peeling layers of primitive bandaging off the resting giant. Every scrap of herb-scented cloth thus peeled would reveal a new burn, by now set into a pinkish patch, as though flesh had turned to wax then solidified. Where pelt remained it was very similar to the one tending to his burns. The same dark peppered with the occasional silver. The large Luperci would occasionally let out a groan or other sound of pain. Quiet, subdued, slipping between sharp teeth and quickly dying down in the dark room. His caretaker had to scrape the bottom of his pouches to find some remains of pain-relieving poultice to put on the burns. There were still some leftovers, but not all were suited for what they now required.

You forget the prayers, brother…
His voice was soft, quiet, but deep enough to belong to such a giant. Finally being spoken to, the young Luperci paused momentarily.
The herbs are right, Ierian. There just aren’t many left…
And have your prayers to the spirits run out with them…?” There was no reprimand to the statement, but still the words caused Bellad’s ears to flatten back for a brief instance.
… Surely you have heard every prayer already… But if it eases your heart…
And so every bit of medicine applied would now be followed by a brief incantation. This one is gratitude, that one is plea, this one is a wish for well-being, that one - for safety.
Will you be okay, Ierian? This area is vast. I may find something useful.
The larger Luperci mustered a nod. But before his brother could leave, Ierian beckoned with a weak gesture of a clawed hand.
Wait, Bellad, brother… Before you go… Could you sing for me?
Sing?” His eyes narrowed, and he nearly let slip a derisive snarl. “Would you care for a song more than for something to aid you?
For now, brother, yes, I would…

He did not argue long. He never could when his brother was involved. The room stilled at first with the quiet similar to that which it had housed before the two Luperci arrived. And then, though it began quietly, a song came forth. Bellad closed his eyes and let his voice flow. It rose with a growing melodious cadence. The song carried much in it, syllables and drawn out notes marked with all that had happened - there were grief and uncertainty, but just beneath were also hope, however faint, and determination, however dogged. And so the old Reservation lost its solemn quiet, instead reverberating with a life-instilling song that carried all the way outside.
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POSTED: Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:39 pm

It wasn’t often that Fennore had been rallied to perform Tamlin’s work. The normal structure of things was that her own chores were assisted by the golden Scout, who had no reservations against assisting with her burdens. At times she would even sit, prim and proper, watching him tidy her tent—he would smile, unaffected, until she couldn’t stomach the guilt and would join in with any cleaning. Try that she would to remain bombastic, the Moonwraith was good in her core, and could never take advantage for long. This morning, however, rather than Fennore rousing him for breakfast, he had been waiting for her instead.

“We’re going scouting,” he had informed her proudly, and though she had put up a mighty fight, he had won her over in the end. In Fennore’s defense, she had the grace to look interested as he showed her what it was that he looked for on his travels, how he mastered steps to move silently when attempting reconnaissance on something living. When the trees had thinned, they had found another field of flowers, reminiscent of that beautiful sunset in Gaspesia. Her enthusiasm had been more genuine when he had plucked the most vibrant blossoms he could find to adorn her hair. Tamlin had thought her as beautiful as any forest faerie, and when he told her so, she had told him what stories she knew of such sylvan creatures. Thus the duo had passed the hours in travel without incident, and though they found evidence of Luperci in the fields, it had been old and decayed.

They had assumed the lands uninhabited, until the song found their willing ears.

It had been faint at first, but the two in tandem were able to ascertain its direction. They had thought these former packlands lost to the cruelty of time, but perhaps there were still some thriving here—and so close to New Caledonian borders, they considered it important to investigate. With Fennore present, Tamlin had made sure his arrows were sharp and his bow ready—he dare not take chances with her safety, not after the debacle at Amherst—but his smile was pleasant and his attitude hopeful. With Fennore’s charm, they hoped to foster a relationship of friendship with these wolves (who dwelled on Sapient lands, though this was unknown to Tamlin, who had never heard of the pack). As they drew closer, the Sunwarden fiddled with his bow, an unuttered prayer to Menel asking for surety in its strike. “This songbird must not have been here long,” He stated, his nostrils quivering as he searched for the scent of packlands. What band had been here was lost, with no prominent markers to discourage interlopers. “Are you ready for him, Fennore?”

