the fire's found a home in me

POSTED: Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:12 pm

....lolol (+500)

Her children were not as stealthy as they thought.

At least, when it came to Lyris, they were not. Any offspring of hers would be hard-pressed to be a klutz, and Indi and Teagan had learned well. Their footsteps were nearly undetectable when slipping out of the house into the dark of night, but still the mother was roused to wakefulness. They could have slid past any average matriarch, but to a victim of claws born from ignorance, Lyris was the epitome of a light sleeper. Her eyes opened to the soft moonlight awash across her bed, Luca's slumbering form just within reach. She considered following the pair, her fingers brushing lightly across the ridges in her flank that stood as puckered scars in memory of a past mistake. But she would never be able to let go should she fear every second away from her wing was a second they were to be attacked. So Lyris sunk back to rest, if fitfully, and hoped that the girls retained the intelligence their eyes so often glistened. They were smart, and together, they would be fine.

The Mani managed to retain several more hours of rest, on and off, noting at some point in the early gray of dawn the more rowdy, less-than-tactful return of her children to their home. The mother could not sleep well after that, curiosity striking the best of her. So she awoke, but she did not leave. There was a plan in her mind, though it would not be executed without first allowing Indi and Teagan some hours of sleep. She passed the time perched on the raggedy cushioned chair in the corner of the master bedroom, silently working on the crafting of her most recent bow, glancing occasionally to watch her mate's flank rise and fall in peaceful quiet. When the sun spilled its first rays of golden light across the wooden floor, Lyris took it as a sign and tucked away her bow and dagger. She stood, and with long, careful strides she clicked shut the door behind her and swept down the hall, absent of her usual quiet movement. And then in one swift, calculated movement, she swung open the door to Indi and Teagan's shared room, listening with a twitch of ears when it slammed against the opposite wall. Curiously, the window was open and Teagan was nowhere to be found. Lyris allowed herself a brief, silent smile. For the simple fact that the canary-eyed girl had the wits to awake and escape, Lyris removed her from the hook. Indi, however, was still curled up on her bed, cerulean eyes drowsily opening with the tactless sound of her mother's entry. The smell of alcohol was subtle, but to the huntress' nose, it did not pass unawares. Lyris' smile vanished. "Up, lazy bones." The mother crossed the room, and with a firm grip, ripped the covers from the koi-colored youth's form. "Training ring, five minutes." Lyris flicked her tail across Indi's face and then left her room. The Cavallo exited the small home and moved with all the skill of her rank to the training ring, leaning up against the surrounding fence to wait for her daughter's arrival. She would allow her children to make their choices freely, but the hell was she going to let them get away with what they did without some kind of retribution. Lyris had nothing against alcohol, except for the fact that it made even the quickest, most skilled fighter appear slow and dull. That, she would not have..

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:12 pm

This was fun to write :D Indi finally had the weird ear-thing that has been in all of her art! [750]


The sun had risen, but the ray of golden light that would usually wake Indi up - or prompt her to curse, readjust her pillow to block out the light, and go back to sleep - slid off her eyelids without effect. Indi was sleeping the deep sleep of the still-drunk, murmuring lightly as she shifted in her sleep. Her dreams were indistinct, but pleasant, and there was a faint smile to Indi’s muzzle as she twitched and turned.

And then all of a sudden Indi was rudely torn from her peaceful slumber. Her entire body felt like it was throbbing, and the vague but loud voice that she couldn’t quite make out was only making things worse. As soon as she opened her eyes she was assaulted by a horrible pain in her head, and screwed them shut immediately in a futile attempt to block out the sun’s rays. The youth groaned and rolled over, murmuring in protest as the covers were ripped away from her. “Whasgoinon?” she mumbled indistinctly, before yelping as something smacked into her head. Ice flooded into Indi’s veins as she forced her eyes open to see a white-furred form standing before her, staring coldly down at her. “Y-yes mom.” Indi stammered, curling in on herself and staring after her mother until she left.