WC: 458

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Becky
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POSTED: Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:38 pm

Maybe it was out of spite and he sought to punish her; usually it was Fennore giving the orders, yet Tamlin had seemed to tap into some hidden confidence locked away somewhere and told (not suggested or requested) her they were scouting today. Naturally, she had some reservations about this — the pain in her palms today was much worse than it had been before, and she would have rather stayed near the camp as to not push her luck with them, yet she did not tell him this lest he worry senselessly. But she did indeed come around after his incessant pleading and he used his damned sad puppy-dog eyes against her. If he so desperately wanted a scouting partner, so be it, but he would be remiss to think that this trip would be on his terms.

When they happened upon the meadow, Fennore immediately demanded they stop and take in all of its beauty; that served Tamlin just fine, for he weaved small blooms into her elegant braid happily and complimented her all the same. What had once been a dreaded task, his scouting, had surprisingly turned into a delightful afternoon: it was nice not having to worry about Macha or Sabriel for a day, and in a more cynical light, Fennore took certain pleasure in having Tamlin focus on her and only her.

Perhaps that was a bit mean, though, rubbing salt in the wound. But she tried not to dwell on that.

The hauntingly beautiful drone caused her pale ears to perk, her earrings clinking as she looked off into the distance. Tamlin seemed a bit more on edge about the howling, thinking it odd that a Luperci was so close to the camp without them noticing, though Fennore was not so worried. Even if this stranger was an adversary or grew unruly, her golden scout could easily quell whatever monster that rose against them. His skill with the bow seemed unmatched to her naive mind.

"I hope he is ready for us," she answered nonchalantly, smoothing out her cloak and drawing the hood over her ginger hair. Her hands burned even at this simple task, but she tried to push the pain aside as they started off for the distant crooning. Their trip was about to get even more interesting, it seemed.

They were approaching a river, and the Anor man spotted a bridge that would lead them safety over; surely their songbird was on the other side somewhere.

ooc → sorry for the wait! <3

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Songs from the Wood

POSTED: Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:10 pm

Rising, then falling, he drew out the last flowing legato of his song with his eyes closed. It was a heartfelt song that slowly faded, nearly allowing the room to regain its silence. Opening his fiery orange eyes, Bellad looked at his brother and saw he seemed still. A momentary panic took over him as he leaned down to the larger Luperci’s muzzle and listened intently. He heard slow, deep breaths and felt their warmth on his fur. Ierian was still alive, merely asleep. The song had not turned out a requiem. And yet there was something else. With his attention so thoroughly dedicated to his hearing, he could make out something else, at the very edge of his senses and far beyond this quiet room. Somebody was coming. He looked at his sleeping brother, then towards the door.

I won’t be long, Ierian… Rest.

He murmured softly and headed outside. The door did not hold well after his invasion of this building, but he leaned it against the doorframe to at least create a semblance of the place remaining untouched. A meager defense, perhaps, but one that could work against someone who didn’t know exactly what they were looking for. Then he hunched down on the ground, letting the shift shiver through his body. The burns hurt as his skin reshaped and his anatomy bent into the quadrupedal form. His Secui was bigger than a regular wolf, as was to be expected of this shape, yet still it seemed more agile than robust. With the speed of his four feet he ran towards the source of the sound. He had not yet gone in this direction, but hearing somebody approach was reason enough to direct his scrutiny there. He saw the quiet river, he saw a bridge over it. And there, just beyond, two figures, still in the distance.

They were not empty-handed, seemingly carrying something. Tools, those of the hunt, Bellad recognized, unable to see much more at this distance. He himself was at this time empty-handed, save for the pouches around his neck. He had no weapons with which to defend himself, and by now was already at a disadvantage. So he knew only one way to stand his ground - project authority and show no weakness. Before ascending to the bridge he took the time for another transformation, back to his Optime. A waste, perhaps, to do so in such rapid succession, and yet it would let him meet them standing on two feet, rather than being looked down on. He battled with the urge to wince from the painful tug of his burns, and walked onto the bridge, stopping at its highest point and merely waiting. He could clearly be seen from there, unarmed and alone, but with his head held high, looking towards the approaching strangers with a heedful gaze.
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POSTED: Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:24 pm

Tamlin wasn’t altogether surprised to see that they had been discovered in their arrival: they had made no motions to approach stealthily, as they intended more friendly overtures. On the other side of the bridge stood their intended goal, his proud skull held high. He was a stranger to Tamlin, and a quick glance to Fennore revealed that she too found him novel. Regardless, there were no weapons in hand—Tamlin let his grip on the bow falter, leaving his hands empty. He wouldn’t return such a peaceful gesture with a threat. “Hello!” He let his voice carry across the waters, coming up to the crossway over the water, letting his countenance fall to a gentle smile. “We heard your song, stranger.” He offered the statement to account for their pursuit, his tenor voice nonaggressive, glancing to Fennore’s violet eyes as he spoke.

“We weren’t aware that anyone lived here,” he added, stepping on to the old wooden planks of the bridge, but stopping his motions there. As eager as he was to make new friends of those who lived nearby, he didn’t trust that he wouldn’t inspire fear with too much enthusiasm. After all, Fennore was the better speaker of the duo: he let his own voice fall silent, casting an encouraging look at the Moonwraith. He would certainly be her guardsman if interactions went poorly, but if anyone was going to charm a man with an introduction, it would be the voluptuous woman at his side.

With her to take over the orator role, he let his gold-green eyes fall to the land behind Bellad, looking for signs of any others who might come out of the shadows. Though he wasn’t sure that they existed, he did not want to be caught unawares if this stranger wasn’t traveling solo.

WC: 301

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Becky
Luperci

POSTED: Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:12 pm

There across the bridge, a figure came into view. His dark pelt was a stark difference against the backdrop of green and brown, and he glided in like a shadow to meet them, though just like a spectre he did not speak or move to greet them further. Her ears flicked beneath the hood before she folded them back fully, casting a throwaway glance to the Anor as he disarmed himself and shouted pleasantries to the stranger — as was in his simple nature, she supposed.

But Tamlin was also very aware who the diplomat was of the two, and shortly after his opening remarks his voice receded to usher hers in. Where Fennore had lingered behind him as he approached the wooden structure, she side-stepped him now and lifted her chin slightly, squinting her eyes at the dark wolf afar. "Serenader," she called to him, her voice brisk but not impolite. "Won't you meet us halfway? We mean you no harm."

Not intruding on his "home" seemed to be wise. Bringing him to them and showing him they were not there to cause trouble was the best way to go about it, Fennore thought. But there was a hidden urgency to her tone yet, the dull throbbing of her hands influencing every action and souring them thusly; as much as she wanted to investigate this further, she just as much wanted to submerge her palms in freezing cold water just to feel something other than pain.

Pushing this aside, she ventured a step further on the bridge, her pale hands flexing at her sides subconsciously. "We have a camp just beyond this mountain," she said airily. "Have you been here long?"

ooc → *does a little tap dance*

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Songs from the Wood

POSTED: Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:28 pm

Letting his song be heard was careless, but this was no time to berate himself for betraying their presence. There, far behind him, his brother slept inside the old Reservation. Bellad surveyed the two as they spoke. They were clothed, they were armed, they carried signs of a culture completely unfamiliar to him. Bellad stood before them, taller than either of them even without the slight elevation of the bridge, clad only in his own pelt and the burns on his shoulder and hip. But they were brethren in language at least and so he listened to their greeting. "I have not." He began, answering the female Luperci's question. His expression remained impassive, but he knew better than to project hostility while outnumbered by armed visitors.

Slowly, with a measured confidence, he stepped forward off the bridge, descending to their level. He observed the golden-pelted one, taking in his scent as he went. He drew the air into his nostrils overtly, but not to a jarring extent, never acting so unceremonious as to lean towards the stranger. The wolf read the scent like a series of markings. Wood, dirt, and the smell of beasts. A hunter then? The tools would support this claim. Bellad, in turn, smelled of herbs, foliage and, though far more faintly after their travels, of ash. He and Ierian shared the scent. He had a chance not to reveal there were more than just him.