Heart beating like a drum in her chest, feeling somewhat like a bear had stared her down and found her unworthy to eat, Indi slowly began to get herself ready for the day. It was a slow and painful process; as soon as Indi began to stand up, the pain in her head went from a headache to feeling like somebody had driven an icepick into her skull and she was struck down by a sudden burst of nausea. Dropping back down onto the bed Indi clutched her stomach and groaned piteously, screwing her eyes shut and contemplating whether it would be worth the eventual hell if she just went back to sleep now. Eventually she decided that it would probably be less painful to take her medicine now, rather than delay it until later and give her mother time to get creative.

Tea was nowhere to be found, Indi noted bitterly as she once again forced herself to her feet. All that was to be found of Indi’s sister was a faint scent trail leading to and out the open window. Growling to herself and mentally swearing revenge on her sister, Indi stumbled across the room to her dresser. The pain in her head was unceasing, pulsing with every step that she took, but she also became aware of a sharp pain in her… ear?

Still squinting against the horrifyingly bright light, Indi peered into the mirror and pushed back her hair. What she saw left her mouth hanging open dumbly in shock; where her ear had once stood white and pure, now there were two golden studs pierced through the outside edge, leading down to a small golden hoop that dangled a small, red feather. “What the fuck?” Indi asked herself dumbly, jumping guiltily as an afterthought and looking around to make sure that Lyris hadn’t heard her swear. She really needed to have words with Tea, what the hell did they do last night!? Still, first she had to go face the music with her mother, but after that Teagan’s arse was hers!

Eventually Indi managed to get herself together enough to leave. With her hair pulled back into a rough ponytail rather than her usual braid, Indi staggered out of the house, training short sword strapped around her waist and spear being used as a walking stick to help her stagger over towards the training grounds. The short trip took her almost ten minutes, and three times Indi found herself bent over dry-retching into a bush and praying for herself not to actually vomit. Eventually though she found herself in the training ring, standing before her mother. If Indi’s dizzy slump could be called standing, that was. Indi’s palms were so sweaty that she could barely keep her grip on her spear, holding it before her as though the blunt-ended weapon could actually ward Lyris off. “Ready mom,” she ground out, feeling anything but. Fighting off another groan, Indi swayed from side to side faintly, silently cursing every god she could think of. This was not going to be fun.

POSTED: Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:10 am

-- (+500)

Lyris tried to distance the purpose for her punishment away for her superficial dislike of alcohol. She had attempted sips before, but the taste of such substance had never been pleasant enough for her to drink without cringe. And it made her feel vulnerable, not in the moment, obviously- but in the time following. Lyris was founded on her ability to turn on a dime and defend herself and her family from all misfortune humanly possible, but when her sharp senses and decisive blows were stolen from her, be it from a substance or anything else, her worst fears came to light. So, no, she most certainly would not drink alcohol beyond a very rare, very tentative sip. But the mother could not drive her personal bias into the lives of her children or even her equals; such drinks were commodities partaken for social events and also when numbing may be required- she could understand the appeal of such a thing even if she could not bring herself to partake. She did not necessarily want her daughters to develop an affinity for it; no matter how well-trained they became, the thought that something like that could take away their ability to defend themselves sent some dark shiver up her spine. But to force her controversial ideals on her children would be unfair. She said that this training exercise was less because of the alcohol and more due to the fact that the girls had snuck out and done something unsafe and dumb. Lyris also found the benefit of a training session in the now; Indi would undoubtedly be distracted by the pains of hangover, and if she could learn to fight in even the worst states, her abilities when sober and fully upright would improve tenfold. But it would not be without a lot of hurting and mistakes. Lyris felt the only-instinctual, protective cringe as she watched Indi stumble and groan in pain, but it was easily forgotten. She would be perfectly fine in hours to come.

"You're late." The mother snapped, but chose to enforce little more than the grating words. What was to come was bad enough without something stacked atop. Lyris sighed at the girl, a sound of mottled feelings, before she lifted a hand, swiftly grabbed the staff of the girl's spear, pulled it from her grip, and tossed it to the side, where it landed in the dry training ring with a blow of dust before rolling off to the fencing. The movement was not much unlike the way in which she had disarmed Teagan in days prior; she was not against the weapons that he daughters chose to use, but to hide behind the skill of wielding something that could be easily disarmed was foolish. Basic tooth-and-claw skills were the most essential. "No sticks." And without further delay, Lyris moved into the impromptu spar. No warning was given. An arm cut across to smack the girl in the flank- the blow was very light, but enough to create a stumble. Lyris moved fluidly into her next strike, dancing with a single step around the girl's more youthful form to bring an elbow to the middle of her daughter's pale shoulder blades. Again, not even a bruise would ensue from the hit, but it was far from undetectable. "You're dead twice. Retaliate." She demanded, waiting in the same poise she had entered to land her previous attack.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:01 pm

[340]


Indi’s mother was a ferocious sight, and the youth couldn’t quite help the high-pitched yelp she let out when Lyris darted forwards and disarmed her. Before Indi had really processed that Lyris was moving, striking her once in the ribs and dancing around Indi before she had even finished raising her arms to defend herself, delivering a second strike to her back. The blows were light, not really painful in and of themselves, but they were enough to send her stumbling off balance, and make her cry out quietly as her headache flared up painfully. Groaning again, Indi did her best to pull herself together into a fighting stance, the beginnings of resentment bubbling up as Lyris berated her. Wisely she didn’t say any of the sullen words that came to mind, instead growling indistinctly. Why the hell was Lyris so angry? She didn’t approve of alcohol, Indi was perceptive enough to have understood that from watching her, but this just felt like overkill.

Between Lyris and Uncle Enzo Indi had naturally been trained in unarmed combat, but a lack of practise meant that she knew what movements she needed to make, but actually making them was a different matter. She had been improving over the past few weeks, but that didn’t make up for slacking off for most of her life, not yet. There was pretty much no chance for anything to happen here except for Indi to get utterly humiliated, and she knew it. Even if she had been in top form, Indi was completely and utterly outclassed.

Might as well try though, if nothing else maybe she could placate her mother even if she couldn’t beat her. Baring her teeth, Indi darted forwards as fast as she could, letting herself stagger backwards a few steps to get a bit of runup. She ducked her head and aimed her shoulder for Lyris’ stomach - trying to tackle her - while her teeth were glinting between pulled-back lips, ready to snap at Lyris’ arms if Indi got the chance.

POSTED: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:35 pm

-- (+400)

The lack of Lyris' mercy for her daughter's painful state and absent skill was stark and cold. Some would consider it unecessary. She did not. Already, she was being kind in the fact that the attacks she did land had no real effects or pain, as they would should a true spar of Cavaliers ensue. Indi's eyes, however, did not glow with gratitude. Lyris did not expect them to. There was only the burn of a hangover and increasing frustration and detest for the current situation. This had little effect on the relentless movement of the mother. Her daughter was left to hiss in pain and standing where she was before, a little more beaten-down and given the unfair disadvantage. But the Cavallo did not attempt to even the scales. Countless times she had been given much the same and even less, and still she was forced to fight or die trying. She would not leave her children ill-prepared, no matter how many bruises or humiliation may come first.

A sudden offensive flash of fangs was surprisingly shot by the Guarire, and Indi decided to act. But little calculation or technique was imminent in her blind run; Lyris was impressed at her speed, and so was given little time to dodge the orange-and-pale streak of the girl. But the Artiglio's style was nothing if not full of finesse, and so as Indi charged, she leaped. Never would the woman have attempted the move had the girl been full-grown and towering- she was not a rabbit, after all- but her spring was powerful from days upon days of a huntress' run. Her hands landed heavily on Indi's shoulders, using her makeshift foe's form as support to throw her lower body up and over in an arc. Lyris' feet landed with a heavy thud in the dust, and her body and arms twisted to flip her grip on Indi's shoulders to a grip across her chest, now in an abrasive sort of embrace from behind the youth. The scarred woman scooped and pressed her daughter's arms against her throat, somehow gentle yet firm. "Attacking out of only anger is the worst thing you could do." She spoke, near the girl's pale ears, and then with a shove, released her. Lyris gestured to the now-faded scarring that latticed her flank, memories of an experience not so long ago. "I have tried it." Had she been level-headed and in her right mind, the Mani would never have received such wounds. Lyris suddenly grabbed Indi's arms, pulling them quickly and roughly into a proper defensive position, one lifted slightly higher to guard her face while the other her throat and chest. "Your forearms are your best defense when it appears you cannot dodge or counterattack. They are better slashed than your throat. Focus on guarding, not evading or striking." Without much of a pause, Lyris twisted to put power behind her shoulder as she flung the back of her arm toward Indi's throat.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:14 pm

[300]


It was almost like a magic trick; one moment Indi’s mother had been there, the next she had vanished and there was an arm wrapped painfully tight around her chest. Indi snarled and tried to elbow backwards at Lyris, determined to offer some resistance, but her hands were quickly caught and brought up to her own throat. The motion didn’t make much sense to Indi, but the feeling of pressure against her throat hit some instinctive trigger and she stilled, ears drooping back against her skull.