Pausing now between the two, he turned his attention to the one with the lighter pelt. Spices, flora, but there was another smell on her too. It was something fresher and more urgent. Blood? Her own? Not too fresh, and mingled with the unpleasantly sweet smell of an unclean wound's secretions. He drew no immediate attention to it, although he took note and his glance lingered on the female. "What brings you here, strangers, and what do you bring in your wake?"
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POSTED: Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:28 pm

As though they rehearsed it, she stepped in to the speaker’s role without issue, her voice ringing out across the chasm that separated them easily. Tamlin’s ear twitched when a buzzing gnat went by, but quickly returned to facing the stranger, eager for any sound that might indicate a threat. So far it seemed that he was truly alone—no shifting shadows, no extraneous scents, and no rustling underbrush bothered him. He did detect the aftermath of a fire in his nostrils, and a curious glance at the other revealed a wound across his shoulder… and another, there on his hip. Concern lanced through his expression, and he shot a glance to Fennore to see if she had noticed it. Her face was placid: he couldn’t tell.

He let them maintain the discourse, but when Bellad asked a question, he cleared his throat to respond. “Just scouting for resources. Your song pulled us in, just us two,” he answered politely, though he had a question of his own now. “Are you well?” He demonstrated the meaning of his query by bringing his hand to his left shoulder, mirroring the location of Bellad’s most visible wound. If there was one thing that could bring a Caledonian to sympathy, it was of a man escaping fire. Tamlin had been away from greater society when the attack had come, sparing him some of the worst of it—he knew that others, Athras especially, had witnessed far worse. Tamlin had seen only the highest flames flickering, and the smoke rising into the sky…

But Bellad Songthorn was no Caledonian, and he ought not to assume such familiarity as to become rude. “Forgive me, I didn’t say my name. I’m Tamlin Anor.” The Sunwarden considered introducing Fennore as well, but decided against it. He would let her share her name only if she felt comfortable, and he didn’t wish to share any details she might not want to yet.

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Becky
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POSTED: Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:28 am

She could feel Tamlin's golden-green eyes on her cheek, but she didn't break her own gaze away from the dark wolf. Perhaps he saw what she had seen; there were strange markings riddling his body, ones she was unfamiliar with but they care a sort of ominous air with them — burns? A subtle sniff of the air proved the flesh had indeed met some sort of malicious heat, and she tucked this knowledge away, mentally noting to return to it should the encounter progress further than posturing.

Tamlin intervened with his own worries; clearly the injuries hit closer to home to the scout than she, as she had not been the one to lose her home to fire and ash. Perhaps his question had been a bit... direct, more direct than Fennore would have phrased it, but — oh, well.

Her palms burned with their own sort of tickling flame as she breathed her name: "I am Fennore." The introduction was thusly passed to their stranger, and she found herself gritting her teeth as she waited for his response.

Could she live without hands? Most likely not, as skilled with them as she was. But the notion was growing very tempting.

ooc →

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POSTED: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:46 am

The black Luperci was nearly solemn as he looked them over, letting his gaze linger on both in turn. He weighted the voice of the one who introduced himself first. "Tamlin Anor..." He repeated, nodding as if accepting the name as legible. But the golden scout did not stop there and asked of Bellad's well-being. He indicated the spot where he had been burned, leaving no doubt as to what caused the question. If only he had seen the older brother. "I have been healing." Came his response. Far be it from him to reveal pain to complete strangers, regardless of their mission.

The other visitor spoke, and momentarily the black pelted one's eyes narrowed. He looked at her in complete silence, almost raising the question of whether or not he was going to introduce himself in turn. Instead, he came into motion, further shortening the distance between himself and the one called Fennore. The smell of her wounds became all the more apparent. He breathed in the scent, then breathed out a soft sigh. So at least one of them was wounded. "My name, is Bellad... The latter Songthorn." The statement came after a slight pause. It was strange to say out loud. Internally he scolded himself for letting the lingering sting of still fresh memories infect his speech. From where he stood, he turned to the face Tamlin once again. "I would hear more of you and who it is you are scouting for, Tamlin Anor, but your companion appears to be in pain."

It was more of a habit than an outright desire. He and his brethren were those that healed and nurtured. He was taught to provide aid. Bellad Songthorn looked back to Fennore and spoke in a voice that somehow managed to sound at once authoritative in its clarity and genuine in its tone. "Show me." In his memory his elders stood tall, but with a hand stretched out towards those in need. Patiently waiting for the ailing to show what caused them pain. Allowing them to seek treatment. As those Luperci from his memory, gone in the fire, he stood now, patient. Fennore was given freedom to display her wounds in response to the demand, and that, in turn, would indicate a willingness to be treated.
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