Indi knew that Lyris’ words were meant to help, not hurt. Unfortunately, knowing that still didn’t actually make the words feel less like a personal attack, and she glowered defensively as she was pushed away. The fire in her eyes quickly died though when Lyris gestured down at the scars decorating her side, scars she had gotten protecting Indi. Indi dipped her head, eyes flicking down in shame; it was hard to be bitter and defiant when faced with something like that. She sighed forlornly as her mother reached out and began rearranging her arms for her, yanking them into a proper posture.

Head cocked Indi listened intently to Lyris, trying to focus on her words around the headache that just wouldn’t loosen the pincers it had clasped around her skull. She barely had enough time to process Lyris’ words before the next strike came. Thankfully she managed to get her arms up in time, but when the strike actually hit Indi’s guard folded almost immediately and she yelped in pain and shock as her own arm was sent crashing backwards into her muzzle. Stars flashing before her eyes, Indi swiped blindly with outstretched claws and then staggered backwards, hunched over defensively with her arms held in something roughly like Lyris had guided her into earlier.

POSTED: Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:00 pm

-- (+400)

She supposed that the reference to a darker day was less than kind in such a situation. Lyris relayed with a jade gaze that Indi was meant only to learn from her words, not take any memory of guilt. The last thing that the mother did was blame Indi for the loners that attacked her in her own home- if anything, she would have to blame herself. She should not have let any of her children wander without the training and safety net they needed. Indi's silence after the motion towards scarring was less than reassuring, and Lyris considered stopping to grip her shoulders and tell her to drop the weight she had to stop carrying. But constant pleas and badgering would not help the situation. She had to trust the girl to understand; if not now, than later. It was difficult for one so young to ever begin to conceive what a mother's love and constant worry or guilt was like. It was endless.

The flare of pain was apparent in the rich blues of the girl's eyes, and again, a pang of sympathy rocked her. But Lyris only thought of the benefit of such a thing; this preparation was invaluable. Training day to day when you were in perfect shape and health was almost false to the reality of a real fight; pain blurred the techniques that one could come to memorize during the ease of light spars. Practicing with such hurt present imitated the true battles; the ones Lyris most feared for the girls to be thrown into. She threw her arm without a moment's hesitation, careful still to avoid hurting Indi should she miss the block, but the mother was not disappointed. The koi-colored youth lifted her arms, and white limb impacted white limb as the Artiglio's strike was deflected. Indi's arm was thrown back with the power, and Lyris paused. A small mercy. "Good." She said in praise. But she would not hit the girl while she was down; such was an improper position and one not meant to be practiced. "Straighten out. Again, flower." Despite the endearing name, the Cavalier's voice was absent of much affection. It was the voice of a combated warrior, in the midst of a grisly routine. "Holding your arms strong can only be achieved by building up muscle and practice." She moved to strike again, this time stepping forward and whipping her body around for a kick, toward a sunset-painted flank.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:31 pm

[300]


The pain that Lyris’ strike had caused was accompanied by a spark of pride at the praise that she got for blocking the blow. It was muted though, by the knowledge that even with lyris holding back her blow had managed to hit Indi in a fashion. In an actual fight she imagined she would have been getting a follow-up blow, rather than words of encouragement. She grumbled her assent as Lyris kept talking, ears flicking in irritation aimed more at herself than at her mother. “I know! I’ve been trying,” she muttered. It wasn’t just empty talk either, she had indeed been working hard since the encounter at the border. Her arms and shoulders were sporting a new level of definition that hadn’t been present before. This was making Indi all too aware though that it wasn’t anywhere near enough, not when faced with her mother. And it likely wouldn’t be enough it she were forced into a real fight once again. It was a humiliating thought, and Indi’s teeth were locked tight together as she waited for Lyris’ next blow.

Indi’s mother stepped forwards again, one leg rising swiftly into a kick. This, at least, Indi had some idea how to deal with. Swiftly she moved forwards and to the side, following the kick’s direction so that when Lyris’ shin crashed into her side just below her ribs, the impact was muted. The blow was still painful, but it only took some of the air from Indi’s lungs as she gasped, rather than knocking her over on her backside. Feeling confident for the first time since the spar had begun Indi pressed forwards, one arm snaking out to try and trap Lyris’ leg against her side while she lashed out with the other, aiming a punch at her mother’s stomach.

POSTED: Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:10 pm

-- (+300)

The dejected frustration apparent in the youth's body language struck a bell with Lyris. All had to start somewhere; and, pridefully, the mother knew that her daughters were advanced well beyond many of the kids their own age, be it due to their mother's die-hard regimen or their father's glorified rank or their own personal spark for the fight. But even then, one had to remember the girls were yet to even be considered adults. Their skills were limited, for the limited amount of time they had the ability to learn and practice. Indi was frustrated at her state and apprenticeship. Lyris wanted to say that at her age, she had barely gained the use of hands, and let alone began to dabble in combat. She was already ahead of the game, but such things would be promises shot down. Little got past frustration at one's own failures. Work and time were the last thing any trainee wanted, especially surrounded by knights in arms.

Lyris left the Guarire's exclamation to fall without response. Instead, she immediately moved. There was no opportunity for chats or heart-to-hearts in the midst of a spar. To Lyris' pleasant surprise, the youth did not block her blow, instead attempted a dodge and counterattack. An underestimation may have been the reality of the reason the mother allowed her foot to be caught. She could have easily ripped it from Indi's grip, most likely, but that was an easy way out. The koi-colored girl made a move to strike the Artiglio's abdomen, and Lyris moved without hesitation. With one ankle caught, she dropped back onto the palms of her hands, dust flying, and promptly twisted her body, her free leg shot with the movement to smack Indi's arm out of its movement to hit. Now facing the ground, hands beneath her shoulders, Lyris made the thrust of an impromptu push-up and tucked her feet beneath her, consequentially ripping her captured limb from where her daughter held it hostage. The huntress fluidly pulled herself back to her feet, facing the youth with a faint, nearly undetectible smile. "Good." Another praise, but she didn't give her advice or educate her on a stance, this time. Lyris moved forward again, dropping low to slide across the dirt, an ankle struck out in an attempt to swipe Indi off her feet and onto her back.

Lyris Stryder
Casa di Cavalieri
DEAD
User avatar
Ann
Luperci Mate to Luca Stable Master The Brotherhood: Master of Tooth and Claw 2013, 2015 SoSuWriMo Champ! Stryder
princess cut from marble
smoother than a storm
these scars that mark my body?
SILVER & GOLD

POSTED: Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:16 am

[320]


The surge of triumph as she managed to catch her mother’s kick was quickly replaced by shock and admiration as Lyris yet again moved with almost unnatural fluidity to dodge her blow, and then span neatly out of her grasp. She really needed to get her mother to teach her to move like that! She darted back as Lyris jumped back to her feet, wary of a counterattack, which quickly turned into stagger as another wave of nausea rose from her stomach. Adrenaline and fresh air were going a way towards making her feel a bit better, but she was definitely still feeling rough. Only the thought of her mother’s disapproval - and what Lyris would do if she actually tried - stopped her from trying to go and crawl back into bed.

Lyris darted forwards again, ducking down as she went. Indi hesitated, trying to figure out what she was doing, and that cost her. She knew exactly how to react, but her dreams of jumping neatly over Lyris’ ankle and taking the advantage while she was picking herself up were cut short as she moved a fraction of a second too late. Instead Indi’s attempt to dodge just made things worse, as she was off the ground when Lyris’ ankle struck her own and sent her spinning head over heels.

Indi just managed to twist in midair, remembering Uncle Enzo’s lessons on how to fall without hurting herself. Unfortunately she didn’t quite manage to stick the roll back to her feet, and ended up flopped on the ground a couple of feet away. Wheezing to try and get her breath back she staggered back up to her feet, hands held up before her. She edged forwards as though making to attack Lyris as she rose herself, but lost her nerve and instead hovered nearby, waiting for her to make the next move.

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